Thursday, December 29, 2016

A quick lesson on why we must be very discerning about scam artist Bible “thumpers”

 

Here's a good lesson on why we should refrain from fellowshiping with scam artists and those who use the Bible for personal gain, while "talking the talk" but are in reality pushing YHWH/Yeshua/Torah into the background. We must always be vigilant to make sure that those who are teaching us, are TRULY all about YHWH's Word!

Titus 1:1. PAUL, a servant of Elohim and an apostle of Y’shua the Mashiyach; according to the Faith of the elect of Elohim, and the knowledge of the Truth which is in the Fear of Elohim 2. concerning the hope of eternal life which the Ever-truthful Elohim promised before the times of the world; 3. and in due time He has manifested His Word by means of our announcement which was confided to me by the command of Elohim our Life-Giver; 4. to Titus, a real son after the common faith: Grace and peace from Elohim our Father and from our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, our Life-Giver.

5. For this cause left I you in Crete, that you might regulate the things deficient and establish elders in every city, as I directed you: 6. him who is blameless, who is the husband of one wife and has believing children who are no revilers nor ungovernable in sensuality. 7. For an elder should be blameless as the steward of Elohim; and not be self-willed nor hot tempered, nor excessive in wine, nor with hands swift to strike, nor a lover of base gains. 8. But he should be a lover of strangers and a lover of good (deeds), and be sober, upright, kind-hearted, and restraining himself from evil passions; 9. and studious of the doctrine of the Word of Faith that he may be able by his wholesome teaching both to console and to rebuke them that are contentious.

10. For many are stiff necked and their discourses vain; and they mislead the minds of people, especially such as are of the circumcision. 11. The mouth of these should be stopped: they corrupt many families; and they teach what they should not, for the sake of sordid profits. 12. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies.”

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. (AENT)

What then are these “Jewish fables”? We find an explanation in the AENT:

“According to Charles Ryrie: Jewish myths; speculations of a Gnostic sort, supposedly based on OT scripture. Ryrie Study Bible (NASB), p. 393. The key is in the highlighted portion of the above passage, “they profess to know Elohim, but in works deny him” for by this very description, Paul has named the heretical sect. “Gnosticism” is derived from the Greek gnosis, “to know.” What is often overlooked is that Gnosticism did not originate with Christianity, although later adopted by many Messianic themes. Rather, it began as a Jewish sect with their own “myths and fables.” According to Professor Ryrie: The heresy of Gnosticism had begun to make inroads among churches in John’s day.

Among its teachings were: (1) knowledge is superior to virtue; (2) non-literal sense of Scripture is correct and can only be understood by a select few; (3) evil in the world precludes God being the only creator; (4) the incarnation is incredible because deity cannot unite itself with anything material such as a body (Docetism); and (5) there is no resurrection of the flesh. The ethical standards of the Gnostics were low… (Ryrie Study Bible (NASB), p. 440).

Is it any wonder then why Paul was upset at these false teachers? Even a conventional Pharisee would take great offense to such posturing, and they most certainly did with four of these five articles of belief. These false teachings are, of course, diametrically opposite to Paul’s own teaching as a “ringleader” of the Netzarim, so there should be no surprise when he takes these false teachings to task. In any case, one can easily see how modern readers, divorced from the historical context, can easily draw the wrong conclusion and not take into account who the speaker is, and who the intended audience is.”

Here are some more scriptures to take to heart:

2 Peter 2:1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

1 John 4:1. My beloved, do not believe all spirits; but discriminate among spirits whether they are of Elohim: for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2. By this the Spirit of Elohim is known; every spirit that confesses that Y’shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh is of Elohim. 3. And every spirit which does not confess that Y’shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh is not of Elohim; but he is of the false Messiah of whom you have heard that he comes and now is he already in the world. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE: The Spirit of Mashiyach dwells inside a person. This does not refer to Y’shua coming in his flesh to Earth; even the demons know that much (see Luke 4:41). This refers to the neshama (spirit of man) being born from the beginning into the image of Elohim, which is evidenced by living a Set Apart life unto YHWH, having Torah written upon the heart and growing in the Attributes of Mashiyach as revealed in Isaiah 11:2.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

When was Yeshua born? Not in December!

Millions insist on celebrating the birth of our Messiah on December 25, even though most are aware that our Savior was not born in December at all; but on the first day of Sukkot, which falls in the September/October timeframe. How do we know that? Please check out this article and allow Scripture to explain….

Too holy to need a doctor?

Here is a question for those who believe they can become so holy and “right” with God that they’ll never suffer illness or disease: Since Yeshua (the most righteous person to EVER walk the earth!) suffered illness (Isaiah 53:3, 10), what makes YOU believe you can attain such holiness that you’ll never again be sick? (Or perhaps you believe HE wasn’t “right with God” either?) 

Sure, there are people on earth who never or rarely get sick. But most do – including newborns and toddlers who have never yet committed any deliberate sins. Is YHWH punishing innocent babes who are born with cancer or some other horrible disease? Was He punishing all those little innocents born with collapsed heads because their mothers contracted the Zika Virus? Of course not! We’re IN a fallen world and stuff happens!

YES, we are to eat properly and take good care of our temples (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 3:16-17, etc.), but we must remember, He put man mankind into the world where evil and diseases roam. It is our job to try to get ourselves “right” with Him in every way possible. I’m here to say that whenever you berate those who become ill and see a doctor, then YOU are committing absolute blasphemy because you clearly view yourself HIGHER than Messiah Yeshua who also suffered illnesses!

Don’t believe me; check it out for yourself, using your favorite Bible version. Here is Isaiah 53:

Isaiah 53:


1
Who believes our report? To whom is the arm of ADONAI revealed? 2 For before him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us. 3 People despised and avoided him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, he was despised; we did not value him.


4
In fact, it was our diseases he bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God. 5 But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and by his bruises we are healed.


6
We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way; yet ADONAI laid on him the guilt of all of us. Or: and in fellowship with him 7 Though mistreated, he was submissive - he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth.


8
After forcible arrest and sentencing, he was taken away; and none of his generation protested his being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of my people, who deserved the punishment themselves. 9 He was given a grave among the wicked; in his death he was with a rich man. Although he had done no violence and had said nothing deceptive, 10 yet it pleased ADONAI to crush him with illness, to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering. If he does, he will see his offspring; and he will prolong his days; and at his hand ADONAI's desire will be accomplished.


11
After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction. "By his knowing [pain and sacrifice], my righteous servant makes many righteous; it is for their sins that he suffers. 12 Therefore I will assign him a share with the great, he will divide the spoil with the mighty, for having exposed himself to death and being counted among the sinners, while actually bearing the sin of many and interceding for the offenders."
(CJB)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas lies and deceptions

As Liam and I were watching the news this morning, they kept returning to “shop till you drop” and the bargains for “last minute Christmas shoppers”; and – oh yes! – where “Santa” (the first lie we tell our children!) is right now (presumably) on NORAD’s radar. No mention of the Messiah anywhere….  

