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T’shuvah is Topical & Relevant

T’shuvah is Topical & Relevant

By Eric Carlson on July 1, 2023

We must be relevant! In light of all the crisis in our world today many, many clergy aren’t being topical in their messages, they’re not relevant. The word of God, The Kingdom of God, Adonai is the same today as it was yesterday, as it will be tomorrow! The reality is, as a Messianic Rabbi, as a Messianic Believer every situation, every topic, every scenario, all decisions we make both congregationally or as a family are done through scriptures as all believers should! I don’t view our current world situation through the eyes of the world, I view it through a biblical perspective, it’s the only way I can view it! Not only because I’m a Messianic Rabbi, but because I’m a believer, a servant of Yeshua! A lack of Biblical Worldview is a significant issue we have in the greater body of Messiah today!

This gives rise to several concerns. First, a non-negotiable core tenant of Christianity and Messianic Judaism is our foundation upon the Word of God and acceptance of Yeshua as the Messiah! Not on doctrine, religion, Talmud, Oral Traditions, or any other manmade interpretation of the Word of God. Salvation is only through the Blood of Yeshua. We accept and receive Yeshua as our atonement sacrifice for sin, He’s the only way unto the Father for Jew and Gentile!

Second, in general, organized religion isn’t topical or relevant! Only the Word, the Kingdom of God, and Yeshua are topical and relevant! The recent surge of racism and Anti-Semitism both in our society and in the church are symptomatic of the shortfall of religion vs. intimate relationship with Adonai, His Son Yeshua, His Word, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)! Those who are relationally intimate with Adonai, those who know and consume His word, love Israel and the Jewish People!! Scriptures contain the answer for every question, every life decision, every scenario and aspect of your life, from family relations, to marriage and finances, from raising children to conflict resolution, business practices and morality, to the prophetic future and what your role and part of that is as a child of God! There exists a grievous lack of topicality in the greater body today because it does exist in the bureaucracy of religion.

A perfect example is post 9/11 if you can remember. Surveys revealed that almost 90% of the messages given in the first two weeks after the traumatic 9/11 terror attack weren’t topical! They had no mention, no discussion, or even a reference to the recent 9/11 attacks!! What a horrible reflection of the greater body! Then, like now, people were scared, confused, looking for answers and couldn’t find them in most houses of God! Topical means to be of immediate relevance, interest, or importance, relating to current events. We have heavenly, scriptural guidance regarding topicality and relevance, unfortunately, many individuals and even a majority of clergy are unaware! There must be an awareness of the world around us as believers, both individually and corporately as the greater Body of Messiah as Yeshua was:

Luke 13:1-5. Just then, some people came to tell Yeshua about the men from the Galil whom Pilate had slaughtered even while they were slaughtering animals for sacrifice. 2 His answer to them was, “Do you think that just because they died so horribly, these folks from the Galil were worse sinners than all the others from the Galil? 3 No, I tell you. Rather, unless you turn to God from your sins, you will all die as they did! 4 “Or what about those eighteen people who died when the tower at Shiloach fell on them? Do you think they were worse offenders than all the other people living in Yerushalayim? 5 No, I tell you. Rather, unless you turn from your sins, you will all die similarly.”

Yeshua topically relates to two specific current events of His day that everybody knew about, no explanation regarding what happened was required! He directly related these horrific deaths to those who were listening! In both cases He stated that unless the people repented, they would face similar circumstances! Our relationship, interaction, our expression of worship ministering to Adonai isn’t based upon feelings or emotions. It’s based upon covenant relationship with the Most High God. This is exactly why the word of God is topical, and relevant to us in our current circumstances today!

Hebrews 4:12. See, the Word of God is alive (zao {dzah’-o}: Alive, living, active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God, living water, having vital power)! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword – it cuts (diikneomai {dee-ik-neh’-om-ahee}:cut, pierce, penetrate, reach through) right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart.

The word is as alive, topical, relevant, powerful, and active in our current crisis and radical, toxic hatred and culture war today as it was 2,000, 3,000, 4000, and 5,000 years agoThe word of Adonai is written for people and not for specific epochs of timeThe word isn’t relegated to history! As we just read the word cuts right to where soul meets spirit and judges the inner reflections (secret places) and attitude of the heart! Scripture is written for people and their hearts which are timeless! Sin and repentance were as critical in Yeshua’s day during times of trouble and crisis just as it is today! Throughout all human history fallen humanity have sinful naturesRegardless of what century or millennium people have lived in, sin has been, and will always be an issue until Yeshua establishes His kingdom upon this earth, and even then sin will still affect humanity until the end of the thousand year reign…… 

The writer of Hebrews compares the word of Adonai as a sword that’s able to pierce, penetrate, reach through to the heart! Adonai gave His Word the power of a sword to penetrate our pride, flesh, haughtiness, and selfishness to get to our deceitful, dark, and wicked hearts. Kardi in the Greek is the place of human emotion, personality. God’s word reveals that our desires, joy, understanding, love, emotions, wickedness, trust, and belief all reside in the heart. 

