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זרע זה מלך המשיח מדרש רבה כג ה

that Moshiach, through his sufferings, will win our victory over Satan.)





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First let's get something clear about erroneous notions of Paul and his founding a new religion, which he didn't. True, the halakhah of his Judaism switched from the Pharisaic oral law to the Ruach Hakodesh, but his religion was still one of the Judaisms of the time, not a new non-Judaism Gentile religion.





NOT A MESSIANIC BAAL TESHUVA YET BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVEN'T OBEYED MOSHIACH AND HAVEN'T YET MADE ZIKH GE'TOYVL'T IN DER MIKVE? AND DON'T UNDERSTAND THE RATIONALE OF THIS BIBLE SOCIETY WEBSITE? OR WHAT PHIL GOBLE IS DOING HERE?

Look at the difference between Ruth and her sister Orpah. One made teshuva, meaning godly sorrow unto salvation; the other did not, meaning worldly sorrow unto death. Both widows wept, but only one turned. Teshuva means turning. But turning to what?

 

 

In my heart there is a Shtiebel, a small prayer room.  Small but commodious, stretching

out like Abraham’s Ohel into eternity.  There I meditate day and night.

 

I invite you to look around this Shtiebel of my soul. 

You will see first a raised platform, a bema, and that bema is where

the Baal Tefilah lies face down to daven, among the holy scrolls that are spread

out in the light of the Ner Tamid which hangs over the Aron Kodesh.

 

One day in this Shtiebel of the heart, I heard a soft rapping at the door. 

I looked at the uprights of the door and saw that the mashkof (lintel)

and the mezuzot had been struck with Dahm (Blood).

 

I looked at the latch. What would happen if I opened it?  I had been meditating

on the door standing open in heaven.  I was thinking about heaven and the Bar

Enosh coming to the Ancient of Days on the clouds of heaven.  I wanted

the Spirit to lift me up and take me in visions of El Shaddai far above my dark racing

thoughts which are vain.  My eyes examined the Blood on the mashkof (lintel).

 

I seemed to know that my dark vain thoughts must be constantly expiated by the

Blood of the mashkof, lest the Evil one defile my pnimiyus Shtiebel.  

 

On the shulchan (table) of that Shtiebel is a menorah which

is a lamp unto my feet and a Sefer Torah which is a light unto my path, that

Hashem Eloheicha might be with me and that my thoughts might be acceptable in

His sight.

 

Again, I heard a soft rapping at the door.  I knew whoever knocked was standing

behind the kotel (wall).  And I looked, and, hinei, the Kavod Hashem filled the Shtiebel.

The door was locked.  But I sensed my soul under scrutiny.    

 

Again I heard the soft rapping at the door. 

 

In my heart there is a Shtiebel, a small prayer room.  Small but commodious, stretching

out like Abraham’s Ohel into eternity. 

 

From that vantage point there is another Comforter, the Ruach Hakodesh.

And also the Bar Enosh and the Ancient of Days.  Shloshah (Three).

 

Abraham looked out the entrance of his Ohel and saw Shloshah (Three).

 

Yet His Name is Echad. 

 

But when the door opened, there was only a Lamb.  The Lamb was standing.  It had the appearance of

having been slaughtered.  Its throat was cut and the bloody mortal wound was a sign

that the desolating plague had skipped or passed over my door.

 

Then I heard the Voice. 

 

“If anyone will invite me to come in, I will come in.” 

 

In the darkness of my nefesh, I reached for the Ohr HaOlam that was shining.

 

His glance fell on the Sefer Torah like a laser beam, lighting every Hebrew

Letter and every firey place which speaks of him in every Word. 

 

As far as this Shtiebel is concerned and also my dark thoughts,

things are rising brighter now since Moshiach has entered the shul of my heart.

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TESHUVAH MEANS TURNING. BUT TURNING FROM WHAT TO WHAT?

Once a spiritually blind woman came to a kehillah. She said that everyone was against her, that she was totally innocent, that her lawyer was going to help her "fight the system." That she was the greatest person in the world but wherever she goes, people take advantage of her. What does a kehillah do when a person like this walks in the door?

Nothing will change with her until she is gently and lovingly helped to see her sin. This is serious because a man who could see neither his sin nor his Savior forfeited chayei olam (Mt 19:16-22). Remember the ganav on the tree? He not only DID see his sin but saw that his sin condemned him and he was worthy of death because of it. He cried out to Moshiach the Goel Redeemer Savior to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. This is assuredly teshuva, this is the real saving repentance of the new birth. This is seeing one's sin. This is the true turning that will lead to ahavah (love) and a lev tahor (pure heart) and a clear matzpun (conscience) and emunah (faith) without tzevi'ut (hypocrisy) [see OJB 1Ti 1:5]. But, of course, the lady we are referring to above will never see her sin until the Ruach Hakodesh convicts her and shows her her sin and shows her what a witch's cauldron of deceit is her flesh (Ro 7:18). Seeing one's own sin is important because one can't turn away from what one cannot see, and teshuvah (teshuva means turning away from sin) means repentance, a change of mind about one's sin resulting in a change of heart, even a change of behavior before G-d (Ps 51:4[6]) vis-a-vis one's sin. We change our mind about our sin and about our need for the true Moshiach in whose holy presence we stand unclean in our sin.

When we say "sin" we don't just mean the sin you DO, we mean the sinner you ARE. You have a sin nature. That means you don't just ACT mule-like before the L-rd; you ARE a mule [see commentary on Ro 7:18], a mule-like stubborn, morally undiscerning sinful creature before the L-rd (see Ro 7:20 and commentary). That's why He says, "Don't be like the...mule that has no discernment but has to be controlled by bit or bridle or it will not come to you" (Ps 32:9).

G-d says, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you would not come to Me." You are a rebellious House, O Israel. Who has believed our prophetic report? says Isaiah.

We have a sin nature, and because of the seeds of rebellion therein, the only opinion we should have of ourselves is that in us there is "no good thing." (Ro 7:18). In our sinful nature we are like Balaam, riding a mule of stubbornness until we have a run-in collision with the fear of the L-rd, and even then, after I become a believer, I have a life-long struggle until I, like Rav Shaul, learn how to "beat my mule daily." Rav Shaul says, "I pommel it and keep it under strict subjection, so that after I am the maggid (preacher) to others, I myself will not become declared ineligible" (1C 9:27). He is not talking about flagellation or asceticism. He is simply saying that self-control is rebel-control. He is talking about the "flesh" or fallen sin-prone human nature.

You say, "Rav Shaul was not in any sense a rebel!" No? And I suppose you would naively say the same about Jonah too? Not only does Rav Shaul tell us that he keeps the bridle and bit of self-control firmly in hand, he also tells us that, as part of the L-rd's discipline (compare MJ chp 12), he required a "thorn in the flesh." For, like Balaam (Nu 22:34), our sinful nature opposes the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) and the Ruach Hakodesh opposes our sinful nature. This is why you are not to do what YOU want (Ga 5:17). Being a contrary mule-like creature, if you do what YOU want, it may very well be just exactly what G-d DOESN'T want. Remember Kefa (Petros) had to have his rebellious flesh come under divine rebuke (Mk 8:33) BEFORE he became born again (Yn 20:22) and also AFTER he was born again and Spirit-filled (Ga 2:11). This is why our Romans chapter seven flesh needs to yield to the Romans chapter eight Ruach Hakodesh every day.