A few scriptures about lying:

Leviticus 19:11 "'Do not steal. "'Do not lie. "'Do not deceive one another...."

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that ADONAI hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.


Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to YHWH, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Psalm 101:7 No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.


Scriptures about debt and owing:


Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.


Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave.


Proverbs 22:26-27 Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?


Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest.


1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.


Yep, that's what Christmas is all about!  "Shop till you drop!"  "Lying" to our children.   Going into debt each year to buy things people don't need with money we don't have!

Merry Christmas everyone! If anyone desires to know the truth, the Bible awaits - the whole Bible!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Secrets have a way of revealing themselves

It's strange how secrets have a way of coming out (Luke 8:17, 12:12; Matthew 10:26; Mark 4:22 and Ecclesiastes 12:14, to mention a few). YHWH has allowed me to uncover several secrets over the course of my lifetime, including one recently that pretty much knocked my proverbial socks off.  

It happened when I found a former childhood friend on Facebook I’ll refer to as “Tasha”, who lived next door to us in Missouri some 50 years ago. When the conversation turned to “whatever happened to our parents,” Tasha wasn’t surprised at all to discover that the man she knew as my adoptive father was a pedophile who molested me for years. “He tried it with me, too,” she admitted, “and also with the two neighbor girls up the street.”

That part actually didn’t shock me, because I knew “Daddy” had a thing for little girls. What blew me away was when Tasha admitted that her own father was also a pedophile who had sexually abused her and her three sisters during their entire childhoods! “Mama never knew,” Tasha said, “because Dad only did it while she was at work.”

Amazingly, like me, Tasha never let on back then. Nobody talked about those things in “our day.” We simply kept it to ourselves, figuring nobody would ever believe us, anyway – plus, it would only serve to make us THE reason our families would be torn apart….

Anyway, that secret truly caught me off guard – in part, because Tasha’s family were Sunday church going Baptists. (My adoptive father claimed he was a Christian, too, but he never went to church during the years I was his sex slave….) The very idea that there were TWO pedophiles living next door to each other during my Middle School (Junior High) years blew me away and literally made me sick to my stomach!

Unlike me (I wrote a book about my abusive childhood, naming names and providing details!), Tasha never told anyone about her father, including her present husband. As a matter of fact, she was apparently so terrified at the thought that I would leak her secret to her Facebook friends, that she unfriended me from both her profiles and fixed it so that nothing whatsoever on her profile was visible to the public.

The only good news in this is that she, like me, did everything in her power to have a successful and worthwhile career while her soul remained in total chaos. I was hoping to help her heal, but she never called back. (In my experience, I’ve discovered that many women prefer to hang onto that baggage because it’s painful and embarrassing and it’s easier to just keep it locked away and pretend it never happened.)

I do pray that YHWH will send someone her way who can say that “just right thing” that will prick at her conscience and let her know that God CAN truly heal those things that are deeply hidden in our hearts….I know, because He did it for me.

If you have some secret “baggage” you would love to lose, please check out my article on The Refiner’s Fire:  Suggestions to help you recover from an abusive past.

Is it okay to wear a necklace with a mezuzah pendant?

Every once in awhile someone writes to our website to ask if it’s okay to wear a necklace with a mezuzah pendant. Well, mezuzot are meant for doorways, but here is a great response from Chabad.org:

Reply 

The Talmud explains in a number of places that a mezuzah affords protection. However, as you mention, the mitzvah of mezuzah is indeed to affix it to your doorway. Using it for any other purpose is in no way the fulfillment of the mitzvah. That said, there are records of people using mezuzot as amulets since ancient times. In fact, the Mishnah mentions that some had the custom to carry a hollowed-out staff containing a mezuzah for protection.
Let’s explore the protective powers of the mezuzah.

On the outside of the mezuzah scroll, G‑d’s name Shaddai (ש-ד-י) is written. The Kabbalists explain that, in addition to being G‑d’s name, it is also the acronym for שומר דלתות ישראל, “guardian of the doors of Israel,” alluding to the protection that the mezuzah affords. In light of this, there is a lively discussion in post-Talmudic responsa whether protection can be obtained only through a properly placed mezuzah in fulfillment of the mitzvah, or whether it can come from any mezuzah.

Many are of the opinion that there is indeed some measure of protection from the mezuzah itself, even when not affixed to a doorway. Accordingly, the Lubavitcher Rebbe advised certain individuals who were dealing with health issues to carry a mezuzah with them (obviously in addition to having kosher mezuzot properly affixed to all the doorways of the house).
 
(It should be noted that even when the mezuzah is on the doorway, the protection it affords is not necessarily quantifiable.)

So yes, people have been known to carry mezuzot with them. But is it proper to have the mezuzah hanging around your neck?

Life Hanging in the Balance

Expounding on the verse “And your life will hang in suspense before you . . .,” the Talmud explains that this refers to one who hangs up his tefillin on a peg, which is seen as disrespectful. Would hanging a mezuzah around your neck be equally disrespectful?

Two preeminent halachic decisors of the last century, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, both explain that the Talmud’s caution against hanging sacred items does not apply to hanging them from one's body. Indeed, in ancient times, the Jewish kings were commanded to constantly have a Torah scroll with them, so they would hang the scrolls from their arms.

On a Practical Level 

Wearing a mezuzah necklace presents some challenges. Unless it is covered by two opaque layers, a mezuzah (or any other sacred writing, for that matter) may not be brought into a bathroom or any unclean place, or be present in a room during intimate relations. Practically, this means that if you were to wear a mezuzah necklace, you would need to make sure to take it off anytime you walked into the bathroom or even just walked through an unclean place.

Though wearing a mezuzah necklace is permissible and may afford some protection, it is important not to lose sight of the mitzvah itself. Kosher mezuzot affixed properly throughout your home are much more potent than any necklace.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

“Torah terrorists” turn people off

READER QUESTIONS/COMMENTS:
 
Hello Netzari  Brethren,     I have a Torah Observant believer contacting me by email. He only uses the Hebrew names for God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit, and uses other Hebrew words for other subject matters, and other names of Hebrew or Greek names. He claims Jesus's name is pagan and Yahweh does not hear anymore, mainly in the Hebrew language.  His native language is English like mine. It is confusion to hear with the English or  Hebrew.

Did not God changed one language to many languages. He believes he is saved, and everyone else is lost. I am not Jewish or Torah Observant. I do not celebrate Christmas or Easter. I can fellowship with Messanic Brethren or even work with them in reaching the lost. I can attend Sabbath meetings or attend other meetings with other Christianity groups.

