Revelation 2:1-7: “To the angel of the assembly of Ephesus write: He who is holding the seven stars in His right hand, who is walking in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands says this, `I know your works and your labor and your endurance, and that you are not able to bear the evil ones, and have tried those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them false; and you have been bearing up and have endurance and have labored for My Name’s sake and not become weary. But, I hold this against you, that you have left your first love.So remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else I shall come to you speedily and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent…He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of Elohim’ ”.

It was Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 13, 1951. I was almost seven years old. That morning, as I sat listening to my pastor teach, the Spirit spoke gently to me that in the evening service I was to make a public confession of my faith in my Savior. After church I told my mother about it. She was very concerned. I was only six--how could I understand salvation? In most Baptist churches they thought that one should be at least twelve before they made profession of faith, because one needed to understand what they were doing before they made the commitment. There is some logic to that, except that so often Yahuweh begins to deal with the very young in order to begin their eternal life’s training early. My youngest daughter was born again and filled with Yahuweh’s Spirit at age five. She immediately began leading her friends to salvation, and doing spiritual warfare, praying for others, and moving in healing gifts. When one is truly born again, they act like a “new creation” (II Corinthians 5:17), “old things have passed away, behold, ALL THINGS have become new”. There is a new nature. [Refer to: “The True New Birth”] The Spirit does 40 different things instantly in a person when they are truly born of the Spirit. The true new birth begins with repentance for sin. It has nothing to do with embracing a mental belief. One truly born again is led by the Spirit--taught by the Spirit, daily directed by the Spirit, and obeys the Word of Yahuweh’s Spirit. Their nature is that of Elohim’s. They live out of their re-born spirit portal, in the “heart of them” – the loins area --

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that contacts eternity. All most do, because of cheap religious teaching, is to take intellectual knowledge into their head, process it through earth-bound reasoning and emotions, and thus there is no transformation. In the true new birth one is taken from the kingdom of darkness and “translated into the Kingdom of His Dear Son”.

Because the spirit is ageless—eternal--the spirit of a person is much older than their physical body, especially if their parents are born of the Spirit.

My youngest daughter, to this day, is a fireball for sharing the Good News of salvation. I took her to Africa with me when she was 17, and she did super! My son, born again at age 4, is today serving the Master with a humble heart—my other two children, too. They were all born from above by the Spirit between ages 4 and 7. Today all of my children are serving the Master. HalleluYAH! I gave them an example of discipleship by forsaking all to follow Him back in 1995, and because of that they are also doing the same.

I am now 66. I did not really understand until a few years ago the truth about salvation--why Messiah came--or of the covenant that He renewed with the House of Judah and the House of Ephraim to make “one new man”--the twelve tribes of Ya’cob restored through the blood of the spotless Lamb of Elohim. I had not understood Matthew 15:24 nor Matthew 10:5-6. I did not know I was one of the “lost sheep” of the House of Israel (Ya’cob). I did not understand the eternal love

story behind His coming, and His incredible love for the ten tribes He had to “divorce” because of their whoredom against Him.

I still cry every time I read passages like Hosea 11:8-11; Hosea chapter 14, and Jeremiah 31. The greatest passion of the heart of Yahuweh and Yahushua is to restore a remnant of the whole House of Ya’cob (Israel)--to restore the marriage covenant with the Bride purchased by the blood of the Bridegroom.

What is Yahuweh’s and Yahushua’s first love? What did Yahushua lay His life down for? It was to see Their creation/children delivered from slavery in Satan’s kingdom, to being redeemed and transferred into Their Kingdom once again – to reverse what was done in the Garden of Eden to take His precious ones from Him. It is the great work of His love to take us from death to life, and restore us to Themselves—our Creator, our Abba, our Messiah, Redeemer/Savior. So isn’t it logical, then, that we, as His children who have been redeemed, should spend our lives setting others free from slavery, bringing them into the freedom of knowing Elohim? Should we take their “free gift” and keep it to ourselves? Absolutely NOT!