You have to inquire of the L-rd and find out not what YOU want, but what the L-RD wants ("Not my will, but Thine be done.." "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven"), because man is a "contrary" being, contrary to G-d. Man agrees that the Torah is good, but when it comes to not transgressing the Torah, no one, not even believers (Ro 7:14), reaches the point of perfection where we are not able to sin (see 1Kgs 8:46; Prov 20:9; Kohelet 7:20; 1Yn 1:8; Ya 3:2). In this life, the "contrary" mule in us is always latently with us (Kohelet 7:29; Ro 7:14-18). Only Moshiach Ben Dovid is not sold as a slave to sin (Ro 7:14), not sold under the power of sin (Ro 3:9) and not under sin's condemnation (Ro 5:18). Moshiach didn't need a savior. We do. That is why we dare not make place for the devil and we dare not make provision for the flesh. For the seeds of rebellion in our carnal unspiritual nature can begin to grow if we yield to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the vanity of pride. Those who believe that Ro 7:14-25 must be speaking of Rav Sha'ul as he remembers his days before he became a Messianic Jew need to look at Ro 8:12-13 where he warns believers (note the word "brethren") about the need to mortify the flesh. You say, "But could Rav Sha'ul really have such a humble opinion of himself that he would say, even as a believer, in my flesh there is 'no good thing.' ?" Look at Rom 7:18; 1 Tim 1:15; Phil 2:3-4. The "chief of sinners" says that all believers should consider others as better than themselves, for in our flesh as long as we are in the Olam Hazeh and are still children of fallen Adam, there is "no good thing." Therefore, the business of sanctification and mortification is a daily concern.

G-d's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. King David said, "I was like a beast before" G-d, Ps 73:22. Just as a mule lacks discernment of the thoughts of the mule rider, so we lack and need to pray for moral discernment (Phil 1:9) of G-d. Sometimes we stubbornly test the L-rd's patience with our spiritual ignorance and stupidity and, in the divine mercy, we have to receive a divine rap (Ac 12:7) to wake us up spiritually and bring us sorely needed deliverance ministry.

Let's illustrate the beast-like spiritual stupidity and stubbornness I'm talking about. This is all leading up to the point that Romans chapter 7 is there to warn you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think and to warn you that you are being very foolish if you think that legalisms and religiosity is in fact all you need to be able to obey G-d. Friend, a deeper moral discernment of Moshiach the Holy One of Israel and of the Ruach Hakodesh is needed in your life. Yes, there is the gap between what you know (Ro 7:15) and what the Ruach Hakodesh knows, as Romans 8:26 makes plain. Sin is so profound in the human condition that you do NOT know what you do (Ro 7:15), but the Ruach Hakodesh knows (Ro 8:26) and the prophet knows (see Ro 12:6 and Amos 3:7 and 1Co 14:25 and Ac 5:3 and Ac 1:5 and Ac 10:45 and Ro 5:5 and see also this Pentecostal prophetic gift in operation against secret sin in a modern kehillah.) And Romans chapter 7 is showing the believer why he needs not just chapter 4 and grace, and chapter 5 and justification by faith, and chapter 6 (mortification), but also he needs chapter 8 and the power of the Holy Spirit to equip him supernaturally to see sin and repent of it. As far as chapter 5 is concerned, Moshiach is tzidkeinu (our righteousness, 1C 1:30). My salvation is based on the perfect righteousness of Moshiach imputed to me by grace through faith. However, as an adopted child of G-d, I still have remnants of the old child of Adam nature and therefore just as I needed chapters 1-3 to show me my need for chapters 4, 5, and 6, so I need chapter 7 to show me my need for chapter 8. See Romans in Yiddish.

Now here is the illustration showing that Ps 73:22 is talking about you. Imagine a mule pulling a farmer sitting in a cart to town. The farmer wants to go to the village. The mule wants to stop. The farmer grows impatient and gets out of the cart and walks around to face off with the mule. The farmer and the mule stare at each other eyeball to eyeball. The farmer doesn't want to use bit and bridle (Ps 32:9), but he's got to move the cart and get to town. The mule has stopped because of a she-donkey the mule has spotted in a neighboring field. Remember Uriah's wife? Remember David "stopping the cart" on G-d back at the palace because of that she-donkey? Did he get away with "stopping the cart"? Will you? Was a prophet dispatched to David? Will a prophet be dispatched to you if you "stop the cart" on the L-rd? O if David had not hardened his heart. O if David had only feared the L-rd like Joseph with Potiphar's wife! O if David had only made a covenant with his eyes like Job when David was tempted to play the peeping tom on the roof of his palace! O if David had not put the L-rd to the test! If only David had repented of the evil he was tempted to do! If only, before he did it, he had changed his mind

(metanoia means a change of mind)

then the covenant curses would not have pursued him!

This is what repentance is: changing your mind. You see that what you are doing or are tempted to do hurts the heart of G-d and you stop it. It says, "Therefore, produce p'ri tov l'teshuva (fruit worthy of repentance), and do not begin to presume within yourselves, saying, We have the zechut Avot (merit of the Fathers) of Avraham Avinu, for, I say to you, that Hashem is able from these avanim (stones) to raise up banim to Avraham Avinu." (OJB) Joseph knew that he would hurt the heart of G-d if he had in fact gone ahead and betrayed the L-rd by committing sin against Elohim (see Gn 39:9). You need to read again 2Sm 12:7-8 and feel the divine emotion that goes with the divine words: David has wounded the heart of G-d by his sin. It is as though G-d is saying, "David, you have hurt Me. You have betrayed My trust by your lack of trust in Me. I took you from tending sheep and gave you a palace and gave you more blessings than anyone could imagine. And I would have given you even more blessings. But then you repaid My goodness by your wicked sneaking around and doing evil and betraying Me. This is how you have despised Me."

Or let's go from David to Simon Peter. There was a heart relationship between Simon Peter and the Moshiach. This heart relationship is what Satan was taking aim at when Satan sifted Peter like wheat (see Lk 22). Above all guard your heart. Man looks on the outward appearance but G-d looks on the heart. "May the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O L-rd, my Strength and my Redeemer." May the unrighteous man forsake his unrighteous thoughts. This is teshuva. The heart is the "real you," where your besetting sins and generational "bad wood" has to be pruned away or sifted out and exposed. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts. Simon Peter hurt his Song of Songs heart relationship with Moshiach and the text says that Moshiach "looked at him." (Lk 22:61). Notice Simon Peter had confessed the L-rd at Caesarea Philippi and in some sense was a believer, but Satan was sifting him. We have to keep ourselves in the love of the L-rd and this means turning from our flesh and resistantly turning from Satan who sifts our flesh and this is part of repentance. The reason we need nevi'im in the congregation is because they read hearts and secret sin cannot hide from the eye of the navi anymore than the sin of Ananias and Sapphira could hide from the eye of Simon. See Ac chapter 5. Look at the Holy Gospel again and the Holy Moshiach and what your wickedness cost this Holy Moshiach and then perhaps you won't indulge your wickedness by attempting to hide your wickedness in your wicked heart. This is teshuva. When wickedness in our hearts comes to light, we don't keep trying to hide it. We confess it and turn from it. This is teshuva.

We sometimes think of sin as an error, like a simple error on the playing field in sports. Few would weep over an athlete's error. Sin is not such a sterile mistake. It's more like a personal betrayal. This is why you must guard your heart above all else and love the Word of G-d and hide it in your heart that you might not sin against G-d.