The Torah Observant Brethren or Hebrew Roots are so puffed up, and lack Charity. It appears the Torah Observant believer that I know is so obsess with his new revelation that he ends up, getting his last words, and then cutting us off because we do not believe or obey like he does? I called on Jesus name many years ago. Why are Netzari, Torah Observant into speaking ancient Hebrew  language relative to the names of God.  And he trying to convert Christians to being Torah Observant indoctrinations, and so on.

The Torah Observant believer I know no longer reaches out to the lost souls, not even the Jewish lost souls that do not believe in Yeshua, Yahweh's Son. If a believer in Christ is born again of God, believing results within time, in obeying God anyway. I have told him Christ and Messiah  are spelled different, spoken different. Different names, still are the same. God has no problem, but people do. Not everyone is a real Christian, maybe the majority people claiming to be so call christian or catholic  are just in name only. Why try to blanket all Christians as pagan, and so on?

OUR RESPONSE:
 
Thank you for your email! Your Torah observant friend – like so many others who find their way to Torah, has become a “Torah terrorist” wherein he views himself as an expert just because he discovered there is more to God and the Bible than just the New Testament, and He is now able to toss around a few Hebrew words. From what you wrote, it seems he is not only arrogant, but wallowing around in some blatantly FASLE teachings, Please send him these links: Is the name “Jesus” pagan? and A word about Torah terrorists.

As for God not hearing in any other language besides Hebrew, simply ask your friend why He insists on putting YHWH into a box. Ask your friend how – since YHWH only “hears Hebrew” – how can the rest of the world possibly find their way to Him? With that reasoning, God cannot understand the cries of people in China, Africa, North and South America, Germany, or anywhere else; and He consequently has no choice but to ignore them.

Ask your friend if that’s really the case, then why did YHWH bother allowing Adam and Eve to live and procreate so they could continue to build the human race? Same with Noah! And why did YHWH allow His people to be spread all over the world/into the nations where they were to “guard and preserve His Torah” (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2)? If He had wanted only Hebrew speaking people to be His, then He would have kept His people in tiny, little Israel! And WHY did He send His Son – who died willingly so that ANYONE from ANYWHERE, who desired to belong to Him, could easily be accepted into the Kingdom (John 3:16)?

Micah 4: 2 Many Gentiles will go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of ADONAI, to the house of the God of Ya'akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim. (CJB)

Does anyone with two brain cells to rub together truly believe that the Gentiles mentioned in Micah 4, above, only spoke Hebrew? Didn't Paul go into the Roman Empire to teach people in their own language (Acts 21:36-38)?

You pretty much summed it up with this statement: “The Torah Observant Brethren or Hebrew Roots are so puffed up, and lack Charity. It appears the Torah Observant believer that I know is so obsess with his new revelation that he ends up, getting his last words, and then cutting us off because we do not believe or obey like he does?”

I cannot tell you how many people my husband and I have met over the last 20 years who have – because of people like your friend - either returned to Christianity or left God and the Bible altogether; or they began to follow traditional Judaism which rejects Messiah Yeshua. Ironically, those same people then became rabidly vicious about their "new beliefs" such as the followers of the Jewish “counter-missionaries” who harass and harangue anyone who adheres to the WHOLE Bible…

Most – if not all – of us were “saved in the Name of Jesus.” When we called out to “Jesus” you can rest assured that Yeshua knew to whom you were referring! No one can take that away from us (Acts 4:12)! Scripture tells us if someone doesn’t want to hear our word, we should “shake the dust from our sandals” (Matthew 10:13-15); not stand around to argue with, or berate them. Just let them go and move on to someone who does want to hear YHWH’s Truth.

Your friend IS correct about using the “true Names.” YHWH is the Name that was given to Moses and Yeshua IS His Son’s name.  Once we know that, it would behoove us to use the proper Names - because they have a meaning (i.e., Yeshua means "YHWH is Salvation" - whereas "Jesus" is basically just another name). And once we understand what Torah is and that it was given to all, we are expected to start obeying it (i.e., keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath and Feasts, and ceasing the eating of “unclean” foods). The more you study, the more you will learn about we WE HUMANS can do to please YHWH, who expects us to keep learning and growing, because it enhances our relationship with Him.

Unfortunately, Christianity doesn’t teach that Torah is relevant today – when, in fact, is the ONLY blueprint we have for moral, holy living – please read this article to see what I mean.

Anyway, don’t let anyone brow-beat you into anything when it comes to God and the Bible. Read and study it for yourself – from cover to cover. And when you’re done, start all over again. And again. It’s a never-ending learning process in which YHWH continues to teach and “grow” us into who HE needs us to be! Halleluyah!

Hope this helps!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Does the Bible really say we don’t need doctors?

It always bugs me when "holy" people insist we don’t need doctors if one's faith is strong enough.  All that’s required to heal, they argue, is faith and prayer.  And then they “look down” on you and presume they have the right to chastise you if you do see a doctor.  Their criteria?   Exodus 15:26, which reads:

“He said, ‘If you will listen intently to the voice of ADONAI your God, do what he considers right, pay attention to his mitzvot and observe his laws, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians; because I am ADONAI your healer.’" (CJB)

Fact is, that particular scripture (Exodus 15:26) was YHWH telling His people what He would do if they obeyed Him.   (Remember, YHWH, throughout Torah, was constantly in a teaching mode to get Israel to learn to rely on Him for everything.)  That scripture was meant for the “learning to obey YHWH” time when His people were in the wilderness for 40 years – where He provided for their every need and even their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out (Deuteronomy 8:4, 29:5).
 
If “holier-than-thous” are going to suggest we don’t need doctors, then why don’t they also suggest “we don’t need to buy new clothes or shoes today?” …No, this is just a very misguided, narrow conclusion to draw from a single scripture….

So, let’s take a look at that scripture in context:

Exodus 15: 24 The people grumbled against Moshe and asked, "What are we to drink?" 25 Moshe cried to ADONAI; and ADONAI showed him a certain piece of wood, which, when he threw it into the water, made the water taste good. There ADONAI made laws and rules of life for them, and there he tested them. 26 He said, "If you will listen intently to the voice of ADONAI your God, do what he considers right, pay attention to his mitzvot and observe his laws, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians; because I am ADONAI your healer." (CJB)

So, does this apply to us today?  Sure!  We ARE to keep His commands, but we still live in a “fallen world” where doctors can help us when we’re sick.  Whenever I see a doctor, it’s NOT because I don’t trust YHWH to heal me, or that I don’t have “enough faith.”  What I have is common sense that when my appendix ruptures, I can’t just sit there and pray it will go away! 

When your toddler falls down the stairs and breaks his arm, and cracks his skull, you’re not going sit there and trust YHWH to mend him – you’re going to head for the emergency room, praying the whole, entire way and trusting YHWH to keep your kid alive!  If you’re involved in a bad accident, and you’re lying there, passed out, do you really expect the ER doctor to say, “Wait, no, I can’t touch that one because God Himself will take care of him/her!”  Would you want him to?
 
