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"Ask the Pastor"

We frequently receive questions in email from people about doctrine, practice, etc. From time to time we will post the questions and the answers here on the web page. If you'd like to submit a question, simply email our pastor at Bro.Buddy@ChristianChallenge.org or use the form below.


March 24, 2003.

> Pastor Buddy, Hello, how are you?

Hi Donny,

I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

> Can you help me with problems that I have?

Perhaps I can help you with some areas. I'll break your email into
parts so my responses will be easier to follow.

> I'll give you a bit of my background first to help you understand
> where I am coming from. I was born and raised in an Oneness
> Apostolic/Pentecostal church most of my life. I was baptized at a
> young age, around 6 or 7. I'm not sure whether I did it in good
> faith, or just because I didn't want to go to hell.

Many believers wish to be re-baptized as adult believers. It often
has to do with the direction the person's life took over the years.

> I was filled with the Holy Spirit on January 28, 1996. It was then
> that I began to walk with the Lord. It was nearly 2 1/2 years ago
> that I backslid. New doctines that I had learned aided in this, as
> well as a carnal mind.

Seems you have a good grasp on what happened in your life. I am
glad to hear this. Much of what people call 'new' doctrine is simply
old heresy wrapped up in Biblical languages. Of course the
un-renewed (carnal) mind plays right into this kind of thinking.

> For nearly two years I lived in sin. I had also been continuing to
> seek the Lord, in light of these new doctrines while I was
> backsliden. These doctrines were learned through the Sacred Names
> Movement; such as what they call the Truthful Names of the Father
> and His Son (Yahweh & Yahshua), keeping Sabbath, the Festivals, and
> the Law.

The Sacred Names Movement is noted for supplying
misinformation. They are into what can be called 'word' idolatry. They make salvation an
issue of how you pronounce a name, rather than a thing of the
heart. C. J. Koster's book, 'Come Out of Her My People' is a good
example of how misinformation is being supplied to the reader.

> Eventually, yet slowly, I made a return to the God of Israel.

Great.

> I was also rebaptized by a sacred names minister, in "the name of
> Yahweh the Father, Yahshua the Son, and the Holy Spirit of Yah". I
> was aware that they baptized in that way, I thought they only did it
> in Yahshua's name.

Donny, the movement you were involved in does a number on how
the name Jesus came to us through the English language. What
they provide is a twisting of truth. But I'm sure that by now you know
this.

> That every the witness of the Lord, His Spirit, lead me realize that
> I had done something very wrong. I literally grieved within, and was
> in an unexplainable depression.

The grieving you felt was actually the grieving of the Holy Spirit.
But it related to much more than how you were baptized. It had to
do with the totally heresy of the Sacred Names Movement. They
distort the simple truth of salvation.

> I didn't have reason to cry and become so depressed, except for that
> the Lord was letting me know that I had done something terribly
> wrong. Yet, I still held on to those beliefs for some time.

I understand. It takes time to process truth for ourselves.

> I continued searching for truth. Upon my search, I came the
> conclusion through research and revelation that Yahshua was not the
> Messiah's name but that is was Yeshua.

The real problem wasn't simply an issue of Yashua or Yeshua. If
we spoke Hebrew, then we would pronounce the Lord's name
Hebraically. If we were a Greek speaking people, we would speak His name in a
Greek form. The same goes with any language group. But we are an
English speaking people. Jesus is how the name of the Lord comes to us in
English. What the Sacred Names Movement says about how the
name Jesus came to us is pure bunk.

> So in this regard I withdrew from sacred name groups and started to
> discard their theology.

Wonderful. You have escaped from a great amount of error.

> I looked into Messianic groups. My main concern became the Torah.
> How must I keep it. (Also, I was baptized once more in Yeshua's
> name, and received a peace within.)

The peace came from a repentant heart. Water baptism bears
witness to what was happening within you.

