Sunday, May 21, 2017

Becoming Torah observant is a process….

Every once in a while someone will ask how I became Torah observant. Well, the bottom line is, it was a progressive thing. that started back in 1995 when I began to read my way through the Bible as a “baby Christian.” The more I read and the more I heard my pastor's sermons on Sunday mornings, the more I realized "something didn't sound right." What I was reading, and what I was hearing in church didn't always seem to mesh.

For instance, I kept wondering why anyone would think that God has different rules for different people and why people would veer away from His Divine Instructions and come up with different “religions.” His Rules weren’t “religion!" He’s very clear that ALL who accept Him are to do exactly as HIS people do (“His people” = not just “the Jews” but all of the 12 tribes who stood before Him at the foot of Mount Sinai).

What many also seemed to overlook, was that those 12 tribes didn’t consist of just “the Jews”; they included many of the ger (foreigners) who had followed Moshe out of Egypt (Exodus 12:38) and had accepted YHWH as their ELOHIM! And to them, He basically said (four times in a row), “Obey My Divine Instructions as there is no difference between you and My ‘natural children.’” (Numbers 15:13-16)

Part of my growth in the knowledge of Scripture also came from watching “televangelists” and their antics. At first, I was mesmerized, hoping to learn and glean and grow from these "learned men" and their seminary backgrounds. But the more I read my way through the Bible, the more I realized that these guys hadn’t a clue!

Every “denomination” seemed to have its own thing going, including that “prosperity guru” Dr. Robert Schuller, of “The Hour of Power” whose sole goal was to show you that “Gawd wants to prosper you!” (Meaning, financially.) However, everything I saw in Scripture about “prosperity” had little to do with MONEY; rather, with knowledge of YHWH and His Rules!

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you

I watched several "televangelists" every Sunday morning after church … but what finally "drove me over the edge" was Kenneth Copeland's assertion that “God is 6’2 and looks just like us.” My jaw dropped as he continued with something similar to this: "If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike....If you stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and act and sound exactly alike....The image is that they look just alike, but the likeness is that they act alike and they are alike....All of God's attributes, all of God's authority, all of God's faith, all of God's ability was invested in that man." (Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer IV (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0304).

I’ll be honest: THAT did it! THAT is when I began to view Christian pastors in a completely different light. From then on, I prayed hard on a daily basis to be shown TRUTH. And what I was shown was that most weren’t about Him; they were all about their own "interpretations" (just like in the Messianic and Hebrew Roots "movements" today!) and the money they could rake in with their sensationalistic GARBAGE and “ear tickling” messages!

And so, I became more determined than ever to discover YHWH’s TRUTH! I literally laid face-down on the floor and begged him to show me HIS Truth….

And He did – by causing me to sell my house and all my possessions and moving to Colorado where He then caused me to end up in a Messianic Torah study that “blew my socks off.”

And then He caused me to quickly realize that, that particular "rabbi" was also off the mark in many ways – especially when he started his little tradition of “wrapping people in ancient scrolls” and telling them they were now “surrounded by the Word of God.” What BLASPHEMY!!!

That was how I began to figure out that, wherever MEN were, lies and arrogance and self-serving “teachings” were bound to follow. I had witnessed it in some Christian “denominations”; and now I was seeing it in the “Messianic and Hebrew Roots Movements,” as well. All the various teachers got SOME things "right" but ultimately, they ALWAYS ended up veering off the Path, toward their own agendas....

So, really, with all the different flavors of "religiosity" and "ear tickling" stuff mired in falsehoods, it's no wonder many decide to "reject Jesus" altogether, and flock to the counter-missionary rabbis. It's no wonder some either return to Christianity or become atheists. Only those who are discerning and who READ and STUDY Scripture and find solid, on-the-mark teachers who do their best to teach "sola scriptura," can slog their way through the "muck" as they continue to pray about, and cling to YHWH's Truth!

Anyway, although I became "fed up" with all the "noise" - unlike many, I didn’t allow “mere men” (or women) to turn me off toward YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. YHWH’s Truth IS THE ONLY TRUTH, and no matter how many ways some people attempt to twist it, His Truth remains, unscathed!

Our job as human beings is really very simple: To get ourselves RIGHT with Him and read His Word which (1) shows us how to live in this fallen world, (2) while preparing us to die ... because it is in death we will escape the chains of sin and be lifted out of the muck and mire. Life after this "blip on earth" is the REAL goal.

Scripture says so:

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The “Torah” fence

A mini-lesson:

Our little fur-person, Dallas, has a tiny, postage stamp, fenced-in yard consisting of just a few wires Bill fastened to some rebar posts. He could get out if he wanted to by simply jumping the short fence, but luckily for us, he’s a coward. He also won’t even go near the heat vents in the house, because they’re apparently too scary and weird.

Anyway, that little fence is kind of like our dog’s “Torah.” As long as he stays within its boundaries, he’ll be safe. In that little yard, he’s close to the house and we can keep an eye on him through the French door.

But if he were to ever escape and run up the hill into the woods, he would run the risk of becoming a meal for any number of predators, including a bear, lynx, or coyote. If he decided to run down the hill and across the properties of two of our neighbors, he would end up on a fairly busy highway. He would face possible danger even if he were to simply trot down our driveway toward the mail box, because he would end up on the road that snakes through our neighborhood where many don’t bother to follow the speed limit.

I shudder to think what would happen if he were to make it all the way to the freeway which is approximately a mile away….

What I’m getting at is that YHWH gave us Torah to keep us safe from this fallen world. Adam and Eve were safe in the Garden until they decided to break just one little rule. Suddenly, they found themselves outside of their safe haven, in a “fallen world” where hard work, pain, sickness and death ruled … where jealousy, greed, drunkenness, lewdness, arrogance, fornication and adultery and all manner of vileness lay in wait as the world’s population began to grow.

In our “fallen world,” we aren’t guaranteed health, wealth or riches or anything else our carnal selves desire. But when we belong to YHWH, we have shalom in knowing that, no matter what else happens, YHWH is with us, guiding and teaching and allowing us to grow in knowledge of Him; we have His Divine Rules for holy living which serve to make our earthbound existence smoother … and, of course, we have the assurance of eternal life.

The moral of the story? If Dallas dares to jump over his “Torah” fence that keeps him safe, he will mostly likely lose his life. If YHWH’s people jump their Torah “fence” the world will close in and cause them to lose not only their “way” but possibly, their eternal life…. (See Romans 1:18-32; Numbers 15: 30; Hebrews 6:4-8 and 10:26-27; 2 Peter 2: 19-21; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10; Deuteronomy 7: 9-10, Revelation 3:16, etc.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thoughts on the erroneous concept of the “Trinity”

Christians learn the doctrine of the “Trinity” which states there is one God who exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To defend the concept of the Trinity they cite a number of scriptures from the Bible in an attempt to define how it is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be understood to be “persons”, with a mind, a will, emotions, a voice, etc. (Before I continue, let me clarify that my issue with “Trinity” is not with the word “persons” though I find the concept that God and the Holy Spirit could be “persons” a bit funny. Yeshua, on the other hand, was a person, a very special person, but that’s not my subject. My issue with “Trinity” is more fundamental.)

One article I read says “The concept of the Trinity is so basic that if you miss it, you miss all of Christianity. The doctrine of the Trinity is the great Christian distinctive. It separates Christianity from all other beliefs.” This article goes on to say that Christian faiths which do not hold to the doctrine of the Trinity are “aberrations from the faith”! As with all attempts to explain “Trinity”, this author, too, proceeds to try to convince the reader that the Holy Spirit is a “person”. Drawing on scriptures, the author attempts to show that the Holy Spirit speaks, is self-aware, has feelings and can be sad, loves, has a will, can be offended, and can be lied to. Thus the reader is to be convinced that the Holy Spirit has all these human characteristics, those characteristics of a physical person, therefore the Holy Spirit is also a person. QED.

But scripture says that God cannot be described or compared to anything! Isaiah 40:18 says: “With whom, then, will you compare God? By what standard will you evaluate him?” Saying “God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” is levying on God a comparison to a person! What an insult to God! But even that is not my central problem with the “Trinity”. My issue is much more involved:

Scripture right away reveals that God is Spirit! It is not a “new” concept to Christianity! Genesis 1:2 “and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water”. The English phrase “Spirit of God” is from the Hebrew “Ruach Elohim”. Right away we have an understanding problem because in English the word “Spirit” carries a connotation not found in the Hebrew word “Ruach”. To an English speaker, the word “spirit” conveys a manifestation of the “soul” of a person and in Christianity a person’s “soul” or “spirit” is assumed to “live on” – as a person - after bodily death. So in English, “Spirit of God” immediately sounds like something entirely separate from God, a separate “entitiy”, thus, the phrase “Spirit of God” (and later, “Holy Spirit” found in most English Bibles) becomes mistakenly understood as a separate “form” of God.

But in Hebrew, the phrase “Ruach Elomin” was never intended to convey a separate “entity”! The Hebrew Ruach is a far more complex word than the English “spirit”! The depth of the meaning of “ruach” is determined by the thing it is associated with! In Genesis 6:17, for example, “ruach chay’im” is translated into English as “breath of life”, while the meaning of “ruach chay’im” is actually far deeper. The verse actually is saying that the flood would destroy those living things on the surface of the earth with (a) “ruach” – that is, the “essence” which makes it “alive” or more importantly, makes it “a life”, would be taken. So the English “breath” actually “dumbs-down” the significance of the Hebrew “ruach”. Similarly, in Genesis 8:1, “ruach” is translated into English as “wind”: “so God caused a wind to pass over the earth,...”. The scripture actually reads: “…vi’yah’aver Elohim Ruach ha’aretz…” or in English “…the Ruach of Elohim passed over the earth…”! It was not just “a wind”! It was the Ruach!

