I am by no means one of those King James only people, but I recently discovered that there are some versions of the Bible that had removed part of a verse in Acts 18:21. The King James version reads: “But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.”

But the NIV (As well as other modern translations) reads: “But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.”

I was curious as to why the mentioning of keeping the feast was removed. Could it be some anti-Semitic plot to make the Bible appear to be more palatable to Gentile readers?

Many scholars claim that since the KJV was translated in A.D. 1611, many biblical manuscripts have been discovered that are older and more accurate than the manuscripts the KJV was based on. When Bible scholars researched through these manuscripts, they discovered some differences. It seems that over the course of 1500 years, some words, phrases, and even sentences were added to the Bible. (Either intentionally or accidentally) But using that logic, it would seem that it took men 1500 years to correct the mistakes of God inspired men.

I did discover some disturbing facts about the NIV Bible though. In 1988 Harper & Row, Publishers, (now HarperCollins Publishers) purchased Zondervan and the copyrights for the NIV Bible. HarperCollins also publishes “The Satanic Bible” and several pro-homosexual books such as “Making Out” and “The Book of Lesbian Sex and Sexuality”!

HarperCollins is a subsidiary of the global media empire, The News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdock. The News Corporation empire include Fox Broadcasting, Twentieth Century Fox, and more than 128 newspapers. Murdock also publishes the British newspaper, the Sun, notorious for its nude pin-ups.

Do you actually believe God would allow His Holy Word to be published by the same ungodly people who publish the Satanic Bible?  In 2 Corinthians 6:14 we are told, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?”

The text of most other versions of the Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted without permission, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for more than 50% of the total work in which they are quoted.

But of the NIV it states: “These Scriptures are copyrighted and have been made available for your personal use only. Any other use including, but not limited to, copying, posting or reposting on the Internet is prohibited. These Scriptures may not be altered or modified in any form and must remain in their original context. These Scriptures may not be sold or otherwise offered for sale. These Scriptures are not shareware and may not be duplicated.”

Who translates the NIV?

The text of the NIV is entrusted to the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), a self-governing body of  only 15 evangelical Bible scholars. No outside group — no publisher or commercial entity — can decide how the NIV is translated. Note that only 15 Evangelicals were entrusted to translate the NIV—No Messianic or Jewish scholars.

Like I said, I am by no means one of those King James only people. I often use several different versions of the Bible when studying God’s Word. But at the risk of getting in trouble, let’s examine just a few verses to see what the NIV has done to God’s Word. (Emphasis mine throughout)

The NIV perverts the virgin birth!

Luke 2:33: The King James Bible reads, “And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” The NIV reads,“The CHILD’S FATHER and mother marveled at what was said about him.” 

The child’s father“? Was Joseph Jesus’s father? Not if you believe the virgin birth! Not if you believe John 3:16, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God! A subtle, “perversion” of the virgin birth.

The NIV removes the blood of Jesus Christ!

Colossians 1:14: The KJV reads, “In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins:” The NIV reads, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” The NIV rips out the precious words “THROUGH HIS BLOOD”! But redemption is only through the blood of Jesus!

Hebrews 9:19-22, reads: “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The NIV perverts John 3:16 into a Lie!

JOHN 3:16: The NIV reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his ONE AND ONLY SON, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” 

But Jesus was NOT “the one and only sonAdam is called the “son of God” in Luke 3:38, there are “sons of God” in Job 1:6 and Christians are called “sons of God” in Phil 2:15 and I John 3:2.

Again in John 1:18 the KJV reads: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” But the NIV reads: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

But Jesus was the “ONLY BEGOTTEN SON”! By removing the critical word “BEGOTTEN” it diminishes Jesus’ divine authority and turns John 3:16, John 3:18, and 1 John 4:9 into a LIE!

The NIV perverts Lucifer into Messiah!

Isaiah 14:14 reveals Satan’s grandest desire, “I will be like the most High.” And with a little subtle perversion from the NIV in Isaiah 14:12 grants Satan’s wish!

ISAIAH 14:12: The KJB reads, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning!. . .” 

The NIV perverts God’s Word by translating Isaiah 14:12 to read: “How you have fallen from heaven, O MORNING STAR, son of the dawn. . .” The NIV changes “Lucifer” to “MORNING STAR”.

BUT WAIT. . . I thought the Lord Jesus Christ was the MORNING STAR? Doesn’t Revelation 22:16 say, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and MORNING STAR”. The NIV clearly and blatantly refers to Lucifer (The devil) as the Messiah! What blasphemy! And Christians claim the NIV is a “better translation”?

I realize that it is impossible to accurately translate Hebrew and Greek into other languages. And unfortunately, unless one is able to read the original Hebrew and Greek language of the Bible, they are forced to be dependent upon other’s translations.

That is why I use several versions of the Bible along with a Strong’s Concordance in my study of God’s Word—so I can better determine its meaning.

But reading versions like the NIV that distort and pervert God’s Word to tickle itching ears will only further distort and pervert the minds of its readers!

