These are the days of Eli...
too much information.
by Brad Scott
Remember the days when your commitment to God was confined to Sunday morning and the depth of your relationship was defined by how often you attended services? Remember when choosing what to wear and getting there on time were the only sources of stress? There was no confusion as to when Easter or Christmas was to begin, no one argued about His name, we knew He was the Son of God, though we could not explain it, and we were comfortable with all the extant books of the canon, although we rarely read, much less understood, most of them. We were fat, dumb and happily resigned in our religious convictions. Ah yes, those were the good ole days. But now, things have changed. There is a new thing happening in the earth, for these are the days of Eli ... too much information!
I write this article for those who can relate to what I just wrote. I write this for those who at some time, most about ten years ago, had come to realize that our fathers have told us some fibs. I write for those of us who came from a system in which we proclaimed that it was "all about Jesus", but lived our lives based upon our indoctrinated perception of the words of Paul. We all have different and yet similar stories of our exodus from one of the world's dominant religions. Perhaps you were invited to a Passover meal or to camp out for 8 days in the fall. Some of you heard a very convicting teaching on the Sabbath or the pagan festivals of Easter and Christmas. Some of you, through various means, came to understand that our Savior's name was not Jesus, that our Creator has a powerful personal name, and it is not the same as all the other gods. And some of you simply made a personal God-provoked decision to actually read and study the Scriptures yourselves. Years ago, these kinds of revelations came to many of us through various means. We then started searching the internet for information and like-minded brethren. Discovering a plethora of Messianic web sites, books and audio material, we began our exciting new life searching for our Hebrew roots. After coming to terms with the fact that we had been deceived, we discovered a whole new world of understanding. Just after passing the anger stage, we found ourselves unable to consume enough of this Hebraic view of our Bible. One of our first responses was to get the correct Bible. After all, it became quite obvious that the true Author of the Scriptures had totally lost control of the situation. So, rather than taking time out of our busy lives to search and research this BOOK OF LIFE, in what ever language it is written, we once again turned that over to someone else.
In the midst of the anger stage we entered into the questioning stage. At first it was confined to the general principle of keeping Torah or not keeping Torah. We found ourselves absorbed in books on the Sabbath, the feasts and the dietary laws. We began to look at Paul's letters from his world view and to discover his teaching in the writings of the ancient prophets. Our eyes were opening, new and great revelations of Paul's comments were coming to light. "Now THIS makes sense", we said to ourselves. We could not get enough revelation from our favorite teachers. From these leaders we learned of other teachers, ministries and web sites. It soon became obvious that all of our friends, co-workers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, pew warmers and former pastors are all deceived and everything we have been told is a lie. But now we have the truth. Now we are part of the true Israel, fellow servants and students of the Hebrew roots of our faith. Now we have Hebraic teachers (yes, I am including this ministry) who will lead us all back to the Torah, bringing us the peaceful satisfaction of knowing that we are now obeying the God of Israel in spirit and in truth. Halleluyah!
But, the one common denominator in all of this has raised its predictive ugly head, once again. Homo sapiens! One of the greatest evidences of the untenable theory of evolution is the consistent confirmation of the laws of entropy. This second law of thermodynamics, in laymen's terms, is a constant, daily display of the tendency of mass and matter to decay, corrupt and self-destruct. However the revelation of God to man expresses itself (Himself), you can be certain that humans will find a way to make a total confusing mess of it. This documented reality is expressed to us in the beginning in the Hebrew words 'az huchal in Bere'shiyt (Genesis) 4:26. Translated as then began man, the word huchal is actually from the root chalal (חלל), which means to curse. A similar phrase is used in Bere'shiyt 6:1, indicating the condition of man just prior to the flood. The nuance of these words into English and Jewish translations is due to God's foreknowledge of the laws of entropy initiated in the garden, and His foresight of the reality of man's ability to take a good thing and begin to corrupt it. This is the context of these words, and the background as to why the word for pollution is translated as then men began.
Soon after we learned that our Creator had a covenant name, men began to investigate the precise details and articulations of that covenant name. Out of the proverbial woodwork came hundreds of web sites all claiming that they and they alone possessed the only scriptural formula for calling on the true God of creation. All other names are requests and petitions to pagan gods. Each treatise claimed they had information unknown to the other correct name postulators. Great debates broke out. Soon the searching faithful were faced with 20 or more different correct pronunciations of the name. At the beginning of this new walk we were all fairly comfortable with the revelation that the Jewish Messiah of Scripture was not always parallel with the Jesus of Christianity. This revelation was soon followed by a divisive teaching among the Messianic Rabbis that separated the camp into the Hebrew view of His deity and the Hebrew view of his non-deity. This has further subdivided into He is the Messiah and he is not the Messiah. Then the two house teaching came along, and quickly splintered into a dozen variations on that theme. Soon after that, we discovered that our feast observances are way off, our new moon is really no moon at all, or a crescent moon or even a full moon, and everyone has been observing the Sabbath on the wrong day, except for the months when it actually does fall on the seventh day. We were all then faced with the Hebraic teaching that a day actually begins in the morning, which then quickly led to the revelation that it actually begins when the sun is at it's highest point in the sky. This was followed by Messianic revelation that the earth is not rotating on it's axis at all, but is standing still. Current debates rage over the exclusion of certain books or the failure to include a host of lost books of the Bible. Our Messianic leaders are teaching that Pesach is scripturally on the eve of the 14th of Aviv, or the 15th of Aviv. The counting of the omer begins on the 16th of Aviv or the day following the weekly Shabbat. Or perhaps the Feast of Weeks begins the day after the counting of seven sabbaths, or no, wait a minute, actually we count 7 sabbaths and then add 50 days to that. And finally, not that we have exhausted the chaos, Yeshua''s ministry was not three and a half years, but actually only a little over a year. If we add to this the various Hebrew interpretations of beards, head coverings, circumcision, tzitziot, tefillin, a half dozen views of the millinial temple, and a couple of dozen Hebraic views of the second coming of Messiah, we find ourselves much more sympathetic to the Greek obsession with heavy drinking and suicide.
