Monday, May 30, 2016

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the "new wine skins" parable?


Matthew 9:17. And they do not place new wine in worn-out wineskins or else the wineskins should rip and the wineskins are destroyed and the wine should pour out. Rather, they place new wine in new wineskins, and both of them are preserved. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE: A Hebrew idiom of the old wineskin refers to an older mature man; old wine refers to the old ideas/doctrines he holds. A new wineskin is a young man; the new wine represents his new ideas. When the old wineskin (a mature man, full of YHWH’s Torah) has new wine put inside of him (man’s new traditions) the wineskin and wine are ruined. Torah is likened to the sweetness of honey but never to new wine.


The new sweet wine is immature wine which is not well aged; therefore, new wine represents teaching or spiritual understanding lacking in substance and maturity. Y’shua alludes to this when He quotes Jeremiah 6:16. Scripture reveals several varieties of “wine” “the wine of trembling” Psalm 60:3; “the wine of violence” Proverbs 4:17; “the wine of the condemned” Amos 2:8; “wine of wrath” Revelation 14:8; “wine of her fornication” Revelation 17:2.

Neither does “new wine” represent the Renewed Covenant; Y’shua’s teaching makes such an association impossible: “And no one after drinking the old wine wants the new, for they say, the old is better,” Luke 5:39. When religious people elevate their “new wine”, “oral law”, or “new theology”, it is imperative to remember that the original Ancient Path is the mature wine!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why God kept His people in the desert for 40 years

One has to wonder why YHWH keeps putting up with mankind.  We see in so many Torah portions how YHWH’s people kept disappointing Him, over and over.  If they weren’t whining and crying about having no meat or fish to eat, and feeling forced to survive on manna (Numbers 11:4-6), then we see them actually saying these very hurtful things that pushed YHWH over the edge and caused Him to decide to stretch the original FOUR years in the wilderness to FORTY (Numbers 14:34)!

Numbers 14:
2 … "We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! 3 Why is ADONAI bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn't it be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 And they said to each other, "Let's appoint a leader and return to Egypt!" (CJB)

Numbers 14: 32 But you, your carcasses will fall in this desert; 33 and your children will wander about in the desert for forty years bearing the consequences of your prostitutions until the desert eats up your carcasses. 34 It will be a year for every day you spent reconnoitering the land that you will bear the consequences of your offenses - forty days, forty years. Then you will know what it means to oppose me! 35 I, ADONAI, have spoken.' I will certainly do this to this whole evil community who have assembled together against me - they will be destroyed in this desert and die there." (CJB)

T
here were actually TEN TIMES in which the Israelites "tested" YHWH (Numbers 14:22).
  Take a look:

1. Lacking trust when at the Red Sea.

Exodus 14: 10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Isra'el looked up and saw the Egyptians right there, coming after them. In great fear the people of Isra'el cried out to ADONAI 11 and said to Moshe, "Was it because there weren't enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the desert? Why have you done this to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we tell you in Egypt to let us alone, we'll just go on being slaves for the Egyptians? It would be better for us to be the Egyptians' slaves than to die in the desert!" 13 Moshe answered the people, "Stop being so fearful! Remain steady, and you will see how ADONAI is going to save you. He will do it today - today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again!

2. Complaining about the bitter water at Marah.

Exodus 15:
23 They arrived at Marah but couldn't drink the water there, because it was bitter. This is why they called it Marah [bitterness]. 24 The people grumbled against Moshe and asked, "What are we to drink?"

3. Complaining of the lack of food in the Desert of Seen.

Exodus 16: 1 They traveled on from Eilim, and the whole community of the people of Isra'el arrived at the Seen Desert, between Eilim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving the land of Egypt. 2 There in the desert the whole community of the people of Isra'el grumbled against Moshe and Aharon. 3 The people of Isra'el said to them, "We wish ADONAI had used his own hand to kill us off in Egypt! There we used to sit around the pots with the meat boiling, and we had as much food as we wanted. But you have taken us out into this desert to let this whole assembly starve to death!"

4. Failing to trust that the next-day's manna would be there and keeping leftovers overnight.

Exodus 16: 19 Moshe told them, "No one is to leave any of it till morning." 20 But they didn't pay attention to Moshe, and some kept the leftovers until morning. It bred worms and rotted, which made Moshe angry at them. 21 So they gathered it morning after morning, each person according to his appetite; but as the sun grew hot, it melted.

