Kingdom Over Culture



But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. ~Matthew 6:33 (TLV)


            Christianity never ceases to amaze me with the “do as I say, not as I do” type of hypocrisy I see coming out of it. One of the recent “slogans” I have seen being declared among several ministries I have had an association with in the past is: Kingdom over culture. This sounds like a great concept. After all, we are told to seek the Kingdom and shun the culture throughout the Word of God. So, my question then is: Why is it that Churches who chant Kingdom over culture are in practice some of the most worldly places in modern Christianity?


            Not so long ago I saw where one such Church—that has been preaching this idea of Kingdom over culture for several years—had a full carnival on their property. They brought in all sorts of rides, food trucks, a petting zoo, and even had a fireworks show. For weeks leading up to the event they were telling their local parishioners that this was all “bait” to attract people in the surrounding community to come out to their Church, but then after it appeared to be an epic fail they changed and said that they simply had it as a celebration of some recent “big accomplishment”. Sadly, they were able to do this so smoothly that most people seemed to completely forget that it was originally marketed as worldly “bait” to attract “the lost”.


            I saw another Church in my area advertising a big event built around the [absolutely demonic] Harry Potter movies as a theme. They were apparently using this movie series, where actual witchcraft is woven into the storyline, to supposedly present the Gospel. The title of their event was Dumbledore’s Army as a Model for the Church. I have no idea who or what “Dumbledore” is, except that it has something to do with the Harry Potter movies, but I do know what DUMB is and a so-called “Christian” Church using witchcraft as a model for biblical faith is BEYOND DUMB.


            Then we come to the longstanding worldly “holidays” of unbiblical “Christianity”. And I am not just talking about Halloween, even though more and more Churches are offering so-called alternatives to the devil’s feast through events they call Neewollah (Halloween spelled backwards), Hallelujah Night, or even Trunk-or-Treat where Church people dress up the trunk of their car with actual Halloween decorations—witches, ghosts, zombies, spiders, tombstones, etc.—and give out candy in the exact manner as is traditionally done for Trick-or-Treat in local neighborhoods. Somehow they think that if they do this at a Church they are “redeeming the holiday”. Let me help you out: You CANNOT redeem Satanism.


            But this is, in all likelihood, how Christmas and Easter came into being as well. I know there are those who challenge the plethora of historical claims and whatever valid evidence there is against these holidays. But the reality is that those who fight to defend them are really fighting a battle that makes no sense at all. Can we find these holidays in Scripture? NO! So we have what are essentially very worldly festivals where at least a good majority of the modern-day traditions are directly out of pagan religions that are nowhere to be found in The Bible. Is there a need to go further?


            Some try to argue that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Yeshua. It is not. If you study the Nativity event in The Bible, you will find out that it is literally impossible to place this event in the middle of winter. Luke’s Gospel tells us that the shepherds were living in the fields with their flocks. Historical records from the time period when Yeshua was born show that Israeli shepherds went into the fields in spring and returned in late fall just before the winter weather would have started. The shepherds were not living in the fields with their flocks in the middle of winter when modern Christmas is celebrated.


            The best argument for the true timing of the Nativity seems to be that Yeshua was born around the time of the biblical Feast of Tabernacles, though there is a somewhat valid argument that it was around the time of the Passover. Either way, it most certainly could not have been during the time when the Church—and the world—celebrates Christmas. Celebrating Christmas—especially with all the worldly trappings of the trees, the mistletoe, and Santa Claus—is not an act of Kingdom over culture, it is conformity to cultural worldliness.


            The same is true of Easter. This celebration is said to be for the Resurrection event, where Messiah walked out of the grave. But that too is unbiblical. Yeshua was crucified on Passover, stayed in the tomb on The Sabbath, and rose again on what is called the Feast of First Fruits, which begins on the first day of the week immediately following the Sabbath that falls after Passover. In all likelihood, it appears likely that the crucifixion took place on a Thursday evening and the Resurrection may have happened as early as that Saturday evening as days on the Hebrew reckoning of time turn over at sunset.


