03/23/2013 Sabbath Meeting Transcript


"Exposing the Elitist, Sectarian Spirit"


EliYah's message:

We are going to deviate a little bit, at least this week, from our normal "Precepts and Principles in the Torah," although I would say this is completely related to Passover, and we are going to see why here as we go along through the study.

Other than Passover, I am not really pulling a specific scripture out of Torah as far as "Old Testament" Torah is concerned. I do believe that what is called the New Testament, the verses contained within the New Testament are every bit as Torah (or as Law) and binding upon us as believers as anything written in what is called the Old Testament.

Now, I do not like using those terms too much, but for clarity sake, I will use them.

But anything that Yahweh says-- I don't care if He says it once or twice or fifty times-- if the Word, the Scriptures we hold in our hands and read from, if that is inspired by Elohim, then when a directive is given in that Word-- I don't care if it is written in Corinthians or Matthew or Isaiah or the Psalms-- you see a principle there or the Torah..

Wherever it is written, we want to heed, we want to listen, we want to subject ourselves to, because it is the way, the truth, and the life. It is the WAY-- the WAY-- that leads to eternal life.

Now, if you are new to this understanding regarding the Hebrew roots, I want to give you a warning ahead of time. And if you are already involved in what is called the "Hebrew Roots Movement," then I would also want to offer a word of admonition. And if you have been in this a long time, you already know what you have seen already.

And that is, sometimes among certain people you see, or you will see, division, strife, debate, arguing, men who are politically motivated, men who are seeking a following, men who are wanting to draw away disciples after themselves.

You see an elitist spirit, a sectarian spirit, where "we are the ones" kind of a spirit and everyone else is down below somewhere, down the chain.

And so, what I want to do today, as your brother, as you equal (we are all brethren-- Messiah is our example), what I want to do today is I want to share with you a study: "Exposing the Elitist, Sectarian Spirit."

I want to expose it where it exists so that you might be aware of where it is, where it is operating, and what you can do about it.

Anytime there are people who come to a new understanding on anything, there is a tendency among those who come across the new information-- the new truth, that maybe some other people do not accept-- there is a tendency here to say, "Well, look what I have and look what everybody else doesn't have that I have. I have the toy that nobody else has."

It is really childish-- "I have this toy and nobody else has it. And this is mine. And I am better than the next person." It is a "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

And there are some people, when they get this truth they are like, "Well, that really makes me special. That makes me above everybody else. And so, who will be the greatest? I guess I will be one of those who will be among the greatest."

And the "Who is the greatest?" mentality infiltrates the churches, the synagogues, the home fellowship groups, the Feasts and the gatherings-- a "Who is the greatest?" mentality.

The disciples argued over who would be the greatest. Yahushua said, "Oh, it is the one who knows the most"? No, He said the one who serves, who puts himself underneath others-- not exalts himself above others. And so, this kind of thing we have to be aware of, especially as Passover nears.

And as Passover gets closer to our doors, we have to be aware of any hint of this within us, also, because what happens sometimes is there are people who, once they grab a little bit of truth, they have a tendency to hold this little T-bone and think they have the whole cow.

This happened in church history. There were Adventists, there were Jehovah Witnesses, there were different groups who found a little bit of something. Jehovah Witnesses found, okay, Christmas is not right. The Adventists found out, "Oh, the Sabbath. We need to keep the Sabbath."

And they have that little bit of truth, and they are like, "Okay, we have arrived. Here we are. Come to us. We know the truth. We have it." And there is the same spirit that can operate even in the home fellowship group where there is no denomination at all. The same thing can happen.

And there are some people, when they are seeking truth, they are being led by this sectarian elitist spirit-- "Oh, that is different. That is a different take on that scripture. Well, it must be correct. In fact, if it were correct, that would make me look even more above others. I will be even more set-apart than the next guy."

Do you catch my drift? This is what I have seen a lot of in twenty-three years of walking this. I am not saying my years are necessarily making me above you. It is just saying I have experienced a lot of this.

And I was, in the early infancy of my walk, I was influenced by others and by just that spirit overall-- and feeling like I was better than the nominal Christian going to church every Sunday and I was superior to them, which, as I learned more, I found it is not necessarily the case. We are all brethren.

Not all of them in churches are brethren. Some of them might be, might be sincere, walking according to the understanding they have. But when you share with them, they would receive it gladly, in Yahweh's timing, because they love truth. There are brothers there.

And there are brothers here among us, also, who understand Sabbath, who understand the blessing of the Hebrew roots. And there are unbelievers out there in the churches, in the church world.

I do not mean to say like I am above them at all, but there are also unbelievers among us operating in the same sectarian mentality that some of the churches are doing.

I do not like to paint anything with a broad brush, so, please, hear me out on this.

Look at what Paul was saying to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, verse 17. He says:

 1Corinthians 11:17 - Now in giving these instructions I do not praise [you], since you come together not for the better but for the worse.

18 - For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.

What about that! He heard "there are divisions." Even in the first century congregations, there were divisions. And he gave the very next verse the reason why there are divisions. He says:

 1Corinthians 11:19 - For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

This is interesting. There will be factions. There will be divisions. There is a reason for it. There is a good reason for it. Now, it does not mean Yahweh wants that, but it is going to be there.

Now, this word translated "factions" is a very fascinating word. It is a very, very fascinating word, and we are going to dig into this word a little bit because it is in ancient church history all over the place.

But let us look at the word. Thayer's Greek Lexicon: 139 hairesis {hah'-ee-res-is}. I don't even know how to say it, but-- har'-ee-sis... hah-ee'-res-is... Okay, "hah'-ee-res-is." I am looking at the accent on the "hah" here at the top. I don't even know how they would say that in their language, but somehow they managed to say that word.

But "hairesis"-- I am going to say "heretic," because that is where the word comes from. The word "heretic" comes from this word here.

Meaning: 1) act of taking, capture: e.g. storming a city 2) choosing, choice 3) that which is chosen 4) a body of men following their own tenets (sect or party) 4a) of the Sadducees 4b) of the Pharisees 4c) of the Christians 5) dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims.