5. Collecting Manna on the Sabbath.

Exodus 16: 26 Gather it six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat - on that day there won't be any." 27 However, on the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather and found none. 28 ADONAI said to Moshe, "How long will you refuse to observe my mitzvot and teachings?

6. Complaining over lack of water at Rephidim.

Exodus 17: 1 The whole community of the people of Isra'el left the Seen Desert, traveling in stages, as ADONAI had ordered, and camped at Refidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moshe, demanding, "Give us water to drink!" But Moshe replied, "Why pick a fight with me? Why are you testing ADONAI?" 3 However, the people were thirsty for water there and grumbled against Moshe, "For what did you bring us up from Egypt? To kill us, our children and our livestock with thirst?"

7. Building the Golden Calf to worship.

Exodus 32: 7 ADONAI said to Moshe, "Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! 8 So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have cast a metal statue of a calf, worshipped it, sacrificed to it and said, 'Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'" 9 ADONAI continued speaking to Moshe: "I have been watching these people; and you can see how stiffnecked they are. 10 Now leave me alone, so that my anger can blaze against them, and I can put an end to them! I will make a great nation out of you instead."

8. Complaining at Tav'erah.

Numbers 11: 1 But the people began complaining about their hardships to ADONAI. When ADONAI heard it, his anger flared up, so that fire from ADONAI broke out against them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried to Moshe, Moshe prayed to ADONAI, and the fire abated. 3 That place was called Tav'erah [burning] because ADONAI's fire broke out against them.

9. Complaining of no meat.

Numbers 11: 4 Next, the mixed crowd that was with them grew greedy for an easier life; while the people of Isra'el, for their part, also renewed their weeping and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt - it cost us nothing! -and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, the garlic! 6 But now we're withering away, we have nothing to look at but this man."

10. Failing to trust YHWH's promise to enter the promised land after the bad report from the spies.

Numbers 14: 1 At this all the people of Isra'el cried out in dismay and wept all night long. 2 Moreover, all the people of Isra'el began grumbling against Moshe and Aharon; the whole community told them, "We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! 3 Why is ADONAI bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn't it be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 And they said to each other, "Let's appoint a leader and return to Egypt!"


Yes, it is definitely NOT wise to oppose YHWH!

1 Corinthians 10:11 These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim. 12 Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing up be careful not to fall! 13 No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and God can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.
 

(The above can also be found in Torah portion 37. )

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Atheist insists our website "only works on the weak-minded"....

READER QUESTION:

To whom it concern;

Hello, my name is Brandon. I am 42 years old. I have an amazing wife, three beautiful and well-behaved children, and an oversized St. Bernard canine. I graduated with honors from the University of Illinois and have put my Master's to full use. I have a retirement fund, am zero dollars in debt, and trust funds in full progress for the boys. I donate around 3% of my earnings to random charities and my family helps one day a week at one of the local shelters/pantries.

Our yard is as beautiful as everyone rises in the neighborhood. My wife contributes her time to the well being of others. She is a saint. I love my family more than anything else in the world and would do anything for them. But I'm puzzled. Am I not supposed to be an evil, drug-abusing, homo-loving, devil worshipper??

Point is, I've been an atheist all my life and I'm one of the better people I know. Your website only works on the weak-minded, sir(s). Further e-mail on the subject is recommended. I would love to hear from you why I and my family are doing amazing without religion.

OUR RESPONSE:

The short answer to your question about why you and your family are "doing amazing without religion" is that (1) God is not about "religion" - which is a man-made concept.  It's all about the created beings (us) having a RELATIONSHIP with Him who created everything and who expects people to adhere to HIS perfect rules for living.  And (2)  the fact is, in order to have and lead a life on this planet, one doesn't need "God."  It seems we are all born, live for a while and then we die.  What we do in between is strictly up to us!

Some of us are rich, some are poor, some are in between.  Some are smart, some are stupid, some are educated while others are not.  Some work with their brains while others work with their hands.  Some choose to do well in life, no matter their personal circumstances, while others squander their time sitting around feeling sorry for themselves and blaming everyone else for their plight.  Some do nothing but "exist."  Others constantly search for a meaning to their existence via drugs and alcohol and even "religion"….

You have apparently done very well for yourself and, in your mind, you didn't need any "God."  God wasn't in charge; you were.  And this is true to some extent - except perhaps you really need to begin to ask yourself where you came from, how you got here, and WHY you are even here.  I mean, really THINK about it because, at the end of your life, you will simply die (hopefully later than sooner!) and end up as worm fodder.  Since you have "three beautiful and well-behaved children," your "legacy" will live on … or not, depending on how your kids and grandkids (and on down the line) handle things and live their lives.  What you've slaved for all your life MAY end up being completely wiped out!  You don't know for sure….

