Monthly Archives: June 2011

Darkest Before Dawn

DARKEST BEFORE DAWN

 

Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

 

Mark 13:24, “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light.”

 

The Greek word used for tribulation means “pressure”. We will experience a lot of pressure and pressurized situations in the last days. Do you feel pressured yet? Well, after a period of this pressure, then we will begin to see the great signs in the heavens unfold. Darkness seems to be a major theme in the end times. What will an extended period of darkness cause? Cold, crop failure, famine, pestilence, death.

 

Revelation 6:12-14, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.”

 

Isaiah 34:4, “All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree.”

 

The sixth seal judgment at first appears to be caused by an earthquake, but earthquakes don’t normally cause the sun and moon to be darkened. So is it possible that the earthquake has a cause? A large asteroid impact could cause an earthquake, or possibly the earthquake caused a volcano to erupt, which we know causes the sun and moon to grow dark by its ash cloud. Also, verse 14 makes it clear that the first cause is nuclear, either at man’s hand, or by an asteroid impact. Do you realize that the ancient prophets and the Revelator did not know what a nuclear cloud looked like, especially the part where the sky rolls back on itself? No human knew until 1945. A large asteroid impact may cause a similarly looking cloud, with similar results to the darkening of the heavens.

 

Joel 2:30-31, “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh.”

 

When you think of Yeshua’s second coming, don’t you visualize bright white fluffy clouds? What kind of clouds will we actually have on the day of His return?

 

Acts 2:19-21, “I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh. 21And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of Yahweh shall be saved.”

 

The great final harvest will not occur by the light of the harvest moon! It will be accomplished in darkness!

 

Amos 5:18, “Woe to you who desire the day of Yahweh! For what good is the day of Yahweh to you? It will be darkness, and not light.”

 

Amos 5:20, “Is not the day of Yahweh darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?

 

Amos 8:9, ““And it shall come to pass in that day,” says Sovereign Yahweh, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight.””

 

Isaiah 13:9-10, “Behold, the day of Yahweh comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. 10For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.”

 

Isaiah confirms that the harvest of lost sinners will be a dark day, not a bright day. 2 Thessalonians 2:8, “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Master will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” These Scriptures may be describing the days when the Light of Yeshua begins to replace the natural lights in the heavens. His brightness in glory will light up the dark clouds, so maybe they will be bright white and fluffy!

 

Isaiah 50:3, “I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.”

 

Ezekiel 32:7-8, “When I put out your light, I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. 8All the bright lights of the heavens I will make dark over you, and bring darkness upon your land,’ says Sovereign Yahweh.”

 

Joel 2:1-2, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of Yahweh is coming, for it is at hand: 2A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.”

 

Joel 2:10, “The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness.”

 

Joel 3:15, “The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.”

 

Now you know why we’ve developed night vision combat gear. Many of the end-time wars will be fought under mega-dark conditions. Soon, the only light on planet earth will be the glory of Yahweh.

 

Revelation 8:12, “Then the fourth angel sounded (4th trumpet judgment): And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.”

 

Revelation 9:1-2, “Then the fifth angel sounded (5th trumpet judgment): And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.”

 

Mark 13:26-27, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”

 

Luke 21:25-28, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

 

The harvest of the barley and wheat Christians will also happen in the dark days ahead, but the end result is the return of our blessed Savior, Yeshua HaMashiach. That day may appear dark to the carnal, physical eye, but to our spiritual eye, this will be the brightest day in human history!! Any yes, it is coming soon to a planet near you. So yes, the darkest hour is always just before the brightest dawn! Look up, your redemption draw near!

 

Gene Benjamin II

June 28, 2011 CE

 

 

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Marriage – Divorce – Remarriage

Marriage & Fidelity

Then Yahweh1 Elohim said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ …So Yahweh Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And Yahweh Elohim fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh….’ For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:18-242)

That, of course, is what is known as the story of Adam and Eve. A love story, and I am quite confident that the half of it was not told. How thrilled Adam must have been when he first gazed upon Eve. And oh, how he must have loved her, having been alone, without anyone for some unknown period of time. How thankful he must have been that Yahweh’s plan for him included marriage, a wife and children. It has been the same for untold numbers of men and women ever since.

In verse 18 of Genesis 2, we are told that Yahweh did not consider it good for man to be alone. Consider also the inspired wisdom of Solomon on this same subject:

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from Yahweh.” (Proverbs 18:22)

According to these passages marriage is a good thing. It was from the beginning ordained and blessed by Yahweh. Yahweh used it as a model for His own special relationship with His people Israel. He was married to them, and them to Him. It was also at a marriage ceremony that Yeshua commenced to unveil his divinity by performing His first miracle. All of this demonstrates that the sacrament of marriage was and is held in high esteem by Yahweh. It should be safe to say that the act of marriage is even loved by Yahweh.

With this being true, would it not also be safe to say that the opposite is just as true as well, that is, that Yahweh hates divorce? “Of course,” many Christians would declare, “after all, that is exactly what Malachi was inspired to write!”

“For I hate divorce, says Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel.” (Malachi 2:16)

Is that not correct? No, it is not! Please do not misunderstand me. I did not say that Yahweh does not hate divorce. I strongly suspect that He does in most cases. What I did say was, that this is not what Malachi was inspired to write.

Hopefully, I now have your attention so that you will stay with me through the rest of this treatise. I will explain my reason for writing what I just did concerning Malachi 2:16. However, first let me assure you, the reader, that I am not promoting divorce amongst Yahweh’s people in these articles.

The Tragedy of Divorce

Divorce is tragic and has lasting effects on generations to come, at least when children are involved. In most instances it leaves deep, often permanent scars on one or both divorcees, sometimes even resulting in suicide and/or murder. Yet even with that, probably the most grievous aspect about divorce is the impact that it has on the children. One study conducted on the effects of divorce on children, after studying 131 children under thirteen years of age whose parents were divorced, reported that the “…most pervasive fact to emerge from the study was the enormity of the grief all the children studied felt over their parents’ divorce. They were sad beyond measure.” After reading this, one cannot help but think of Yeshua’s words as recorded by Matthew:

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” (Matthew 18:6-7)

A six year old that I was personally acquainted with was helping his mother make cookies. He was using a cookie cutter and after producing a heart-shaped piece of dough he declared, “Our family has a lot of this!” He then tore the heart shaped piece of dough in half and said, “This is what happens to hearts when people are divorced!” It would seem that he spoke more truth than his young mind could even comprehend. Or, possibly he understood it better than the hardened and calloused minds of most adults.

As harmful as it is on the immediate children of divorcees, let us not forget that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations (Deuteronomy 5:9-10). In other words, in many cases it becomes a perpetual cycle unless one generation finally breaks the cycle.

What about the grandparents? Seldom are they considered, yet they are victims of divorce as well. When couples divorce they not only divorce themselves, but in many cases they also divorce the grandparents from their grandchildren. Often one of the divorcees remarries and moves away with the children. In some cases, the genetic grandparents on one side are told that their grandchildren now have new grandparents and that it would be best if they did not confuse matters and are then asked to stay out of the lives of their grandchildren. The grandchildren lose, and one of the most important influences in their lives is sacrificed on the altar of divorce. Divorce is almost always a losing proposition for everyone involved, except of course, for the divorce lawyers who promote divorce for their own financial gain.

Every couple before deciding to be wed should understand that “Getting married is like buying a phonograph record. You buy it for what is on one side, but you have to take the flip side as well. Divorce is like getting the hole in the middle.”

The answer to divorce, simply put, is marriage! Yahweh’s design is for man to “cleave to his wife.” Far too many people look upon marriage as being an event, when in actuality the wedding is the event; marriage is a lifetime accomplishment. Nevertheless, does all of this mean that Yahweh does not permit divorce under any circumstances?

Scriptural Divorce

Yeshua declared that it had been Yahweh’s design from the beginning that husbands and wives should remain together (Matthew 19:4-8, “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what Yahweh has joined together, let not man separate (Separation is unlawful, without a lawful divorcement.).”  7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce (with a writing of divorcement) your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”). Does this then mean that Yahweh hates divorce? Does the Bible say that He does? No, it does not. However, as was stated previously, I strongly suspect that Yahweh does hate divorce since, almost without exception, divorce brings grief, heartache and havoc upon everyone it comes in contact with. Yet, on the other hand, Yahweh did provide for divorce:

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house…. (Deuteronomy 24:1)

According to Yahweh’s Law, divorce was an option, but, for what reasons was it allowed? This may shock a lot of evangelical Christians, nevertheless we are told that a husband may divorce his wife if she “finds no favor in his eyes” and if he finds “some indecency in her.” Yet, when we come to the New Covenant era, many modern preachers and commentators insist that Yeshua changed the law on divorce. Whereas Moses wrote that a man can divorce his wife for any just cause, in the gospels Yeshua appears to limit divorce to only cases of adultery. At least that is what many are led to believe from reading most modern commentaries, as well as from reading several New Testament passages in some of the newer translations.

Although many Christians have taken this position on divorce, I doubt whether they really understand what doing so implies. If their theology is correct, then Yeshua would have been a sinner, or at the very least promoting sin. In order for Yeshua to have been our perfect sinless sacrifice He had to fully keep and accurately teach the Old Covenant Law. The Apostle John declared, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4). Thus, had Yeshua broken or changed the law, He would have been guilty of sin and thus could not have been our Savior.

Even if Yeshua had changed Yahweh’s moral law under the New Covenant dispensation, as some Christians claim, His dissertations on divorce in the Gospels were given during the Old Covenant dispensation. Additionally, Yeshua Himself declared, “…Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18).

Whatever the law on divorce was in Deuteronomy 24, not the smallest letter or stroke of it was changed by Yeshua. Therefore, we can safely conclude that something is wrong with the theology usually advanced regarding divorce.

The erroneous interpretation of Yeshua’s instructions can be traced to two modern mistakes. This error is first made because most of today’s preachers and commentators believe that Yahweh’s Old Covenant laws have been abolished and replaced (antinomian theology), thus they seldom consult them. Secondly, mistaken conclusions on this subject are derived from translation errors in most modern English versions of the Bible.