> Torah was a big issue for me. It seperated me from other Christians.
> Myself and three others formed a study group, and later we began to
> call ourselves a congregation. B'nai Avraham was our name.

You've been traveling a road with much misdirection.

> My friend was the organizer, although we met in his mom's home. HE
> did most of the teaching. We began to pray for a pastor, or
> leadership. No longer had two weeks passed did my friend get
> arrested for crimes he had committed while he had backslidden.

Sounds like reaping time was in place. But even reapings can
prove to be a blessing in the long run. In this case it allowed you to process
your walk with the Lord even further.

> Left without anyone to carry this new 'congregation'. I began to
> withdraw also from this group because of doctrines that were
> becoming main issues, when I believed that the Messiah was the main
> issue.

Another wonderful for you.

> Whether his name was Yeshua or Jesus, became reasons of rightness.
> We must call Him Yeshua. The truth to me was that I knew in both
> names. I felt that I had lost something in disregarding the name
> 'Jesus'.

You lost the simplicity of salvation. Paul warned of this; "Remind
them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of
God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin
of the hearers." (2 Tim2:14)

Our salvation is not based on how we pronounce a name. It is
based on a heart relationship with the God of creation, in that we have
accepted Jesus Christ as the atonement of our sins, that He is now
Lord of our life.

> The Law became a major issue, although it was said that it could
> save us, it began to appear to me that it was being understood that
> our salvation is in keeping the Law.

Another bummer.

> I did hear so much about the cross of Christ being preached as I did
> about the 'lies of the church fathers'; 'the name of Yahweh', and
> 'the name of Yeshua'; 'keeping the Law' and evangelizing people with
> this information... Do you see a problem with this as I do?

I see the problem quite clearly. I've had dealings with the
confusions of the Messianic movement.

> Barriers were being made. It was as if there is salvation in being a
> Jew, or in knowing Hebrew. The Lord Yeshua/Jesus was becoming lost.
> My move?.....I returned to my former church, the Oneness Apostolic
> church.

Looks like you make a full circle. But the road hasn't ended.

> The problem is that the authentic biblical lifestyle that I am
> looking for in a congregation is hard to discover.

You are looking for the wrong thing. A true Biblical lifestyle is an
issue of the heart and of grace. But every group you have been
associated with can all be classified as 'legalism.' A true walk of
the Spirit is a walk of love and compassion. Paul said that the letter
kills, but the Spirit gives life. What you have been experiencing is
letterism. (With many of its twisted forms.)

Donny, I'll share some answers to the several questions that you
asked. Some questions I've already answered.

> What role does the Torah play in the believers lives.

Don't worry about the term Torah. Start thinking 'Bible.' The Bible
given to us is a continuum from Genesis to Revelations. It records
the outworking of God's redemption program. What you need to learn
more about is how our faith is completed in Jesus Christ. Out of this
completion comes the fulfillment of Torah.

As to Torah, the apostle said, "Owe nothing to anyone except to
love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law."
(Rom13:8)

> What about the hebrew names? Do these matter?

Not in the least. While it is good to know the Hebraic underpinnings
of the Bible, being able to speak something in Hebrew has nothing
to do with your salvation, or with your walk with the Lord. God
intended all nations to know and meet Him in their own culture and
language.

> What about tha Law of love?

Fulfill this and you have fulfilled God's requirements. The walk of
love is the keynote of new covenant Christianity.

> I have ultimately discovered that the enemy has used these things to
> get me to withdraw from people; to hurt relationships with one
> another.

You have much more light in your understanding than you may
realize. The work the Lord began in your life will be fulfilled. He
will see to it. He alone is the author and finisher of your faith.

> To walk in darkness?

Jesus is the light of the world. Those who follow Him will not walk in
darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

> Where is the truth?

The Truth is a Person. When you meet Jesus, you have met Truth.

> Where can I find His disciples?

His disciples are to be found everywhere. The Lord did not come to
give us another religion, or a renewed religion, or a better religion,
or a more correct religion. He came to give us Himself. Learn this
and you will know how to walk in truth. All you need from this moment is
to be where the Lord would have you be.