You need to begin to ask yourself (or NOT, it's all up to you, whether or not you're truly interested in my response) some serious questions about how the universe and our planet got here, and why.  How is it that our brains are little computers with endless possibilities to plan, reason, figure things out, imagine…on and on.  You have to ask yourself why molecules behave the way they do and why water expands when it freezes (when most liquids become more dense) and why atoms stay together.  Why is our environment to scale (or we to ITS scale)?  Did all these things "just happen" or "evolve" from "space junk."  If so, HOW? 

What is the probability that our world/environment - EVERYTHING - would be "just right" for human life to exist?  And why is it that we humans whom God gave an intellect to, are - because of our refusal to live according to HIS rules - ruining our planet in various ways, poisoning our atmosphere to the point where it's actually changing the weather and causing horrific weather patterns that are literally killing thousands around the world via fires, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanic activity, etc.  Why are we "brilliant humans" killing off the precious, oxygen-giving rain forests, hunting animals to extinction, and causing sea-life to "beach themselves" because we continue to disturb their environment with our machines?  Have you ever researched the history of venereal diseases to find out WHY we now have diseases that are resistant to anti-biotics and, like HIV, will KILL us?  It's because we went against God's desire for man to be monogamous.  Man went ahead and did the very thing God prohibited….And you may chuckle all you like, but truth is truth and facts are facts!

Also, you might be wise if you were to begin asking yourself WHY more than 300 Bible prophecies  have come true (what are the probabilities of that!) and how on earth the Books of Daniel and Revelation have been dead-on accurate in their prophecies about the "end times" - which we are IN right now!  (See End Times Questions

You have to ask yourself how the prophet Isaiah was able to know some 700 years "before Christ" that Israel (which God scattered into the nations for their constant disobedience…which is a historical fact) would one day "become a nation again" and that it "would happen in one day" (which it did in 1948 when God used what Hitler did to make these two end times prophecies come true).  You also need to ask yourself how it can be that the Bible is not a science book, yet it is scientifically accurate….

Astute humans who are tuned in to the world should also ask themselves why God gave His people (which includes ALL who believe in Him) seven Feasts/Appointed Times to celebrate throughout each year (which each having a specific historical AND prophetic meaning); and how it is that Yeshua (whom Christians call Jesus) has so far "fulfilled" FOUR of the 7…with only three more to go.  The last three  will happen very close together, culminating in the event that Christians refer to as "the rapture"), which will kick off the Millennium where Yeshua returns to rule and reign the earth for a thousand years and ALL who were lucky enough to make it through those last seven years BEFORE the "rapture" WILL be "believers" because they will KNOW beyond the proverbial "shadow of a doubt" that EVERYTHING prophesied in Scripture has come to pass, with the "big event" to come at the end of the Millennium when ALL living and all who have ever died will stand before YHWH (God) Himself on what's known as Judgment Day….

Scripture tells us that some will go into "eternal life" with YHWH, while most will simply "be dead" - gone, vanished into nothingness, as if they never existed.  The thing is, before that happens, they WILL know what a huge mistake they've made, and they will suffer greatly because of it via "hell fire"… which is not forever, because they will simply be burned up…but it will seem like an eternity.  (Scripture tells us in the Kingdom of YHWH "time" as we know it is irrelevant (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8).)  Fact is, the answers to the questions you seek can ALL be found in the Bible!

So, yes - you DON'T "need God."  Your earthly life is proof of that fact.  But life itself, along with our "perfect" environment that sustains our life, along with the perfect "mechanism" that runs the entire universe…IS ALSO proof that GOD exists and that there is something greater than us puny human beings who made these things and who keeps the "engine" running smoothly.  The thing is, you have the choice to believe what I've written, or to believe that I'm totally crazy - or not; just like God gave us all the choice to accept HIM and live life according to HIS good will for us - or not!  For more, please check out our discussion with an agnostic who asked similar pertinent questions.

If you are interested, here are some other articles you can read from our website that might help you to view life on earth a little differently:  Science and the Bible and Examining Christianity  containing dozens of articles about how humans have twisted YHWH's Word into what they THINK it meant….beginning with the Israelites who thought they were only to adhere to Torah (God's Divine Instructions in Righteousness/the first five Books of the Bible), and ending up with Christianity which decided Torah was worthless because "Jesus" came to bring "grace and mercy" which supposedly means we can do our own thing, sin at will, etc.,  and still be "forgiven" by God. 

