“Father forgive them…”—The Transformative Power of Forgiveness

Luke 23:34, Father, forgive them. Yeshua said this for his and our benefit, and not because it made any difference in the lives of those who crucified him. It was for his benefit, so that the sin of bitterness and unforgiveness wouldn’t take root in him. It is for our benefit, so that we’d have his example to follow when dealing with our enemies.

There is a deep and transformative truth in the power of forgiveness. When we forgive our offender (it doesn’t matter whether they know about it or not), it prepares the way for the relationship to be restored. The miracle and beauty of the forgiveness process is that now we get to help those who have  sinned against us in the healing of their own sin.

Like so many of Elohim’s truths and Yeshua’s practices, this is counter intuitive to the natural way man thinks.

When sinned against, man’s knee-jerk response is to hold on proudly to bitterness and offense in hopes the other person will recognize their error and humbly repent of their sin to us, the offended party. This is delusional thinking on the part of the one sinned against, since it seldom works this way. Because of human pride, both the sinner and the one sinned against—if each follows their own natural and self-defensive inclination—will usually dig in and fortifies the position of  their own self-rightness. The sinner is certain he is justified in his actions against the one he sinned against, while the offended party feels it is his right to walk in offense until the sinner admits his sin and repents. As such, each party remains frozen and polarized in his position and the break in the relationship is never resolved. Division and strife becomes the etched-in-stone norm.

This is all based on human pride, which heads the list of the seven deadly sins that YHVH hates the most and views as an abomination (Prov 6:16–19). The devil who is our adversary, is the accuser of the brethren, and the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy loves this.

It is not until one of the parties chooses to follow the instructions and example of Yeshua to become a blessed peacemaker and humbles himself that the healing process can occur.

On the cross, Yeshua initiated this process of relationship restoration in preparation for his role in heaven as our Great High Priest to act on our behalf  before his Father to reconcile sinful man through himself to Elohim.


How well does the guy up front really know his Bible?

Just because someone plops himself into a church pulpit, takes some ecclesiastical title and puts on a religious costume doesn’t mean they knows the Bible very well!

Just because a person stands in a pulpit, leads a church, has a ministry, is on television, or has a website or a YouTube channel doesn’t mean they know the Bible very well. There are many people who have a deeper and broader knowledge of the word of Elohim who no one has ever heard of. Maybe you’re such a person!

Luke 13:15, Hypocrite. Yeshua was able to defend his actions and contradict the leader of the synagogue because he knew the Torah better that religious leader.

This teaches us two things. First, just because one is a church leader doesn’t mean they know the Torah or the rest of the word of Elohim very well. Paul taught the “whole counsel of Elohim,” including the Torah. How many Bible teachers do that in our day? In fact, the New Testament as we know it didn’t even exist in Paul’s day; all they had was the Old Testament from which to teach. Many of today’s Bible teachers know religious tradition and doctrines of men better than the actual word of Elohim. Or if they know the Bible, they know only parts of it (like the New Testament), and know very little or anything about the Old Testament or Tanakh and the Torah.

Second, as a minister of the word of Elohim, one will need to defend it against those who are false teachers and who teach the doctrines of men that make of non-effect the Word of Elohim. To be able to do this, the Bible teacher must study and know YHVH’s word intimately down to the most minute details and better so than one’s opponents. On this score, Yeshua was preeminent, and was able to leave his accusers speechless and without rebuttals. As his disciples, we must endeavor to imitate his example.


Heaven’s Curtain Pulled Back

Luke 13:12, Woman…spirit of infirmity. Sometimes Yeshua healed people who neither asked for it, nor evidenced faith to be healed simply that the glory of YHVH might be manifested.

From time to time, we hear of miraculous healings and divine interventions that saved people’s lives occurring for no apparent reason.

It seems that occasionally YHVH likes to stir the spiritual pot of human affairs just to draw men’s attention to him. He pulls back the curtain between heaven and earth a bit to reveal himself to humans. This not only brings glory to his name, but serves to raise men’s hopes a bit by pointing them to the fact that there is an Elohim who is sovereignly and who is orchestrating things behind the scenes and who cares about humans.


The Lake of Fire—A Spiritual Garbage Dump for Unrepentant Sinners

Luke 12:5, Killed…cast into hell [Gehenna]. There are two deaths: a physical and a spiritual death. All humans will die a physical death (Heb 9:27), but not everyone will die a second or spiritual death. This death is reserved for the unregenerate wicked and is called the lake of fire (Rev 20:12–15).

The Hinnom Valley (Gr. Gehenna) on the west side of Jerusalem was a Hebrew metaphor for the fate of the wicked. The Jews used this valley as a refuse dump, and it was there that the bodies of dead animals and criminals were burned.

Literally, at the white throne judgment after having judged the unregenerate wicked, YHVH will cast them into his spiritual garbage dump to be burned up (Rev 20:11–15).

If you’re reading this and you haven’t repented of your sins and accepted Yeshua the Messiah’s (Jesus Christ’s) free gift of salvation, now is the time to do it. After having done this, or you want to know how to do this, we invite you to read https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/choose.pdf and then https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/r-u-savd.pdf. 