Divorce & Remarriage

My purpose in the remainder of this treatise is to clear up the mistaken notions held by many Christians regarding divorce and remarriage. Let us begin by going back to Yahweh’s law concerning divorce. In Deuteronomy 24 we find that the divorce process can be broken down into three parts: (1) The husband must write out a certificate of divorce, (2) he must deliver it himself to his wife, and (3) he must then send her away. It takes all three integral parts in order for the divorce to be lawful, and to be recognized by Yahweh. A husband was not allowed to simply send his wife out into the streets. He was to formally divorce her through the aforesaid process. She was to be given a certificate of divorce, that is, a breaking of the lawful contract of marriage with a lawful contract of divorce. In other words, she was to be provided with proof that she was a lawfully divorced woman.

This is more serious than probably it first appears. Without this lawful document, and if a woman was to “remarry” or attach herself to another man, she and the one whom she “remarried” would have been considered adulterers, and that was a stoning offense!

In this light, the writ of divorcement was intended to be a letter of protection for the woman, more than a letter of permission for the man.

“Divorce” & “Put Away”

In addition, the two terms “divorce” and “sends her out” (also translated as “put away” and “send away”) should also be considered. It is extremely important to understand that nowhere in the Scriptures are these two terms used interchangeably. The Hebrew word for “divorce” in Deuteronomy 24:1 is found in only two other locations: Isaiah 50:1, describing Yahweh’s future divorce of the House of Judah, and Jeremiah 3:8, regarding Yahweh’s previous divorce of the House of Israel.

Deuteronomy 24, Isaiah 50 and Jeremiah 3 are the only three instances where the Hebrew word for “divorce” can be found in the Old Testament. That is right; this is not the word used in Malachi 2:16 as would be expected if Yahweh were saying that He hated divorce in that passage.

The Hebrew word translated “divorce” is a very specific term, and in all three instances it is used in conjunction with the term “bill,” “writ,” or “certificate.” On the other hand the Hebrew word translated “sent out” or “put away” is a very common term and is used nearly a thousand times in the Old Testament.

Malachi 2

There is no interchangeability between these two Hebrew words. One could not be divorced without being put away. However, one could be put away without being divorced. It is this latter condition that was addressed by the Prophet Malachi:

…you cover the altar of Yahweh with tears … because He [Yahweh] no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because Yahweh has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously (by NOT giving her a writing of divorcement), though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. (Malachi 2:13-14)

Note that the women spoken of in this situation were still considered as being wives by covenant or contract with their husbands, that is, they had never been lawfully divorced.

…Take heed then, to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce, says Yahweh, the Yahweh of Israel…. (Malachi 2:15-16 — New American Standard Bible)

Is that how Yahweh intended this verse to be translated? No it is not. Had He intended this, He would have inspired Malachi to use the same Hebrew word translated as “divorce” in the twenty-fourth chapter of Deuteronomy. Instead, He inspired Malachi to use the same Hebrew word translated as “sends her out” or “put away” in Deuteronomy 24.

The King James Version translated Malachi 2:16 correctly:

For Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel saith that He hateth [the] putting away….(without a writing of divorcement).

In other words, the treachery committed by these men was not in divorcing their wives, but rather in that they were putting their wives away withouta certificate of divorce. In their vindictiveness, they were putting their wives in a horrible no win predicament. If the wives had “remarried” or had attached themselves to another man, they would have been subject to stoning for adultery since without a certificate of divorce they were still lawfully married to their first husband. If they would not commit adultery then these women were left to fend for themselves, which was nearly impossible under the conditions of that time.

Consequently, one can perceive the treachery in what these men were doing, and consequently understand why Yahweh would hate it. You can also visualize the hardness of some men’s hearts and then understand why Yahweh would provide for divorce (Mark 10:2-5, “The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce [which means following the command in Deut. 24.] his wife?” testing Him.  3And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”  4They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her [yes, lawful].”  5And Yeshua answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.”). On the other hand, if divorce itself is treachery then even Yahweh promoted it by allowing for it and even making provisions for it in Deuteronomy 24. Additionally, Yahweh would be guilty of treachery Himself since He divorced His wife, Israel.

 

New Testament Divorce & Remarriage

As can be seen, much has been misunderstood about this subject, resulting in much injury and unnecessary guilt being laid upon the backs of divorcees. This has occurred because much of modern Christendom has rejected Yahweh’s perfect law and because of the mistranslation of some key words pertaining to this subject.

The same has happened with the New Testament Scriptures. Yahweh is not the author of confusion, thus He cannot be blamed for the turmoil over this subject. Rather, man is to be blamed for it. The devastation of divorce is undeniable, however under certain conditions both divorce and remarriage were permitted according to Yahweh’s Law as provided to us in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Taking then what we have already learned from the Old Testament let us now see if we can not make sense of Yeshua’s statements in the New Testament on this important subject.

The two Hebrew words translated “divorce” and “sent out” or “put away” in Deuteronomy 24 mean two different things and are not interchangeable. The same is true with the corresponding New Testament Greek words. The Greek word for “put away” is apoluo (#630), whereas the Greek word for “divorce” is apostasion (#647). With this knowledge, let us examine Yeshua’s instructions on divorce and remarriage in Matthew 5:

And it was said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal“; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32 NASV)

Have the translators of the New American Standard Version conveyed accurately Yahweh’s will on this matter? Hardly! Contrast the New American Standard Version’s rendition of this passage with the King James Version’s rendition:

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away [apoluo] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement [apostasion]….

Yeshua was simply quoting Deuteronomy 24:1 which declares that it is not permissible for someone to put away his wife without giving her a certificate of divorce. Verse 32 in the King James Version continues:

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away [apoluo] his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced [apoluo, put away] committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:32-33 KJV)

The King James Version is nearly flawless. Had the King James translators rendered the last apoluo as “put away” it would have been perfect. If Yahweh had wanted this last phrase to have read “whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery,” He would have inspired Matthew to have used the word apostasion. Instead it should have been rendered, “whosoever shall marry her that is put away [without a writing of divorcement] committeth adultery.”

If, in verses 32 and 33, Yeshua had said what the New American Standard and King James’ translators wrote, Yeshua would have been guilty of heresy for having changed Yahweh’s Law. Earlier in Matthew 5, Yeshua Himself declared:

Think not that I [Yeshua] am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. …Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven…. (Matthew 5:17-19)

Are we to believe that Yeshua is “least in the kingdom of heaven”? We have no choice but to admit that He is if the translators of the New American Standard and King James versions are correct.

The first phrase of verse 32 in the New American Standard reads: “…everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery….” In Yahweh’s law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) divorce is not limited to just cases of unchastity. If the New American Standard is correct then Yeshua is at variance with Yahweh’s morality as communicated to us in His laws.

In the latter part of verse 32, both the New American Standard and King James translators have Yeshua declaring that “whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Yet Yahweh’s law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) allowed for a properly divorced woman to remarry. On the other hand, when verse 32 is translated correctly we find that Yeshua is in perfect harmony with the Law as one would expect Him to be. He was simply saying that any man who only puts away his wife, that is, without a writ of divorcement (a lawful breaking of the marriage contract with a lawful divorce contract) causes his wife to commit adultery if she “remarries.” And the one who “marries” a woman only put away but not lawfully divorced commits adultery as well since by contract she would still be the wife of another man.

The Exception Clause

With the foregoing understood, someone is sure to inquire, “What about the exception clause in Matthew 5:32?” The New American Standard Bible renders it:

“…except for the cause of unchastity….”

The King James Version renders it much better:

“…saving for the cause of fornication….”

The word “fornication” is translated from the Greek word porneia. What constitutes porneia or fornication? Rather than speculating let us allow the Scriptures to answer that question for us. Following is a list of acts described by the Greek word “porneia”:

  • Incest — 1 Corinthians 5:1
  • Harlotry or Prostitution — 1 Corinthians 6:13-18, 10:8
  • Forbidden Lineage and/or Interracial Relationships — Hebrews 12:15-16 3
  • Homosexuality — Jude 7

Those four acts of immorality are all identified in the New Testament as being cases of porneia or fornication. Although not specifically identified as such in the New Testament there are other immoral acts that should also be viewed as fornication:

  • Bestiality — Leviticus 20:15-16
  • Remarrying a Divorced Wife a Second Time After She Married Again and was Divorced from Her Second Husband — Deuteronomy 24:1-4
  • Marrying an Unlawfully Divorced Woman — Matthew 5:32

The foregoing acts should all be identified as fornication because porneia is simply unlawful sexual relationships. So what do these acts have to do with what Yeshua declared in Matthew 5:31-32?

Yeshua in Concert with Yahweh’s Laws

It must be remembered that in Matthew 5 Yeshua was not condemning divorce, but rather the putting away of a wife without a bill of divorcement. Following is Matthew 5:31-32 as it should have been translated, including what can now be understood as being acts of fornication:

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away [apoluo] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement [apostasion]: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away [apoluo] his wife [without a writing of divorcement], saving for the cause of fornication [incest, prostitution, forbidden lineage and/or interracial relationships, homosexuality, etc.], causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is put away [apoluo, without a writing of divorcement] committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32)

In other words, a man is not permitted to put away his mate without a certificate of divorce unless it is an incestuous relationship, or one with a prostitute, or a forbidden lineage or interracial relationship, or one with someone of the same sex, or one with an animal, or one with a wife previously divorced and divorced a second time, or one with a woman unlawfully divorced (put away).

Note, I identified these as relationships not marriages since in Yahweh’s eyes none of these relationships constitute a lawful marriage. That is why a man could put away these partners without having to provide them with a certificate of divorce. In these cases, a bill of divorcement was not required since (from Yahweh’s perspective) there was no lawful marriage contract that required annulment with a divorce certificate. These kinds of relationships only required repentance and the putting away of the unlawful partner.