            Easter is derived from the worship of a pagan goddess in pre-Christian European regions named Eostre. Christmas has roots in the Roman pagan celebration called Saturnalia and the Norse pagan Yule. The character that people today call Santa Claus is nothing but a pagan god named Odin reinvented and given the name of a Roman Catholic “Saint”, Nicolas of Myra, who is said to have punched someone in the face at the famed Counsel of Nicea and snuck into the bedrooms of young women at night.


            When Christians celebrate these holidays they are literally practicing the faith of other religions, having taken those religious practices and supposedly turning them into Yahwism. The problem with all of this, of course, is that it is an absolute violation of God’s Laws to engage in the practice of other religions and even to take those practices and “rebrand them” into something “Christian”. Deuteronomy 12:31 (NLT) says: “You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods…”


            Like it or not, all indications are that celebrating Christmas and Easter is idolatry that will provoke the wrath of God. It seems incomprehensible to most practicing Christians today, but the reality is these are holidays found nowhere in The Bible and have an abundance of valid connections with other religions. I mean, Christmas even appears to be connected to the very Roman religion we read about in the Apostolic writings and the book of Acts, the exact same paganism that the Apostles were combating in their day. It is amazing to me that today the number one celebration on the Christian calendar is most likely rooted in the exact same pagan religion the Apostles were pulling people out of!


            The Bible tells us, “New Testament”, that people who call themselves Believers in Yahweh, followers of Yeshua, and recipients of the Holy Spirit but continue to embrace worldliness like these examples I have just give are committing adultery with God and are His enemy (James 4:4). The Bible tells us not to love the world and the things of the world, and that those who love the world do not have the love of the Father in them (1 John 2:15). Read Psalm 1, it tells us that those who do not follow God’s Torah are the wicked. We can talk about wheat and tares, sheep and goats, and many other things. The simple fact is that, sadly, it seems the overwhelming majority of Christianity is going to end up in hell. The whole thing is being led by people who preach Kingdom over culture but practice conformity to culture and worldliness. And nobody seems to care!


What Spirit Is Leading You?



            So often I hear people talk about being “led by the Spirit”. Almost equally as often I am inclined to wonder: What spirit are they being led by? God’s Spirit is called Ruach HaKodesh. The Hebrew word ruach means “spirit, breath, wind” and the word qadosh means “holy”. God’s Spirit is the Spirit, Breath, Wind of Holiness.


            When we look at what The Bible says about holiness or being holy, we must go all the way back to the beginning. In Leviticus 11:44, 19:2, and 20:26 God tells His people, which includes all today who are grafted into Israel through Yeshua, to be holy, as He is holy. Twice this admonition is directly linked to keeping the food laws in Leviticus and the other time it is directly linked to such commandments as keeping the biblical Sabbath (which is not, never has been, and never will be Sunday), not wearing wool and linen together, and not getting tattoos on your body. So I ask again, to all the self-proclaiming “Spirit-led” Believers out there who eat pork and shellfish, all those professing “Christians” who claim to follow Yeshua who think Sunday is the “Christian Sabbath” or are following modern trends to put tattoos on their body: What spirit are you being led by?


            We’re talking about “Kingdom over culture” and being led by the Spirit, Breath, Wind of Holiness, so what spirit could possibly be leading these people who are not keeping God’s Laws, His Torah? The Holy Spirit of God will NEVER lead you to a disregard for God’s Laws. He will never lead you against the Word of God. So I will tell you exactly what kind of spirit Christians who violate God’s Torah are following: A DEMON SPIRIT.


            Christians who go around breaking The Sabbath are following a demon spirit. Christians who celebrate Christmas and Easter instead of the Spring and Fall Biblical Feasts of Yahweh are following a demon spirit. Christians who eat pork and shellfish and all manner of abomination are following a demon spirit. Christians who get tattoos on their bodies—even “Christian” tattoos of crosses, Bible verses, and “Jesus faces”—are following a demon spirit. I mean, seriously, how dumb do you have to be to not realize that it’s a devil that would convince you it’s OK to openly rebel against God’s commandment in Leviticus 19:28 so long as the tattoo you are getting is a Bible verse or some “Christian symbol”? Remember, it was the serpent in Genesis 3 that led people to question and then reject the commandment of God, and Revelation 12:9 tells us quite emphatically that the ancient serpent was Satan himself.

