Dealing With Issues

by:  Lonnie Lane

It’s time to share some emails with you again. In my continued concern that we remain the bearers of Yeshua’s love and forgiveness, perhaps one of our greatest challenges will be to remain in His love and forgiveness in the face of evil, especially deliberate evil. In this first email, if this woman’s feelings represent those of any of our readers, it is worth addressing. Following this one are three other emails with questions, much easier ones to deal with, but which seem to be part of a theme of related issues that keep presenting themselves in the emails I receive.

Anger at Evil: This writer was pretty upset about the firemen who were so brave on 9/11, and are now sick as are our soldiers overseas because of toxins spread by our enemies. I’m not sure why she wrote to me, especially since she was already pretty sure when she wrote that I wouldn’t share her opinion, but I’m glad to know she felt that she could. She responded to my answer by telling me that I misunderstood her and that she has Muslim friends though she didn’t retract her anger toward our enemies. I don’t mean to expose our sister, but this issue of what to do with justifiable anger against injustice and evil is, I believe, one which we each need to settle for ourselves should any “enemies” bring a crisis upon us, whether it’s personal or national. She wrote in part, “….You may or may not agree with me - I asked Abba to confuse and fill with sickness and excruciating pain all the secret and known enemies of the US soldiers where ever they are assigned around the world. May the Blood of Yeshua protect each US soldiers even their very shadow. May the ammunition of wicked ones explode on themselves.”  As you can see, she’s pretty angry. Here is my answer to her plus some further thoughts: 

Yeshua said to pray FOR our enemies, not AGAINST them. I certainly understand your anger at the injustice of the 9/11 bombing and the suffering of our firemen and soldiers. But to speak curses against our enemies means we are of the same spirit as the ones we see as being evil, cursing and hating them and desiring their destruction, while thinking we are right in wanting it. That’s not what Yeshua died for. He died that we would forgive. Forgiveness is the most powerful thing we can do against our enemies. When we forgive, we turn them over to God for Him to deal with them. And then we’re free of bitterness that will bring harm to our own spirits, our emotions and our bodies, all of which are adversely affected by anger. Yeshua said not to let the sun go down on our anger for He knew what anger could do to us. We might interpret His statement about not letting the sun go down on your anger as having to do with personal issues. Issues of national injustice may seem to be of a different magnitude and in many ways they are, but anger is anger. We are still required to forgive. Forgiveness does not make what we are forgiving right. It does mean that we relinquish our demand for justice and leave it to God for Him to bring justice, for only He is a just judge. Only He knows the hearts involved.

If we remain angry and embittered against what we see as injustice, there will be no solution to it, and we will find ourselves further enraged at the impotency of our anger because we cannot bring it to justice or bring any resolution to it.  Only God can.  And our only way out is to surrender it to God. The moral rules of the universe are His anyway. They are for Him to correct.

If we insist on demanding harsh retribution, such as what our sister wants to happen, we empower demons to bring more destruction! But they will not just bring destruction to our enemies because when we wish to bring a curse upon someone we consider our enemy, we open the door to demons to bring a curse upon ourselves. Demons don’t care who they are cursing; they just see an open door and leap through it. We open the door to harm to ourselves through our own unforgiveness of others. We want justice but we reap harm to ourselves if we wish harm to others. It’s that plain and simple. We will reap what we sow. When we pray, speak or wish curses over anyone, we are taking a stand against the Lord. He is not going to answer that prayer because it’s against His nature. Do you not remember when the disciples wanted to call down fire upon people who were not accepting of Jesus? Here’s what they asked Him: “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of”” (Luke 9:54, 54). In other words, you’re of a demonic spirit of hatred yourself and that is not ever going to accomplish God’s purposes.

Though there are people who are planning evil against us, we must be careful not to demonize all Muslims as our enemies.  There are many – millions – of Muslims who are attempting to follow what they believe is God’s will, bowing down to allah five times a day and who are not thinking evil thoughts. But, to say it again, to want the curses of sicknesses to come upon, even your enemies, makes you like the men who hated enough to want to destroy us. You, too, want to destroy them. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” would leave us all blind and toothless. I would urge you to rethink your position and to pray FOR our enemies, or you may find yourself standing against God and you don’t want to reap the fruits of that.

Though there are people who are planning evil against us, we must be careful not to demonize all Muslims...