The articles also explain why we have other religions including the demonic Islam which is - just as the Bible predicted - attempting to take over the whole world!  (Whoever would have thought that an entire COUNTRY would empty out its people who are fleeing into Europe by the thousands to escape the tyranny?)  But don't take my word for it - read the Bible once, from cover to cover so you can see for yourself that we're even told HOW Islam started (BECAUSE of our forefather Abraham and his wife Sarah who tried to take matters into their own hands when it came to offspring)....

As to your values of which you are so proud (congratulations!), where did they come from?  No, being an atheist does not make you an evil, drug-abusing, homo-loving, devil worshipper. You've obviously had good influences in your life which molded you into a decent man, again, congratulations.  Nevertheless, your values speak to more than you let on.  I suspect you had some very good, God-fearing people in your life who influenced you greatly.  You internalized the "good" and "wise", actually living much of scripture, yet you reject the idea of a higher power.   Perhaps some day you will come to the next level of wisdom.

Yes, you are certainly free to view us and our readers as "weak-minded"…But are you willing to stake your eternal life on the fact that YOU are "right" while we are "weak-minded" morons who take the Word of God VERY seriously?  It's your choice.  We pray that you will make the one GOD wants you to make!

How can we call Yeshua "Nazarene" when that place didn't exist at the time?


READER QUESTION:   “i was wondering if you knew why it says Y'shua lived in Nazareth when this place did not exist in His time?  I have searched but cannot find a clear answer.” 

OUR RESPONSE:  That is a REALLY good question, and one that  many have probably pondered!  Anyway, we actually answered this in our  Reality Check video #28: 

Title:  Refuting “Jesus can’t be Messiah because there was no Nazareth in Biblical times!”

Today we are continuing with our challenge to some of the teachings of Jewish Rabbis who loudly proclaim that Yeshua and the New Testament are myths.  As believers in Yeshua know, our Messiah was always about Master YHWH.  Always!  He was ONE with the Father, never veering from Torah – YHWH’s Divine Instructions. 

Yet, the "counter-missionary" Jews will fight you to the death to prove otherwise – and if you attempt to show scriptures of ANY kind, they adamantly reject them.  One of their assertions is that there is no scripture suggesting the Messiah would be from Nazareth, or that the Messiah would be referred to as a Nazarene.  “There is none,” they insist, often with a chuckle.

Well - not so fast!  Bear with me now!  Matthew 2:23 tells us Messiah would be called “Nazarene” and the prophet Isaiah gave us a hint about this.  Isaiah 11:1 says:  “But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots.”  Aramaic scholar and author Andrew Gabriel Roth of the website One Faith One People Ministries explains that the word netzer is Hebrew for “young shoot” or “sprout” and it does refer to the Messiah because Isaiah 11, verses 2 through 4 go on to reveal the “spiritual branches” of the Menorah as attributes of Messiah! Even in the Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, recognizes Isaiah 11:1 as a prophecy of the Messiah and renders the word netzer as a branch – netzer being the key to this whole mystery.

Without going into a deep word study – because I am not qualified in that department - other prophets reveal Mashiyach, Messiah, as the “Branch” but use the Hebrew term tzemach, thus eliminating the obvious wordplay by Matthew.  The prophet Daniel uses the word netzer, but not in the context of Messianic prophecy.  Still, netzer is the basis for the name Nazareth, which at that time was a very small village in the Land of Israel.

Here is what Andrew Gabriel Roth wrote concerning this issue:
Y’shua (as opposed to "Jesus") means "Yahweh is salvation". It is the shortened form of YEHOSHUA (Joshua in English, again, not "Jesus"). Moshe told the nation that THE PROPHET would come after him that the people must listen to, so is it any coincidence that THE PROPHET has the SAME NAME as Moshe's successor?

In Zechariah 6:1-12 we are told (actually starting in chapter 3, and then into 6) that the high priest and his colleagues are "symbols of things to come" and of the high priest, "here is the man WHOSE NAME IS THE BRANCH", not that he IS the branch, but his NAME is the branch.

Well, it so happens that Messiah is from "Branch City", NETZER-ET (Nazareth), and Messiah is called the RIGHTEOUS BRANCH (see Isaiah 11:1-2 and Jeremiah 23:5-6). So the name of the branch and the name of the Messiah are ONE AND THE SAME, and the name of the high priest? YEHOSHUA! Fast forward 500 years later and the Hebrew dialect changed to shorten the name to Y'shua.