Let me illustrate it this way. Suppose you were sort of a crude Irish whiskey drinker. And let's say you married a refined lady whose father had been a brutal alcoholic and had hurt her terribly for many, many years. There was suffering with every glass of his whiskey, you might say. Now being a crude sort of person, to you, having a few drinks and coming home noisy with a merry heart from the tavern would be no big thing. But what if it devastated this damaged lady that you loved? Would you be so crude as to see what you did as a mere sterile mistake, a mere ritual error having to do with a statute about drunkenness? Or would you see the whole thing as a devastating personal wound, that a crude and morally ignorant and decadent undiscerning "you" had personally wounded "her"? Would you then wake up and see you had hurt your relationship with the one who means the whole world to you? Would you feel bad about what you had done to her? Would you be able to say, "I was like a beast before you. This thing I have done to you is terrible. I have hurt you. I have hurt your heart. I have done something evil in your sight (Ps 51:4[6])." Now you see your sin and because of your love and your fear about destroying the relationship, you decide never to put the person you love through that again. Now you see what your sin cost the Moshiach Ben Dovid who was wounded for your transgressions. Now you see that sin appearing to you in your spiritual blindness and lack of moral discernment as "no big thing" became a horrific burden that he had to carry as your scapegoat substitute burden-bearer. Now you see the self-emptying love that led him on this pursuit to get you right with a just but compassionate, merciful G-d. Being a crude sort of person you dimly begin to see all this. Now you feel bad for what you have done and sincerely determine in your heart, that with the help of G-d, you are going to forsake these old crude blind morally undiscerning ways of your old life that were so personally agonizing to the Son of G-d who loves you.

Here we are getting to the real point of repentance, which is a matter of the heart. In the book of Jonah, we see ironically that it is Jonah himself who needs to grasp what repentance is, for the Ninevites have repented and yet at the end of the book it remains to be seen whether Jonah will repent. Let me illustrate this by telling the story of Kitty. Any cat lover knows that cats are always looking for new hiding places, forcing the cat lover to have to engage in a game of cat hide-and-seek. One day Kitty was no where to be found. I sat upstairs at Beth Shalom and suddenly a horrible stillness settled over me. The cat must have gotten outside and has been run over or stolen, never to be seen again. I began to panic. I felt a terrible longing and sadness come over me. I loved that cat. I took care of that cat. I fed that cat. I brushed that cat. I could never get over losing that cat. So weeping profusely I began to seek that which was lost. I began to ransack the whole building on my hands and knees looking for that cat, all the while thinking, "How could she hide from me, if that is what she's doing, since I do so much for her?" (This is what G-d thinks about you, Adam. Adam, where are you? Adam, why are you hiding from me, after all that I've done for you? (See Genesis 3:9.) People without saving repentance are more like a cat hiding from her master or Adam hiding from his Maker. Are you not aware that people are hiding and running from G-d and that a Bible school can either produce Pharisees and scibes like those in Luke chapter 15, who as far as a burden for lost souls are concerned, are not in touch with the heart of G-d, or a Bible school can produce weeping street preachers seeking the lost like what I'm describing... a cat lover seeking a lost cat--if a lost cat is precious, in fact is not a lost soul also precious to G-d?

But then, just when I had lost all hope, after three hours of searching, there was Kitty! For some reason she had decided to stop hiding from me! O what relief! What joy! What elation! What gladness! When you read Luke chapter 15 this is what Moshiach is trying to get across to the Scribes and Pharisees! They are religious people doing religious doings but they are not going out into the highways and byways desperately weeping and seaching with the heart of G-d for that which is lost. They are lost themselves. They need revival and repentance! And even a street preacher who goes out into the highways and byways can be doing all this like a Pharisee or a scribe, like a Jonah, just hitting the religious time clock and going through the motions. But they that go forth weeping, weeping with the heart of G-d for the lost, bearing the precious harvest seed of the inerrant Word, will doubtless come back bringing the harvest sheaves with them. So being a mere religious person and having a mere religious teshuvah is not repentance.

You must hate your evil (Ps 97:10). Now you see that "in my flesh dwells no good thing" (Ro 7:18). Now you begin to hate your flesh as Rav Shaul hated his. We are talking about our old fallen nature in Adam. The Holy Spirit makes you begin to hate your old fallen nature and yearn for deliverance from the old corrupt life you have lived. This is what repentance with godly sorrow unto salvation is like (2C 7:10). It is not about a sterile religious mistake, a mere technical ritual error. It's about a personal matter between you and Almighty G-d whom you love and fear and whom you have deeply offended and hurt by your sin. When G-d sees you have found your sin, or rather that He has shown it to you and you finally see it and understand the horror of it vis-a-vis your relationship with Him (Ps 51:4[6]), then when you have sorrow about how you have offended Him, He relents, His anger is pacified, because the Moshiach suffered for your sin and bore the dreadful penalty of it and G-d is not willing that you perish in your sin, so great is His love for you. And now you see the sickness of your sin and your need of Moshiach as the physician to get you well and bring you to G-d. When G-d saw the Ninevites repent at the preaching of the buried and resurrected Prophet Jonah, G-d in his love and tender mercy changed his mind about the recompense He had said He would bring on them (Jonah 3:10). Listen! Gehinnom is real! Look at the people who went to hell in the true story told here. Look at the people who may have gone to hell in David's Kingdom, even David's household. What a wretched man King David was! What a wretched man we will be (Ro 7:24) if we try to be clean through our own resources. Romans chp 7 shows that kedushah is impossible left to our own sin-prone, fallen-in-Adam resources. We are wretched men without the Ruach Hakodesh's help, which is what Romans chp 8 is all about.

It is essential that you realize that even as a believer you are still a son of Adam, sold under sin, in the sense that the radical demands of Moshiach mean that even believers fall short (Ya 3:2). This is why Ro 6:12-13 warns the believer about sin's power to reign in control of the mortal body's natural capacities. Ro 8:13-14 repeats the warning. Chapter 7 is sandwiched in between Ro 6:12-13 and Ro 8:13-14 to show the believer's need for vigilance in continuing to put off Adam and put on Moshiach, a costume change that must not be struck from heaven's dress hearsal. Ro chap 2 has already shown the UNbelieving Jewish problem and this is not what Ro chap 7 is regurgitating. Rather Ro chap 7 is dealing with the BELIEVING messianic Jew's problem, namely Paul the messianic believer's problem. For Moshiach Ben Elohim Zoon Foon Besula Maidela is not a child of Adam sold under sin in Adam, but Paul is, and so are you. Yes, it is true you have been redeemed, so from G-d's point of view in eternity there is a sense in which you are no longer a child of Adam for now, if you are born again, you are an adopted child of G-d. And from that perspective you are not sold under sin, you are redeemed. Your spirit, once dead in trespasses and sins, has been raised, and, as a new creature, you have a new dynamic in the Spirit to fight the good fight of faith. But there are still seeds of Adam's rebellion in your human nature and the remnant of your old nature sold under sin in Adam means that you have to watch your life and doctrine closely, believing that G-d will complete the good work He began in you.