Origins: from 138; TDNT - 1:180, 27; n f Usage: AV - sect 5, heresy 4; 9.

And the word is translated "sect" five times, "heresy" four times. It is interesting. The same word translated "sect," in the King James, is translated "heresy." The exact same word.

Now, notice that it is rooted here in word #138, and this is a simple meaning. Thayer's Greek Lexicon: 138 haireomai {hahee-reh'-om- ahee} It means: 1) to take for oneself, to prefer, choose 2) to choose by vote, elect to office. Origin: probably akin to 142; TDNT - 1:180, 27; v Usage: AV - choose 3; 3.

In some cases, it means "to choose by vote," "to elect to office." But "to take for oneself"-- now, what is this, because there must be those taking for oneself? What does that have to do with?

It has to do with catching or, as you dig into this, it can be in a good sense; it can be in a bad sense. But it can be in a good sense, and that is important for us to understand. It doesn't have to be necessarily bad.

But we have here an example of where it is used in a good sense. It says:

He is deciding whether he wants to live or die.

But the word translated "choose" is the same word translated "heresy" (or at least the same word family), "heresy," "sect." It has to do with making a choice. Kind of interesting. I just thought, "What is this?" as I am digging into this.

Here we see it in Hebrews 11:24:

 Hebrews 11:24 - By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,

25 - choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of Elohim than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

"Choosing"-- the same word family.

 Hebrews 11:26 - esteeming the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

Very interesting. It has everything to do with choosing. This is a very interesting word family to me. But it has to do with denominationalism, with sectarianism, with an elitist kind of spirit behind it.

In fact, in Acts 5:17, it says:

 Acts 5:17 - Then the high priest rose up, and all those who [were] with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation,

This word translated "sect" is the same word.

 Acts 5:18 - and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.

Oh, boy. Sectarianism has been the root of all kinds of murderous behavior-- both spiritually murder and physically murder.

Acts 15:5-- here we have an example:

 Acts 15:5 - But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses."

Here we are: Sectarianism infiltrating the early believers.

 Acts 15:6 - Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.

So, the whole ruling in Acts 15 is from sectarianistic motivations here. I know I am making up my own words here-- "elitism," "sectarianism." I do not know how else to describe it, but here we go... (Actually, a local brother came up with, I think, "elitist," but I agree with him.)

 Acts 24:1 - Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator [named] Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.

2 - And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying: "Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight,

They hired a guy to be an orator for the high priest.

 Acts 24:3 - "we accept [it] always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.

4 - "Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.

They are bringing accusations here against Paul. And he says:

 Acts 24:5 - "For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

"The sect." So, they are saying that the early believers were themselves a "sect," a "denomination"-- a "heresy." And I find that interesting they called them "the Nazarenes."

Well, Paul's response, if you keep reading... it says:

 Acts 24:10 - Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: "Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself,

He did not flatter him.

 Acts 24:11 - "because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship.

12 - "And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city.

13 - "Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me.

 Acts 24:14 - "But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.

According to the Way, which "they" call (not him) a sect. So, Paul is saying, "Well, they called me the sect of the Nazarenes. They call me a Nazarene."

But who were the Nazarenes? Here is what the church fathers say the Nazarenes are. According to Epiphanius (I don't know how to say his name), it says: "They use not only the 'New Testament,' but the 'Old Testament' as well, as the Jews do..." (Epiphanius; Panarion 29).

And this is the fourth or fifth century, but it says: "These sectarians... (here we are-- sectarians)... did not call themselves Christians-- but 'Nazarenes,'..." (Epiphanius; Panarion 29).

Well, who are the Nazarenes? According to Jerome, it says: "The Nazarenes... accept Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old Law." (Jerome; On. Is. 8:14).

And this is what Paul was being accused of being a ringleader of. That kind of fits the bill, doesn't it? And so, that is who the Nazarenes were historically-- people who believed in Messiah, yet they did not depart from observing Yahweh's Law.

But notice what he says. He says: which they call a "sect." He does not like the term "sect." He never called himself a Nazarene in the Bible. Never does anyone call themselves a Nazarene, except for the fact that Yahushua happened to be from Nazareth and He lives in us.

And maybe if you want to call yourself a Nazarene, that is up to you. I don't feel the need to.

But he says "according to the Way, which they call a sect." The Way. And you find this, and Saul (Paul) says-- this is before he was converted to become a believer-- it says:

 Acts 9:1 - Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Master, went to the high priest

2 - and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

The Way. They called themselves "those who were of the Way." Well, what is the word "way"? What is this?

The Greek Lexicon for "Way": 3598 hodos {hod-os'} It means: 1) properly 1a) a way 1a1) a travelled way, road 1b) a travellers way, journey, travelling 2) metaph. 2a) a course of conduct 2b) a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding.

Origin: apparently a root word; TDNT - 5:42,666; n f Usage: AV - way 83, way side 8, journey 6, highway 3, misc 2; 102.

It means one who was on the way. It is translated "way" 83 times. And so, it has to do with a road, a path. And if you trace this back to the Hebrew, you find it is "orach."

Hebrew Lexicon, "Way": 0734 'orach {o'-rakh} Meaning: 1) way, path 1a) path, road 1b) the path, way, passing of life (fig.) 1c) way of living (fig.) 1d) traveller, wayfarer (meton).

Origin: from 0732; TWOT - 161a; n m Usage: AV - way 26, path 25, highway 1, wayfaring man + 05674 08802 1, manner 1, race 1, ranks 1, traveller 1, troops 1; 58.

So, I might say, "Okay, I am of the 'ha orach' (of the way)." It says it is translated "way" and "path," and you find some interesting places where this word exists, like Isaiah chapter 2, verse 3. Talking about a future time, it says:

 Isaiah 2:3 - Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YAHWEH, To the house of the Elohim of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of YAHWEH from Jerusalem.

He will teach us His ways. There we are-- "orach."

Out of Zion shall go forth what? "The Law." That is "His Way." This is a future time. So, yeah, we are of this Way if we are trying to follow "the Way," the way of truth.

