It's Our Story

Jul 3



Tomorrow will be Independence Day in the US so Happy July 4th to all the US Citizens, like myself. In almost all nations we see national pride rise up in its citizens during specific times or seasons of the year. While God created the existence of all the nations and divided the people accordingly, we need to be reminded that patriotism and being born again in Yeshua and following after the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have no relationship to one another. I say this from my background as a US citizen. I can’t speak from the perspective of other nations but I know that here in the US we often equate these two as if they are one and the same. In thousands of churches around the US last Sunday they sang patriotic American songs and had special solos sung like, “God bless the USA”. Now personally I love that song, but it has nothing to do with my relationship with God. A person can be a great American patriot and still be a sinner. This applies for any nation; including Israel. Israel also has their Independence Day with all of its hoopla and they give thanks to God for their nation just like America will tomorrow (some of us anyway, while the rest of us act like we are thanking God). I am not trying to be ugly here, seriously I am not, but again, don’t ever equate patriotism as being equivalent to having a true relationship with God. Throwing your hand over your heart and saying a pledge to the US flag while including the phrase: “one nation, under God....” sounds really great, but the heart of most of those Americans is far from the God they claim as their own. Now, I am a very patriotic person, but at the same time, I know that my country has very deep seated sins, as does every nation. So, you fellow Americans, enjoy your good food, fireworks, family time, and day off work, but don’t forget being patriotic doesn’t take care of your sin issue. Fighting for this nation in a battle didn’t take care of your sin issue. Only Yeshua!!