Let me illustrate it this way. Al Capone was a gangster in Chicago. Let's say, for the sake of illustration, that Mrs. Al Capone doesn't want Al Capone Jr to be in the mob. So Al Capone Jr who loves his mother makes a vow that he will never be in the mob. She takes him to an adoption agency and the boy gets a new identity. But one day he turns around and, lo and behold, he is in the mob! Or, put it like this, ALMOST in the mob! Then he shouts out in despair, "I do not understand what I do" (Ro 7:15)! (We are talking about the bondage of the flesh here.) You say, "What does that have to do with Paul?" Do you not know what pharisaic pride is? Paul had a pride problem. You say, "Paul had a pride problem even AFTER he became a believer?" Yes. Read 2C 12:7. Our hearts are so deceitful that, even after we come to the L-rd, we need moral discernment to be able to see our Holy Moshiach and turn away from our own iniquity, the iniquity of the old self, so that, putting on the new self in Moshiach, we then have a mind like that of Rav Shaul as he writes Philippians, so that we also keep our eyes on Moshiach with total love and adoration. For Moshiach is the lover of our soul. What hinders us is the human condition, the problem of the wretched condition of our fallen flesh. We do not know/understand what we do. We do not know our own wicked hearts. We do not see our sin. We have a blind spot when we look above the steering wheel of the will into the rear-view mirror of our moral discernment. This is not just a problem for carnal believers. It's a problem for all believers, and "let him who thinks he stands take care lest he fall!"

Brethren, receive not every spirit, for many neviei sheker have gone out into the world. When I was a child my mother took me to be photographed on my 12th birthday. This was an old-fashioned photography studio and the lady photographer had to drape a black shroud over her head in order to see me through the camera's lens. The light of this world had to be shrouded out because such light of this world would hamper her ability to see and would have a detremental effect on the photograph. Did you know that some "light" is actually darkness and has a detremental effect on your ability to see? The Bible says that if the "light" within you is actually darkness and hampers your ability to see, how great is that darkness! How great is the resultant blindness! When David, having a mid-life crisis, thought Bathsheba was his mid-life crisis savior, how great was his blindness! When depressed and obsessed Amnon thought Tamar was his savior, how great was that blindness! When Jews in Brooklyn think a rotting corpse false Moshiach in a New York City cemetery is their savior, how great is that blindness! And when YOU have a false savior (your savings account, your inheritance, your good looks, your cadre of friends, your job, your spouse, your religiosity, your legalisms, your whatever), how great is YOUR blindness! And the blindness I am talking about is original sin blindness that goes down the generations from father Adam to father David to "like-father-like-son" Amnon and has a blinding impact on each generation like Paul's Pharisaic pride blindness that goes down the generations from Pharisaic father to Pharisaic son and this spiritual or moral blindness is confessed by Paul in this way: "I do not know what I do!" (Ro 7:15). In other words, Who can discern his errors? This is what it says in Ps 19. We are not twisting this verse to excuse sin. We are merely pointing out the wiley stubbornness with which sin can deceive and hide in the human heart. Therefore, without the mighty empowerment of the Ruach Hakodesh described in Romans chapter 8, the believer may know the good and wish or want to do it, but the accomplishment of it may be another matter. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. And mere Romans chapter 7 legalisms have no power against the indulgence of the flesh (see Col 2:23). But with the empowerment of the Ruach Hakodesh spoken of in Romans chapter 8 we can fight all sin and temptation, for it is G-d who works in you "to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Phil 2:13). On the mighty empowerment of the Ruach Hakodesh see the following on spiritual gifts.

There is a group in Brooklyn that are blinded by their unclean pseudo-Messianic idolatry, focussing on an impostor Moshiach who is guilty of identity theft. This a double blindness! Not seeing themselves as sinners and mis-perceiving an impostor as the true Moshiach! How great is that blindness! If your eyes are on yourself as a tzaddik or on some false Moshiach "tzaddik," and if THAT is your "light," how great is that darkness! You must discern both your mule-like sin and the mule-stubborn sinner you are, and not think of yourself more highly than you ought. You must turn away from yourself and you must focus not on your sin but on the Savior, the true Moshiach, who SAVES you from your sin. You must always remember what your sin COST your Savior, so that your sin will be the same abomination to YOU that it is to your Savior. You must rid yourself of all your "Bathsheba" idols and look with single-hearted adoration at the Savior, so you will see yourself as G-d sees you. Ask G-d to give you an undivided heart that you might fear His Name! Look what David's idolatrous lust for Bathsheba cost him, how this personal affront on G-d's glory aroused G-d's holy jealousy. Think of what it will cost Israel in the last days to go lusting after some false Moshiach.

The woman above I referred to I said that nothing will change with her until she is gently and lovingly helped to see her sin, so she will be like David when she repents, contrite and eager with heart devotion toward her G-d of mercy Who forgives her. When the Kehillah in Corinth repents, this is how their heart is and there is a description of their heart in 2Co 7:7-10. But let's look at her sin. This woman, it turns out, had a sin of selfish manipulation and an occult background. We all know people who are manipulators. We call them "users." They wind up having no friends because they are selfish, self-centered, and only want friends for what they can get out of them. Such people live for SELF and are dead even while they live. Ro 6:1 shows that such will be rejected. King Saul, like many of us, discovered the emptiness of building a monument to Self (1Sm 15:12). He deluded himself that he was great, that he obeyed G-d, but he wanted to obey G-d Saul's way, not G-d's way. There is a way that seems right to a man but that way ends in death.

King Saul was a stubborn mule of a man, and stubbornness is as the sin of witchcraft. Inveterate manipulators come into the Kehillah and find frustration when they cannot manipulate the Holy Spirit or the Spirit-filled Elders, even though manipulation was such a proficient part of their former life in the occult (on the occult in the life of stubborn Saul see here).

The Scripture says, "Be not wise in your own eyes. Fear the L-rd, and depart from evil." The person that doesn't know their sin thinks that G-d is like them, that He has a tolerance for it. Apparently you have forgotten that His Holy Spirit can be grieved with your stubbornness. Apparently you have forgotten His holy wrath can be aroused when this Jealous G-d is made a cuckold by your unholy liaison with your idols. Remember that Israel also had a mule-like incomprehension of G-d (Isaiah 1:3) because Israel had a mule-like stubborn lack of moral discernment of who she was dealing with: her Holy G-d. This cost Israel the estrangement of Exile. Her idolatrous sin had separated her from her Holy G-d (Isaiah 5:13).

Imagine your younger brother is in the front room with your mother and she is vacuuming the carpet. But every time she gets the carpet clean, your younger brother appears and throws some fresh dirt on the carpet. She vacuums, he dirties; she vacuums, he dirties; she vacuums, he dirties. How long is this going to continue before somebody stops this stupidity? Moshiach was manifested in this world to take away the filth. He is tahor (clean). Whoever sets his hope on Moshiach wants to abide in that which is tahor, and can't practice a life of filth because he or she is born of G-d, G-d's seed abides in him or her, and repentance (turning from filth) is a constant preoccupation for the truly born again believer. A pig thinks nothing of lounging in the mud, but a cat is always cleaning herself. It is her constant preoccupation. We who are bnei foon der Oybershter must abide in the One who is tahor, and the One who is tahor abides in us. This is why we crave the pure milk of the Word. Anyone who is not repentant and goes on in his filth or returns to it, is not born again. The tevilah in the mikveh mayim means that this old person, who had no knowledge of the Holy One Moshiach Adoneinu, is dead. If his relatives said kadesh over him, that is only confirmatory, that the old person is dead. A korban kaparah has been provided and a new person has arisen from a watery kever.

And the prophetic secret of the L-rd is with those who fear Him, but when you are backslidden, you grieve the Holy Spirit and are left "out of the loop."