And the same word is translated in Proverbs 4:18. It says:

 Proverbs 4:18 - But the path of the just [is] like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

We do not claim to have all truth. We do not claim to be perfected in our walk. But our path is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. And so, we have not yet arrived to that perfect day, but that is the path of the just. That is the way that we are seeking to walk.

That is what we are about right there-- seeking that ever brighter path that we might shine ever brighter as a light unto the world. Now, there is no way we could possibly become that, there is no way we could arrive there unless we follow the One who was of the Way-- who was the Way.

 John 14:6 - Yahushua said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

So, you cannot exclude Messiah from the Way. In fact, He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way of truth. He is the One who leads us down that path of the just. He is the One who fills us with the light we need for us to arrive at that perfect day, that we might shine ever brighter.

This is so important. This is so, so important. This defines us. This is who we are. This is our identity as believers. This is an identity thing.

And sectarianism has a way of becoming an alternative identity-- "Oh, I am this." "I am a Mennonite." "I am a Baptist." "I am a Methodist." "I am a Jehovah Witness." "I am an Adventist." "I am this." "I am that." That becomes an identity, and whatever we identify ourselves with, we have a tendency to just walk that out.

If I want to be a biker, then I will get the leather garb on and buy myself a Harley-Davidson. I will go down the road with a pair of dark sunglasses and a bandana on, and I will fit the identity of the biker guy. Do you understand what I am saying?

There is the identity, a sectarian mindset, if you are looking for an identity-- "I will latch onto this over here," or "that over there."

I say let our identity be one who is a follower of the Way, which will inevitably shine ever brighter, who will receive Messiah and shine ever brighter, but will never claim, "I've arrived. Come to me. Do like me. My group is the true one and nobody else is. We are the only ones." We cannot go there. We can't.

But there are little hints of this kind of spirit operating even in groups that have no denominational affiliation. I am going to dig into this, and some of this may surprise you a little bit as we go through.

An example in the New Testament here of the use of "the Way."

 2Peter 2:1 - But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction.

See that? There will be false teachers among you. He said there would be.

"Heresies" is the same word from the Greek-- the sectarian mindset.

 2Peter 2:2 - And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

"Many will follow their destructive ways (the ways of the sectarian people), because of whom THE WAY <3598> of truth will be blasphemed."

Now, among those of us who are into Hebraic roots, and things like this, you might have seen this before-- Titus chapter 3, verse 8, says:

 Titus 3:8 - This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in Elohim should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

It is a good thing that we would affirm constantly that we must be careful to maintain good works. We must continue walking that path that shines ever brighter. But here are the things we want to avoid:

 Titus 3:9 - But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.

Now, if the Law is abolished, what are they arguing about? No, strivings about how to interpret different verses in the Law. It says they are unprofitable, and they are useless.

It is a waste of time to argue and to fight over how to interpret this or how to interpret that. In fact, he goes on to say in the next verse:

 Titus 3:10 - Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,

11 - knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

The word translated "divisive" here is #141. Here it is-- Greek Lexicon: 141 hairetikos {hahee-ret-ee-kos'} (A heretic.) Meaning: 1) fitted or able to take or choose a thing (What is this thing about choice?) 2) schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine 3) heretic.

Origin: from the same as 140; TDNT - 1:184,27; adj Usage: AV - that is a heretic 1; 1.

You have to be careful about a theological Greek dictionary. Sometimes they interpret, like the Thayer's here. Sometimes they interpret. But it has to do with making a choice.

Reject one who makes a choice? All right, it is the characteristic of a heretic to create division and separate themselves, claiming to be the ones-- "Oh, we are doing the right thing and others are not." They make a choice. They say, "We are the chosen." Do you get this?

They make the choice to say, "We are it. We are the ones. You must only go with us." They make division where there should be no division. They create a division, and say, "We are better than others. We are saved. They are unsaved."

Maybe they won't even go that far. Maybe they won't say, "We are saved and they are unsaved," but they will act in such a spirit as though they believe in their heart they are superior to others around them. And it has to do with pride.

So, he talks about this. Prior to Passover, he says:

 1Corinthians 11:17 - Now in giving these instructions I do not praise [you], since you come together not for the better but for the worse.

18 - For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.

He says "when you come together." Come together for what? This is coming together for Passover. And he says, "I hear there are divisions among you... There must be factions among you."

 1Corinthians 11:19 - For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

It is going to happen. It will be there. You cannot stop it. You cannot stop it completely, but it is going to happen.

And this is interesting, because the divisions he talks about... look at what he says earlier in the book. It says:

 1Corinthians 1:11 - For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's [household], that there are contentions among you.

12 - Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Messiah."

13 - Is Messiah divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

And we have the same thing today. We have the same thing because one says "I am of Luther" (the Lutherans). "I am a Mennonite" (men of Simons). "John Wesley..." Do you get this?

There are certain men, and maybe they won't be named after their particular group, but there will be some influential man who started a line of thinking that developed into a denomination, and now they associate themselves with that particular man. The exact same thing that Paul said not to do.

Is Messiah divided? No, He is not. And so, at some point we do have to make some kind of distinction between who is a believer and who is not a believer. I mean, do you just let everybody come on in and have this real big ecumenical kind of a spirit and it doesn't matter what you think or do, or whatever?

Do you act the way you want, you know... be a Unitarian Church... start allowing gay marriages? Where do you draw the line? Well, you see that we should reject a man causing a denomination spirit, a sectarian spirit-- a spirit that rejects another person based on their own ambitions of what they think the body of Messiah needs to look like.

And they will often think that they are among the chosen while others in any given group are not, and they will secretly come in and say, "Well, you know, I can see you are one of us. See, we have this different way of thinking."

And they will come in and they will say this, and they will be like this, "Yeah, I could tell you were among the ones who get this. You are different. You are this way. You are like us." And then the temptation is like, "Oh, yeah? I am?" I will come up higher, and... "Yeah, wow! I feel great!"

You make me feel like I belong to something, and it is the temptation of pride, because the Word has to do with being chosen. "We are the chosen ones." "We are among the few."

