Thursday, April 23, 2015

Challenging some dangerous Christian assertions

Does this statement upset you?
"If God has written the Ten Commandments on your heart and mind, you should be able to list all ten with no trouble. Can you? What's the seventh commandment? You can't do it because it's not there, and a very good thing that is too!"
Well, it should upset you because it’s a bald-faced lie! If someone cannot quote the Seventh Commandment (or any other commandment), it's because they don't know Scripture! This is just another Christian pushing false doctrine down the throats of gullible people who like the idea of receiving endless “grace” without doing anything for YHWH in return!

Here is my response to this person:    http://therefinersfire.org/no_commandments.htm

Please tell me what you think! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We can't have cats or dogs as pets because they are "unclean"? Hogwash!

Have you ever noticed that some people are just downright dangerous with their skewed ideas and desire to twist Scripture into supporting those skewed ideas?   Lately, we have been hearing a lot about how Believers aren’t supposed to have pets such as cats and dogs because they are considered “unclean.”  These people  (who aren’t doctors or scientists) espouse all kinds of “proof” (stemming solely from personal opinions)  that you’ll end up with cancer and other diseases, and you even risk dying if you own a cat or dog...

These “intellects” often attempt to use Scripture as proof that God hates cats and dogs,  arguing, for instance,  that Leviticus 11:24-31 says cats and dogs are unclean and you shouldn’t even touch them.   Well, those passages, READ IN CONTEXT, reveal we are not to touch their DEAD CARCASSES. And if you've touched a carcass, you are only "unclean" for a prescribed time.

And, oh, by the way -  these commands were given while Israel was wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, and didn’t always have access to soap and water!
The animals we are not allowed to eat are "tamei", they are impure.  These are listed in Torah.  Eating them is forbidden, but touching their carcasses makes YOU "tamei", impure, unclean.  There are genrerally 4 "categories" of "tamei":

1. The internal flesh of "tamei" creatures.  See Leviticus 11:25

2. Dead bodies and animal carcasses.  See Leviticus 5:2, 11:27-28, 31, 39; Numbers 19:11.

3. Human beings who have touched either of these things, or whose bodies have an issue of blood or other bodily fluids; Leviticus 7:21, 11:25, Leviticus 11:27-28, 31, 39; 12:2; 15:2-4, 7-8, 16-33; Numbers 19:11

4. Inanimate objects [esp. furnishings and vessels] touched by 1, 2, or 3.  This is from Leviticus 11:32-38; 15:20, 26

So, there is nothing wrong in having "unclean" animals for pets!  A simple reading of 11:24-31 IN CONTEXT shows this.  Nothing is even implied that you must not "touch" them or own them.
 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Scripture tells us to take good care of our animals

Google “grieving animals” and all sorts of videos will come up, including this one that shows how the dairy industry abuses new mother cows by taking away their babies, just to make a profit.

Scripture commands us to take care of the animals under our care. One of the signs of a righteous man, we are told, is that he takes care of his animals (Proverbs 12:10). Even the animal of an enemy was to be treated kindly: “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him” (Exodus 23:4).

One reason YHWH commanded His people to rest one day out of seven was so their animals would be refreshed (see Exodus 23:12).   In fact, Scripture says we must never treat any part of YHWH’s creation with contempt. When we do, we are indirectly treating our Him with contempt. He has called us to be stewards of His creation, and we are responsible to Him for the way we treat it.


Here is a sweet video of a little child who becomes upset when he figures out that animals haveto die to become food.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Apostle Paul was NOT a "false teacher/prophet!"

If anyone ever attempts to tell you that the Apostle Paul was a “false teacher”, tell them, they need to learn to read Scripture in context, because neither Paul nor any of the other Apostles EVER wrote anything that in any way detracted from Torah or Tanakh!  For instance, let’s take a look at Acts 13:38-41 with footnote from the Aramaic English New Testament: 

Acts 13:38. Realize therefore my brothers that by him, this (man), the forgiveness (of) sins is announced to you.  39. And from all that which you were not able to be made righteous[1] by the Torah of Moshe, by this (man), everyone who believes is justified!  40. Beware therefore or else the thing which is written in the prophets should come upon you.  41. That: See you despisers and be astonished and be destroyed for a work I will work in your days, that which you will not believe (even) if someone tells (it) to you.” 

