Saturday, May 27, 2017

Countering a rabbi who quoted Talmud as saying that Gentiles doing Shabbat carries the death penalty

It never ceases to amaze me that Jewish counter-missionaries continue to have the audacity to quote MAN-MADE WRITINGS and sources to “prove” that Gentiles can't keep the Shabbat or any of the Torah commands. While Talmud is a wonderful source for reading what the sages of old THOUGHT, it is NOT Torah!

HAD the thoughts of all the sages had been incorporated INTO Moshe’s writings, then I would accept them without question. But they weren’t, and therefore they CANNOT be confused with God-given commands! Torah NEVER, EVER says that those who accept YHWH as their God shouldn’t obey His Divine Instructions! Not once did GOD ever say that only the Jews were supposed to be holy….

Numbers 15:13-16 makes it clear that ALL who accept haShem are to do as HIS people do - and His people have always been Torah observant - including Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and even Moshe – NONE of whom were Jews! There were no “Jews” until the Tribe of Yehudah came into being after Ya’acov had a son named Yehudah. That is an indisputable fact. “Jew” is simply a blanket term for all the Tribes.

Also indisputable is that ADONAI set down some Divine Rules, right from the start – to the first non-Jews, Adam and Eve. (His Divine Rules = Torah. Nothing else BUT Torah!) The first rule was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” (Gen 1:22) The next one was to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16-17) There have always been rules, and they were for ALL within earshot…who had the capacity to shema - “hear and do.” So why is it that non-Jews shouldn't obey Torah today?

Referencing Rabbi Yaron Reuven’s comments … he keeps talking about "the Jewish Nation" and how God gave His Torah to ONLY the Jewish nation.

Well, he must have overlooked the fact that ADONAI’s Words were ALSO heard by ALL those who were there standing there WITH “the Jewish Nation” on Mt Sinai – those who had been part of the "mixed crowd/multitude" who chose to follow Moshe out of Egypt, who were absorbed into the Tribes (Exodus 12:38).

Scripture does NOT tell us that the "gerim" were separated or had to live apart from the tribes at Sinai! They were absorbed into the Israelite population. (Torah and Commentary: The Five Books of Moses by Sol Scharfsten: Point #20 on page 218.)

The bottom line is, “non-Jews” way before Yehudah was born, were Torah observant! All believers since the beginning obeyed YHWH's Torah; not just "the Jews" as the Rabbis continue to insist. It was never just "all about the Jews." Even Cain and Abel knew to present animal sacrifices (Genesis 4) and Noah knew the difference between "clean and unclean" (Gen. 7:1-3). NONE OF THEM WERE JEWS! Not even Moshe was a Jew, yet God spoke to him directly.

The Tribe of Judah was chosen to guard the Torah after YHWH dispersed "the Jewish Nation" for their endless disobedience (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2) but that certainly didn’t qualify them as perfect human beings who deserved to be the only ones on earth who get to be Torah observant….

What people like Rabbi Yaron are doing is suggesting that the non-Jews of today – unlike the non-Jews before Yehudah was born - are UNWORTHY! That sounds an awful lot like he’s playing God….

Does Ezekiel 46:1-3 define “3 types of days”?

The Lunar Sabbatarian* claims:

The Bible clearly reveals three categories of days each month, Ezekiel 46:1-3

  1. New Moon Day,
  2. Work Days,
  3. His Seventh-Day Sabbaths.

Simple answer: No. Ezekiel 46:1-3 says: “1 This is what Adonai Elohim says: 'The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the six working days, but on Shabbat it is to be opened, and on Rosh-Hodesh it is to be opened. 2 The prince is to enter by way of the outer vestibule of the gate and stand by the support of the gate. The cohanim are to prepare his burnt offering and peace offerings. Then he is to prostrate himself in worship at the threshold of the gate, after which he is to leave; but the gate is not to be shut until evening. 3 The people of the land are also to prostrate themselves in worship before Adonai at the entrance to that gate on Shabbat and on Rosh-Hodesh.

This scripture I Ezekiel does not, cannot, “define types of days”. All the scripture says is:

1. The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the 6 workdays.
2. The same gate is to be opened on the Shabbat and on Rosh-Hodesh.
3. The prince uses that gate.
4. The gate is left open after the prince leaves, and is closed at evening.
5. Anyone coming to that gate is to prostrate themselves at that gate when it is opened.

There is absolutely nothing in those verses requiring Rosh-Hodesh to be “its own day”, not a workday or not a Sabbath!

In fact, the definition of any “types of days” is understood or must be established elsewhere because the language in the scripture works whether Rosh-Hodesh is a separate day, or if it is not! Therefore the verses simply do not “define” types of days! Truly. The phrase “'The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the six working days, but on Shabbat it is to be opened, and on Rosh-Hodesh it is to be opened” simply does not require Rosh-Hodesh to be “its own day”! It can be valid if it is a “work day”, and the gate opened if that day is also Rosh-Hodesh!

Let’s look at the context of Ezekiel to this point to understand what these verses actually convey:

Going back to Ezekiel 40, we see that the text provides a description of the vision given to Ezekiel of the Temple to be built in Jerusalem. We read about the design of the Temple, its gates, vestibules, guardhouses, inner and outer courts, etc. Then in Ezekiel 44 we learn:

1 Then he brought me back by way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east; and it was shut. 2 Adonai said to me, "This gate will remain shut; it will not be opened, and no one will go through it; because Adonai, the God of Isra'el, has gone through it. Therefore, it is to be kept shut. 3 Only the prince, since he is a prince, is to sit there to eat his meal before Adonai; he is to enter through the vestibule of the gate and leave the same way.

