Friday, January 16, 2015

The perils of "religiosity"

You won’t find anyone more “rabid” than religious folks.  We have various Muslim factions out there beheading, shooting and torturing anyone and everyone who gets in the way of their attempt to take over the world; we have Christians who will absolutely wish you in hell for desiring to be Torah observant; and we have traditional Jews going up against both Christians and Messianic believers in the most vicious and sarcastic ways you could imagine in order to convince the world that Yeshua and the New Testament are myths.

The most vicious of them all (outside of the Muslims who actually kill physically instead of just verbally) are the “converts” – either to Christianity or Judaism -  who know just enough about God and the Bible to, as the saying goes, “be dangerous.”  Just this morning we awoke to find a recent convert to Judaism attempting to post on our blog, using all the “proofs” he could possibly muster, which he gleaned from his newly-found traditional Jewish “friends” who have clearly impressed him with their knowledge of Torah and the Hebrew language.

How easily man can be deceived! 

Ecclesiastes 12:  12 In addition, my son, take heed: one can write many books - there's no end to it; and one can study so much that it wearies the flesh. 13 Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about. 14 For God will bring to judgment everything we do, including every secret, whether good or bad. [Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about.]  (CJB)

Yes, they study and study and wear themselves out, but they never grasp the WHOLE of GOD’s Truth because they listen to MAN instead of God!

Luke 11:52   "Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge!  Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter!”

Matthew 23: 23. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and you overlook the weightiest things of Torah: Judgment and Mercy and Faith. And these things were necessary for you to have done, and these things you should not have forgotten. 24. Blind guides who strain at gnats and swallow camels. 25. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate but inside they are full of extortion and iniquity. 26. Blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, Then the outside will be clean also. 27. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you are like white tombs that appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are filled with the bones and all the corruption of the dead. 28. Thus you also appear on the outside as righteous men to the sons of men. On the inside you are filled with iniquity and hypocrisy. 29. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and you adorn the sepulchers of the righteous. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE: A “marketing strategy” of the Pharisees is to posture themselves as being obedient to YHWH’s Prophets, and thus appear to legitimize their authority regarding Torah and the Prophets. A similar strategy is adopted by Christians who posture themselves as authorities on the Jewish Mashiyach, but who instead promote pagan religious traditions; these “crucify” Mashiyach daily by choosing to willfully neglect the Word of YHWH.

Titus 1:  13. And this testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith  14. and may not throw themselves into Jewish fables and into the precepts of men who hate the Truth.  15. For to the pure, everything is pure; but to them who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but their understanding is defiled, and their conscience.  16 And they profess that they know Elohim, but in their works they deny him; and they are odious and disobedient and to every good work reprobates.

Titus 3:  9 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile. 10 Warn a divisive person once, then a second time; and after that, have nothing more to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a person has been perverted and is sinning: he stands self-condemned.

Pay VERY close attention to this one:

2 John:  5. And now I beg you, Kuria, (I write no new commandment to you but that which was with us from the beginning) that we should love one another.  6. And this is love, that we walk according to the Commandment.  This is the Commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that we should walk in it.  7. Because many seducers have gone forth into the world who do not confess that Y’shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh. This is a seducer and antiChristos.  8. Take heed to yourselves that you do not lose what you have gained; but that you may be recompensed with a full reward.  9. Everyone who transgresses and does not abide in the teaching of the Mashiyach, Elohim is not in him. And he who abides in his doctrine, he has the Father and the Son.  10. If anyone comes to you and does not possess this doctrine, neither entertain him in your house nor say to him, Joy to you:  11. For he that says to him, Joy to you, is a participator in his evil deeds.  (AENT)

Let’s quickly examine the types of things traditional Jews espouse that lead believers in Yeshua astray.  Here are but a few examples:

To the Christians here, I realize that you believe you are right and that you want to help people to find G-d. Your intentions are good. Jews, B”H, know G-d. We have a personal relationship with Him, which began with the patriarchs. He spoke directly to our ancestors at Sinai — 3 million of them. We don’t believe because of some stories we have heard, or some book we have read. We believe because our own fathers were there, witnessed Him and have passed the information to us from one generation to the next. . . l’dor v’dor. . .

If you listen to Rabbi Skobac you will see that he is not “anti” Christianity. He is explaining the verse in the Jewish bible and then explaining how it was misquoted, or mistranslated — or simply misunderstood. Don’t take his word for it. . . research it for yourself. Better yet, learn Hebrew and discover it for yourself!
 While there is no doubt about Rabbi Skobac’s scholarship and knowledge of Torah, he is just “explaining how it was misquoted, or mistranslated”  - according to his own biased, anti-Yeshua understanding!  Anyone can say anything about God and the Bible and make it sound believable as they post the scriptures that best represent THEIR respective views!
“G-d describes avodah zarah (idolatry — literally “strange worship”) in D’varim / Deuteronomy 13:7-9 – and it is the death knell to Christianity – even to those who do not “worship” Jesus but claim to only “pray in his name.”
    
[This is what you must do] if your blood brother, your son, your daughter, your bosom wife, or your closest friend secretly tries to act as a missionary among you, and says, ‘Let us go worship a new god. LET US HAVE A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BY YOU OR YOUR FATHER.’ 13:8 [He may be enticing you with] the gods of the nations around you, far or near, or those that are found at one end of the world or another. 13:9 Do not agree with him, and do not listen to him.” D’varim / Deuteronomy 13:7-9
    
The key phrase here is LET US HAVE A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BY YOU OR YOUR FATHER…. Praying to or “through” Jesus was not a spiritual experience known to our ancestors at Mount Sinai – hence it is obviously idolatry.   When did “our fathers”, present at Sinai, have a spiritual experience with Jesus? Was Jesus “known” to them? Did they pray to Jesus or through Jesus? Of course not! Jesus was unknown to them.    