Footnote:  If a person would diligently observe all the Torah of Moshe, on their own strength, they could still never be “made righteous” because it is YHWH who makes righteous, not the act of observance itself.  All observance of Torah must be based on Faith; we must recognize that our observance is according to the will of YHWH, and is done in a manner that is pleasing unto Him. The Torah of Moshe not only reveals Mashiyach, but Mashiyach is the fullness of Torah.

It is Torah which establishes the criterion for Mashiyach’s righteousness.  Sacrifice for sin and atonement are all established by Faith towards or “in” YHWH, and all Faith in YHWH points to Mashiyach.  YHWH’s “own arm” via Mashiyach brought Salvation.  Therefore, it is impossible to be “justified” by Torah without faith in Mashiyach. Belief in Mashiyach goes to the heart of Faith.  Torah cannot be negated or else Mashiyach would be, as well, because they are One!

Also, anti-Paul, anti-Y’shua, anti- New Testament types also love to take apart Acts 15 – but take a look at what Acts 15 actually says:  http://www.therefinersfire.org/should_gentiles_keep_torah.htm

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Challenging the ongoing hatred against Torah by "Joyfully Growing in Grace"

Wendy Burgess of the Facebook page “Joyfully Growing In Grace” is still at it. No matter what biblical proofs you can present to this woman, she continues to post long, boring rants against Torah (YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness, without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!).  In an April 2015 rant on her blog, she wrote:

_______ Mere Imitators? Or "As He is in This World" . . . _______

Folks that preach Law tell us that we must 'walk as Yeshua walked', and tell us that means walking in Torah observance. Sounds plausible, until you consider that Yeshua walked in Torah observance before the Work of the Cross, the Resurrection, and His Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood, which rendered the Old Covenant Torah Law obsolete.

OUR RESPONSE:

Let’s examine exactly “how” Yeshua walked, using scriptures and footnotes from Andrew Gabriel Roth’s Aramaic English New Testament:  1 John 2: 6 He that says I am in him, is bound to walk according to his Halacha (literal reference, “walk according to his walking” and in both cases the word is halakh).

Let’s take a look at that whole passage, IN CONTEXT:  1 John 2: 3. And by this we will be sensible that we know him, if we keep his Commandments.  4. For he that says I know him, and does not keep his Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.  5. But he that keeps his Word, in him is the Love of Elohim truly completed: for by this we know that we are in him.  6. He that says I am in him, is bound to walk according to his halacha.  7. My beloved, I write no new commandment to you, but the old Commandment which you had from the beginning; and the old Commandment is the Word which you have heard.[1]

FOOTNOTE:

[1] “Elohim is light”, (1 John 1:5); therefore, it can be argued that at Creation when YHWH said, “Let there be light”, Genesis 1:3, that He in effect brought a part of Himself out to accomplish the creative act.  The “Word” does this same feat, Psalm 33:6; John 1:1; a few lines earlier we read the “Word of Life.”  We have also seen before the direct linguistic relationship between the Hebrew and Aramaic roots for “Light” and “Torah” such as: “Your word (davar) is a lamp to my feet, a light (aur) to my path.”  Psalm 119:105.  “For the commandment is a lamp. The teaching is a light (aur), and the way to life is the rebuke that disciplines.” Proverbs 6:23

What makes this citation in Proverbs most profound is the word mitzvah (commandment), since tradition commonly calls the revelation at Sinai the Ten Commandments when in fact the Tanakh uses davarim (words)!  Keep this in mind while considering 1 John 2:4. “He who says I know Him and does not keep His Commandments (poqadona) is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word (miltha) in him, verily is the love of Elohim perfected; hereby we know that we are in Him.” 1 John 2:4 (Lamsa).  Aramaic could not make a more forceful point. The fact is, poqadona and miltha are exceedingly close matches for their Hebrew counterparts mitzvah in Proverbs, and davar in Psalms. However, it is in this next passage that the full measure of John’s brilliance is shown: “My beloved, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard from the beginning.” 1 John 2:7 (Lamsa)  The Commandment is the Word, which comes from the beginning. We must now realize that to translate this as “his Commandments” is wrong, but “His Commandments” is correct.  “His Commandments” is the WORD which came from the very beginning of time.