In closing, I’d like to say that I know of many well meaning Christians who have rarely read any of the Old Testament. And yet, they often quote 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

But keep in mind that when Paul wrote letters to Timothy and others, the only Scripture they had, and to which Paul was referring to…was the OLD TESTAMENT! Because at the time, there WAS no New Testament! That is why Paul uses passages from the Old Testament in most of his writings.

In John 21:24-25 we read: “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

The Old Testament is the “testament” of what God did for us in the past and what He plans for our future and “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” While the New Testament is a “testament” of what Jesus and the apostles taught so that we can learn from their examples on how to live godly lives.

The New Testament is inspired by God—Just as the writings of John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and Andrew Murray were inspired by God. But just as the apostle John said, there are also many other things that Jesus did which, if they were written down, the world could not contain them all.

It makes one wonder if all those manuscripts that were found to be unreliable were in fact, God inspired.

Happy studying.

During the recent Feast of Tabernacles this year I had conversations with some of my Christian friends about observing God’s feasts that are recorded in the Bible. Like many Christians, my friends believe that all of God’s Laws were done away with and fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection—that we are no longer under the Law, but under grace and we are no loner are required to observe the feasts.

Whose Feasts are they?

Even before the Old Covenant was ratified and before he scaled Mount Sinai to receive the Law from God, Moses was instructed about Passover and the first Feast, The Feast of Unleavened Bread. God told Moses to “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.“ (See Exodus 12:12-17) [Emphasis mine throughout]

We learn first of all that it is a festival to the Lord,”  Later in Leviticus, a book that details each of the seven annual Feast observances, God commands Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” (Lev. 23:2) He leaves us with no doubt as to whom these observances belong. They are God’s feasts, not Israel’s; and not Feasts just for Jews.

Lest we wonder whether all the Feasts are God’s, He details each one for us in Leviticus 23:4-43. But carefully notice how God prefaces the feasts He is about to list:

“These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times.” (v.4) So Scripture proves that all these special annual times belong to God and are given to those who seek to truly know and love Him.

The common misunderstanding.

The mistaken assumption many make is in thinking that all laws in the Bible are the same. The fact is, we find five different kinds of law in Scriptures:

• Spiritual law

• Civil law

• Ceremonial-ritual-sacrificial law

• Judicial-criminal law

  • Natural law

The Feasts (as well as the Ten Commandments) fall into the category of spiritual law. They reveal the spiritual attributes of God and they transform us spiritually to be more like Jesus when we observe them. They also remind us of how God will always watch over us and protect us with His mighty power.

The laws that many refer to as being changed by the New Covenant of Jesus are actually the ceremonial-ritual-sacrificial laws. The book of Hebrews speaks of that change:

“This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order. But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:9-14)

These ritualistic ordinances had been added to the law obligation because of Israel’s continued transgressions. (Gal. 3:19) It was imperative that Israel learn the important lesson that sin is a serious thing that separates us from God and requires blood-shedding for atonement. But now we rely on the Savior as the ultimate sacrifice, and who now intercedes for us as our High Priest. His blood and not the blood of bulls and goats is the only effective antidote to counteract and blot out sin.

THIS is the change in the law that the Bible speaks of. But we find nothing here or anywhere else in the Scriptures about a change in our responsibility to keep the spiritual law—meaning either the Ten Commandments or God’s Feast days. That is because neither the Commandments nor these annual observances are part of the ceremonial-ritual-sacrificial law that was changed with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The apostle Paul observed God’s feasts.

In Acts 21 we are told that the Apostle Paul arrived in the city of Jerusalem from his third missionary trip. When he arrived, the apostles in Jerusalem told Paul that there were rumors in the city that he had been speaking against the Mosaic law, had encouraged the men to not be circumcised, and had tried to motivate others to ignore the Jewish customs during his missionary travels (v. 20-21). Consequently, in order to counter these false rumors, the apostles encouraged Paul to purify himself according to Jewish custom (v. 24) and to pay the cost for four Jewish men to have their heads shaved, (v. 23-24) In other words, they wanted Paul to demonstrate that he still followed the Mosaic customs. (But not the sacrifices) Paul agreed and did as they suggested. (v. 26)

This raises a important question. Why did Paul follow the Mosaic customs? In Acts 16:1-3 we discover that Paul circumcised Timothy himself — a Jewish custom. In Acts 18:18, Paul had his hair cut “for he was keeping a vow” —a Nazirite vow. In Acts 20:6 we are told that Paul observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in Acts 20:16 he observed the Feast of Pentecost. If all of God’s laws were replaced at Jesus’ resurrection, why did Paul follow the Mosaic customs? Was he wrong to do so?

Did Jesus’ death and resurrection change God’s spiritual laws?

Some may be asking, ”But doesn’t Colossians 2:14 say that all of God’s laws, including the Feasts, were nailed to the stake when Jesus died?” Not if we study (in context) what Paul was explaining to his readers.