A clarion call rings out just as “Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’ ” (Luke 23:34). That He “was saying” sounds not like a once said and no more. It sounds like He “was saying” it repeatedly. Imagine that Yeshua is in such agony on the cross, trying to endure the pain and trying to breathe and even then He was interceding in prayer for those who tortured Him and for His murderers. Should we who call ourselves His be of any different spirit?  God, in His mercy is coming to the very people we consider our enemies in dreams and visions and through Christian cable TV, and saving thousands and thousands of Muslims presently. The reports are astounding. Obviously God loves them and is reaching out to them, yes, and even those who have been terrorists. When they come to Him, they are transformed the love of Yeshua changes them. Thank God they weren’t destroyed before they became our brothers and sisters with whom we will spend eternity. If God can forgive them, certainly we must. Shouldn’t we be of a spirit of love as Jesus was, not of hatred.

Jesus is the God of forgiveness, no matter what the crime. Hatred is ungodly, regardless of who it’s directed toward or for what reason it seeks justification. We can hate the sin and the evil ideology that fosters violence, but we must have compassion upon those who are so deceived that they will spend eternity in hell if they don’t find forgiveness through Jesus. I am acquainted just enough with hell to not want even my worst enemy there. In the mean time, we must heed the words of Yeshua: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44). We were all His enemies before we came to Him. Thank God He forgave each one of us.  We must forsake unforgiveness and bitterness if we are to be one with the One who came to bring forgiveness to all.  Each one of us has that same choice. Which will you choose?  Let’s expand the Lord’s kingdom, not the devil’s domain.

Okay, that was a bit on the heavy side. Maybe you want to go make a cup of tea before reading the next one. It’ll be easier, I promise. This question arises periodically in different forms, but it evidently continues to be a matter of weeding out the truth of the word from the traditions of man. Here’s the question.

Cooking with Mother’s Milk: There is a question on my mind and if you have time, I would really appreciate your thoughts on it.  For three years now I’ve been keeping Biblically kosher or so I thought, until recently when I saw mention of this in an article regarding the command, Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 23:19). To me the commandment seems to mean literally what it says. I thought that all this meat & dairy stuff was just a part of the rabbinical fence built around the Torah; so there was no need for different sets of meat and dairy dishes, utensils, etc. as practiced by those in traditional Judaism.  I’m not at all into legalism but I would like to be accurate in my thinking.  What is the truth about this matter?”

All the rules of Kashrut (kahsh-root; keeping kosher) regarding meat and milk come from that one verse, as obscure as it seems. The idea behind it was this: God forbid that we should eat from a dish that had a spec of meat left on it when we’re dishing up something that has milk in it, like a cheese blintze, even a few hours later or we would be in violation of Torah. An orthodox member of my family was in from Israel and staying at my home. We had a birthday party for another Israeli in which we served meat for dinner. We waited to eat dessert till other guests arrived, and then two hours after dinner, we had something with whipped cream on it. When the orthodox gentleman realized he had eaten the whipped cream without waiting the designated eight hour time period after he ate meat, he was terrified that something horrible would happen to him. He really was! When he realized that nothing happened, he began to see things differently and after a while exclaimed as he watched us enjoy our dessert while talking about the Lord, “You people are so free!”  Before he boarded the plane back to Israel, he had accepted Yeshua as Lord and was speaking in tongues.

You can see from this how far we can stray from the true meanings in the Word of God...

See how far from God’s original intent this tradition is? For it is a tradition of the rabbis, not of written Torah. God is not THAT into the details. His reason, one would assume, was to keep Israel from the pagan practice of killing a lamb and boiling it in its mother’s milk. That just seems cruel and wrong, doesn’t it? It was about not carrying out pagan practices, God never mentioned two sets of dishes, silverware, pots or towels (all of which my grandmother had, by the way, plus a third set for Passover). Can you imagine them having to come up with all that paraphernalia, once God gave them the commandments, while they were wandering around the Sinai desert, and then shlepping all that every time the cloud moved? I don’t think so.

Yes, it’s a rabbinic fence, designed to keep Israel from violating the commandments, which didn’t come about until years after Moses, when Judah was in Babylon. They realized the leaders had to do something to get people to take the Torah seriously, hoping that God would then allow them to return to their land. So no, there is nothing Biblical that rules against eating milk and meat together.  In fact, Abraham fed the three men, presumably Yeshua and two angels, milk and meat:  “He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.” (Gen. 18:8). Surely if God hadn’t wanted Israel to eat milk and meat together they wouldn’t have eaten Abraham’s offering. Consider that as shepherds, a good bit of Israel’s diet would have been milk and meat. You can see from this how far we can stray from the true meanings in the word of God, into the rules of man, without the Holy Spirit’s guidance. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17). When the Lord reigns, there is freedom. Whenever you find fear of violating the rules, that’s man’s ways and not the Spirit’s ways, take it as a sign to go and find where the freedom of the Spirit of God is Lord. 