Even the United States Marine Corps. They know. They know about what it means to be-- "Oh, come up higher where we sit." The Few. The Proud. The Marines.

"Ooh, I will be among the elite." It is an elitist spirit. I am trying to convey what I see in words. Sometimes it is spiritually discerned.

Now, it is not bad to be chosen... oh, here is the word translated-- Greek Lexicon: 140 hairetizo {hahee-ret-id'-zo} Meaning: 1) to choose 2) to belong to a sect. Origin: from a derivative of 138; TDNT - 1:184,27; v Usage: AV - choose 1; 1

Anyway, it is not bad to be chosen. I didn't put the verse up there, but Matthew 12:18 has: "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen."

"My elect." There is an elect.

"My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!"

There is a people who belong to the chosen people. There are certain ones who are chosen people. I am not against saying there are certain chosen ones, but we have to be really careful about that, where we draw a line. Where do we draw a line?

I believe we can see a clear, very good example of a sectarian spirit infiltrating the first century congregation in the book of Acts, and we see how they dealt with it. And we can learn from their example.

It is Acts chapter 15. It says:

 Acts 15:1 - And certain [men] came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

Unless you "this," you cannot be saved. "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moshe, you cannot be saved." So, there is no salvation until you come under the knife. That is their declaration (these men from Judea).

Who are these men who came down from Judea? Who are they? It says:

 Acts 15:2 - Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

What question? Is there salvation prior to circumcision? That is the question.

 Acts 15:3 - So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

4 - And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that Elohim had done with them.

I like that right there. Not "that they had done," but "that Elohim had done with them."

 Acts 15:5 - But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses."

Here we are. That same word (sect).

 Acts 15:6 - Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.

Now, remember the context. The context was, unless this happens, they are not saved.

 Acts 15:7 - And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up [and] said to them: "Men [and] brethren, you know that a good while ago Elohim chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

 Acts 15:8 - "So Elohim, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as [He did] to us,

9 - "and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 - "Now therefore, why do you test Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

What is that yoke?

 Acts 15:11 - "But we believe that through the grace of the Master Yahushua Messiah we shall be saved in the same manner as they."

"But we believe that through the grace of the Master Yahushua Messiah (the grace!) we shall be saved (that is Jewish people) in the same manner as they."

We are all saved in the same manner. There is no distinction. We are all saved, not by going under the knife of circumcision, not by keeping all of the Law of Yahweh and then you will be saved. No, we are saved in the same manner-- by the grace of our Master Yahushua the Messiah.

That is what saves us. Simply His grace. Not signing on the dotted line. Not joining this church. Not baptism. Not a circumcision. Not "you reach this level of obedience and you are saved." No! By grace and grace alone.

Now, you cannot receive that grace unless you have a repentant heart. That means to turn away from what you understand to be wrong and turn toward what you understand to be right.

We may have different understandings of what that is. We are not all in the same exact place, but we are all on the path of the just. We are all followers of the Way looking for that ever brighter path that shines ahead.

And their ultimate ruling in Acts was, "Now, give them some necessary things. They cannot be worshiping idols, committing harlotry and drinking blood, but the rest they can learn in the synagogues every Sabbath."

And so, their decision in Acts 15 was: Let the Spirit lead them, not sectarian men. That was their decision. And that is a decision we need to make today individually.

Do we want the Spirit to lead us or do we want sectarian men to be our guide? Do we want to become a sectarian, an elitist kind of a person, who tries to inflict and force upon others things that they do not fully grasp? Just so they can be accepted, they feel like, "Okay, I will be accepted if I do this."

That is an unbiblical form of leadership. A biblical form of leadership is willing to share the Word. However, it is also willing to be patient with the individual as they begin their journey toward applying what they know and what they hear.

We see a visit of this same kind of thing that happened here in Galatians chapter 2. Paul is describing the series of events here in Acts 15, and he says, "I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that 'good news.'"

 Galatians 2:2 - And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.

He was willing to acknowledge, "Maybe I made a mistake. Well, I will share it with you. This is what I have learned. This is the good news." And the good news was: It is by grace we are saved. We repent. We receive Messiah. And from that point forward we are His. That is the good news.

To me, that is awesome news! That is wonderful news, that the most wicked sinner on earth could open a Bible and look at the scriptures and get convicted of their sin, and say, "I want to turn away from that, and I want to receive grace through Yahushua the Messiah," and get on their face in repentance and faith in Messiah, who gave Himself for them.

And Yahweh can meet that person right where they are right there. Period. And if they died in five minutes after that event, they would be every bit as saved as a man who laid down his life for others after keeping Torah almost perfectly for forty years. They are both going to the same place. And there is this vast area in between of learning.

But those who are on the path of the just are seeking that ever brighter path and are not stuck in sectarian, denomination, elitist mentalities-- "I have arrived. Come to me. I am higher than thou. I am holier than thou. Join us and become holy like us." They are not stuck in that mentality.

Their attitude is, "Look what I have learned here. This is amazing stuff I have learned. Would you like to hear?" And the person may not see it, may not accept it. Okay, but that is Yahweh's Spirit, it is Yahweh's responsibility to convict. I plant the Word. He makes it grow, not me.

Not my threats, not my temptations to pride-- "Come join our higher and higher group." Not that, but a love-- a love for Yahweh and His ways. That has to be our motivation.

And so, here we have this good news which he taught: Repentance and faith in Messiah. And he could receive Gentiles and sit down at the table and have fellowship with them. And they may not know everything yet about Torah and all these other things, but their heart is in the right place. So, he shared it with them, and he says:

 Galatians 2:3 - Yet not even Titus who [was] with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

So, Titus was there with Paul at this event that occurred in Acts 15, and he is saying that they did not even expect him to be circumcised in order to be saved. They accepted him.

And he goes on to say:

 Galatians 2:4 - And [this occurred] because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Messiah Yahushua, that they might bring us into bondage,

This occurred because of false brethren that came down from Judea. They were from the sect of the Pharisees. "They were false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Messiah Yahushua, that they might bring us into bondage)."

Bondage being a sectarianistic, "you are not saved until" mindset.