In Ezra 10:1-9 Yahweh provided us with a Biblical example of such a separation. Nowhere in this passage is a certificate of divorce required for the Israelites to “separate [put away] … their strange wives.” The following passage from the book of Ezra provides us with the reason why a writ of divorcement was unnecessary:

…The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands … even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the set-apart seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands…. (Ezra 9:1-2)

All of the nations cited in that passage with whom the Israelites had intermingled were descended either from Canaanites, Moabites or Ammonites; all of which were lineages that Yahweh had forbid Israel to intermarry. Thus they were unlawful unions, and therefore acts of fornication. Hence, in that particular instance, they were not required to present them with a certificate of divorce. They were only required to repent of their sins and put away their foreign wives.

This is the correct interpretation of the exception clause. It validates Yahweh’s Law and Yeshua’s confirmation of the same. Anything else puts Yeshua in conflict with the Law and morality of Yahweh. Instead of being at variance with Yahweh’s Law, Yeshua was simply expounding upon the same. In so doing, He confirmed that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 was the standard for divorce and remarriage except in cases of fornication.

Clarity

It is to be hoped that this thesis has cleared up what has been mistranslated and misinterpreted by many in modern Christendom. Hopefully this study will aid in removing unnecessary guilt from those who have been lawfully divorced and who have remarried. Yahweh’s Law does not promote divorce, but it does permit it.

Once again, I am not promoting divorce either, but simply wanting to put it in its proper Scriptural perspective. I am also hoping to relieve the pseudo guilt that some have carried on their shoulders for far too long. Divorce should always be the last resort, the solution only when all else fails and reconciliation is absolutely impossible. Divorce is seldom, if ever, a positive good but usually just the lesser of two evils. Nevertheless, in light of Yahweh’s Law and Yeshua’s validation of the same, divorce and remarriage can no longer be entirely denounced.

Gene’s commentary:  I would also like to add the Living Spirit of the Torah (Yeshua), in regards to adultery, a stoning or capital offense.  Let’s look at John 8:3-11, where Yeshua is in the temple teaching the people, “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery (meaning either she or the man was lawfully married), in the very act. 5Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned (Lev. 20:10). But what do You say?” 6This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Yeshua stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  7So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Yeshua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10When Yeshua had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  11She said, “No one, Master.”  And Yeshua said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.””

 

Yeshua did not condemn her.  Why?  He would have been unjust to condemn her and not the man with her, but also because He knew that He was going to die and pay for her sins, as well as for all the sins of all mankind.  Yeshua came to earth the first time to be the Savior of ALL men.  The proper solution for adultery, rather than the stoning death per the letter of the Law, which is wholly justified, is for the adulterer and adulteress to repent of the sin and do not commit adultery any more.  Yeshua wants us clean and whole, not defiled by anything in this dirty world.  So when the Holy Spirit convicts you of a sin, just repent, receive your forgiveness and don’t do it anymore.  It makes life a whole lot simpler.  He wants obedience, not sacrifice.  You don’t need a bunch of religious ritual to make you feel better about yourself, just repent, get forgiven and move on.

 

As I was studying this, I was writing a judicial “Court case” against myself on behalf of my ex-“wife”, Debi.  We’ve been divorced for a couple years now. I had to rewrite the section on divorce over and over.  I couldn’t get it to say the truth for my situation, no matter how I wrote it, until I read the above study and the Spirit illuminated the truth to me.  The fact of the matter is, in our situation, though we want to say we’d been “married” over 32 years (almost 33 biblical years), in reality, we’d been living in fornication, because my “wife” was promiscuous before I met and “married” her.  She has been faithful to me, as far as I know, but she never was lawfully divorced, or put away with a writ of divorcement, from any of her previous “husbands”.  She does not have a writing of divorcement from any other man as far as I know.  Therefore, she is an adulteress and she has made me an adulterer in my ignorance of the Law clarified by Yeshua in Matthew 19:9.  We were both just born again around the time we met.  We knew NOTHING about all this marriage, divorce, and remarriage stuff.  To be honest, we cannot say that we were living in adultery, because neither of us had ever been lawfully married.  Actually, Debi was made an adulteress by not getting a writing of divorcement from her first lover.  I will become an adulterer if I get remarried without getting a writing of divorcement from Debi (done January 5, 2007), or by providing her with one, though technically, it’s not required in our fornication situation.

 

Debi and my relationship is more like the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:16-19, “16Yeshua said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”  17The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”  Yeshua said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”  19The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”  Yeshua cuts to the quick, doesn’t He?  He knew this woman was living in fornication, not adultery.  She knew she was too.  Debi and I had deceived ourselves into thinking we were married, after all, the State said we were married, but what do they know?  We divorced ourselves from the State “marriage” several years ago, but that’s another study.  We have had nothing but a delusional “relationship” through ignorance of Yahweh’s Law, we were just living in fornication.  Our past sins are forgiven, or are they?  Has Debi repented of her fornication or adultery?  How can she?  Where is her writing of divorcement from her first or last husband before me?  How can I repent of my fornication with Debi?

 

What Yahweh showed me this morning is that we both need to give each other a writing of divorcement (done January 5, 2007) and get remarried if we want to be together again (can’t happen per Deut. 24:1-4).  Otherwise, we just stay separated (Nope, see my latest revelation on separation at bottom of this article), receiving forgiveness and going and sinning no more; NO writing of divorcement is required in an illegal fornication relationship situation such as ours.  But by issuing each other writings of divorcement, we may lawfully move on to other relationships if we so desire.  I have no desire for marriage with any woman besides Debi; Debi has always said she would never marry again (She did get married in April, 2007), but has she ever been lawfully married?  Neither of us has ever been lawfully married!  We each needed a divorce decree just to clear our record and set ourselves on a firm foundation of Yahweh’s Word.  I would love to marry Debi again (can’t per Deut. 24:1-4), we’ve only had two weddings so far, first and twenty-fifth, why not another one?  There is no other woman on this planet that I love.  She is my one “wife”, or adulteress relationship woman, or whatever she is, my only true love and lover.

 

Update on separation:

 

I have no cause, except the cause of truth.  All Yahweh wants is glory and to see that the lawful order is maintained in His kingdom.  It took over two months of study and prayer just to distill that simple truth from Matthew 19:6, “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what Yahweh has joined together, let not man separate (put or send away without the Writ of Divorce).”  Yeshua was simply confirming the Law of Deuteronomy 24.  Reconciliation/restoration is lawful (Jubilee Law).  Divorce is lawful (Mosaic Law).  Separation is unlawful (Yeshua Law); therefore a separated couple needs to move from an unlawful to a lawful status to bring order back to the Kingdom in their lives.  A simple principle, really, once the Light comes on.  A separated couple either needs to get back together as man and wife, or they need to get a lawful divorce done in writing.

 

 

 

 

Conditions of Peace

Conditions of Peace

Luke 14:25-33, “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it29lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

How many of you believe Yeshua is concerned about the physical peace of the nations on this planet at this moment in time? What did Yeshua say in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” The four horsemen of the apocalypse are riding now. The second horseman’s job is war. Revelation 6:3-4, “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.” What did Yeshua state in His great end-time discourse in Matthew 24:6? “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

Let me ask you again, is Yeshua more interested in the nations of this world blowing themselves to hell in war, or is He more interested in the spiritual health of His children, no matter what is going on around them? Yahweh does not like to see any human perish, but He is especially concerned for the welfare of His children. Are we or are we not, as the children of Yahweh, considered kings and priests? Revelation 1:5-7, “and from Yeshua HaMashiach, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6and has made us kings and priests to His Mighty One and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 5:10, “And have made us kings and priests to our Mighty One; and we shall reign on the earth.” Now look at Luke 14:31 again. Are we the king disciple that should sit down and count the cost of this spiritual war we have been enlisted in? Yes, of course. But who is the King, with the larger force, Who is coming against the lesser force? We believe, we think, we hope, we are among the Master’s overwhelming heavenly force, but are we really? Do we allow abortion in our country? Do we allow homosexual marriages in our country? Do we allow that satanic religion Islam to be promoted from our churches’ pulpits? Do we allow criminals to run free, instead of taking them outside the city and stoning them? Do we allow corruption to run rampant in our civil governments? Are we really on Yahweh’s side in this moral, spiritual war?

Read Luke 14 again. Yeshua, with His larger, more powerful, heavenly army is coming back to earth to make war upon His enemies. Are we, as Yahweh’s rebellious children, fighting Satan, or fighting against Yahweh and His commandments? Look around you, look into your own heart. Have you really counted the cost of discipleship?

When Yeshua returns, what will we offer as our condition of peace? Do you think Yeshua is happy with His carnal, pagan, flesh-ridden church? If you do, you are deluded. Why should Yeshua reap you into His barn and not into His fiery furnace of judgment? The demons believe in Yeshua, but they are trembling in fear of their final destruction. Why should Yeshua spare me or you?

What does Luke 14 reveal as the conditions of peace with our King? Do you hate your family, or do you pamper their flesh? Do you hate your life, or are you chasing health, wealth, and prosperity above all else? Are you taking up your execution stake daily and dying to self and following Yeshua with your whole heart, or are you just using your new life in Jesus to get more of this evil world? Are we hungering and thirsting after Yeshua and His righteousness, or do we lust after the sensuality of this earthly life? Have we forsaken all we are and have to obtain Yeshua, or have we forsaken Yeshua to gain all this world has to offer? Do you want to experience Yeshua’s peace when He returns? You best be meeting the conditions of peace now, today, this instant. You were called to the execution stake, you were called to death, in order to gain life. You DO NOT get resurrection life, unless you die to your flesh life. Are you looking forward to resurrection day? Well, resurrection presupposes death.

