Shabbat shalom, everyone. Click here for a synopsis of this week’s teaching (Parsha 6). This week we learn the history of Yitz'chak (Isaac), Avraham's son - and discover that YHWH doesn't choose those who believe themselves to be qualified; but rather, He qualifies the chosen....
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Brothers and sisters, even though I don't "do" Christmas because it's not a biblical holy day, it always pains me to see people writing "Christmas" as "X-mas". When you do that, you take the Messiah completely out of the equation!
... Which, in a way, is what "Christmas" is, anyway - a man-made holiday that seems to be all about "us" and buying and going into senseless debt. Christ is usually nowhere in sight. The stores are all about their sales; and most households seem to be all about giving presents to each other. Messiah Y'shua is the last thing on anybody's mind.
I don't say this maliciously; that's just the way it is. Some people don't even go to church (much less, do their own Bible studies), except on "X-mas Eve." How hypocritical is that?
Nobody seems realize that our Messiah wasn't even born in December, or that nothing says we're to celebrate his birth, at all. Nobody seems to realize that sheep are NOT in the fields in December, or that "the three Wise Men" didn't give presents to each other; they came to give them to the baby Messiah. (And truth be told, they weren't even there in time for his birth.)
Oh! And, let's not forget "Santa" - who has NOTHING whatsoever to do with X's birth, or that he's the first LIE we tell to our children. (Isn't lying a sin, no matter how it's cloaked?)
It's not even Thanksgiving, but yet, "X-mas" lights are up and stores are playing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire " -
all just ploys to get YOU to part with your money. Old "X" himself is nowhere in sight....
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Be careful about what you see, read or hear! Many "ear-tickling" teachings are concocted by those who don't necessarily know what they're talking about. They "hear" or "read" something, then put their own twist on it - and, suddenly, it becomes "doctrine."
For instance, there's a "teaching" on the Internet that suggests YHWH's Name supposedly means "Behold hand, behold nail" - and they post the attached meme to "prove" it.
According to Hebrew and Aramaic scholar Andrew Gabriel Roth, the "Behold the Hand Behold the Nail" assertion is not really about YHWH; but rather, it is symbolism and meanings that some Paleo folks think is hidden in the arrangement of the letters.
The VAV/WAW means "hook, hang, nail" - and in the ancient Hebrew form it actually looks kind of like a nail and the reference to it is made in the Torah, where a hook or nail in the Tabernacle is called VAV.
"Yahweh" however, is THIRD person whereas "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" (I am that I am) is FIRST person. The latter is what Yahweh calls HIMSELF; the former is what we are supposed to call Him, as it parses out to "Yah Who is" or "Yah, He Who exists".
But the third person Name (Yahweh) is on another level "targummed/understood" as referring to the other Name; hence, "I am that I am" when the other Name is linked to it.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
What a sick, liberal society we live in, when someone like Kaepernick can make the cover of GQ and be considered "an inspiration." Someone who “makes a statement” by stepping on our flag and our veterans – the very people who fought and died for our freedoms. The Kaepernicks of this world are nothing but rich, spoiled-rotten, liberal loudmouths who push the idea of rioting to get their way.
Unfortunately, many brain-dead types who blame everyone else for their self-made problems, are ready, willing and able to jump on Kaepernick’s bandwagon.
2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: 2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good, 4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim, 5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you. 6. For of them are they who creep into this and that house and captivate the women who are plunged in sins and led away by divers lusts, 7. who are always learning, and can never come to the knowledge of the truth. (AENT)
So, what can we do about it?
Keep clinging to the TRUTH and never allow “the world” to steal our morals or our shalom. We must continue to "keep on keeping on", enduring until the end because the same will be saved (Matt 24:13).
BOYCOTT THE NFL! Let them get a real job, like the rest of us!
Monday, November 13, 2017
I recently ran into a group of men who claim that African Americans were/are the original Hebrews. That Jesus skin color was black as well as everyone in the old testament. I simply told them, that's not so. Miriam was punished by Almighty God for mocking Moses Ethiopian wife who was dark skinned.
What does Refiner's Fire say about this fallacy?
In short: Nonsense.
Since the first "Hebrew" (meaning "to cross over") mentioned in scripture was Avram, a Caldean from the middle east, it is folly for anyone except extremely biased, arrogant, and opinionated people to say they were "black"! Further, since Avram was the ancestor of all the 12 tribes, which were subsequently scattered, it is additional folly to argue a "black" origin! All peoples on earth today descended from Noah's three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth, as recorded in Genesis 10. To argue a "skin color" today, and claim they are the original Hebrews is the epitome of folly!
We believe The Refiner’s Fire is one of the few on-line ministries that will actually take time to answer questions from our readers. We take pride in providing Biblically-based and defended answers to legitimate questions and try to answer them all. (It is our observation that not many ministries do that – and, by the way, we don’t ever ask for a dime...)
