Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Who are the people behind "Light on the Rock"?
See Our Mission. Simply put, this is a sharing of Bible studies from Philip Shields. We are not a church organization, though we are part of the Body of Christ. We do not seek a following, though we feel many can receive helpful scriptural information from websites like this. We encourage brethren to remain in a local group where they’re being well fed spiritually and experiencing the joy of salvation (Ps. 51:12).
2. Why and how did you decide on the motif of a lighthouse on a rock?
We did not want to call this endeavour by any name of man or in any way focus on what we're doing so much as focus on the Word of God. Neither are we “a Church organization”, though we do have a “Foundation” to help support this endeavour’s expenses as well as help a small group in Kenya, when we receive contributions. The Bible is simply Yeshua the Messiah in print, since He is called "The Word" (John 1:1).
Back to the motif of a lighthouse on a rock: Yeshua (Jesus) is the true light of the world (John 8:12; Matthew 5:14). He is also the Rock (1 Cor 10:4). The Word of God is our focus. Our goal is to build on that Rock (Matthew 7:24-27) that leads us to a relationship with God our Father. So Light on the Rock focuses on Yeshua our Light in us, and on Yeshua the Rock. The light focuses on His Word. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet”, the Psalmist says. Many ancient travellers seeking a new life - as many of us are attempting to do right now spiritually - found themselves shipwrecked on the rocky shoals of the unknown coastland. Without the light of God's word showing the safe route, many can also be wrecked on the unseen and unknown spiritual dangers - the other rocks -- around us. So, Yeshua (Jesus) is the Light of the world, and He is also our Rock. Our website designers did a great job of conveying what was in our hearts.
3. We’ve noticed in sermons since 2008 and 2009, that you more often say “Yeshua” instead of “Jesus”. Why do you often use the names “Yehowah, Yehovah, Yahweh”, “Yeshua” and “Abba” instead of God, Jesus and Father?
We often still use the more commonly used names or words like “God”, “Father” or “Jesus”. I am not fanatical about exclusively using Hebrew names.
If you wish a complete explanation of why we now say Yehowah or Yahweh, please check out the two sermons in October 2011, “What is our Creator’s Name?” Since the time I first recorded those messages, I’ve been shown the most ancient Hebrew document going back to 650 BC that included vowel points, showing the Name and pronunciation of YHVH to be “Yehovah” or “Yehowah”, with emphasis on the last syllable. The European Jews used the V version and the North African and Middle eastern Jews used the W version. Both are fine, just like Americans and British and Aussies all may be saying the same word but with their own correct pronunciation and spelling. But since seeing this new information, I now say “Yehowah” (or with the V – Yehovah) instead of “Yahweh”.
I strongly believe mankind has NO business changing the almost 7,000 times the very personal name “YHVH” is used – to “the LORD”. That is neither a translation, nor does it sound like YHVH, but is a complete erasure and change of our Creator’s name to a title. I realize “Adonai” also means “Lord” or “Master”. But we have no permission to change ANY word of God or to add to it. Man has no right to change YHVH to Adonai or to “The LORD”. Translators even kept the pagan gods’ names intact without change or translation, but somehow they felt they could change the most important name of all!!? Not me, and not this website, since 2008 or 2009 at least.
Our Creator says “YHVH” (mistranslated and changed to “the LORD”) is His name (please read Isa 42:8; Jer. 16:8; Ex. 15:3; Ps. 83:18 and many more; a form of “I am” --John 8:58), the name He revealed again to Moses (Ex. 3:13-15). It means “I am”, or “Eternal, Self-Existent One”. But why translate His name? Just say it! My name - Philip - means “lover of horses”, but it would seem strange to me if you started calling me “Lover of horses”. My name is Philip. In the same way, Yahweh says He wants us to know His name, use His name reverently, and proclaim His name to all the nations.
“Yeshua” means “salvation”. That’s what His mama called Him. I don’t personally force the “Yah” into his name – Yahshua, as some do. It was a form of Joshua (no J’s in Hebrew though). Some say Yehoshua, the longer form of Yeshua.
“Abba” is Aramaic for Father, the words used by Yeshua in Gethsemane. I usually just say “Father”. I call God in the Highest “Father”. I call the Word --“Yeshua” -- and when I speak about “God” I will say either YHVH or Yehowah, going forward. The 2 part sermon series in Oct 2011 goes more in depth, although at that time I was still using “Yahweh” though I now think the latest evidence must lean now to “Yehovah” or “Yehowah”, with emphasis on the last syllable. “God” is what He IS. “God” is not His name.
One’s name is very important. Hallowed be His name. Let’s use it, revere it, and worship the name of God – YHVH, Yehowah. He promises to honor those who do (Mal 3:16). Of course I also realize that to honor His name is also to LIVE in a way that brings honor to Him.
4. How do I listen to a message, or download a message?
Video Instructions on how to listen and download messages are available here.
5. How do I download a message to CD?
Instructions for creating a CD with the messages are going to vary according to your software package. Please visit the help documentation for your CD creation software for more details. If you don’t have your own computer but would like to receive cd’s, that may be possible, at least for now. We would request a donation in that case, if you’re able, to help pay for production, copying and shipping costs to you.
6. What do you hope to ultimately accomplish?
See the link Our Mission. Simply put, helping as many people as possible start to turn to our heavenly Father, and be ready for our returning King of Kings, Yeshua the Messiah; people who know His Word, the Scriptures; and to have a people living by that Word with the help Christ gives us through God's Holy Spirit (the Ruach HaKodesh). We need to be prepared for our King’s return, and any small part we can play in that mission, would be to God's glory.