After three and one half years of powerful, devil-busting ministry, Yeshua had only gained 120 disciples. The way is narrow, the gate is strait, few their be that find the way into the Kingdom. Yeshua is for you, but He is at war against the world, the flesh, and the devil. If you hang around any one of those three, you are in for a fiery end. Are you in the fiery iron furnace of affliction, or are you just cruising through life as a kite on the breeze? Discipleship will cost you everything in this earth life. You are called to suffer. You are called to affliction. You are called to crucifixion. You are called to die to the self-life. The real life of peace with Yeshua comes later. Right now He will dance with you in the fiery furnace, later, He will dance on the heads of His enemies burning in the lake of fire. You were called to choose. Choose life in Yeshua, which means death to you and your life. Baptism is the example of death to our old man, crucifixion is the experience of killing the old man. Crucifixion was the climax of Yeshua’s earth walk, crucifixion is the climax of your earth walk. Crucifixion of self is the ultimate condition of peace with Yeshua. It is your ultimate identification with Him; it is your ultimate union with Him. Count your cost of discipleship, do you, as Yahweh’s king and priest, have what it takes to pay the price of peace with Him?

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Yahweh, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Happy bleeding,

Gene Benjamin II

June 27, 2011 CE

Churches Commit Spiritual Treason

Spiritual Treason Sunday – Dozens of Churches To Read From the Quran This Sunday

from World Net Daily

http://www.wnd.com/


Dozens of Christian churches, from Park Hill Congregational in Denver to Hillview United Methodist in Boise, Idaho, and First United Lutheran in San Francisco to St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Honolulu, are planning to send “a message both here at home and to the Arab and Muslim world about our respect for Islam” with a time to read the Quran during worship this Sunday.

It’s not just wrong, but dangerous, according to Christian trends analysts.

The aim of the program, which is promoted by social activists behind the Faith Shared website, is to counter the message from Islamic activists who say opposition to their religion is the product of what they call a cottage industry of hate.

So the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First is calling on Christian clergy to read portions of the Quran during their services Sunday.

The readings, supporters say, will “counter the anti-Muslim bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence.”

Not so fast, says apprising.org religious trends analyst Ken Silva.

“I would think they need to have their spiritual heads examined. It’s foolish to think that we’re going to read something that originates with demons and read that in a Christian church,” Silva said.

The action amounts to “spiritual treason,” he asserted.

Pastors of participating churches declined to discuss their programs with WND.

But Silva said, “Second Corinthians 6:14-18 (the verse warning against partnering light with darkness) says we’re forbidden to do that kind of thing. It’s one thing to be friendly with someone in Islam, but it’s a whole other thing in a Christian community to be reading something that is antithetical to Christianity and is hostile to Jesus Christ himself.”

Silva isn’t the only analyst who has objections to the program. Worldview Weekend President Brannon Howse said he’s not surprised with the development.

“I expect that of the mainline churches. Many of them have denied the essential Christian doctrines,” Howse said. “They have denied the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. They have denied the inerrancy of Scripture; they’ve denied the inspiration of Scripture. So I’m not shocked that pagans would unite with pagans.”

His critique of what he sees as the failure of the mainline churches grew more severe.

“I’m not shocked that apostates would unite with apostates. I’m not shocked that people who practice the occult of Christian yoga or practice the occultism of contemplative prayer, which is another name for Transcendental Meditation,” Howse said.

Howse said he believes Islam is also rooted in the occult.

“I am not shocked that an occultic religion of mainline liberal Christianity would lock arms with the occult of Islam. They’re both steeped in the occult and paganism. So I’m not shocked by that at all,” Howse said.

Howse also has a word of caution for evangelical Christians.

“If you’re an evangelical, you better defend the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and the deity of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of Scripture and the inerrancy of Scripture. If you’re not willing to defend that, then you really shouldn’t be calling yourself a Christian,” Howse said.

Neither the Interfaith Alliance nor Human Rights First responded to WND’s repeated requests for interviews.

The Faith Shared website paints a different picture of the objectives. The site says that tensions between Islam and Christianity have grown in the past year.

“Tensions around Islam in America have erupted throughout the country in the past year, leading to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases violence. News stories on the rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry and violence abound, with graphic and often searing images of the antagonists, the protagonists and the battlegrounds where they meet,” the site said.

“All too often, media coverage simplistically pits Muslims against would-be Quran burners, neglecting any substantive representation of where the majority of Americans actually stand: a shared commitment to tolerance and freedom,” the site read.

“We are committed to ensuring that the storyline changes dramatically in 2011 by helping to create an environment of mutual understanding and respect for each other’s faith traditions,” the site said.

The Human Rights First site said the group simply wants to fight what members believe is rampant anti-Islamic prejudice.

“Faith Shared seeks to counter the anti-Muslim bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence,” the statement said.

“This countrywide, day-long event will engage faith leaders on the national and community levels in a conversation with their houses of worship, highlighting respect among people of different faiths,” the site said.

The sites make those claims despite reports that the actual number of anti-Muslim incidents has gone down in the United States in the past 10 years.

Culture and Media Institute analyst Alana Goodman reports that anti-Muslim actions as a percentage of all anti-religious acts never went above 13 percent of the total number of anti-religious hate crimes.

“Since 2001, hate crimes against Muslims have decreased significantly, according to FBI statistics. After 2002, hate crimes against Muslims have not risen above 13 percent of all anti-religious crimes, and the most recent data from 2008 calculates them at 7.8 percent,” Goodman’s report stated.

Silva believes the real reason for the Shared Faith event is spiritual emptiness in the country.

“So many Christians talk to each other and they read other Christians rather than read the Scriptures themselves. There’s a real move inside our country right now for an ecumenism and a syncretism trying to bring everyone together and it’s rooted in contemplative spirituality,” Silva observed.

“There’s a deception that comes. They’re under the impression that God is trying to bring all people together, and bring in God’s dream for the world to make the world a better place,” Silva continued.

“The Gospel has been changed from repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name to God wants to make the world a better place, get involved with where He’s working and bring about His dream,” Silva added.

“It’s what Walter Martin would say spiritually obtuse Christians are easy marks for the more militant of the Muslims who are presenting this as some big Islamophobia,” Silva said.

“We are not hateful to Muslims, but we are hostile to Islam because it enslaves people. We want people to be free,” Silva said.

Howse says his warning to Bible-believing Christians is simple.

“Be aware of these people who have crept in secretly, unnoticed, with destructive heresies. I want to warn the church to be a ‘Watchman on the Wall’ for the ‘Religious Trojan Horse’ who is trying to draw people away from the faith,” Howse said.

“Some of this deception is going to be so deceitful, so camouflaged, that we’re going to be shocked at the Christian leaders who will follow it,” Howse said.

WND reported only days earlier on a clash over Islam in Christian ministries.

It happened when Jack Van Impe Ministries launched a campaign to expose what it views as false teachings in Christianity and named several major ministry leaders. Trinity Broadcasting Network halted broadcast of a Van Impe program over it, and Van Impe decided to take his broadcasting elsewhere.

“I Will Not Be Silenced! I will not allow anyone to tell me what I can and cannot preach,” Van Impe said in a statement when TBN would not allow his program to air.

“When I see heretical teaching leading to apostasy, I will speak out,” he said. “The Bible says ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:’ (II Timothy 3:16). The Apostle Paul also gives instructions in Titus 1:9-11, 13 ‘Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers … Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake…Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.'”

Van Impe said he immediately called his media agents and told them, “I no longer wanted to air my program on Trinity Broadcasting Network; we will take the tremendous amount of money that we were spending there to obtain new stations that will allow us to continue to reach every square mile of America with the truths of the Bible without this network.”

The dispute arose over the issue of advocating for “Chrislam” and other efforts that are designed to find “common ground” between Christians and Muslims. TBN declined to air one of Van Impe’s programs that contained sharp criticisms of leaders such as Rick Warren of “The Purpose Driven Life” fame and Robert Schuller.

In a statement from Van Impe Ministries, Executive Director Ken Vancil said his organization rejected an effort by TBN to reinstate the programming and would work to develop alternative broadcast outlets where they were needed.

“We would not be able to minister effectively if we had to look over our shoulder wondering if a program was going to be censored because of mentioning a name,” Vancil said. “While there is hurt over this incident, we hold no animosity towards TBN. Dr. Van Impe has often expressed his appreciation to Paul and Jan (Crouch, of TBN) and all that they have accomplished.”

But he confirmed that Paul Crouch Sr. continued to “caution” him “regarding Dr. Van Impe’s naming of names and publicly rebuking ministers and their teachings.”

Other ministries have voiced criticism similar to Van Impe’s.

Joe Schimmel, senior pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel in Southern California and chief of the Good Fight Ministries, openly has questioned whether church leaders are affirming Allah.

Schimmel, who is best known for “They Sold Their Souls for Rock n Roll,” which exposes satanic influences behind much of yesterday and today’s popular music and how it negatively influences youth, suggested in a WND column, “Could it be that we are witnessing the formation of the prophesied one-world religion under the Antichrist? (Revelation 13:1-18) ”

He cited Brian McLaren of the emerging church movement, who planned for an Islamic Ramadan celebration. And he mentioned Warren’s agreement to address the Islamic Society of North America, which “the Department of Justice categorized two years ago as a co-conspirator in financing a foreign terrorist group!”

Another church leader, Tony Campolo, “a proponent of the so-called ‘evangelical left’ claimed that ‘even if’ Muslims ‘don’t convert, they are God’s people,'” Schimmel wrote.

“Even more chilling is the fact that over 300 prominent Christian leaders signed a letter issued by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture claiming that world peace is dependent on Muslims and Christians recognizing ‘Allah’ and ‘Yahweh’ as the same God. This letter, titled ‘Loving God and Neighbor Together,’ was written in response to a signed document by 138 Muslim leaders titled ‘A Common Word Between Us and You.’ McLaren, Warren, Robert Schuller and Bill Hybels were just several of the signatories to this outright betrayal of Christ!” he said.

TBN previously had a conflict over its intolerance for criticism of Islam. It was in 2006 when Hal Lindsey, WND columnist and one of the world’s most popular non-fiction authors, clashed with the network because TBN wanted him to soften his views on Muslims. Lindsey refused.

 

Into The Iron Furnace

INTO THE IRON FURNACE

 

 

Jeremiah 11, “The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 2“Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3and say to them, ‘Thus says Yahweh Mighty One of Israel: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant 4which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your Mighty One,’ 5that I may establish the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ as it is this day.”’” And I answered and said, “So be it, Yahweh.”

