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Dull of Hearing


   In 2 Timothy 2:16 - 17, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy the following,
   All Scripture is given by inspiration of Yahweh and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of Yahweh may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
   Take special note that the last part of this verse is directed toward "the MAN of YAHWEH!" In other words, this is written to those who are mature, and the Bible is for those who have grown Spiritually and not for babies. The Bible is given to us so that through it we might become perfected. There are lessons to be learned, and things to be done so that we will arrive at a higher plane of spiritual growth than when we first believed. We cannot remain babes in the Word. Stagnation will produce degeneration.
   To comprehend some of the great spiritual truths in the Scriptures, it is imperative that we put into practice the lessons of the things of Yahweh. It does require a certain measure of spiritual capacity which we do not all possess in the same degree, and much of it is for want of abiding in fellowship with our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah. We are expected to grow up in Him, to experience some of the identical attitudes, goals, and desires that are His. We are to become mature in our thinking and to view the very life we are now living as He sees it. We are to look upon the fields of the world that are white and ready to harvest and see through His eyes the goal before us of taking His message to the world.
   Too many people feel that once they have repented and become a convert to the Messiah, after Baptism nothing more remains for them to do. But, we read in
   (1) Acts 2:38:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Spirit. Thus, following baptism we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and
   (2) I Thessalonians 5:19 says we are not to quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19: Quench not the Spirit.), but to grow in grace and knowledge (spiritual strength - Living Bible) of our Master and Savior Yahshua the Messiah,
for Messiah died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to Yahweh. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 1 Peter 3:18 NIV.
   There are many denominational groups today who preach that the shed blood of our Redeemer is the power of eternal life, and rightly so! Were it not for the innocent suffering of Yahshua Messiah and the life He gave for our sins, there would be no salvation available to us. Many of the great reformers in past ages stressed this Scriptural Truth, and thus shed an entirely new light on our redemption. It is not by our own works nor is it by doing penance or through indulgences that we are promised salvation. It is through the shed blood of Yahshua and His death upon the tree that we can lay claim to life everlasting.
   Were we to stop with the glorious news of the death of our Redeemer, however, we would be likened to the children of Israel who understood the striking of the blood of the innocent lamb upon the lintel and doorpost but did nothing more in obedience to Yahweh. This is indeed a glorious Truth! But we cannot muddle around in the shed blood and not go beyond that.
   Just as the children of Israel could not stay in Goshen and discuss the miraculous salvation in the blood, but had to prepare for the journey out of Egypt (a type of sin), so we today must go on to perfection. We cannot forget what Yahshua has done for us, and we must be ever mindful of His innocent death for each of us, but we cannot just remain in the elementary teachings of Messiah. Hebrews 6:1 - 3 reads,
   Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Messiah, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward Yahweh, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if Yahweh permit.
   We must go on to perfection. There are things to be learned, things to be done, once we have accepted the atonement provided by Yahweh. Yet, there are many who never seem to get beyond the milk stage of spiritual food,
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe, Hebrews 5:13.
   The writer of Hebrews indicates that certain people who have become believers in Yahshua are still spiritual babies. They still need milk, and cannot take strong meat for they are still on the bottle.
   A baby sucking on a bottle is not strong enough to do the work of a mature follower of our Savior. A baby, clutching a bottle of milk will never be able to persuade others of the reality of the Holy Spirit.
   Anyone seeing a baby with a bottle of milk will certainly not stop and listen to any words of wisdom coming from an uneducated infant! Yet, verse 12 of Hebrews 5 clearly says that Yahweh expects us to GROW in the Word so that we can teach others.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of Yahweh; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat, Hebrews 5:12.
   If we stay only with the milk of the Word, we will be children - believers, not knowing the way to righteousness. We are told in verse 14 that our senses are to be exercised to advance still further in the Word of righteousness.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil, Hebrews 5:14.
   The more we exercise (or put into practice) the knowledge we find in the Word, the greater our spiritual growth will be. We must get to the place where we will be taking strong meat.
   The expressed goal of Yahweh’s ministers is to teach strong meat. Not all people are ready for it and without really trying to prove from the Bible the veracity of the Truths we teach (Acts 17:11), many immature people go right back to the milk bottle. They reject the deeper things of the Scriptures and regress to rehashing the death of the Messiah at Calvary, His love for us, His shedding of His righteous blood for the sins of the world, His coming again. All these are Bible Truths indeed, but an unbalanced view of what the Bible teaches.
   It is the point of basic Truth or "milk" from which we are to go on to perfection,
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Messiah, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward Yahweh, Hebrews. 6:1.
   We must grow up and mature in the FULNESS of the Messiah so that we will no more be children, blown about by every wind of doctrine that comes along, by the craftiness of men, Ephesians 4:13 - 15:
   Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the Truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Messiah.