Many fail to understand this truth: It is impossible for Torah to have passed away during the lifetime of the Shlichim if John himself writes about the Word they have heard from the beginning.  What else could this WORD be, except the living Torah!  John is a native Aramaic speaker and follower of Y’shua who knows that the WORD (or the Torah of YHWH) comes from the “Light”; he states that Elohim is Light and that we abide in that Light when we do His Mitzvot/Poqadona/Commandments. Furthermore, the interchanging of “Word” and “Commandment” simply does not happen in any other language except Hebrew and Aramaic, the “word that you have heard” is the Shema!

JOYFULLY GROWING IN GRACE continues:

When you hear these things, consider fully what the Work of Christ accomplished. The current and permanent High Priesthood in Christ is not of the tribe of Levi, which interceded for the people in the Old Covenant, but that Christ is of the tribe of Judah, and His Priesthood - established by God's oath on Himself - mediates the New Covenant, entered into by faith by all tribes and nations (see Ephesians 3:6-12).

OUR RESPONSE:

First of all, we need to understand that YHWH (the Father) never made that “new covenant” with the Gentiles who are now perverting His Word.  He made it with the Torah observant Houses of Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 31:31-32).  He never mentioned that Torah was to somehow abolish His Divine Instructions (Torah)...And, contrary to popular belief Yeshua, who was Himself Torah observant, never said He came to abolish the Torah; He came to abolish man-made doctrines, the rabbinical ideology which had distorted (and is still distorting) the Word of God!

Luke 4: 43 "But he (Yeshua/Jesus) said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."

Luke 8: 1. And it happened after these things that Y'shua was going around in the cities and in the villages and was preaching and declaring the Kingdom of Elohim.

Acts 28: 23 "From morning till evening the Apostle Paul explained and declared the Kingdom of God and tried to convince people about Yeshua from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets."

Acts 24: 14. But this indeed I (Paul) acknowledge, that in that same doctrine of which they speak, I do serve the Elohim of my fathers, believing all the things written in Torah and in the prophets.

So, while His death, burial, and resurrection are an important part of the Good News, it's not the whole story! God isn't just in the business of "saving" people. As Creator and law giver, He is in the business of teaching us how to be good subjects in His Kingdom to come! If "Jesus abolished Torah at the cross" then why was EVERY believer completely Torah observant for one hundred years after Yeshua's death, including the Apostle Paul who was "caught" being Torah observant 29 years after Yeshua's death (Acts 21:23-24)! Was Paul a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another; or were his teachings, perhaps, misunderstood?

YHWH reiterated FOUR TIMES IN A ROW in Numberse 15 that ALL who accept Him as their God are to do “exactly as” His people do:

Numbers 15: 13 "'Every citizen is to do these things in this way when presenting an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI. 14 If a foreigner stays with you - or whoever may be with you, through all your generations - and he wants to bring an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI, he is to do the same as you. 15 For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before ADONAI as yourselves. 16 The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.'"

Please re-read the above in case you missed it: Any Torah-less non-Jew/Hebrew/Israelite who does not yet believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an "alien"/foreigner. However, if they do wish to accept Him, then they are to do exactly as those who are already belong to Him!

"Living among" means not necessarily physically, but rather, it refers to all those who have accepted the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They MUST be Torah observant, just like the Houses of Israel and Judah were with whom God made His New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:32)!

Romans 10: 12. And in this, it discriminates neither Jews nor Gentiles. For there is one, Master YHWH, over them all, who is abundantly generous towards every one that calls on him. 13. For everyone that will call on the name of Master YHWH, will have life.

JOYFULLY GROWING IN GRACE continues:

So what place has the Old Covenant (the Law) in the era of the New Covenant?

Romans 7:4-6 says - 4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

OUR RESPONSE:

“So what place has the Old Covenant (the Law) in the era of the New Covenant?”  Well, let’s find out what Scripture tells us:

Romans 7:4. And now, my brothers, you also have become dead to Torah[1] by the body of Mashiyach; that you might be joined to another, (even) to him who arose from the dead, and might yield fruits to Elohim.  5. For while we were in the flesh, the emotions of sin which are (listed) by Torah, were active in our members that we should bear fruits to death.  6. But now we are absolved from Torah and are dead to that which held us in its grasp: that we might from now on serve in the newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.[2]

FOOTNOTES:

[1]  “Dead to Torah” refers to being dead to the penalty for sin, which is death, followed by destruction.  The believer sins (misses the mark) as anyone else does; however, those who are “in Mashiyach” have atonement in him.  From the beginning (Gen. 3:15) YHWH established a defense for His people against haSatan (the adversary).  To be “in” Mashiyach means to live a life pleasing to YHWH and NOT break Torah (see also Romans 8:1-10).  Those who think that they can repeatedly break Torah without consequence, because of Mashiyach died for them, are very deceived.  To “live in the spirit” means that the Spirit of Mashiyach is training up his followers so they can put away the carnal desires of the weak flesh, and that they are overcomers of the flesh.  See Eighteen New Testament Misconceptions #7: Died to the Torah in Appendix.

