Arguing can be healthy. Searching out matters for truth is refreshing. What lies in the center of the Torah? Moses and Aaron are arguing. Elsewhere, Moses argues with HaShem, and Moses wins. Abraham argues with the Father over Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham wins. Discussing disputes can teach us something we may not have seen before.
I am guilty in the past of using this term, “Just eat the meat and spit out the bones,” but recently, the Father seemed to be asking me if the Bereans would have said that? Would Paul, a Hebrew of Hebrews, according to Torah a Pharisee– A student of Gamaliel say, “Here is a meal; just eat what you think I am correct about and spit out the rest?”
Bones can splinter. You can choke on a bone. Meat can be under-cooked or spoiled. I think this may need looking at closer. What are your thoughts?
Newborn babies and little innocent children are often born with diseases, sickness, blindness, among other frailties.
Yeshua was asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2-3).
Sometimes certain teachers use several scriptures to explain sickness or the origins of as 1. Sin, 2. Demons, 3. Sins of the fathers, 4. Fear and negative thoughts. There are more explanations, but these seem to be at the top of the list. However, with careful study, we find that there is no doctrine of inherited sin. Jeremiah explains in chapter 31, “Everyone will die for their own sin.”
“Judaism has no place for a doctrine of inherited sin. Judaism does not embrace the Augustinian-Lutheran concept of sinful nature. Innocent children are innocent, not guilty by birth. Justice is not served by visiting wrath upon those who made no disobedient choices. Judaism rejects the idea of the “federal headship of Adam” and its implication that all men are born sinful. Judaism finds the imputation of sin unconscionable. So do most people with compassionate hearts. In Hebraic thinking, we get what we deserve, not what we inherit.” Dr. Skip Moen.
Some teachers state that positive thoughts can cure diseases such as AID’S, Bipolar disorder, Cancer, etc. What of the power of His Spirit? One teacher suggests that by just rewiring our brains, removing a spirit of fear, or casting out devils is the answer. I wonder why Jacob didn’t try this and fix his hip? Sometimes scriptures are tossed in the teachings like a parsley sprig on the side of the plate.
Sadly, many diseases, stress, and death are from lack of clean water, lack of food, and sanitary issues.
Suffering is something I know firsthand. Most days, I praise Abba for it, but there are times when it is more challenging to do. The last thing those who are suffering need is Job’s friends with an instant cure.
Yeshua heals a man’s ear cut off by his disciple, but before this, he is sweating drops of blood. What label would certain teachers use to describe His ailment? What cure? Should he have detoxed? He was full of fear and stressed out. Why does Yeshua have a spirit of fear? See how that works. . .
I’ve been studying sickness, disease, demons, and mental health for over a decade. I’m still learning new things.
But let’s start with some popular passages used to promote a doctrine that toxic speech, negative thoughts, and fear cause harm, mental illness, sickness, and demonic strongholds. Let’s hold these verses up to His LIGHT and the context they were written in and see if they are being used in error.
1.” For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but of power and love and discipline (sound mind).” (II Tim. 1:7).
2.” For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.” (Proverbs 23:7).
3.”We are destroying speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:5).
Paul is writing a letter to Timothy from prison. In 1st Timothy chapter six, he tells Timothy to instruct those who are rich not to be arrogant, to do good, to be rich in good works, and to share with those who have less.
Next, Paul gives Timothy some more sound advice.
“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith–” (6:20-21).
Before we get to the scripture on fear, lets, look at a bit more of Timothy’s background.
In Lystra, during Paul’s second missionary journey, he learned that Timothy had an exceptional character among the local believers. (Acts 16:1-2).
Timothy came from a mixed background– his mother was Jewish, and his father was Greek.
Timothy’s knowledge of the Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures made him an ideal disciple.
In later years, Timothy served as Paul’s emissary. He went with the apostle on his missionary journeys. Timothy was young. In II Timothy, Paul addresses his letter to “My dear son.” This man has become more than a student. Both Timothy’s grandmother and mother were disciples of Yeshua, and Paul had heard of their good works. Timothy joined Paul and Silas and went from city to city, proclaiming the Gospel. After about seven years, Paul sends Timothy to Corinth.