 

The historical context of the Book of Jeremiah is the last days of Judah, before and during the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE. Solomon’s Temple was destroyed in 588 BCE and the altar services were stopped a few years later in 584 BCE, after the Third Deportation of the Jews. In this context of the punishment of Judah and Jerusalem, Yahweh laid a heavy word on Jeremiah. Yahweh laid this heavy word on us last night, June 21, 2011 CE, after another long hot day visiting the once great City of Colorado Springs. Yahweh has been and always will be faithful to His covenant. His people have been and continue to be unfaithful to His covenant. Because Yahweh’s people continue to disobey His covenant, our land is under a curse. Our land being America as Manasseh, Great Britain and all its former Commonwealth Nations as Ephraim, and the land of Judah, the modern State of Israel. The curse is especially upon each disobedient individual. Remember, this has nothing to do with obeying the Torah of Moses. The covenant of faith came centuries before the Law of Moses. Yahweh’s eternal Feasts were in place from creation, they have nothing to do with the Torah of Moses. Yeshua may have fulfilled the Law of Moses, but we are still obligated to walk in the covenant of faith and in the Feasts of Yahweh. The Feasts are shadows of things to come, they are prophetic rehearsals of future events. Yeshua fulfilled the three spring Feasts through Unleaveaned Bread, but He HAS NOT FULFILLED SHAVUOT THROUGH TABERNACLES! It’s way past time to practice these Feasts to gain prophetic understanding of the last days we are living in.

 

6Then Yahweh said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.” 8Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’””

 

Does “everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart” sound like the headlines of today’s news? It describes the activity of the whole house of Israel perfectly. Even though we have walked in 2,000 years of the Gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach, men are not changing for the better at any increased speed, the world is not improving, but continues to plunge headlong to its destruction. Keep preaching, teaching, and evangelizing, but men will continue to do what they want. Yeshua said few would be saved. The salvation of men’s souls is in His merciful hands, but we continue to follow and obey Him.

 

9And Yahweh said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel (includes Great Britain and all the former Commonwealth nations, Ephraim, and America, Manasseh) and the house of Judah (Jews dwelling in modern State of Israel) have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”

11Therefore thus says Yahweh: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. 12Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the mighty ones to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13For according to the number of your cities were your mighty ones, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal (idolatry).”

 

And you thought conspiracy theories are just a marvel of modern history. Not so, all men of all ages have stumbled over conspiracies against Yahweh. Yahweh told Jeremiah that the conspiracy found in the house of Israel (America, Great Britain, Israel) is that they have BROKEN HIS COVENANT!! It appears the problem then and now is the same, IDOLATRY! You wouldn’t think that born-again, Bible thumping, spirit-filled Christians would be capable of idolatry, but we are human. My guess is that our idolatry today is focused on worship of self and materialism. Do you listen to the words of today’s worship songs? Many of them are all about I, me, my, mine, our, us, we, worship of humanity. Do you think modern Christendom is stumbling over materialism? Just look around your local church properties. Yahweh said He’s brining calamity on us from which we will not be able to escape. Oh great, and you thought you already had problems. Read verse 11 over again; Yahweh will not hear us when we cry to him out of a proud idolatrous heart. It’s time to humble ourselves as Yahweh’s people and trust in Him. What was it Yeshua stated in Luke 14:33, “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” That sounds like the exact opposite of materialistic idolatry. The world is upside down from Yahweh’s Kingdom. Wealth, power, greed, and self GO NOWHERE in Yahweh’s Kingdom. And it’s His kingdom that will soon be established on this earth. Please accept this post as your wake-up call.

 

Now notice what Yahweh told our dear brother Jeremiah:

 

14So do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble. 15“What has My beloved to do in My house (your body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit), having done lewd deeds with many? And the holy flesh has passed from you. When you do evil, then you rejoice. 16Yahweh called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit. With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken.

17“For Yahweh of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel (includes Ephraim, Great Britain and all the former Commonwealth Nations, and Manasseh, America) and of the house of Judah (Jews dwelling in modern State of Israel), which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.”

 

This is one of the most awful things I’ve ever read in the Scriptures. Yahweh commanded Jeremiah, and my wife and I, NOT TO PRAY FOR HIS PEOPLE ANYMORE. Friends, do you understand the implications of this command? This day could very well be the moment when Yeshua has stepped out of the Sanctuary in the heavens, and is now entering into the Judgment Hall of Heaven. When Yeshua opened my spirit to understand this, I was in prayer on my face before Him this morning. The anointing came so strong I could not get up, I could not even move, and could barely breathe. Folks, it’s because of our trouble, we are troubling the earth. Yahweh has been merciful, patient, long-suffering for all the past ages, but now is the time to wrap up human history as we know it. Judgment is upon the whole house of Israel. Judgment always begins with the house of Yahweh. You can now pray for the lost hordes outside His house, the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Satanists, etc. Their punishment comes after Yahweh uses them to discipline His children. Notice verse 16, Yahweh calls us the Green Olive Tree. That’s the natural tree that we Christians have been grafted into. Notice we have produced Good Fruit. Thank Yahweh for that. But continue reading, Yahweh has set a fire against this Tree and is breaking off its branches. Now listen closely, this fire is a refining fire if you repent, and humble yourself before Yahweh and begin to obey and follow Him and His way. If you do not repent and turn to Yeshua, this fire becomes a fire of destruction to your soul. He only has one fire, but how you respond to the fire of Yahweh determines what kind of fire it is to your tree. If you continue in your arrogant pursuit of power, wealth, and preeminence in this world, you will be destroyed by this fire. But if you repent of your self-sins and turn in humility to Yahweh, this fire will simply purify your character some more. The choice, as always, is yours. We were chosen to choose. Choose life. Notice the last part of verse 17, Yahweh knows our idolatry is sin against ourselves. Sin destroys us, not Yahweh. We have to repent, not Yahweh. We need salvation, not Yahweh.

 

18Now Yahweh gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. 19But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying,Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.” 20But, O Yahweh of hosts, You who judge righteously, testing the mind and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You I have revealed my cause. 21“Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the men of Anathoth (a city of Benjamin allotted to the priest, birthplace of Jeremiah) who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of Yahweh, lest you die by our hand’—22therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.’””

 

In verses 18-19, we see Jeremiah as a type of Yeshua, the Lamb of Yahweh, led to the slaughter. Jeremiah pointed out Israel’s sins, Israel wanted to destroy his tree with its fruit. That’s always what happens to Yahweh’s servants. We preach or teach Yahweh’s word, and the listeners do not want to hear it, they’d rather kill the messenger than receive the message. Father, let me see your vengeance on my enemies, for I have revealed my cause to You only, not to them. Look at verses 22-23, those statements should put the fear of Yahweh into your heart. Do you realize America has military troops in about 150 countries of this world? We are engaged in FOUR wars at this moment. Our young men are dying by the sword, and soon, their sons and daughters will be dying by famine. We are now entering a time, or year, of punishment. Another word for punishment here would be visitation. When Yahweh shows up, things burn up. Yahweh promised not to destroy the earth again with a flood. This time it will be with fire. We are about to enter the iron furnace. Will your fire be for the purpose of destruction or for the purpose of smelting and refining you into pure gold, useful for the King’s eternal purposes?

 

Praying for the Peace (Yeshua, our Sar Shalom) of Jerusalem,

 

Gene Benjamin II

June 22, 2011 CE

 

 

Discipleship – Level 1 Lesson 1

Level 1 Lesson 1

ETERNAL LIFE
By Andrew Wommack

One of the most familiar passages of Scripture is John 3:16. It seems like
everybody knows that verse from a young age, yet I believe it has really been
misunderstood and misapplied. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have
everlasting life.”

Traditionally, this scripture has been used to teach that Jesus came and died for
our sins so that we wouldn’t perish. As true as this is, this verse is saying that the real
purpose of Jesus coming to this earth and dying for us was so that we could have
everlasting life. It just so happened that our sins were a barrier that stood between us and
this everlasting life.

It is true that Jesus did die for our sins, and it is true that if we believe on Jesus,
we will not perish, but there is much more to the Gospel than that. The real message of
the Gospel is that God wants to give you everlasting life. Now let me explain that.

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus was praying, and He said this, “This is life
eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ” (John 17:3)

This says that everlasting life is knowing the Father, the only true God, and
knowing Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. That’s what everlasting life is. Many people
think that everlasting life is living forever. Well, every person lives forever. It’s a
misconception to think that when a person dies they cease to exist. The spirit and the soul
go back to God. The body decays in the grave. The truth is, every person who has ever
lived on the face of the earth will continue to live in spirit form. So to say that eternal life
is living forever is not the whole truth—everybody lives forever. This verse makes it very
clear that eternal life is not given to everyone.

Some people would say, “Eternal life is living forever in heaven versus living
forever in hell.” But eternal life is just what Jesus said in John 17:3—to know God and
Jesus Christ. It’s more than an intellectual knowledge. This word “know” is used
throughout Scripture to describe the most intimate, personal relationship that you can
have.

The real purpose of salvation is not living forever in heaven, as great as that will
be. The real purpose of salvation is to have intimacy—a personal relationship with the
Lord God. There are multitudes of people who have cried out to God for the forgiveness
of their sins but have never had intimacy with God as a goal.

By not explaining the real purpose of salvation, we are doing a disservice to the
Gospel. When we present salvation as something that deals with just spiritual things that
1will only benefit us in the future, in eternity, we are not helping people. There are some
people who are living in such a literal hell right now on earth. Many are depressed, living
in poverty, dealing with strife, rejection, hurt, and failed marriages. People are just trying
to survive day to day. They are just trying to keep their heads above water. By making
salvation something that deals only with the future, many people put off that decision
because they are too busy just trying to survive today.

The truth is that Jesus not only came to affect our eternal destinies so that we can
live forever in heaven in blessing instead of the punishment and curse of hell, but Jesus
also came to deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:4). Jesus came to give you
intimacy and a personal relationship with God the Father today.