Can Women Preach? This next question came from a man from the Navajo nation in Utah who told me they watch Sid’s shows and wish they could have someone who can preach come speak there. Anyone? Here’s his brief email: “Got a question: Can a woman preach?” to which I answered…

I think you mean is it Biblically acceptable for a woman to preach. I teach or preach on a fairly regular basis. Yes, it is Biblically acceptable for women to preach. Be assured that the New Testament makes it clear that women can preach and that some were even apostles, Junia for one. Paul wrote, “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me” (Romans 16:7). Some translations made it a masculine noun (Junius) rather than the feminine (Junia). The Greek makes it clear this was a women. There were also female prophets and it’s hard to prophesy without speaking, which one could see as mini-preaching. At least they were informing others of what God was saying which requires speaking. There were female prophetesses in the Old Testament also on occasion.

Paul gave restrictions for women but they were situational or specific to locations, not to be taken as universal, or meant for all. He couldn’t tell women to be quiet in one place and mention they were apostles or prophets in another place, unless the restrictions were only for certain church locations. Corinth, for instance, had its own problems socially and may have made for wives being more vocal and demanding which would have been disruptive. The Temple Diana in the city of Ephesus provided for female dominance as part of their culture. Paul was not saying all women should never speak for the Lord. Rather that the Ephesian women, who had held dominant positions, perhaps in the temple, should not be controversial in the church meetings or controlling of their husbands, which is why he told the women to be respectful of their husbands.

In the Spirit, we are all open to receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit, whether we’re male or female. When the body of Messiah only hears from men, there is an imbalance in the doctrines of the body, just as if a family were to be raised by men only, without the feminine counterpart. We are both created in God’s image so we need both to properly represent God to one another and to the world. In Yeshua, we are now all free to receive gifts and revelations from the Lord. And He would not give them to us if He did not intend for us to use them to speak what He reveals to us. If I as a woman were not to be preaching, would it seem logical that God would allow me to type a message but not speak that same message? Am I not preaching through my articles? Am I not giving revelation and doctrine and an occasional word of prophecy through them?  I know these articles come from God. So it would seem irrational that it would be okay for me to “preach” by writing things but not be permitted the same messages if I were speaking or preaching them aloud. So yes, women can preach! To which I say, HalleluYah

 A prophetic word should confirm something you already have a sense of from the Lord.

 

I Need A Word: This last email wasn’t a question but a request. And though I have dealt with this to a greater degree, the fact that I received at least two emails asking the same thing in a week, I thought it needed to be said again. So here goes. This was the request: “I would like to receive a prophetic word about my friend (and she mentioned a name). Thank you.”

I answered: I’m sorry. I don’t give prophetic words to people I don’t know and even then only if the Lord gives them to me. I’m a firm believer that asking someone / anyone for a prophetic word is to invite problems. A prophetic word should confirm something you already have a sense of from the Lord. You don’t know me really, and you have no idea whether I would hear correctly from the Lord or not for your friend. People sometimes put their whole hope on a word from someone that didn’t come from the Lord. I’ve seen shipwrecked lives because of that. You must know the character and integrity and proven prophetic record from someone if you’re going to receive a word from them. My suggestion to anyone who asks for a prophetic word (as I periodically get emails like yours) is to open your Bible and ask the Lord to speak to you and stay in it until He does. He will if you ask Him and believe He wants you to draw close enough to Him. Don’t think you need to hear from someone else when God would like to speak to you directly about your life, or in the case of a friend, how you can help them. Please do not take this as rejection. It’s in fact an encouragement that God would love to bring you closer to Himself and give you a heart to hear Him for yourself. I send you (and all who are reading this) blessings on your relationship with God at a deeper level.

 

Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2011. 

 

 

Lonnie Lane

For Lonnie's other articles, check out our Exclusive Articles and Resources, especially the section on One New Man.

Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships, one in Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked” and numerous articles on this website. She has been the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click Here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked."

 

Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

 

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