[2]  This is because faith in Mashiyach and Torah observance brings eternal life, but the consequence of sin is death.  It does not mean Torah is “released” because, with or without Mashiyach, the penalty for willful sin still remains.  If the penalty for sin remains, then Torah also remains.  The “oldness of the letter” speaks of old religious ways which do not recognize Mashiyach as bringing the Living Word of YHWH to mankind.  Y’shua brought the correct understanding of Torah which is to be written upon the heart, so we don’t continue in sin.  See also 6:12.  Some might say they have Faith and claim to be “Believers,” but if they continue in sin their faith/belief is irrelevant.

JOYFULLY GROWING IN GRACE continues:

And Galatians 2:19-21 says: 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

OUR RESPONSE:

Let’s take a look at that entire passage, with footnotes from the AENT:

Galatians 2: 15. For if we who have a Jewish nature[1] ourselves, and not those who are from Gentile sinners, 16. for we know that the sons of men are not made righteous by the works[2] of Torah, but by faith in Y'shua the Mashiyach (Messiah). Even we who believed in him know that it is from the faith in Mashiyach that we will be made righteous and not from the works of Torah. For from the works of Torah no flesh will be made righteous. 17. But if while we seek (while in our eyes)[3] to be made righteous by Mashiyach we still find ourselves to be sinners,[4] should (it be) therefore that Y'shua the Mashiyach is a servant of sin? Elohim forbid! (Aramaic English New Testament)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The only place in all Aramaic Renewed Covenant writings where the phrase "Jewish nature" appears. The word kyanna refers to a classification without a physical occurrence, kind of like having an image of a bird in one's mind, but not seeing the literal bird. As such, the only types of natures that are discussed are animal, human, or divine. In this lone exception however, Rav Shaul (Paul) bifurcates human nature further into Jewish and (by implication) non-Jewish.

[2] The phrase "Ma'aseh haTorah" (works of the Torah) appears first in the Dead Sea Scrolls; it is indicative of the ultra-religious halacha of the Essenes, but also refers to the halacha (religious traditions) of the Pharisees. This is NOT referencing observance of Torah in Y'shua. If the reader does not distinguish between "Torah written upon the heart", versus the "works of Torah" or being "under Torah" it would be impossible to understand the book of Galatians.

[3] In our eyes" is an Aramaic idiom meaning, "we seek."

[4] Paul's teaching will forever judge those who say they follow Mashiyach but live and teach against Torah (see 1 John 3:4 for a definition of sin). Religion uses words like "moral" (moralis 1340 CE) or "ethical" (ethikos) to establish their own standards of conduct; however, followers of Mashiyach are to live by every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of Elohim (Deuteronomy 8:4/Matthew 4:4). The Word of YHWH is absolute Truth and as such YHWH will Judge man's willful neglect of Torah.

Many Christians, for example, are taught that they "don't have" to observe Shabbat (Sabbath) on the Seventh Day because it's not part of their "moral code" and they say their "conscience" never convicted them of breaking Shabbat. This is no surprise, because, even as children, they were taught that Shabbat is not included with Scriptural principles of right and wrong conduct. They were not taught that erecting a Christmas tree is an abomination unto Mashiyach as it depicts Tammuz who was the son of Nimrod and Semiramis, the originators of the pagan trinity. They were not taught that Ishtar (Easter) is morally wrong because it originated with paganism; and the list goes on. The point is that Paul defined sin very astutely, but precious few care to listen because their cultural and status quo values are projected over his teachings.  (For more see Book of Galatians explained.)

Without the Torah (what Christians call "law") we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living! After all, what is SIN but transgression from the "law" (1 John 3:4)! How hypocritical and blasphemous to boast that "Jesus abolished the law!"