Jesus came to bring you back into close, personal relationship with Him. Jesus
loves you. Jesus wants to know you personally. Jesus wants to give you a quality of life
that is greater than anything you could obtain through any other source.

Jesus put it this way in John 10:10: “The thief [speaking of Satan] cometh not, but
for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly” (brackets mine). God wants to give you eternal life. God
wants to give you abundant life, and I believe that you need that today—that you want
that. Christ died not only to forgive your sins, but to bring you close to him. If you don’t
know the Lord, you need to know Him for that purpose. If you’ve already been born
again, you need to go beyond just getting your sins forgiven and enter into everlasting life
with the Father.

Facts about Eternal Life

A. The purpose of the Gospel is eternal life. (John 3:16).
B. Eternal life is knowing God. (John 17:3).
C. Knowing God is an intimate relationship. (1 Cor. 6:16-17).
D. Eternal life is available now. (1 John 5:12).
E. God wants a personal relationship with you. (Rev. 3:20).

Discipleship Questions

1.  Read John 3:16. What was the purpose of God sending Jesus into the world?
________________________________________________________________________

2.  The biblical usage of the word “know” means to have an intimate, personal
relationship with a person (Gen. 4:1). Read John 17:3. What is eternal/everlasting life,
according to this verse?
________________________________________________________________________

3.  Read 1 John 5:11-12. According to these verses, when does eternal, or everlasting, life
begin? __________________________________________________________________

24.  Read John 10:10. What kind of life did Jesus come to give us?
________________________________________________________________________

5.  Explain in your own words the quality or attributes of an abundant life.
________________________________________________________________________

6.  Do you believe that God sent His Son Jesus into the world to die for the sins of the
world, thereby giving us who believe eternal/everlasting life?______________________

7.  Is it clear to you that eternal/everlasting life is not only a length of time (eternity) but a
quality and quantity of life? _________________________________________________

Scriptures to Use with Questions

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Genesis 4:1 – “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and
said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.”

John 17:3 – “And this is life eternal [eternal life], that they might know thee the only true
God, and Jesus Christ” (brackets mine).

1 John 5:11-12 – “[11] And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life, and this
life is in his Son. [12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God
hath not life.”

John 10:10 – “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am
come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Answer Key

1.  Read John 3:16. What was the purpose of God sending Jesus into the world?
To save the world, giving all who believe on Jesus everlasting life by removing sin’s
penalty.

2.  The biblical usage of the word “know” means to have an intimate, personal
relationship with a person (Gen. 4:1). Read John 17:3. What is eternal/everlasting life,
according to this verse? Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ (not physically
but intimately).

3.  Read 1 John 5:11-12. According to these verses, when does eternal/everlasting life
begin? When we receive the Son (Jesus Christ) into our lives.

4.  Read John 10:10. What kind of life did Jesus come to give us? Abundant life!

35.  Explain in your own words the qualities or attributes of an abundant life. Abundant
life would be the opposite of what Jesus said the thief came to do.

6.  Do you believe that God sent His Son Jesus into the world to die for the sins of the
world, thereby giving us who believe eternal/everlasting life? Yes.

7.  Is it clear to you that eternal/everlasting life is not only a length of time (eternity) but a
quality and quantity of life? Yes.

Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org

Discipleship – Level 1 Lesson 2

Level 1 Lesson 2

SALVATION BY GRACE
By Don Krow

Jesus many times used parables, stories which illustrated spiritual truths. Luke
18:9-14 begins, “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that
they were righteous, and despised others.” Jesus was targeting a certain audience: those
who trusted that they were righteous and automatically despised and looked down on
everyone else. He told this parable to these people who trusted in the things they did. We
would call them self-righteous, which is what Jesus was speaking about when He said
they looked down on everyone else saying, “I am better than you!”

In verse 10, Jesus says, “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a
Pharisee, and the other a publican.” We would say in modern language that they went to
the church to pray, and one was a Pharisee. A Pharisee was a very religious person. The
word actually means “separated one,” someone who was so religious that in a sense they
would say, “Don’t defile me! Don’t get too close to me. I’m not like other men! I am
better than everyone else!” The other man Jesus mentioned was a publican. Publicans
were tax collectors and were known to be very evil, sinful people who cheated and
defrauded. They collected taxes by any means they could, stuck a lot of the money in
their pockets, and gave some of it to the Roman government, so they were not looked
upon favorably by their peers.

The story continues in verse 11, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with
himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not like other men are, extortioners, unjust,
adulterers, or even as this publican.” I want you to notice that. Who was he praying to?
He was actually praying to himself even though he was saying “God” and using the right
words. God was not acknowledging his prayer, and we’ll see later why that was so.
Notice that he prayed, “God, I thank You I am not like other men.” This Pharisee, this
religious man, said, “I am not like other men. I am not sinful. I am not an extortioner, not
unjust, not an adulterer, and I am not like this publican right here who came to pray.”
You see, he despised and looked down on others because he thought he was better than
them.

In verse 12, the Pharisee said, “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I
possess.” He was saying, “Notice what I do?” Do you know what it means to fast? It
actually means to go without food. He also gave money to the church. He was one of
those people who say, “Don’t bother me! I live a good life! I give to charity! I give
money down at the church!”

Then we come to the tax collector in verse 13: “And the publican, standing afar
off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying,
God be merciful to me a sinner.” Notice his body language: “standing afar off.” He
didn’t even go all the way into the church. He was so ashamed of his life and the things
5that he had done that he stood afar off and wouldn’t even look up, wouldn’t lift his eyes
to heaven, but smote his breast. When the Bible talks of smiting the breasts in the Old
Testament, many times they also tore their garments, which was a way of saying, “I am
sorry, God, for what I have done!” It was a sign of repentance, a contrite heart, and a
broken spirit, which God would not despise. This tax collector, sinful man that he was,
cried out to God and prayed, “God be merciful to me, I am a sinner!”

Verse 14 says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than
the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
himself shall be exalted.” The publican went home justified, declared righteous before
God, in right-standing with God, forgiven by God. Why was he forgiven? Why did he go
to his home in right standing before God and not the religious Pharisee? It was because
the Pharisee exalted himself, saying “I am better than other people! I am not sinful! I am
not like other men,” while the tax collector knew he had no standing before God, nothing
he could offer Him. He was a sinful person. The Bible says Jesus didn’t come to save
righteous people but sinners, and we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
This tax collector humbled himself and found forgiveness and pardon.

We’re talking about salvation by grace. Grace is a wonderful word, and I am
going to give you an accepted definition of what it means, but grace means much more.
In the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, grace is the word charis.
An accepted definition of grace is this: the free, unmerited favor of God toward people
who don’t deserve it. This tax collector didn’t deserve anything from God, but he found
God’s favor because he humbled himself. There is another word in the Greek, charisma,
which is charis with the suffix ma on the end. It means a specific manifestation or form
of God’s grace, and this tax collector found justification, right standing, before God as a
gift.

Romans 5:17 says, “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of
righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” God offers you and me right
standing before Him as a gift and, according to our passage, the tax collector found that
gift of justification, that gift of righteousness that only comes through Jesus Christ. The
Bible says in John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ.” This grace is only offered to one kind of person—those who humble
themselves and know they have no standing before God, who cry for God’s mercy. These
people will find God’s mercy and pardon.

Discipleship Questions

1.  Read Luke 18:9. What is a parable? ________________________________________

2.  Read Luke 18:9. To whom did Jesus direct this parable? ________________________

3.  Read Luke 18:9 (the last part of the verse). People that are self-righteous always
reveal an attitude toward others. According to Luke 18:9, what is that attitude? A. They
like others.  B. They despise others or look down on others.  C. They love others.
6
4.  Read Luke 18:10. Two people went to pray; in modern language, where did they go to
pray? ___________________________________________________________________

5.  Read Luke 18:10. Who were these people? __________________________________

6.  Read Luke 18:11. What was the Pharisee’s prayer? ____________________________

7.  Read Luke 18:12. What does fasting mean? __________________________________

8.  Read Luke 18:12. What does it mean to give tithes? ___________________________

9.  Read Luke 18:13. Where was the tax collector standing? __________________ Why?
________________________________________________________________________

10.  Read Luke 18:13. Why did the tax collector hang down his head and not look up?
________________________________________________________________________

11.  Read Luke 18:13. What was this tax collector’s prayer?________________________

12.  Read Luke 18:14. Which one of these men was declared righteous before God when
he went to his home?_______________________________________________________

13.  Read Luke 18:14. Why was the tax collector declared righteous and not the Pharisee?
________________________________________________________________________

14.  Read Luke 18:14. Did God forgive this tax collector?_________________________

15.  Read Romans 10:13. If you right now got down on your knees and cried out to God
from your heart “God be merciful to me, a sinner,” would God treat you the same way He
treated the tax collector? ___________________________________________________

Scriptures to Use with Questions

Luke 18:9 – “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that
they were righteous, and despised others.”

Luke 18:10 – “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee and the
other a publican.”

Luke 18:11 – “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I
am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even this publican.”

Luke 18:12 – “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”

7Luke 18:13 – “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes
unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Luke 18:14 – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:
for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be
exalted.”

Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

1 John 1:8-9 – “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.”

Answer Key

1.  Read Luke 18:9. What is a parable? A biblical parable is a story that illustrates
spiritual truth.

2.  Read Luke 18:9. To whom did Jesus direct this parable? To those who trusted in
themselves that they were righteous; that is, they were self-righteous.

3.  Read Luke 18:9 (the last part of the verse). People that are self-righteous always
reveal an attitude toward others. According to Luke 18:9, what is that attitude? B. They
despise other or look down on others.

4.  Read Luke 18:10. Two people went to pray; in modern language, where did they go to
pray? To the church.

5.  Read Luke 18:10. Who were these people? A Pharisee and a publican/tax collector.

6.  Read Luke 18:11. What was the Pharisee’s prayer? God, I thank you I am not like
other men (I’m not a sinner). I’m not a swindler, unjust, an adulterer, or even like
this tax collector.