(YES, YHWH certainly COULD heal your child or put your back together when you’re torn apart in an accident (or preferably PREVENT your accident)…but He heals WHEN He chooses (Exodus 33:19), and we have learned from Yeshua’s temptation by satan in the wilderness that you don’t TEST God by suggesting He HAS to do ANYTHING, including heal you! (Matthew 4:1-11). YHWH doesn’t do ANYTHING on command!)

Last June when I needed pacemaker surgery, YHWH gave me plenty of warning that “something was wrong” with my heart.  Could He have simply healed me?  SURE!  But He didn’t and I had the wherewithal to find an emergency room where I ended up with a pacemaker 24 hours later.  While there – and this important – I got to witness to THREE PEOPLE, including the Jewish cardiologist who admitted me!  Please think about that….

While it’s certainly true that YHWH heals (and He heals whenever He chooses; not on command, or only those whose faith or prayers are “strong enough”), the fact remains, we are in a “fallen world” where bad things happen, even to faithful people - and faithful people DO get sick, and they often DO need to see a doctor, and may even require surgery.  Bad things have been happening to mankind since the day Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden!

And by the way, physicians have always been around, in one form or another.   Apostle Luke was a physician! (Colossians 4:14).  Let’s be honest here, if the Apostles Paul and Timothy suffered health problems, are we to assume THEIR faith wasn’t strong enough; or that they didn’t keep Torah well enough (as these “you’re going to hell if you use a doctor” types like to insist)?  Even Yeshua became weak and ill from fasting for 40 days in the wilderness (see Matthew 4), to the point where angels had to come to take care of him.  His faith was so strong, he overcame satan’s wiles three times in a row!

Regardless as to what the “don’t need doctors” people say,  we cannot ignore that, in the New Testament we see Paul telling Timothy to "drink a little wine" for his stomach ailments (1 Timothy 5:23).  We cannot ignore that Paul himself had sought ADONAI three times to remove this source of pain from him (2 Corinthians 12:8).  Paul speaks of a “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Corinthians 12:7 (no one knows whether that “thorn” was something physical or spiritual) and of weakness in his flesh (Galatians 4:13). 

So, again, YES, YHWH can and does heal, but we live in a fallen world where “bad things” happen – and not always of our own making.  He heals when HE chooses to heal…but He also gave us physicians, even to the faithful, to help during those times when He doesn’t heal.  If anyone tries to tell you, you’re sinning by seeing a doctor, shake the dust from your sandals and leave them and their beliefs behind!

Before I close, let's take a brief look at some other scriptures people take out of context to defend their "we don't need doctors" stance:

Deuteronomy 32:39  "See now that I, yes, I, am he; and there is no god beside me. I put to death, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; no one saves anyone from my hand!"

Deuteronomy 32 is all about how YHWH led His people and provided for them.  He showed them He was their Rock.  But the people turned their backs on Him. Eventually, YHWH beat them down and said "Where are their gods, the rock in whom they trusted?" (verse 37).  This is followed by the admonition, verse 39, that only He wounds, and He heals and that no one saves anyone from His hand.  The verse in no way implies "don't go to doctors!"

2 Chronicles 16:12  "In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa suffered from a disease in his legs. It was a very serious disease, yet even with this disease he did not seek out Adonai but turned to the physicians.  13 Asa slept with his ancestors, dying in the forty-first year of his reign."

This sounds like Asa died because he turned to physicians rather than seeking out YHWH.  If you go back to 2 Chronicles 14:1 (13:23 in some versions) you find that Asa was a good king and did what was right in YHWH's eyes.  Indeed, 2 Chronicles 15:17 states "Asa was wholehearted throughout his life."  But then look what happened! I chapter 16, Y'hudah was attacked and Asa turned to the king of Aram for help.

The prophet Hanani came to Asa and admonished him for not relying on YHWH and instead relied on the king of Aram.  Asa, instead of being humbled and repentant, went into a rage and had the prophet imprisoned.  Only then, do we see that Asa died when he turned to physicians instead of YHWH.
 
So you see, this had nothing to do with "going to doctors"; it had to do with Asa, who should have known better, becoming "full of himself" and not glorifying YHWH.  (We see a striking similarity to Moshe's fate in Numbers 20.  In verses 8-10 he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock as commanded.  That brought glory to Moshe instead of YHWH!  YHWH told Moshe in verse 12 that "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them."  Asa trusting in doctors only meant that he had placed all his faith in his own solution to his ailment, rather than trusting YHWH's hand would be on the doctors for healing.

Job 5:18 "For He wounds, but He bandages the sore; his hands may strike, but they also heal."

One need only go read all of Job 5 to see these verses are about those who maintain faith through thick and thin. Verse 18 has nothing to do with "sitting back and letting YHWH bandage your wounds and 'letting' YHWH heal you"!  It has to do with simply trusting that YHWH will put the solution in your path - you need only the faith to recognize it.

Look at verse 20! "In famine, he will save you from death, and in war, from the power of the sword." Does that mean in famine you can sit at your plate and YHWH will fill it for you? Of course not! But by your faith, YHWH will ensure that you find the food you need.  Does it mean you won't die? The verse seems to say that, but that is not what it means!  We are all going to die.  And some will die by the "sword".  But those with faith and trust and acceptance in Him see "everlasting life" - thus they are "saved from death" though their earthly bodies certainly will die.

There are many other verses I could discuss here, but I think I've made my point.  YHWH provides - Matthew 6:31-32.  But notice the end of verse 32! "Your heavenly Father knows you need them all." Faith means you trust YHWH will provide and that you don't trust in yourself! One of those provisions set before you are doctors, for He gave them their knowledge and skills to provide what you need from His hands for healing.  Trust Him.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Enough of the “pagan” stuff already!

I honestly wish the Hebrew Roots and Messianic types would come down off their high horse and stop the “everything is pagan” nonsense. For instance, every once in a while I run across some threads where dozens are sitting around, all puckered up, screaming and hollering that it’s “pagan” to utter the names of the days of the week because, “You’re worshiping the sun god if you say ‘Sunday!'"

Oh, snap out of it! We live in a world that uses predominantly the Gregorian calendar, so deal with it. Nobody is “worshiping” some pagan god when they make an appointment with their doctor on TUESDAY, or whatever! (Actually, Mr. and Mrs. Holier-than-thou, I’d like to see you try to make an appointment with your doctor on “the second day of the 5th month, please.” They’ll probably end up hanging up on you by the time you finish explaining how “pagan” they are.)

It's GREAT that you have found your way to the truth of Torah - so, share it with others - but stop trying to beat the world over the head with some kooky ideas you've picked up on Facebook. All it serves to do is to turn people off. God doesn't want you behaving like that. (OOPS, I said "GOD" - that's yet another "pagan" term in the eyes of some....)