Galatians 2: 19. For by Torah I am dead, that I might live to Elohim. 20. And I am executed on a stake[1] with Mashiyach, so it is not I that live but Mashiyach lives in me; and the life I live now in the flesh in faith[2] of the Son of Elohim who loves me and give his life/soul for me. 21. And I do not frustrate the grace of Elohim, for if righteousness came by Torah, then Mashiyach died for nothing.[3] (AENT)

[1] The same Aramaic word zaqyp also means "erect, straightened, and lifted up."

[2] The faith here is two fold in Aramaic. First, it is the faith in the Son of man, Y'shua the Mashiyach, who brings eternal life. However, that eternal life is made possible because Y'shua the man was obedient to YHWH's Torah. His faith brought him life, and through him, our eternal life. So Rav Shaul says that his faith is in the Son's perfected nephesh (soul) while the perfected nephesh became that way through the faith of the Son.

[3] Torah instructs us about righteousness, but it can't make anyone righteous in itself. It is YHWH Tsidkenu (our Righteousness) who is the Spirit of YHWH in Mashiyach that purifies the spirit and soul of man. As we read and study Torah we must "hear" the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) inside of us. YHWH gives us His Grace to turn to Him, walk in His Righteousness and observe His Torah.

JOYFULLY GROWING IN GRACE continues:

And when someone tells you that we are to walk as Jesus walked, refer them to this passage:

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

>>> because as he is, so are we in this world.

OUR RESPONSE:

Even in that King James Version that Wendy Burgess seems to prefer (which is very skewed, by the way (please see Trinity is not biblical and Daniel 9 ), there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Torah was abolished at the cross!  If you “dwell in God” then you are bound to not just “love Him” but to OBEY His Rules.  If you don’t, then whom are you worshiping?

JOYFULLY GROWING IN GRACE continues:

This weekend, as the world recognizes the Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus, seriously consider what those events actually accomplished for you who are in Christ, and pray for open doors to share the Life that Christ purchased for us with the Lost folks you know.

An excellent teaching on Romans 7 and the reality of those in Christ being dead to Law in order to be joined to Christ so that we may bear fruit unto God can be found here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30334305

The entire series on Paul's letter to the Romans can be found here:  http://www.andrewfarleylive.com/series-romans2013.php  Highly Recommended!

Grace and peace to you all as you ponder tomorrow the significance of the Death of Christ on the Cross.

-JGIG

OUR RESPONSE:

“Dead to the Law” ONLY if you are blind to the “rest of the story” called “Torah” which is part of the “OLD Testament” which comprises ¾ of the Bible … the part that provides YHWH’s Divine Instructions, without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!

Please feel free to read her typical Christian ideas on the “New Testament” and what she THINKS Paul wrote … and then check out these samples as to what the Aramaic says about the Book of Romans and More about Romans.

And, oh, by the way - the ONLY time “Easter” is mentioned in the entire Bible is in the KING JAMES version in Acts 12, where he erroneously translated “Passover” as “Easter.”  There was no “Easter” before Y’shua died, which renders all of Acts 12 moot in the KJV!  Nobody in Acts 12 went to Jerusalem to celebrate “Easter”….

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Suggestions on "kosherizing" your store-bought meat

Every once in awhile we get inquiries about how to get rid of the excess blood in store-bought meat.  In all honesty, lately, I’ve been more and more inclined to become a vegetarian because the thought of animals being killed in ANY fashion turns me off, but since people are asking, here is what I tell them.  If anybody has any other ideas, please let me know!

As you probably know, kill methods in slaughter houses are NOT “kosher” and usually consist of gassing or electrocution … methods designed to simply “stop the heart.”  (Read about “kosher methods” in this article.)  

The same goes for a hunter who shoots a deer.  The animal dies with all or at least most of its blood still remaining in its body – and then it is cooked, blood and all.  This goes against YHWH’s command to NOT eat blood (you can review the relevant scriptures in this article)....

So, how to get rid of the blood in the packages of store-bought meat?    Some people cover the meat with salt which draws out the blood, but I I personally prefer to put the meat in a bowl and cover it with water and microwave it for several minutes.  Rinse and repeat until the water remains clear.   This isn’t always necessary with chicken or turkey since they get their heads cut off and bleed out that way.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A word about "the cross"

Every Sunday morning my husband and I watch the CBS news show, “Sunday Morning” with Charles Osgood.  This being “Easter Sunday” most of today’s show concentrated on the Christian Easter.  Anyway, one of the segments was about a man named Bernard Coffindaffer, who believed the Holy Spirit told him many years ago to start installing crosses across the USA.  Coffindaffer spent many millions of his own money to comply, and since his death, a Mississippi woman has continued with his dream.