Long before the foundation of the world, Yahuweh knew us by His

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foreknowledge, and chose us to be born of His Spirit and to continue on to know Him. The Book of Life was written before the foundation of the world from His foreknowledge. One’s name can be erased, but only by one’s will, not His. (I Peter 1:14; Ephesians 1:3-4, Revelation 17:8; Revelation 3:5; Psalm 139:1-18)

That day, May 13, 1951, I somehow convinced my mother that I was not going to make my public confession of faith because it was Mother’s Day, and that I knew perfectly what I was doing. That afternoon, we went to visit my mother’s brother and my cousins. I was so filled with joy and excitement that I preached the Good News of salvation to my Roman Catholic cousins all afternoon. That evening, back at my church, I couldn’t wait for the sermon to be over so that I

could walk down the aisle of the church at the “invitation” for salvation. Even though Abba came to me by His Spirit when I was four years old and separated me from the world in a most dramatic way, still I had to make a public confession of faith—for it is in our public confession to others that the miracle of salvation takes place. Salvation is not a “private” thing … it is to be shouted from the housetops!

As soon as the “invitation hymn” began to be sung, my mother later told me that I skipped down the aisle to the front of the church. A deacon came over to give me a registration card. I told him “I did not come down here to sign a card; I came down here to go into there (pointing to the prayer room) to be born again”. He was shocked.

I did not realize that my walk forward encouraged three other six year olds, one of them the pastor’s daughter, to also come to receive the new birth. While I was in college, the pastor’s daughter was there, too, studying to be a missionary.

That night I prayed the “sinners prayer” and I was truly born of the Spirit. I was baptized in water on Children’s Day and received as a full member of the church on Father’s Day. I was just learning to read, but my passion was for the Word and for evangelizing the lost of my peers, and to know Him who saved me. That is our first love! I was a bold evangelist, even upsetting a few parents of the children I witnessed to. In church, I was the disciplinarian. If children were talking during the sermon, I would poke them and tell them to be quiet, even with their parents sitting next to them. I took my salvation seriously. It was not a free ticket out of hell to me--it was life commitment.

I Corinthians 5:14-15, 17: “For the love of Messiah compels us…and He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was

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raised…Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a renewed creature—the old things have passed away, behold, all things have been renewed”. In the new birth, we are restored to a state before the rebellion--the “fall” of Adam and Eve into sin. This powerful new birth compels us to share it with others. This is why most “believers” in the west are not truly born of the Spirit—they only adopted a belief that they added to as they willed. Salvation begins with repentance, and faith in the shed blood of Messiah and His resurrection for our eternal life. After prayer that night of May 13th, 1951, I felt new. I knew I was a new creation. My desires were only for Him. This passion for our Savior is our first love!

Colossians 1:12-14: “…giving thanks unto the Father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones in light, who has delivered us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins …”

Without repentance there can be no salvation. We must let go of enslavement to the kingdom of darkness that controls our mind and body, and allow Him to transfer us into a new Kingdom with a new Master. It takes humility and a contrite heart. It takes simple childlike faith in what the Savior has done for us to literally free us to be able to live eternally with Yahuweh. He takes us out of the pit of captivity to sin, and raises us up to new life. For this we are eternally grateful, and must never forget what He did to save us from eternal separation from Him. After sharing salvation in an African village, many children wanted to receive Messiah as Savior. Later one of the pastors told me that his son had been born again, and came to him saying, “Daddy, I am born again now, and I want to be a pastor like you”. The first thing that one wants to do when they are truly born of the Spirit is to minister to others!

This is why Messiah said: “Unless you become as a little child, you shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 18:1-4) It takes simple child-like faith to be truly born of the Spirit. It has nothing to do with feelings or mental acceptance of a belief. It has to do with commitment to follow a Master as a bondservant. The cheap-grace “Gospel” of the west carries barely enough truth for a person to be born of the Spirit. And then, once born of the Spirit, the church tells the people they do not have to obey the Torah of Yahuweh. The man-made “Gospel” in its shallowness, actually implants a rejection of the truth in people. Thus II Thessalonians 2:8-12 is understandable.

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Salvation is not about receiving a free ticket out of hell. I knew that at age six. I knew that in publicly confessing my faith for salvation, it meant that my life was given to His service. I knew I became a servant, to do His will. I never considered salvation to be something cheap. I knew it cost the Savior everything, and I owed Him for that.