7.  Read Luke 18:12. What does fasting mean? To go without food.

8.  Read Luke 18:12. What does it mean to give tithes? To give a tenth of one’s income.

9.  Read Luke 18:13. Where was the tax collector standing? Afar off. Why? He was
ashamed to go into the church (or temple) because he was such a terrible sinner, so
he stayed outside.

10.  Read Luke 18:13. Why did the tax collector hang down his head and not look up? He
was ashamed. Have you ever done something wrong and would not look a person in
the face?

811.  Read Luke 18:13. What was this tax collector’s prayer? God be merciful to me; I
am a sinner!

12.  Read Luke 18:14. Which one of these men was declared righteous before God when
he went to his home? The tax collector.

13.  Read Luke 18:14. Why was the tax collector declared righteous and not the Pharisee?
Because he humbled himself before God. The Pharisee was full of pride; he didn’t
think he needed a Savior.

14.  Read Luke 18:14. Did God forgive this tax collector? Yes.

15.  Read Romans 10:13. If you right now got down on your knees and cried out to God
from your heart “God be merciful to me, a sinner,” would God treat you the same way He
treated the tax collector? Yes, He would. He would forgive me and cleanse me from all
unrighteousness. See 1 John 1:8-9.

Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org

Discipleship – Level 1 Lesson 3

Level 1 Lesson 3

RIGHTEOUSNESS BY GRACE
By Don Krow

Today we are going to look at the subject of righteousness by grace. Romans
3:21-23 says, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being
witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of
Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference
[distinction]: For all have sinned, and come [fall] short of the glory of God” (brackets
mine).

Notice that this scripture says, “But now the righteousness of God without the law
is manifested.” I once asked a man, “What do you think you have to do in order to go to
heaven?” He responded that he should keep the Ten Commandments, be faithful to his
wife, live a moral life, plus a number of other things. I said, “Do you know what you
have to do in order to go to heaven, to be in God’s presence or in His kingdom? You
would have to have a righteousness that equals God’s righteousness.” He said, “I beg
your pardon? There is no one who can have a righteousness that equals God’s. Only one
man had such righteousness, and that was Jesus Christ!” I said, “You have the point! That
is exactly right! None of us in our own selves have ever kept the Law or commandments
perfectly, outwardly or inwardly, but we need a righteousness that equals God’s in order
to be acceptable before Him.”

That is exactly what is said in verses 21-22, “But now the righteousness of God
without the law is manifested…even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…” The kind of righteousness that God
offers you and me is a righteousness that is “through faith in Jesus Christ,” and it’s unto
all and upon all who believe. There are two kinds of righteousness—the righteousness of
man and the righteousness of God. The righteousness of man is a person’s very best
behavior and the good works they do, but that can’t make you acceptable before God.
You need a righteousness that equals God’s, and He is offering it to you—the
righteousness of God that is without the law.

In the Greek, there is no definite article, which means that this text is really saying
God is offering His own righteousness without Law. A righteousness that is according to
Law is a righteousness of doing, earning, and achieving in order to be accepted before
God. All the world religions today think you have to do, earn, and achieve in order for
God to accept you. The word “Gospel” means “good news,” and the good news of the
Gospel is that God is offering His very own righteousness and acceptance to all who will
believe in what Jesus Christ provided—His death on the cross for our sins, imputing to us
the righteousness that equals the Law. This is the righteousness of God that is apart from
the Law, without us doing, earning, and achieving; and it comes through faith in Jesus
Christ.

10  Notice in verse 22 that it is the righteousness of God that is through faith in Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all. Why is God offering His righteousness to everyone? “For
there is no difference [no distinction]: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of
God” (brackets mine). You have sinned, I have sinned, and we all come short of God’s
standard or perfection. Because of our sin, the greatest thing we need is acceptance, right
relationship, and right standing with God…and God has offered this not through the
works of the Law but through faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God doesn’t
come by your working, your trying, your earning, or your attempts to achieve; it comes
through faith, dependence, and reliance upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

How was Abraham (the Jewish forefather) saved? The Bible says he believed
God—believed the promise God gave him—and then righteousness was imputed to his
account. The fact that Abraham was declared righteous before God through his faith was
not just for him alone. We read in Romans 3:21-22 that a man is declared righteous
through his faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says that because of the payment Christ made
on the cross when He shed His blood for our sin, righteousness (right standing) will be
imputed to any person’s account who simply believes upon Christ.

Romans 5:17 says, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much
more that which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign
in life by one, Jesus Christ” (emphasis mine). God is offering you a gift of righteousness,
a gift of right standing before Him. A gift does cost something but not to the person who
receives it. If you gave me a gift and asked me to pay for it, it wouldn’t be a gift, but it
did cost you something. God made righteousness available to you and me as a gift, and
this gift of righteousness, acquittal, and right standing before God comes through faith in
Jesus Christ.

Discipleship Questions

1.  Read Titus 3:5. Is the righteousness that we need a righteousness that we can produce?
________________________________________________________________________

2.  Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What kind of righteousness do we need?
________________________________________________________________________

3.  Read Romans 3:22. How do we receive this righteousness?______________________

4.  Read Philippians 3:9. What is the righteousness of the Law?_____________________

5.  Read Galatians 2:21. How could we frustrate God’s grace?
________________________________________________________________________

6.  Read Romans 5:17. The righteousness of God is received as what?________________

11

Scriptures to Use with Questions

Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his
mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Romans 3:22 – “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all
and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.”

Philippians 3:9 – “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of
the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God
by faith.”

Galatians 2:21 – “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the
law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Romans 5:17 – “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more that
which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by
one, Jesus Christ.”

Answer Key

1.  Read Titus 3:5. Is the righteousness that we need a righteousness that we can produce?
No.

2.  Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What kind of righteousness do we need? The righteousness
of God (that comes through Christ).

3.  Read Romans 3:22. How do we receive this righteousness? Through faith in Jesus
Christ.

4.  Read Philippians 3:9. What is the righteousness of the Law? A righteousness
belonging to me—a works righteousness that I can produce.

5.  Read Galatians 2:21. How could we frustrate God’s grace? We could frustrate God’s
grace by trying to be saved by our own good works instead of trusting Christ and
His death for us for our salvation.

6.  Read Romans 5:17. The righteousness of God is received as what? A gift.

12Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org

Discipleship – Level 1 Lesson 4

Level 1 Lesson 4

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
By Andrew Wommack

One of the most important things about relationship is to understand the person
with whom you’re going to have relationship, and that also applies to God. You need to
understand the basic nature and character of God in order to have a healthy relationship
with Him. Misunderstanding His character and nature is one of the reasons many people
don’t have a positive relationship with Him. This is exactly what happened in the Garden
of Eden when Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent. They entered into temptation,
ultimately disobeyed God, and plunged the whole human race into sin. Their lack of
understanding God’s nature was actually a part of the temptation.

The story in Genesis 3:1-5 is familiar to most people: “Now the serpent was more
subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the
woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden? And the woman
said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of
the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither
shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye
shall be as gods [God], knowing good and evil” (brackets mine).

There is a subtle statement by Satan here that God is really not a good God… that
He was trying to withhold something from Adam and Eve…that He didn’t want them to
reach their full potential…that He didn’t want them to be like Himself…and that the
reason He made the rule about not eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
was to hinder or hurt them. In a sense, Satan came against the very nature and character
of God when he maligned Him by saying God did not want the best for them. The same
thing is exactly what’s happening to people today. Satan tells them, “If you follow God
and don’t experiment with all these things that are contrary to His Word, you’ll never
experience true happiness. Life will be boring…dead.” The sad fact is that people
experience after the fact that the drugs, alcohol, sex, rebellion, indulgence of self, success
in jobs, and all the other things they tried didn’t satisfy them. By the time they realize it,
they’ve already destroyed their lives, their families, and their health.

The truth is that God is a good God, and His will for us is only good. But Satan
uses the same temptations on us today that came against Adam and Eve in the Garden of
Eden, basically implying that God is not a good God. Those who have only a little
understanding of the Bible could get that impression because there are instances in the
Word where He treated people in harsh, cruel ways. In Numbers 15:32-36, a man picked
up sticks on the Sabbath Day and was stoned to death for failing to observe the Sabbath.
That sounds harsh, but there was a purpose behind such punishments, though it’s not
obvious to most people in a casual reading of Scripture. Careful study reveals that Old
Testament Law was given to make the sin that we’ve committed become exceedingly
sinful, as Paul says in Romans 7:13. The purpose was that people didn’t realize how
14deadly their transgressions were and that they were an offense against God. They made
the mistake of comparing among themselves and measuring their actions by what other
people were doing.

If someone committed a sin and wasn’t struck dead, they thought sin must not be
so bad, and they lowered their standards. They had lost the true perspective on what right
and wrong was. God had to bring mankind back to a plumb line, a proper standard of
what right living was, so they would reject the devil and his temptations and recognize
what the end result of wrong choices would be. Then when He did that, He had to enforce
the Law He gave.

God did not give the Old Testament commandments for the purpose of saying,
“Until you do all these things, I can’t accept you or love you.” That is not His nature or
character. Rather, He gave them to make our sense of right and wrong more acute and to
bring us back to the fact that we need a Savior. The problem has been that people thought
God was demanding perfection before He could love them, which led to the attitude
many have that His love for them is directly proportional to their performance. They feel
that until they try to do everything exactly right, they will not be accepted by God, and
that is not the message of the Bible.