Now, I know some of you reading this (whom I call “the pagan police”), are cringing because you don’t believe Y’shua was nailed to a “cross.”   My question is:  Who cares whether it was a “cross” or a “stake” or whatever someone wants to call it?  The fact is, Y’shua WAS “crucified” and He died a horrible death at the hands of the Jews who started the process, and the pagan Romans who actually crucified Him – an event witnessed by a large crowd consisting (according to the Gospels) of women, soldiers, chief priests, passers-by, bystanders and acquaintances.  Matthew 27:54 says:  “And after his resurrection, they entered into the Set Apart city and were seen by many.  54. And the centurion, and those with him who were watching Y’shua, when they saw the earthquake and those things that had occurred, they were very afraid and said, “Truly this was the Son of Elohim.” 

This particular segment about Mr. Coffindaffer made me wonder how many people would be laughing about or making fun of his goal of planting crosses across the US, because they don’t realize what “the cross” represents.  They don’t realize that, regardless as to what they believe – whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, atheist, or anything in between -  anyone who sees those crosses are left with some kind of emotion, whether positive or negative!  And any of them will cause one to think about GOD….

YHWH used a “cross” to get my attention. I personally was touched by the sight of a cross in November 1994, back before I “got saved” (as the Baptists call it). Rather than to try to summarize it (because the story is too incredible to summarize), I will simply post what I wrote in my autobiography, “Rags to Rabbi”(Sapphire Pubs, pages 201-207,  
http://betorahobservant.com/).  Those of you who know me, know that I'm basically a "black or white" person.  I don't think in "gray" terms.  No fluff, no pretense, just facts.  What you see is what you get.

What you probably don't know is that I've been blessed with some "visions" (for lack of a better term) throughout my life, visions that sometimes gave me a glimpse into the future.  For instance, in 1996, as I was walking into the church one Sunday morning (it was the church where "Jesus" revealed Himself to me in January 1995), I suddenly "saw" flames coming out of the sanctuary roof.  Being used to these occasional "episodes" I simply KNEW the church would burn down one day, and I told the pastor - who laughed at me. 

Regardless, a year after my vision, the church DID burn down due to some electrical short. The pastor called me in Colorado (where the Ruach had commanded me to go, and where I found my way to Torah) to let me know that my vision had indeed been real - and that day we talked a little about my "visions" and how they were definitely NOT figments of my imagination, because they were ALWAYS confirmed at some point.

Having said that, I want to share my "cross" experience:

It happened during the closing ceremony in the sanctuary on the last evening of the seminar while the facilitators and the seventy participants stood in a circle holding hands.  Each of us was to thank God for the seminar and for this time of learning and healing, and to take turns verbalizing “why I’m glad I’m me.” When my turn came, I happily agreed I was glad to be me because I had been through hell on Earth and was still here to complain about it (which elicited several giggles), and that, although it had seemed that “Satan, or Fate or whoever” had been trying to kill me off all of my life, I had grown through every experience and somehow made it through, and I was – thanks to this group – glad to be alive again.

By the time the thirtieth or fortieth person had expressed “why I am glad to be me,” my mind began to wander, and I found myself peering around the sanctuary, wondering why I had always hated churches.  Churches themselves weren’t necessarily a horrible experience, although, for some reason the few I had visited over the course of my life had always managed to make me “feel dirty” somehow, as if my insides needed washing.  My biggest problem was with the general attitudes of Christians who seemed hell-bent on converting everybody, bugging people for their phone numbers and generally harassing them to death.  It crossed my mind that I probably wouldn’t mind attending this church sometime if I could only be assured I wouldn’t have any holy rollers accosting me.  After all, I did actually believe in God, even though He didn’t much seem to care for me.

Soon my eyes wandered to the lit cross on the wall directly ahead of me, and I found myself pondering exactly who this Jesus was that Christians seemed to be stuck on.  Of course, I remembered seeing him while in the coma back in 1972 when I found myself floating alone through outer space, but even then he hadn’t done anything for me.  I wasn’t sure exactly what he was supposed to have done for me, if anything; but in all actuality, I was still smarting over the fact that he had left me all alone out there in the darkness to fend for myself.  Satan was the one who had pulled me out of the “abyss” or whatever it was, just before I regained consciousness.  Jesus hadn’t moved a muscle – just like he hadn’t stopped Bill Forrester from raping me....