Paul begins by saying, “ See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (V. 8) Then he goes on to say that we were not circumcised with human hands but by Christ. (Vs. 11-12) Paul then adds, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Vs. 13-15)

Here we find that the legal indebtedness (or obligations) that were nailed to the tree were “against us.” Is God’s law against us? Does not Paul write, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good?” (Rom. 7:12)

If the law is against us, why does I John 5:3 say, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous”? In fact, God’s laws are intended for our good! God’s commandments are good, and so are his Feasts. WE are the ones who have the problem!

Many Christians pick out Colossians 2:16-18 and mistakingly believe that Paul is telling us not to observe the feasts: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

Paul is not telling us not to observe God’s festivals or Sabbaths, he is telling us not to let others JUDGE us when we DO observe them! And who are those who would judge us? The legalistic Jews and the world who would impose man-made ordinances and rules on us: “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.” (Vs. 20-22)

The New Testament Christians Kept the Fall Holy Days

The Apostles Paul and John wrote:

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6) And that included keeping the Fall Holy Days.

Notice that even after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the importance that the Apostle Paul attached to keeping a Feast in Jerusalem: “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” (Acts 18:21 KJV)

I find it interesting that many Bible translations today have removed the part of that verse that says, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem.” Compare it to the NIV which reads, “But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.” Why no mention of keeping the feast in Jerusalem?

The Apostle Paul kept the Fall Holy Days. Paul wrote that he needed to keep the feast (possibly meaning the Feast of Tabernacles) Paul also apparently kept the Day of Atonement (known as the Fast): “When considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, since even the fast was already over, Paul began to admonish them, and said to them, “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” (Acts 27:9-10)

Notice some statements from the Apostle Paul:

“…Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers.” (Acts 28:17)

“..though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:4-6)

Since Paul kept the customs of his people, he, too, kept all the Holy Feast Days. If not, he could not have made that statement which is in Acts 28:17 nor the ones about being blameless in the law in Philippians 3:4-6.

Did the 2nd or 3rd Century Church Keep God’s Feasts?

There are at least five reasons that it can be concluded that the second century church observed the feasts:

1. The original Apostles did. (Acts 18:18-21; 27:9)
2. They are mentioned in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
3. Polycarp , a disciple of the apostle John, said he followed the practices of the Apostles in regards to holy days.
4. There were early Christian meanings for them.
5. If they were not being kept, then certain leaders in the Roman Catholic Church would not have later felt the necessity to drive the observances out.

There is also an indication in an old, 4th century writing, that Polycarp discussed the Fall Holy Days:

“What must one say, when even He that was gentler than all men so appeals and cries out at the feast of Tabernacles? For it is written; And on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink. (Pionius, Life of Polycarp (1889) from J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, pp.488-506.)

Fall Holy Days Preached Against, Though Observed, in the Late 4th Century

According to Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III chapter 18, the Roman emperor Constantine stated:

“Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”

Constantine was a worshiper of the sun-god Mithras and December 25th was Mithras’ birthday, and later that day became adopted as Christmas. A few decades after Christmas was adopted by Rome, the Roman Catholic saint John Chrysostom preached the following in 387 A.D.:

“The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies…Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them?”

Notice that he did not say this or that festival, but all of them together. (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html 12/10/05)

Had Jesus or Paul told us that under the New Covenant we don’t need to observe the seven annual Feasts, then we wouldn’t have to bother. The reality is, NO ONE in the New Testament said such a thing! In fact, we find a myriad of passages in the New Testament where people intended to keep them, continued keeping them, and would keep them in the coming Kingdom.

Is the Feasts commanded to be observed forever?

In Zechariah 14:16-19 we read:Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

In Leviticus 23:41 the word used for “forever” is the Hebrew עוֹלָם (`owlam) and means, long duration, antiquity, futurity, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, always, continuous existence, unending, eternity—In other words, FOREVER!

The New Testament Greek word for forever: aion (ahee-ohn’) and means at all times, always, perpetual, continuously, or continuous—In other words, FOREVER!

The account in Zechariah 14 refers to the time AFTER Jesus returns to earth and emphasizes the fact that this Feast is a statute forever. All nations are commanded to observe this Feast in the millennium whether they prefer to do so, or not. Eventually, all nations will come to understand and appreciate God’s commanded Feasts.

Peter likely alludes to this holiday when Jesus appears in His full glory next to Moses and Elijah. (Matt. 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36). Peter then asks Jesus if it would be appropriate to build three tents. (or booths) This was obviously a vision given by God since none of the disciples knew what Moses and Elisha looked like.

Besides, why would Moses and Elisha need earthly shelters, if they already had their dwelling in heaven? Is it possible that the Feast of Tabernacles was being observed at this time? Sukkot looks forward to the day when God will once again dwell in the midst of His people as Messiah did. The Feast of Tabernacles thus looks forward to the return of our Messiah and the establishment of His Messianic Kingdom.