New Posts
  • Paul’s message of faith and James’ message of good works are complimentary not contradictory! In the Apostle Paul’s writings we constantly find the message of salvation or God’s righteousness that comes through faith. He writes in Ephesians 2:8,9 “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (NKJV). In Acts 16:31, he and Silas told the jailer in Philippi, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (NKJV). Also, in Romans 10:13 Paul writes, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (NKJV). There are other references in the New Testament where Paul clearly states or implies that truth. The Apostle James writes in James 2:14-20, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warm and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works,’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (NKJV). Paul writes to the elders of Ephesus in Acts chapter 20 and in verses 20, 21, saying the following, “how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV). Also, in verse 27 of the same chapter, we see Paul saying, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God ” (NKJV). In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, Paul writes in Ephesians 4:21-24, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness ” (NKJV). Paul certainly strongly preached the message of savation or the righteousness of God by faith and he also preached publicly and from house to house (the whole counsel of God) the need of repentance towards God and living a lifestyle of holiness. Some Bible teachers and preachers say that due to the fact that we are saved through faith in the finished work of Jesus, we can just not deal with sin in our lives, sin as we please, and all is OK because we have been forgiven by the grace of God. The entirety of chapter 5 of Paul’s letter to the Romans emphatically explains that we are saved or justified before God by faith. He then begins chapter six with a question, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?...knowing this, that our old man was ciucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin (Verses 1,2,6,7). Now, my friend, the question is, “Did Paul and James preach two different gospels? Another question is, “Did Paul and James have theological disagreements? I emphatically say, NO!!! May I suggest to you that faith and works or obedience to God’s commandments are partners, not opposites. It seems to me that James was saying in James, chapter 2 (that I mentioned in the previous paragraph), that true faith produces works or obedience. Let me remind you also, that both Paul and James were part of that Jerusalem counsel that met together in Acts, chapter 15 to decide on what instructions they should give to the gentiles concerning whether or not they needed to be circumcised in order to be saved. Verses 25-29 explained that they were all in agreement as to what instructions to give them. Some people say that Paul’s message was directed towards the gentiles and James’ message was directed to the Jews, therefore they both preached a different message. I say, NO, NO AND NO!!! James 1:1 tells us that James was writing to the 12 tribes scattered abroad. The majority of the 12 tribes that were scattered were predominantly gentiles, not Jews. I’ll close with that! SHALOM!!! Brian Barrios
  • We are all familiar with the story of Moses and the Exodus out of Egypt, but were you aware that an earlier event foreshadowed this exodus; along with plagues? This earlier event involves Sarai, Abram’s wife. But first, let’s review what happened with Moses and Pharaoh. In Exodus it is recorded that Moses spoke to Pharaoh warning him about the plagues that would come upon him, and the nation, if he did not let the children of Israel go. Moses speaks the “word” given to him by Yahweh. After the plague of frogs had come we find it recorded: Exodus 8:12-13 “And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; “ In English this seems straight forward enough but actually the Hebrew uses the words על-דבר (al-davar) twice in these verses. The meaning of the words is “ because of the word”. In other words, the Hebrew states that Moses speaks Yahweh’s Word to Pharaoh; (the word Yahweh gave to Moses regarding the plagues), and Yahweh sends plagues in accordance to the word of Moses. Moses’ words carried weight because he spoke for God and what he said came to pass. Now, let’s go way back to the time of Abram and Sarai. These two had an earlier encounter with another Pharaoh of Egypt. (Genesis Chapter 12) It is in this story that Abram tells Sarai to pretend that she is only his sister and not his wife because he is afraid that Pharaoh will kill him to get his beautiful Sarai. In Genesis 12:17 it says “And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.” Again, the Hebrew text actually states, “על-דבר”. “ And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of the WORD of Sarai...” Sarai spoke plagues over Pharaoh just like Moses did years later. Pharaoh figured out quickly that he wasn’t going to touch this woman Sarai or keep her captive. I have always wondered what convinced him so ardently to let her go. To me, Abram was wrong in putting Sarai in this position, but then again, maybe he knew what we haven’t known - that his Sarai was perfectly able to take care of herself. She was a powerful woman of God. This event of Abram and Sarai foreshadowed the children of Israel going down into Egypt and being brought out. Gill commentary also makes mention of the above on his commentary about Moses and Pharaoh. He understood the connection to Sarai. Leisa
  • Yahweh’s plan for mankind is much more than just getting as many people saved as will respond by faith.  He is building a kingdom and His desire is for His people to live a kingdom lifestyle according to the rules and principles that He has laid down in His word (The Torah). Yeshua and the Apostles preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, not just a message of salvation.   Keep in mind that the next three Bible verses I quote are from the book of Matthew.  Matthew uses the term “Kingdom of Heaven” instead of “Kingdom of God.”  Most Bible scholars believe that Matthew directed his gospel primarily to the Jewish people and the Jewish people believed that it was blasphemy to pronounce or write God’s name too many times, so, he used the term “Kingdom of Heaven” instead of “Kingdom of God.”             “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”  Matt. 4:23 (NKJV).             “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching thre gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”  Matt. 9:35 (NKJV).             “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.”  Matt. 10:7,8 (NKJV).             “but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.  And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”  Luke 4:43,44 (NKJV) “He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick…”  Luke 9:2 (NKJV) and verses following.  This is Luke’s account of the event that I quoted earlier in Matthew 10:7,8.  In Luke 9:60, Yeshua exhorted his disciples to go and preach the kingdom of God. “The law and the prophets were until John.  Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.  And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.”  Luke 16:16,17 (NKJV).  ***Please note that verse 17 confirms to us that the law has not passed away, nor will it ever pass away, not even after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, as some claim. “until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, veing seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”  Acts 1:2,3 (NKJV).  This verse tells us that Yeshua, in training His disciples, spoke to them about the kingdom of God.  He did not train them in how to get people saved.  I know of no scripture that tells us that Yeshua taught the disciples how to get people saved.  It seems obvious to me that Yeshua expected the disciples to teach and preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God; He did not expect them just to teach people how to get saved.  You may also note in that verse, that through the Holy Spirit, He gave commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen.  That seems to tell me that He expected them to exhort people to obey those commandments.  After all, Yeshua said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (NKJV). Several verses in the book of Acts confirm that the aposle Paul preached the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and I want to share with you these two verses that close out the book of Acts.  “So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.”  Acts 28:23 (NKJV).  “Then Paul dewlt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ withy all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:30,31 (NKJV).  You may want to note that these 2 verses are the last two verses of the book of Acts. Many students of the Bible say that the book of Acts does not end with chapter 28, but that chapter 29 is still being written today in the lives of the followers of Messiah.  I believe that the teachings of Yeshua in the Gospels and of the apostles, especially Paul, indicate to us that we must be about today preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and not just trying to get people saved. The word “kingdom” in the English language is composed of 2 parts; the prefix, “king” and the suffix “dom.”  Referring to the kingdom of God, it could mean the domain (dom) of the king (Yeshua, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords).  However, more accurately, the suffix “dom” also gives reference to Yeshua because “dominio” is the Latin form of Lord, or “Adonai” in Hebrew, referring to Yeshua, The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. THE GOSPEL IS NOT JUST FIRE INSURANCE, IT’S A LIFESTYLE!!!! Shalom! Brian Barrios

© 2016 by Leisa Baysinger.  

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