Yeshua did not “invent” or “reveal” an unknown 3rd person or entity when he said in John 14: “15. [Yeshua speaking] If you love me, keep my Commandments. 16. And I will ask of my Father and He will give you another Redeemer who will be with you forever.” (Some versions say “Counselor, the Spirit of Truth” here instead of “Redeemer”.) Yeshua simply informed the disciples of the pre-existence of “Spirit of Truth” (Holy Spirit) that would be made available to them so they could worship God spiritually and truly (John 4:23-24), provided they be the faithful obedient! In fact, Yeshua goes on to explain: “23…He who loves me keeps my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and we will make a dwelling with him. 24. But he who does not love me will not keep my word and this word that you hear is not mine; rather, it is of the Father who sent me. 25. These things I have spoken among you while I am with you. 26. But the Redeemer, the Ruach haKodesh, the One whom my Father will send in my name will teach you everything. And He will remind you of everything that I said to you.” The description uses personal pronouns to attempt to describe the presence of the Ruach in a person, but the pronouns do not imply a “person” called the Ruach! Remember Isaiah 40:18 - God can’t be described!

Numbers 23:19 discusses God’s essence by contrasting Him with mortal men: “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.” The Bible sometimes refers to God and the Ruach as if “He” has a body. This is called anthropomorphism - a way of describing God with anatomical or emotional terms so that humans can better understand. (See Isaiah 59:1 which mentions God’s “hand” and “ear”; 2 Chronicles 16:9 speaks of God’s “eyes”; Matthew 4:4 puts words in God’s “mouth.” In Deuteronomy 33:27 God has “arms.” Etc. NONE of these “qualities” make YHWH or the Ruach a “person”!

Indeed, when Yeshua says that He spoke the words of His Father, that this Ruach (Holy Spirit) which would be available to them, He just reconfirmed the entire Tanakh, which revealed that God is one, there is only ONE God, that He, God, is the savior and the redeemer! There was no such thing as the “Trinity” at this time when Yeshua was explaining these things to the disciples about the Ruach! There was only God, YHWH, who had said all along that HE would save and He would redeem! (Isaiah 49:26, Isiah 60:16, Isaiah 63:8, Hosea 13:4). How did Christianity turn this into “God in three persons”? It is GOD, it has always been GOD, and always will be GOD, not “God in three persons”!

So here is my “doctrine”:
  1. There is only one GOD, YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are to have no other gods. (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 4:35, 5:7, and others).
  2. To live forever in the Kingdom, we must take YHWH as our God, and we must accept that Yeshua, the human (person), Messiah, with a divine qnoma/nature, was the blood substitute for our sins, died for us so we could be eligible for that eternal life. (John 17:2-3, and others).
  3. To receive the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) as Yeshua promised, to be taught everything, we must obey the commandments of God, as Yeshua said in John 14:15-26. (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
  4. If we don’t live by the commandments then we have “thrown away” this gift of eternal life, and the Ruach cannot teach us because the Ruach won’t reside within us if we choose to be “unclean” and live unclean lives. (Hebrews 10:26, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This is established by the fact that unclean people are not permitted in God’s presence. (For example: Leviticus 15:31, Numbers 19:20, 2 Chronicles 23:19).
  5. We remain responsible to “maintain” our worthiness to receive the promised everlasting life in the Kingdom. It is NOT a “given” as misunderstood by the isolated verse John 3:16! John goes on to say that: “3:18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God's only and unique Son. 19 ‘Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked.’” This “maintenance” is not “works”! We don’t “earn our way to the Kingdom”! (Romans 2:13-15). We express our love for YHWH through our obedience to His commandments. (James 2:17-18). Our obedience to YHWH’s commandments is the only way we have to become and remain holy people (1 Peter 1:16), and being holy is the only way to remain a worthy vessel in which the Ruach can reside. (Why would the Ruach Elohim want to dwell within a filthy human body?)
  6. How we are to live our lives is provided for us by Torah. Simple. Torah is not “Law” as many have been taught and living by Torah is not “legalism”. YHWH gave us good instruction (Torah) and we are not to forsake it. (Proverbs 4:2). (Many argue that no one can keep all of the Torah, saying therefore, none of it must be kept.  But I argue, not all of the Torah ever applied to me, and what applies to me, I most certainly can keep!)
Back to “Trinity”, the central doctrine of Christianity is that of “grace” and “once saved always saved” and (quoting John 14:16): “Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever” (forgetting that Jesus also said just moments earlier in the same chapter “If you love me, you will keep my commands”). Thus the idea of the “Trinity” actually waters-down scripture and hides what scripture actually says. What good does it do to run around, living one’s daily life shouting “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” when living carnally, denying that God’s commandments apply to you, daily negating the gift of the Son (can He die for you more than once?), and being so unclean the Holy Spirit can be found nowhere near you?

So you may ask “Why baptize in the ‘Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’ ”? (Matthew 28:19). Well, it’s not to glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as 3 individuals!  It is to imbue the recipient of the baptism with the knowledge that the Father is their God – there is no other; that their life has been redeemed by the shed blood of the Son on their behalf (washing them of their sins to that point in their lives – a gift not to be trifled); and now, living holy lives without willful sin, the Holy Spirit (the Ruach actually) can reside within them continually teaching them.

So that is why I can’t accept the “Trinity” as a doctrine. It literally denies that there is ONE GOD, implies there are “3 persons of God” (therefore limiting God) and leads to a denial of individual responsibility to live a holy life worthy of the gift of eternal life and worthy of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to receive the education Yeshua promised.

I believe that contrary to the idea that the “doctrine of the Trinity is the great Christian distinctive”, I find instead that the doctrine of the Trinity, has for countless millions, for hundreds of years, obscured the true understanding of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit with a misleading message.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A word for those who didn’t have a “rosy” childhood….

Well, with Mothers Day now starting to grind to a halt shortly, I would like to post something for those who become sad or angry about "Mothers" or "Fathers" Day, for whatever reason. I want you to know there are some of us who understand that many do NOT have happy childhood memories, and that these special days honoring our parents are extremely PAINFUL. I'm actually one of those people....

For those who don't know my story, I'm among those who has never had children BECAUSE of my rotten childhood. You see, I was a sexually abused baby, child and teenager. I hated my mother (a prostitute in Germany) who gave me away at birth and then had to get me back when I was almost 9, because she couldn't leave Germany with her new American husband, unless all the kids she had given away, were adopted. (There were 3 of us.)

I was living with welfare parents who couldn't adopt me, and so I ended up being yanked out of my loving (albeit, poor) foster home and taken away to America and dumped into a third-grade classroom, not speaking a word of English. There never was any explanation as to why she gave me away; just an uncaring "deal with it" attitude.

Her new American soldier husband (the second of 8!) was a raving pedophile who sexually abused me from age 9 until she divorced him when I was 14. My life was an absolute living hell.

It was no secret that my mother hated me; she treated me like her little slave, "chief cook and bottle washer" and baby sitter for her other kids. She never had any praise for me; only negativity and put-downs that have kept me feeling worthless and ugly to this very day!

I truly HATED her until her untimely death at age 45. Once she was gone, however, I realized that, if nothing else, she was my mother and it was because of her that I was here ... even though she had tried to abort me with a knitting needled. (I still have the scar on my nose as proof...)

As soon as I graduated from High School, I joined the Army, in hopes of leaving my horrific life behind...but satan has a way of keeping you on that "merry-go-round rut" from which there is no escape....

I finally DID escape after my Army retirement at the ripe ol' age of 44, ONLY because, unbeknownst to me, YHWH had kept me on a narrow path that led straight to Him. Suddenly, my life was turned upside-down (in a good way!) and I ultimately found that elusive PEACE I had so desperately been searching for all my life - a peace that allowed me FINALLY unhook myself from the memories of my unloving, self-centered mother and all her husbands, and my entire horrible mess of a past!

That peace came when I realized how utterly LOST my mother had been - and that she was lost BECAUSE of all the curses in her bloodline and sins that had been passed down through the generations. I wept not only for her, but for myself for having been smart enough to NOT have my own children, who would surely have been touched by those same curses! (Three of my four half-brothers on my mother's side, had children who have, in one way or another, been affected by those curses....) In other words, that proverbial curses "buck" in my life, stopped with ME! Halleluyah!

And so I stopped hating mother and prayed that she "got saved" before her death in 1977. As for my supposedly "Christian" pedophile adoptive father - I let go of my hatred for him, as well, because I know he WILL stand before YHWH on Judgment Day to explain himself....He's simply not my problem anymore. My focus is on YHWH and how HE caused me to remain "sane" enough to be able to find my way to Him! Everything else is really irrelevant, in the grand scheme of things.

Today, I always tell people, no matter what your relationship with your parents is, LET GO, and just HONOR them because they're the reason you're here. You don't have to love them or even like them, but you do have "honor them." according to Scripture. Concentrate your efforts on YHWH/Yeshua/Torah and don't give in to satan's attempts to keep you in the past. The past is gone and the future is in the Kingdom. What you do TODAY will impact that future, so be very careful to immerse and surround yourself with YHWH's life-giving Torah.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, (ESV)

Genesis 19:26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (ESV)

Isaiah 43:18-19: Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (ESV)

Possessions are just temporary things….