Human tradition stops many from observing God’s feasts. Notice some of what Jesus taught about religious people who preferred traditions over the commands of the Bible:

“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:7-9)

Those who have their minds set on earthly things lose sight of the world to come. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil.3:19) Esau was faithless and willing to give up his inheritance in exchange for the immediate gratification of his earthly hunger. We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

It is very easy to become ensnared by the superficial trappings of worldly comforts so that we fail to realize just how vulnerable and naked we are in this world. The Sukkah reminds us of our weakness and vulnerability: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary, troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1)

The Feast of Tabernacles is not just to remind the people that they lived in booths, but also that God dwelt among his people. They were led by his glorious presence and the tabernacle of the Lord was pitched in the midst of their tents. The Sukkah reminds us that as we live within this mortal, temporary body, God also dwells with us as he leads us by His Spirit to our eternal dwelling.

Only when we put aside this earthly tent and receive our glorified immortal bodies will we rejoice in the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises,  yet we rejoice even now because we have been given the first-fruits of the Spirit guaranteeing our citizenship in the heavenly Jerusalem which is yet to be revealed.

Not one professing Christ kept Halloween, All Saint’s Day, Christmas, or even Easter until hundreds of years after Christ died. The biblical holy days were sadly rejected by people who had anti-semitic feelings and who wanted to endorse pagan practices.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was a self proclaimed sun worshiper. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.

The Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, occurs at about the same time as Christmas. Hanukkah celebrates when, after the Romans desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, the Maccabees fought and won against the Romans and the Jewish people were able to re-dedicate the Temple and worship there again. In John 10:22 we read that even Jesus went to the Temple to observe the Feast of Dedication.

Although most who profess Christianity now celebrate it, Easter-Sunday was not observed by the second century Christians in Asia Minor. They observed Passover instead. Although the Bible does mention that Jesus was resurrected, it never once suggests that it be observed as some type of holiday. Jesus specifically mentioned that Christians were to observe the Passover as He did. (Luke 22:14-20)

I have no problem with Christians celebrating Christmas and Easter as remembrances to honor Jesus’ birth and resurrection; but what does Jesus’ birth have to do with Christmas trees, Mistletoe, and Santa Claus? And what does Jesus’ resurrection have to do with the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts?

So should we obey the teachings of God as revealed in the Bible and as practiced by Jesus and the early Christian Church, or celebrate the pagan-based holidays of men?

This week signaled the beginning of Sukkot, (Feast of Tabernacles) and many will be attending the Feast at various campgrounds around the country.

Each of the three major festivals, the sacred seasons sanctified by God, are designated in Scripture. And each one possess a special quality even today. Passover, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, is known as “the time of our freedom;” this is the holiday of national emancipation. Shavuot, the anniversary of the Sinai Revelation, is “the time of the giving of our Torah.” During these holidays, the entire nation of Israel made the pilgrimage up to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present food offerings to the Lord, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work. (These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing food offerings to the Lord—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for the Lord’s Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the Lord.) “So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 23:33-44)

It is appropriate that the Festival of Sukkot is referred to as “the time of our joy.” For although it is marked by the observance of special, highly visible commandments such as the “four species” (referred to by the Jewish people as the lulav) and dwelling in huts, commemorating a specific period in Jewish history, (When Israel dwelt in huts in the wilderness) nonetheless, the central theme of this season is the pure joy of having a relationship with our Creator.

Now, some sages have stated that those original “huts” of that generation were actually God’s Clouds of Glory, which He spread over Israel in His protection and Divine grace. (BT Sukkah 11:B; Rashi) Whether or not this statement is taken literally is irrelevant—for what it symbolizes is a concept that not only personifies the very essence of this holiday, but the essence of our faith in God as well.

That is why Sukkot is marked by such great joy in Israel. Of all the sacred seasons that God commanded Israel to observe, the festival of Tabernacles has the strongest implications for the nations of the world. Even today, vast numbers of Gentiles identify with the holiday of Sukkot, and converge on Jerusalem just to be in the holy city at this time of year. It is as if their heartstrings are pulled by some invisible force.

And yet here in the United States Sukkot has become more like so many of the Christian music festivals—complete with all the venders and money changers profiting from those attending. Is this any different than when Jesus chased away the money changers from the Temple? (Matthew 21:12-13)

For that reason we observe the Feast at home. We stay home and study the Scriptures and do the best we can to capture the spirit and joy of the Feast.

Notice that the Scripture commands us to OBSERVE His feasts, not just ATTEND His feasts. We are commanded to observe the Sabbath and the festivals, even if we are unable to attend a service. It isn’t ideal, but when one is unable to attend the Feast or Sabbath services during times of sickness or other hardship, one can still observe them at home.

God intends that we experience the Feast of Tabernacles in a place that He has chosen. He expects us to attend the Feast when feasible, but it is possible to ATTEND the Feast and not properly OBSERVE the Feast. I’m afraid that at times some have treated the Feast as they would a music festival or vacation—simply time away from home and the normal schedule.

Having observed the Feast at home, I can tell you that when you’re alone with your family, you are forced to consider the spiritual meaning of the Feast in a different way. I am not advocating that you stay away from attending God’s festival at one of the many campgrounds, but I am happy that I learned to observe the Feast before ever attending the Feast. And I believe it made a difference.