> How do I repent, and find solutions to helping repair that which is
> in disorder, or becoming cultish?

You are already in a state of repentance. The word repent really
means to change your mind, the result being a change of direction. As for
becoming "cultish", you have learned much in this area. In fact, with
your past experience, you should have a very keen awareness of
things that have "cultish" leanings.

> I'm not sure who I should fellowship with?

This is something you must ask of the Lord. He said, "My sheep
hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)
Everything you have shared with me, tells me that you are one of His sheep.
Look how far He has brought you.

> Thank you Pastor Buddy for lending your time. And thank you in
> advance for your response.

You are welcome. Please keep me posted on how things are going.

I also want to recommend a couple of forums that you can link up
with. One is a forum that is sponsered by our ministry. You can
subscribe at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Hebraic-Foundations/

(We keep a positive Christian base on our study of Hebraics.)

Another is a forum that is made up mostly of ex-UPCI folk. Go to:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christian-Koinonia/

The Lord bless you,

Buddy

Bro. Buddy Martin - Ask the Pastor

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
Lawrence "Buddy" Martin
email: Bro.Buddy@ChristianChallenge.org
Web: http://www.ChristianChallenge.org


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318-640-4300

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Copyright 1999-2005 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
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318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

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Copyright 1999-2005 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
300 Pearce Road
Pineville, LA 71360
318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

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Copyright 1999-2003 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
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Pineville, LA 71360
318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

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">

Back to the Christian Challenge International home page!


Copyright 1999-2003 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
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Pineville, LA 71360
318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

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Back to the Christian Challenge International home page!


Copyright 1999-2003 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
300 Pearce Road
Pineville, LA 71360
318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

Your full name: 
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(Note: Please include your full name and email address. Answers will be sent by return email. Christian Challenge reserves the right to reprint your question and edit it for clarity and content on our "Ask the Pastor" web page. Please note that we will not divulge your full name nor your email address. Typically we'll use your first name only. Not all questions are posted on this page - many more are responded to privately. Please let us know if you do NOT want your question listed or if you'd prefer it to be listed anonymously. We respect your privacy and will NOT sell/give/loan your name and email address to any other organization/business/entity.)


Back to the Christian Challenge International home page!


Copyright 1999-2003 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
300 Pearce Road
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318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

Your full name: 
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PLEASE include your email address or we won't be able to send the answer to you.

Your question
 
(Note: Please include your full name and email address. Answers will be sent by return email. Christian Challenge reserves the right to reprint your question and edit it for clarity and content on our "Ask the Pastor" web page. Please note that we will not divulge your full name nor your email address. Typically we'll use your first name only. Not all questions are posted on this page - many more are responded to privately. Please let us know if you do NOT want your question listed or if you'd prefer it to be listed anonymously. We respect your privacy and will NOT sell/give/loan your name and email address to any other organization/business/entity.)


Back to the Christian Challenge International home page!


Copyright 1999-2003 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
300 Pearce Road
Pineville, LA 71360
318-640-4300

What would you like to "Ask the Pastor?"

Your full name: 
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PLEASE include your email address or we won't be able to send the answer to you.

Your question
 
(Note: Please include your full name and email address. Answers will be sent by return email. Christian Challenge reserves the right to reprint your question and edit it for clarity and content on our "Ask the Pastor" web page. Please note that we will not divulge your full name nor your email address. Typically we'll use your first name only. Not all questions are posted on this page - many more are responded to privately. Please let us know if you do NOT want your question listed or if you'd prefer it to be listed anonymously. We respect your privacy and will NOT sell/give/loan your name and email address to any other organization/business/entity.)


Back to the Christian Challenge International home page!


Copyright 1999-2003 Christian Challenge International. All rights reserved.
Christian Challenge International
300 Pearce Road
Pineville, LA 71360
318-640-4300