Who ARE you? I silently demanded of the cross.  Why do you keep cropping up in my life? What do you want from me?  I wish you’d stop playing games and give me a sign, or something....

Not expecting any kind of response, I stopped concentrating on the cross long enough to allow my gaze to wander toward the high windows and into the night sky.

Suddenly, another one of my “out-of-body feelings” caught me off-guard and gave me a flashback to age five; and for just a few seconds I found myself sitting in my foster grandmother’s lap, looking out at the night sky while listening to her soothing voice telling me in German all about God. Awed by the enormity of her revelation, the “me” that was viewing the vision from outside myself, remembered exactly how I had felt that evening; how I had readily accepted as truth everything she was saying because her words had made me feel all warm and safe inside.

Back in Schweitzer Methodist Church, I “came to” for a few seconds, long enough to realize that my eyes were once again riveted on the cross – when, suddenly, I found myself experiencing a second wave of visions.  At another level of awareness, I was conscious of the fact that others in the room were still sharing “why I’m glad to be me.”  Nobody seemed to notice what was happening to me.

In the next instant – as crazy as it might sound – I suddenly felt myself slightly lifted off the floor as a warm, dark pink light engulfed my body.  I remember looking around to see if anybody noticed, and I even checked my feet to make sure they were still on the floor – which, of course, they were.

Baffled and quite apprehensive while realizing I was experiencing another one of my “weird episodes,” I  knew there was nothing I could do, and so I decided to allow myself to be cradled in that light, to bask in its inviting, supernatural glow.

All of a sudden, I became aware of the fact that the light was God, and He was somehow holding me in His arms!   He – a very nebulous yet simultaneously a quite tangible Being – was inside of me, filling my entire body, every nerve, sinew and organ, even my soul.  It was a most unique and awesome experience, completely indescribable.  I had never felt so safe and secure in my entire life, and I found myself hoping this “vision episode” would last throughout eternity.
I felt as if my soul had caught fire and melted into a warm glow that opened my eyes and helped me to “see” things more clearly.  In this state I knew things!  I knew God, I knew the purpose of life, I knew why man was constantly at war and I knew that He had made sure I had been given to my foster parents, the Neumanns, to ensure that I would become a “normal” person.  I simply understood everything.  I also recognized that God was giving me some kind of a glimpse into eternity. He even spoke to me – not with a voice, but through osmosis!  I didn’t so much hear Him as feel Him speaking....

Part of me wanted to yell at God for the things He had done to me; the terrible things He had allowed without any kind of intervention. Yet somehow, I realized it wouldn’t be necessary, because He already knew these things.  Plus, these few seconds in His Presence made all those bad times worthwhile; they were simply irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.  So, instead of being angry at God as I always thought I would be whenever I died and stood before Him, I found myself, instead, thanking Him for all the horrendous things that had happened in my lifetime.  Oddly, somehow the bad seemed to be on an equal plane with the good, and it truly did not matter because it all served as a learning experience designed to draw me closer to God.
 
Toward the end of the episode – which, unlike all the other visions I had ever had, was longer, lasting at least two or three minutes – I felt God tell me that He had allowed me to experience a life of pain and agony for a reason.  It wasn’t that He didn’t care or that I hadn’t been worthy of His help; but rather, He showed me that He allows men the free will, the choice to do things His way, or not.  Unfortunately, the choices of others often impact us, and that was why I had experienced so much turmoil.

His final words to me before the light left my body were:  “Carmen, I’m going to use your experiences for My Glory.”  And then He was gone.

I felt excruciatingly empty when the light left my body.  Suddenly I kind of “melted” back into the room where I was able to feel my feet on the floor.  In the background, the last seminar participant was droning on about “why I’m glad I’m me.”  Nobody had apparently noticed anything unusual, and no one said anything to me when the meeting finally broke.
Filled with awe and excitement and feeling absolutely euphoric once I snapped out of the vision, I was dying to tell someone, to let everyone in the church know that I had been “touched by God” – but instead, I kept silent because I knew no one would believe me. 

But there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that God had touched me; He had touched me!

I wanted to jump up and down and shout Halleluyah! and dance out the door on my way to the car!  I was on a huge “high” and it felt great!  Something wonderful had happened in my life; and I could tell things were about to turn around for me.  I could just feel it!