This is an integral part of Messianic prophecy. In Exodus 23:20-22 YHWH warns the Israelites of a messenger who will lead them. He gives a proviso for this messenger: He will NOT forgive your sin. Now why say this? Has any “messenger” EVER been able to forgive sin? No, but as Y'shua said, "Which is easier to say? That your sins are forgiven or to the paralyzed, "Arise and walk, take up your pallet and go home? BUT SO YOU WILL KNOW THE SON OF MAN HAS THE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS, I say, Arise and walk." (See Daniel 7:1-14).

In Hebrew the word for MESSENGER--malakh--can also be pointed to mean MELECH (king). This is a remez (a hint).

Andrew Roth continues by writing:  So, understanding all that, also understand that since only YHWH can forgive sin, Y'shua must be God to do so also, and it is this role conducting YHWH's Ruach that Messiah filtered through his human voice to proclaim YHWH's kingdom on earth. (In other words, the Son of Man/Messiah, is given authority on earth to forgive sin by His Father in a way no angel, prophet or other messenger was.

Such is apparent from Daniel chapter 7 and the two thrones. Y'shua comes in the Name and therefore in the power of his Father but his authority is NOT independent from his Father.)

This messenger/king then COULD forgive sin (or why warn that he won't?), and the reason he can is that, UNLIKE the ANGELS who have only the TITLE of ELOHIM within their own names (such as Gabri-EL, Rapha-EL and Micha-EL), Y’shua HAS THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES within HIS Name - Exodus 23:20-22 says clearly 'FOR MY NAME IS IN HIM".

Yahweh has ONE NAME and there is ONE NAME under heaven by which men are saved, as seen in Acts 4:12. Messiah Y’shua comes in the NAME, and therefore POWER, of his Father YHWH. As the Word of YHWH, He was with the Father in the beginning (John 1:1, 17:5 and Revelation 19:13). The Father gives life to the Son (John 10) and the Son then has the power to lay that life down freely and pick it up again, thus allowing the rest of us access to eternal life.

Y'shua came to bring glory to his Father YHWH, to show the proper interpretation (fulfillment, if you will) of the Torah and to bring Pharisee and tax collector alike back to the WRITTEN CODE of Moshe and away from Oral Law, making statements such as: "You have heard that it was SAID, but I SAY TO YOU....If you believed Moshe, you would have believed me, for he wrote of me, but if you do not believe Moshe, how will you believe what I say?--Did not Moshe give you the Torah? Yet not ONE MAN AMONG YOU KEEPS THE TORAH!")…
So, the Jewish anti-missionaries and their converts can argue against Y’shua and the New Testament all they want, but that won’t change the context of what the WHOLE of the Bible says. I can certainly understand why Judaism rejects the Torah-less “Jesus” described by most of Christianity; but I cannot understand why they would reject “Y’shua!” Consider Exodus 23 verses 20 – 23 where YHWH talks about a special messenger who has HIS Name residing within his own.

This can only be referring to Y’shua because Y’shua is the ONLY Heavenly Being who has YHWH’s Name within His own name!  All the angels/messengers only have His Title (ELOHIM) within their names: Micha-EL, Rapha-El, Gabri-El….)  Please join me next time as we continue to counter some the challenges designed to debunk Y’shua and the New Testament.

We humans can be such whiners.....

You know - we humans can be such whiners and complainers. Regardless of the circumstances, good or bad, we ALWAYS have this terrible tendency to complain. Instead of remembering how GOOD we have it, we will look at the negatives in our lives and then sit around and whine.

This is the way it's always been, though. Our latest Torah portion points out how the Israelites (whom YHWH had painstakingly liberated from Egypt!) angered Him with their complaints about the manna.

Numbers 11:1 And it came to be, when the people were as complainers, it was evil in the ears of יהוה. And יהוה heard it, and His displeasure burned. And the fire of יהוה burned among them, and consumed those in the outskirts of the camp. 2 And the people cried out to Mosheh, and Mosheh prayed to יהוה, and the fire died down.

3 Then he called the name of the place Taḇʽĕrah, because the fire of יהוה had burned among them. 4 And the mixed multitude who were in their midst lusted greatly, so the children of Yisra’ĕl also wept again and said, “Who is giving us meat to eat? 5 “We remember the fish which we ate without cost in Mitsrayim, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic,

6 but now our throat is dried up. There is naught to look at but this manna!” 7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like the appearance of bdellium. 8 The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, and cooked it in a pot, and made cakes of it. And its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil.