   We should be able to know the teachings of the Bible and follow them, so that we will not be veering off course in our goal to follow the Head of the Assembly, Yahshua the Messiah.

Questions Which Need Answers
   Too many believers are still basically carnal in their attitudes. We read in Romans 8:7 that the carnal mind is enmity against the Law of Yahweh. How about you? Are you hostile to some of the Laws Yahweh has given us for our own good? Do you willingly obey them, or do you strive to evade them? Do you search the Bible for those verses that may show that you do not have to do something that is difficult to do, or different from the activities of the world? Do you scoff and jeer at anyone trying to walk in the footsteps of Yahshua? Do you try your best to understand the reason for some of the Laws given in the Bible? Or do you summarily reject them and go your way of disobedience toward your eventual destiny in the lake of fire?
   Many people will read Peter's great sermon given on Pentecost in which he exhorted Israel to
Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38.
   A great number of newly baptized people will think that by being baptized they have fulfilled all righteousness and feel there is nothing more to do. Just as the children of Israel had to do more than apply the blood to the doorposts and lintels of their houses on that first Passover, we cannot apply the shed blood of the Messiah to our sins and feel that's all there is for us to do.
   The receiving of Yahweh's Spirit upon repentance and baptism is not the end of the Spiritual walk. IT IS THE BEGINNING! From the time we are given of Yahweh's very Divine Power in the form of the Spirit, we are expected to grow in the fullness of the stature of the Messiah. We cannot remain stationary in basic infant-level thinking or activities. We are expected to grow and mature into full-grown saints. Having been given the very Spirit of Yahweh, we are urged by Yahweh to develop the talents and gifts that He has given us for the UPBUILDING of His Assembly. There is much to be done. The fields are white unto harvest, and the laborers are few.
   Just as the children of Israel could not stay in Egypt, so we must leave the world of sin and strive for the higher realm of Spiritual growth. We have but to look at Israel's history after the destroying angel passed over them. There was much more yet to come besides being granted salvation from the destroying angel. There were the goods to be gathered from the Egyptians. There was the gathering together of all Israel in preparation to leave Egypt. There was yet the crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Pharaoh and his armies. They were to see the Cloud and the Pillar of Fire to lead them on their journey. Miracles were stagnate around the salvation exhibited by the shedding of the Passover blood and applying it to the door post and lintel. This was but the BEGINNING of the history of Israel as a nation. The shedding of blood was but the start of a new life.
   The great fulfillment of your life lies beyond the present day. Being a child of Yahweh is but the beginning. We have a work to do and we either do it, or Yahweh will raise up a people who will do it. Being immersed in the name of Yahshua is but the beginning of the Spiritual growth of His people. The energy required to do the job demands strong, mature laborers in the vineyard. It cannot be done by those who are sucking on a milk bottle. The Scriptures stress that strong meat belongs to them that are of full age,
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, Hebrews 5:14a.
   Continuing on with last half of the above verse, we find that "by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil." As Weymouth reads, "that is, for those who through constant practice have their spiritual facilities carefully trained." In other words, we are to practice what He has commanded us to do, and by so doing, we exercise our perception of what is correct and what is wrong. We live His laws and make them come alive. His Word becomes His Laws in action as we willingly obey Him,
And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him, Hebrews 5:9.
   Such action is called "works." Carnal Israel could not keep the Law of Yahweh by their own power. But in this time, since Pentecost, we are expected to keep His Laws in their full spiritual intent as exemplified by the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5, 6, and 7. It is that remnant of seed upon whom the dragon makes war,
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Yahweh, and have the testimony of Yahshua Messiah, Revelation 12:17.
   So here we have a small group of people, a remnant, who are keeping or obeying the commandments of Yahweh and having the testimony by so doing that they are indeed Yahshua's body.
   Certainly, if the goal Yahweh had placed in His Assembly was to gather a large following, we could change the things we teach to make them smoother and more palatable for the babes. We could continually talk of repentance, the innocent blood of the Savior being shed for you and me. We could water down the keeping of the Law and preach a nebulous "love" instead. We could speak continually of the joy of being a believer, that we are a part of the family of Yah. We could talk incessantly of our "experience" and the love of our Heavenly Father. We could talk about sin in general, and say that we abhor it without really defining it. We could talk about being saved without really explaining what it means. But then, we would be doing nothing more than is being done in nominal churchianity, and the body of Messiah would stagnate in ignorant bliss.