True faith knows that nothing is hidden from G-d's holy all-seeing eye, and everything is naked and open with Him with Whom we have to do. It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry G-d. Without this true faith, it is impossible to please G-d, because those that come to Him must believe that He is and that He rewards those that diligently seek Him. Beware of false faith that does not diligently seek Him. Flirting with temptation is not diligently seeking Him. To illustrate, there are believers in a drug rehab for women. They sit and listen to preaching all day long. But for many of them there is in their imagination an alluring figure looking in on them from the nearby window, whispering to them, "Listen, all this religious stuff is just fine, but when you need to take a break from it, I will be around and you and I can have a little sex and drugs and backslide for a little break from all the religious rigorism." Beware of this lie. Beware of this false faith lacking repentance. Read the book of Hebrews again. There IS a rigorism in the Bible. G-d knows your thoughts and you have to be IN or OUT. Get IN and throw that alluring figure OUT. There is no middle ground such as you are imagining. If you are lukewarm, He will spew you out of His Mouth. By crowding out that figure from their minds and imaginations through Scripture meditation and preaching to the devil and study and through praying in the Spirit, drowning out the voice of the flesh and the devil by praying in the Spirit, they must renounce and forsake that alluring figure waiting "for a more opportune time."

Every day Orthodox Jews walk in front of my office and spit. I have been spat on so frequently that I have to dress more casually because I can't afford the dry cleaning bill. Today an Orthodox Jew did an elaborate spitting ritual, spitting on the sidewalk in front of my office, then, with incantations, stomping on the spittle and walking away bitterly. I said to him quietly without anger, "What you are doing with your spittle will not help you. Spittle or no spittle, the Bible is still true and you are still stubbornly refusing to read it."

Every establishment has a "lost and found" department. Such is 1Samuel in the Bible. King Saul LOST his crown (make sure no one takes YOUR crown), because he never FOUND his "mule"; someone else got his crown and someone else found his mule but King Saul himself did not find it (1Sm 9:8-9, 20). Had he inquired of the L-rd and waited on the L-rd, he might have found his mule-like sin of stubbornness and repented of it; he might have become a man after G-d's own heart. But he, no longer small in his own eyes, became arrogant and presumptuous and ran ahead of his own repentance in pride, and someone "better" (1Sm 15:28) took his crown. He did not find his mule; he found only the sorrow that comes when G-d repents of (changes his mind about) ever promoting you to a position of trust.

Another Bible character who apparently never found his "mule" is Simon the Magician. The prophet who read his heart (1Co 14:25) did in fact find Simon the Magician's "mule," but Simon the Magician did not find his "mule." The prophet-shliach Shimon Kefa was able to see Simon the Magician's sin but Simon Magus apparently could not see it. See Ac 8:20 and 21. Seeing your sin and turning from it in saving faith to the Savior is salvation by the grace of G-d.

The realm of the tevilah in the Ruach Hakodesh is the realm where this miracle happens. The Ruach Hakodesh, not the letter of the law (Ro 7:6), is the means by which Simon Kefa did this prophetic ministry (1Co 14:25) with Simon the Magician. We are talking here about the Spiritual realm where this prophetic "seeing" of secret sin in the heart is accomplished by the power of G-d. The sin that might otherwise hide in a believer's heart is flushed out in a Spirit-filled kehillah. We are talking about Spirit-filled prophets in a congregation sniffing out secret sin like bomb-sniffing dogs in an airport luggage room. We are preparing to fly away to heaven but without repentance we shall all alike perish. And there is defeat in the camp when Achan hides his secret sin. This is why Paul gives this gift priority (see 1Co 14:1 and Ro 12:6 and 1Co 14:25). And this is why Paul is saying in chapter 7 of Romans that being regenerated is not enough, knowing the Torah is not enough. Peter was a new born babe who craved the milk of the Torah but Moshiach required more than that before Moshiach's Shliach Peter was sent to Simon the Magician and Ananias and Sapphira. The prophetic empowerment of the outpoured Holy Spirit (Ro 5:5) would equip Peter to deal with sin, wiley sin, hidden sin, stubborn sin, the sin that can hide and subvert via legalisms (Ro 7:7-8) and deceive the flesh under cover of the letter of the law (see Ro 7:6 and Ro 7:11) because of the believer's flesh (Ro 7:18). It is this spiritual realm that believing messianic Jews need to enter for their sanctification, not merely pursuing the letter of the law, which is the point of Romans chapter 7.

Anticharismatic commentators and non-Pentecostal exegetes may have problems with our interpretation of Romans chapter 7 above. But Luke, the author of Acts, and Paul, the author of Romans, are on the same page regarding a post-regeneration Ruach Hakodesh empowerment (Ac 8:12-17; Ac 10:44-46; Ac 11:14-16; Ac 15:7-9; Ro 5:5; Ro 7:6; Ro 8:26) into the miraculous realm of the supernatural which Moshiach desired for the Shluchim (Lu 24:49; Ac 1:4-5) and which Moshiach's Shluchim desired for every believer, and which the gift of prophecy, a gift that discerns hidden sin, has this preiminent benefit (1Co 14:1) for sanctification (1Co 14:25), according to Rav Shaul. The ethos of service in the messianic life is the Ruach Hakodesh, not the letter of the law.

Can you imagine this scenario? Moshiach's Shluchim discover some talmidim who are believers in Yeshua and know the tevilah of teshuvah in the mikveh mayim but not the tevilah in the Ruach Hakodesh (Ac 1:5). Then among these believers imagine that we find many frum messianic Jews as in the Jerusalem kehillah (see Ac 21:21), the very ones Rav Shaul is thinking about as he dictates Romans. Now imagine that these Torah-observant messianic Jews say something like, "O we believe in this Moshiach. We believe in the first six chapters of Romans. And we have had Moshiach's mikveh mayim. But we Torah-observant messianic Jews have decided from this point forward in our Avodas Hashem that we can fend off sin from here on out by the letter of the Torah." Now imagine that Rav Shaul appears at just this point with Romans chapter 7. Rav Shaul would be the last person to object to studying the Torah. However, what he knows will fail is the letter of the law against the deceitfulness of sin, and this is what he sets out to prove in Romans chp 7 after he lays done the guiding principle that the ethos of the messianic life and the halakhah in the Derech Hashem is the Ruach Hakodesh, not the letter of the Torah (Ro 7:6). Notice when he talks about "service" in Ro 7:6 he picks this theme up again in Ro 12:3-8, giving priority to the gift of prophecy (Ro 12:6), meaning do not go beyond what is written (1Co 4:6), meaning prophecy according to the analogy of faith (Yd 1:4; Ga 1:23; 1Ti 1:4; 1Ti 1:19a; 1Ti 3:9; 1Ti 4:1; 1Ti 4:6; 1Ti 6:21), which gift, prophecy, Paul prized.

Now read this true story here. When you read this true story, you will see how the Ruach Hakodesh used the gift of prophecy to flush out hidden sin in a Spirit-filled messianic synagogue. You will also see from this true story the disastrous consequences that may follow when the prophetic word is not heeded (see 1Kg 13:24).

When Rav Shaul says, "I do not know what I do!" (Ro 7:15), he means, Who can discern his errors? This is what it says in Ps 19:12. The prophetic eye of the warey minister helps us see our sin, though our sin be wiley and able to hide deceitfully (Ro 7:17) as secret sin. Thus, otherwise, what miserable men are we (Ro 7:24)! But we are able to find our sanctification in Moshiach and in the Ruach Hakodesh. And so believers are continually turned from walking in the flesh so that they can walk in the Spirit. This is the work of the Ruach Hakodesh and not a matter of pursuing the letter of the law (Ro 7:6). (See the section on Romans and the commentary).