Speaking in Tongues Vs. a Demonic Spirit

Luke 11:13, Good gifts…. Some people are concerned that when they received the baptism of the Spirit of Elohim (Set-Apart Spirit or Ruach haKadosh) in a their church, they may have received an evil counterfeit spirit instead. I asked myself this same question some 20 years ago when I first learned about the demonic Hindu kundalini spirit. YHVH was gracious enough to give me the answer to the question at that time, and I have been going strong and operating in the gifts of his Spirit ever since without fear.

Remember this. Satan has counterfeited nearly everything that is biblical in his demonic false religions including the gifts of the Set-Apart Spirit. Because of this, some people have walked away from the gifts of the Spirit and have taken what’s called a cessationist viewpoint in that they believe the gifts of the Spirit are no longer for us today. This is a reactionary view that is not supported scripturally. It’s a spiritual cop-out. I used to believe this until I got so hungry for more of Yeshua and so sick of dead religion that as I was crying out for him one night while worshipping and praising Yeshua, he baptized me in his Ruach about three decades ago. I was in my living room when this glorious experience happened and had never been in a Spirit-filled (Pentecostal or Charismatic) church in my lift up to that point.

Yeshua told us to judge with righteous judgment to determine if something is good or bad (John 7:24). How do we do this? By examining the fruits of something (Matt 7:15–20). Do they line up with the Word of Elohim? When operating in the gifts of the Spirit including the gift of speaking in tongues, what are the fruits? Are they the fruit of the Spirit as outlined in Gal 5:22–25 and not the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19–21)? Does it bring you closer to Yeshua? Does it result in praise, worship and the glorification of Elohim? Does it edify and build us up in our spirit man? Does it promote holiness and righteousness? If yes, then this it is a good thing. If not, then it’s from another source. Satan isn’t going to give us anything that expands the kingdom of Elohim at his expense and promotes our spiritual well-being before YHVH.

Twenty years ago YHVH told me that if I loved Yeshua by walking faithfully in his Torah commandments that this would keep me on the straight and narrow path and that I wouldn’t be deceived or led into some spiritual counterfeit. You see, Torah is both a fence and a guardrail. It’s a fence that protects us by keeping the spiritual predators out, but it’s also a guardrail that keep us on the road of life and prevents us from going off the edge and over the cliff spiritually.

I suspect that some in the church world have picked up a kundalini spirit not because they were seeking Yeshua with all their hearts, but because they were seeking an experience. This is idolatry. When we seek anything other than Yeshua, especially supernatural experiences, we’ll get it, for sure, but it won’t be from the Ruach! When, on the other hand, we’re seeking Yeshua with all our heart to love and serve him as it says in Luke 11:9-13, he won’t give us a serpent or a stone (i.e. demonic counterfeit), but will give us good gifts. You can trust YHVH on this!!!!


Being Focused Isn’t Being Rude

Luke 10:4, Greet no one. The orientals of Yeshua’s day would engage in salutations that to us would seem complicated, tedious and time-consuming. Such greetings would involve the asking of many questions about one’s personal life, family and business. This is why Yeshua instructed his disciples whom he had sent out to preach the gospel to greet no one along the way. For them to involve themselves in such lengthy customs would have sidetracked them from the all important mission (Manners and Customs, p. 274). Yeshua isn’t prohibiting here a simple common courtesy of a quick verbal greeting as one is passing by another.


Do you desire to be a spiritual leader? READ THIS!

Luke 6:40, Perfectly/fully trained. Those disciples of Yeshua, the Master-Teacher, who are properly trained, fit out, prepared or equipped can become like Yeshua the Master-Teacher. Those who aren’t properly equipped or trained to teach are like the blind leading the blind and will cause others to fall into a spiritual ditch (Luke 6:39).

The person who isn’t properly trained, but who is trying to lead people spiritually, not only will be like a blind man leading the blind, but will also be hypocritical in their judgments and assessments of things. This is because they lack the experience, wisdom and skills to be able to point out the faults of others because they are still inexperienced and have too many blind spots themselves and are still like the blind leading the blind (Luke 6:41–42).

This is why Paul very carefully lays out the qualifications for those in spiritual leadership in the local congregation. A spiritual leader was not to be an inexperienced individual, a new convert or a novice (1 Tim 3:6), but well-discipled in YHVH’s truth before hand (Tit 1:9).

Paul goes on to say that it is good thing for a person to desire to be a spiritual leader (1 Tim 3:1), but it isn’t a good thing if they doesn’t meet the criteria or qualifications, which Paul then lays out (1 Tim 3:2–13).

The problem is that in our day, there are many individuals who desire to be leaders and teachers, but who are self-appointed, and who have not been perfectly or fully trained. Since the advent of the internet, such people now have an easily accessible pulpit-platform from which egotistically to influence others. Sadly, they are like the blind hypocrite in Yeshua’s parable leading many astray and causing many to stumble and to fall into spiritual ditches of false doctrines and errant teachings.

Just because someone has a website, a YouTube channel, has published a book, spoken at a conference, has academic credentials or been on radio and television doesn’t mean they have been perfectly equipped or fully trained for the position of a Bible teacher or a leader in the spiritual body of Yeshua.

We may not always know what a person’s background or qualifications are, but the spiritual fruit they produce, whether good or bad, can be an excellent indicator as to what type of spiritual tree they are, as Yeshua goes on to say in the next verses (Luke 6:43–45).

Those who sense a divine calling on their lives to teach or to lead YHVH’s people need to be first discipled and raised up by older and mature, wise spiritual leaders who have a proven track record of good spiritual fruit. This is the biblical way!