Hey, guess what, everybody! I recently discovered that I have a “Jessica Simpson” purse – wooohoo! I don’t know who the heck Jessica Simpson is (and don’t really care – I just happened to like this purse I saw at a half-off sale a few weeks ago).

But one of the assistants at my dentist’s office immediately recognized it for what it was, and excitedly informed me that I was the proud owner of a “Jessica Simpson” purse. Until then, I had never even checked the label on the back, because – honestly – I’m not impressed by “name brands.” (I don't impress easily.)

And so, while the dental assistant was going on and on about my beautiful purse, I found myself saying a silent prayer that YHWH would open her eyes to Himself and the blessings HE had in store for those who were willing to drop the temporary “stuff” of this world, and follow the example of His Divine Messiah.

Rom 12:1 I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim. (ISR)

This world and all that’s in it, is just a temporary dwelling place; a “classroom” for YHWH’s people to learn about Him and His Word; a place designed to prepare us for the Kingdom. It was never meant to become a breeding ground for men to pound their chests about their accomplishments. It was always all about giving glory to our Creator who gave us the intelligence to accomplish whatever we set our minds to....

My “Jessica Simpson” purse will wear out one day and end up – like ALL our possessions – in a pile of rubble. Sure, it’s nice to have while it lasts, and I’m thankful for the means to have it and for the hands that made it. But, in the grand scheme of things, it's just a nice thing to own for awhile, as I keep in perspective that, without YHWH's grace, love and mercy, I wouldn't have ANYTHING!

Ever since I "got saved," my mind has been totally focused on the Kingdom and how many I can reach for YHWH between now and the time I finally get to stand in His Presence. Nothing else matters to me ... least of all, some "name brand" something or other.

I pray that the dental assistant who was gushing over my purse will soon come to the same revelation.

Luke 12: 15 Then to the people he said, "Be careful to guard against all forms of greed, because even if someone is rich, his life does not consist in what he owns." …. 33 Sell what you own and do tzedakah -- make for yourselves purses that don't wear out, riches in heaven that never fail, where no burglar comes near, where no moth destroys. 34 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also. (CJB)

1 John 2: 15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; 16 because all the things of the world - the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life - are not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God's will remains forever. (CJB)

Proverbs 23:17 Don't envy sinners, but follow the example of those who always fear God; 18 for then you will have a future; what you hope for will not be cut off. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 10:7 Don't be idolaters, as some of them were… (CJB)

Matthew 6:19-33 19 "Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. 20 Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. (CJB – Please read verses 21-33 for some eye-opening truth!)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Many seem to have comprehension issues….

Part of the reason some are "rejecting Jesus" and the entire New Testament is because they never understood/comprehended the NT, in the first place. (Some have admitted they've never even READ the Bible, except for a few snippets; yet they're in counter-missionary Facebook groups, mouthing off about how they now "have finally found the truth.")

Facebook (actually, the entire Internet) reeks with people who believe themselves to be teachers when, in fact, they have all sorts of misunderstandings about Scripture. Take this comment, for instance:

"Why believe Paul when he's clearly teaching contrary to Yeshua's pro-Torah message?"

GARBAGE! That statement is completely false! Paul, NEVER taught against Torah! Please read these two articles to get an inkling as to why that statement is totally ludicrous.  Paul’s writings have been misinterpreted and What does Galatians really say?

Internet (especially Facebook) "teachers" are leading each other astray. So, instead of clinging to what others tell you, why not read the ENTIRE BIBLE yourself, so that you can at least be knowledgeable enough to be able to discern good from bad teachings?

A word about Obama’s latest award

So, Obama got another award. This time it was the Kennedy "Profiles in Courage" award. I'll be honest with you: The ONLY "courage" I ever saw that man display was his "courage" to take on YHWH by promoting "gay marriage" and abortion!

Make no mistake:  Obama WILL stand before YHWH one day, to receive his eternal reward, right after YHWH has gone over his list of deeds … arrogant and carnal deeds that went straight into the face of God!

Take on God, and guess who wins.....

Friday, May 5, 2017

Email exchange with a pastor who is upset over the “woman teacher” here at The Refiner’s Fire

Every once in awhile I receive an email from some man who is offended that I am a woman teacher, and attempts to prove using misapplied scriptures, that I'm sinning. Well, this latest was from a former Baptist pastor (Torah observant "since 2012). Rather than to post the whole exchange, I'll just post for you my response to him. It gets really tiring to have to constantly deal with narrow-minded men who find their way to Torah, yet continue to hang onto their former "denomination's" theology and misinterpretation of Scripture....

Here's my email:

Okay, well, that's just as I thought, Daryl: You're new to Torah, having been mired in "religion" for most of your life, and "whole Truth" didn't occur to you until recently. Yet, in your heart, you're still a Baptist, feeling the need to correct me - when, what you are in essence doing, is not so much "correcting" me, but attempting to thwart YHWH's will for me. After all, Scripture tells us we are "one in Messiah" (Ephesians 2:11-13, Galatians 3:27-29, Romans 12:5), where there is no Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free….

I sent you one of my articles on this subject, but you clearly haven't read it, or else you wouldn't keep trying to shove 1 Corinthians 14:33-37 down my throat. This is evidence that, no matter what biblical proof I can present, and no matter what I say, you will continue to remain in your present belief. Therefore, I'm going to put my FINAL explanation in simpler terms:

First - I truly appreciate your concern, but honestly, you can send me Bible verses from now until Doomsday, and it won't change the fact that I KNOW I was chosen by YHWH to teach the TRUTH of YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. NOBODY will ever take that away from me, including you. My husband, my covering, the love of my life (right beneath my ELOHIM) is fine with me teaching - and that's all that matters.

You see, I don't have a congregation and people are free to take my teachings or leave them. That doesn't change the fact that my spiritual gifts are 100 percent "discernment" and "teaching." Your attempt to douse those gifts - simply because you have a hang-up about women teaching - is an absolute kick in YHWH's Face.

Let's be honest here: MEN, haven’t exactly been doing a great a job at teaching and promoting YHWH's TRUTH, and that's why the world consists of many religions and denominations, and why it is in the horrific shape it's in right now. Like I said before, even Adam - who obviously had some kind of "personal relationship" with God - wasn't "man enough" to adhere to YHWH's divine Instructions, by keeping Eve from messing with the "fruit"…..

In response to this, you wrote: "As far as Adam and Eve goes, considering that Eve was the only woman on earth, so then it's true that Yahweh was speaking to her alone. However, is the mother of all living, so Yahweh was speaking to all women. If she had been faithful, like Sarah was to Abraham, then a faithful woman would be called the daughter of Eve rather than the daughter of Sarah. (1 Peter 3:5-6)"

Well, Daryl, the "if she had been faithful" thing goes both ways, and when you read the rest of the Bible and look around you today at what MAN has done, you will surely see that YHWH hasn't been happy with MAN since the very beginning!

I challenge you to re-read Genesis 2 to see exactly whom YHWH gave His instructions to, and then, compare it with Genesis 3:17, which says: "To Adam he said, "Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, 'You are not to eat from it,' the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live."

Men AND women have been disobedient since the very beginning, and because MEN (the heads of our households and congregations) keep failing and floundering, they have continuously managed to lead the entire world AWAY from YHWH's Divine Instructions, into ruin! This may be why YHWH uses some women in these end times we're in. Please re-read Judges 4 which tells us why YHWH made a WOMAN judge over ALL Israel, which included men….

Not that I have to justify myself to you, but since you felt the need to let me know, in no uncertain terms that I'm supposedly sinning, I'm going to tell you why I feel I was chosen by YHWH to teach:

I was born Jewish through my mother, near the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp right after WWII - but due to circumstances, I was not raised in the faith, nor any other faith, for that matter, and it took me 44 years to finally "come to Christ." Once I did, I finally began to realize that He had been with me all along, and done all sorts of things throughout my life to get my attention, including putting me in a three-week coma at age 21, where I "saw Jesus," who caused me to come out of the coma WITH the knowledge that I had "something to do" for God.

In 1991, He kept the enemy from killing me in a high-speed auto accident on the freeway (how ANYONE in both cars involved remained totally unhurt is beyond me!), and He had His hand on me during all 27 surgeries I've had to endure in my lifetime. He gave me a vision once (just before I "got saved" in January 1995), wherein I felt "held in His arms" while He told me that He had allowed me to go through all the horrific experiences in my life, because He planned on using them for His Glory. (I had NO clue at the time what that meant, but I certainly do now! I did, however, recognize that this vision was a continuation of the coma experience….)

Since then, as a survivor of sexual abuse that started in babyhood, He has used me to help victims of sexual abuse to heal, all while giving Him ALL the Glory because EVERYTHING in life is ALL ABOUT HIM! Halleluyah!

And yet, YOU wish to take all this away from me, simply because I'm a woman….

Well, Daryl, I'm here to say, unlike you and most others mired in religion and religiosity, the Ruach caused me (a "mere woman") to immediately recognize "something was wrong with church teachings." And, unlike you, within 3 ½ years after I "got saved," I was Torah observant - and knew I HAD to share HIS Truth with the world! THAT is just a small part as to how I know I am definitely on YHWH's Path.