 Galatians 2:5 - to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Here is a sectarian mindset, right here. Yahushua criticized it. He said:

 Matthew 23:4 - "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.

Matthew 23:5a - "But all their works they do to be seen by men."

And He goes on to list a bunch of them. A sectarian mindset. Yahushua did not like it. He did not like it at all.

And here we are-- he is talking about this sectarian group here, Galatians 6:12. He says:

 Galatians 6:12 - As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these [would] compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Messiah.

Here they are. All their works are done to be seen by men.

 Galatians 6:13 - For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Do you get this? These men who are wanting them to be circumcised, they did not keep the Law either. They were law breakers. "But they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh."

They wanted to say, "Oh, how about me? I brought a couple of believers in here. They were lost Gentiles who had not yet been circumcised. But, boy, we got them circumcised. Now they are in. And here, they are part of us now. They have come up higher to where we sit."

Do you see this? This same mentality exists today. The same mentality, in many different ways.

You might say, "Well, where? Where do you see it?"

Here is where I see it-- The Modern Application is:

 In denominationalism, you must subscribe to certain beliefs before being accepted as a 'church member.'

In other words, there are groups, and not all groups are like this, not all denominations are even like this, but some have this thing where, "Well, when you come to our church, you need to get re-baptized into our church."

Wait a minute, were they baptized in the name of the church or in the name of the Messiah? But you have to be re-baptized, and you have to subscribe to this list of understandings, these different things you have to believe and do.

And there is even one group that has a four-page long letter you have to read through and check off, and say, "Yeah, I believe all these things," before you can become a baptized believer in that congregation.

And these are Torah observant "calling on the Sacred name" believers. And I have seen this (not seen this personally, but heard reports of it.) And so, there is this denominational, elitist spirit going on. And it is present today-- alive and well.

 Ignoring and reluctant to accept new believers.

"Ah, well, they need to learn some things first. You are not a full-fledged member of our group until we train you. We have to teach you some things above and beyond repentance and faith in Messiah. You have to learn this, this, this, this, this."

Do you get this? And this is another application:

 Treating those who don't do everything like we do as second-class believers.

There are certain echelons here, certain grades, you graduate. You have different grades you have to go through. There are some that are in higher grades than you and they are superior.

Look, Yahweh is in heaven. He is looking down upon all the people of the earth. He is not looking down, and saying, "Hmm, that denomination is saved. That one is not saved. That denomination is saved. That group over there, they are among the saved."

You know, He does not look at the world in terms of denominations like man does. No, Yahweh looks at the heart.

Within each one of those groups there may be some who are genuine repentant believers in Messiah, and some who are not. They are just playing church, or they are just playing Jewish, or they are just pretenders and they found an identity that they want to hang onto, and there is not a sincere bone in their body.

And there are some who are on the fence. And only Yahweh really knows who all they are.

But we see this today, this hypocrisy, these kinds of things happening. And so, can we find a spot where we can make a legitimate division, and say, "Yeah, we have to draw a line here"? Well, once again, we can look to the first century believers to find the answer.

 1Corinthians 5:1 - It is actually reported [that there is] sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles -- that a man has his father's wife!

2 - And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

 1Corinthians 5:3 - For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present him who has so done this deed.

4 - In the name of our Master Yahushua Messiah, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Master Yahushua Messiah,

5 - deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Master Yahushua.

He says, "Get that man out of your group. He does not belong. Hand him over to Satan." Hopefully, his flesh will be destroyed. He will regard himself to be no longer alive, but Messiah to be alive in him. And he might be saved. But he says, "Get that man out of the group. He does not belong there."

Then he goes on to say:

 1Corinthians 5:6 - Your glorying [is] not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

We are talking about the Feast of Unleavened Bread here. We have to get the leavening out. This is one example of a clear cut. Yeah, a man marrying his father's wife needs to go.

 1Corinthians 5:7 - Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

This is the context of this verse.

 1Corinthians 5:8 - Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.

This is a time, my brothers and sisters, yes, we do have to make a division. Sometimes we do have to cut away the old leaven, but it has to be in clear cut, obvious sin like what was going on in the first century. You know, incest, a man having his father's wife. That has to be purged out.

 1Corinthians 5:9 - I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.

10 - Yet [I] certainly [did] not [mean] with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

You can keep company with the sexual immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters... "since then you would need to go out of the world."

You cannot even be around them that you would have to make an exodus and go out to some island somewhere to live, because there are so many of them.

Our goal is that we would be a light and share to them, not that they would have any influence on us.

 1Corinthians 5:11 - But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person.

He says with anyone named a brother.

Now, look at this. These are identity statements. A person would be identified as one who is covetous. This is his normal practice. He is a covetous person, or an idolatrous person, or one who reviles. This is part of their identity... or one who has an identity as a drunkard, or as an extortioner. This is their identity. Do not even eat with them.

You have to make a distinction. You have to purge the leaven out. Don't even eat with them.

"For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?" Look, they are unbelievers. They are not repentant believers. They have taken on the identity of covetousness, reviling, drunkenness, extortion.

 1Corinthians 5:12 - For what [have] I [to do] with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

It is okay to judge those who are within the body of Messiah.

 1Corinthians 5:13 - But those who are outside Elohim judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."

The principle here is found in Yahweh's Law. It is a quotation from the Law of Yahweh.

 Deuteronomy 22:22 - "If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die -- the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

Put away the evil from among you. Put it away. Get rid of it. You have to make a distinction. There is a place for making a division, no question. There is a place. But we have to make the distinction where Yahweh makes the distinction.

Now, interestingly here, I was looking at this-- One of those who has to be put away is this one who is a reviler. What is that doing in the list of things? What is that all about?

I got to looking, and I got to looking at some more advanced lexicons, like the Gingrich here. It has to do with one who is a reviler or an abusive person (1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:10).

[Friberg] "As one who intentionally abuses another with speech-- a reviler, a slanderer, an abusive person." Those are some strong words.

And I was looking at these Greek words in the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, and I found this being one of the ways it is used:

 Proverbs 26:21 - [As] charcoal [is] to burning coals, and wood to fire, So [is] a contentious man to kindle strife.