I sincerely encourage you to observe the Feast. And if you feel the need to attend the Feast, remember, it’s not a vacation, or a music festival, but a holy assembly. It should be the highlight of your year. Above all, I pray that this Feast will be spiritually rewarding and bring you great joy—indeed, the greatest joy you’ve ever known! Don’t just attend the Feast this year, but make sure you also observe it as God commanded.

Recently I had posted an article on Face Book with the intent to bring awareness of the fact that many children and young people in the United States are trapped in the human sex trafficking trade and how organizations such as Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) https://ourrescue.org that use undercover teams of former CIA and Special Ops personnel go into the darkest corners of the world to help local law enforcement rescue  enslaved children and dismantle the criminal networks.

I was a bit disturbed and amazed when a Christian left a response to my post voicing his opinion that he does not believe that Christians should have anything to do with trying to help those who are caught up in the world’s evil because we belong to the kingdom of God and nothing we (Christians) do will ever change the evil that remains in the world.

He ended his response by insinuating that anyone who tries to help those who are caught up in the world’s problems, (poverty, homelessness, abuse) has a humanistic view of the world and is not what Jesus or the apostle Paul taught.

I have since discovered (To my dismay) that there are many Christians who believe that we should only help those who belong to the Christian faith. That when Jesus said that we are to love our neighbor, he was speaking about only our Christian neighbor—our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But what does the Bible teach about this?

In Luke 10:25-37 we read about a lawyer who tried to test Jesus asking, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” (Or how do you understand it?) The lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But the lawyer, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus then told him the parable of the good Samaritan, a story about a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him for dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road and when he saw the man he passed by on the other side. Then a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side as well. 

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he gave money to the innkeeper and told him to look after him, and said, “When I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” Jesus then asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

So according to Jesus, EVERYONE is our neighbor. And if everyone is our neighbor, how is refusing to help someone in need when we have the power and resources to do so, showing love to our neighbor? And how is obeying Jesus by responding to the needs of the poor, the downtrodden or those caught in the trap of human sex trafficking considered to be humanism?

Mistakingly believing that loving our neighbor refers to only other believers is nothing new. It was also a problem in ancient Judaism because of the people’s self-consciousness of being the chosen people and sealed in the rite of circumcision. This set Israel apart, made the people particularly loyal to their own kind, but at the same time, led to the tendency to neglect, and even condemn, those who were not Israelites. With such tendencies, it is not surprising that commandments had to be given to Israel to encourage compassion and justice for the non-Jew. Thus, Moses prescribed rites of conversion for the foreigner who wanted to eat Passover with Israel. (Exodus 12:43-49) He also commanded that some crops were to be left for the poor and the alien. (Leviticus  19:9-10)

In the New Testament period the Jews understood the biblical laws of the Old Testament that speak of neighbors as a command for special treatment of fellow Jews. Jews showed special love for fellow Jews because they were covenantally and racially bound together. There was a general social friendliness to Gentiles, but Jewish prejudice still remained. Even early Christianity showed a similar kind of “prejudiced love”. (Gal 6:10)

Jesus sought to expand the concept of “neighbor” to include non-Jews and even unbelievers. This was clearly challenging to many in Judaism as well as the early Church. Jewish practice had come to the general conviction that a “neighbor, ” in purely legal terms, was a Jew or proselyte to Judaism. For Jesus, a neighbor was anyone with whom you came into contact with—whether Jew, Samaritan, Gentile—or even pagan!

This profound parable of the good Samaritan, with its teaching on the importance of showing love for anyone within one’s reach, along with Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) and his love for Gentiles, (as in the case of the Roman Centurion—Matthew 8:5-13) Samaritans, (as in the case of the woman at the well—John 4:1-26) became foundational for the early Church’s missionary efforts and for interpersonal relationships within the largely non-Jewish churches of Paul. Paul urged the Galatians to love their neighbors as themselves and here the implication is that it involved both Jewish and Gentile Christians (Galatians 5:14) and we find in Luke 6:27 an emphasis on loving one’s enemy, (Meaning Jew, Gentile, or pagan) and doing good to them.

There are other Bible verses that confirm this:

Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Proverbs 19:17 – Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Matthew 5:42 – Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Romans 15:1- We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Allison Stevens wrote a very good article for the Daily Bread website concerning this subject in which she stated:

Jesus’ entire adult life was characterized by a deep concern for the spiritual condition of the nonbeliever. He saw them as desperately lost, and His heart was broken because of that. His compassionate purpose for their well-being was deep-rooted, and He showed this concern specifically in the way He met them where they lived, fed them, taught them, and healed them. (Matthew 9:9-11; Mark 1:33-34)

The example Jesus set for us is to build relationships with people who don’t yet know Him. When we meet a person who has not yet experienced God’s saving grace, we are to have the heart of Jesus and extend a helping hand at their point of need. If they are thirsty, we can give them a cup of water; if they’re hungry, we can feed them. (See Matthew 25:35-40)

Let’s not forget that Jesus came to our rescue when we were lost. So now, out of gratitude and love, we can find opportunities to do what we can to help others who are separated from God. Isolating ourselves from sinners misses the point of sharing the good news of Jesus, and it feeds into a self-righteous attitude.