9 And when the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna fell on it. 10 And Mosheh heard the people weeping throughout their clans, each man at the door of his tent. And the displeasure of יהוה burned exceedingly. And in the eyes of Mosheh it was evil, (ISR)

Instead of remembering that YHWH had liberated them from 400 years of bondage in Egypt and was now feeding everyone supernaturally, they spent their time whining and commiserating about the "good ol' days" when they had plenty of fish and meat to eat! Is it any wonder He became so angry that He gave them so much meat it came out of their nostrils (Numbers 11:20)? It's like He was saying, "I do for you and do for you, and this is how you thank Me?" Ultimately, His anger continued to flare because of their flagrant thanklessness, that in His anger, He decided they needed severe punishment:

Numbers 11:32 The people stayed up all that day, all night and all the next day gathering the quails - the person gathering the least collected ten heaps; then they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still in their mouth, before they had chewed it up, the anger of ADONAI flared up against the people, and ADONAI struck the people with a terrible plague. (CJB)

Truly...we MUST learn to stop the whining, pull ourselves together and actively start doing things HIS way. Torah tells us exactly what His way is...and for those of us who have been Torah observant for awhile, we KNOW what a huge difference it can make in our lives! Halleluyah!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Will an uncircumcised man go to hell?

Every once in awhile someone writes to ask whether uncircumcised men will go to hell. First of all, it's not up to any of us to suggest who will and won't "go to hell." YHWH will decide who gets to spend eternity with Him and who doesn't.  Scripture tells us we are “saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  Works don’t “save” us…. (Please don’t confuse “works” with obedience to YHWH’s Torah – Divine Instructions in Righteousness without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!)

However, the “circumcision” covenant is a “forever” command (Genesis 17:7-14, Exodus 12:48-51); and so if a man refuses to become circumcised, after becoming aware that it is a sign, then who is he really worshiping?  Naturally, the “heart circumcision” must come first as it was with Avraham (Romans 4:11)…It comes the moment we realize that YHWH is the Creator of the Universe and that He sent His divine Son to teach mankind face-to-face and then he martyred himself on our behalf.

Circumcision was to be the permanent sign of the everlasting covenant with Abraham and his male descendants and is known as the brit milah. We learn in scriptures such as Exodus 12:48-50, Numbers 15:13-16 and 1 Corinthians 7:18-19 that all who accept YHWH must do as "His" people do - which means that Gentile men who accept Him as their God must also be circumcised when their heart is fully committed to YWHW. 

Acts 15: 24. We have heard that some men from us went out and confused you with words and have agitated your souls, saying that, You should be circumcised and guard the religious customs,[1] Something that we did not command them. 25. Because of this, we deliberated, all of us, after we gathered together and we chose men and sent them to you with our beloved Paul and Bar-Naba, 26. men who have committed their souls for the sake of the Name of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach. (AENT) 

FOOTNOTE: The word namusa generally means “Torah” but by context of usage may also mean “custom.” When namusa stands alone in a sentence it usually means Torah. Jeremiah 9 specifically says that circumcision in the flesh (because it is a local custom in Edom, Moab, Egypt) does not satisfy Covenantal obligation with YHWH; moreover, circumcision in the flesh alone profits nothing. Unless a person plans to live an upright life to establish his circumcision, it is an effort in futility. Awraham was circumcised at age 99 after receiving the commandment directly from YHWH; therefore, each adult also must first be called and agree to enter into Covenant with YHWH.

The Shlichim/Apostles did not require or demand circumcision for new converts without first the study-faith context and intent of the heart. To be circumcised before having FAITH in YHWH was contrary to the halakha (way to walk) of Y’shua and the Netzarim, but not contrary to the Oral Law and customs of the Pharisees. New converts to Y’shua from the sect of the Pharisees were attempting to bring their customs into the Body of Mashiyach, which was and is unacceptable.
Many will insist that circumcision was only for the Jews.  Says who?  Since we are “one in Messiah” (Romans 2:5, Galatians 3:28) and YHWH commanded ALL who accepted Him to be Torah observant (Numbers 15:13-16).  That didn’t change with the death of Yeshua!

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.


Friday, May 6, 2016

A word to those who feel they are “too holy” to vote

I have to be honest here – I am getting really tired of people insisting they’re not going to vote at all because they don’t want to vote for “the lesser of two evils!” This happens during every election. "I'm not voting for 'the lesser of two evils', and besides God is in charge!" My goodness, “Lesser of two evils” is just a colloquialism and does not actually mean we are choosing between "evils". We live in and must deal with this “lost world” and to do NOTHING about a situation is the SAME as doing evil...Let me explain:

We live in "Babylon"....The whole world is Babylon! We can't just sit and do nothing; we must choose leaders or else there will be constant chaos. That is simply a fact of life. Unfortunately, most leaders aren't into YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. There’s nothing we can do about that except to make OUR voices heard. But they can't be heard if you stay at home and sit on Election Day because you feel you are "too holy" to get involved.