So we have learned why the east gate is kept shut! The gate is only for the prince!

In Ezekiel 45 we learn:

17 The prince's obligation will be to present the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the feasts, on Rosh-Hodesh, and on Shabbatat all the designated times of the house of Isra'el. He is to prepare the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Isra'el.'

So we know that the prince is to come to the Temple at the feasts, on Shabbat, and on Rosh-Hodesh, and at the other designated times.

Now we understand chapter 46! The east gate, as we learned, is only for the prince! It is kept closed, except at the times it must be opened for the prince to make his offerings. Anyone else coming to that gate, worships there, but they do not go in that gate. But it is for the prince only! Chapter 46 has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with “defining types of days!” The Lunar Sabbatarian has “found” something that is simply not there!

So this whole discussion boils down to “Why do the Lunar Sabbatarians think Rosh-Hodesh is its own day, not a Sabbath and not a workday?”

Well, it seems the only reason is this: They want it to! They think they have found something, so they seek proof! They have conceived a false definition of the “new moon day”, which they insist is independent of the week, and as a result, they “see” all sorts of proof in the scriptures. For example, they argue that the “Creators original time system of three types of days each month will be restored” and cite Isaiah 66:22-23 as proof. Let’s look at the prophecy of Isaiah 66:

22 ‘For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,’ says Adonai, ‘so will your descendants and your name continue. 23 ‘Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and from one Sabbath to another, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,’ says Adonai.

The Lunar Sabbatarian sees these verses as a “return” to the 3 types of days which they previously believe exist. But the scriptures, again, do not require that interpretation. Indeed, the Hebrew of Isaiah 66:23 here reads: “mid’eye chodesh be’chodesho umid’eye shabbat b’shabbat”, literally “from Rosh-Hodesh to Rosh-Hodesh (and) Shabbat to Shabbat”. In modern English this is “from month to month, week to week” (with the Biblical 7-day week understood), and implies no separation of “Rosh-Hodesh” as a separate “day” independent of the week! You see, the Lunar Sabbatarian so desperately needs these verses to justify a “new moon day”, they can only “see” their narrow interpretation in the verse!

Well, this could go on ad-nauseum. The Lunar Sabbatarians have written volumes (and I do mean VOLUMES – long, meandering diatribes!) on the subject in their sad attempt to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong. I mean, they will wear you out with their twists and turns, and convoluted interpretations! In the end, though, the simple fact that the 7th-day is the 7th-day, completely independent of the calendar, and the assigned moedim which are bound by the calendar which is established by Rosh-Hodesh, eludes them.

(*Lunar Sabbatarian: One who thinks the 7th day of the week is always on a fixed calendar date – usually the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the lunar month, and that the 1st day of the new moon is an entirely separate “holy day” to be observed independently of the week. The Lunar Sabbatarian thus concludes that only they have the “true calendar” and all other understandings of the calendar are wrong.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Some tidbits everyone should know

Did you know that Moshe was not a "Jew"? (He was from the Tribe of Levi, not of Judah.) But the fact remains, he was Torah observant! All believers since the beginning (including Adam and Eve) obeyed YHWH's Torah; not just "the Jews" as many attempt to suggest. 

There were no "Jews" until Jacob had fathered one of his 12 sons, Yehudah (Judah) who became one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Note that ALL believers up until then - including the Egyptian Gentiles who had followed Moshe out of Egypt - obeyed YHWH's Torah. 

The Jews are called YHWH’s “chosen” because the Tribe of Judah was chosen to take Torah into the world during the dispersion and guard it (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2).  And let’s not forget that YHWH caused Yeshua, The Word (John 1:1-2, 14; John 14:6) and “Living Torah” (Psalm 119:1, 142’ Proverbs 13:14, Matthew 7:23, Luke 4:4 and 8:1; Acts 24:14 and 28:23, etc.) to be born into the Tribe of Yehudah/Judah via His MOTHER. (Yes, his MOTHER! Please see our article that explains why Yeshua, who didn’t have an earthly father, was born Jewish....) 

Many Jews insist that, because of their special status as “chosen” ONLY THEY are to be Torah observant, but nothing could be further from the Truth!  Take a look at Numbers 15:13-16, where YHWH says FOUR TIMES IN A ROW that ALL who accept Him as their God are to do exactly as His people do!  

Returning to my earlier point about how everyone since the very beginning was Torah observant:  We see that Cain and Abel were “Torah observant”  because they knew to present sacrifices (Genesis 4).  And Noah knew the difference between "clean and unclean" animals (Gen. 7:1-3) …  and at the end of Genesis 4 we see that people had begun to "call on the Name of YHWH."  People knew His Name and they called Him by that Name.

The more you study Scripture and get to know its history and the people involved, the more you will be able to understand YHWH/Yeshua/Torah!  If you’ve never read the Bible from cover to cover, then I urge you to get started immediately. 



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Becoming Torah observant is a process….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scripture says so:

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The “Torah” fence

A mini-lesson:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thoughts on the erroneous concept of the “Trinity”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Possessions are just temporary things….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 8, 2017

Many seem to have comprehension issues….

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

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

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

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

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

A word about Obama’s latest award

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

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

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

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

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

Here's my email:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Never abandon Torah….

Poster_Jews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Numbers 15:13 "'Every citizen is to do these things in this way when presenting an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI. 14 If a foreigner stays with you - or whoever may be with you, through all your generations - and he wants to bring an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI, he is to do the same as you.

15 For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before ADONAI as yourselves. 16 The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.'" (CJB)

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Reader requests info on Messianic siddur/prayer book

READER COMMENT:

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

OUR RESPONSE:


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