Let me pause a moment and make an aside about the gift of prophecy (Ro 12:6) and discerning of spirits (1Co 12:10) and resisting Satan (Mt 4:3-4) with Scripture. Unfortunately there are some who fancy that they have a prophetic gift and they feel that it is their prophetic job to unmask all the phoney ministers who lack the superior gifts of prophecy that these would-be prophets possess! Such develop a spirit of pride, an arrogant judgmental spirit, and need ministry themselves. In the true gift of prophecy, this Scripture is all important: "Those whom I LOVE I reprove and chasten, so be zealous and repent" (Rev 3:19). Pentecostal prophets are not angry and self-righteous unmaskers of hypocritical believers but rather loving ministers who are trying to lovingly bring the straying and confused sheep back to the Shepherd Messiah.

Satan's target is the heart. Above all, guard your heart. When Satan titillates you with one of his dainties, make a deal with your eyes to look away. For his finger is on your heart and your heart is your life. Out of the heart flows the springs of life. Satan wants to so fill your heart that you will grieve the Holy Spirit, because G-d looks on the heart. G-d sees your heart as desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Therefore, every day we need to do what Isaiah 55 says, "Let the unrighteous man forsake his (heart's) thoughts." This is the business of putting away the old heart and getting the lev chadash (Ezekiel 36:26). This is the business of spiritual warfare. This is the business of spiritual gifts. This is where Satan's thoughts are drowned out by praying in the Holy Spirit hours on end and by memorizing and reciting Scripture in Spiritual Warfare against the devil. When kings go to war, make sure you are with them and not loitering back at the palace. Go to the Word and load up on ammo and go out on the street (even if you don't live in Tombstone Arizona) and face off with the devil and start giving out tracts. You overcome the devil by the word of your testimony.

And when Satan tries to distract you, knowing that without a vision the people perish, you must resist the devil and wait on the vision, even if it tarries. Whatever you do, do not be disobedient to the vision (Act 26:19)!  For example, G-d has given various ones of us a vision for Chassidic Borough Park and Chassidic Williamsburg and Chassidic Crown Heights in Brooklyn. I personally have had this vision since 1975. This vision concerns the final frontier of Jewish ministry and the vision itself is very, very threatening to the powers of darkness. So Satan has to be pushed back by setting our heart's desire on the Word of G-d vis-a-vis this frontier of ministry. So Satan has to be pushed back with, "Satan, I do not live by the leaven of the Pharisees so get behind me. (I live) by every Borough Park Yiddish Word that proceeds from the mouth of G-d!" For the man whose treasure is the inerrant Word of G-d is a man who brings good things out of his treasure chest. But if we allow Satan to bring down our minds onto carnal and impious and worldly things, then we will only have corrupt things to bring out of our treasure chest, for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The battle is in the heart. This is what is meant when it says to "keep your head in all circumstances." So confess with our mouth Moshiach Tzidkeinu (Jer 23:5-6) and believe in our heart that Moshiach Ben Dovid is the Shofet Kol HaAretz. This means that Moshiach is the most important person in the world to us at all times because Hashem raised him up and Moshiach is the REVACH (RELIEF/RECOVERY) and HATZALAH (DELIVERANCE, SALVATION) that has arisen from another place (Esther 4:14). Because Moshiach our Goel Redeemer is the treasure in our hearts, only edifying and saving and worthy words are coming forth from our mouth and from the treasure chest of our heart. For as a man thinks, so is he. However, Satan wants us to take our eyes off of the Redeemer who is leading us out of Sodom and out of Gomorrah. For our Goel Redeemer is leading us on the derech yashar to the Eternal City. But Satan wants to sift us like wheat to tempt us to look back like Lot's wife and be corrupted, be destroyed, be lost, perish, become a pillar of salt. Are you a "lingering Lot" (see Gen 19:16), your flesh being sifted while at the same time your nefesh is being tortured that you might be demonized by the enemy and jaded with guilt (2K 2:7-8)? Pray this deliverance prayer right now.

So the battle with the Devil is fought in the mind. We must love the L-rd with ALL OF OUR HEART! This is why we study the Bible in the original language. Suppose you were going to marry someone from Paris. Would you want to learn French to be able to read her letters? Or would you be content to have some go-between guess at her nuances and give you some rough approximation of her meaning? No you would want to know what every single word in every love letter meant! Well, suppose G-d wrote you love letters in Hebrew or Greek. Mulling over each Greek and Hebrew word day and night will keep your mind and your heart guarded so you can deal with the devil.

We must keep the helmet of salvation secure on our heads. Again, we must keep our head in all circumstances. Once in intercessory prayer, I discerned a spirit of intemperance, even a spirit of dissipation. I did not discern this spirit in my own life but in the life of another person. I had been warned by a person with a genuine prophetic gift about this, and also the Holy Spirit had warned me personally before all this happened. Then it came. An evil spirit. I had to resist this evil spirit. (Paul had to resist a spirit of pride.) It was very powerful. It was affecting other people, too, I could see. But we are not ignorant of Satan's plans and we use the gift of discerning of spirits.

Let me quickly illustrate the gift of discerning of spirits and the power of discerning the demon's name in deliverance ministry. Imagine if Al Capone had a prison-break plan. Imagine he and some other prison inmates were dressed up like prison guards and were heading toward the front gate to escape the prison. As soon as you call the deceiver by name, then the deceiver is unmasked and his plan is destroyed. If you cry out, "Al Capone!" then you have the victory. Once I discerned that the spirit of intemperance, even the spirit of dissipation was at work, once I knew that this is what I was dealing with (we do not wrestle against flesh and blood) and once the demonic deception and scheme was unmasked when the evil spirits were discerned and named, then I had the victory over the demonic deception that was trying to attack the ministry. By the grace of G-d I did not yield to these demonic tempters, and G-d sent loving Pentecostal prophets to me to help me with any "blind spots" I might have. I did not contaminate the Song-of-Songs-devoted-to-Moshiach heart, as Satan was trying to get me to do. By the grace of G-d, I kept my head in that circumstance. The evil spirit was heady, even intoxicating, but the Ruach Hakodesh helped me to remain sober and watchful. Satan is a liar and a thief and a robber. This is why we dare not make provision for the flesh, for to do so is to make provision for the devil. For Satan sifts the flesh like wheat because Satan is our enemy who wants to devour us. Satan must be resisted and locked out. Only a fool would leave his front door unlocked for the burglar. The L-rd helped me do the necessary spiritual warfare to not make place for the devil and not make provision for the flesh, for the flesh is that stubborn mule we are talking about. And part of repentance is taking your stand against the devil, using all the means of grace to resist the wiles of the devil.

Then, when the demonic ordeal had passed, the L-rd gave me prophetic words from Isaiah chapter 43, that He was doing a "new thing" and that I should not "dwell on" the ordeal because He had "blotted it out" and what G-d has blotted out we must not dwell on. If your teacher kept erasing something you wrote on the blackboard, would you keep writing it, even though he kept "blotting it out?" No! So if you did not yield to temptation, don't let the devil send you a fleshy prophet to "get it off" and condemn you anyway and put you under another spirit, namely the spirit of condemnation. Get alone with G-d and study the inerrant prophecy called the Bible and build yourself up on the most Holy Faith.

You say, "Wait a minute! I thought being born again meant there was a metamorphosis miracle of a new birth and that a person became a new creature and, as you say, the stubborn mule is gone--behold, the L-rd's docile carriage horse is here." Yes, but there are still remnants of the old rebellious nature resident in the believer this side of glorification. That is why the work of sanctification is a process that continues throughout a believer's life.