He writes in 1st Corinthians 4 about the congregation’s issues there, which seems very similar to 2020. Listen to Paul’s tone as he speaks with the authority of an angry Apostle. Corinth had the largest population in Greece, with Greeks, Jews, and Romans. From his letters to the Corinthians, Paul writes to a body mainly comprised of Gentile and Greek members. As new members of the Body of Yeshua, they still needed cleansing from their pagan and social influences such as glorifying wisdom and ecstatic words (Greek thought), drunkenness, prostitution, and the denial of a bodily resurrection.
“Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. 7For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels (messengers) and men. 10We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour, we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the SCUM of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.” (No best life now)
And after Paul gives them a tongue lashing, he says, and that’s why I am sending Timothy. Imagine this young man Timothy who has been taught and trained by a Pharisee of Pharisees. Paul knew that some of these arrogant men would try and usurp Timothy and walk all over him.
“Therefore, I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason, I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Now, some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” (! Corinthians 4:16-19).
So let’s get back to the letters Paul is writing from prison to Timothy and the verses.
Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but of power and love and discipline (sound mind).” NASB.
And what does Paul say after this verse? Does he say, Timothy, you would not have all those stomach issues if you would change your stinkin thinkin? I’m sorry you have had to suffer so, but it’s your own thought life and diet that’s doing it! You could heal your gut Timothy if you didn’t have all this fear, guilt, and bitterness.
No, Paul tells him to have a little wine because the water wasn’t always safe. “Stop drinking only water and use a little wine instead because of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (I Timothy 5:23).
So let’s back up and read what the apostle says after this line about not having a spirit of fear.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in “SUFFERING” for the gospel according to the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12For this reason I also SUFFER these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 13Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”
He is saying, Stand in front of the people Timothy, and wear the authority the Father of Glory has given you and do not be timid to speak the TRUTH in power and love.
What is a sound mind?
Dr. Skip Moen, Scholar, and teacher, has multiple blogs on this verse that I would encourage you to dig into. Here is an excerpt from one blog on this verse– “a sound mind.”
“Proverbs tells us that wisdom, understanding, and instruction all go together to bring us into alignment with the character of God. But it’s not simply mental activity. Wisdom (hokma) is about right action. Understanding (bine) is about distinguishing good from evil (and making the right choices), and instruction (musar) is about correction and chastisement when necessary. All of these ideas are present in the Hebrew view of a sound mind. None of them are primarily about thinking.”
When Paul says that God has given us a spirit of discipline, he does not mean that God enables us to study better or to eat less, or to exercise more. Paul is speaking as a Hebrew. God gives us a spirit that reveals right behavior, correct moral discernment, and necessary chastisement. God shapes how we live and what we do, not just what we think. God’s gift is behavioral alignment and correction. A sound mind is seen in the hands and feet of obedience.” Click HERE.
Would you tell a small child with cancer they have evil thoughts? Or it’s the sins of their fathers? Whose father hasn’t sinned? Would you tell your brother, who has a mental illness, that he just needs to be more positive? That the antidote is prayer? Yes, prayer helps all, but where is the compassion? Would you tell a depressed Jeremiah that he needs to be more positive as he watches his people being destroyed? Can this teaching stand inspection as Truth in the context it’s being used?
Was Paul really telling Timothy, in these chapters, what some are making millions off of?
- “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.”
The explanation is that this verse has nothing to do with our thought life. According to the Pulpit commentary found on the Bible Hub website, “The verb here used is שָׁעַר (shaar), ‘to estimate … to calculate’, and the clause is best rendered, ‘For as one that calculates with himself, so is he. But let us look diligently like a Berean at what the whole passage is about.
“When you sit down to dine with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you, And put a knife to your throat If you are a man of great appetite. Do not desire his delicacies. For it is deceptive food. Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. Do not eat the bread of a ‘selfish’ man, Or desire his delicacies;” (Proverbs 23:1-6).
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.”