“I’m not voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ because God wouldn’t approve.” Well, you know what? He doesn’t approve of your lethargy, either! After all, this is why abortions are a “right” today and why “gay marriage” is all the rage – because not enough of YHWH’s people opened their mouths to protest these things! Evil prevailed BECAUSE “good men did nothing!” YHWH can’t use you for His Glory if you don’t open your mouth in protest AGAINST evil...whatever it takes; whatever the cost....

Not bothering to go to the voting booth to vote for the rest of the people who are running for various offices is basically "doing nothing" to prevent the rest of the population from CHOOSING poor candidates. By NOT voting at all (you can, in many states, write in a candidate!) you are, in essence allowing the clueless and godless people of the USA to make ALL the decisions. Is that what you really want?

That is, after all, how Obama got into office and consequently, the USA has become the laughingstock of the world and viewed as weak and insignificant. I distinctly remember during BOTH times he was voted in, the “too holy to vote” types were busy coercing others to not vote, by guilting them into thinking they would upset YHWH by voting for “the lesser of two evils.”

Well, thanks to those who DIDN’T vote against Obama, we have ISIS running all over the Middle East killing everyone who crosses their paths - because ISIS was just waiting in the wings for the US leave the Middle East! Thanks to those who DIDN’T vote against Obama, abortion is “no big deal” today and "gay marriage" is considered the norm - remember Obama SAID these things were GOOD! The moment he opened his mouth about it, the snowball left the Oval Office and headed downhill and now we are fighting to keep "confused men" out of America's Ladies Rooms!

Things are so upside-down now BECAUSE “good” people refuse to get involved. YHWH’s people have volunteered no voice and they are being subjugated and viewed as the enemy now BECAUSE they stay at home and don’t vote! They’re forever “taking a back seat” and keeping their mouths shut while the BAD and ungodly elbow their way to the front to make THEIR voices heard!

We have not only all those who voted FOR Obama to thank for the ultimate mess the United States has become...BUT ALSO those who refused to get their duffs out there to vote AGAINST him 8 years ago! ("Oh, I'M not going to vote for the lesser of two evils because GOD is in charge!" Yes, He is! But the world is not IN Torah, and it's up to us to be that small, still voice trying to GET PEOPLE TO SEE what YHWH commands, and how we COULD get on the "right track" IF we would only stop doing things "our way.")

Doing NOTHING is how Hitler was able to get away with killing six million of YHWH's people! Many people KNEW (they could smell the stench from the ovens in their towns and villages!), as did Hitler's officers - but they did NOTHING. God was in charge back then, too, was He not? And, still, six million died! Folks, He ALLOWS us to do whatever we want! He EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE to not only LIVE IN TORAH but also to open their mouths AGAINST EVIL - whatever it takes! Doing nothing is COWARDLY!

Yes, YHWH IS in charge, but WE LIVE IN BABYLON and HAVE to deal with it. Our job is to speak out AGAINST evil in whatever way we can - which includes GOING to the voting booth and voting - even if it is to write in a candidate. NOT do so, is to allow the godless of America to make ALL our decisions for us! How can you throw any crowns at Yeshua's feet if you never earned any for yourself?

In closing, I'm not going to vote for either the screeching Hillary or the cussing, loud-mouthed, megalomaniac schoolyard bully, Donald. However, I WILL be going to the voting booth to VOICE MY OPINION by voting for or writing in another candidate, AND to vote for the rest of those who are running for various offices. As Americans that is not only our RIGHT but also our obligation!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

If you keep doing what you've been doing.....

I used to be a facilitator for a church’s quarterly “Singles Adjustment Seminar” designed to help newly divorced and widowed people cope with their sudden “single” status.  One of the things we kept reminding people of was: “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re gonna keep getting what you got.”  Simple and straightforward, it meant, if you’re a drug, food/sugar or sex addict or an alcoholic – or whatever addictions or habits you have allowed to rule your life and make you miserable – and you refuse to “kick” the habit/addiction by whatever means possible, then you should expect NOTHING to change.  Ever.  