If I told you that a beautiful chalice was filled to the brim with smelly and vile slop and I focussed your attention only on pouring that putrid liquid out and cleaning the cup, you would not find this completely edifying. However, if I told you about a glorious replacement liquid that would be poured into that clean cup, this would be more edifying. We have talked about the negative aspect of repentance. Now notice the positive. Notice that when we repent we TURN AWAY from something smelly and putrid but we also TURN TOWARD something glorious. Notice that G-d has turned Rav Shaul away from his vile flesh and reoriented his new man, his regenerated inner man to a new mind. This new mind is radically and essentially oriented away from the old self to Moshiach. It is no longer I, the old me, who lives. It is Moshiach who lives in me. The self-emptying Moshiach helps us to empty the self as we see here.

But when a human being repents it means to stop going the same mule-driven stubborn direction, even if you have to beat your mule every day. A true believer will not continue down the same mule-stubborn path of sin (1Yn 3:9; 1Yn 5:18). He will pommel his "mule" (sin-prone nature, 1C 9:27), and not just at Rosh Hashanah, not just at Yom Kippur, not just on the morning of Erev Yom Kippur, because unless you repent you too will perish (Lk 13:3,5). You say, "How do I repent?" Well, you believe on Yeshua the Moshiach Ben Dovid and you take the Moshiach's Mikveh Mayim of teshuva, calling on Moshiach Adoneinu to bring you to Hashem through the power of the Ruach Hakodesh, even as you place all your faith in the korban kaparah of Moshiach's blood to justify you (Ro 5:9) and make you right with Hashem. Also you regularly go to Moshiach's Shul and seek the Seudas Moshiach, remembering that "some are sick and some have fallen asleep" because "some" did not discern the Moshiach Seh HaElohim in the stripes and piercings of the Matzah and consequently "some" did not change their minds about their sins. And because "some" did not discern the basar HaMoshiach Seh HaElohim in the Middle Matzah broken in their behalf, "some" did eat judgment on themselves and did taste of the ten makkot (plagues) of the Seder Cup that fell on Moshiach because "some" in their hard impenitent hearts willfully turned a blind eye away from Moshiach in the Seder.

Rav Shaul reminds us that each of us must stand individually before the Kisse HaMishpat (Judgment Seat of Moshiach). This is our incentive to repent. You need to look at 2Co 5:10. Look at it in Yiddish too. In 1Co 10:5 he reminds us that most running the Torah marathon from the Red Sea to the Jordan River did not please the L-rd and consequently they never made it alive out of the wilderness into the Promised Land. Then when he gets to 2Co chps 4-5 he tells us why he himself strives every day to live before the L-rd and to please the L-rd. The answer is that this body, this earthen vessel, this "tent" that is wasting away, will be replaced by a building from G-d, not made by human hands (the spiritual or resurrection body), and the inner man, who delights in the Torah of Hashem (Ro 7:22), the inner man who is regenerated and born again, this inner man is being renewed day by day and already has in his regenerated hand the first installment or down payment of that building from G-d and that pledge, that guarantee, that first installment is the Ruach Hakodesh. Now we must not displease the L-rd or grieve the Ruach Hakodesh because believers cannot take occupancy of their building from G-d when they are absent from the body and present with the L-rd until each individual believer has appeared before this awesome Throne (Hashem has given all judgment to Moshiach Ben Dovid) and until each has given account for what he or she has done in the body, whether good or bad. Therefore we must judge ourselves now and repent so we will not be judged then and lose rewards and commendation. We desire one thing and one thing only in this life: that in the next life Moshiach will say, "Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant." This is why we have a quiet time every day and get our face before the L-rd and think about that day in eternity when we will have to give account and we daily pray, "Lead us not into hard testing." And we daily pray that G-d would prepare us for that Day when we must individually personally appear before Him. So every day of our lives is a day for repentance.

It sometimes happens that a condemned felon on deathrow suddenly, perhaps on the day of his execution, becomes contrite and weeps with remorse for his sins. At such a time it is not unknown that a call from the Governor's mansion offers clemency or pardon. We must see ourselves as condemned felons, accused and indicted by our own wickedness. So we put on the condemned prisoner's prison garb and we put flowers on the grave of our old self. The lusts and vanities of the old sinful self we realize are now consigned to the prison graveyard. We see that old things have passed away. We pay a visit in the spirit to the cemetery of our old life. We look down and see our name inscribed on the tombstone. We read our name on the headstone and see that our old selfish life is over. We walk down the hall toward the execution chamber. NOW we die IN Him, in the sense that the old sinful self is booted off its throne and taken out to be strung up hanging on a tree. This is repentance. The carnal mind is the mind of a condemned person. It must be executed in Him. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Yoel HaNavi tells us that repentance means waking up from addictive stupors and mourning and grieving for one's sins, even changing into a fasting man's sober wardrobe, even crying out to G-d with weeping, yet not formally but from the heart. The calamity of the insect invaders in Yoel's prophecy is a portent and a warning to the non-repentant of the coming (Exile-bringing) army invaders and finally a warning of the most terrifying invasion of all, G-d Himself who will invade in the Parousia.

Adoneinu comes in the Betzi'at HaLechem and if we have received the grace of G-d in vain (i.e., without teshuva) and are eating and drinking judgment curses on ourselves we may find that the next step is the hospital or the morgue (see 1Co 11:27-30). Repent, lest He say He never knew us, never approved of us or accepted us (Mt 7:23)! If we judge ourselves (in teshuva) we will not be judged on that Day (1Co 11:31)! We should therefore also not get slack in the means of grace, especially in attendance at the House of G-d (MJ 10:25). Bring every glance of the eye, every circumstance of the day, every intent of the heart, even every thought captive to the acceptance of the Holy One, Moshiach Ben Dovid Adoneinu!

Here is an illustration. There is a girl in a drug rehabilitation ministry. We will call her Donna. Donna has gone through all the outward motions of completing the drug rehab program. In fact, she has graduated. But there is something wrong. When you look at her eyes you see that she is still not really "there" in the L-rd. She is still into her private world where the drugs once played such an important part and where the drugs are biding their time to re-enter the picture. She is in fact a picture of recidivism-in-the-making. The Corinthians were like that until G-d dealt with them. As we know from 2Co chp 7, Paul had to send the congregation at Corinth a tearful severe letter (Titus presumeably the letter carrier) that administered a sharp prophetic rebuke. This prophetic rebuke then functioned as a kind of spiritual heart defibulator and they were shocked back to their senses in the L-rd. They experienced grief at the realization of their sin in proudly and stupidly opposing Paul's leadership. They experienced concern about their relationship with G-d and how they may have hurt their standing in the L-rd in terms of His divine approval or lack thereof. They then were zealous to rectify the situation and make amends in their behavior and attitudes. But notice they required a severe prophetic rebuke, yes, with tears, but nevertheless a rebuke. Yet Paul does not look down on them in a superior way; he even shares his testimony of how the L-rd had to rebuke him, discipline him, correct him, since he was getting too elated and becoming in danger of getting conceited (see 2Co 12:7). You see, Donna's problem is that she is into herself. When you read 2 Cor chp 7 carefully you see that Titus and Paul are very definitely not into themselves. Every fiber of their being is focussed on the welfare of the Corinthian congregation. The relief and joy that Paul and Titus experience when Titus returns with news of the Corinthian repentance is absolutely palpable as anyone can see by studying this section. However, Donna, in her present condition, cannot rejoice with Paul and Titus about another brother or sister's victory over sin, because she is trapped down in the mine shaft of her own self-centered world. She is like a miner trapped in a rubble-filled mining tunnel. Outwardly, she is going through the motions of drug rehabilitation. But inwardly, she has not broken with the "false rescue" of drugs. There is no joy in her face with the rejoicing of other believers in their struggles and victories. She is "cut off" from them and only G-d can tunnel down and reach her. Repentance is a gift not to be taken for granted, not to be treated like the mailman, who comes not just today but tomorrow, for if you harden your heart, and say, "I'll be sorry tomorrow," the window of opportunity may not come tomorrow. See Ro 2:4 and 2 Ti 2:25. She needs to change seats with Moshiach, get off the throne and let Him have His rightful seat in her life. The old sinful self must be booted off its throne and taken out to be strung up hanging on a tree. This is repentance. We exchange seats with the King. He from the Tree gets the throne. The Sinful Self on the throne gets the Tree. The carnal mind is the mind of a condemned person. It must be executed in Him. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. The carnal mind is hostile toward G-d. (Ro 8:7). G-d is offended by this carnal mind and it arouses His Wrath. Was I returned to G-d from my estrangement only to be estranged again? G-d forbid! A repentant mind is not a carnal mind. A repentant mind is an earnest mind and not complacent, eager to no longer condone besetting sins, indignant with itself, fearful of G-d and His divine prophets in the Kehilah, longing for reinstatement to the love we had at first and our first works, zealous to do what is right, determined to get on the side of the right and to make a clear stand against the evil side. A repentant mind removes itself from the path of death. See 2Co 7:11.