God’s heart is to reconcile mankind to Himself not to judge them…not to impute
their sins…not to hold their sins against them. That’s the heart of God for people in the
Bible and also His heart for you today. You need to understand His real heart, that “God
is love” (1 John 4:8). He seeks to take away your sins and anything that would separate
you from Him. He’s already done it through Jesus, and He’s offering you relationship
today, not based on your performance but on your faith and acceptance of Jesus bearing
your sins. You can have relationship with God today regardless of the failures in your
life. All He asks is that you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Discipleship Questions

1.  Read Genesis 3:1. What question did Satan ask Eve?
________________________________________________________________________

2.  Read Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:3. What word or words did Eve add to what God
actually said to Adam? _____________________________________________________

3.  Read Genesis 3:6. Once Satan was able to instill doubt into Eve’s mind regarding the
Word of God, what did she do in this verse?____________________________________

4.  Read Genesis 3:9-10. After Adam and Eve sinned, did God still communicate and
pursue a relationship with them?
________________________________________________________________________

5.  Read Genesis 3:22-24. Why did God drive Adam and Eve from the Garden?
________________________________________________________________________
15
6.  Can you see that this was an act of mercy by God rather than a punishment?
________________________________________________________________________

7.  Read Romans 5:17. How do we attain God’s abundance of grace and gift of
righteousness? A. Buy it  B. Earn it  C. Receive it

8.  Read Romans 6:23. What do we really deserve if we sin?
________________________________________________________________________

9.  By grace, what does God give us instead?
________________________________________________________________________

10.  Read Romans 10:3. If we try to establish our own righteousness before God, what do
we fail to do? ____________________________________________________________

11.  Read 1 John 1:9 and Romans 4:3. What does God promise to do with ALL our sins
and iniquities against Him if we would only believe? _____________________________

12.  What does this tell you about the character of God?___________________________

Scriptures to Use with Questions

Genesis 3:1 – “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the
LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat
of every tree of the garden?”

Genesis 2:17 – “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Genesis 3:3 – “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath
said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

Genesis 3:6 – “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was
pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Genesis 3:9-10 – “[9] And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where
art thou? [10] And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I
was naked; and I hid myself.”

Genesis 3:22-24 – “[22] And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of
us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of
life, and eat, and live for ever: [23] Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the
garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. [24] So he drove out the
16man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword
which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Romans 5:17 – “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they
which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by
one, Jesus Christ.”

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

Romans 10:3 – “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to
establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness
of God.”

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 4:3 – “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted
unto him for righteousness.”

Answer Key

1.  Read Genesis 3:1. What question did Satan ask Eve? “Hath God said, Ye shall not
eat of every tree in the garden?”

2.  Read Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:3. What word or words did Eve add to what God
actually said to Adam? That they shouldn’t touch it.

3.  Read Genesis 3:6. Once Satan was able to instill doubt into Eve’s mind regarding the
Word of God, what did she do in this verse? Took and ate of the Tree.

4.  Read Genesis 3:9-10. After Adam and Eve sinned, did God still communicate and
pursue a relationship with them? Yes.

5.  Read Genesis 3:22-24. Why did God drive Adam and Eve from the Garden? So they
wouldn’t eat from the tree of life and live forever in a sinful state.

6.  Can you see that this was an act of mercy by God rather than a punishment? Yes.

7.  Read Romans 5:17. How do we attain God’s abundance of grace and gift of
righteousness? C. Receive it

8.  Read Romans 6:23. What do we really deserve if we sin? Death.

9.  By grace, what does God give us instead? Eternal life in Jesus.

1710.  Read Romans 10:3. If we try to establish our own righteousness before God, what do
we fail to do? Submit to Jesus as our righteousness.

11.  Read 1 John 1:9 and Romans 4:3. What does God promise to do with ALL our sins
and iniquities against Him if we would only believe? Remove them, forget them, and
forgive them.

12.  What does this tell you about the character of God? That He is merciful and loving.

Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org

Discipleship – Level 1 Lesson 5

Level 1 Lesson 5

THE NATURE OF GOD
By Andrew Wommack

To have a positive relationship with the Lord, we must know His nature and His
real character. Is He angry because of our sin, or is He a merciful God who wants to give
us His life and blessing, independent of our performance? The Scriptures actually give us
two different views of God, not that He has ever changed or done anything differently.
There was a period of time that in the terminology used in the Bible, God “held men’s
sins against them.”

This can be compared to raising children. When they’re very young, it isn’t
possible to reason with them, to tell them why they should act properly or why they
shouldn’t be selfish and take toys away from their brothers or sisters. They have to be
told the rules and, if they break them, be disciplined. The rules have to be enforced even
though they don’t know about God and the devil, or that they’re giving place to the devil
when they are selfish. They may not understand the concepts, but they can understand
that if they repeat the action, they will be punished.

In a sense, that’s what the Lord did with the Old Testament. Before people were
born again, they didn’t have the spiritual perception we have under the New Covenant, so
He had to give laws and enforce them with punishment, sometimes even death, to deter
them from sin. Because Satan was destroying people through sin, there had to be
restraints placed on sin, and they had to be enforced. Although this left the false
impression that God didn’t really love us because of our sin, that is not what the Word of
God teaches. Romans 5:13 says, “Until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not
imputed where there is no law.” “Until the law” means until the days of Moses when
God gave the Ten Commandments and other ceremonial laws that applied to the Jewish
nation. Up until that time, sin was in the world but wasn’t imputed. The word “impute” is
a bookkeeping term; e.g., you go to the store to buy something and say, “Put it on my
tab.” When it is put on your tab, it is recorded and charged against your account, and the
purchase is imputed to you. If they failed to impute it, that means it wasn’t recorded and
held against you.

This verse is saying that until the time the Ten Commandments came, sin was not
being held against people. That’s an amazing statement. Look at Genesis 3 and 4. Most
people have the concept that when Adam and Eve sinned against God, because He was
holy and man was now sinful, He could have nothing to do with sinful mankind. They
think God drove man out of the Garden to remove him from His presence because a Holy
God couldn’t have anything to do with unholy man. They further think that until you
clean up your act through right actions, God once again cannot have any relationship with
you. That is contrary to the message Jesus brought. Romans 5:8 says God commended
His love toward you, and while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you; so the New
Testament teaches that God extended His love to you while you were living in sin, not
after you have cleaned up your act. One of the great truths of the Gospel that will change
19your life is to understand that God loves you just like you are. He loves you so much that
if you receive His love, you won’t want to stay as you are. You will change, but you’ll
change as a byproduct of God’s love not in order to get His love.

In Genesis 4 you can see that God was still fellowshipping with man, still talking
with Adam and Eve even after they sinned. He talked with Cain and Abel, and when they
came to offer sacrifices to Him, He spoke to them in an audible voice. By their reaction,
we can see that they were accustomed to hearing His voice, and it didn’t scare them.
When Cain killed his brother Abel and became the first murderer on the earth, God’s
audible voice came from heaven: “Where is your brother Abel?” Cain lied to God,
seemingly without compunction. That can happen only if a person is so used to hearing
the voice of God that they take it for granted and have no fear of it. All this says is that
God was still fellowshipping with mankind and had not broken fellowship, as is
commonly believed. He was not imputing man’s sins to him. Does that mean that He
condoned their sins or that they were not wrong? No, that’s the reason He eventually
gave the Law. God had to give the Law to bring man back to a proper standard. God had
to show man that he needs a Savior and that he has to humble himself and receive
forgiveness as a gift. Sadly, religion has manipulated and controlled these things to teach
that the Law was given so you can keep it and thereby earn God’s forgiveness and
acceptance. No! The purpose of Old Testament Law was to magnify your sin to such a
degree that you would despair of ever saving yourself and say, “God, if this is your
standard of holiness, I can’t do it. Forgive me, have mercy on me.” The overall nature of
God has always been love.

Discipleship Questions

1.  Read Romans 5:13. What does the word “impute” mean? _______________________

2.  Read Romans 7:7. What was the purpose of the Law? __________________________

3.  Read Galatians 3:24. According to this verse, what was the purpose of the Law?
________________________________________________________________________

4.  Read John 8:1-11. How did Jesus deal with the woman caught in adultery?
________________________________________________________________________

5.  Did Jesus’ words and actions reflect the true nature of God? See John 3:34.
________________________________________________________________________

6.  Read 1 John 4:8. According to this verse, what is the true nature of God? __________

7.  Read Romans 5:6. God’s love was directed toward us when we were what? ________

8.  Read Romans 5:8. God loved us while we were what? _________________________

209.  Read Romans 5:10. God loved us while we were what? ________________________

10.  If you asked Jesus Christ to forgive you and be your Savior and Lord, trusting Jesus’
sacrifice as payment for your sin, would God show you His true nature of mercy and
grace? _________________________________________________________________

Scriptures to Use with Questions

Romans 5:13 – “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there
is no law.”

Romans 7:7 – “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known
sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not
covet.”

Galatians 3:24 – “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that
we might be justified by faith.”

John 8:1-11 – “[1] Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. [2] And early in the morning he
came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and
taught them. [3] And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in
adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, [4] They say unto him, Master, this
woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. [5] Now Moses in the law commanded us,
that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? [6] This they said, tempting him, that
they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the
ground, as though he heard them not. [7] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up
himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at
her. [8] And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. [9] And they which heard
it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest,
even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. [10]
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her,
Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? [11] She said,
No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no
more.”

John 3:34 – “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not
the Spirit by measure unto him.”

1 John 4:8 – “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

Romans 5:6 – “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the
ungodly.”

Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.”

21Romans 5:10 – “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death
of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Answer Key

1.  Read Romans 5:13. What does the word “impute” mean? To charge to one’s
account.

2.  Read Romans 7:7. What was the purpose of the Law? To make sin known.

3.  Read Galatians 3:24. According to this verse, what was the purpose of the Law? To
show mankind their need of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

4.  Read John 8:1-11. How did Jesus deal with the woman caught in adultery? In mercy
and grace.

5. Did Jesus’ words and actions reflect the true nature of God? See John 3:34.
Yes.

6.  Read 1 John 4:8. According to this verse, what is the true nature of God? Love.

7.  Read Romans 5:6. God’s love was directed toward us when we were what? Without
strength; i.e., helpless and ungodly.

8.  Read Romans 5:8. God loved us while we were what? Sinners.

9.  Read Romans 5:10. God loved us while we were what? Enemies.

10.  If you asked Jesus Christ to forgive you and be your Savior and Lord, trusting Jesus’
sacrifice as payment for your sin, would God show you His true nature of mercy and
grace? Yes.

Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org