Before I go on, I have a confession to make:  I personally am a “sugar junkie” who constantly has to employ some MAJOR willpower to not eat cookies or cake and junk on a daily basis.  I KNOW it’s NOT easy to say “no” to yourself!  The only things that keep me from over-doing the sweets is to make sure I don’t bring them home from the grocery store (for I know  those things will call to me from the cupboard and cause me to stumble!); AND to remind myself that my body is YHWH’s Temple and I have the privilege of caring for it.  It’s truly a delicate balance to make the decision to give in to “self” (and thereby risk my health) or make HIM proud of me.

YHWH has, through Scripture, shown us EXACTLY how to live a holy/set apart life for Him.  If you’ve fallen off His Path, then you need to come to the conclusion that it’s up to YOU to get back on that Path!  You can’t continue to blame others for your failures; and you need to teach yourself to stop making excuses such as, “Well, I CAN’T quit!” or “I’ve tried, but it didn’t work!” or whatever -  because with God, ANYTHING is possible!  All you’re doing is sabotaging yourself (and maybe even heading for suicide, depending on your habit/addiction) by making endless excuses for your behavior…and you need to take some time to sit down and ask yourself:  WHERE is this behavior coming from?  Why do I have a rage/anger problem that drives others away?  Why do I feel the need to drink/do drugs/eat so much on a daily basis?  Why do I constantly seek new sex partners?   Why, why, WHY?  Be brutally honest with yourself for once, even if it hurts and then DECIDE to make a change! 

KNOWING “why” is the most important key to helping yourself stop the behavior.  Getting to the “root” cause is like peeling back the layers of an onion; it can take time and there might be some really painful layers to peel off and toss away.  The thing is, you can choose to stay in the rut you’re in, OR – with God’s help – FACE your past and kick the root cause out of your life so that it will no longer have a strangle hold on you. There are all kinds of programs today for all kinds of addictions and habits that need to be broken, so why not take advantage of them? 

Don’t allow the enemy to make you miserable anymore.  Pray for guidance.  Those who diligently seek WILL find an answer (Matthew 7:7)!  YHWH answers prayers in all kinds of ways including through Scripture, prayer, pastors/rabbis and other believers.  Try to be aware of the many ways He can reach you.  You’ll be glad you did! 

John 8:43  Because of what reason do you not comprehend my word?  Because you are not able to hear my word!  44 You are from the accusing father.  And the lusts of your father you want to do, who from the beginning killed men.  And he does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a falsehood from himself, he speaks because he is a liar, even its father!  45 But because I speak truly, you do not believe me!   46 Who among you rebukes me concerning sin?  And if I speak the truth, why do you not believe me?   47 He who is from Elohim hears the words of Elohim.  Because of this you do not hear because you are not from Elohim! (AENT) 

2 Timothy 2:15. And study to present yourself before Elohim perfectly, a laborer who is not ashamed, one who correctly announces the Word of Truth.  (AENT) 

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you.  Seek, and you will find.  Knock, and it will be opened to you.  8 For anyone that asks will receive, and that seeks, will find.  And to him that knock, it will be opened to him.

2 Corinthians 4:4. To them whose minds the god of this world has blinded, in order that they might not believe, or else the light of the Flame (Good News) of the glory of the Mashiyach (who is the likeness of Elohim) should dawn upon them.  5. For it is not ourselves that we preach, but the Mashiyach, Y’shua our Master;[1] and, as to ourselves, that we are your servants for Y’shua’ sake.  6. Because Elohim, who commanded the light to arise from darkness, has Himself shined in our hearts, that we might be illuminated with the knowledge of the glory of Elohim on the face of Y’shua the Mashiyach.[2]  

7. But we have this treasure in an earthen vessel that the excellence of the power might be from Elohim, and not from us.  8. And in everything we are oppressed, but not suffocated; we are corrected, but not condemned;  9. We are persecuted, but not forsaken; we are prostrated, but not perish.  10. For we bear in our body, at all times, the dying of Y’shua; that the life also of Y’shua might be manifested in our body.  11. For if we are delivered over alive to death, for Y’shua’s sake, even so also will the life of Y’shua be manifested in this our mortal body.  12. Now therefore, in us death is active, but in you, life.  (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1]   Just as Y’shua spoke in his Father’s Name, so does Paul speak in the name of Y’shua Mashiyach.  Paul’s authority was not on the basis of his own name.  Neither was Paul given any authority to do away with Torah; this is simply a Pagan or Hellenistic ideology that is projected upon Paul.

[2]  This verse strengthens the idea that the glory of Elohim is “reflected” in Y’shua’s face.