It is this writer's opinion that we as teachers in this current move of God, have made things so complicated and convoluted that soon the shepherd is going to have to forsake the one sheep to go find the ninety nine. The more complex I make something, the more I set myself up to force you to come to me to understand it. Sound familiar? I suggest we are still thinking like Greeks. Seriously brethren, are we working together to lead sheep or are we putting up a false smoke and mirrors unity campaign, as we secretly fight for a larger market share. Are we attempting to press on by passing on the traditions of our fathers, or are we trying to constantly advance our agendas through shock and awe. I have become convinced that the majority of the increased knowledge prophesied by Daniel of the last days, comes from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and not from the tree of life. Are we breathing life unto the faithful, or are we all sending such a mixed bag of messages that they are choking and gasping for air?
Daniyy'el (Daniel) 12:4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
'Amos (Amos) 8:12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of YHVH, and shall not find it.
I believe that these two verses are sister passages referring to the same parental source. I have taught for many years now that the natural things created in the opening chapter of Bere'shiyt speak of the eternal, spiritual realities. That our Creator is teaching all of His eternal desires, wills, purposes, essences and prophecies through the natural creation operating by designed instinct in the opening chapters of our Book of Life. I also believe and teach that the adversary knows this, as well. He knows that the end is revealed in the beginning. He knows that he cannot pervert or change the unseen realities of God's purpose, essence and will. However, he knows that he can manipulate that which is seen, because the seed of the serpent knows that the seen is the manifested revelation of what is not seen. And so, from the beginning, this adversary through his word (seed), has taught man that the living things of this world did not exist that way in the beginning, but became that way. First, that which is natural, then that which is spiritual (1Corinthians 15:46). Pervert the natural and you pervert the spiritual. Yeah, that's the ticket. The teaching of organic theology easily slid right into theological evolution. As man has ascended from the primitive single-celled amoeba, so the church has ascended from the primitive Jew.
I find it more than fascinating that somewhere around the middle of the 1990's the internet, personal computers and the Messianic Movement all began to proliferate. The age of information began to take off around the same time that most of the leaders of the Hebrew roots perspective began their ministries, including WildBranch. Although I had been teaching Hebrew and the culture for many years before that, WildBranch as an entity did not begin until around 1994. Quickly, the cyber world was flooded with millions of pages of Messianic, Jewish and Hebrew views of everything from how to conduct a seder to the proper morphology of paleo-Hebrew. Was this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, that is western thinking. Was it a good thing at first, but then men began? Please allow me to express my thoughts on this another way. If you were the adversary, and you knew that some ancient, religiously suppressed truths were being revealed through a very ubiquitous cyber network, what would you do? Suppose you knew that a prearranged truth was about to be revealed in a train station by a tall man wearing a red shirt. What would be the best way to continue the suppression of this truth? Would you accomplish your mission by tackling him in the middle of the station? What if you stepped up to him and told him that his sister just had a heart attack? Would that work? Could you slip something in his drink? Or perhaps you could confuse the recipient of this truth by flooding the train station with tall men in red shirts? Which one has the real message? Too much information is a grand tactic. I remember watching a Harrison Ford movie years ago, in which he was running away from some people who obviously wanted to take his life. It was easy for the pursuers to follow a man running at full speed through a crowd of people. Harrison soon caught up with what appeared to be a St. Patricks day parade. He slowed down, grabbed an Irish hat and joined the parade. He looked just like every one else in the parade.
I believe that, for many of us, the flood of information has converged with the desire to know too much, too soon. People are getting discouraged, confused, divisive, frustrated and unable to place their trust in much of anything. I am afraid that we are throwing four hundred pound boulders on people and as soon as they manage to get back on their feet, we throw them a five hundred pound rock. Please let us cry out to God for some good old fashioned introspection. Are we not called to be bondservants? Are we called to serve, or are we called to be right? Is the personal satisfaction that I am right about something properly balanced with the destruction and confusion that I have caused? Let us not be deceived, there is an absolute right. But only He who is absolute can absolutely state what is absolutely right. I am not calling for unity, for unity's sake. I am asking for our rhetoric to be in harmony with a just weight, and that we are introspective enough to realize that we are self destructing. I am beginning to think that this latest move of God is only the bridge to what He is bringing us all into very soon, and it is not what we think it is. It is time for life and peace to be breathed into the saints of God. May you cling to your roots and prosper in every thing you set your hand to do.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