            Something that truly amazes me is people who will reject actual biblical commandments unless they think God speaks to them in some special and personal way to keep them. I’ve had conversations with people about such topics as keeping The Sabbath, celebrating God’s Feasts, or following the food laws. At times people object to following these things, so I hit them with something from Scripture that they do believe we are to follow; tithing is often a good one. At times, I have actually been told “Well, God personally spoke to me about that and so I started to obey it. If God tells me to stop eating pork or celebrate those Feasts, then (and presumably only then) will I do those things.”


            I’ve got a shocking revelation for you, if that is how you decide what “rules” you need to follow: GOD DID TELL YOU TO OBEY THESE THINGS. The moment He had them written in the Torah they were forever told to all who would confess Him as their God. If you are waiting to “hear something in your spirit” before you will obey that part of The Bible then you are following a wrong spirit—a demon spirit. Don’t you get it? Devils will tell you to obey one thing from Scripture—typically something that everyone else in your “Christian circle” is following—to gain credibility with you. Then, after you trust the demon, it will convince you that you don’t have to obey those other things from Scripture unless you hear the same spiritual voice in your spirit telling you to. This is the exact reason why Christians get tattoos, eat unclean things like pork and shellfish, call Sunday their “Christian sabbath”, celebrate Christmas and Easter, and so many other things that directly oppose The Bible, because they have allowed themselves to be tricked into trusting a demon spirit posing as God’s Spirit.


            I recently had someone tell me that they had a vision that told them Peter’s vision in Acts 10 allows us to eat whatever we want, rejecting the Leviticus 11 food laws. I mean, this is Genesis 3 all over again. Hath God said you should no eat that? Surely you will not die. God gave Peter a vision and told him we can eat the pigs and all the other animals now. The vision this person claims to have had was not from God, it was from a devil and they are literally submitting to the spirit of the serpent!


            You don’t need a special invitation from God or some sensational experience, feeling, or hearing His Spirit speak to you before you obey The Bible. Let me explain to you how this thing is supposed to work. If you are saved and truly filled with the Spirit of God, you are drawn to The Bible, and especially to Torah where you find God’s instructions. When you read instructions in Scripture, again if you are truly filled with the real Spirit of God, His Spirit will connect your spirit with the commandments and you will be compelled to obey. That’s it. No voices in your head, no goose bumps on your arms, no hair standing on the back of your neck. Just the natural desire to obey. Read Ezekiel 36:27. If that’s not your experience, in all likelihood you are following demon spirits and not the Spirit of God.


All Or Nothing


If you’re gonna throw one part of The Bible out you might as well throw it all out, but if you’re going to accept one part of it then you must accept all of it. —Dr. Lester Sumrall, Genesis: Crucible Of The Universe (Part 3)


            When I hear a phrase like Kingdom over culture I think about completely selling out to God. It is the idea of going all in with God’s Word, God’s Ways, and, ultimately, God’s Kingdom.


            Anyone, including “pastors” and those who lead ministries, who would profess Kingdom over culture while simultaneously promoting cultural worldliness or in some way not keeping The Father’s Torah is a liar and a deceiver. If you’re going to teach and preach going all in with God, His Word, and His Kingdom, then you need to practice going all in as well. Unfortunately, many “preachers” today are no different than those our Messiah addressed in Matthew 23—the teach truth, but do not themselves live the truth they teach.