The ruler in these verses has a heart for wealth and hoarding. He is a deceptive man, and his heart is not with you when he says eat and drink. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he… I used to think I was fat when I weighed a buck twenty. I used to think I was not a very good fictional author, but my reviews showed otherwise. If we read this verse in its entirety, it makes sense.
We are to “PROVE all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” We are told to mark and avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to that which we have learned in Scripture (Rom. 16:17). There is great danger in eating raw meat. Baby sheep can’t eat meat and spit out bones because they don’t have enough wisdom (eye-teeth), knowledge, and understanding. We know trees by their fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit. We don’t walk up to trees and say, okay, look at the apples closely because some are poisonous and some are good.
In Acts Chapter 18, a husband and wife who were apostles/ teachers take a man aside and show him a more sound way to teach ‘accurately.’ Let’s examine that.
“Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. 25This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:24-26).
Paul tells Timothy that he is ready to be poured out as a drink offering. Paul then thanks this couple (Priscilla and Aquila) and mentions a missionary/evangelist that he left sick. Yes, that’s how it reads. “Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.” (II Timothy 4:19-20).
Not everyone was healed, not even by the greatest apostles.
#3: “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ/ Messiah.”
I’ve already touched on this, but I want to quote from a Jewish source on the matter. I’ll be the first to tell you that no one likes to be around a person who is always negative, but we should ask ourselves if what they say is cynical or accurate.
“The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil.” (II Chronicles 18:7). “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” (Luke 6:26).
Jacob said few and evil have been the days of my life. (Gen. 47:9). He did not say, “Pharaoh, my life has been blessed and highly flavored.
“Ideas are wonderful, but they mean nothing if they aren’t turned into action. Philosophy only becomes Judaism when it is joined to the fulfillment of mitzvoth, a commandment of the Torah. That’s why most Jewish scholarship, creativity, and commitment were focused on works of the law—books whose purpose was not to tell you what to think but to help you know what to do.
Jewish theologians came to an interesting conclusion about the relationship between thought and deed. “The heart,” they said, “is drawn AFTER THE ACTIONS.” It’s not so much that THINKING LEADS TO DOING as that DOING LEADS TO THINKING. As clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Pearsall put it, coming to the same conclusion as the rabbis of old: “Going through the motions alters the emotions. If you behave lovingly, you will feel love. You change your behavior first.” That is why Judaism stresses the deed. The creed will follow.” Rabbi Benjamin Blech, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Judaism.
In Paul’s writings and the verse taking captive thoughts, he goes on to say, “for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” 11Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.” Word and deed.
What is Paul saying? “5We are destroying speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.”
He says, take every thought these “super-apostles” feed you as truth and hold it up to the Light.
The arguments to be destroyed are those of the self-exalting, self-described “Super Apostles,” who was teaching a theology of glory. Everything they did was just “brilliant–superb.”.” In contrast, Paul was suffering and speaking of his sufferings. He bore in his body the marks of Yeshua. He said, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8Concerning this, I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in WEAKNESS.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me.” (II Cor. 12)
As a person who suffers and has been hurt by many of these teachers who proclaim a spirit of fear, a demon behind every diagnosis, I must ask you, is there any compassion in that for the one who is suffering. Would you say it to a loved one, a minister who just got a bad report? Paul spoke about his suffering, and he said he gladly boasted in his weaknesses. May we look closer at long-suffering because it is good fruit when it keeps one from becoming “arrogant super-apostles.” Perhaps, Abba wants us to suffer a bit? Everyone in the Book did.
Sometimes, I forget the verses the Father has spoken to me about my suffering, and I wish to leave it, but if I had never been through it, I doubt I would have the ministry or books He has given me or the compassion to weep with those suffering.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ (Romans 5:3-4).
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35).
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” (1 Peter 4:1).
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” (Philippians 1:29).
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (Isaiah 53:3).
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4).
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” (Philippians 3:10).
“To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21).
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:20-21).
Test these verses against the teachers who are making fortunes off packaged meals that have scriptures tossed in. Some of the things they teach have truth, but is there some frogs in the bread bowl? Job could have no more gotten out of his suffering than Joseph or David. There was no fasting or thinking exercises or demons to cast out, it was the Very Finger of Adonai, and He used it for His Glory.