But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: and men will be lovers of
themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people,
deniers of grace, wicked, unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious,
haters of the good, treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of
Elohim, having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim.
Them who are such, repel from you.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
The Ministry of
What do we do when we find ourselves in conflicts with spouses, family, friends, acquaintances or other believers where we want to resolve important issues, but others don’t have the same convictions? How about when others refuse to answer direct questions or circle around issues and refuse to discuss any particulars. Obviously plenty of people choose to be in denial of their own character flaws, then many project their flaws onto others, and then often resort to go on the attack, gossip, slander and find reason to disagree with everything we said and judge the intents of our actions. How can we find reconciliation in these difficult situations?
The word “reconciliation” is nearly always found in Scripture as being translated from the Hebrew word kaphar, the word for atonement. In the King James Bible kaphar is 71 times translated as atonement and 4 times as reconciliation, this is a very important word in Scripture, it could be argued that this is the most important “theological” word in of all of Scripture. Without reconciliation mankind would have no way of being redeemed from original sin.
It might be helpful to consider reconciliation from a visual perspective of putting a cover over something, for example putting a blank over two people now makes them look like one object. In this case, reconciliation is the “covering” YHWH puts over a situation to make it “one”. This visual idea can be also seen when we lift up a tallit (prayer shawl) or a chuppah (wedding canopy) and two people stand under it to be married and joined together as one flesh. In the case of “reconciliation” the covering we are looking for is the unity of the Spirit of YHWH to be imparted into us, that will wash away our sins and our transgressions against others and their transgressions against us. If another person forgives us and desires to bless us and we forgive and bless them then we have met together under a place of atonement in YHWH through His Mashiyach.
In other words true reconciliation will never come about by trying to harmonize our religion with someone else’s, or by us agreeing to disagree, that’s most definitely not what Scripture teaches as reconciliation, that’s called “coping”. Reconciliation is all about us conforming our conduct and character to that of Mashiyach himself, sure we might hold very differing theological viewpoints, but how we act towards YHWH and then towards one another is a much higher level of responsibility and accountability to the Father. If we see reconciliation through the Father’s eyes then we are approaching a reconciliation that will take us through this life and into the world to come, but if we refuse and play religious games and make it impossible for others to reconcile with us, then, we’ll stand before YHWH one day and we’ll give an account of why we were unable to open our hearts to Him. It’s got nothing to do with one another, it has everything to do with our relationship with YHWH Who is the Father of Justice and Reconciliation of all things through Mashiyach.
When others turn away from us and use their religious ideas to accuse us of wrongdoing there are several important elements YHWH requires of us. Firstly, and this is a commonly used term in Scripture that YHWH asks us to write out (kathav) a chashav (count or account) of the matter. We do this according to legal jurisprudence that is referred to as an affidavit. In conventional law it is a written declaration upon oath, made before an authorized official. However, in the Kingdom of Elohim, this is a written declaration made before YHWH and His Mashiyach and available for all parties to the matter for review.
When a conflict or disagreement between two or more parties has been poisoned to the point of the parties not wanting to meet and reconcile matters, there isn’t much more we can do but write out the matter for future reference and pray. However, even in these situations the Word of YHWH requires that we open our hearts to the Father and be introspective to open the matter with our peers for their examination and counsel. In Matthew 18 Y’shua commands that we go to the person, tell the matter to them, then if need be take 2 or 3 witnesses, and then have the matter brought before the congregation. However, in the world we live in today, people can attack at a distance, through the internet, or by phone, or by publishing libellous statements and not wanting to reveal their identity or whereabouts. Some try to attack by way of guerrilla warfare so they can’t be traced, they have no interests of reconciliation only to do damage to someone else they disagree with, they don’t even understand the full ramifications of their attacks. The basis of those kinds of attacks are generally motivated by jealousy, money, religious dogma, bigotry or just unfounded hatred and even in these circumstances we must bear witness to the attacks against us because YHWH says that when someone attacks us without cause that they are also attacking Him.
In Matthew 18:20 Y’shua says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” which specifically refers to us gathering together to receive spiritual discernment from our Father YHWH. Matthew 18:16 had just stated that, “if he will not hear you take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” which is a commandment from Torah in Deuteronomy 19:15, “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Torah teaches us that we are to make very sure that we don’t judge by our own judgments, but that we maintain transparent and open dialogue about all matters of reconciliation.
Justice and Righteousness are very close to the heart of YHWH and His Mashiyach. If we misrepresent Justice then we misrepresent the very Nature of the Father, therefore ALL matters of reconciliation are extremely important in the Father’s eyes. In Exodus 23:1 we find that a judge is not allowed to hear a litigant in the absence of the other, if this one commandment were to be upheld by “believers” there would be no such thing as gossip, it wouldn’t be tolerated on any level. People would be more concerned about upholding YHWH’s Word that running with their own agendas and judgments against others.
Exodus 23:2 YHWH instructs that we are not to answer a cause according to a majority to pervert justice, if the whole congregation has overturned justice we are not to agree or follow them. We are not to be swayed by the popular view, or accept the opinions of others as fact. Unless we have firsthand knowledge and experience as witnesses to a matter we are instructed to remain neutral.
Deuteronomy 24:15 tells us that when an innocent person cries out to YHWH against the guilty party (or community) that the sin of the guilty will be on their own heads. The prophet Habakkuk (1:4) wrote, “Therefore the Torah is slacked, and judgment never goes forth: for the wicked are encompassed around the righteous; therefore wrong judgments are brought forth.” In response to Habakkuk’s plea YHWH responds by explaining how He is raising up a treacherous and formidable army to come against His people because of their evil deeds. In other words YHWH often deals with situations on a cumulative level, not only with one situation or person at a time.
If you’ve been attacked unjustly or unable to bring about reconciliation after making the necessary phone calls or what have you, then it is wise to take the matter to someone who is mighty in Scriptures and fervent in the Ruach haKodesh (and advocate) and confess the matter as truthfully and as concisely as you can and then if possible have that person initiate contact with the other party on your behalf. This is of course how lawyers get involved, but within the Household of Faith, hopefully there are men and woman who are capable of helping you take that next step. This is also why it is essential for you to write out the matter so that you will be accountable for what you write, and, you will have a witness to the situation.
Nobody is perfect, don’t be hard on yourself and demand perfection in how you say it or feeling that you need dozens of Scriptures or a book to say what you need to say, it’s not necessary. We simply need the intent of the heart to want to do the right thing by our Father and one another and all the rest will take care of itself in due course of time. What is necessary is that we have the hope and intent to reconcile and that we’ve done all we can. If those who act as an advocate are also given “the treatment” by our adversaries we have a good idea that there are underlying strongholds that are binding up the possibilities of reconciliation. If in fact the other party also writes an affidavit in response to ours that’s a very good indication that they share a hope of reconciliation as well, whoever is willing to go “the second mile” does on in the strength of their relationship with YHWH and His Mashiyach. There is a saying in Judaism that if a man opens he heart to let a pin of light from the Father enter, that YHWH Himself will open his heart so that horses and chariots could enter in.
And all things are made new, by Elohim who has reconciled us to himself by the Mashiyach, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. For Elohim was in the Mashiyach, who has reconciled the world with his majesty and did not reckon to them their sins; and who hasplaced in us the Word of reconciliation. We are therefore ambassadors for the Mashiyach, and it is as if Elohim was pleading you by us. In behalf of the Mashiyach, therefore, we plead to you to be reconciled to Elohim;
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
YHWH be with you,
Baruch ben Daniel