            I recently saw one that essentially publicly renounced truth that he had spent well over a decade teaching, with a single picture posted to social media—and you know what they say, a picture says a thousand words. He used to uphold the Leviticus 19:28 commandment to not get tattoos, but then he started getting tattoos. I looked past that because I know that is a difficult text for some (believing that if it's not done for a pagan "for the dead" practice it's acceptable) and there seems to be no listed punitive consequence, either in Torah or eternal, directly associated with it. He used to disparage things like Santa Claus and the “Easter” rabbit, certainly because he knows these things are associated with other religions, but then he started having those things in his church as part of extremely worldly celebrations of the accompanying holidays. I looked past that too, after all, these are cultural things and it seems hard to convince some people of the outright paganism rooted in these “holidays”, or at least a majority of the traditions involved with them. He claimed that a major health battle that had the potential to take his life was a result of his not properly keeping The Sabbath. You would think that would change a man, but then in preparation for large events at the church they had big “work days” on Saturday to prepare for the event. Again, I turned aside as this could easily be “justified” by religion as ministry so it not really work, I suppose. He began making statements that I knew and could easily prove were factually wrong, but I decided not to publicly call him a liar because it could have been an honest mistake while preaching—despite a growing pattern of such errors. But then I saw a picture of him shared where he was seated at a table preparing to dine on a big tray of shrimp and crab legs, which of course are unclean and prohibited according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.


            I could not overlook this one. After all, it was at this ministry where teachings I had heard years ago on these exact commandments, the food laws, so strongly inspired me to study this topic, leading to many of the messages I have written about how the food laws are related to holiness, our own health, and the care of our Father’s Creation. Unlike the tattoo thing, there is a rock-tight biblical argument that people who violate the food laws will have a place in the lake of fire—whatever that may turn out to be in reality, be it a literal lake of fire or some other form of punishment for the wicked (including and especially those in religion who defy The Torah in this life).


            To any “preachers” within modern Christian religion who may be reading this, pay very close attention to my words: You better be careful about what you do and how it aligns with what The Bible says. Even if you preach truth, if you are not following the Scripture and doing what it says you will find yourself equated to those religious leaders who received a stern rebuke in Matthew 23. After our Messiah told the people to follow the truth, even if from the mouth of these hypocrites, He turned his attention to the hypocrite religious leaders of the day and called them hypocrites—seven times.


            Ultimately, your actions are a much stronger profession of your faith than your words are. When a Church feels like they need to offer carnivals, circuses, donuts and coffee, fireworks, Halloween alternatives, Christmas programs and Easter egg hunts to get people to come to Church or to keep them coming it shows that they do not have faith in The Bible, the name of Yeshua, or the anointing of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to draw them and keep them. That’s all there really is to it.


            Preaching the truth will not get anyone into heaven, including the preacher preaching the truth. Living the truth is what gets people into heaven. Romans 2:13 (TLV) says it plainly: “For it is not the hearers of Torah who are righteous before God; rather, it is the doers of Torah who will be justified.” A lot of people like to look past the Gospel accounts and into the Apostolic teachings about what we must do to be saved. As such, they will often say we just need to believe in Yeshua, call on the name of Yeshua, etc. All of these things are essential to salvation, of course, but alone they give an incomplete picture of biblical new covenant salvation, and therefore lead to false conversions. The late Reverend A.W. Pink made the following remarks, published in his Studies In The Scriptures, Volume 9:

Do you imagine that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to worldlings and telling them that they “may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their personal Saviour” while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin? If I do so, I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.

            The idea that you only need to “ask ‘Jesus’ into your heart” is simply not biblical at all. There is more to this thing. Why don’t we ever look at Yeshua’s response to the question: What must I do to be saved? We find in Matthew 19:17 that He told someone to keep the commandments if they want eternal life and in Luke 10:26 His response was a pair of questions: What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?


            Matthew 1:21 tells us that His name is Yeshua [meaning God’s salvation] because He will save His people from their sin. In 1 John 3:4 we find sin defined as the transgressing, violation, breaking of Torah. That would be the same Torah Yeshua used as the answer to the question of what one needs to do to find eternal life and the same Torah given to Moses on the top of the mountain.