Ergo G-d warned us against both Christianity and Islam — any spiritual experience not known to us at Mount Sinai is false. It is not the Rabbis who have “changed” or turned to avodah zarah — it is those apostate Jews who pray to or through a man and put that man above the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Notice the clever deception?  “Our ancestors did not pray to Jesus and therefore he is a farce…” (paraphrased).  Do they ever stop to ponder "what IF he really is the Son of God?" or wonder who Jacob was wrestling with in Genesis 32:22-23?  (For the answer, see our blog post http://blog.therefinersfire.org/2015/01/who-was-man-who-wrestled-with-jacob.html )  And who were the “three men” Abraham saw at the Oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18)?  And honestly, Isaiah 53 is all about ISRAEL?  Really?  Can Israel be wounded for our transgressions?  (No, but Y’shua was! See Matthew 27.) Can people take Israel's garments and divide them? (No, but that certainly happened in Y’shua’s case! See John 19:23.) WHEN was "Israel" wounded for our transgressions or crushed because of our iniquities? Has the world been HEALED by "Israel"? Not hardly! 

Y'shua has filled myriad Tanach prophecies - and people can reject it all they want, but they cannot CHANGE those facts! (For more on this, please check out our blog article:  http://blog.therefinersfire.org/2014/11/the-suffering-servant-of-isaiah-53.html, and also http://www.therefinersfire.org/isaiah_53_questions.htm and http://www.therefinersfire.org/isaiah_53_and_yeshua.htm )

There are many, many more quotes in the Jewish bible which re-enforce the very clear message given in D’varim / Deuteronomy 13. . . Remember the first things of old, that I am G-d and there is no other; I am G-d and there is none like Me. Isaiah 46:9.   There is none like Him. There is NO OTHER.  (Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 42:7, Deuteronomy 4:35)
In other words, this traditional Jew insists that believing in “Jesus” (they can never bring themselves to use His REAL Name!) is nothing more than an IDOL!  (Please see our response to that nonsense:  http://therefinersfire.org/idol_worship.htm and http://therefinersfire.org/disputing_messiah2.htm

One must ask: Isn’t it “idolatry” to hang onto every word the “rabbis” say?  Isn’t it “idolatry to place the writings in the Talmud above the Torah? Isn't hypocritical that same Jews will DENY their own sages whenever it suits their respective purposes in order to attack someone's character – as can be seen in the actions of the Jewish terror group Yad L’Achim in Israel, who actually resort to violence against Christians and Messianic believers!  

We have a personal relationship with Him, which began with the patriarchs. He spoke directly to our ancestors at Sinai — 3 million of them."  ...The virgin birth is a "whopper of a lie!"....
Well now!  "The Jews" have the testimony of 3 million on Mt. Sinai (albeit, no actual proof; just "word of mouth"!), whereas those who believe in "Jesus" (they don't like to use His REAL Name!) believe in a myth.  To them it doesn't matter that First Corinthians 15 tells us that more than 500 people saw Y'shua after His death, including Peter, Paul and all the Schlichim....To them, it doesn't matter that millions have had "supernatural experiences" because of their belief in "Jesus."  After all, the New Testament is a MYTH! 
  
This is actually the same reasoning atheists use:  We don't "believe" and therefore it ain't true!
 

Ironically, traditional Jews adhere to the man-made Talmud and other extra-biblical writings, and they believe everything in the Torah and Tanach is true - going on nothing more than their FAITH in God!  (Apparently THEIR faith is "better" than our faith....)
  

The thing is, if you want to get right down to it, and if you want to turn things around on them, they have ZERO proof that God made a man out of dirt, or a woman out of Adam's rib, or that Cain killed Abel or that God destroyed the earth by flood, or that Moshe wrote the Torah!  They don’t know for a FACT that Moshe parted the sea, and neither do we have video proof that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went into the fire and came out unscathed!
 

They cannot prove anything that happened before man started documenting history in writing.  ALL THEY HAVE is “word of mouth – and we all know what happens when people do that.  (Somewhere along the line someone always skews the picture!)  Sure, “millions” of people stood on Mt. Sinai to witness God speaking … but guess what – there was no video of it, no recording, NOTHING.  All ANY OF US really have is “word of mouth” and FAITH in God - and faith that what actually was written is true!

But “their faith” doesn’t negate OUR faith!  And that is what the gullible fail to understand.

HOWEVER, we are also of the opinion that those who once believed in Y’shua and turned their backs on Him because they were gullible enough to believe people like the person above who was massaging the ego of a new convert –  have not only blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but YHWH has turned His back on THEM as well, and that is why they can no longer see the WHOLE Truth!  It’s impossible to argue with those types; all we can do is to keep them in our prayers.

So while we appreciate the zeal of the “anti-missionaries”, the bottom line is this:  Everything that is espoused on both sides of the fence is the result of our personal understanding and interpretation of Scripture.  We at The Refiner’s Fire believe that the eyes of some Jews have simply not yet been opened to the WHOLE of God’s Truth and that one day He will open their eyes. 
 

BOTTOM LINE:  Anti-missionaries are busier than ever these days - and their tactics have now turned from simply defending themselves by using Scripture, to luring the most gullible Christians and Messianic/HR believers into their web and using THEM against us.  What a brilliant tactic! 

Does it remind you of anyone?

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