7. What are the speaker's credentials?
This website is not about us, but is about the Word, and focusing on YHVH and our Saviour. Yeshua clearly said he could make rocks cry out if need be, so we leave the results to Him and pray He can fulfil His purpose through whatever weak instruments are presented to Him. Check out the messages yourself to see if what we're saying squares with what Scripture says, like the noble Bereans of old did, and then form your own conclusions. I was ordained an elder at the Feast of Tabernacles in 1976. The church group I was with at that time would raise an elder to a “Preaching elder” once they were pastoring churches. I was ordained a Preaching Elder in 1979. I currently am not part of any organization, though I know I am a part of the Body of Christ. I have been a student of the Word of YHVH all my life.
8. What church denomination is behind "Light on the Rock"?
There is no church denomination behind this website. We are independent students of the Word. We seek to promote what Yehowah has to say about various topics. Most of us continue believing whatever we were taught as children. A better way is to learn, and believe, what Father actually says through His written and living Word. We preach and try to live by every word of God. We are sabbath keepers (7th day) who believe Yeshua is coming soon.
9. Who finances "Light on the Rock"? What are your financial needs? Do you accept donations?
So, if you feel led by the Holy Spirit to help financially support this website and wish to assist any of our needy brethren we support from time to time, you can make secure donations to our non-profit foundation called “Light on the Rock Outreach Foundation”. We accept donations from anyone. Your donations will be acknowledged but we are NOT set up to give a federally tax deductible receipt. Look for the “drop down” button that says “Donations”. We are in the midst of a move, so PayPal is the safest and fastest way to help support our efforts in preaching our Father’s good news.
Thank you so much. May YHVH bless you for your encouragement and financial support.
10. Are the messages available in other languages?
So far, no. If enough requests for this come in, and if that's what Yahweh wants, then He will provide the way to make it happen. If any of you who frequent this website are fluent and proficient in foreign languages, and are willing to volunteer your services to translate when that need arises, I will certainly take down your contact information. We do not have any funds to pay for translating services.
11. Is there a group near me who believe as you do, with whom I can attend?
It is not our intent to form a "church" or denomination. We do not seek a following. We simply wish to share what God has to say about various subjects. There are God-fearing people all around the world who attend with various denominations or fellowships. We may be able to put you in touch with some of them if you email or write us your concerns.
12. What are your beliefs on ...
Check out this link. As you listen to those messages, you'll find out quickly enough what Scripture teaches about various topics. Knowing what we believe is less important than knowing what the Bible actually teaches on a given topic. We pray you will confirm that our messages square solidly with teaching from Scripture. If not, please let me know.
Here’s an overview of our key beliefs:
• We are a resource for believers in YHVH, or Yehowah, the one true God revealed in the Scriptures. We therefore pursue the “whole counsel of God” from Genesis through Revelation as the foundation and source of what we teach. We do our best to teach what Scripture says, rather than the traditional teachings of any denomination or person or our own personal opinion.
• We pursue a life evidenced by love for YHVH and love for one another, through the power of His Spirit. We believe worship should be joyous, reverent, uplifting and unifying. Father wishes to be worshiped in spirit and in truth, so doctrine does matter, but some few persistent differences in beliefs will have to be resolved when Yeshua comes. Paul spoke of working together “UNTIL we come to a unity of the faith” (Eph 4:12-13). Having said that, I do believe some doctrines are key, and are “salvational”: for example, that Yeshua was and is “God” also, but still God is “echad” – Hebrew for “one”. Be sure to hear my sermons in January 2013 that goes in depth into this. See the rest for more of our beliefs.
• We believe there is one spiritual body of believers led by the Holy Spirit who are NOT found in only one organization set up by men. True believers are currently scattered. God is not boxed in. True believers will be coming together as one as we draw to the end of this age. We believe true believers love and accept one another without regard to church organizational lines and walls or nationality, race, sex, tribe or culture. Christ will marry only one Bride, who acts, lives and loves Him as one body.
• We believe in proclaiming everywhere and openly the good news of God’s kingdom and especially of the Savior’s central role in salvation and to open the door to the Kingdom of YHVH. Be sure to hear my sermons on the Gospel. Yes, it MUST include the key of Yeshua being the WAY into that wonderful kingdom. We are now expounding on the glorious secrets or mysteries of YHVH revealed for His family, the Household of God.
• We believe we are saved by grace through faith, as God’s gift, for good works (Eph. 2:8-10), just like the early believers in the book of Acts. We do NOT teach grace gives us license to sin. Sin is defined by God’s law (1 John 3:4), and we must obey God (1 John 2:3-6).
• We observe the 7th day Sabbath and God’s annual holy days and feast days, as taught by Scripture.
• We are grateful for God’s love, proven by sending His Son Jesus the Christ (or Yeshua the Messiah) into the world to save all who will accept, trust, believe in Him and obey Him. We believe in repentance, water baptism by immersion and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. We believe we are all being judged in God’s way and time and each will stand before His judgment seat. We believe in resurrections and the power of God. We believe ALL the gifts of God’s Spirit are still available to each one as He wishes. The gifts of God are still active. His greatest gift of all is God’s agape love (1 Cor. 12-14).
• We believe even as we accept His grace, we become His “new creation”, a new life obedient to God and His Way of life, through faith in His Son’s righteousness living in us by His Spirit. We believe we must be overcoming the old way of life, through the gift of His Spirit. We believe in repentance when we sin and that we must be overcoming and growing into a mature child of God.
• We seek to listen to, and be led by God’s Holy Spirit to show us the will of God, which will guide us into the day-to-day life Yehowah wants us to live.
We are a source of sermons, studies and scriptural information to supplement your own studies. We are not a church and do not seek a following, though we certainly love hearing from any of you benefiting from our website. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org We encourage people to remain where they are being fed and where they are experiencing growth - even while they may gain some insights from websites such as this.