            2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness…” It is worth pointing out that righteousness is defined as obeying divine laws—or keeping Father’s Torah. I would also note that when Paul wrote those words there was still no such thing as what is today typically referred to as the “New Testament”. So the “All Scripture” Paul was referring to was first and foremost the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible that Christians refer to as the “Old Testament”. To a first century Jewish Believer the Tanakh was still founded on God’s Torah as given to Moses. So what Paul was really saying to Timothy was: The Tanakh, The Torah, is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness.


            So often Christians today fail to realize that The Bible of the Apostles and first century followers of Yeshua was the Hebrew Bible. They don’t consider that approximately one third of what they call the “New Testament” is made up of references to the Hebrew Bible. They fail to see that when “Scripture” is referenced in the Apostolic Writings and The Gospels it is talking first about the Hebrew Bible. The moment you realize that is the moment you realize that there is only one page in a modern-day Bible that is misleading: That blank page that separates The Bible into two “Testaments”.


            Thus the words of Sumrall ring true: If you’re gonna throw one part of The Bible out you might as well throw it all out, but if you’re going to accept one part of it then you must accept all of it. A preacher has no right to preach against abortion if they are actively covering their body in tattoos. A pastor has no right to preach against homosexuality, calling it an abomination, if they eat pork and shellfish and everything else called the abomination. A minister has no right to demand you pay tithes if they are actively engaged in the cultural idolatry of celebrating Christmas, Easter, or Halloween. They don’t have the right to preach against lying or stealing if they don’t keep the biblical Sabbath (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) and the biblical Spring and Fall Feasts of Yahweh. And those who attempt to preach against one without regard to the other are nothing more than heretics and hypocrites who need to be openly rebuked to their face.


            In The Torah we are given a specific commandment not to add to or take away anything from the commandments (Deuteronomy 4:2). This sentiment is repeated in Revelation 22:18-19 and is also stated in The Didache, a first century “beginner’s guide” to following Torah attributed to the Apostles. If you want to quickly identify whether or not a sect of Bible religion is a false religion, all false religion sects will either add to or take away from Torah. Christian religion takes away from Torah, always talking about “not being under the law” and coming up with all sorts of reasons why “that commandment” no longer needs to be followed, whatever “that commandment” may be—typically The Sabbath, the Feasts, the food laws, or something else like not tattooing your body. Judaism religion adds to Torah, applying takkanot and Talmudic traditions to the mix and saying that these too also must be kept. The truth stands in the middle and follows The Torah, nothing added to and nothing taken away.


            Let me close with another recent encounter I had—a discussion with a man who expressed views that seemed to come out of Calvinism or Marcionism. I had presented him with a plethora of information about how the food laws still apply today. One of his later replies was to tell me that when he gets to heaven he will ask “Jesus” with me if it was necessary to abstain from pork to get to heaven.


            This, of course, is flawed logic. If keeping the food laws is essential to entry into heaven, or to say it another way if people will go to hell for eating unclean things, then he will not make it to heaven to be able to ask that question.


            So often I have heard the “Christian” say to the atheist that if God is not real and the whole of biblical faith is a lie, they have nothing to lose by keeping the faith. But if God is real and The Bible is true, that atheist is going to have a problem. The same is true of the Torah-keeping Believer in addressing the modern “Christian”. If we are wrong and we really don’t have to follow Torah today, there is still no penalty for obeying those parts of Scripture no longer required. But if we are right, and The Father does still require His people to keep His Laws, then all of the billions of people following modern “Christianity” are going to have a problem when they stand before The Master.


            Go all in with God. Go all in with the Word of God. Go all in with the Torah of God. Go all in with the Ways of God. Go all in with the Kingdom of God. Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the naysayers who would call you a fanatic, an extremist, a radical, crazy, weirdo. Remember, they will stand before God one day. And they will have to give an account for their dead religious attitudes toward those truly sold out to God. But you also will stand before Him. Wouldn’t you rather stand before Him having lived totally sold out to Him, His Word, His Torah, His Ways, and His Kingdom?


~Blessings and Shalom~

©2020 Truth Ignited Ministry

www.TruthIgnited.com

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