I think it’s clear that we, in countless ways and opportunities, can and should reach out to non-Christian people. We can show them love by offering them a meal, a job, or friendship, and most importantly, we can introduce them to Jesus, the Savior of our souls.

My heart grieves for my neighbors who don’t know the joy that is available to them through Jesus. I believe that we can do much more to be Jesus’ hands and feet to those who are lost and alone in this world.

Many Christians today believe that this world that we now live in—with all of its rules and regulations, sin and evil, will only be changed after Jesus returns and establishes God’s Kingdom on earth.

But when the Pharisees demanded answers concerning the kingdom Jesus preached, He answered, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

So if the kingdom of God is within us, why do Christians today still desire the things of the world? Do you not know that what is deemed valuable and important in the eyes of men is meaningless in the sight of God?

Consider what the apostle John wrote: “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

So what are the things that people in this world look up to or consider valuable? The number one thing is probably money. But what does the Bible say about the love of money? “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Think also about some of the people today that are highly esteemed in man’s kingdom: Business owners, lawyers, judges, politicians, bankers and the like.

All of those occupations and more, are meaningless in the kingdom of God because in the age to come, they will cease to exist!

In Daniel 2:44-45 we read: “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Jesus is the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands—the very stone which the rebellious builders rejected. And he will break into pieces every worldly kingdom that exists, from the gold down to the clay.

But if God has already rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins,(Col. 1:13) then together we have already become a holy nation, to show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. (I Peter 2:9)

The kingdom of God has not been given to rebels who reject the chief Cornerstone, but it is given to the holy nation so that it bears spiritual fruit. (Matt. 21:43)

Consider when the authorities of the time who sought to condemn Paul and Silas (And others who listened to them) for preaching the gospel of Jesus. Some of the Jews were jealous, so they sent some “lewd fellows of the baser sort” to search for Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have turned the world upside down have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house! They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” When they (The unbelieving Jews) heard this, they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go. (From Acts 17:1-9)

The word which has been translated “the baser sort” is the same word used in Hebrew to signify shel goyim, or judges of the Gentiles. These were probably a lowly type of lawyer, what we would call bloodsuckers, or attorneys without principle who defend criminals and bring trifle disputes and litigations among people for personal financial gain.

This is precisely the same way that persecution against the truth and followers of Christ is still carried out. Some wicked man hires a wicked attorney and hauls the minister of Christ into court in front of some wicked judge who knows as little about the minister as he does about the Gospel.The preacher is fined or imprisoned, his hearers may suffer the same fate for listening to that Gospel which has not only made them wise unto salvation, but also made them peaceable and orderly citizens, and which would have had the same effect on the judge, the the attorney, and the mob, had they heard it with the same reverence and respect. This is the case which frequently occurs where the Gospel is preached in its spirit and power.

The description of turning the world upside down, is an excellent description of what the Kingdom of God should look like as compared to the world we live in today. But how many of us have sought help from man’s kingdom rather than seeking God’s kingdom? We seek help from attorneys; from our congress; from our senators; we become active in our political process and become involved in community programs, believing it will change our world for the better.

Sam Shoemaker has written on this subject: “The rise of statism in our time is the natural result of the longing of godless, unchurched people for some kind of protection. When we lose to God we turn to what looks like the next most powerful thing, which is the state. How bad a choice that is, let Germany and Russia in recent years testify.”

Matthew 6:33 tells us to “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” AND THEN, “all these other things will be added to you.” But most Christians today have it backwards. They want “all these things” first, AND THEN they will seek the kingdom of God.

John the Baptist preached, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”  But is it now not at hand? Is not the King seated on His holy throne? Is not this why we plead with men and women to be reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of His Son?

Yet despite the obvious benefits, mankind still refuses to change and fights vigorously against the Kingdom of God. The primary reason why the world is the way it is today is because the Bible clearly shows us that Satan rules this world. (See John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11) So it should be no surprise to us that the world is becoming more and more wicked and depraved. For if Satan is ruler of this world, he will also make sure to place his followers in key positions in high places of governments. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

We do not see the world being turned upside down today because too many Christians are still in love with the world and its system. That is why the apostle Paul, quoting the prophet Isaiah said, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)

If only Christians would stop and reflect on these things, many deceptions about culture, race and class would be cast down by the knowledge of God.

In his upcoming book, “The Unknown Kingdom of God” https://universityofhardknocks.academia.edu/TimPrice my friend Tim Price writes: “We need to dig deeper and listen to God! We need to discern truth from error! We need to see that comfort, belonging and cultural acceptance are not items that Christ ever sought or promised those who follow him! We need to go back to the Bible and see God’s purposes that are planned in scripture but have become obscured because we have raised other points to such a pitch that God’s intent is drowned out! The love of theology and systems of thought have blinded us to God’s purposes! Reformers of the 17th century were mostly correct when they espoused sola scriptura [scripture only]! They should have paid attention to their own admonition and completed the work that God called them to do instead of investing in their own voluminous interpretations of scripture, and maintaining the institution calling itself “church” as a cog of the systems of the unbelieving world around them instead of the alternative God purposed: the kingdom of God.“

My intent is not to judge or diminish what you may understand of Scripture. My prayer is that this will encourage you to keep seeking God and His kingdom and add to your own knowledge so that together we may once again turn the world upside down for Christ!