So, if you see strife everywhere this particular individual goes, and the man being abusive, then that is a qualifier for one who is a reviler. There is a common denominator.

I am not talking about two people having a disagreement. I am talking about an abusive kind of disagreement-- name calling, reviling. Paul was accused of being one who reviled Yahweh's high priest when he says, "Yahweh strike you, you whitewashed wall."

And so, if that becomes the identity, if that is the identity of an individual in a group, they need to go. That creates dissension among brethren and that is an abomination.

So, our response to one who would be of that mindset is to completely separate ourselves from one who is choosing those practices to the point where that is their identity of who they are.

Now, sometimes we will all fail. We will all fail at one point or another. We may say something we shouldn't like Paul did. We may do something, you know. We may fail in covetousness or some other area. But if this is our practice, if this is our normal behavior, that is where it becomes our identity, and that is where it becomes very dangerous.

Now, back to Titus chapter 3, verse 8:

 Titus 3:8 - This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in Elohim should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

9 - But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.

 Titus 3:10 - Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,

There we are-- "hairetikos."

 Titus 3:11 - knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Now, why am I revisiting this verse? Because this is another area where we can safely make a division. We can make a distinction here. One who is a divisive man, a sectarian. One who says, "I am in. I am among the chosen. You come up higher where I sit, and you will be with us."

The one who has taken on the identity of a brawler, a reviler, abusing people wherever they go, and choosing to say, "Come up higher. You are not believers. We are believers. You are among the higher echelon of people. Other people we cannot accept." The sectarianistic, elitist kind of people.

We need to have no part with that. We need to reject them after the first and second admonition. But you have to offer the admonition. Don't just reject them. Offer the admonition before you reject them. And they have to be dealt with in any congregation.

So, what do we admonish them about? We admonish them about having this sectarian mindset, this dangerous mindset, that has caused so many problems in the body of Messiah for the last two thousand years.

Now, notice it says "first" and then "second admonition." Why is this?

 Matthew 18:15 - "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.

16 - "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that `by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'

17 - "And if he refuses to hear them, tell [it] to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

Deliver him over to Satan. He is not repentant. He has to repent. What Titus brought into the picture here-- reject him after the first and second admonition. Titus is a leader in the assembly who might be one who goes with them (two or three become two or three more, here, in verse 16).

So, here is the first admonition (verse 16). And here is the second (in verse 17). Prior to that may have been a private matter between one person and another. Now, if it was made publically, then it was done publically. It may be different. But why is the person removed from the congregation?

It wasn't because of a particular sin that was committed. He doesn't say certain sins, therefore, kick him out. It was the fact that when they were confronted in that sin, they refused to repent. That is the issue.

We have to have a repentant attitude. We have to have a heart that desires and pursues that path, that way-- the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

If we do not seek that way, if we do not have the way in the sense of Messiah dwelling in us, He is the one who saves us, not how much Law we have kept, not how many Sabbaths we have kept, not how many church meetings we have attended..

Not how many Feasts we have gone to, not how long we have been in it, but that our heart would be completely yielded to the Father's will-- we may not fully understand what the Father's will is for our life, but our heart is yielded.

If we have that mentality, we are believers. If we are saying, "Oh, well, you are not a believer," we are promoting a false gospel, if we have any other good news than repentance and faith in Messiah... nothing added.

You see, the way of truth-- the way, the way, the way-- is so, so simple anybody could understand it. A child can understand it. It is all about relationship. And so, we have to have that relationship with Yahweh.

This is what I am getting at. This is the crux of the whole thing. Who is a believer? It is one who sees the Father's will and because they want to walk in love, because they want to walk in truth, they make that decision that they are going to yield themselves to the Father's will.

And because they see that they have sinned against Yahweh, they want to believe in Messiah that He would cover their sins. That is the way. Nothing added and nothing taken away. And so, it is all about relationship.

If a man has a child who makes a mistake, maybe doesn't know something and makes a mistake and does something wrong, does that father come down hard and cast him out of the family because he made a mistake and did not realize that he did something wrong? No! Neither does our Father in heaven.

He looks down upon us. He has mercy on us. He knows that we do not understand His will completely, yet. But He meets us right where we are.

And so, the issue here is an issue of repentance. That is the real issue.

And so, do we, as believers, want to make division where Yahweh makes no division? We are called to love. We are called to patience. And we are called to forgiveness. Yahushua said:

 Luke 17:3 - "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

4 - "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, `I repent,' you shall forgive him."

You see, some people, their mentality is, "Oh, I just don't think a believer would do that. I just don't think a believer would do this. If he is really a believer, he wouldn't do a, b, c, d.

Listen, I've seen believers do some horrific things, but when confronted, they repented. When confronted, they were sorry. They were struggling, but they repented.

And if he did it seven times in a day, and says, "I repent," it doesn't matter how many times... if his attitude is one of repentance, he doesn't want to do this, but he is struggling with it, okay, I am not going to judge him. I am going to forgive him. That is our attitude.

He says, "Take heed to yourselves." And you say, "Well, how can a believer sin against me seven times in a day and still call himself a believer?" Well, I bet you sin against Yahweh seven times in a day. I'd say you probably sin against Yahweh more than that, and you may not even realize it-- in your thought life, in your actions, or whatever.

So, we are called to love and mercy with the same love and mercy that we have received from Yahweh.

 John 13:34 - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

That is brand new. See, there is new stuff in the New Testament. That is the tall order that we are called to. We are called to laying down our lives for our friends. That is the love that Messiah had.

 John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

The Scriptures are full of admonishments in this area.

 Romans 12:10 - [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

11 - not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving YAHWEH;

12 - rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

 Romans 12:13 - distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

That is one.

 Romans 12:14 - Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

16 - Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

I like that-- "Associate with the humble." If you see men walking in pride, a denominational, elitist spirit is often the next thing you will see.

"But associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion." There we go. That is where it is: being wise in your own eyes-- "Oh, come up higher to where I sit. From my high perch I look down and scowl at those who are beneath me." Don't be wise in your own opinion.