You see, I noticed that my Baptist pastor (obviously a MAN) would - whenever I had a question (such as, "Since we're all ONE in Christ, how come WE aren't keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts?") - ALWAYS send me to the writings of Paul, which were confusing to my "babe in Christ" mind at the time.

After a few months, I began to wonder why my very learned and well-meaning Baptist pastor - who seemed to lean more on the misunderstood teachings of Paul, than on the commands of YHWH and the teachings of His Divine Son - had never realized (1) PAUL wasn't God, nor did he have a divine nature as did Yeshua; and (2) that the Apostle Paul actually NEVER, EVER taught against Torah! Back then, I didn't know how to respond or refute what the pastor was trying to tell me - but I certainly do now!

All I knew for sure at the time, was that "the church" seemed to be based on what PAUL said. And, somehow, they missed that Paul ALSO said: Romans 3:31 - Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law....

The "law" of course, was a reference to Torah - YHWH's original Divine Teachings without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!

A year after I "got saved," the Holy Spirit caused me to sell everything I owned, including my house, and to move to Colorado where I eventually found my way into a Messianic Torah study - where I suddenly found the truth of the WHOLE Bible. It was like "getting saved" all over again! But even there, I quickly discovered that whatever MEN taught ALWAYS ended up being diluted in their respective interpretation, fueled by whichever Christian denomination they hailed from….

So, here's the thing, Daryl: Before writing to tell someone else to douse their SPIRITUAL GIFT, you really ought to ask yourself whether or not YOU are chosen to preach and teach because, from the one and only teaching of yours I've seen online (specifically your "rapture 2015" article), you've got some serious false philosophies that don't line up with Scripture….

I do wish you well, and this will be my final correspondence because I have a ministry to run.

Never abandon Torah….

Poster_Jews

Deuteronomy 29:29 "Things which are hidden belong to ADONAI our God. But the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, so that we can observe all the words of this Torah. (CJB)

Do you get it? WE are responsible for everything ADONAI taught and revealed to us through His Word!

Please take a closer look at that second sentence: “….the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, so that we can observe all the words of this Torah.”

This train of thought (about observing all the words of YHWH’s Torah) is repeated over and over again, throughout the Torah, and drawn like a taut bow string throughout the rest of Scripture, all the way into the Gospels where we see Paul saying: “Do we then nullify Torah by faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish Torah.” (Romans 3:31)

Many attempt to use the excuse that those “original 613 commands” don’t pertain them because they were “just for the Jews.” While it might be true to an extent that all “613” weren’t meant for everyone (most were for the priests of the day; some were only for men, some only for women, and some only for a certain time frame), there were some that meant for ALL and “forever”. Please see our article.

It is ludicrous to think that Torah was meant only for the Jews because, without YHWH’s Torah, the world would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living! YHWH is THE CREATOR!

YHWH repeated four times in a row in Numbers 15:13-16 that ALL who accept Him as their ELOHIM are to do exactly as HIS people do, and that He does NOT differentiate between His “natural and adopted children.”

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.'" (CJB)

Furthermore, since we are “one in Messiah” (Galatians 3:28, Romans 12:5) WHY would He have different rules for different people – especially since "Yeshua the Mashiyach is the same yesterday, today and forever”? (Hebrews 13:8)

NOTE: When Paul wrote those words, he knew Yeshua as Mashiyach/Messiah and “the Word of YHWH” who is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that all things were created by the Word of YHWH from the beginning of time.

Yeshua, as the "arm of YHWH" (Isaiah 53:1) is inseparable from his Father. He was made flesh, in part, so that he could be "born and die" (YHWH cannot die!) and because of this, he was able to martyr himself as our Final SIN Sacrifice. (John 1:1, 14).

BOTTOM LINE: To ignore Torah is a huge mistake because, if you’re not obeying YHWH’s Rules, whose rules are you obeying?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Reader requests info on Messianic siddur/prayer book

READER COMMENT:

Looking for prayer/blessings (Siddur) book for weekday use. I have a nice Messianic Shabbat one and I was checking and found a Reformed Jewish one but that is not concerning Yeshua, however it does have nice daily prayers and blessings, along with more. Would you happen to know of a Messianic siddur containing prayers for weekday use?

OUR RESPONSE:


Thank you for your email. It just so happens, we have a siddur, including Shabbat, though not for every day.  Just click this link and scroll down until you see the words " Free calendars, Siddurs & Pesach Seder" and then click on "Siddur/Prayer" book.  Choose from either link “continuous pages” or the one that's “printable as a booklet.”


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Being a MOTHER is the most important job in the world!

Recently, a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen for many years, told me that she’s “never worked.”  (Meaning, outside the home.)  Well, she has raised several children and made their house into a home, all while her husband held down several jobs to make ends meet. 

So, here’s the thing:

MOTHER is what YHWH had in mind for all His female creations. (See Genesis 1:28 and 9:7.) Yet, somehow, this "job" is looked down upon in "western civilization"....."What - you've never worked for a living? No wonder you guys can't upgrade to a better house/car!" Truth is, YHWH never, ever said, "Money is where it's at, my friend! Work hard and do whatever it takes to get ahead, so you can become rich and envied by everyone you know!"

Timothy, had this to say: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).

From what we can see in Scripture, YHWH intended man to be the "head" of the house (spiritually and otherwise), taking care of his family and making sure they had a roof over their heads and food to eat; while the wife's job was to "be fruitful and multiply," taking care of the children and keeping everyone fed in a clean living environment.

Of course, living in a "fallen world" meant that often, the wife had to "work outside" the home to help pay the rent/mortgage, etc. But it has also produced "latch-key kids" who were raised by baby-sitters, or left to raise themselves...which has produced a less than stellar society as is evidenced by the fact that everything YHWH ever considered EVIL is now considered GOOD by the masses, and vice-versa.

Anything goes today, and the holy behavior YHWH expects of His people has been sidelined, frowned upon and even made fun of Today, a stay-at-home mother is "tolerated" and patronized and viewed as social failure because she doesn't have a "career"....she's "never worked for a living."

Wonder how YHWH feels about our "civilized society" where some men degrade their wives for wanting to stay home to take care of her children, or where abortion is condoned and even preferable for women who "can't be inconvenienced" to have a kid that would get in the way of their career....

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beware of “ear tickling” teachings by Jewish counter-missionary rabbis who are bent on taking you away from Yeshua!

Here’s the kind of “wow” stuff the counter-missionary rabbis are teaching to the gullible (and believe me, there are MANY gullible people who are ready, willing and able to follow "ear tickling" teachings!).

These rabbis and their converts will be speaking out the other side of their mouth on Judgment Day when YHWH demands to know why they denied HIS Messiah and kept others from him:

One of the things these counter-missionaries claim is, “Jesus was never called a Nazarene!”

Is that so?

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.”

A footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament explains that 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 Messiah Yeshua, 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.

Another little note about “judging”….

Something for us all to chew on -and its really very simple when you think about it:

JAMES 4: 1. From where is it, that there are among you arguments and conflicts? Is it not from the lusts which war in your members? 2. You covet but do not posses; and you kill and envy, and effect nothing: and you fight and make attacks; and you do not have, because you do not ask. 3. You ask, and do not receive because you ask wickedly, that you may feed your lusts.

4. You adulterers, don’t you know that the love of the world is hatred towards Elohim? He therefore who chooses to be a lover of this world is the enemy of Elohim. 5. Or do you think that the Scripture has vainly said: The spirit dwelling in us lusts with envy? 6. But our Master (Y’shua) has given us more grace. Therefore he said: Master YHWH brings low the arrogant, and gives grace to the humble.

7. Subject yourselves therefore to Elohim; and stand firm against the Accuser and he will flee from you. 8. Draw near to Elohim and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners: sanctify your hearts, you who are divided in mind. 9. Humble yourselves and mourn: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into grief. 10. Humble yourselves before Master YHWH and He will exalt you.

11. Speak not against each other, my Brothers; for he that speaks against his brother, or judges his brother speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah, but its judge.[*] (AENT)

* If you add your own judgments to those already established in the Torah of YHWH, then you have judged Torah as insufficient, and are not allowing it to be your judge.

In other words, when you tell a brother or sister who is committing adultery that they’re sinning and in danger of losing their salvation because it’s DELIBERATE sin – well, that is not “judging” because Torah tells us that adultery warrants a death sentence.

However, if you tell your brother or sister they’re going to burn in hell because they don’t pronounce the Name of God the same way you do (or something equally silly), that IS “judging”….

If YHWH condemns something, it’s considered sin and there’s nothing wrong with letting someone know they are sinning. But, if it’s not in Torah, or Yeshua didn’t condemn it, but you feel like your neighbor is wrong in doing it because YOU don't think he should, then chances are, you are probably “judging”….

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Twenty occasions where we should keep our mouths shut

I did not assemble this and I don't know who did, but it is wisdom from the Word.

Twenty occasions where we should keep our mouths shut:

Proverbs 21:23 “Whosoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from trouble.”

1. In the heat of anger. Proverbs 14:17

2. When you don’t have all the facts. Proverbs 18:13

3. When you haven’t verified the story. Deuteronomy 17:6

4. If your words will offend a weaker brother. 1 Corinthians 8:11

5. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family. Peter 2:21-23

6. When you are tempted to joke about sin. Proverbs 14:9

7. When you would be ashamed of your words later. Proverbs 8:8

8. When you're tempted to make light of holy things. Ecclesiastes 5:2

9. If your words would convey a wrong impression. Proverbs 17:27

10. If the issue is none of your business. Proverbs 14:10

11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie. Proverbs 4:24

12. If your words will damage someone’s reputation. Proverbs 16:27

13. If your words will destroy a friendship. Proverbs 25:28

14. When you are feeling critical. James 3:9

15. If you can’t speak without yelling. Proverbs 25:28

16. When it is time to listen. Proverbs 13:1

17. If you may have to eat your words later. Proverbs 18:21

18. If you have already said it more than one time (and it becomes nagging). Proverbs 19:13

19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person. Proverbs 24:24

20. When you are supposed to be working instead. Proverbs 14:23

Monday, April 17, 2017

Reader asks for explanation of Romans 7:1 - 7

READER QUESTION: Hello. Please could you explain Romans 7, 1 to 7. Thank you for your guidance.

OUR RESPONSE: Thanks for the great question! Footnotes in the AENT explain:

Romans 7: 1. Or do you not know, my Brothers (for I am speaking to them that know Torah) that Torah has dominion over a man as long as he is alive? 2. Just as a woman, by Torah, is bound to her husband as long as he is alive: but if her husband should die, she is freed from the Torah of her husband.

3. And if, while her husband is alive, she should adhere to another man, she would become an adulteress: but if her husband should die, she is freed from Torah; and would not be an adulteress though joined to another man. [1] 4. And now, my brothers, you also have become dead to Torah [2] by the body of Mashiyach; that you might be joined to another, (even) to him who arose from the dead, and might yield fruits to Elohim.

5. For while we were in the flesh, the emotions of sin which are (listed) by Torah, were active in our members that we should bear fruits to death. 6. But now we are absolved from Torah and are dead to that which held us in its grasp: that we might from now on serve in the newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. [3]

7. What will we say then? Is Torah sin? May it never be! For I had not learned sin except by means of Torah: for I had not known lust, had not Torah said, You will not covet: 8. And by this Commandment sin found occasion and perfected in me all lust: for without Torah, sin was dead. (AENT)

[1] In these three verses “Torah” is intended as “Instruction” as in the instruction pertaining to marriage alone, not the whole body of the Covenant. When a marriage partner dies, the surviving spouse is no longer contractually bound to the marriage covenant, but this does not mean that the rules of marriage no longer apply to the survivor, or to the rest us.

[2] “Dead to Torah” refers to being dead to the penalty for sin, which is death, followed by destruction. The believer sins (misses the mark) as anyone else does; however, those who are “in Mashiyach” have atonement in him. From the beginning (Gen. 3:15) YHWH established a defense for His people against haSatan (the adversary). To be “in” Mashiyach means to live a life pleasing to YHWH and NOT break Torah (see also Romans 8:1-10).

Those who think that they can repeatedly break Torah without consequence, because of Mashiyach died for them, are very deceived. To “live in the spirit” means that the Spirit of Mashiyach is training up his followers so they can put away the carnal desires of the weak flesh, and that they are overcomers of the flesh.

[3] This is because faith in Mashiyach and Torah observance brings eternal life, but the consequence of sin is death. It does not mean Torah is “released” because, with or without Mashiyach, the penalty for willful sin still remains. If the penalty for sin remains, then Torah also remains. The “oldness of the letter” speaks of old religious ways which do not recognize Mashiyach as bringing the Living Word of YHWH to mankind.

Y’shua brought the correct understanding of Torah which is to be written upon the heart, so we don’t continue in sin. See also 6:12. Some might say they have Faith and claim to be “Believers,” but if they continue in sin their faith/belief is irrelevant.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A word about CBS’s “Sunday Morning Show”

I wasn’t going to say a word about “Easter” this year, but after watching "Sunday Morning" on TV this morning, I feel led to do just that. There was not ONE word about “Jesus” -without whom Christianity wouldn't even have Easter.

Not one mention of the One who died on our stupid behalf. I was literally in tears by the end of the show, which was all about men and the shrines they’ve built for themselves – i.e. the Vatican, which is a city unto itself and is all about the Pope; and about “St. Peter”, the supposed “corner stone of the Church” and St. Francis of Assisi, etc., and how these men were all about “humbleness and self-sacrifice.”

Well, maybe these men WERE all about those things, and I’m sure they loved God with all their might – but then WHY did they not teach HIS Word? They always TALK about "holiness" but they never teach HOW one becomes holy! You never, ever hear the Pope or any pastor talking about OBEDIENCE to God’s Word! Even Jews "talk around" Scripture and base ALL their teachings on Talmud, Tanya, Mishna - the things "the rabbis and sages said."

"Holiness" seems to consist of whatever MAN can cherry-pick out of Scripture....

Churches everywhere seem to seem to be all about “grace” and “love” and “tolerance” (even of homosexuality which YHWH HATES!), and all manner of worldly junk – the kind of stuff YHWH constantly warned HIS people to GET AWAY FROM!

Somehow, the Creator who gave us His Torah (and may I remind everybody, kicked Adam and Eve OUT of the Garden for THEIR what? Their DISOBEDIENCE to the one cotton-pickin’ command He had given them!) has, over the centuries, become a “loving God, full of grace and mercy” – which translates into: “Do whatever the heck you want and don’t bother about what I consider HOLY, because it’s all about grace and you’ll still get to heaven no matter how many intentional sins you committed!”

MEN ARE SUCH LIARS!

This morning’s show even included a segment about the singer Ricky Martin and his popularity and “sold-out” Las Vegas shows … oh, AND the fact that he came out as a “proud gay man.”

Yeah… GREAT “Easter” program by “Sunday Morning”….. Typical worldly nonsense.

It truly makes one wonder why YHWH doesn’t just pull a Korach (Numbers 16:1–18:32), and open up the earth to swallow all these men and their “holy buildings” and all their idols and other garbage that springs from their demented minds….

There is so much more I could say about all of this, but I’d best just shut up while I’m still ahead.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Be careful and discerning about the teachings you see on the ‘net

 

Poster_behold nail

Be careful about what you see, read or hear! Many "ear-tickling" teachings are concocted by those who don't necessarily know what they're talking about. They "hear" or "read" something, then put their own twist on it - and, suddenly, it becomes "doctrine."

So, BE CAREFUL about everything you see, read or hear! Please don't allow yourself to be sucked in by self-proclaimed, armchair "experts" who serve to do nothing more than to lead you away from YHWH's Truth!

For instance, there's a "teaching" here on Facebook that suggests YHWH's Name supposedly means "Behold hand, behold nail" - and they post the attached meme to "prove" it.

According to Hebrew and Aramaic scholar Andrew Gabriel Roth, the "Behold the Hand Behold the Nail" assertion is not really about YHWH; but rather, it is symbolism and meanings that some Paleo folks think is hidden in the arrangement of the letters.

The VAV/WAW means "hook, hang, nail" - and in the ancient Hebrew form it actually looks kind of like a nail and the reference to it is made in the Torah, where a hook or nail in the Tabernacle is called VAV.

"Yahweh" however, is THIRD person whereas "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" (I am that I am) is FIRST person. The latter is what Yahweh calls HIMSELF; the former is what we are supposed to call Him, as it parses out to "Yah Who is" or "Yah, He Who exists".

But the third person Name (Yahweh) is on another level "targummed/understood" as referring to the other Name; hence, "I am that I am" when the other Name is linked to it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Chag Sameach Pesach, everyone!

 

Boker Tov and Chag Sameach, everyone! Just as a reminder, the Omer Count begins tonight after sunset. For those new to Torah, here's an explanation about the Omer Count:

What an awesome ELOHIM we serve! He has devised an ingenious way to keep our minds ever on Him via His "weekly" Shabbats (the Seventh Day Sabbath) and His seven "yearly" Shabbats! Spaced strategically throughout the year, each of His Holy Days not only has special significance, but they all foreshadow Y'shua - who has, so far, "fulfilled" the first four!  (Reminder: "Fulfilled" does not mean "abolished." It means, "put into effect" or "converted into reality" that which was prophesied.)

Monday, April 10, 2017

The PBS documentary, "The Last Days of Jesus" was a pathetic “grasping at straws” to make their hypothesis fit!

My husband and I recently agonized through a two-hour PBS series called, "The Last Days of Jesus." Oh my gosh, we nearly fell off our chairs over the liberties they took in their twisting of the Gospel accounts! First of all, "Jesus" was apparently "just another man" (one of several "messiahs") who was confused about who he was and basically "took over" John the Baptist's responsibilities after John was beheaded.....

Oh, and these "scholars" also posited the idea that Y'shua rode into Jerusalem on a donkey...NOT for Pesach, but six months earlier during Sukkot - because you apparently can't get palm fronds at any other time besides Sukkot. (Well so much for Y'shua's lament about not being able to spend "this Passover" with his Apostles in Luke 22, right before his death, eh?)

Furthermore, they insisted the entire timeline was off because all these things that happened just before his death couldn't possibly have happened in such a short time. So, they came to the conclusion that he was in prison for at least six months before being crucified. Oyve!!!!

Oh, oh! I almost forgot! These scholars suggested that the reason Jesus wasn't arrested when he turned over the tables of the money changers in the Temple was because he HAD PERMISSION from the Roman leaders to do so!

Sheesh!

The only GOOD thing about this pathetic documentary was that they didn't portray "Jesus" as some Casper Milk-Toast blond Adonis!

Here's a description about this documentary from the PBS site:

For almost two thousand years, the story of Jesus’ final days has been celebrated by Christians the world over. From Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, through to his eventual crucifixion six days later, the key moments have been immortalized in countless films, pieces of music, and works of art.

But in recent years, some historians have begun to question inconsistencies in the Gospels’ version of events. They believe that the Gospels could hide a very different story; one that casts the historical Jesus in an entirely new light. Based on a new interpretation of contemporary historical events in Rome, "Last Days of Jesus" peels back thousands of years of tradition, to explore a new political context to the events in Jerusalem.

"Last Days of Jesus" explores how dramatic political events in Rome could have played a crucial role in shaping Jesus’ destiny, and examines an extraordinary political alliance that altered the course of history.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped “reading into” the Word; and instead, accepted it for what it says?

FOUND on the Facebook wall of a Jewish woman:

"There is no coincidence. Only divinely caused incidents. “Randomness” is actually complexity so extreme that the human mind can neither fathom it nor reproduce it. 'The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.' Prov. 16:33. Every “random act” is being woven into the beautiful tapestry of life. Hashem is always in control. I’m in awe of our great and holy God."

This post seems to suggest that God also causes us to go against His Torah and sin - which is absolutely FALSE! YHWH doesn't "cause us to sin." He gave us His Torah, which is our ONLY blueprint for moral, holy living - and while there are certainly acts that seem "random", obedience is strictly up to us!

If we purposely choose to commit what He considers to be heinous sins, WHOM are we really serving? (And yes, He DOES know our every future decision – and He allows us to do whatever we wish. But we cannot ever suggest that He CAUSED us to go against His Torah!)

Throughout Torah we see that many of YHWH's people who lost their lives because of their “lukewarm” attitude and/or downright disobedience – and even Moshe, the holiest man of all during Torah times, didn’t get to see the Promised Land because of a few infractions….

In view of the above, I am left wondering WHAT has changed since Moshe's day? Has YHWH somehow reversed His stance on what constitutes SIN, including such things such as adultery - which, according to Torah, carries a DEATH sentence? (See Leviticus 20:10, Proverbs 6:27–29, 1 Corinthians 6:18.) If so, then we are worshiping an apparently wishy-washy God who cannot be trusted (Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17).

We humans need to be VERY careful when it comes to the things of YHWH. He has NEVER been soft or unclear about what He expects of us – or caused us to believe that we’re forgiven for anything and everything, including DELIBERATE sins is a HUGE mistake!

Hebrews 10: 26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the enemies. (CJB)

The above Scripture is not referring to those unclean bondages that dwell in our flesh but to the conscious choices believers make. It refers not to our unintentional sins but to those we pursue knowingly and willingly!

2 Peter 2: 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. (CJB)

(For more on deliberate sinning, please check out our article.)

We silly humans, rather than to concentrate on and LEARN His Word (from Genesis to Revelation), often tend to fluff it up, or twist it into what we "think" or what we "want it to mean." Jews and their rabbis and sages and their "OT-only" theology have been doing this for several millennia; and "grace-only, NT-only" Christians have been doing it for at least 2,000 years.

Many Jews - as much as they insist they don't proselytize - are busy drawing believers in Y'shua into their "OT-only" (along with Talmud, Mishna and Kabballah) web, pushing their misunderstandings of Scripture onto unsuspecting people who are searching for Truth; and, at the same time, many Christians are doing their level best to pull Jews AWAY from YHWH's original, holy commands and guidance for moral, holy living, and into their "grace-only, Torah-less Jesus" world, comprised of some 40,000 different "denominations" - each one believing it is the TRUE one…..

No wonder there are so many confused people in this world today!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For our deaf friends: Genesis 15 in American sign language!

This is too cool – something for all our deaf friends! Mrs. Mary Hoover graciously made this short summary of Genesis 15 in ASL with captions. THANK YOU, Mary! May YHWH richly bless you for taking the time to do this!!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

All YHWH ever asks of us is to be wholehearted….

I had an acquaintance once, who excitedly told me that tithing to your church would make you rich because you would always get it back tenfold. This bothered me because, even though I wasn’t living for YHWH at the time, I felt in my gut that this train of thought was wrong, as our motive for “giving to God” shouldn’t necessarily be a financial “return investment” for us.

Malachi 3:10 10 Bring the whole tenth into the storehouse, so that there will be food in my house, and put me to the test," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. "See if I won't open for you the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs. (CJB)

The truth is, YHWH was lamenting (as He so often did) that Israel was “lukewarm” toward Him. He gave them everything and was constantly with them, yet they continued to disobey and do their own thing and turn from Him and go their own way. And so he coaxed, and cajoled and warned.

Folks, all He ever asks of us is to be wholehearted and do what we do for Him because we love Him!

Please take a look at all of Malachi Chapter 3, in context, and ask yourself if you’re wholehearted, or if you’re a “fence-straddler” who needs cajoling and coaxing, always talking the talk but not bothering to walk the walk. (Remember, upon Yeshua's return those types will be considered "lukewarm"....)

Malachi 3:1 "Look! I am sending my messenger to clear the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple. Yes, the messenger of the covenant, in whom you take such delight - look! Here he comes," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. 2 But who can endure the day when he comes? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like the soapmaker's lye.

3 He will sit, testing and purifying the silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold and silver, so that they can bring offerings to ADONAI uprightly. 4 Then the offering of Y'hudah and Yerushalayim will be pleasing to ADONAI, as it was in the days of old, as in years gone by.

5 "Then I will approach you for judgment; and I will be quick to witness against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers; against those who take advantage of wage-earners, widows and orphans; against those who rob the foreigner of his rights and don't fear me," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. 6 "But because I, ADONAI, do not change, you sons of Ya'akov will not be destroyed.

7 Since the days of your forefathers you have turned from my laws and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. "But you ask, 'In respect to what are we supposed to return?' 8 Can a person rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How have we robbed you?' In tenths and voluntary contributions.

9 A curse is on you, on your whole nation, because you rob me. 10 Bring the whole tenth into the storehouse, so that there will be food in my house, and put me to the test," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. "See if I won't open for you the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs.

11 For your sakes I will forbid the devourer to destroy the yield from your soil; and your vine will not lose its fruit before harvest-time," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. 12 "All nations will call you happy, for you will be a land of delights," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. 13 "You have spoken strongly against me," says ADONAI. "Yet you say, 'How have we spoken against you?'

14 By saying, 'There is no point in serving God. What good is it to obey his orders or to walk about as mourners before ADONAI-Tzva'ot? 15 We consider the arrogant happy; also evildoers prosper; they put God to the test; nevertheless, they escape.'" 16 Then those who feared ADONAI spoke together; and ADONAI listened and heard. A record book was written in his presence for those who feared ADONAI and had respect for his name.

17 "They will be mine," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot, "on the day when I compose my own special treasure. I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 Then once again you will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the righteous and the wicked, between the person who serves God and one that doesn't serve him. (CJB)

If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re gonna keep getting what we got…..

Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunders, the lightning flashes, the sound of the ram’s horn, and the mountain smoking. And the people saw it, and they trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Mosheh, “You speak with us and we hear, but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die.” And Mosheh said to the people, “Do not fear, for Elohim has come to prove you, and in order that His fear be before you, so that you do not sin.” (ISR)

We’ve all experienced difficult and even terrifying circumstances. (Many are experiencing them right now!) The outcome, however, always depended on what kind of relationship we have with YHWH/Yeshua. If we’re “lukewarm” toward Him, then chances are, we’re mainly “fence straddlers” (with one foot in the spiritual and one in the carnal – which does NOT work!) who will continue to reap “carnal” results because we constantly “sowing carnal seeds.”

YHWH has given us a perfect outline for moral, holy living via His Torah, and most of us have already learned “the hard way” that veering outside Torah ALWAYS serves to distance us from Him.

Stepping outside the boundaries of Torah is dangerous because it keeps us in the realm of the Enemy. Out there, we are subject to all manner of “carnal” enticements and desires and pleasures. This doesn’t necessarily mean sex, drugs or alcohol; it can also mean idol worship, such as the constant pursuance of “more.” More money, more possessions, more “stuff”. Nobody in pursuance of “more” has ever reached that point of “enough”….

“More” - for us Americans - naturally includes excessive use of credit cards - which are nothing more than plastic money-eating monsters that devour your time and energy as you attempt to feed their little bottom-less pits which seem to get pregnant and multiply and nip at your empty wallet because their high interest rates prevent you from ever paying off the principal.

Sure, you realize you can’t get ahead, even though you have three jobs and work long, hard hours - but gosh, it’s just plain HARD not to use those handy-dandy pieces of plastic that provide the instant gratification you so desperately crave!

But, of course, when you finally realize you’ll never pay those cards off, instead of deciding to cut up those hideous little beasts that are clearly ruining your life, you call on YHWH to get you out of your jam! “God, I TRUST you to meet my financial needs! Please give me a miracle!”

His response? “You should have trusted my Word to show you how NOT to end up in this mess, in the first place! It’s up to YOU to change your lifestyle and start following ME!”

...The thing is, Torah TELLS us NOT to go into debt (or do ANYTHING to excess)! Scripture is replete with passages about debt and how the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7)! Torah contains everything we need to know about conducting our lives as stress-free as possible, at every level - including the fact that YHWH's people should never cheat each other. We are to use “equal weights and measures” when buying and selling and anything that involves a transaction of some kind (Leviticus 19:36, Proverbs 11:1 and 20:10), etc.

But “the world” doesn’t necessarily do this, does it? Our world is “dog eat dog” and if what I do hurts you, well, too bad, so sad! It’s YOUR problem….

If people would only begin to realize that YHWH’s Word holds the “key” to our happiness and success! (Happiness and success doesn't necessarily mean we will all supernaturally become millionaires; it means we should "bloom where we are planted.")

We need to learn to recognize that the trials in our life are usually self-induced due to our own, flawed reasoning, lack of understanding and/or self-control! WE are our own, worst enemies! If we could all start learning to "let go of ourselves" and begin to seek HIS ways, what a better life WE would have, and what a better world this would be!

If we could only learn that, if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re GOING to keep getting what we got!” It’s true! We will stay in our self-dug ruts if we don’t start learning to look to YHWH for the answers, and that the trials and tribulations of life are often constructive tests to build dependence on, and faith in Him!

This is why He had His people wandering in the desert for 40 years…to TEACH them to trust Him and begin to do things HIS way, because HIS ways are perfect! Everything we need to know about life and living in ways that cause Him to smile upon us, can be found between the pages of the Bible! TRY it; you'll like it!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Well, lo and behold - it WAS another Muslim!

Well, lo and behold - it WAS a Muslim! https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/mar/23/westminster-attack-parliament-resumes-tributes-keith-palmer-live What a surprise, eh?

So... my question now is, WHEN are MUSLIMS going to stand up against this kind of thing? Why are Muslims around the world QUIET about this kind of behavior?  Why don’t we see MUSLIMS from that supposed “religion of peace” protesting ISIS and Al Qaida, and other hate/violence groups from their illustrious religion? 

Silence = condoning, folks.....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Experiencing hard times? Turn to ADONAI….

Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunders, the lightning flashes, the sound of the ram’s horn, and the mountain smoking. And the people saw it, and they trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Mosheh, “You speak with us and we hear, but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die.” And Mosheh said to the people, “Do not fear, for Elohim has come to prove you, and in order that His fear be before you, so that you do not sin.” (ISR)

We’ve all experienced difficult and even terrifying circumstances. (Many are experiencing them right now!) The outcome, however, always depended on what kind of relationship we have with YHWH/Yeshua. If we’re “lukewarm” toward Him, then chances are, we’re mainly “fence straddlers” (with one foot in the spiritual and one in the carnal – which does NOT work!) who will continue to reap “carnal” results because we are constantly “sowing carnal seeds.”

YHWH has given us a perfect outline for moral, holy living via His Torah, and most of us have already learned “the hard way” that veering outside Torah ALWAYS serves to distance us from Him.
Stepping outside the boundaries of Torah is dangerous because it keeps us in the realm of the Enemy. Out there, we are subject to all manner of “carnal” enticements and desires and pleasures. This doesn’t necessarily mean sex, drugs or alcohol; it can also mean idol worship, such as the constant pursuance of “more.” More money, more possessions, more “stuff”. Nobody in pursuance of “more” has ever reached that point of “enough”….

“More” - for us Americans - naturally includes excessive use of credit cards - which are nothing more than plastic money-eating monsters that devour your time and energy as you attempt to feed their little bottom-less pits which seem to get pregnant and multiply and nip at your empty wallet because their high interest rates prevent you from ever paying off the principal.

Sure, you realize you can’t get ahead, even though you have three jobs and work long, hard hours - but gosh, it’s just plain HARD not to use those handy-dandy pieces of plastic that provide the instant gratification you so desperately crave!

But, of course, when you finally realize you’ll never pay those cards off, instead of deciding to cut up those hideous little beasts that are clearly ruining your life, you call on YHWH to get you out of your jam! “God, I TRUST you to meet my financial needs! Please give me a miracle!”

His response? “You should have trusted my Word to show you how NOT to end up in this mess, in the first place! It’s up to YOU to change your lifestyle and start following ME!”

...The thing is, Torah TELLS us NOT to go into debt (or do ANYTHING to excess)! Scripture is replete with passages about debt and how the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7)! Torah contains everything we need to know about conducting our lives as stress-free as possible, at every level - including the fact that YHWH's people should never cheat each other. We are to use “equal weights and measures” when buying and selling and anything that involves a transaction of some kind (Leviticus 19:36, Proverbs 11:1 and 20:10), etc.

But “the world” doesn’t necessarily do this, does it? Our world is “dog eat dog” and if what I do hurts you, well, too bad, so sad! It’s YOUR problem….

If people would only begin to realize that YHWH’s Word holds the “key” to our happiness and success! (Happiness and success doesn't necessarily mean we will all supernaturally become millionaires; it means we should "bloom where we are planted.")

We need to learn to recognize that the trials in our life are usually self-induced due to our own, flawed reasoning, lack of understanding and/or self-control! WE are our own, worst enemies! If we could all start learning to "let go of ourselves" and begin to seek HIS ways, what a better life WE would have, and what a better world this would be!

If we could only learn that, if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re GOING to keep getting what we got!” It’s true! We will stay in our self-dug ruts if we don’t start learning to look to YHWH for the answers, and that the trials and tribulations of life are often constructive tests to build dependence on, and faith in Him!

This is why He had His people wandering in the desert for 40 years…to TEACH them to trust Him and begin to do things HIS way, because HIS ways are perfect! Everything we need to know about life and living in ways that cause Him to smile upon us, can be found between the pages of the Bible! TRY it; you'll like it!












Sunday, March 19, 2017

Reader question: Please discuss the difference between Leviticus 11:40 and Deuteronomy 14:21

A Facebook friend, Angela Lewis, had a wonderful Torah question for us. She wrote:
Please can you help us with a question. We noticed during our Parashah study that in Leviticus 11:40 it says that he who eats of the carcass (that dies) will be unclean till evening - but in Deuteronomy 14:21 it says that you are not to eat anything that dies of itself. So, our question is how do these two verses tie up? Have we missed something or is there a context we didn't see? After much discussion, we thought the only answer was to ''ask Carmen' ha ha. Thank you both, Angela xx

Liam’s response:
 
Thanks, Angela! Sure. Happy to answer. The problem is in the English. English only has the word "die" and it unfortunately conveys only a narrow meaning, i.e., "to die". The word does not convey the manner of death. But in the scripture, different words are used which do convey meaning in the original Hebrew.

In the verse in Leviticus, the Hebrew word is "yaMut" which means "die or died causatively", that is, the animal was intentionally killed for food. So the animal died, yes, but in the original Hebrew it is clear that the animal died because it was killed for the purpose of being eaten. The word in Deuteronomy however is "ne'vah'la" which is also translated into English as "died" or "died naturally" and in Hebrew actually means "died of itself" (this can be a natural death or an unknown cause including another animal or even a pagan or occult slaughter.)

The point is you did not kill the animal for food, so you don't know if it is still kosher! So you see there is no contradiction, it is, indeed, only a language problem! In Leviticus 11, it is basically saying that when you kill an animal at home (of the type permitted for food), you have touched the carcass of something that has been rendered unclean. (Not "unclean" in the sense of not kosher, rather, unclean because it was not a Tabernacle/Temple sacrifice.) That is, it was not likely slain in a manner prescribed for Temple sacrifices nor is it likely the animal itself was unblemished.

So verses 39-40 are only saying that the people become unclean at that time they have eaten meat killed and prepared at home and thus they would not be permitted to come before YHWH at the Tabernacle or Temple until they are clean again. (You see this evident in Leviticus 7:21 "Anyone who touches something unclean — whether the uncleanness be from a person, from an unclean animal or from some other unclean detestable thing — and then eats the meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings for Adonai, that person will be cut off from his people.")

A person in an "unclean" state is not to come before YHWH! The verse in Deuteronomy 14 clarifies that an animal which is found dead cannot be eaten by people who belong to YHWH because the manner of death is unknown and that lack of knowledge renders the animal "unclean" for people who are supposed to be remaining holy.

While on this topic, let me add this: When a sacrificial animal is offered at the Tabernacle or the Temple it remains "clean"! Take a look at all the sacrifices described in Leviticus chapters 6-10. These sacrifices are done at the Tabernacle/Temple, and the blood and body parts are presented to YHWH, and in many cases, the meat is consumed right there as it is considered holy, not rendering the person unclean! This is the difference of a sacrifice in the prescribed manner, by the cohen at the Temple in YHWH's presence!







Friday, March 17, 2017

A word about financial debt

Luke 14:28-30: Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Don't you sit down and estimate the cost, to see if you have enough capital to complete it? If you don't, then when you have laid the foundation but can't finish, all the onlookers start making fun of you and say, 'This is the man who began to build, but couldn't finish!' (CJB)

This is not what happens today. “The world” encourages us to go into debt so you can have everything you want “right now” … never mind that you’ll be working to pay off this debt for years to come, never really getting ahead because the interest rates on some credit cards are outrageous.

Scripture tells us that the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7), yet most Americans continue to borrow, thus remaining in debt up to their eyeballs.

Financial guru Dave Ramsey says: “According to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, 47% of Baby Boomers have mortgage debt, 41% have credit card debt, 13% have school loans, and 36% have car payments. It takes a lot of will, discipline, courage and help to slay the debt monster. But it can be done. Imagine how much you could put toward retirement if you just didn’t have a stinking car payment! This is how the wealthy really build their wealth.”

Ramsey’s advice is straightforward and common sense: Cut up any and all credit cards today so you cannot be tempted into using them again, and simply start paying cash for everything. If you don’t have enough cash, wait until you’ve saved it.

This makes perfect sense because, no matter how much we tell ourselves we’ll pay the whole amount off at the end of the month, we never really do because we DON’T HAVE THE MONEY! Many fail to take their whole budget into consideration when making purchases, and they fail to plan for any emergencies (hospitalizations, ER visits, car accidents, transmission goes out on your car, etc.); and, consequently, end up using that handy-dandy credit card because they think they have to have things right NOW!

Well, if you have a roof over your head, food to eat along with all the “creature comforts” we humans expect, and transportation to get you where you need to go, why can’t you WAIT to buy that new cellphone or tablet or motorcycle? All that, that kind of thinking does is to lull you into a false sense of security and entitlement to buy whatever you want right now.

"Keeping up with the Joneses" is really a lame and prideful thing to do. It keeps you enslaved to, and constantly thinking about that almighty dollar - which really amounts to self-absorption and idolatry. If this is what you're doing, don't bother praying to YHWH to get you out of the jam you got yourself into. YOU need to learn some self-control and start making some changes in your life, because gluttony of any type is a sin....

The bottom line is: America’s debt problems would begin to vanish if only people would start recognizing the difference between NEEDS and WANTS. The “wants” can wait until you can pay cash!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Are there any scriptures that say that “leaven is sin?”

Someone recently had a great question about Passover.  He asked if there were any scriptures that say that “leaven is sin” because that he thought that “leaven” was simply doctrine, according to Matthew 16:11-12 and 13:33.

Let’s take a look at those scriptures in context:

Matthew 16:11. How is it that you do not understand that it was not about bread that I spoke to you, but that you should be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. 12. Then they understood that he did not say to be aware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. (AENT)

The verses in Matthew 16 do not mean that actual leaven in BREAD is a bad thing. Rather, that "leaven" in our lives can be bad, because leaven causes things to rise and grow. It permeates everything. Once you allow a sinful thing to enter your mind, your carnal nature tends to go with it and act on it. And after awhile, that particular sin simply becomes "second nature," because you've convinced yourself that God doesn't mind.

Matthew 13:33. He said another parable to them. The Kingdom of Heaven is likened to leaven which a woman took and buried in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.
Matthew 13 obviously refers to GOOD leaven. Once you begin to follow YHWH and His Commands, your whole life begins to take a new direction.
(AENT)

The thing is, there is no direct scripture that says leaven represents sin, though at Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread it is a sin to eat chomez (leavened bread), Exodus 12:15.  It is also a sin to offer chometz with a sacrifice, Exodus 23:18. However, in Scripture, leaven is often clearly symbolic of sin. Galatians 5:9 tells us that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now, sin works the same way.

Like leaven which permeates the whole lump of dough, sin spreads in a person, a congregation or a nation, eventually overwhelming and bringing all participants into bondage and eventually to death. (There is no such thing as a “little sin.”) Romans 6:23 tell us that “the wages of sin is death,” which, as you know, is YHWH’s judgment for sin, and the reason that Y’shua died.

Back in Deuteronomy 16 we see, "3 You are not to eat any hametz with it; for seven days you are to eat with it matzah, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Thus you will remember the day you left the land of Egypt as long as you live. 4 No leaven is to be seen with you anywhere in your territory for seven days.  (CJB)

Other commands regarding the eating of unleavened bread are found in Exodus 12:8; 29:2 and Numbers 9:11. The main reason Passover celebration includes unleavened bread is because YHWH commanded it.  But now you know, “the rest of the story!”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Responding to another counter-missionary question….

COUNTER-MISSIONARY COMMENT: And where in the תנייך Tanakh does it say that the Most High will have to send His son to die for our sins? 

MESSIANIC RESPONSE: Please read Isaiah 53 which is all about Yeshua. Isaiah 53:1 says he is the “arm of YHWH.” (And no, Isaiah 53 is NOT about Israel!  See our article on Isaiah 53 and Yeshua.) But since you asked, let’s do a little research concerning the One YHWH would eventually send to MARTYR himself on man’s behalf (against which there is no law!)…. 

In Genesis 22:1-19 we see Abraham, at the COMMAND of YHWH, taking his son, Isaac, to be offered as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Most assuredly in shock, Abraham bound his son to the altar and was ready to kill him (because of his love for, and trust in, YHWH) when an angel appeared to tell him to stay his hand and promised him Abraham that his seed would increase. 

Of course, YHWH doesn’t want “human” sacrifice – but in the case of Yeshua it wasn’t a “human” sacrifice because Y’shua was a human with a divine qnoma (nature), which is what enabled him to be the PERFECT human being in every way – someone who could completely and flawlessly carry out YHWH’s Will. 

His special relationship to His “Father” enabled him to perform many miracles and to find the strength, in the end, to DIE for anyone who wished to accept YHWH as their God. Y’shua didn’t replace YHWH; He was simply “an arm” of YHWH (Isaiah 53:1) who came to proclaim the Kingdom and do everything his Father commanded. He never, ever suggested he was ELOHIM (although we are told in Philippians 2:5-11 and John 10:22-39 exactly WHO he was, and what his relationship to YHWH was!). 

Luke 4:43 "But he (Yeshua/Jesus) said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."
 
Luke 8:1. And it happened after these things that Y'shua was going around in the cities and in the villages and was preaching and declaring the Kingdom of Elohim.
 
Acts 28:23 "From morning till evening the Apostle Paul explained and declared the Kingdom of God and tried to convince people about Yeshua from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets."
 
Acts 24:14. But this indeed I (Paul) acknowledge, that in that same doctrine of which they speak, I do serve the Elohim of my fathers, believing all the things written in Torah and in the prophets.
 
Now, let’s see what the Tanakh (“Old Testament”) has to say about YHWH’s Messiah. (And just because Y’shua was NOT NAMED in the OT doesn’t mean he ISN’T the Messiah! The “OT” also doesn’t mention tooth brushing, space shuttles, driving around in something called “automobiles”, or Facebooking - but yet we are all familiar with these things! If Y’shua doesn’t exist, then you also need to get rid of your toothbrush, cars and computers because NONE of these things can be found in Scripture….) 

Daniel 7: 13 “I kept watching the night visions, when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven, someone like a son of man. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 To him was given rulership, glory and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him. His rulership is an eternal rulership that will not pass away; and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (CJB) 

Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo'etz El Gibbor Avi-'Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace] (CJB) 

Micah 5:2 But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Y'hudah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra'el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times. 3 Therefore he will give up [Isra'el] only until she who is in labor gives birth. Then the rest of his kinsmen will return to the people of Isra'el. 4 He will stand and feed his flock in the strength of ADONAI, in the majesty of the name of ADONAI his God; and they will stay put, as he grows great to the very ends of the earth; (CJB) 

The BIBLE contains at least 300 prophecies that have already come to pass exactly as was written, and there is no way they could all be "coincidences." As a matter of fact, according to mathematician and professor, Peter Stoner, the probability of even just 48 prophecies being fulfilled by one person (referring to Y'shua) is the incredible number of 1 in 10^157 power! 

(And, oh by the way, for those who believe that men were never supposed to do anything to ATONE for the sins of others, please see our blog article for a wakeup call – because that is exactly what priests of old did.) 

BOTTOM LINE: Yeshua came to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH and to do everything His Father commanded. He tore down the fences of man's legalism; and neither He nor His Apostles or Disciples ever advocated against Torah! 

John 12: 44. But Y'shua cried out and said, He who believes in me, it is not in me he does believe, but in Him who sent me. [1] 45. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me! 46. I have come as the light into this world that all who believe in me might not remain in the darkness! 47. And he who hears my words, yet does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I have not come to judge the world but to give life[2] to the world. 
 
48. He who rejects me and does not receive my words, there is something that judges him. The word that I have spoken, it will judge him on the last day. 49. For I have not spoken from my soul, but the Father who sent me. He gave a Commandment to me what I should say and what I should speak. 50. And I know that His commands are eternal life. [3] Therefore, these things that I speak just as my Father told me, thus I speak.[4] (AENT)) 

[1] Y'shua does not bring a new Faith, but reveals the original Faith of YHWH the Father. 

[2] Y'shua proclaims that he came to give life, then he declares that His father's Commands are eternal life! The Father's "Commands" are instruction in righteousness; this is Torah which contains Commandments, Judgments, Testimony and Witness regarding the Kingdom of Elohim. Those who enter into Covenant with Mashiyach are entering into Covenant with his Father YHWH; therefore, it is evil - an outright lie - to teach that Torah is done away with and replaced by a new theology! 

[3] The Commands of YHWH bring eternal life. YHWH's "Commands" refers to all of His Commandments; these are one and the same as every Word that proceeds out of the Mouth of Elohim. These are not Commands only between Y'shua and His Father but they are universal for all souls who will enter into the Malchut Elohim. 

[4] Y'shua speaks the Word of YHWH, not his own words; therefore, he conveys the revelation of YHWH according to the Ruach haKodesh without the baggage of man's religious tradition. Religion has a propensity to reinvent or interpret the Word of YHWH to make it "acceptable" to man's standards; whereas Mashiyach came not to please men, but to honor and bring Glory to his Father.