The “God touched me” incident had happened on a Sunday evening.  On Monday, I was still flying high on the idea.  By Tuesday afternoon, I was beginning to ask myself, who was I to be touched by God?  I was just “a nobody” who had done nothing but screw up her own life in one way or another.  Maybe my vision hadn’t been real after all.  Maybe I had just been feeling euphoric on Sunday night because I had been a facilitator at a seminar that helped people to get on with their lives.

By Wednesday morning, I was totally depressed.  Not only had my euphoria disappeared, but also I was dreading my appointment at the Mammography Center because, after two years of “keeping an eye” on the large lump in my left breast, doctors finally decided to do a biopsy after today’s mammogram.

I walked into the office on rubber legs and prepared for the worst.  The kind nurse assured me everything would be all right as she prepared to do my mammogram, but all I could do was to wonder how much time I had left on Earth.
It seemed like eons before she returned with the doctor’s verdict, but the smile on her face told me that my worries were over.

“Carmen, the lump is gone!” she said excitedly.

I was stunned, and unwilling to take her word for it, lest she had me confused with someone else. “Gone?” I replied cautiously.  That couldn’t have been true, because I had felt it last Friday evening while showering before attending the seminar.  Granted, I hadn’t bothered to check it since then, because the very thought of touching the thing made weak, but was it really gone now?

“Yes,” she said.  “Look – see here?  That white portion down there, that’s the remnants of it.  It’s disappeared.  Guess you won’t be needing that biopsy, after all.”

As I stood there gawking at the nurse in disbelief, it suddenly hit me that God really had touched me!  It had not been my imagination or mere after-seminar euphoria; He had really been inside my soul, healing me with that warm pink light, and this was His confirmation!  He had given me that sign I had asked for!  After two long years of worrying about that lump, it couldn’t have been mere coincidence that it was gone right after that awesome God experience.  I had received some kind of a second chance for some reason....

I wanted so much to say it aloud, but didn’t dare for fear of looking like some religious hypocrite.  

So, now what? I thought as I headed for the parking lot.  Was I supposed to start attending church or something?  If so, which church?  Was God wanting me to become religious now, or what?  I simply couldn’t envision myself as a “holy roller,” but surely He had given me that vision for a reason.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When did God become "third"?

It seems we have the following hierarchy:

1.  Federal and State law.
2.  Personal desires.
3.  God.

...And more often than not if one's personal desires conflict Federal and State law, those people simply force a change to Federal or State law.  So perhaps "personal desires" is actually #1? Either way, God is at least "3rd" and maybe not even that high in many lists.

Last week (March 26, 2105), Indiana Senate Bill 101 was signed into Indiana law.  With that bill, the true nature of where we stand as a Nation was made crystal clear.  Our National stance is this:  We don't care what God says.

Indiana Senate Bill 101, is titled the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act", or RFRA, and I'm not about to try to summarize it for you.  You can go read it if you are so inclined.


The negative reaction to the Bill was swift. The news media jumped on the bandwagon that the bill was "discriminatory to gays", and oh, we can't have any
of our gays being called out for their immorality!  No!  What they do is NOT immoral, after all, they've forced new laws on all of us mandating we "accept" their immorality. Now, if you are opposed to their behavior, YOU are the wrong one - you, you "DISCRIMINATOR!"  What I’m wondering is:  When did “religious freedom” end up being “bad” - something that had to be contested?   Who decided that “gay rights” should outweigh “religious freedom"?  WHY should I, if I were a baker, be forced to bake a cake for some same-sex wedding if I want to follow what God says about homosexuality?  Where are MY rights to uphold the morality of the higher authority?
 
You see, beyond (actually above) the United States Constitution (which, by the way is supposed to protect the free exercise of one's religion … see the 1st Amendment), there is an even GREATER "Constitution" which long ago declared homosexual behavior as prohibited and an "abomination".  This is GOD's law – and for those who don’t appreciate that, I would highly recommend they get Him to change HIS mind first - and then go after Federal and State law.  If you manage to change God’s mind, I'll happily change mine!  Simple! Here’s the bottom line:  The gays can demand all they want, and they will succeed and hide behind "rights" and "family values" and "God loves us all" mantras, but in the end, it changes nothing!  In the end, those who chose to obey God will "win" and those who chose otherwise will "lose".  (The Bible outlines how we can “win” with God, which is really all that matters….)