Now imagine yourself as a vain body-builder who is handsome and muscular and enjoys the admiring glances of the girls on the beach. But there is one person you don't particularly like. His admirers call him the Lifeguard. You don't know exactly what it is about him you don't like, but you have some knowledge about him...you know that he saves lives but that irritates you and you don't know why. You know that many people find security just looking at this Lifeguard sitting there among the bathers in his high wooden white Lifeguard's chair where he can seemingly peer out at the whole world. And another thing that irritates you is that you hear people say that the whole world is on the brink of perishing in the waves. But whenever the girls speak admiringly about this Lifeguard, you find yourself hardening in your dislike of him. A few times you heard something about him that struck your conscience and then you found yourself speaking approvingly of him. But one day when you were swimming in the deep waves, you felt a terrible cramp in your stomach and you knew you were drowning. Suddenly you had a choice: it was either you swallow your pride or you swallow the water and drown. So as the water enters your nose and your windpipe, you have to decide: if you want to avoid perishing and if you want to avoid all the eternal horrors of the Deep, you have to turn from your prideful attitude of rejection of this Lifeguard. You have to change your mind about him. Repentance means changing your mind. And you have to change your mind about yourself. You have to give up all vain trust in your body-building or your own ability to be your own savior and instead you have to do the only thing that will save your life. You have to cry out to the Lifeguard to save you, you have to trust the Savior to save you, you have to open your arms to him and take him as your Savior, receive him as your Goel Redeemer Savior, no matter who is looking or who laughs at you or who stops admiring you. And as your Lifeguard and your Savior you have to rely on him and him alone--not yourself or anyone else. You have to TURN FROM sin (vanity, pride, making an idol of your own ability to save yourself, rebellion, deceitful vainglory) and you have to TURN TO the Savior. We are talking about a total spiritual turn-around salvation teshuvah, NOT A COUNTERFEIT RELIGIOUS TESHUVAH. Cry out to him now. What are your options?--you are perishing in the Deep!

What is your desire? Choose life! Remember, repentance is not a natural bent of our rebellious nature, so when the Ruach Hakodesh convicts and woos us, we should not delay but seek the L-rd while He can be found. You are reading these words at this moment and this opportunity may never come again.

There was once a dissolute young man living in California. In fact his parents had to go through great suffering to drag this man to the house of G-d. The father became mentally ill. The mother had to sell the family home and take the family to California. It was only because of these grave family tragedies that the young man consented to be taken to the House of G-d where the tears of repentance began to involuntarily flow from his eyes. Now here is the question. Is repentance the kind of thing you can put off so easily? Is it something you can just turn on and off as easily as the radio? For example, if this dissolute young man decides to return to his old dissolute life in his later years, will he be able to turn his repentance back on like someone turns the radio back on? When the young man becomes an old man, can his father get sick again? Can his mother sell the family home again and move to California again? Can he find that House of G-d again? Can he find that place of teshuva again? If he returns like a dog to its vomit, is it so easy to find that place of teshuva (repentance) again. Later Esau found no place of repentance (MJ 12:17).

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Which six words are you going to believe? Six words from the Tanakh or six words from the Talmud? Blatant disregard for the inerrant Tanakh
will cost the soul of the one making deathbed viddui
(confession of sin) of these words from the Talmud,

"May my death make kaparah for all my sins." rather than "T’hei mot haMoshiach kaparah al kol avonotai" "May the death of Moshiach make kaparah for all my sins."
If the following six words from the Talmud
תְּהֵא מִיתָתִי כַּפָּרָה עַל כָּל עֲוֹנוֹתָי. [סנהדרין פרק ו,ב]
are erroneously preferred to these six words from the Tanakh it will be to the eternal lose of the nefesh
כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי
Let's repeat this so that there can be no confusion or question. There are two confessions here. Each contains six little words. One Jewish confession is the holy inspired Word of G-d and one confession is not the inspired Word of G-d. Confession of the Talmud instead of the Tanakh will cost one his immortal soul. Here are the words from the Talmud:
"May my death make kaparah for all my sins." Here are the Words from the inerrant Tanakh: "Kee neegzar may-eretz chayyim mee-pay-sha amee." So from these inerrant words we confess "T’hei mot haMoshiach kaparah al kol avonotai," which translates into English: "May the death of Moshiach make kaparah for all my sins."

Now if
תְּהֵא מִיתָתִי כַּפָּרָה עַל כָּל עֲוֹנוֹתָי. [סנהדרין פרק ו,ב]
is erroneously preferred to these following six Hebrew words from the Tanakh, then that fatal choice will result in the eternal lose of the nefesh:
כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי






So we primordially and perennially,
with disastrous consequences for ourselves,
forsake the words of G-d and receive the contradictory words of HaSatan.

By the time we get to 2 Corinthians chp 11 we see that Satan wants to corrupt and ruin by means of Bible-opposing "knowledge," the so-called "deeper things of Satan." Instead of staying with the Word that was preached, the temptation of the Corinthians was to "go beyond what was written" and to be seduced by extra-Biblical knowledge (see Gen 3:5). Notice that Eve's "Bible" only has seven words in it.
The seven words in her "Bible" warn that death will be the result of her moral autonomy, of her getting her "knowledge" of good and evil, in other words, from a certain lethal tree rather than from the "Bible" her husband has been given wherein the meager content of seven words ("oo-meh-ETZ ha-DAH-aht tov va-rah loh toh-KHOHL mee-mehn-NOO" ...of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat from it) will nevertheless tell her how to live and not die. But in the hands of the evil Serpent this "Bible" can be twisted and used to deceive her so that she hands herself over to a rival authority, a Bible-opposing authority, with fatal results. Anything that rivals and opposes G-d is an idol, and in the Book of Revelation we see that the believers will give up their lives as martyrs rather than compromise with the idolatrous religion and way of life of the pagan society of the last days. It is fair to say that one cannot be a believer unless one repents from all idolatry. Whoever tries to keep his idolatrous life will lose it.

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