I have been stuck in this one chapter, Acts chapter 8 for going on three months and 3 days now. Together, we have gleaned quite a bit of teaching points from this chapter. And we will stay here as long as Elohim (ALMIGHTY GOD) has something to speak and or show us from this chapter.
what our goal should be
As we read Elohim’s word, the Bible. Our goal should not be to complete a chapter or more a day. So, we can say – I have read X amount of chapters today. Nor should it be so we can say – I have read the entire Bible this year.
Don’t get me wrong. Having such goals are good. So long as this is what Elohim has encouraged and instructed you to do. Believe me, when HE does, it serves a specific purpose and not manly or religious ambition.
Now, personally, such aspirations are unfruitful to me. Because I do not see what we really will gain or get out of our Bible reading when we are striving after such goals. After all, it took me over 3 years to read the entire Bible the first time I set that as my goal.
Why do I say this is an unfruitful way to read the Bible? Because I really do not see how the Ruah (Spirit) of Elohim can speak to you in this way as you read HIS word. How can Elohim’s Ruah really teach, guide, or provide us insight or revelation that way as we read? Compare that to John chapter 5, verse 39.
So, why are we doing it then?
he is elohim, yah, ywhw, yahuah
Our Bible reading should not be about reading so we can
We have to understand that the Scriptures' sole purpose is to testify about Elohim, Yah, YWHW, Yahuah. Who HE is, what HE is about, and how to properly worship and serve a holy CREATOR. The Holy Scriptures is not written about us – that is, mankind. Although it contains our history. For John chapter 5, verse 39 says this.
When we do this, we are making the Holy Scriptures a man-centered and driven book with no authority nor power to change anything. For the root of all secret motivation is in the heart of man. Compare this to Jeremiah 17:9-10, Mark 7:21-23, and Genesis 6:5.
Man is totally convinced and has been programmed to believe that the Holy Scriptures and what it says and teaches is not only writing for man but is about mankind and his relationship with Elohim. But if you read the surrounding text around such verses as John 5:39, we will know, we have been taught in error. And Yeshua (Jesus) corrects such miss presumption by man. At verse 36, of that same chapter, Jesus says
The purpose of the Holy Writings is to ‘bear witness’ of Yahuah’s Son, Yeshuah, and the works he had done to rescue us from our own self-afflicted, sinful state. So, that we will be able to clearly identify our Mashiah (Messiah) and the living Ruah (Spirit) of Yahuah (Almighty GOD).
But because we search the Scriptures for the wrong reasons, i.e. to form a sermon. Or to be able to declare we have read our Bible. Or to determine how Yeshua can bless and benefit us. We fail to gain an accurate understanding of and real fruit of the Holy Writings, which is to “… have HIS word abiding in….” us. Why? Because many of us really not only do not understand Yahuah’s words in the Scriptures and what they truly mean. Our lack of understanding of the Scriptures makes it far too easy for many of us to reject certain aspects of HIS living and holy word as well as justify our lifestyles, customs, and pagan practices. Jesus puts it this way in verse 38, of John chapter 5 – “… you do not believe….” Hence why He said, “you search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life…” (verse 39).
Why is this the case? Verse 40 of that same chapter clears this up for us by revealing our true misconception about the Scriptures. It reads
We are unwilling to accept the kind of lifestyle Yeshua wants to offer us because that would mean we would have to give up our preferred practices, customs, traditions, and lustful lifestyles. We want to think and believe a certain way. And we don’t want anyone, not even Yeshua and those He sends to us to teach and reveal to us real substance from His Holy Writings to show us our errors and correct our understandings. We prefer to keep erroneous understandings or distorted or even tainted views of the Scriptures. Because it is important to us to keep our doctrines, belief systems, pagan celebrations, and pursuits that satisfy our flesh and mental and emotional state without Yeshua interfering or prompting us to let go or change.
who is holding church leaders and their governing body accountable
Okay, so this leads us back to the chapter we have been studying since September 7 – Acts chapter 8. Before we continue where we left off last. Let’s review verses 14 through 17.
In Acts chapter 8, we discussed why it’s important, the church as a Body should receive Holy Spirit. Yet, we also learned that many in the Body of Christ have rejected and not received the promised Ruah ha’Qodesh (Holy Spirit). Compare this to John 16:12.
When Ruah of Elohim was sent back to dwell with man, it is then that they were able to more fully comprehend the things Yeshua wants them to know until His return. For Jesus said, that the Advocate, that is Ruah ha’Qodesh of Elohim will teach us all things. He will help to make the bigger picture clearer – that is the past, present, and future.
But even in the Church today. Even after Yeshua has sent back Elohim’s promise, that is Ruah ha’Qodesh as promised. Many in the church still lack the abiding in the Ruah of the living GOD. Because many have only experienced baptism by water. But like the converted Samarians, many in the church today, have as of yet received the baptism of Ruah ha’Qodesh and baptism by fire. Compare this to Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:15-18 (NKJV). Far too many have not received the promised Ruah ha’Qodesh. Therefore, many have not received the fullest of Ruah ha’Qodesh as promised by Yeshua.
Why not? Because too many church leaders have removed the prophets and apostles from out of their proper place in Elohim’s houses. So, that they can focus on the things that they most desire without interference from Elohim’s true prophets and apostles. In this way, church leaders are not forced or held accountable to a higher divine standard by Elohim’s chosen vessels – HIS prophets and apostles. This allows far too many church leaders to reject the kind of life that Yeshua really wants for them. As a result, they never truly teach it to their flock. Compare this to John 5:39-40.
Instead, too many church leaders and their governing body, are like Simon. They do not truly want the life Yeshua wants to give us and His Church. They only desire to use the word of Elohim for their own selfish gain - which usually involves fleecing the flock of Elohim for every red penny they got.
Simon wanted more clout, power, money, influence, and political power. He did not really want what Christ had to offer him, which would have truly required him to change everything about the way he was living. Simon wanted Elohim but he wanted Elohim in the measure and method that would allow him to make very few changes. From the outside, it looked like he was cleaned up by Elohim’s Ruah. But Simon’s heart and mind were never completely transformed.
Simon was willing to follow and serve Elohim to point. To the point where it did not fully benefit him. Nor he had to give up everything in order to worship Elohim with pure motives and in a holy manner.
Just like Simon, that were most Christians draw the line in the sand when it comes to truly worshiping and serving Elohim. As long as we don’t have to do too much, give up weed; sex; that man or that woman; family relations; pagan holidays, customs, traditions; our belief systems; or our personal interpretation and understanding of the Scriptures. The Hallelluyah Scriptures puts it this way at John 5:40.
We search the Scriptures because we think we will be able to gain or possess everlasting life through them. Again, we are reading the Scriptures not to gain pure knowledge and understanding of our CREATOR. But we want the same thing Simon the Sorcerer wanted – personal gains in order to scratch and satisfy our own egos.
Next week, we will continue with Acts chapter 8 and look more closely at verse 20 to see what will Elohim reveal and maybe even uncover for us next.