From what I've been seeing, chances are, the very people who are going around trying to correct all the "pagans" will, at some point, find a new "religion" anyway, because they never really understood THE Creator and His Word, in the first place. They merely graze their way across the Internet, absorbing bits and pieces of stuff that appeals to them, and pretend it's Bible knowledge...which they're willing to discard the moment something more interesting comes along.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Let’s discuss Christmas

(The following was borrowed from Foundations Magazine)

By Carmen Welker

Those of us who are Torah observant believers in Messiah Yeshua adhere to the celebration of the Biblical feasts because, unlike man-made holidays such as Christmas and Easter, the mo’edim (God’s Appointed Times) are all about Him. Each one reveals our Creator's eternal plan and foreshadows Messiah Yeshua - who has so far fulfilled the first four of the seven!

Not wishing to offend our beloved Christian brothers and sisters, the truth is, Christmas is unbiblical on several levels. For instance, Yeshua (Jesus’ given, Hebrew name which means “YHWH is Salvation”) was not born on the 25th of December; he was born on the first day of the Fall Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles - which, on our Gregorian calendars falls in the September or October timeframe). This, in itself, makes “Christmas” the “number one lie.” (The other lie is “Santa Claus” – but we’ll get to that in a moment.)

Sukkot (Leviticus 23: 33-37) is a week-long holiday that reminds us of the hardships of Israel's 40 years in the wilderness and provides us with insight into the correct birth date of our awesome Messiah. You see, Yeshua was born in a “sukkah” (temporary dwelling) in Bethlehem because his parents, who had gone to Jerusalem for the census, could find no room at the inn (Luke 2:7). And so they traveled to Bethlehem which is only about 5 miles further, where they ended up sheltering in a sukkah. (The name Bethlehem means "House Of Bread"; and coincidentally, Yeshua is the Bread of Life" - see John 6:43-51)!

Luke 2:1 Around this time, Emperor Augustus issued an order for a census to be taken throughout the Empire. 2 This registration, the first of its kind, took place when Quirinius was governing in Syria. 3 Everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem, in Y'hudah, 5 to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; 7 and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters.

8 In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, 9 when an angel of ADONAI appeared to them, and the Sh'khinah of ADONAI shone around them. They were terrified; 10 but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. 11 This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough." (CJB)

The above passage is proof that Jesus wasn't born on December 25th! It's cold in December and there are no shepherds guarding their flocks in the fields at that time of year. Plus, Augustus Caesar wouldn't have had a census in the dead of winter, because weather conditions might not have allowed for people to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on foot or horseback.

Christmas is simply not biblical. It’s not mentioned in Scripture, and nowhere are we commanded to celebrate the birth of Messiah – much less, exchange gifts on his birthday. Yes, the three Wise Men came to pay their respects to the "born King of the Jews" – but notice they came not to present gifts to each other, but to him! Nothing in Scripture suggests we were to come up with our own “holy day” designed for gift exchange to “honor God.” Nothing.

Can you do it, if you wish? Certainly! But why would you want to, in view of what you’ve learned thus far?

Now, please consider this:

Christmas has its roots in paganism because, in part, it incorporates the cutting down of, and decorating trees (more on this later). It is a strictly man-made holiday that masquerades as a biblical holy day designed to honor Jesus – yet, for the most part it has become nothing more than another commercialized day that has nothing, whatsoever to do with God’s Word. Christmas is “all about me, me, me and what I want for Christmas.” Sure, many “go to church for Christmas Eve mass” (for some, it’s the ONLY time they cross the threshold of a church!). But does that really fulfill what God expects of His people … to be holy/set apart and to live our faith? Yeshua said that, upon his Second Coming, he will “vomit from his mouth” all those whom he considers to be “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16)….

YHWH’s mo’edim are not about spending money we don't have or going into debt to buy things we can't afford. And honestly, you never hear of anyone committing suicide during the Biblical feasts because they're "feeling lonely or depressed."

One thing that is so heartbreaking is that the “Thou shalt not lie” command is totally ignored at Christmas, because the "Santa knows whether you’ve been good or bad" is one of the first LIES we tell our children! Everyone knows that this white-bearded old man who magically whizzes around the world with his team of flying reindeer and comes down the chimney to bring presents is a complete myth! Sure, it’s “fun for the kids,” but how does that justify breaking the Ninth Commandment?

Let’s take a quick look at how YHWH feels about the “customs of people.”

Deuteronomy 12: 28 Obey and pay attention to everything I am ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, as you do what ADONAI sees as good and right. 29 "When ADONAI your God has cut off ahead of you the nations you are entering in order to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and are living in their land; 30 be careful, after they have been destroyed ahead of you, not to be trapped into following them; so that you inquire after their gods and ask, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I want to do the same.' 31 You must not do this to ADONAI your God! For they have done to their gods all the abominations that ADONAI hates! They even burn up their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods! 32 "Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it. (CJB)

Jeremiah 10: 1 Hear the word Adonai speaks to you, house of Isra'el! 2 Here is what Adonai says: "Don't learn the way of the Goyim, don't be frightened by astrological signs, even if the Goyim are afraid of them; 3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing. They cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe; 4 they deck it with silver and gold. They fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won't move. 5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, it cannot speak. It has to be carried, because it cannot walk. Do not be afraid of it - it can do nothing bad; likewise, it is unable to do anything good!" (CJB)

While the above scripture isn't talking about "Christmas trees" per se, we can certainly see the resemblance! Every year at Christmas, millions of trees are slaughtered, just to uphold a pagan tradition of bringing trees into the house and decorating them. Scripture tells us that the cedars will rejoice on the day man has been “laid low” enough to stop cutting them down (Isaiah 14:8)!

The following was excerpted from Richard Rives' book, Too Long in the Sun, which discusses our obsession with blindly following paganistic rituals.

“The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that "The traditional customs connected with Christmas have developed from several sources as a result of the coincidence of the celebration of the birth of Christ with the pagan agricultural and solar observations at midwinter. In the Roman world the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchange of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness."

“Colliers Encyclopedia agrees. Quote: "After the triumph of Constantine, the church at Rome assigned December 25 as the date for the celebration of the feast, possibly about A.D. 320 or 353. By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern churches, where it was celebrated on January 6. The choice of December 25 was probably influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god (natalis solis invicti), and that the Saturnalia also came at this time."

Much more could be said about this man-made “holy day” of Christmas, but one thing is clear: Christmas is not a holiday that pleases our Creator who expects all to be holy and set apart for Him. Neither YHWH nor His Messiah ever said that some of the people would be allowed to make up their own rules and regulations and come up with their own holy days….

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to obedience to His "forever" commands, YHWH does not differentiate between His Natural and Adopted children! (See Numbers 15:13-16, Ephesians 2:15 and Galatians 3:28.) He told us exactly when HIS Holy Days are, with each carrying a significant meaning echoing into eternity. Christmas is not among them! There’s truly no need for an extra “holy day” made by man.