Unfortunately, we have found that when we answer, a large number of correspondents suddenly seem to believe we are “their new best-friend,” and begin barrage us with endless additional questions! Inevitably, we will begin to realize that the person doesn’t have a good grasp of Scripture at all, and we may be wasting our time doing research and providing answers to someone who doesn’t really understand our responses. When that happens, we usually come right out and ask: “Have you read the Bible cover-to-cover (Genesis to Revelation)?” And “If so, how many times?”
The reason we ask is this:
Many ask questions about Scripture, having only preconceived ideas from what they’ve “heard”. They’ve either never read the Bible, or read only snippets here and there; yet they feel qualified to inundate us with tons of questions – many of which take a lot of time to research … which then prompts more questions. Once we figure out that they really don’t know much about the Bible, we will ask them to discuss the novel, “War and Peace” with us – to which they reply that they can’t, because they’ve never read it. “Okay,” we reply, “you’ve never read the Bible, either, so why are you posing all these questions for us to research?”
Somehow, it seems the Bible is a “free-for-all” that can be picked apart by those with absolutely NO knowledge of Scripture, but they don’t hesitate to argue their opinion on it, regardless. It can be quite maddening!
So, why would we ask “how many times” someone has read the whole Bible? Because it’s critically important! First of all, if someone has never read the Bible, or only picked through a few verses, they are wasting our time. And reading through the whole Bible only one time can only leave one with many (seriously: MANY) unanswered questions. It’s no secret that each time you read through, you’ll gain a bit more understanding. In fact, we at The Refiner’s Fire continue to read through scripture year after year, even though we have done so many times already. There is so much to learn! Everyone who claims to be a Believer should do this.
Christians are, unfortunately, the worst. They often quote a scripture, out of context, from the New Testament; and attempt to tell us what it means (because they’re challenging us concerning the NT); or they’ll ask what we think it means, and then become belligerent when we refer to the proper understanding drawn from the Tanakh (Old Testament) to clarify why their preconceived (i.e., erred) understanding was incorrect.
But here is a fact to any and all people, including Christians: If you have NOT read the Tanakh, then you simply don’t understand the New Testament. You can’t understand the New Testament UNTIL you’ve studied the “Old Testament.” Period! It simply is not possible to understand the New Testament without the foundation of the Torah!
Jews, on the other hand, hardly bother to write to us, but those who have rejected Jesus and joined other “counter-missionaries” in their attempts to bash Jesus and the New Testament, certainly do! And they do exactly as Christians do: Twist Scripture to suit their own purposes, and challenge us to prove them wrong. Well, it’s easy to allow Scripture to explain Scripture – but whenever someone’s heart is set on trying to force Scripture to line up according to their present understanding, there’s really nothing much you can say. It’s fruitless to argue with someone whose mind is made up.
That being said, while we DO appreciate your correspondence, we would ask you to be aware that sometimes our answer may not be what you were expecting. If it’s not, please don’t hound us to death about it. A couple of emails will suffice. In the end, if you don’t agree with our response, let it go.
In the meantime we would ask that people start taking responsibility for their own spiritual growth by studying the Word on their own. Get into Scripture for yourself so you can KNOW what it says or doesn’t say. That way, you will at least be able to come from a knowledgeable viewpoint, and not waste anyone’s time with frivolous questions.
Every once in a while on Facebook, I see someone's drawing or meme depicting Jesus hugging some woman in a very intimate way - and I cringe because that is NOT what the actual Y'shua would have done! Y'shua, a Jewish Rabbi, the Divine Son of YHWH, would never have touched a woman in a sensual way because in the Orthodox Jewish culture the behavior is strictly prohibited.
I especially dislike pictures depicting the "wedding feast" where Mashyiach is hugging his "female bride" – because, while "we" ARE metaphorically his "bride", the "wedding" has absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to do with sex or intimate, bodily contact. It won’t be a free-for-all orgy; it will simply be a joyous gathering together of YHWH’s people who, by that time, will have received their “new, heavenly bodies” (2 Corinthians 5:1-10 and Revelation 21:1-4) which have no use for sex or procreation.
Matthew 22: 30. For in the resurrection of the dead, men do not marry women, nor are women given to husbands. Rather, they are as the Messengers (angels) of Elohim in Heaven. (AENT)
Being intimate in the way we humans think of intimacy, is NOT what YHWH is all about. I don’t care how “beautiful” the paintings or memes of the “wedding” (or any other “picture” depicting a loving Jesus hugging some woman) might be; it’s offensive to think that Y’shua will be fondling women (or men, who are also part of the “bride”) when he returns as the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)!
Deuteronomy 4: 15 "Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day ADONAI spoke to you in Horev from the fire, 16 do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure - not a representation of a human being, male or female, 17 or a representation of any animal on earth, or a representation of any bird that flies in the air, 18 or a representation of anything that creeps along on the ground, or a representation of any fish in the water below the shoreline. (CJB)