I want you here with Me

But you’ve been keeping other company

You can’t sit still, it’s plain to see

You love the world and you’re avoiding Me

Keith Green (October 21, 1953 – July 28, 1982)



“Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear, but your sins have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59: 1-2)

There are many Christians today that excuse their sin by claiming that because we are human, we do not have the capacity to stop sinning. Isn’t that the reason that Jesus died and was resurrected? “We are no longer under Law but under grace.” they say. There are some in AA circles who have even referred to sin as “character flaws” or “allergies”. But it is the power of Jesus in us that REMOVES our character flaws! And even when one has an allergy to something, they CHOOSE to partake of it or refuse it. It’s not that it is impossible for us to NOT sin, it’s that we CHOOSE to sin.

But to have victory over sin will involve a total daily surrender of Self, (Our own desires, will, and selfish nature) to God. Surrender to God simply means acknowledging to Him that all things you desire; personal as well as spiritual, good as well as bad, by His grace and by the power of His spirit, you agree to give up in order that He might be glorified. You also have to acknowledge that in your flesh, (that is, in your own strength) this is impossible to accomplish.

Self is an impossible force to deal with on our own. It is the foundation of all sin and all the problems that have plagued societies and civilizations since the fall of man. Everything from lust, to murder, to war are all sins derived from Self. Wars are being waged simply because someone has something that the other wants and cannot have. Neither side will compromise, so they go to war. (James 4:5-6)

Sam Shoemaker, (December 27, 1893 – October 31, 1963) is considered one of the best preachers of his era, whose sermons were syndicated for distribution by tape and radio networks for decades, Shoemaker served as the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City, the United States headquarters of the Oxford Group during the 1930s, and was a significant influence for the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. http://aa-history.com/samshoemaker.html Shoemaker wrote over thirty books, about half of which were circulating before A A’s 12 Steps were first published in the Big Book in 1939.

A year after his death, Shoemaker’s daughter, Helen Shoemaker-Rea, compiled a collection of Shoemaker’s writings for the book, “Sam Shoemaker-at his best EXTRAORDINARY LIVING FOR THE ORDINARY MAN”. They first appeared in, Faith At Work Magazine, New York, N.Y.

The following are excerpts from the chapter called, “Victory Over Self” of that book:


“We are at war today as surely as we were in the ‘40s and are in the midst of making the same mistakes again… We fight with force against the enemy without because we have not learned to fight with faith against the enemy within. The real war is within. What we need today, more than anything else, more than victory in the war against aggression, are weapons, manpower, and strategy to win the war against selfishness. We need, and must have, victory over ourselves, before any outward victory will mean anything more than a temporary cessation of human conflict….”

“Let us face at the outset how many Christians are not victorious, but defeated. Defeated by circumstances, defeated by other peoples’ natures and wrong-doings, defeated by the down-drag of the flesh, defeated by loss, by pain, by suffering, by worry. Instead of saying with confidence, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” they have to say in honesty, “This is the defeat that has been caused by the world, even our self-centeredness.” That is the opposite of faith. Unbelief is not the opposite of faith; self-centeredness is—being centered in self rather than in God.”

“Victory over sin. This victory begins in the life and death of our Lord himself—in his life, because “he was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin”—in his death, because there he took upon himself the sin of the world, suffered in our stead, made redemption possible for us. We need to be redeemed from sin first, to have salvation put in its place by our Savior. Then we need to claim his power over our sins, one by one. Most of us fight a dreary battle for character, or else give it up entirely, and just give in to the desires that assail us—desires to coddle and indulge the body, to please and amuse the mind, to fritter away the life with trivial pursuits, to win out over somebody else, to “get ours.” The way to deal with sin is not to try to hate sin more, but to love Christ more.”

“All the victory of which we have been speaking is a derived victory. We can win the victory only because Christ won it long ago. We participate in his victory by faith.Faith is like a wire, along which he sends the power, the love, the guidance, that enable us to share in his victory. Faith is not just a belief of the mind; faith is the set of the whole personality God-ward. It doesn’t begin with beliefs, but obedience.”


If only people could realize that by surrendering Self to God and living by principles taught through the Holy Scriptures wars would cease, crime rates would go down and divorce would be all but non-existent. But as long as people refuse to surrender Self to God, all of these things will continue to plague the world and will increase in its intensity over time. That’s why we must rely on God to give us the grace we need that will allow us to surrender Self to Him. God promises in his Word that if we’re honest, admit that we’re powerless in our own nature to surrender, and humble ourselves before him, he’ll give us the grace we need to do it.

There are some who will still be convinced that it is impossible for one not to sin. But listen to what God says:

“For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.“ (Deuteronomy 30:11-14) [Emphasis mine]

The apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (Burdensome)

But it is only by God’s grace that we can accomplish this. To some surrendering Self to God will become as easy as shedding a winter coat in Spring, while others will struggle daily to accomplish it.