 Romans 12:17 - Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

18 - If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

19 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay," says YAHWEH.

 Romans 12:20 - Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

That is our calling. There it is. Our love for one another overcoming evil with good.

So, do not make a division simply because a person is caught up in some kind of sin they are struggling with but they acknowledge and they want to change. Or maybe they do not even realize it is wrong, but their heart is yielded to the Father.

We do not need to make divisions where Yahweh does not make a division. Where He makes a division is in an unrepentant heart toward what is obviously wrong to everyone and should obviously be wrong to them. You know, adulteries, and these kinds of things.

Where He makes a division is when somebody says, "I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. Come to me. Come and follow me. I am the only one following Messiah." Or some group says, "We are the only ones." They are being wise in their own opinion, wise in their own eyes.

They are not being humble. They are being divisive. And they are on a dangerous path because they are actually self-condemned. Because by what standard they hold others to, they will be held to.

If they lack in any area of truth, if there is some area where they are lacking in knowledge, because they have judged others out of the Kingdom for their lack of knowledge-- with what judgment they have judged, they will be judged. They are self-condemned.

That is why a divisive man is self-condemned. That is why it is so dangerous.

Paul says:

 Ephesians 4:1 - I, therefore, the prisoner of Yahweh, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

2 - with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

3 - endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We are looking for this "unity of the Spirit" here. That is what we are after in the bond of peace.

Peace is what is going to hold us together. Shalom between each other. The bond of peace. The unity of the Spirit. It never says unity of doctrine. They had a whole lot more of it in the first century than we do today, but a unity of the Spirit.

We are all being led by the same Spirit that would lead us to righteousness and truth, but we are all at different places along the path. But I will tell you what, it is beautiful when we are all together.

 Psalms 133:1 - <> Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 - [It is] like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.

As he was being anointed the high priest of Yisrael. A beautiful picture.

 Psalms 133:3 - [It is] like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there YAHWEH commanded the blessing -- Life forevermore.

The dew of Hermon looked like gold I understand. "Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there Yahweh commanded the blessing-- Life forevermore." And so, the blessing of eternal life.

And so, this is part of what it means to walk worthy of the calling-- being lowly, being gentle, being longsuffering, bearing with one another, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We may not have unity in doctrine, but we can have a unity of the Spirit. All of us can have a humble and submissive attitude that brings unity with each other. We can all be respectful of each other's walk and understanding, as long as a person's heart is yielded to the Father's will.

Our fathers have inherited lies. Let's face it. And here we are left to sort it all out. But we can have a unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace if indeed the same Spirit is in each one of us. And so, we should know brotherly love. We should know that is the foundation of where we operate.

We do not make divisions based on our own selfish ambitions. We do not make divisions based on our anger and bitterness toward another person. We do not make divisions so that we can be seen to be above others. No.

 Matthew 7:2 - "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

That is a dangerous place to live. And that is how people operate a lot of time. "Well, I don't believe a brother would do that." Probably some people, if they knew all your sins, would think, "Well, I don't believe a brother would do that either." And so, with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.

And so, for your own righteousness, for your own salvation's sake, be careful you are not making a judgment where Yahweh does not make a judgment, because the bottom line is this: Yahweh knows them who are His. That is the solid foundation of Elohim.

 2Timothy 2:19 - Nevertheless the solid foundation of Elohim stands, having this seal: "YAHWEH knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity."

We have to be careful. We may be blind to things just like anybody else could be blind to things. You might be surprised who your brethren are on that final day when Yahweh judges the world. You may be surprised.

And someone might say, "Well, that person really hurt me. They did this evil to me, and they did this terrible thing. How could they be a brother? How could they be a brother when they do all these things? He sets himself up as my enemy. How can I love someone like that?"

 Matthew 5:44 - "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Sorry, you have to love your brother, your neighbor, and even your enemies. You cannot get around it. You have to love everybody. You have to seek peace with everyone, and not let this root of bitterness get inside you and defile you.

 Hebrews 12:12 - Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,

13 - and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

14 - Pursue peace with all [people], and holiness, without which no one will see YAHWEH:

Pursue peace. Pursue holiness. So, we have to be careful.

 Hebrews 12:15 - looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of Elohim; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Many become defiled by the root of bitterness. I know, I have witnessed, and I have seen many times in my walk, people who are being motivated doctrinally by a spirit of bitterness. Their doctrines are being formed by an unclean spirit of bitterness causing trouble.

And bitterness is arrogance. "That person sinned against me. I can't forgive them. They did this, this, and the other." Okay, what about your own sins before Yahweh? You think you are superior because you do not have that sin problem. But you have other sin problems that you are having to deal with.

And when you judge that person and say they cannot be a believer because of their sin problem, what about your own sin problem? What about your own blindnesses? They are blind to something. They cannot be a believer. What about your own blindnesses?

And there are people who say, "Well, how can these kind of people be believers? They can't be the right ones." And so, they will look for some other doctrine in the Bible to justify.

I mean, honestly, there are people who are in this walk as Hebrew Roots believers who are here because of bitterness. They are mad at the Church. They got wrongly treated by some Christians somewhere and they found this. And here they are in this group because here we are. And, okay, that was the reason why these people were acting the way they were.

Then they come here, and they find people who, you know, don't necessarily have all the character traits of Messiah, and they are like, "Well, these can't be the right ones, either, so where are they?"

What about yourself? What about your own sins? Humble yourself. Humble yourself, because what happens is you have one brother over here, another brother over here-- okay? This brother, at some point, figures this person over here is pretty rotten, and he has bitterness against this man.

And this man has all his bitterness tide up against this other man. And then anything that this man does here, it doesn't matter what they do. This person is always going to view them as being wrong because it defiles-- "Oh, they can't be a right person. They can't be doing something right. It has to be evil motivation." Because bitterness defiles.

And people get that way even about the Torah movement and go right back into Christianity, as far as Sunday churching type of Christianity and not keeping the Law, because they are bitter and they are angry at believers who keep Torah, believers who use the true names.