(Carmen Welker is Associate Professor of Messianic Apologetics at the Messianic Jewish Rabbinate. As author, journalist, former U.S. Army Sergeant Major and host/webmaster of The Refiner’s Fire Messianic apologetics website and Reality Check videos, Carmen also had the distinct privilege of being the original editor of Andrew Roth's Aramaic English New Testament.)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Let's discuss that "judge not" thing....



Many believe that it's bad to "correct" another who has fallen from grace ... that if they say anything to that person, they are "judging." But that is not true. Scripture commands us to help our brothers and sisters "get themselves right with YHWH/Yeshua" again, or else their blood will be on us! 

Ezekiel 3:18 If I say to a wicked person, 'You will certainly die'; and you fail to warn him, to speak and warn the wicked person to leave his wicked way and save his life; then that wicked person will die guilty; and I will hold you responsible for his death. 19 On the other hand, if you warn the wicked person, and he doesn't turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, then he will still die guilty; but you will have saved your own life.

20 Similarly, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, I will place a stumblingblock before him - he will die; because you failed to warn him, he will die in his sin; his righteous acts which he did will not be remembered; and I will hold you responsible for his death. 21 But if you warn the righteous person that a righteous person should not sin, and he doesn't sin; then he will certainly live, because he took the warning; and you too will have saved your life." (CJB)

If someone has "fallen from grace," it is your job to speak up and tell them how and why they're "off the mark." This holds true, even if the person happens to be a Hebrew Roots or Messianic "big wig" teacher.

So many of "our" teachers have "fallen from grace" over the years, yet people continue to promote, and even defend these teachers and their teachings. The truth is, Scripture reveals that "teachers" are held to a higher standard and should be as blameless before YHWH as is humanly possible because they should KNOW Scripture inside-out (James 3:1).

If they've committed sins against Him, it usually turns out to be a "deliberate" sin - for which there is no sin sacrifice! (Please see our article: https://www.therefinersfire.org/deliberate_sinning.htm) People who committed deliberate sins during Israel's 40 years in the wilderness, were killed because YHWH commanded that HIS people "rid themselves of such evil from among them."

Yet, today, we seem to be all about "forgiveness" of anything including deliberate sins. That is why churches and synagogues reek with "religiosity." Many insist on watering down the Word.

This "judge not" thing is a two-way street. YHWH's people are to be accountable not only for themselves but for each other. Truth remains to be Truth, no matter how many ways we humans attempt to twist it. When Y'shua returns, he will be vomiting from his mouth all those who are "lukewarm" (Revelation 3:16).

Many reading this will counter: "But scripture says 'Don't judge, so that you won't be judged'!", quoting Matthew 7:1. What they fail to see in that verse is that Matthew goes on.  Verse 2 says "For the way you judge others is how you will be judged..."  Judgment is always to be  made with Torah as the standard of judgment - not your own interpretation.  Torah is the only measure of sin.  So when you have pointed out a person's sin according to transgression of Torah, you are not judging, but you are judging righteously. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A word about all the Internet "teachers" and their "teachings"

A wonderful, Torah observant sister has written the following that I felt needed to be shared with the world.  It concerns all the self-proclaimed Internet "teachers" and "teachings" - many (if not most) of which are completely skewed and reeking of personal opinion instead of Scripture. She has voiced my sentiments exactly. Please take a couple of minutes to read her words of truth:

For the last few weeks I have just been watching and learning the mindset of those who are professing to be believers. I have come to the conclusion that we NOW need more qualified teachers more than ever.

The amount of disarray is unbelievable. Everyone seems to think they are the only ones with an answer, yet they have not studied enough to find the answer. Of course they have been of this understanding for an entire 6 months now. That seems to the line in the sand where supernatural understanding begins to take hold of some of these people.

The best examples I can offer is this: I have seem more people study more of the Satanic Bible than they are Scripture. More people are searching out pagan "stuff" more than studying Scripture. I see very obscure reasoning dealing with illusions instead of facts. There is a lack of cultural and diverse understanding of the times in which Scripture was written or even the players that are mentioned in Scripture. Some feel the need to seek out conspiracy stories instead of Scripture. Some have the idea of Elohim yet they don't really know Elohim, they just know about Him. Etc., etc.. The list is at a point of non ending.

People are all over the gambit with their ideas of who they are and what rights they have. Scripture is being twisted to a new paramount to suit the person doing the twisting. Not only are some twisting Scripture, they have no idea what Scripture really is. The PC crowd now declares they have a "right" to state their teachings as true because they have just found out they are "Israel" which somehow gives them supernatural knowledge that no one else seems able to attain.

My question is: Where is this all coming from? Since when does Scripture defy the need for a qualified teacher? Since when does Scripture allocate a "personal" right to anything? Since when does the Ruach speak conflicting words that do not line up with Scripture? So many talk about the knowledge that abounds in our day and time. To that I have to ask...What knowledge is being referred to by that statement.

I would rather see a person find one subject in Scripture and study every lead possible to fully understand it than to see all the half truths bouncing off of walls in every direction, At least the person will have a good understanding of that subject instead of only superficial understanding.

If we pick a subject to study, study all of it. Don't just study what you believe, study the flip side of that also. Study all of the pros and cons of a subject, whether you agree or not. Unless we know both sides, inside and out, we really do not know that subject. We only have an illusion of knowing it.

This is the first time I can truly say, though observation, that people are being destroyed by their own faulty reasoning and lack of knowledge. The really sad part is, those same people are dragging down others with them.

Please, take time and really study Scripture from all angles, don't throw out the need for a good and qualified teacher. We all need a teacher and that is the core of community that is so prevalent in Scripture. Let us try to return some sanity to what we do, the outside world is watching us and so far we are not doing a good job of representing our Elohim.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Does the Bible Require a Flat Earth?

In a word: No.

The Bible makes a number of statements about the view of the earth as seen from our human, on-the-surface-of-the-earth perspective which can naively be misunderstood to imply the earth must be flat.  Yes, the Bible says the “sun moves” – but that IS what it looks like to us from the ground!  It does “look like” the sun moves and the earth does not!  Yes, the Bible does say the earth is immovable – but it is true that no human can move the earth!

Let’s look at a few scriptures and discuss the common errors in interpretation. And let me note, up front:  I am NOT going to cover every scripture that people misunderstand/misinterpret to conclude the earth is flat:

Here’s the “biggie” used by flat earthers all over the globe to argue the earth is flat:

Job 26:10-11 “He fixed a circle on the surface of the water, defining the boundary between light and dark.”

Flat earther: “That clearly means the earth is flat!”

Truth:  No, it means no matter where you stand, all around you is the “circle” of the horizon.  Our horizon defines the boundary between day and night.  Watch the sun set.  The sky gradually gets dark. If the earth were flat, the sky would get dark very quickly (not quite “suddenly”, but more rapidly), for everyone on earth at the same time.