So many sing the old hymn “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe”, like this: “Jesus paid it all, all to me He owes”. That’s the charismatic, “word of faith” message, which promotes the worship of the Canaanite god, “Ba’al-Gawd” – the Lord of fortune.

This last year, on the eve of May 13th, 2010, I was in an apartment in Tiberias, Israel. All of a sudden I felt great love flood over me for the husband of my youngest daughter. I was amazed at Abba’s love for

him. I began praying for His salvation. He was not a bad man, just a victim of some emotional trauma as a child, as many of us are. But, it caused a rift between he and my daughter that was spawning a divorce. My daughter had moved out to seek Abba as to what to do. The next morning, I felt the Spirit come on me again for him--such love. That afternoon I got an E-mail from my daughter. In the subject line was the word “numb”. She said that David had come to her and told her that he had been born again. He wanted to pray with her. She asked me what she should do. I said: “do nothing, just watch him--look for signs of a new birth”. Within a week she reported that he was truly born again. She went back to him. He began showing signs of “first love” with the Savior. She said he wanted to read the Bible a lot. He prayed with the family. He began witnessing about his salvation to his parents, to those at this work, in the church, and everywhere he went. He encouraged her ministry for Abba, even giving his OK for her to go to Haiti during Thanksgiving week for ministry. He was truly born of the Spirit. Now it is almost his 1-year birthday, and he is still showing signs of a true new birth. Today I got an E-mail from her with the subject line reading “numb”. She told about a miracle that Abba did for them. I told her that it was David’s 1st “birthday” present from Abba. David is learning about Hebrew roots from my daughter--not as something “Jewish”, but as obedience to the Word. They had a lovely Seder this Passover eve together as a family, and told the story of the exodus from Egypt to their two children.

One day after his new birth David was reading his Bible. He asked my daughter, “will the new ever wear off?” He didn’t want to lose his first love. The parable of the sower (Mark 4) is all too true--the cares of this life so often cause the first love to go away, and to be replaced by a dull practice of religion.

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We must keep the first love stirred up by an ever increasing desire for His Word, His Presence--abiding in Him in faith, and obeying Him with joy, and by continually having praise and worship of Him as a part of our daily life.

A woman, or man, who is deeply in love, is hard to be around at times, for all they want to talk about is the one they love, all other conversation is boring to them. Everything they think and say is about the one they love. This is how it is with those who are really born of the Spirit. They are in love with Yahushua. He is their life, and their joy--their greatest passion is to talk about Him. He is on their mind all the day long, calling in their spirit for His return for them. Is that you?

From the Wycliff Bible Commentary on Revelation 2:1-7: “After commending the church for its labor, patience, and intolerance of

pseudo-apostles, the Lord refers to one tragic defect —she had left her first love (v. 4). G. Campbell Morgan relates this passage to Paul's words of warning to the Corinthian church: "For I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ'. The elements of first love then are simplicity and purity. The love of the Church to Christ is typified by the love of the wife for the husband. What then is the love of Christ to the Church? Unselfish love, love in which there was no single thought of self. The response of love to the mystery of love is the submission of love to perfect love. First love is the love of espousal. Its notes are simplicity, and purity, marital love, the response of love to love, the subjection of a great love to a great love, the submission of a self-denying love to a love that denies self. First love is the abandonment of all for a love that has abandoned all" [A First Century Message to Twentieth Century Christians, pp. 40-42)

Despite the Christianese language, this is beautifully put. The simple Good News of salvation is a message of the longing of a Bridegroom for His Bride. It transforms lives.

I watch “believers” of the west, who are all wrapped up in stuffing their minds with knowledge from some chosen human teacher, following the spiritually blind into a ditch of destruction. The American public school system teaches children to believe what their teacher says and repeat it, to get a good grade on their test. Thus, as adults they listen to some intellectual teacher, or whom they think is

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“spiritual”, and parrot it as part of their belief system, never checking the whole Word regarding it, nor going to the Spirit of Truth to see if it is really true. They are jerked around in their head, tossed to and fro by “every wind of doctrine” (KJV).

Ephesians 4:14-15: “…that we should no longer be children, tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, in cleverness, in craftiness to lead astray, but maintaining the truth in love, we grow up in all respects into Him who is the head—Messiah”.