Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Torah Reading Schedule for 5768 (2007/8) (pdf)

First Fruits of Zion produces a handy and very well-designed Torah reading schedule each year. I link to it in hopes that people will use it to discipline themselves in the reading of Scripture.

I sure need that discipline.

L'shana Tovah!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Examining the Testimony of Julius Ciss, Part 2

"Understand," he continued, "that when doubts regarding Jesus' salvation enter your mind, such thoughts are not from G-d; they are, in fact, from Satan. And you must know that from the moment you walk out of here, Satan is going to try to pursue you and cause you to doubt. When that happens, you have to cling close to your savior. Now that G-d has shown you the truth, that Jesus is your Messiah, the Devil is going to want you to doubt, more than ever. And if you start thinking that Jesus is not the Messiah, you must recognize that those thoughts come from the Devil himself. That's when you have to pray even harder that Jesus should protect you with his blood."

I was stunned and terrified. It seemed to me that I accepted two belief systems instead of one that day, or two opposing gods: Jesus and the Devil. The Devil isn't a god in the sense that Christians worship him, but they attribute so much power to him that it is almost as though he is the evil deity in contradistinction to Jesus. In some Christian circles, the Devil seems to be as much a spiritual focus as Jesus.

I'm glad Ciss added "in some Christian circles." I can't go back and time and double-check what the pastor said and what emphasis he placed, but Ciss is correct that many believers place too much emphasis on Satan.

But, at the same time, Satan does soe seeds of doubt.
After receiving this admonition, I walked away from the meeting extremely troubled. After all, what nice Jewish boy who had just converted to Christianity wouldn't have some qualms that maybe he was making a big mistake? Needless to say, I was having doubts from the moment I walked out of there, wondering, "What have I done?" Yet I could not allow myself to brood about these doubts, because I had been infected with this new "doctrine of the Devil".

In my previous entry, I had mentioned that it didn't appear that Ciss was converted by the preaching of the Law of God. While convinced of the need for a Savior and escape from sin, Ciss didn't appear to be broken by the Law about particular sins.

This would confirm this. For whatever genuine motivation in his conversion, Ciss doesn't appear regenerated to me based on his own testimony.

We should be careful about pushing people to make a decision. It will only cause long-term harm and may give fals assurance to those who do make a decision but out of their own power and not from a regenerated heart.