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 how he struggled with what he calls his “thorn in the flesh”. Some have suggested that Paul struggled with some physical malady, while others are convinced that it was spiritual in nature. We may never know until the resurrection what it was, but we do know that God gave Paul the grace to endure it.

Grace is not a replacement or an excuse for sin. Paul himself said, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)

Before becoming Navy SEALs, candidates are put through some of the most mentally challenging and physically demanding training in the world, commonly referred to as “hell week.” Very few candidates successfully complete the training. I recall hearing a story about the last day of training. Just after completing a rigorous exercise, the instructor told the candidates to complete another 1000-yard swim with fins in 20 minutes or under. Two of the candidates staggered over and rang the bell, signifying that they could not physically complete the task. The remainder of the candidates immediately received their SEAL Trident, designating them as Navy SEALs. You see, the instructor wanted to see who was WILLING to go the extra mile.

We too, need to be willing to do what it takes to have victory over sin. So with the help of God’s grace, we must decide to die to self and follow Christ no matter what.

“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7)

I have heard many men and women complain about how hard it is to find a good spouse. Many of these people become impatient and settle for someone less than ideal for them, while others are so overly cautious, that they miss the very one that God has chosen for them. (Myself included)

What many people don’t realize is that the Bible gives us much wisdom—Not just on spiritual decisions, but on common sense decisions as well.

To know if a woman should be involved with a man, refer to 1 Timothy 3:1-13 where the apostle Paul writes about the qualifications of bishops and deacons in the Church.

So look for someone who is:

  • Sensible
  • Hospitable,
  • An apt teacher,
  • Not a drunkard,
  • Not violent or quarrelsome
  • Not a lover of money
  • Not conceited
  • Well thought of by others
  • Not double-tongued
  • Not addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • Faithful to God with a clear conscience

Now, no man is going to be perfect, but if he adheres to these character traits most of the time, then you know he is safe to be with. (And remember it also says to let them be tested!)

Men are also given advice about the women they should seek out in verse 11:

  • They must be respected
  • They must not slander others
  • They must exercise self-control
  • Be faithful in everything they do

You probably notice that there are more qualifications for men than for women. That’s because men are to be the leader. Therefore, more responsibility rests on him.

Many men have obsessed over finding a “Proverbs 31 Woman” as a wife. This hypothetical woman in Proverbs 31 is skillful in a lot of different things—And she’s skillful in all of them. News flash guys: SHE DOES NOT EXIST!

According to the chapter, she wakes up super early, has great biceps, buys property, is always dressed elegantly, keeps her home warm at night and keeps herself looking great all the time, and still has time to care for the poor!

Many women would read this passage and think, “Sheesh! How am I supposed to try and fit into this mold?”

What if she can’t sew or cook? What if she’s not a great housekeeper? Does that mean she’s not living up to her God-given potential as a female? Of course not!

Many Bible scholars believe that the “Proverbs 31 Woman” is not really a woman at all, but rather a personification of wisdom. If you read the whole book of Proverbs, you’ll realize that wisdom is consistently referred to as “she.” In the final chapter, I believe that the analogy of a woman here is used to depict a tangible example of wisdom in action.

Notice that the only instruction in the chapter that is given to men concerning a woman is in the last verse: “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

In Jewish culture, men memorize this chapter as a song of praise to the women in their lives. But in Western culture, it is instead often used as a shopping list to be fulfilled in a future wife.

There’s a common Acronym that is written, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Men should focus more Proverbs 31 verses 1 through 10.

It first warns of the dangers of wasting time on loose women and drunkenness, encourages us to ensure justice for the poor and downtrodden. And then verse 10 tells us, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.”

So get rid of your “Wife Qualification List” and focus more on how you can better be qualified as a husband.

My Final thoughts

I don’t think God is as concerned about WHO we marry as much as he is concerned about how we treat the one we’re married to.

Wives, your primary goal is to help make your husband the very best he can be. Not by nagging or being demanding, but by trusting God to direct his steps. If your husband is a godly man who prays and listens to God, then all you have to do is pray and trust God. And even if you are married to an unbeliever, your goal is the same. Because your unbelieving husband might be saved because of you. (1 Corinthians 7:16)

Husbands, your primary goal is to help make your wife the very best she can be. Not by lording over her and demanding that she submit to your every whim, but by praising her for all the good she does for you and supporting her in all she does.

And most importantly, pray for each other.

To those who are still waiting for God to choose that special person for you, remember that Psalms 27:14 teaches us to, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.”

Living in our “fast food society” we can sometimes feel that God has let us down because He does not provide an immediate answer to a prayer. But waiting for the Lord can transform us into a people of growing faith.

King David spent many years waiting to be crowned king and fleeing from Saul’s wrath. It was probably during that time that David wrote those encouraging words in Psalms 27.

So just keep waiting on the Lord and he SHALL strengthen your heart. Delight yourself in Him and He WILL give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37)