Measure the time from sunset to dark in the summer and in the winter.  You’ll find darkness comes more slowly in the summer for a person in the Northern Hemisphere.  That is because the sun appears to pass over and set at a higher latitude so it takes longer to “sink” or “descend” lower below the horizon. At the same time of year, for a person in the Southern Hemisphere, darkness comes more quickly!  If the earth were flat, that would not happen! In the verse, "circle" (Hebrew: chug) means “the visible expanse as seen by a person standing on a high place”, i.e., the horizon. It does not require a flat earth!

Here’s something you can do to prove whether or not your understanding of the shape of the earth is wrong. Right at the time of sunset, from wherever you are, call someone very far to your West and ask them if the sun is setting.  For example, if you are in the Eastern time zone of the US, at the moment of sunset where you are, call someone in the Pacific time zone and ask them where the sun is in the sky! You’ll find they will say the sun is not setting at that same moment where they are, for they see the sun considerably higher in the sky, some time yet before it sets!

That tells you the earth is not flat! (If the earth were flat - no matter how far the sun is from the earth - then everyone, all over the earth would see the sun rise and set at the same time. (If the earth were flat, and the sun were simply close to the earth, then yes, throughout the daylight hours people would see the sun at varying altitudes in the sky, but no matter the sun’s distance from the earth, everyone, all over the world would see the same moment of sunset (or sunrise)!)  But you can prove to yourself that people all over the world see a different time of sunset! You possess the technology, and it’s easy to do!  Call somebody and ask!)

Genesis 1:6 “Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so…” (KJV)

Flat earther: “That means the earth is flat! Otherwise how can the firmament separate the waters?”

Truth:  No, it is prose attempting to move quickly from the formation of the earth to the next important topic – not meant to be scientifically accurate!  Is not the dry land a “firmament” which separates you from the vast oceans? Is not the “firmament” also the air above?  In the Hebrew “raqia” is used for both the vault/dome of the sky and the body of the earth/water below. No matter where you live, are not there “waters in the firmament” (i.e. rain) separated from the oceans?  (This is “waters divided from waters”). The “firmament” is the land, oceans, and the air above, and the land is the same no matter where anyone lives on the earth – round or flat.  This verse does not require or even suggest the earth must be flat!

Job 9:6 "He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble.”  (NIV)

(See also Job 26:11, Psalms 75:3, 1 Samuel 2:8).

Flat earther: “That means the earth is flat! It could only be flat on pillars!”

Truth:  No, Job is “prose and poetry”.  In prose and poetry, what is physical is converted to analogy, example, and idealized narration.  (Sorry, I don’t speak in the language of prose and poetry.)  In its simplest terms these verses are simply saying that the mass of the earth below you, unseen is “holding up the ground you are standing on”. It can be described as “pillars” holding up something like a ceiling because absolutely no one in ancient times knew or understood otherwise.

In no way do the verses mean the earth is actually held up by pillars, nor do they imply a flat earth!  If you were writing about the “feeling” of an earthquake wouldn’t you describe it today as if the ground were held up by pillars and that the pillars shook resulting in the ground motion? Admit it! You have absolutely no idea how earthquakes propagate destruction to the surface!

Job 37:3 “He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)

Flat earther: “For the earth to have ‘ends’ it must be flat!”

Truth:  No, can we learn anything from the purpose of “prose and poetry”?  In the Hebrew, the word translated as “ends” is “chana’pah” and means “an edge or extremity” and in-context means “all” or “whole”! So the verse only means that nowhere on earth are people safe from the threat of lightning! It would be true that the polar regions would be relatively safe from lightning as there are fewer storms there, but the verse holds no bearing on the claim that the earth is flat!

And another favorite of the flat earther:  Isaiah 40:22 “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.  He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” (NIV)

Flat earther: “It is quite clear that the above Biblical Verses suggest and claim that the Earth is flat, [and with other verses] has Edges, has Four Corners, has Pillars, and has Foundations.  No unbiased person would deny the straight forward quotes above.  Only the desperate biased Jews and Christians would. Some desperate Christians have gone as far as presenting Isaiah 40:22 to try to prove that the Bible claims that the earth is round.”

Truth:  No, this verse [and the others not presented] only mean that English simply does not convey the original meaning, the essence of the verses, expressed in the original Hebrew! In this case, again, the word in English translated as “circle” is “chug” and in-context only means that no matter how high a person stands on or above the earth, YHWH is above that!  People are described as grasshoppers to make it clear! It makes perfect sense that the earth, as clearly viewed from a high place, would be described by a human as a “circle” because even from the top of Mt. Everest, the horizon extends in the distance all around and is seen as a “circle”!

You can stretch out your arm and point and circumscribe a circle with you finger as you point all around you!  That in no way requires the earth to be flat or spherical! In fact, the word translated into English as “canopy” is actually “cha’dok” in Hebrew and  means “something crumbling, that is, fine (as a thin cloth): a curtain.”   I hear no flat earther or spherical earther claiming that the sky is crumbling!  No, in context, the verse is simply describing that the heavens encompass everything around us.  The verse does not require a flat or a round earth!

Also, described as a “canopy”, does not the sky extend over you as would a “canopy” so great that no matter where you live it extends above you? Just because heaven is described as a “canopy” does not imply it is over a flat earth!

And regarding the flat earther insisting the earth must be stationary:

I Chronicles 16:30: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable".

Flat earther: “That clearly means the earth is not moving!”

Truth:  No, it means no human can move the earth.  The Hebrew word translated into English as “immovable” in the verse is “timot” which means “to waiver” or to “be cast out of course”.  If the earth is moving, no human can make it change, stop or “be cast out of course”.  If the earth is not moving, no human can make it move! The verse cannot be used to defend a non-moving earth for it means the same, whether the earth is moving or not!

Flat earther: “The sun rotates over the earth. The fact that the sun is the one that moves is mentioned 67 times. How many times does the Bible say the earth moves? Never!  Scripture says:

I Chronicles 16:30: ‘He has fixed the earth firm, immovable’.
Psalm 93:1: ‘Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm...’Psalm 96:10: ‘He has fixed the earth firm, immovable...’
Psalm 104:5: ‘Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.’
Isaiah 45:18: ‘...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast...’


Flat earther continues: But we continue to say no matter, we're keeping the spinning Greek ball.”

Truth: Misunderstanding in every verse! By the way, all 67 scriptures you claim say the sun “moves” and not the earth say no such thing!  Example: Genesis 15:12: “…and when the sun was going down…” Wow! That clearly means the sun is moving and the earth is not! (Hear my sarcasm?)

Actually, we even say that same thing today!  In the late afternoon, we say “sun is going down”.  That is, after all, what it looks like to us on the earth.  (By the way, if the earth were rotating and the sun not moving (which it is, but we didn’t know it) it would look the same and be described the same way!) Your 67 verses do not prove the sun goes around the earth!

