What to do when your brother sins against you…

Matthew 18:15, When your brother sins. Yeshua says that when your brother sins against you, you‘re to follow certain protocols to correct him in effort to restore him to spiritual relationship. Many people read this verse to mean that when your brother offends you or hurts your feelings, you’re to go to him. This is not what Yeshua is saying here. He says, if your brother sins against you. By biblical definition, sin is the violation of the law or Torah of Elohim (1 John 3:4). Therefore, if your brother lies to you, steals from you, or sexually violates your wife, you are to go to him, and possibly the church leaders — not if your brother offends you (hurts your feelings) in word or in deed. In this case, Yeshua instructs us elsewhere that we’re to turn the other cheek, pray for our enemies, bless and not curse, and do good to them.

Below is a further discussion on this topic. (Written by Sandi Lawrence)

Have you heard someone say that they are claiming their Matthew 18 rights because they have been offended by this or that person? It’s actually quite common and is often what is taught as how to handle offenses between brothers.

What are our Matthew 18 rights that we keep wanting to invoke? Let’s look at this section that keeps getting called out…

Matthew 18:15-17 (NASB) says…

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

What does it address? Does this address if you are offended? Or does it address what to do if your brother is sinning; that is, he is going against Torah? Let’s not forget that the Bible defines sin as the violation of the Torah (1 John 3:4).

There is a common misappropriation of this instruction that every time we perceive that our brother (or sister) has offended us that we are to go and confront our brother about it. As an extreme (my opinion) but a real-life example, in our own congregation a couple Continue reading


Where Are YOU?

Genesis 3:9–13, Where are you? Elohim asks Adam and Eve direct and specific questions, but instead of taking personal responsibility and answering the questions, they defend themselves, make excuses, justify themselves, blame shift, and accuse others including blaming Elohim. When confronted with their sin, humans have been doing this ever since — defending self and ego at all expenses. This is the result of the taint of sin and this behavior has been passed on from one generation to the next. The Spirit-led person must counter this proclivity of the soul to justify, excuse and obfuscate one’s sin.

Furthermore, when YHVH asked the first humans where they were after they had sinned, he wasn’t asking them where they were physically. Being obniscient, he knew this already. Instead, he was asking them them, “Where are you spiritually in your relationship with me in regards to obedience to the instructions in righteousness I gave you to obey?” This is the same questions the Creator is still asking men to this day.


Modern Golden Calf Worship Among YHVH’s People

Let’s look at a series of events that occurred as the children of Israel were leaving Egypt, which have major relevance to what is occurring in mainstream Christianity in our day. If we fail to learn the lessons of history, we’ll likely repeat the mistakes of history. It has to do with golden calf worship.

Golden Calf 6 21409020

YHVH redeemed the children of Israel out of Egypt and set the slaves free. He blessed them not only by giving them their freedom, but by giving them the wealth (gold and silver) of Egypt as well. We read that the Israelites exited of Egypt with a high hand. They were victorious, free and wealthy.

YHVH led them into the wilderness en route to the Promised Land — normally an eleven day journey. They had some difficulties: Pharaoh tried to kill them at the Red Sea, they lacked clean drinking water, and they had food issues, but YHVH provided them deliverance from Pharaoh, gave them clean water, manna and meat, and they overcame these trials.

Next, YHVH led the Israelites to the foot of Mount Sinai, and on Shavuot he made a covenantal agreement with them and gave them his Torah as their national constitution. They agreed to obey him and to keep his commandments. He promised to bless them if they remained faithful to him.

Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah-covenant on two tablets of stone. While he was gone for 40 days, the people grew worried and anxious and become weary of waiting for Moses to return.  This was a test they had to pass of their faithfulness. Would Continue reading


Emboldened to Sin Leads to Fiery Judgments

Deuteronomy 29:16–19, Emboldened to sin. As we pass through the spiritual wilderness of the world around us (verse 16) on our way to the Promised Land, how easy is it to justify our personal rebellion, our sinful habits, our lustful and materialistic thoughts on the basis of such rationalizations as, “Everyone around me is doing it,” or, “It feels like it’s okay to do,” or, “If it feels good, do it,” or “YHVH’s laws don’t apply to me … that was for the people back then, not for us today,” or, “That’s not what the church I belong to teaches,” or, “Surely YHVH doesn’t expect us to keep his commandments … they’re too hard to do … we can’t really do all that stuff today,” or, “We’re under grace today … that stuff has been done away … Jesus fulfilled it … nailed it to the cross,” etc. Do these statements square with YHVH’s words of truth? Do what you believe and practice square with his Word? Is YHVH looking for our excuses or our obedience? What did Yeshua say would be an identifying mark of those who would love him? (Read John 14:15.)

Sulfur balls Natan picked up in his trip to Israel near the area of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sulfur balls Natan picked up in his trip to Israel near the area of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.

When one is emboldened to sin, the judgments of YHVH will fall if not immediately, then in the future. One way or another, it will happen. Eventually all unrepentant rebels will burn in the lake of fire. It’s the law of cause and effect, and our eternal fate all depends on the choices we make in this life here and now vis-a-vis Elohim and his commandments.

The modern-day area around the Dead Sea where Sodom and Gomorrah is once believed to have been located is stark testimony to YHVH’s warnings to those who continue in their sins, refuse to repent and fail to submit to YHVH’s Torah laws.

Deuteronomy 29:23, Whole land is brimstone. The area just west of the Dead Sea where ancient Sodom and Gomorrah likely were is to this day a barren wasteland of gypsum containing little or no vegetation, and, in places, is covered in sulfur balls (brimstone) that one can still pick up. This region is an enduring testimony to the severity of YHVH’s judgments against men’s sin, which speaking loudly to us even now in harsh and warning tones.

The area around what many believe to the location of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.

The area around what many believe to the location of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.


Yeshua was much more than a carpenter!

Hebrews 3:3, He who built the house. Yeshua is the builder of his spiritual house — the church. Interestingly, his earthly father trained him to be a carpenter. Often the physical or natural and spiritual dimensions parallel each other. The idea of Yeshua being the Creator  of all things including humanity (Heb 1:10; John 1:3, 10) and being the builder of his spiritual house provides us with an important truth.


How is it that the death of Yeshua — one human — could pay for the sins of the whole earth — many humans? Simply this. Yeshua in his pre-incarnate state as the Word of Elohim created all humans. His life is more valuable than the lives of all those he created, since he is the Creator, even as life of the builder of a house has more value than all the houses he builds.

This is why Yeshua could pay for the sins of the whole world, and why his life was more valuable than those of all the humans that have ever lived in the history of the world.


Mount Ebal: More Prophetic Shadow Pictures of Yeshua

Deuteronomy 27:2, 4, 8, Set up great stones. On Mount Ebal on whole, un-cut stones, the Israelites were to write the Torah-law and then coat these stones with lime plaster. Elohim also told them to build an altar there where they were to make burnt and peace offerings.

Cross, hanging on 16957854

Why was the Torah written on stones on Mount Ebal—the mountain of the curses? Why not on Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessing? Certainly this cannot mean that the Torah is a curse, for Paul calls it kadosh (holy), just and good in Romans 7:12.

What could the stones represent? Who is the Chief Cornerstone, the Stone the builders rejected (Ps 118:22; Matt 21:42; Acts 4:11; Eph 2:20), and the stone cut without hands (Dan 2:34)?

What was the purpose of these offerings and to whom do the burnt and peace offerings point?

Could lime plaster represent robes of righteousness? Who is clothed in robes of righteousness once their sins have been atoned for? (Read Rev 19:7–8 cp. 3:5,18; Isa 61:10.)

Who was wounded for our ­transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, had laid on him the iniquities of us all, and was made an offering for sin (Isa 53:5, 6, 10)?

Who was the Living Torah, the Word of Elohim made flesh (John 1:1,14)?

Who redeemed us from the curses of the law (Gal 3:13), which came upon us as a result of our sinning (sin is the violation of YHVH’s law, 1 John 3:4), and thus bringing a death penalty upon us (the wages of sin is death, Rom 6:23)?

Does it now make sense why the Torah and the altar were placed on Mount Ebal? This is another one of the many prophetic shadow pictures in the Torah pointing to the redemptive work of Yeshua at the cross. Does this strengthen your faith that Yeshua is indeed the Messiah, the Lamb of Elohim slain from the foundation of the earth? Who else could have fulfilled these prophecies?


Repentance—The Law of Return & Key to Spiritual Breakthrough

Now Is the Time to Repent of Sin

There is no better time to focus on repentence than during the biblical month of Elul, which occurs just prior to the fall biblical festivals. During this month, our focus is to be on repentance, restoration and preparation for the coming of the Messiah, which the fall feasts prophetically picture.

Yeshua wiped out the shame and penalty of sin by his death on the cross NOT the Torah!

Hebrew Word Definitions

There are two biblical Hebrew words that together present the complete picture of what true repentence is. The first word is nacham meaning “to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted.” According to The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (TWOT), The origin of the root of this word seems to reflect the idea of “breathing deeply,” hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually sorrow, compassion, or comfort. The root occurs in the Ugaritic … and is found in OT proper names such as Nehemiah, Nahum and Menehem. The Greek lxx renders nacham by both metanoeo and metamelomai. The Greek word metanoeo means “to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent or to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.” Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies says this of nacham:

In regard to others, to pity,  to have compassion … in regard to one’s own doing, to lament, to grieve; hence to repent; in English, to rue; often of one who repents, grieves, for the evil he has  brought upon another.” The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance says of nacham: to breathe strongly, by implication, to be sorry … to repent means to make a strong turning to a new course of action. The emphasis is on turning from a less desirable course. Comfort is derived from ‘com’ (with) and ‘fort’ (strength). Hence, when one repents, he exerts strength to change, to re-grasp the situation, and exert effort for the situation to make a different course of purpose and action.  The stress is not upon new information or new facts which cause the change as it is upon the visible action taken.

The second Hebrew word is shuv (from which the Hebrew word teshuvah derives, which Continue reading