   A baby on the milk bottle does not understand the conversation of a mature adult. A baby is still walking around in diapers and hasn't developed his craving for strong meat. He is unable to chew strong meat. He is content with his milk bottle. Even though he may be the heir of a fortune or a kingdom, it is beyond his comprehension. He may be the rightful owner of a vast empire with huge fortunes being his. As long as he is a baby, he never will advance in understanding beyond the impotent stage. The goal of the Assemblies of Yahweh is to prepare people to go beyond the milk of the Word into the strong meat they need to prepare them for the traumatic events at the end of the age. There is more said in Holy Writ about the righteousness of Yahweh than about any other single subject! The divine attributes of our Heavenly Father are the sum and substance of the Scriptures. He possesses everything that is good and proper. He represents everything we should be, and yet we fail miserably. Everything we should be, HE IS! And the message of the Good News is that we can have a part in HIS attributes and goodness. We can be partakers of His Divine Nature by escaping that corruption that is in the world,
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, 2 Peter 1:4.
   If we overcome the carnal nature by allowing Yahweh's Spirit to dominate our lives and minds, then we will grow to be like Him.
   The crux of the messages given to the seven Assemblies in Revelation 2 and 3 is that if the people overcome and hold fast to the Truth, they will be given rulership over the nations! When Yahshua returns to this earth and establishes His rule upon this earth, those who have been faithful and diligent in their obedience to Him will be given positions and authority in His Kingdom, Rev. 2:26, 3:21. This is the same promise given to the disciples,
And Yahshua said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Matthew 19:28.
   Rulership, authority, teachers ... this is what the Bible is really about. We are told that to prepare to be judges of the fallen angels,
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? (I Corinthians 6:2 - 3).
And the angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day, Jude 6.
   The judges and magistrates of our contemporary society spend YEARS in preparation for their position. The training and learning goes on even after they are in office. The necessary understanding of the principles and precepts comes only after they have matured to the point they can comprehend their duties and apply to their life what they have learned.
   If the children of this world are preparing themselves for positions by education and study, can we do any better? How can we learn the deeper things of the Scriptures; learn the Laws that will govern this earth; become proficient in discerning what is proper and what is not acceptable? The only way we can understand what is required of us in the school of life (which is really what this life is all about — a training program to learn the Law of Yahweh so that we can help others) is to live the Law of Yahweh right now so that it becomes a part of us, a part of our being, a part of our very thoughts.
   How about you? Are you tired of hearing the smooth things? The ear-tickling things? Have you listened to sermons that preach repentance and forgiveness and it really moved you? Have you then listened the next day in a vain hope to hear what else you should do to attain that higher spiritual growth? And all you heard was another plea to accept the Messiah as your personal Savior? And the next sermon was the same thing? And the next? Yahweh’s ministers teach that Yahshua died for our sins. It is He that has the words of Eternal Life. Once we have accepted His Atonement for our dirty, rotten, sinful life, and have been forgiven of those sins that are past (Rom. 3:25), then we are told to walk in His footsteps,
For even hereunto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps, 1 Peter 2:21.
   We are to deny ourselves, renounce our own desires, take up our burdens and follow Him,
Then said Yahshua unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his torture stake, and follow Me, Matthew 16:24.
   Were it not for the love bestowed by the Heavenly Father to us, we could never have any part in the grand and glorious future awaiting those who willingly follow the pattern set by Yahweh’s Son.
   Yahshua will once again keep the Passover in the Kingdom (Matt. 26:29, Ezek. 45:21). We learn that the Sabbath will be kept in the Kingdom (Isa. 66:23), as will the new moons. The Feast of T abernacles will again be kept, even forced upon the disobedient (Zech. 14:16 - 19). Isaiah 2 and Malachi 4 state that the Law of Yahweh will once again go forth and rule the world. It will be up to the saints to administer that Law,
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom, Daniel 7:22.
   For this reason, Yahweh’s ministers are to teach both from the Old and the New T estaments, so that we get the harmony of the Scriptures and a better understanding of the Spiritual meaning of Yahweh's Word. This life is a physical training ground for spiri- tual lessons of the future age. How about you? Are you dull of hearing the shallow things of the Scriptures? Do you desire strong meat? Do you rebel at having to keep His Sabbaths? Do you hate His Holy Days? Do you think you can call Him any name you please, even though He has said that Yahweh is His memorial — for all generations?
And Yahweh said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Yahweh Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent Me unto you: this is My name for ever, and this is My memorial unto all generations, Exodus 3:15.
   Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness — His Laws? Do you search the Scriptures for instructions in living so that you might better please Him? If you are not striving for that walk in the Spiritual realm of the heavenlies, praying that His Kingdom will soon come to this earth, with its righteous Laws, judgments and statutes, then you had better stop and ask yourself if you really are one of His children. This is not a game; your eternal life is at stake.
   Do you honestly feel you can demand obedience to the Laws of Yahweh in a position of rulership in the Kingdom if you hate these laws and disobey them now? How can you pass judgment upon others for neglecting His Holy Feast Days when you yourself do not keep them? We will all face the Righteous Judge one day. Oh, that all of us would hear Him say,
Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Master, Matthew 25:21.

-Elder Donald R. Mansager (deceased)

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