1 Chronicles has already been addressed.  In Every Psalm please look at the context! 93:1: Adonai has established the earth, we puny humans cannot change it!  96:10: the verse again recognizes that humans are minor – they can’t do what Adonai has done.  104:5: begin at verse 1! The psalm is simply giving enormous glory to Adonai for His power!  Verse 5 is no more justification of an “immovable” earth as verse 3 really means literally “His palace is on the oceans”.  It’s poetry people!

Flat earthers are fond to laud their superiority over you!  They say things like Pretending you have never heard of a globe or even a flat earth before, let’s just allow the Bible to speak for itself. Read them over a couple of times, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what they mean. Without forcing an interpretation based on preconceived notions, meditate on them and ask yourself, ‘What is the Bible really showing me concerning the nature of the heavens, the earth, the sun, moon and stars?’ 

Sure!  Read your English-only Bible and apply your English-only understanding and interpretation of words like “circle”, “dome”, “pillar”, “firmament”, “foundation”, “stretched out”, etc. and and you’ll fall for the conclusion that the Bible speaks of and requires a flat earth! Ignore the context, and ignore the original Hebrew to stay locked in the 3rd Century BCE! (Yes, mankind has known the earth was a sphere since Eratosthenes who lived circa 276-194 BCE!)

Knowing that virtually no one in ancient times understood the earth was round, can you at least realize that when scripture was written (most of which was written before that era) it would describe things in terms that humans of the era perceived?  Can you imagine if scripture used actual descriptions of the physical reality of the spherical, rotating earth, orbiting the sun, with the moon in orbit around the earth and a “speed of light” and vast distances to the sun, moon, planets and stars?! All of scripture would have been dismissed as blasphemous! No scripture would have been canonized!

We are actually quite blessed, today, that scripture was written at the time it was! It was truth then (for it did not say one way or the other that the earth was round or flat), and it’s completely valid today, even though today we know the truth! Amazing!

I’ve only scratched the surface of the many scriptures misused by the flat earthers to substantiate their claims.  But there is a truth in physics: A single counterexample disproves a theory.  I’ve countered several scriptures cited by flat earthers to defend their belief.  I’ve shown that not only do the scriptures not defend a flat earth, but they also don’t deny reality – that the earth is round, rotating, and in orbit around the sun!

The point is: IT DIDN’T MATTER THEN AND IT DOESN’T MATTER NOW!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Reader question: Impressed with your website but still wondering....


READER QUESTION:

I was quite impressed whilst browsing your site and some of the interpretations were closely relevant to my church and I just wanted a few answers.

What is the difference between the 10 commandments (written by God's finger on two stone tablets) and the Mosaic Law regarding the feasts and the sacrificial system.

Why is there a distinction between the two sets of laws? 10 were written on stone tablets by God himself and the other 600+ laws were written by Moses who was guided by God.

What is your ministry's view on the relevance of the temple curtain being torn in two from top to bottom at the exact time of Jesus' death at the cross? Matthew 27.

What does this represent in light of the holy and most holy places of the temple?

Doesn't it mean that at that precise moment, the sacrificial system of feasts and keeping of special sabbaths which foreshadowed the messiah was null and void? This supernatural event had to have some significant meaning concerning the future of the earthly temple/sanctuary.

RESPONSE FROM THE REFINER'S FIRE:

Thank you for writing to The Refiner's Fire. Let's get right to your questions:

YOU SAID: What is the difference between the 10 commandments (written by God's finger on two stone tablets) and the Mosaic Law regarding the feasts and the sacrificial system.

OUR RESPONSE: Absolutely nothing. The Ten Commandments were a condensed version of the 613 which are "forever" commandments directed at every believer. The Ten Commandments - which are a part of Torah - in no way negated the Torah nor did they abolish the feasts or the sacrificial system. As a matter of fact, the Ten Commandments came way before Yeshua did, and so the sacrificial system was still in effect then.

YOU SAID: Why is there a distinction between the two sets of laws? 10 were written on stone tablets by God himself and the other 600+ laws were written by Moses who was guided by God.

OUR RESPONSE: There really is no distinctionTorah - God's original teaching and instruction - has been in effect since Adam and Eve and is still in effect today. The rules given to Moshe were COMMANDED (not guided) by God and most of them were for the priests and kings of the day; some were for men; some for women. Some were FOREVER laws - i.e., the seventh day Sabbath and feasts, kosher, etc.  There was no point in YHWH speaking ALL His rules when he spoke directly to the people (Exodus 20), so what you see recorded is simply YHWH's overview!  Only Christianity has interpreted the Ten Commandments as somehow separate from Torah, but all of Torah is contained in this "overview" which was, heard by those present at that time.  See the end of Exodus 20, vs 6: "...displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot." That "obey my mitzvot" part is ALL of Torah!

Think of it this way:  If you were presenting the rules of baseball to a group of kids, you'd provide a summary of the essential rules to get them started - the essence of the game, if you will.  But you would not provide ALL the rules of the game at that time, because it would take lots of time.  But what you told the kids would not mean that the rules you spoke, negated the whole list of baseball rules in the "official" rulebook! 

YOU SAID: What is this ministry's view on the relevance of the temple curtain being torn in two from top to bottom at the exact time of Jesus' death at the cross? Matthew 27.

OUR RESPONSE: The renting ("tearing") of clothing or curtains has many meanings.  It was done to express strong emotion, such as shame, anger, or mourning.  Could we assume that this supernatural event (marked also with earthquakes) was YHWH's anger or emotion released?  Note that YHWH gave mankind exactly ONE GENERATION to humanity to accept His gift of salvation before He destroyed the Temple.  So perhaps the renting of the temple curtain was YHWH's enormous mourning over most of humanity, most of whom would turn from Him?  Yeshua's death on the cross marked the end of the need for SIN SACRIFICES, nothing else. It did NOT render void God's original teaching/instruction (Torah). Yeshua, was the Final Sin Sacrifice who said He came not to abolish but to fulfill:

Matthew 5: 17 Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot (words/commands) and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P'rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Has everything happened that must happen? Have heaven and earth passed away yet? If not, then Torah is still valid. When Yeshua said He came to "complete"; it did NOT mean "put an end to"....

YOU SAID: What does this represent in light of the holy and most holy places of the temple? Doesn't it mean that at that precise moment, the sacrificial system of feasts and keeping of special sabbaths which foreshadowed the messiah was null and void? This supernatural event had to have some significant meaning concerning the future of the earthly temple/sanctuary.

OUR RESPONSE: In a word: NO! If Yeshua was undoubtedly our FINAL SIN SACRIFICE, how does that render null and void God's original teachings, without which, the world would have no blueprint for moral and Godly living? Please read the following articles which provide in-depth answers to all your questions: