Thursday, August 17, 2017

It’s time to embrace the whole picture….

Continuing with my challenge of the offensive idea that Paul said "everything except Jesus is crap," I pose the following.

Did Paul, a mere human, have the authority to suggest that Torah is "crap" or that everything concerning YHWH is crap, and that the ONLY thing that matters is "Jesus"? Or were the writings of Paul perhaps a tad misunderstood?

Does your Bible read: In the beginning was Paul, and Paul was with God, and Paul was God? If it doesn't then why would you place his writings over what the Messiah is recorded as saying? Stop being a part of the group Peter spoke of in 2 Peter 3!

2 Peter 3: 15 And account the long suffering of Master YHWH to be redemption; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom conferred on him, wrote to you; 16. as also in all his letters speaking in them of these things in which there is something difficult to be understood; (and) which they who are ignorant and unstable pervert, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, [1] to their own destruction. (AENT)

Footnote: It’s rather shocking that Peter writes of how Paul’s letters had already been turned into a Torahless fiasco, even in Peter’s day! Certainly it was not the Pharisees who were renouncing Torah Observance, but the humanist, pagan and materialist, “modernists” who operated under “Christian” labels.

We CANNOT separate YHWH from Yeshua, or Yeshua from YHWH as they are ONE! Yeshua was YHWH's "arm" - Isaiah 53:1. What happens if you separate an arm from the "brain" (so to speak)? Can it do ANYTHING on its own? So HOW can Yeshua be the ONLY thing in Scripture that matters

Please read my indepth article on this issue.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hate groups are evil, ungodly swines with nothing to offer the world

nazi

"Neo-Nazis" and all the other maniacal hate groups have NO clue they are catering to satan, who walks this earth, seeking to devour and destroy! (Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8) My Jewish mother (who had to hide her Jewishness in WWII Germany) was a product of the Hitler regime - an insidious evil that played a large part in her ending up a mental wreck and an alcoholic. The photo above shows my mother marching in a “Hitler Youth” parade. Hitler Youth was an organization that all German children were required to be members of….

The thing the world seems to have forgotten is that YHWH hates hatred, and He WILL ultimately turn it all around and use it for good! (Genesis 5:20; Genesis 50; Exodus 1:1-2:10; Matthew 16:13-17:9, Psalm 21:11-13, etc.) He used Hitler to make TWO of His “end times” prophecies come true: (1) Israel would become a nation again and (2) it would happen in one day! (See my short article: http://therefinersfire.org/israel_born_in_one_day.htm)

Knowing YHWH is in control, one would think the world would have learned its lesson, but mankind seems hell-bent on destruction, as evidenced by the fact that we once again are forced to witness the rise of “hate groups” – with the media eagerly promoting their sick agenda by granting them an endless air time. Hardly anyone would know about the likes of "grand wizard" David Duke or "neo-nazi" and other “white nationalists” nut jobs IF the media would simply IGNORE those brainless "white trash" dregs of society who have nothing, whatsoever to offer the world except demonic swinery….

America – and pretty much the rest of the world – seems to be out of control; ready to fall into a bottomless pit. Not only is the earth experiencing some natural disasters of “biblical proportions” now; but humanity is doing exactly what Scripture foretold – with most turning away from God and falling prey to their carnal natures. The Bible tells us that most will take that “wide gate that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14); and that only a “remnant” will stand strong and endure to the end for YHWH’s sake (Matthew 24:13).

2 Thessalonians 2: - 9. For the coming of that (Evil One) is the working of haSatan with all power and signs and lying wonders 10. and with all the deceptiveness of iniquity in them that perish; because they did not receive the love of the truth by which they might have life. 11. Therefore Elohim will send upon them the strength of a deception that they may believe a lie; 12. and that they all may be condemned who believe not the truth but have pleasure in iniquity. (AENT)

I pray that ALL who read this blog will research what is required of them to be able to pass through that “narrow gate” that leads to life….

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What was it that the Apostle Paul considered “dung”?

Several people have asked what Paul considered to be “dung” (or “crap” as one “Hebrew Roots” teacher so colorfully referred to anything outside of “Jesus”). Let’s check out the context of what the Apostle Paul wrote:

PHILIPPIANS 3

Finally, my Brothers, rejoice in our Master (Y’shua). To write these (things) again and again to you is not bothersome to me because they make you more careful. 2. Beware of dogs; beware of evil doers; beware of the circumcised in flesh (alone). 3. For we are the (real) circumcision who worship Elohim in spirit and glory in Y’shua the Mashiyach, and place no reliance on the flesh,[1] 4. And though I might place reliance on the flesh. For, if any one thinks that his reliance should be on the flesh, I might (do so) more than he.

5. Circumcised when eight days old; of the stock of Israel; of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew, descendant of Hebrews; as to Torah, a Pharisee; 6. as to zeal, a persecutor of the assembly (of Messianic believers); and as to the righteousness of the (Oral) Torah,[2] I was without fault. 7. But these things which had been my mastery, I have accounted a detriment because of the Mashiyach.

8. And now also I account them all a detriment, because of the superiority of the knowledge of Y’shua the Mashiyach my Master; for the sake of whom I have parted with all things and have accounted (them) as dung that I might gain the Mashiyach[3] 9. and be found in him; since my righteousness is not (now) that from Torah, but that which is from faith in the Mashiyach, that is, the righteousness which is from Elohim; 10. that thereby I might know Y’shua and the power of his resurrection; and might participate in his sufferings and be assimilated to his death: 11. if so be, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

{1} Torah teaches that we must not rely on our flesh (for dust you are, and to dust shall you return), but that we obey our Father YHWH as His children. We are the real circumcision if we obey YHWH and do His will. Circumcision counts for nothing if we are unwilling to turn to YHWH’s instructions and follow in the steps of His Mashiyach (Jeremiah 9). Rav Shaul repeatedly teaches that circumcision of the heart must come first; circumcision of the flesh can never begin to substitute the perfect work of the Ruach haKodesh.

{2} By including Pharisaic tutelage, Rav Shaul is specifically referencing the “Oral Law” in which he was without fault. Y’shua rebuked the Pharisees (contrary to popular Christian opinion), for not keeping the Torah of Moshe, but for superseding Torah with their traditions (Matthew 15:1-20). Y’shua clearly advocates Torah observance (Matthew 5:17-20). Rav Shaul never referred to the Torah of YHWH as anything detrimental to Faith (Romans 3:31, 7:12). Rav Shaul quotes extensively from Torah – indeed, from all the Tanakh – to uphold every teaching he puts forth! There is nothing Paul upholds which is not based in the Torah of YHWH, so those who preach Paul must not be unbelievers, but also follow what Paul taught, which is the Torah of YHWH, not the traditions of men.

[3] Because Rav Shaul knew that the halacha (way to walk) of Y’shua was superior to that of the Pharisees. It was not that Y’shua abandoned Torah, Elohim forbid! But that Y’shua understood, clarified and revealed Torah far better than any other teacher that Rav Shaul knew, and Paul associated with the greatest souls within Judaism! (Luke 24:44-45). Sadly, many have never even been able to enter into the discussion as it pertains to Y’shua, Paul and Torah, as they’ve been led to believe by false religion that Paul was anti-Torah!

The coming eclipse is NOT a biblical “sign”….

By now you've surely seen several teachers trying to use the upcoming eclipse as yet another biblical "sign" … Question:  WHY would a regular, common, completely predicable (in advance) astronomical occurrence be a prophetic SIGN? 

These same teachers were also warning you that the "blood moons" of 2014-2015 were portends/signs of horrific things to come during that period.  Well, as usual, nothing out of the ordinary happened as my husband revealed in his short article that attempted to debunk the hype

Yet many on FB are following these false teachers AGAIN… never mind that Scriptures warns us to stay clear of their nonsense!  People, it would be a "sign from God" IF something in the heavens occurred that was UNUSUAL and inexplicable!

A note to those who like to make fun of older people

Psalm 71: Elohim, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wonders. 18 And also when I am old and grey, O Elohim, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to a generation, Your might to all those who are to come. 19 For Your righteousness, O Elohim, is most high, You who have done great deeds. O Elohim, who is like You? 20 You who have shown me great and evil distresses, Revive me again and bring me up again From the depths of the earth. 21 You increase my greatness, And comfort me on every side. (ISR)

Every once in a while, I see people being attacked by some Facebook smart aleck for “being old.” Normally, these people are uneducated loudmouths with a grudge against older folks; but not always. I personally was once attacked by a Jewish Rabbi who wrote under one of my teaching videos: “Who’s that old lady with the bony fingers?”

When I contacted him and told him I was “that old lady with the bony fingers,” and was writing to give him a chance to apologize, he became even more belligerent and silly – proving that his title had given him neither knowledge of Scripture nor common sense. In the end, realizing I was getting nowhere with him, I forgave him and blocked him. That’s really all you can do with people who give in to their carnal nature.

People who attack someone for “being old” obviously have never paid attention to the many scriptures that tell YHWH’s people to RESPECT their elders. Here are but a few examples:

Proverbs 16:31 White hair is a crown of honor obtained by righteous living. (CJB)

Leviticus 19:32 ‘Rise up before the grey-headed. And you shall favour the face of an old man, and shall fear your Elohim. I am יהוה. (ISR)

Job 12:12-13: With the aged is wisdom, and understanding with length of days. With Him are wisdom and might, He has counsel and understanding. (ISR)

If you’re among those who likes to poke fun at older people, take heed!  First of all, you are SINNING by engaging in this silly, juvenile behavior!  Secondly, the human life span is very short, and so you’d better hope that you will have the privilege of living to old age.  Finally, God is NOT happy with those who like to pretend they belong to Him while constantly allowing themselves to fall prey to their carnal natures. Deliberate and continued sinning WILL result in YOU losing your salvation!

Warning about all the “Christs” showing up these days

Scripture amply warns us that the "end times" scenario would consist of all kinds of terrible things, including many false messiahs cropping up out of nowhere. There are several of them on Facebook now, and they have lots of followers!

I have been challenging false "prophets" and "messiahs" for years, including these two: Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda (who died in 2013) who insisted he was "Christ AND Antichrist" at the same time and made his followers to wear a tattoo; and Ray-El - a former "Guardian Angel" who lost touch with reality.

They both screamed and hollered like crazy when I asked them some pointed questions, and they eventually blocked me in hopes of keeping me away from their followers....

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Does Hebrews 8 Negate Torah?

A Christian posted recently: "The New Covenant: Hebrew 8" then he went on to say: "Why cling to the shadow when you can have the substance? Why hold on to that which is obsolete and passing away when you can have the fullness of Christ?"

All we can say is "Here we go again!" Another attempt to argue that simple obedience to God, by His rules (Torah), was somehow "done away with", and the "proof", evidently, must be Hebrews 8! Well, we have long addressed Hebrews 8 in other articles. Here are two: https://www.therefinersfire.org/hebrews.htm, and http://blog.therefinersfire.org/…/does-hebrews-8-show-that-…. But let me address the central assumption: "The New Covenant: Hebrews 8".

Hebrews 8 begins by discussing the priestly order addressed in Hebrews 7. In fact, the point is made in Chapter 7 that the Messiah (Jesus [Yeshua] Who was not of the tribe of Levi), required a change to Torah for the Messiah's righteous leadership (7:11-16). This "change to Torah", though, has nothing to do with the abolition of Torah, rather, it is referring only to a change in instructions that relate to priests! Chapter 7 goes on to explain that the Messiah's priesthood is "better" because the Messiah has conquered death (7:20-27). Hebrews 7 closes with the fact that human priest were "flawed", that is, being sinful men, they had to first make sacrifices for themselves before they could offer a sacrifice for others. But the Messiah, having no flaws, is identified in two post-Torah scriptures (verse 7:28) as anointed. These two post-Torah scriptures referred to Psalms 2 and 110.

Then, Chapter 8 begins with the fact that the Messiah is the Cohen identified in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 is very clear that it is NOT talking about Torah when it addresses those who ministered in the "shadow" of things in heaven (8:3-5), rather, the subject is the impermanence of the actions of the earthly priests via the earthly tabernacle. The Messiah's ministry is identified as "better" than the "former", still referring to the imperfect, earthly actions within the earthly priesthood. Indeed, the author refers to the "new covenant" with "the house of Isra'el and the house of Y'hudah" (straight from Jeremiah 31)! The "the house of Isra'el and house of Y'hudah" are BOTH Torah obedient children of God!

Now, note what happened to the "old covenant"! Hebrews 8:9, regarding the new covenant: "'It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by their hand and led them forth out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, did not remain faithful to my covenant; so I, for my part, stopped concerning myself with them,' says Adonai." Did you catch that? Torah was not the problem! The problem was that the people were not faithful to the covenant! The people broke Torah, not God!

So what was to happen? The people, who, all along were obligated to Torah as children of God, but whom had been unfaithful, would be the recipients of a "new covenant", one in which Torah would be "in their minds and written on their hearts." (Hebrews 8:10 citing Jeremiah 31:33). Torah was not declared "old"! Here is an announcement that it would be the PEOPLE who would change, not Torah! The people would have their hearts and minds opened for a love of Torah such that they would not need the formalized instruction any more from the old way of being taught by the scribes and priests. All would have this love of, acceptance of, and guidance by Torah. (Hebrews 8:11-12 citing Jeremiah 31:34-36).

And finally, Hebrews 8 closes with verse 13, one of the most misunderstood verses in all of the New Testament! The verse reads: "By saying, ‘renewed,’ He has made the first old. Now what becomes old and growing aged is near disappearing." Most take this to mean that the Torah is that which was identified as "old and near disappearing"! But that is dreadfully wrong! This error in interpretation is revealed by the preceding verse! Verse 12 reads: "Because I shall forgive their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawlessnesses I shall no longer remember."

You see, the "old covenant" required the person with the sinful nature who sinned, had to obtain an animal sacrifice offered on his behalf by a Levite Priest. But in the new covenant, Torah would be "in their minds and written on their hearts"! In other words, what was "old" was the "old sinful nature" of man, and what is "new" is the new disposition of man given to him by his having Torah in his mind and on his heart! The New Covenant did not require Torah to change - it required man to change!  Torah was and still is the measure of one’s love for God!

So the central assumption: "The New Covenant: Hebrews 8", is a bit flawed. The assumption implies that the "New Covenant" replaced Torah, while the truth is that the "New Covenant" replaced man's desire to sin with a desire instead to fulfill and live by Torah. The sacrifice of the Messiah, for you, remains so long as you live your life voluntarily without intentional sin (i.e. Torah is on your mind and in your heart). But the Messiah's sacrifice for you is negated if you reject Torah and continue to live in sin!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

If women don’t want to be sexualized, then how come they allow themselves to look and behave like whores in music videos?

Isn't it funny how today's women are whining about being sexualized, yet they don't mind dressing like whores and being used as sex objects in videos like this, which is basically porn? The fact that this video (and others like it where women behave like dogs in heat) is the "most watched" reveals where humanity is today. As the days of Noah were.....

Ephesians 5:1. Be therefore imitators of Elohim as beloved children: 2. And walk in love; as the Mashiyach also has loved us and has given up himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to Elohim, for a sweet aroma. 3. But sexual sin and all impurity and greed, do not let them be at all heard from among you, as such (denials) are not becoming of the Set Apart believers; 4. Neither obscenities nor words of foolishness, or of division, or of falsehood, which are not useful; but instead of these, thanksgiving. (AENT)

Psalm 11:3 If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (ESV)

Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words, store up my commands with you. 2 Obey my commands, and live; guard my teaching like the pupil of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister"; call understanding your kinswoman; 5 so that they can keep you from unknown women, from loose women with their seductive talk. (CJB)

Proverbs 7:21 With all her sweet talk she convinces him, enticing him with her seductive words. 22 At once he follows her like an ox on its way to be slaughtered; like a fool to be punished in the stocks; 23 or like a bird rushing into a trap, not knowing its life is at stake till an arrow pierces its liver. 24 So now, children, listen to me; pay attention to what I am saying. 25 Don't let your heart turn to her ways; don't stray onto her paths. 26 For many are those she has struck down dead, numerous those she has killed. 27 Her house is the way to Sh'ol; it leads down to the halls of death. (CJB)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Beware of vegetarians and their agenda!

Scripture warns us that there would be myriad false teachers in the end times, and one of the latest crazes I’m seeing is vegans trying to twist Scripture into suggesting that God never condoned the eating of flesh. One such person wrote:

DID YAHUSHA FEED THE CROWD OF 5000 BREAD AND FISH?

Those readers familiar with the New Testament story in which Yahusha miraculously fed 5,000 persons with but a little bread and a few fish, might ask: "Didn't Yahusha eat fish?" The answer is: NOT IN THE ORIGINAL, AUTHENTIC NEW TESTAMENT! In the original, unadulterated version of the New Testament (), Yahusha fed those 5000 persons with but a little BREAD AND GRAPES! The vegetarian teachings of Yahusha were removed by merchants of death -- persons who earned money from the flesh of animals -- after they forcibly took over the early Essene-Christian church and established a State-run religion.

(Before I go on, I would like to get off my chest that I’ve noticed over my 20 years in Torah, that everyone who has weird spellings of YHWH (Yahweh) and Y’shua (Yeshua) are always off the mark in other major areas as well. The weirder those spellings of the transliterations from the Hebrew into English, the weirder their theology! Please see our article on this.)

That said, here are a few questions for the vegan Scripture Twisters:

It’s true that man was originally vegetarian.

Genesis 1:30 And to every wild animal, bird in the air and creature crawling on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I am giving as food every kind of green plant." And that is how it was. (CJB)

Later on, after the “fall” we see the beginnings of meat consumption – which is why animals suddenly began to fear man:

Genesis 9:2 "And the fear of you and the dread of you is on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the heavens, on all that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea – into your hand they have been given. 3 Every moving creature that lives is food for you. I have given you all, as I gave the green plants. 4 But do not eat flesh with its life, its blood. 5 But only your blood for your lives I require, from the hand of every beast I require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I require the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood is shed, for in the image of Elohim has He made man. (ISR)

But, for those who read Scripture in context, it is clear that YHWH had some limits as to what animals were to be eaten, and He passed down MANY instructions about “clean and unclean” animals!

So, where do vegans get off INSISTING that man is to be vegan and WHERE do they get the audacity to twist Scripture in order to prove their point? Anyone who has the most basic knowledge of Hebrew and/or Aramaic knows that Y’shua didn’t feed people bread and GRAPES!

Matthew 14:17. But they said to him, “We have nothing here but five loaves of bread and two fish.” 18. Y’shua said to them, bring them here to me. 19. And he commanded the crowds to recline upon the ground, and he took those five loaves of bread and two fish and gazed into heaven and blessed them and broke them and gave them to his disciples. And those disciples placed before the crowds. 20. And all of them ate and were satisfied. And they took up the remnant of the fragments — twelve baskets full! 21. And those men who ate were five thousand, aside from the women and children! (AENT)

In Matthew 13, do we see Y’shua discussing the casting of nets for GRAPES? Please read this, because it reveals what will happen to those who are deliberately trying to CHANGE Scripture to serve your own bellies!

Matthew 14:47. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a net that was cast into the sea, and every kind of fish it gathered. 48. And when it was full, they pulled it out to the shore of the sea, and they sat down and sorted them. And the good they placed into bags, and the bad they threw away. 49. Thus it will be in the end of the world. The Messengers will go out and separate the wicked from among the righteous. 50. And they will cast them into the furnace of fire, and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (AENT)

What other reason except to eat the FISH would there be for “fishing”?

Here’s yet another question for the vegan Scripture Twister: Since you insist the Bible tells us we are to be vegans, are you all eating RAW veggies only? After all, nowhere does Scripture tell us to COOK them.... I mean, if you're going to try to "get biblical" let's do that, shall we?

Yes, unfortunately, we are seeing the Books of Daniel and Revelation unfolding before our very eyes! YHWH, His Prophets and Sages and Apostles amply warned about these “wolves” among us. Here are but a few examples:

Jeremiah 14:14 YHWH replied, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I didn't send them, order them or speak to them. They are prophesying false visions to you, worthless divinations, the delusions of their own minds.... (CJB)

Matthew 24:11. And many false prophets will arise and deceive many.  12. And because of the growth of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold.  13. But whoever has patience until the end, he will have life.  (AENT)

2 Peter 2: 1. But in the world there have been also false prophets, as there will likewise be false teachers among you who will bring in destructive heresies denying Master YHWH that bought them; thus bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2. And many will go after their profaneness on account of whom the way of truth will be reproached. 3. And in the greediness of raving words they will make merchandise of you: whose judgment of a long time is not idle; and their destruction never sleeps. (AENT)

Scripture even tells us what to do about these people:

Matthew 18: 16. And if he does not listen to you, take with you one or two others, because of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word is established. 17. And if he will also not listen to them, tell the congregation. And if he will also not listen to the congregation, let him be to you like a tax collector and like a heathen. (AENT)

In other words – READ and STUDY Scripture for yourself and test every word with which someone anyone attempts to lure you so that you don’t fall into anyone’s lying trap!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

On Facebook “armchair teachers” and their teachings….

I recently saw some Facebook “armchair teacher" twisting the last few words of Leviticus 23:3 into being “proof” that it’s wrong to attend a congregation on Shabbat because Scripture supposedly tells us that "nobody should leave their homes on Shabbat."

Those who actually read AND study Scripture can immediately recognize false teachings; and they could have easily figured out that this person based their "teaching" on only the last four words of that one sentence!

Let's take a look at the context:

Leviticus 23:3 "'Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for ADONAI, even in your homes. (CJB)

The words “even in your homes” does NOT imply we cannot or should not attend a congregation! Indeed, the weekly Shabbat is specifically identified as a day of holy convocation!

The dictionary tells us that a convocation is (1) a large formal assembly of people, or (2) the action of calling people together for a large formal assembly, etc. This modern definition of convocation is completely in line with the original Hebrew “mik’ra’ei” which refers to something “called out” as in “a meeting”, “a gathering”, or “an assembly”.

Sure, we can have a holy convocation in our homes, but in biblical times, people didn't own a Torah scroll, couldn’t read and needed someone to TEACH Torah, which certainly couldn’t be accomplished by a teacher or a few teachers going into hundreds of separate homes on Shabbat!

And excuse me if I’m wrong, but my Bible says that Yeshua taught in synagogues on Shabbat (Luke 4:15). If it was good enough for him, it should be good enough for us, and no “Facebook scholar” has a right to suggest otherwise!

This person also asked (with great authority!): "Are we not defiling Sabbath when we travel and spend for transportation? That's still buying and selling, right? Think about it."
SIGH! Okay, I've THOUGHT about it: First, your "buying and selling" problem is solved if you fill up your gas tank BEFORE Shabbat. And if you need to travel by bus or train, buy your tickets in advance. (If this is the only way to have like-minded fellowship on Shabbat, then the ONLY options available to you are to (1) take public transportation; (2) hitch a ride with someone from the synagogue who lives close enough to you; (3) rent a place closer to the congregation so you can walk; or (4) stay home. It's a real dilemma, and YHWH knows that...)

One thing to remember on Shabbat is to NOT go out to eat at a restaurant after the service because, you'll not only be guilty of committing commerce, but also of causing others to work directly for you. (See Exodus 20:10; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Ezekiel 20:12) It doesn't matter that "they" aren't Torah observant; YOU are!

People in biblical times lived in close proximity, close enough to walk to synagogue. Try walking across a major city today, to attend a congregation! If you live in rural America, you could be 100 miles or more from any formal congregations. We need to realize and admit that we live in an ungodly, Torah-less world where we sometimes have to make a few modifications to do the things YHWH asks of us. Driving to synagogue (or taking public transportation) happens to be among them.

Trying to be high-browed and legalistic about the Word (especially when the idea is spawned by nothing more than personal opinion derived from sentence fragments in Scripture!) is only going to prevent others from bothering to learn and grow and fellowship with like-minded people!
Luke 11:52 "Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge! Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter!”  (CJB)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A quick word about Mother Theresa and Princess Di

Over the course of my life I’ve had several premonitions, all of which came true. Back in the summer of 1997 while I was making my bed and getting ready to go to work, quite out of the blue, the faces of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa came to mind, along with this strange thought that froze me in my tracks: “The death of Princess Diana will overshadow the death of Mother Theresa. Diana will be mourned and revered for months and years on end, while Mother Theresa and all her accomplishments will be but an afterthought.”

A few days later, Princess Diana died in a horrific auto accident in Paris; and a week later, Mother Theresa died in Calcutta. And sure enough, Mother’s Theresa’s death -  was then, and still is, but a footnote in the wake of Princess Diana’s fame -  and that holds true still today, 20 years later! How sad.

All scriptures from ESV:

John 12:43 For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

About “vaping” and other ways to abuse our bodies

At a recent house party to which we were invited, I saw a young lady "vaping." Having never seen a vaping device, I went out on the porch for a "greet and meet" and to ask if I could see it up close. Well, the first thing that hit me was the overpowering, chemically-produced smell of brownies - which immediately started swelling up my sinuses, as I have severe reactions to any chemical scents. (Yes, perfumes are practically a death knell for me, and some will cause my lungs to shut down and cause me to pass out in under a minute, if I don't get away from the person!)

Regardless, while striking up a conversation, I discovered that her "vape-mod" (a surprisingly heavy device housing batteries that connects and transfers power to the atomizer) produced "E-Juice" consisting of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavorings, and sometimes nicotine which is heated to create vapor for inhalation. This left me wondering why any rational human being would want that stuff in their lungs, which were designed to breathe AIR!

I wasn't able to stick around very long because I found her "vaping" to be not only nauseating, but the chemicals were giving me a headache. I listened, nonetheless, as she proudly explained that it was safer than smoking and that she enjoyed it and loved all the flavors that vaping provided. (Never mind that, like perfumes or "regular' cigarette smoke, her "favorite flavor") might bother OTHERS....)

Well, I personally hated the smell her vaping device produced, but kept my mouth shut, thanked her for allowing me to get an up-close look at her vaporizer and left, wondering what mental flaw causes people to insist on deviating from and rebelling against "normal". YHWH made every organ, every cell in our bodies for a specific purpose, yet humans insist on altering that purpose for their own "pleasure." Never mind that their pleasure might pose a danger to their health or the health of an innocent bystander. Never mind that their pleasure might be viewed as SIN in our Creator's eyes.

YHWH commands that we take care of our "temples" - but many don't think about that when putting smoke or chemicals in their lungs, or abuse ANY organ for something it was never intended, or when they feed their precious systems drugs or alcohol to "get high"; or even eat too much food, which leads to illnesses of various kinds (Genesis 3:6; Deuteronomy 21:20; Ezekiel 16:49; Philippians 3:19; Proverbs 23:2, 28:7; 1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:7, 15:32, etc.).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Are you “hosed”?

I know I’m going out on a limb here, but it has to be said: You are hosed if you reject Yeshua; AND you are just as hosed if you reject YHWH’s Torah. YHWH/Yeshua/Torah are indelibly linked. The Bible says so.

Scripture tells us that YHWH is ELOHIM (Genesis 1, 4:26; Exodus 29:46; Numbers 22:6; Joshua 3:7; 1 Kings 8:43, etc.), and that Yeshua was not only His Messiah (Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2, John 3:16, 7:42; Luke 1:26-35, 2:4-7; Matthew 2:1-7, etc. ) but he was also the WORD, which is one of Yeshua’s titles (John 1:1, 17: Acts 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Colossians 1:19-25; 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:2).

According to Wikipedia, “the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means "to guide/teach" (cf. Lev 10:11). The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the commonly accepted "law" gives a wrong impression. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, theory, guidance, or system.”

YHWH is ELOHIM who created the entire universe through His “Word”. He temporarily wrapped that “Word” in flesh to dwell on the earth to preach the Kingdom of YHWH (NOT to proclaim himself as God, but to be THE Messiah who – as the divine “SON” – was able to walk on water, turn water into wine and raise the dead; and then offer his own blood to atone for the past sins of all who accepted him as YHWH’s Messiah). Yeshua never made it about himself; he constantly deferred to His ‘Father” who sent him….

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

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

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

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

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

Was Paul a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another; or were his teachings, perhaps, misunderstood?

No! MEN began to change the rules to fit their agenda, and the entire world has blindly followed suit. MEN have come up with “religion” and “religions” and “denominations” – NONE of which adhere to what Scripture actually commands … which is this: YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. Period.

YHWH's Word was never meant to be "religion"; it was simply meant to be a way of life. His people are to be set apart/holy. His Torah reveals how holiness is to be accomplished.

The bottom line is, if you are rejecting YHWH’s Torah, you ARE, in fact, also rejecting His WORD who is Yeshua. If you reject Yeshua, you reject Torah. If you reject either of those, you are rejecting YHWH Himself! And if you do that, then whom are you worshiping? Reject any of part of this "Whole" and you are hosed.

We CANNOT and SHOULD NOT play around with Scripture. If you’ve never done so, I beg you to read the entire Bible, from start to finish, so you can see for yourself the WHOLE Truth that was established at “the beginning” and which has never changed – regardless as to what mere men keep trying to tell us.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Counter-missionaries and their SICK ideas about “Jesus”

As you all know, I am into Messianic Apologetics. I spend my life explaining God and the Bible to the world. YHWH has used my website to lead all kinds of "hard to reach" people to Himself, including two Muslim men and a super nasty "White supremacist skin head."

Among my biggest challenges are traditional Jews and their converts ... "counter-missionaries" - those who openly and arrogantly "reject Jesus" and feel a driving need to tell the whole world via their keyboards. These people, I've come to realize over the years, are living proof that the Ruach leaves your body, once you "reject Jesus!" Their Facebook walls reek of vicious, vitriolic demonic behavior as they spend their days bashing "Jesus" (they refuse to call him Yeshua) and anyone who believes he is YHWH's Messiah.

These people (most of whom ended up being "counter-missionaries" after they found their way to Torah) "left Jesus" because they started following the "eari-tickling" rants of counter-missionary rabbis (such as Tovia Singer, Stuart Federov and others), never realizing that these rabbis (who make their living doing this) are just USING them as mouthpieces! These people don't know that they will NEVER be accepted as "Jews" unless they go through a grueling, years-long conversion; they are just mere "donkeys" doing the "grunt work" for the rabbis.

Here is but one example of the types of things these Ruach-less types are preaching to the gullible.

Here is my response (which can be found on our website)....

"Anti-missionaries" (traditional Jews and/or converts who attempt to "prove" that Yeshua is NOT the Messiah and that the New Testament is a farce) will often use the following scripture to show "Jesus" can't be real because God would never demand that you eat His flesh or drink His blood - something that supposedly suggests he is a vampire.

Let's put this outrageously ridiculous MISUNDERSTOOD scripture into its proper context with the help of footnotes from Andrew Gabriel Roth's Aramaic English New Testament:

John 6:53 And Y'shua said to them, Amen, amen I say to you, that unless you eat the body of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in Qnoma. 54. And he who eats from my body and drinks from my blood has life that is everlasting, and I will raise him up on the last day.

55. For truly my body is food and truly my blood is drink. 56. He who eats my body and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. 57. As the Living Father has sent me, and I live because of the Father, and whoever eats of me he also will live because of me. 58. This is the Bread that has descended from Heaven. It is not as manna your forefathers ate and died. He who eats this Bread will live forever! 59. He said these things while he taught in the assembly in Capurnakhum.

60. And many who heard it of his disciples said, "This saying is hard! Who is able to do it?" 61. But Y'shua knew in himself that his disciples were arguing about this, and he said to them, This offends you! 62. What if, therefore, you see the Son of man ascending to the place that he was before? 63. It is the Spirit that makes alive; the body does not profit anything. The words that I speak with you are spirit and are life. (AENT)

Qnoma, usually translated here as "you", "self", or "yourselves", but literally means "Underlying substance." The body/blood imagery is metaphoric. Y'shua, of course, knows very well that it is an abomination to drink any kind of blood, let alone human blood (Leviticus 17:11). Consuming human flesh is also an abomination that is strictly prohibited. Rabbis even suggest that part of the reason swine's flesh is forbidden is because it resembles human skin.

There are two underlying parts: Part 1 recalls the imagery of Ezekiel 3:1-15 where the prophet actually ate a Torah scroll; the imagery symbolizing the prophet being sustained by and proclaiming Torah, which is the essence of what Y'shua is teaching. Y'shua's example and teaching are to be part of our innermost being, literally taken in and ingested into our hearts.

This imagery is also seen in Mark 7:19 which distinguishes between physical food and spiritual (heart) "food", and Jeremiah 31:33 which speaks of writing Torah upon the heart. Part 2, is the life which Y'shua refers to; it is not physicality, as "self", but the core essence of being, literally of the neshama, (spirit of man).

"He who eats this Bread will live forever!" is clear evidence that opposes the "communion" model of mainstream Christian institutions.

Nothing is being eaten while Y'shua is making this statement; he had just levied a rebuke for their desire of physical rather than spiritual "bread." It is Faith in Y'shua as Mashiyach which causes a person to "eat the flesh and drink the blood." The "wafer" (transubstitution) is a Pagan adulteration against Y'shua's teaching. Y'shua observed Torah to perfection; his perfect atoning sacrifice would be remembered specifically on the Moedim (YHWH's feasts) as the Word of YHWH instructs.

As the "body does not profit anything," then neither can ingesting a wafer that symbolizes the body! Sin is violation of Torah. The absolution of sin begins with Teshuva (turning to YHWH). Faith in Mashiyach is evidence that the Ruach haKodesh has begun to write Torah upon the heart. Obedience to Torah as the Word of YHWH is the process of Sanctification, which is the setting apart of YHWH's people unto Himself, from all manner of worldliness and false religion. No volume of wafer-ism or canned prayer in or about Mashiyach will provide an acceptable substitute to being born into the Image of Elohim!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

September 23, 2017 Prophecy Hype and Sensationalism

There's a lot of Internet and FaceBook "buzz" about prophecy unfolding before our eyes this coming September (2017), when we will supposedly "witness" in the skies the prophecy of Revelation 21:1.  Well, I'll be abrupt: It's complete hyped garbage. It is sensationalized nonsense.

In a nutshell, here is what it is all about: On September, 23, 2017, the sun will be in the constellation Virgo ("the virgin"), and on that same date the moon will be seen near Virgo’s feet.  Then, with Jupiter also appearing "in" the constellation Virgo, and the planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury also present above and to the right of Virgo in the constellation Leo - we supposedly have the makings of what is described in Revelation 12:1:

"Now a great sign was seen in heaven — a woman clothed with the sun, under her feet the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

The planets and other stars in Leo are supposed to represent the "crown" of Revelation 12:1.

[This stuff is being hyped by websites, many of dubious credibility, (usually the "content farms" whose only goal is the income produced from people coming to their website to view this nonsense so they hopefully will click on "ads" which earns the site money.) Most of these sites should be ashamed of themselves.]

The problem is, this "sign" on September 23rd is completely bogus!

So what's wrong with this "sign" of September 23rd, 2017? Plenty.

First, the sun passes through Virgo every year in the September time frame. Every year. Therefore Virgo is metaphorically "clothed with the sun" for about 35 days EVERY year. Second, when the sun is in Virgo, during that 35 days or so each year, the moon will, on one or two of those days, be observed to appear "under her feet". So the situation with the moon being "under her feet" also happens ONCE A YEAR, every year (at the time when the sun is also in Virgo).

Third, it's a real stretch to call the 9 brightest stars of the constellation Leo part of the "crown" and to call the 3 planets that will be in Leo at the time the other 3 stars of the "crown". The stars in Leo are nowhere near the head of Virgo! Leo spans 32 degrees in the sky (about 2/3 as long as Virgo is "tall"), and the entire formation (to call it that) is nowhere near "crown-shaped"! (Visually, Leo spans almost 20% of the sky when the constellation is overhead. If this is a "crown", that's some giant, misshapen, unfamiliar crown! It's almost as large as the constellation Virgo herself!)

Fourth, while Jupiter is present in Virgo this year, this happens in Virgo every 12 years at the same time the sun is in Virgo, so this "rare situation" happens every 12 years. The only thing somewhat unique about 2017 is the position of Mercury, Venus, and Mars between Virgo's head and the star Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, which, as I said, in no way forms a "crown"!

Fifth, when the sun is "in Virgo", you can't see it "in Virgo". The only way to "see" this is during the day when the sun, and the constellation of Virgo, are overhead, but then of course, you can see nothing but the very bright sun in the sky and the bright blue sky which obscures all stars and planets alike. You can't “see” Virgo, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus, or the moon at that time! So this great hyped "sign" of September 23rd, 2017 is not even visible to anyone as any “sight”!  It is, however, visible in small "pieces".

Here is what I mean: On the morning of September 23rd, before the sun rises, you may see Regulus, Venus, and Mars if you would only look in the right direction at the right time. Mercury might be visible for a few moments before the dawn gets too bright so long as you know exactly where to look. Otherwise, the only other "part" of this "great" (bogus) "sign" in the sky is at sunset September 23rd, when you will be able to see Jupiter low, near the horizon, and the crescent moon. But there is absolutely nothing special about seeing these planets in this way - before sunrise or after sunset. Planets are often visible at sunrise and sunset when they appear close to the sun!

Sixth, if the creator of this hype sees the prophecy of Revelation 12:1 in the sky on September 23rd, 2017, where is the sign in the sky at the same time from Revelation 12:3? There is also supposed to be a "a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven royal crowns"! Seems to me if the situation of September 23, 2017 is so prophetic as the hype says, then the "vision" should also reveal the 7-headed dragon and the 7 crowns. Where is the dragon on September 23rd?

Seventh, and this is the most important flaw in the hype: The revelation in Revelation 12:1 is not to be taken as seen from earth! Read Revelation 4:1:

"After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.'"

See the phrase "come up here"? John's vision is FROM HEAVEN, not from earth! So John's vision in Revelation 12 is from a vantage point not possible from earth so attempting to "fit" the ordinary astronomical view we have from earth to John's vision is complete nonsense! Even in Revelation 6:13-14, we read: "The stars fell from heaven to earth just as a fig tree drops its figs when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place." What John is seeing is NOTHING related to what we see from earth!

Once again, we here at The Refiner's Fire caution people to steer clear of such hyped and sensationalized stories as this.  If anything, remember the same hype and sensationalizing was seen just two years ago with the "Blood Moon" nonsense when there were four total lunar eclipses in a row (the great “tetrad”) through 2014-2015 - all happening on Jewish holy days. Oh what major events were supposed to happen!  "Here, buy my book!" said several authors.  Well, if you bought the book, you only found your wallet lighter. That's all.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Funny meme speaks volumes!

Poster_spoon

While this meme is funny, it actually depicts the relationship some have with their Bible. They never actually read it; they just like to talk about it. Some have never read the Bible from cover to cover, yet they love to discuss and debate it - and they become belligerent when challenged about their opinions on Scripture.

Others may have read it once, many years ago, and what they read has long since faded; and most of their knowledge today about Scripture comes from what they see others post on Facebook.

My question is: HOW can one know God or His Word if they're never actually IN the Word?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Another false “Christ”….

Hey, did you all know that Jesus Christ has been on earth since 1979? Yup, it's true. And he's got more than 300,000 followers!

Matthew 24:24 For there will appear false Messiahs and false prophets performing great miracles -- amazing things! -- so as to fool even the chosen, if possible. (CJB)

Deuteronomy 13: 1 “When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’ 3 do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.

4 “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him. 5 “And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה your Elohim – who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim and redeemed you from the house of bondage – to make you stray from the way in which יהוה your Elohim commanded you to walk. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst. (ISR)

Why do we keep God’s Commandments?

Why do we keep YHWH’s Commandments? Because we LOVE Him!

John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commands; (CJB)

1 John 2: 3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands. 4 Anyone who says, "I know him," but isn't obeying his commands is a liar - the truth is not in him. 5 But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with him. 6 A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did. 7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command. On the contrary, it is an old command, which you have had from the beginning; the old command is the message which you have heard before. (CJB)

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

FOOTNOTE:

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

What makes this citation in Proverbs most profound is the word mitzvah (commandment), since tradition commonly calls the revelation at Sinai the Ten Commandments when in fact the Tanakh uses davarim (words)! Keep this in mind while considering 1 John 2:4. “He who says I know Him and does not keep His Commandments (poqadona) is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word (miltha) in him, verily is the love of Elohim perfected; hereby we know that we are in Him.” 1 John 2:4 (Lamsa).

Aramaic could not make a more forceful point. The fact is, poqadona and miltha are exceedingly close matches for their Hebrew counterparts mitzvah in Proverbs, and davar in Psalms. However, it is in this next passage that the full measure of John’s brilliance is shown: “My beloved, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard from the beginning.” 1 John 2:7 (Lamsa)

The Commandment is the Word, which comes from the beginning. We must now realize that to translate this as “his Commandments” is wrong, but “His Commandments” is correct. “His Commandments” is the WORD which came from the very beginning of time. Many fail to understand this truth: It is impossible for Torah to have passed away during the lifetime of the Shlichim if John himself writes about the Word they have heard from the beginning.

What else could this WORD be, except the living Torah! John is a native Aramaic speaker and follower of Y’shua who knows that the WORD (or the Torah of YHWH) comes from the “Light”; he states that Elohim is Light and that we abide in that Light when we do His Mitzvot/Poqadona/Commandments. Furthermore, the interchanging of “Word” and “Commandment ” simply does not happen in any other language except Hebrew and Aramaic, the word that you have heard” is the Shema!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

God expects us to repel sinners

Have you ever noticed that YHWH expects His people to turn their backs toward ANYONE who chooses to live in sin? This means, if even your own close relatives insist on sinning, you will incur their guilt if you keep making excuses for them, and hanging with them – because, as you know, Scripture is clear that deliberate sin will keep you out of Eternity. There will be no “lukewarm” in His Presence (Revelation 3:16). The ONLY reason YHWH doesn’t kill people on the spot for their ongoing, intentional sins today is because, once we have accepted Yeshua as our Final Sin Sacrifice/Offering, his blood covers our "past sins” (and, of course, because ofYHWH’s Grace and Mercy).

To illustrate what I’m talking about, please check out the mini-study below about what happened to YHWH’s people after they built the “golden calf” while Moshe was up on the mountain, receiving the Ten Commandments. I’ve inserted some personal comments along the way:

Exodus 32:

1 When the people saw that Moshe was taking a long time to come down from the mountain, they gathered around Aharon and said to him, "Get busy; and make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Moshe, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt - we don't know what has become of him."

(COMMENT: HOW can a people who just witnessed the 10 plagues and crossed the Sea of Reeds on "dry land" POSSIBLY decide build a "golden calf" to worship and attempt to present this abomination as “the God of Israel?” HOW did Aharon (in following passage below) decide to join them in this? How could Aharon then tell a "half truth" to Moshe when confronted (Exodus 32:21;24). He was a COHEN! Every time I read these passages, I'm left wondering why YHWH didn't just kill Aharon on the spot.)

2 Aharon said to them, "Have your wives, sons and daughters strip off their gold earrings; and bring them to me." 3 The people stripped off their gold earrings and brought them to Aharon.
4 He received what they gave him, melted it down, and made it into the shape of a calf. They said, "Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!" 5 On seeing this, Aharon built an altar in front of it and proclaimed, "Tomorrow is to be a feast for ADONAI." 6 Early the next morning they got up and offered burnt offerings and presented peace offerings. Afterwards, the people sat down to eat and drink; then they got up to indulge in revelry.

(COMMENT: Can you believe this? Aaron is a COHEN/HIGH PRIEST! Why didn’t he explain the need for patience? And if that didn’t work, he could have yelled at them to sit down, shut up and wait! After all, as Moshe’s mouthpiece during Pharaoh’s plagues, he KNEW YHWH and what YHWH could and would do to those who dared disobey! …WOW! Doesn’t this just serve to prove that we humans are gullible and ignorant and sometimes plain stupid when it comes to YHWH and the Kingdom; and that we’re often prone to doing our own will, regardless? Read on to see how YHWH ultimately handles this!)

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

11 Moshe pleaded with ADONAI his God. He said, "ADONAI, why must your anger blaze against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? 12 Why let the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don't bring such disaster on your people! 13 Remember Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, your servants, to whom you swore by your very self. You promised them, 'I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky; and I will give all this land I have spoken about to your descendants; and they will possess it forever.'"

14 ADONAI then changed his mind about the disaster he had planned for his people. 15 Moshe turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets inscribed on both sides, on the front and on the back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

(COMMENT: Yes, ADONAI “changed his mind” – BUT! – hang onto your hats, because Israel can’t and won’t get away with it! DELIBERATE sin requires punishment; that has never changed. You don’t mess with God and pretend you can get away with it!)

17 When Y'hoshua heard the noise of the people shouting he said to Moshe, "It sounds like war in the camp!" 18 He answered, "That is neither the clamor of victory nor the wailings of defeat; what I hear is the sound of people singing." 19 But the moment Moshe got near the camp, when he saw the calf and the dancing, his own anger blazed up. He threw down the tablets he had been holding and shattered them at the base of the mountain. 20 Seizing the calf they had made, he melted it in the fire and ground it to powder, which he scattered on the water. Then he made the people of Isra'el drink it.

21 Moshe said to Aharon, "What did these people do to you to make you lead them into such a terrible sin?" 22 Aharon replied, "My lord shouldn't be so angry. You know what these people are like, that they are determined to do evil. 23 So they said to me, 'Make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Moshe, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt - we don't know what has become of him.' 24 I answered them, 'Anyone with gold, strip it off!' So they gave it to me. I threw it in the fire, and out came this calf!"

(COMMENT: Honestly! The people MADE the High Priest do this; and then - voila! - “out came this calf”? This is so reminiscent of the “blame game” Adam and Eve attempted to play with YHWH, and how Cain feigned ignorance after he killed Abel. Now watch what happens to all those who perpetrated this sin … all except for Aharon whom God allowed to live, for some reason.)

25 When Moshe saw that the people had gotten out of control - because Aharon had allowed them to get out of control, to the derision of their enemies - 26 Moshe stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "Whoever is for ADONAI, come to me!"All the descendants of Levi rallied around him. 27 He told them, "Here is what ADONAI, the God of Isra'el, says: 'Each of you, put his sword on his side; and go up and down the camp, from gate to gate; and every man is to kill his own kinsman, his own friend and his own neighbor!"

28 The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died. 29 Moshe said, "You have consecrated yourselves today to ADONAI, because every one of you has been against his own son and against his own kinsman, in order to bring a blessing on yourselves today." 30 The next day Moshe said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin. Now I will go up to ADONAI ; maybe I will be able to atone for your sin."

(COMMENT: Notice that the sons of Levi – as horrified as they must have been – obeyed YHWH’s command to kill EVERYONE including their own relatives who had participated in this heinous sin of building the “golden calf” idol. They knew that if they refused, they too, would have to be put to death. This is proof that deliberate sin against YHWH – no matter how great or small – is NOT taken lightly, and those who participate willingly or even “from afar” WILL be held accountable!)

31 Moshe went back to ADONAI and said, "Please! These people have committed a terrible sin: they have made themselves a god out of gold. 32 Now, if you will just forgive their sin! But if you won't, then, I beg you, blot me out of your book which you have written!" 33 ADONAI answered Moshe, "Those who have sinned against me are the ones I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go and lead the people to the place I told you about; my angel will go ahead of you. Nevertheless, the time for punishment will come; and then I will punish them for their sin." 35 ADONAI struck the people with a plague because they had made the calf, the one Aharon made. (CJB)

FINAL COMMENT: Sin of ANY kind is bad! But, through Yeshua, YHWH made it easy for us to receive eternal life. None of us has to kill an innocent animal to atone for our sins. Yeshua was the Ultimate Sacrifice (even though he was NOT “sacrificed” per se; he martyred himself). But the blood of Messiah only covers our PAST sins. Once we accept YHWH as our Elohim and Y’shua as His Messiah, we MUST obey His Divine Instructions to mankind (Torah). If we don’t, WHOM are we worshiping, and why bother?

The act of “obedience” is not what “saves” us; belief in YHWH/Yeshua does. But that “belief” and acceptance means we start to do things HIS way so we can become holy/set apart; thus, leaving “the world” behind. THAT is what it means to be Torah observant.

YHWH had His people in the wilderness for 40 years to learn the simple concept of being “holy/set apart” by obeying His commands and behaving according to His Holy Rules. That has never changed because, if we dare veer from His Path, we end up being erased from His Presence. It’s OUR choice to either BE COMPLETELY HIS, or not….

Numbers 15: 30 "'But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut off from his people. (CJB)

Hebrews 6: 4. But they who have once descended to immersion and have tasted the gift from heaven and have received the Ruach haKodesh 5. and have tasted the good Word of Elohim and the power of the world to come, 6. cannot again sin and a second time be renewed to repentance; or a second time execute him on a stake and insult the Son of Elohim. 7. For the earth that drinks the rain which comes often upon it and produces the herb that is of use to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from Elohim. 8. But if it should put forth thorns and briers, it would be discarded and be approaching closely to a curse, and its end would be a conflagration. (AENT)

NOTE: Huge contrast between Aramaic and Greek. The Greek reads: "once having been enlightened..." This "enlightening" seems logical until we look at Aramaic: "But they who have once descended to immersion..." The difference is acute, since baptism is clearly a subject being introduced just two verses earlier. The reason for the Greek redaction to "enlightenment" may well have been due to early Gnostic influence that stressed Mashiyach's knowledge over his actual power and incarnation of Deity. See also Hebrews 10:32.

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)

How many of today's believers behave in a way they know is sinful and yet they go ahead and do what they feel like doing, anyway? That's because they mistakenly think Divine grace covers intentional sin. That is a huge misconception! Divine grace has made wonderful provision for unintentional sin. But there is no provision for intentional sin. The Bible tells us so.

Deliberate, premeditated sin is willful disobedience and rebellion against ELOHIM. It results in severe punishment or even loss of our salvation.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Yeshua’s lineage is NOT invalid!

Here’s a message for the counter-missionaries who like to insist that Yeshua didn't have a "biological father" and genealogy is only valid through the father, which supposedly renders Yeshua invalid:

Mary should be disqualified to transfer the rights of her lineage to her son Yeshua - EXCEPT for a little known exception to the rule....

In Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 we are presented with two genealogies of Yeshua. On the surface these different listings would appear to be a contradiction in the scriptures. The genealogy found in Matthew's gospel is the lineage of Yeshua's earthly father Joseph, while the genealogy found in Luke's gospel is the lineage of Yeshua's mother Mary. However, many of the people that teach on the genealogies fail to realize or address a major problem associated with the genealogical listing found in Luke's gospel, the lineage of Mary.

Once you have established that the line is indeed Mary's you must deal with a second difficulty. The rights of the line are not passed through the mother, only the father. Even though Mary, through her lineage, was of the Davidic bloodline, she should be excluded from being able to pass those rights of the bloodline because of being a female (Deut 21:16). So it is not enough to prove that Mary was an unblemished descendant of David, she had to be a male to transfer the rights. Therefore she would be disqualified to transfer the rights to her son Yeshua, except for a little known exception to the rule.

HOWEVER - In Numbers 26 we are introduced to Zelophehad. Zelophehad, we are told, had no sons, only daughters. In Numbers 27, following the death of Zelophehad, the daughters of Zelophehad came before Moses and argued their plight. Because their father had died with no sons, all of their rights of inheritance were to be lost and they felt this was unfair. So Moses prayed to God and God gave Moses an exception to the rule. The Lord told Moses that the inheritance CAN flow through a female, IF they fulfill two requirements. There must be no male offspring in the family (Num 27:8) and if the female offspring should marry, they must marry within their own tribe (Num 36:6).

Now we come back to Mary. On the surface she should be unable to transfer the rights to her Son. But when you research you find that Mary had NO brothers, AND Mary did indeed marry within her own tribe to Joseph. What an awesome God we serve that set in order the requirements to allow the virgin birth to take place 1,400 years in advance!

Footnote to Matthew 1 from the Aramaic English New Testament:

The word gowra designates a protector-male or guardian; the context of this verse determines its specific meaning. Y'shua elsewhere says "which one of gowra, if he has a son...."; obviously "father" is intended. "Gowra" also applies to other forms of protector-male type relationships depending on the context, such as "husband", "son", and so forth. Ancient Aramaic Matthew ends at verse 17, not verse 25. The text not only establishes the subject, but shifts from "background history" into the present, from intro to body. This means that the Yosip in verse 16 (the guardian or adopted father of Miriyam (Mary)) is not the same Yosip as the husband of Miriyam in verse 19.

The word gowra designates a protector-male or guardian; the There is no reason for Matthew to use two different words for the same individual, whereas gowra sometimes means "husband" but can also mean "father". The other term baalah can only mean "husband". On the other hand, there would most definitely be a reason to differentiate two men named Yosip, one being the adopted father, the other the husband of Miriyam. With this differentiation we now have three full sets of 14 generations, which satisfies the demands of verse 17.

Furthermore....When you read thoroughly the details of Zelophedad's daughters it is clear that is exactly what it is about: Females inherit the assets of their father when there is no male heir. This is stated DIRECTLY:

Numbers 27: 7 'Zelophehad's daughters are right in what they say. You will indeed give them a property to be their heritage among their father's kinsmen; see that their father's heritage is passed on to them. 8 Then speak to the Israelites and say, "If a man dies without sons, his heritage will pass to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, the heritage will go to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, his heritage will go to his father's brothers. 11 If his father has no brothers, his heritage will go to the member of his clan who is most nearly related; it will become his property. This will be a legal rule for the Israelites, as Yahweh has ordered Moses."' (NJB)

Proof of this is also indirectly stated with Joseph and Mary returning to Bethlehem. Mary is attached to that inheritance through her husband but she also inherits from her family without there being a male heir.

And let's not forget, Talmud says a child is considered Jewish if his MOTHER is Jewish....And Torah says land can only pass WITHIN THE TRIBE it is allotted to. YHWH calls it an INHERITANCE. And with the Levites YHWH says, "I am their inheritance"...so obviously being from a tribe is an asset if you inherit YHWH....

Monday, July 10, 2017

Isn’t pork today different from pork in biblical times?

There are many who insist that "pork today is different from pork in Biblical times." Well, that's not true! Pork is still pork and God said the pig is NOT a "clean" animal - period. Why? Because as outlined in Leviticus, there are certain criteria to follow.

Leviticus 11:2 "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'These are the living creatures which you may eat among all the land animals: 3 any that has a separate hoof which is completely divided and chews the cud - these animals you may eat. 4-6 But you are not to eat those that only chew the cud or only have a separate hoof. For example, the camel, the coney and the hare are unclean for you, because they chew the cud but don't have a separate hoof; 7 while the pig is unclean for you, because, although it has a separate and completely divided hoof, it doesn't chew the cud. (CJB)

Take a really close look at these verses and ask "What is it about these animals which differentiates them?"

Do you see it? Clean edible animals only eat grasses! They are distinguished by a completely split hoof and chewing the cud! All others eat meat (or junk - the pig for example)! Same goes for carnivorous birds and sea life designed to clean the ocean or river floors....

Yahweh was clear from the beginning about what we could and couldn't eat. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 provide a list of animals that are not to be eaten as food; and included in this list of "unclean" foods are some of man's favorites: pork, shrimp, lobster, crab, catfish, squid, rabbit, squirrel, etc. - things that were meant to be the "garbage disposals" of the world! The New Testament, on the other hand, seems to indicate that God changed His mind somewhere along the line:

MARK 7:18 And he said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

A footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament provides insight:

This chapter showcases one of the greatest discussions of oral versus written Jewish law that exists in these writings of the Renewed Covenant. In many ways this presages the heated exchanges that would be recorded in the Talmud some 200 years later. However, a major misunderstanding of this verse found its way into the modern translations with the parenthetical comment "in so doing Y'shua declared all foods clean."

Neither Aramaic nor early Greek manuscripts include this in the text, which is clearly an attempt by Gentile or Christian editors to abandon Torah's dietary laws. The point being established is that if you plot things like murder, lies, adulteries and so forth, then why be concerned about the food you eat, when weightier things are making you much more unclean than your food? Even if a person kept a perfectly kosher diet, but had such unclean thoughts, such a one would rank among the most unkosher of people. See Luke 11:40.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Can GOD die?

Jewish counter-missionaries love to harp on the fact that Jesus is a mythical "god-man." Well, truth is, there is no such thing, and the reason is because ELOHIM cannot be born or die! YHWH is Spirit (Matthew 1:20, John 4:24); He has no form (Deuteronomy 4:12 - 5:33). His human Messiah, Yeshua (created inside Myriam by the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit, Matthew 1:20), was the one who died on the cross/stake.

Scripture tells us Yeshua was "the Word" (John 1:14); he was "an extension" of the Father, the "arm of YHWH" (Isaiah 53:1); someone who basically came to temporarily "put a face on God" while teaching YHWH's people about the Kingdom (Luke 4:43) before OFFERING/SACRIFICING Himself on our behalf. (Yeshua martyred himself, against which there is no Torah command! He could have called down legions of angels to remove Him from that cross/stake, but He didn't because He KNEW who He was and what He had to do!)

The "arm" (Yeshua) doesn't control the "brain" (YHWH) and Yeshua never suggested that he came to replace YHWH/the "Father" in any way! He even said He came to do His Father's will and now his own; and that he would do everything His Father commanded.

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.

Philippians 2:5-11 and John 10:22-39 tell us that Yeshua IS ELOHIM - but we need to understand that the RUACH OF YHWH was encased in the flesh of the SON, and it is THAT FLESH that was pierced! YHWH Himself was never born, nor did He die.
For more, please check out our article.





Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sometimes WE are our own worst enemy….

I've been thinking a lot about some of my Facebook brethren who are forever undergoing trials and tribulations, and are constantly asking for prayer and/or money because they simply cannot seem to escape “hard times.” Peering into their lives from my “outside-looking-in” vantage point, it’s usually clear to me that they often cause their own problems - mainly because they love to "talk the talk" but don't ever bother "walking the walk."

Unfortunately, you risk unleashing World War III if you attempt to tell them THEY are at fault! Oh no - it's never "them" - it's "the government" or their mother-in-law, or their history as an abused child that's to blame; it's never their own fault ...never mind that they CHOOSE to overlook YHWH's Divine Instructions as they (pick one): continue to CHOOSE to make filthy language a daily habit, hang out in bars and drink too much, spend all their money on “wants” instead of “needs”, are living in sexual sin, or are forever berating their spouse or kids and generally stirring up strife within the family unit, etc.

They'll make excuses until the cows come home, using all kinds of verbal bombs to lop at you, including my favorite: “Well, you don’t know my situation, and you’d best walk a mile in my shoes so you could REALLY see what’s going on!” (Hmmm, well, I am going by what I see you posting, which reveals that you’re living a carnal lifestyle and I’m trying to be a good friend by keeping you from falling off that upcoming cliff…You can either heed my warning, or you can view me as an enemy for trying. It's your choice, bubba! (Ezekiel 33.))

Anyway, these "talk the talk but don't ask me to walk the walk" people sit around on Facebook to talk about God and the Bible, but when that proverbial “rubber meets the road,” they'll balk and quickly backtrack and make endless excuses and begin picking and choosing which scriptures to bother with, because their carnal side will overtake all reason as they attempt to force YHWH into doing their own desires.

“God knows my heart and He knows what I’m going through. I totally trust Him to get me out of this!” (Yes, genius…but did it also ever occur to you that He allows us the FREE WILL to get ourselves INTO messes, because He wants us to LEARN TO HEED HIS WORD instead of our carnal natures? Have you ever read the Torah that shows why His people ended up in the wilderness for 40 YEARS instead of the original 4 (see Numbers 14:2-35) so they could finally learn to trust in Him by doing things HIS way? How many more messes are you going to put yourself into before you begin to realize YOU ARE OFF THE PATH?)

...The thing is, those who are habitually and perpetually in trouble (physical, financial, or otherwise) clearly don't realize the implication of Proverbs 28:9 which says, "If a person will not listen to Torah, even his prayer is an abomination." And what does Torah do for us? It reveals HOW we are to live a holy, set apart life!

Oh, how I wish more people would begin to realize that!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

That pesky verse about “not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk”….

Remember that verse about not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19)? Because of this verse, Jewish halacha literally forbids the mixture of milk and meat, and consequently many refuse to eat cheeseburgers. I’ve seen many arguments about the “real meaning” of this verse, but last night while doing my yeshiva studies through Rabbi Brian Tice’s Messianic Jewish Rabbinate, I finally found a GREAT explanation of this verse. It is contained in Avigdor Bonchek’s book, Studying the Torah: A Guide to in-Depth Interpretation. Bonchek explains it like this:
The first of the first fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring to the house of the Lord thy God; Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 23:19).
This injuction forbidding seething a kid in its mother’s milk is the biblical basis for the laws of Kashruth requiring the separation of meat and milk. See how the following Plain Sense interpretation, based on the Contiguity Principle, completely divests this clause of that familiar meaning. At first glance, we have here two unrelated clauses within the same sentence.
Not so, according to the early commentator Joseph Bekhor Shor. He points out that the word Bashail, regularly translated here as “seethe,” really means “to become ripe or mature.” The phrase then means “Thou shalt not allow a kid to become mature with its mother’s milk,” that is, you should not allow the kid to mature, rather bring it as a sacrifice in the Temple. In this way, both clauses of the sentence are related: Bring your first fruits as an offering and likewise bring your first—young—animals as offerings to God.

Monday, June 19, 2017

People of the world are out of control!

People of the world are out of control – as is evidence by the most recent London mosque attack.)   This "you kill us, we'll kill you back" mentality comes straight from man's carnal, fallen nature!

Romans 10:1. My Brothers, The desire of my heart, and my intercession with Elohim for them is that they might have life. 2. For I bear them witness that there is in them a zeal for Elohim; but it is not according to knowledge. 3. For they do not know the righteousness of Elohim, but seek to establish their own righteousness: and, therefore, they have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of Elohim. (AENT)

2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: 2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good, 4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim, 5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you. 6. For of them are they who creep into this and that house and captivate the women who are plunged in sins and led away by divers lusts, 7. who are always learning, and can never come to the knowledge of the truth. (AENT)

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 possess; 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. (AENT)

Romans 12: 19. And be you not avengers of yourselves, my beloved: but give place to wrath. For it is written: If you do not execute judgment for yourself, I will execute judgment for you, says Elohim. 20. And if your adversary be hungry, feed him: and if he be thirsty, give him drink. For if you do these things, you will heap coals of fire on his head. 21. Do not be overcome by evil; but overcome evil with good. (AENT)

See also D’varim 32:35; Psalm 94:1; Prov. 20:22 There are no directives from B’resheet/Genesis to Revelation which counsels anyone to take vengeance upon their adversaries. YHWH says, “vengeance belongs to Me”; He will judge and resolve all matters according to His Righteous Judgment. The idea of taking vengeance upon others, as in jihad or holy war against the infidels, is rooted in fear and heathenism by those who put their faith in self rather than in Elohim.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Countering the counter-missionaries again!

Counter-missionaries get all up in arms about New Testament passages, such as the following which seems to refer to “Jesus.”

Matthew 2:13. And when they went, the messenger of Master YHWH appeared to Yosip in a dream and said to him, “Arise, take the boy and his mother and flee to Misrayin and there remain until I tell you. For Herodus is going to seek the boy as to destroy him.” 14. Yosip arose and took the boy and his mother in the night and fled to Misrayin. 15. That might be fulfilled the thing that was spoken from Master YHWH by the prophet which said that, “From Misrayin I have called my son.” (AENT)

Counter-missionaries such as the ones in this video get all bent out of shape and rush around to provide Tanach references, such as the below, “proving” that “Jesus” has to be a myth because “Israel” is always the “son”:

Hosea 11: 1 "When Isra'el was a child, I loved him; and out of Egypt I called my son.

Isaiah 11: 1 But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots. 2 The Spirit of ADONAI will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing ADONAI 3 he will be inspired by hearing ADONAI. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear, 4 but he will judge the impoverished justly; he will decide fairly for the humble of the land. He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips.

Exodus 4: 22 Then you are to tell Pharaoh: 'ADONAI says, "Isra'el is my firstborn son.

Well, yes, Israel IS ADONAI’s son! But so is Y’shua! The answer to their particular dilemma above, however, is easily solved:

While Matthew 2:13-14 IS about Y’shua, verse 15 is NOT! According to a footnote in the AENT to Matthew 2:13-15, this verse presents a midrashic fulfillment of Hosea 11:1; the “son” in Hosea refers to Israel, not Mashiyach. You see, Mashiyach must come from “among his brethren” Israel as the ultimate fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15-18! Israel must also come out of Egypt both physically and spiritually (i.e. turn away from polytheism and anti-Torah living). This verse provides a remez (hint) of the goal of Mashiyach, while not necessarily attempting to reveal the identity of Y’shua as Mashiyach.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Let’s discuss “cursing”, i.e., vulgar language

Let’s discuss “cursing”, i.e., vulgar, foul, or offensive language often called “profanity”, “expletives” or simply “cussing”. (Another form of “cursing”: malediction or imprecation, is not the subject of the following discussion.) (All scripture from the CJB unless noted.)

On Facebook recently, we at The Refiner’s Fire came upon a Messianic Believer, an “assistant rabbi to Yeshua”, who seemed to have no compunction about the use of profanity – cursing – in his writings or displayed in ‘memes’ posted on his Facebook page. When confronted, (James 5:19-20), he responded harshly – rebuking us and telling us to “crawl back under that rock you crawled out of”. Our attempt to bring him back from his wandering path incensed him so that he went on to post a long article “justifying” the use of curse words! (Reading his screed, I could not help but notice the rabbi cited not a single verse of scripture. Not one.)

While it is true that some words/phrases found in scripture can be interpreted as obscenity (at least in the oldest, “unsanitized” manuscripts), many readers, lacking knowledge of ancient languages and failing to comprehend the underlying meaning and context of the scriptures conclude, naively, that “Since obscenity is in the Bible, it must be okay!” Well, the Bible also describes certain Kings who kept concubines, and rape is mentioned in scripture several times so by that logic, these things too must be okay! Right? One could assume however, that our assistant rabbi, bearing his title, would not lack this key knowledge and NOT draw such false conclusions. Well, hold the phone...

While our errant rabbi does not use the common argument above, he declares instead: “There is a big difference between cursing someone and using a cuss word, not to mention a cuss word to one person may not mean the same thing to another based on their culture and traditions.” He goes on to list a variety of words considered vulgar today, many of which can and do carry multiple meanings. He even offered some of those variant meanings as examples, concluding: “Are any of these words that people consider to be vulgar listed in the Torah? If they are not, then the words we think of as vulgar are based on our personal opinions. It is our cultural view as to what we by tradition claim to be vulgar, they are subjective to our feelings and opinions.

Thus, according to this "learned rabbi," it’s perfectly okay to use modern vulgarity, obscenities, and profanity because what is intended is a matter of opinion!

Notice his argument. Rather than claim that profanity is “okay because it is condoned in the Bible” (which is it not), he argues “profanity is okay because the words we use today are NOT found in the Bible”! Hmmm. Many words are not found in the Bible! Take “sexting” for example. Not found in scripture. So are we to conclude sexting is permitted by scripture? Arguing so is called “caviling”. Our “assistant rabbi” has decided to justify his verbal behavior by caviling.

Caviling is making a trivial or frivolous argument or objection. It’s truly caviling to justify obscene language and profanity when what the whole of the Bible clearly defines who we are supposed to be as children of YHWH and what Scripture conveys about how we are supposed to behave. We are to be “set apart”. (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, John 17:19). Justifying profanity is simply defending one’s worldly carnality – quite the opposite of holy living, which is being set apart from the filth of the world!

Our “assistant rabbi” is no doubt well aware of the meaning and intent of all the commonly known words which are vulgar, obscene, foul, derogatory, offensive, etc. The fact that “they [the words] have different meanings” is an empty argument as is the excuse that “one word to one person may be offensive to some and not to others” or that it depends on culture or tradition. Caviling! Expletives are actually much like pornography. When asked to describe his definition of pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio in 1964, Chief Justice Potter Stewart stated:
“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [i.e., "hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…
And so does our assistant rabbi “know profanity when he sees it!” Let’s agree that profanity is “abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language”, a dictionary definition, regardless of the cultural or traditional aspects and abandon the caviling. The question is how can we know, without a doubt, that profanity should not cross our lips in any intentional manner and that there is no room in the lives of truly God-fearing, repentant people for the inclusion of profanity in their language?

Let’s discuss this concept of “set apart” and see if that helps. Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7-8, 20:26; and Deuteronomy 14:2 all require YHWH’s people to “be holy”. So one of the first things you should be asking yourself when you first read scripture is “What does it mean for me to ‘be holy’?” This brief article may give you a hint: http://blog.therefinersfire.org/2015/05/what-does-it-mean-to-be-holy.html.

The command to “be holy” is just as applicable to us today as it was in Biblical times. (Why would THEY need to “be holy” and not us?) Who we are and how we behave, in large part, determines (and demonstrates) if we are “holy” people. Our language speaks volumes (no pun intended) as to the state of our heart and mind, and is a very expressive representation of “who we are”. Being holy “sets us apart” from common things. Now what does that mean?

Take a look at Exodus 19:5-6, Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, and John 17:19 and see what you think. The common thread in these scriptures is that for us to be a people for YHWH, we do not live by the ways of the world (Deuteronomy 18:9). This is rephrased in John 15:19-20 and Romans 12:2. The ways of the world are “unclean”, and nothing “unclean” can be in YHWH’s presence (Leviticus 15:31, Numbers 19:20, Revelation 21:27). To be “set apart” means we conduct our lives as best we can in maintenance of a state of cleanliness in mind, body, and spirit.

What we read today in the part of the Bible we know as the “New Testament” has quite a number of amplifications or clarifications of this concept of being “set apart”. See for example 2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 John 3:2-4, Matthew 5:8, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7, Titus 1:15, James 4:8, the list goes on and on. What sort of picture of how children of YHWH are supposed to live do you see in these scriptures?

What does this have to do with vulgarities in speech? Well, there are no specific commands in scripture to “not speak in vulgarities, obscenities, profanities, expletives, etc.,” so I am showing you how to see it for yourself. We find quite a number of scriptures, part of those “amplifications or clarifications” which provide solid evidence that YHWH’s people don’t voluntarily speak using such language and expect to remain holy, set apart.

“What makes a person unclean is not what goes into his mouth; rather, what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean!” (Matthew 15:11)

“…what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean.” (Matthew 15:18)

“Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29) 

“Also out of place are obscenity and stupid talk or coarse language; instead, you should be giving thanks.” (Ephesians 5:4)

“Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. But keep away from godless babbling, for those who engage in it will only become more ungodly, and their teaching will eat away at people like gangrene” (2 Timothy 2:15-17)

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6, ASV)

“So too the tongue is a tiny part of the body, yet it boasts great things. See how a little fire sets a whole forest ablaze! Yes, the tongue is a fire, a world of wickedness. The tongue is so placed in our body that it defiles every part of it, setting ablaze the whole of our life; and it is set on fire by Gei-Hinnom itself. For people have tamed and continue to tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures; but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! With it we bless Adonai, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing! Brothers, it isn't right for things to be this way. A spring doesn't send both fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? Can a fig tree yield olives, my brothers? Or a grapevine, figs? Neither does salt water produce fresh.” (James 3:5-12)

Control of one’s mouth is not just a “New Testament” thing. A number of Psalms show the tongue is for praise. Psalm 35:27-28 says “But may those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad! Let them say always, ‘How great is Adonai, who delights in the peace of his servant!’ Then my tongue will tell of your righteousness and praise you all day long.” Psalm 119:171-172 reads “Let my lips speak praise, because you teach me your laws. Let my tongue sing of your promise, because all your mitzvot are righteous.” Psalm 50:16-21 says: “But to the wicked God says: ‘What right do you have to proclaim my laws or take my covenant on your lips, when you so hate to receive instruction and fling my words behind you? When you see a thief, you join up with him, you throw in your lot with adulterers, you give your mouth free rein for evil and harness your tongue to deceit; you sit and speak against your kinsman, you slander your own mother's son. When you do such things, should I stay silent? You may have thought I was just like you; but I will rebuke and indict you to your face’.”

These Psalms do not say, “My tongue will sing praise – as soon as I’m done cursing!”

Considering the Psalms, let us return to the command to “be holy” (for example, Leviticus 19:2). The Hebrew word for “holy” is “kadosh”, and kadosh can also mean “saint.” Jewish sages have written that kadosh, actually means to be “distinct” or “separate.” So the commandment to “be holy” can be understood more deeply as “be separate”. The Hebrew words “ve’amar’ta ‘ele’him kedoshim ti’h’yoo” literally means “say to them ‘become holy people’”.

This requires action on the part of the people. They must do something to “become holy people”. This understanding of “be holy” goes a long way to explain why the Torah is filled with so many specific “do's and don’ts” which begin to define what it is to “be holy”.  So “be holy”, actually demands that you embrace a life beyond the mere list of “do's and don’ts”! YHWH is saying, “Live your life for Me distinct and separate from the common.”

While there is no specific prohibition if vulgar speech in Torah, it is folly to expect that Torah could possibly list all that is permitted and all that is prohibited to spell out what it means to “be holy”! Speech is taken for granted by most and is thought simply a superficial act. Our "assistant rabbi" and his lengthy justification for using vulgarity, amply demonstrates this. But is speech superficial? Go back and read James 3:5-12 again (above).

In truth your speech has just as strong an impact on your inner self as it does on others. The words from your mouth engrave a mark on your mind and heart. Foul words slowly eat away at your character. No matter how strong the foundation of your character, a few obscene words crack that foundation and weaken it. As a building slowly becomes unstable with a damaged foundation, so one’s character is slowly destroyed by their speech. That is why vulgarity is not to be used. And that is why is it not necessary for vulgarity to be expressly prohibited in scripture. Vulgarity is the antithesis of “holy”.

I’m going to close with a story: A teacher went about the community while speaking crudely and using foul and offensive language. Soon, he noticed fewer and fewer people would gather around for him to teach. One day, he found no one would talk to him. That night, he realized the wrong he had done, how he had offended everyone in town and began to feel remorse. He went to the rabbi to find out what he could do, saying he would do anything he could to make amends to the town. The rabbi told the man, "Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the winds." The man puzzled a moment about how that would help, but it was not a difficult assignment, and he went home and did as the rabbi said. When he returned the next day to tell the rabbi that he had completed the task, the rabbi said, "Now, go and gather all the feathers.” The man’s heart sank. “I can’t”, he said. The rabbi continued, “And you can no more make amends for the damage your words have done than you can recover all the feathers."

Thankfully, when in the anger of the moment, we let a foul or obscene word slip out, our great and merciful Creator will forgive us. We know this because we are His and when we acknowledge our sin, we are forgiven (1 John 1:9). But if you are a believer who sees nothing wrong with making obscene and vulgar language a part of your day-to-day speech you might want to consider spending some time on your knees.