Psalm 51:10-11. Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit. 11 Don’t thrust me away from your presence, don’t take your Ruach Kodesh away from me.

In the sickening realization that he had sinned against God, David wrote Psalm 51 in an agonized cry of repentance unto Adonai pleading for forgiveness of his sin and evil regarding his inappropriate sexual relationship with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah her husband. Psalm 51 contains foundational truths and power that we as believers base our relationship with God on. David, a man after God’s own heart has insightful knowledge in his relationship with Adonai that we tap into and learn from today. David was human just as we are, God’s word is written to humans like David, like us!

David’s downward spiral of sin, shortcomings, failures, followed by confession and repentance serves as model of real, heartfelt T’Shuvah. David, like so many believers today was zealous for God, he had a longstanding intimate relationship with Him! Here is the topical, relevant key that reveals where many in the greater body of Messiah are at right now; Over time David had become lukewarm, believing He was so highly favored of God that He could have and do whatever He wanted. Being Lukewarm resulted in pride, arrogance, and haughtiness that began David’s downward spiral. Exactly where America is today, including many, many believers! Counterfeit Grace and Hyper Love teachings and theology has resulted in many believers becoming Lukewarm, believing they can behave any way they want, simply doing whatever they think is right (Judges 21:25). Like King David many believers are lukewarm, prideful, haughty, and fearful which prevents repentance! Then people wonder why we are experiencing all the issues that we are!

David was indeed a man after God’s own heart, but it didn’t make him perfect. He fell prey to the common lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes (he should have turned his eyes away from the bathing Bathsheba) and pride of life (David thought he was above the Torah). The heart of Man is wicked. And Adonai searches the heart!

Jeremiah 17:9-10. “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it? 10 I, ADONAI, search the heart; I test inner motivations; in order to give to everyone what his actions and conduct deserve.”

Adonai must pierce our deceitful heart (like a sword) with His word! As Hebrews 12:4 states it must be deep, right to the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. David spoke to this as well:

Psalms 51:6. (NKJV) Behold, You desire truth in the inward (tuwchah {too-khaw’}: inner regions, hidden recesses, inward parts) parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Tuwchah {too-khaw’}, inner parts, the hidden recesses, are the areas that only you know about, your motivations, your attitudes, your inner reflections and thoughts! God desires that His truth reside in your secret areas, the places YOU THINK only you know about! The places of both your hope and dreams as well as your temptations and weaknesses. In this area David asks that Adonai’s wisdom be placed! Scripture is topical, addressing all of life’s situations, every joy, every temptation, every battle, every defeat, every victory, wealth, poverty, marriage, children, crisis, tribulation, pandemics, famines, recession, depressions, insecurity, fear, anxiety, pride, immorality, gender confusion, arrogance, life and death, every possible situation in life you will face the word of Adonai has an answer in truth, spirit, and wisdom because its topical, relevant, speaking to the nature of the Human heart and not specific events! Adonai created us in His image, He has perfect understanding of human nature which is why He sent His Son Yeshua, Divine yet in the flesh to give us this topical and relevant statement to America today:

Matthew 13:14-15. That is, in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Yesha`yahu which says, `You will keep on hearing but never understand, and keep on seeing but never perceive, 15 because the heart of this people has become dull — with their ears they barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, so as not to see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and do t’shuvah, so that I could heal them.’

Today, right now, this topical and relevant message must be our heart cry for T’shuvah, for repentance! American’s hearts have become dull, hardened, not hearing, not seeing, not understanding with our hearts what’s unfolding before our very eyes! Adonai sternly warned us in:

Deuteronomy 8:11-20. “Be careful not to forget ADONAI your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today. 12 Otherwise, after you have eaten and are satisfied, built fine houses and lived in them, 13 and increased your herds, flocks, silver, gold and everything else you own, 14 you will become proud-hearted. Forgetting ADONAI your God – who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves; 15 who led you through the vast and fearsome desert, with its poisonous snakes, scorpions and waterless, thirsty ground; who brought water out of flint rock for you; 16 who fed you in the desert with man, unknown to your ancestors; all the while humbling and testing you in order to do you good in the end – 17 you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 No, you are to remember ADONAI your God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today. 19 If you forget ADONAI your God, follow other gods and serve and worship them, I am warning you in advance today that you will certainly perish. 20 You will perish just like the nations that ADONAI is causing to perish ahead of you, because you will not have heeded the voice of ADONAI your God.”

The word of Adonai cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and quickly, powerfully judge the inner reflections and attitudes of our hearts. America has become so abundantly wealthy we’ve come to believe ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” And have gone on to worship and serve other Gods. We retain the ability to turn this nation around! We must repent!!

The word of God is clear, convicting, relevant, topical, and powerful IF we allow it to pierce our heart and transform us! Adonai is and has been calling unto us to repent, to return, to Shema, hear and obey His word so that He could heal us, to set us free!!

Shalom and Blessings,

Rabbi Eric S Carlson