And they go right back into Christianity. "Oh, they can't be believers because they act a certain way."

We cannot let what man does impact what we believe. We need to let what Yahushua has done impact what we believe.

What has He done? He has died for our sins, but He also kept Torah perfectly. And He who is the same yesterday, today and forever wants to keep in us what He kept on earth when He walked this earth.

So, we have to beware, my brothers and sisters, about this bitter spirit, because there is someone standing at the door.

 James 5:9 - Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

See, Yahushua takes the beatings, the mistreatment, the mockings, the spittings of the enemy, and says, "Father, forgive them." And yet, a brother, somebody, they receive one little bit of disrespect from another person, and they lash out like they have been slain. This is not right.

We need to join together as warriors against the adversary. We need to join together as people who are in the same army, fighting against bitterness, fighting against sectarianism, fighting against these things as humble soldiers of the King. And if we do this, we will be strong.

I mean, what army could stand when they are fighting against each other? What army could stand if they were fighting and devouring one another as soldiers? Wouldn't Yahweh do that with His enemies sometimes, throw them into confusion during various wars of Israel?

We need to act like Yahweh's army, not the armies of His enemies trying to create all this division and sectarianism and all these things where no division should exist. We have to beware that we are not sowers of dissension. We have to be one who are purveyors of Yahweh's Spirit of truth. And we have to walk in that Spirit.

As Scripture says:

 Galatians 5:16 - I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness. Those are the fruits of His Spirit. Here are the fruits of the flesh:

 Proverbs 6:16 - These six [things] YAHWEH hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him:

17 - A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,

They go around slandering people.

 Proverbs 6:18 - A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,

They have a plan to draw disciples away after themselves.

 Proverbs 6:19 - A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Look out! We see this today. It is here.

We are others-centered if we are Messiah-like. We are not doing anything through selfish ambition or pride, but lowliness of mind, considering others to be better than you are. Humble.

Associate with the humble and be others-centered in the sense of wanting to serve, of wanting to get underneath, of wanting to build up, of wanting to bear up and bless. That is what it means to walk in His Spirit.

 Ezekiel 36:27 - "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do [them].

If we have Yahweh's Spirit, we are going to have His fruits.

 Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Longsuffering-- there is a big one.

 Galatians 5:23 - gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

I like this one-- gentleness.

 Galatians 5:24 - And those [who are] Messiah's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 - Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

You see, these are the fruits of one who has the statutes of Elohim dwelling in him.

If we want the Hebrew roots, if we want to partake of the fatness of the olive tree, then we need to bear all the fruits of the Hebrew roots.

Not just Sabbath keeping, not just keeping a Feast Day, not just using a right name, but walking in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, gentleness-- all these things-- and not become conceited with the knowledge that we have, because knowledge puffs up, but love-- LOVE-- edifies.

 Galatians 5:19 - Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20 - idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

There is that word we looked at earlier (#139). Sectarianism is a work of the flesh.

The elitist spirit operates in all kinds of areas saying, "I am better than you." Whether it be, "I don't think a believer would act like that," or whether it be, "Come up higher to where I sit. Join my group. Become a part of my group over here. We are superior. We are the ones saved. Others are the wannabes."

 Galatians 5:21 - envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Elohim.

Those who practice. It doesn't mean they don't make a mistake in these areas, but they practice these things. It becomes their identity. Those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom. It is a warning. They will not make it. Whoa!

Because with what judgment they have judged, they will be judged. They refuse to walk in the same level of mercy and forgiveness that they received from Yahweh. That is what anger is. That is what all these divisions are centered around-- an unwillingness to give what we have freely received from Yahweh and for what we hope to receive, which is grace.

As Peter said, we are all saved in the same manner the Gentiles are saved-- by the grace of our Master Yahushua. And the true good news is very, very simple. Very easy to understand. Nothing complicated. And so, we need to operate in Yahweh's Spirit, not the elitist, sectarian spirit that is in the world today.

And we need to operate in Yahweh's Spirit and in the fruits of His Spirit, not the works of the flesh. And not just toward those whom we congregate with, but also toward our immediate family members-- our brothers and sisters that include our spouses and our children.

In fact, that is where we might be tested in that area the most-- those we live with day to day. And so, Yahweh help us all. I don't always succeed in that. And so, yeah, that includes them.

But this should never be our practice. It should never be the way we operate day to day. And so, in everything, we have to walk in the Spirit, in the light that shines ever brighter to the perfect day. Not in darkness where grudges and bitterness and ugliness and arrogance and high-mindedness are... being wise in our own opinion.

 Leviticus 19:18 - `You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I [am] YAHWEH.

You see, time is short. Yahushua is coming for a pure Bride. Let's not risk our spiritual lives by failing to heed these precepts. Let's put away the flesh and walk in the Spirit. Let's purify ourselves for the coming of Yahushua and seek to be that Bride without spot, without blemish, by the righteousness He imparts to us.

Let's be a Bride that rejects this elitist attitude, this sectarian, denominational spirit. Let's be a Bride that is filled with His Spirit-- a Bride that, in honor, prefers one another.

Not a people who see themselves as superior to others, and, therefore, separate themselves and separate themselves and separate themselves until you are on an island living by yourself-- but a Bride filled with people that consider others better than themselves. That is what we need to do.

A people who are understanding toward those who have a different viewpoint or are operating at various areas of spiritual maturity.

Some are very spiritually immature, but if their heart is yielded to the Father's will in their life and they receive Messiah as their salvation, I can accept them, because Yahweh accepts them-- even if they are going to a Sunday church every week.

Even if they are caught up in traditions of men, if their heart is yielded to the Father, I accept them, because Yahweh accepts them. That is the beauty of the true good news. Let us not succumb to the sectarian good news, the false good news, that we see out there today.

Let us be a people who accept each other, who choose to be courteous, who choose to be tenderhearted, who choose to outdo each other in love, with peace and a joyful willingness in longsuffering and in patience and in love for one another, because love is really the purpose of our walk to begin with.

Blessed are those who are so doing when Yahushua returns.

And so, my brothers and sisters, as we do so, may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.

 

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