Tuesday, October 31, 2017

An “Old Testament” passage that reveals “grace” doesn’t negate our need to follow God’s Divine Instructions

King David reveals that "grace" doesn't suggest we are free to live in sin. Take a look at the many ways in just this passage that he expresses our need to be holy! (And how do we know what constitutes holiness? TORAH!)

Psalm 101: 1 A psalm of David: I am singing of grace and justice; I am singing to you, ADONAI. 2 I will follow the path of integrity; when will you come to me? I will run my life with a sincere heart inside my own house. 3 I will not allow before my eyes any shameful thing. I hate those who act crookedly; what they do does not attract me.

4 Deviousness will depart from me; I will not tolerate evil. 5 If someone slanders another in secret, I will cut him off. Haughty eyes and proud hearts I cannot abide. 6 I look to the faithful of the land, so that they can be my companions; those who live lives of integrity can be servants of mine. 7 No deceitful person can live in my house; no liar can be my advisor. 8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of ADONAI. (CJB)

Monday, October 30, 2017

A mini-lesson on "judging"....

James 4:8. Draw near to Elohim and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners: sanctify your hearts, you who are divided in mind. 9. Humble yourselves and mourn: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into grief. 10. Humble yourselves before Master YHWH and He will exalt you. 11. Speak not against each other, my Brothers; for he that speaks against his brother, or judges his brother speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah, but its judge.[1] 12. There is one Torah-giver[2] and Judge who can make alive and (can) destroy: but who are you that you judge your neighbor? (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

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

[2] One Torah Giver who gives One Torah. The halacha (way to observe Torah) is revealed by the Ruach haKodesh, and demonstrated in Mashiyach. The concept of “two torahs” one oral and one written is the basis of authority on which the Rabbinate operates.

“The Rabbis” wrote their own “oral Torah” and give themselves the authority to interpret it; unfortunately, their oral Torah often speaks against both the Written Torah and haMashiyach. On the other hand, Christian theologians have made up their own “New Testament” based on their own non-Torah cultural value systems which makes void Torah and diminishes the true goal of Mashiyach.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A word about the “Me too!” movement

I have a couple of things to say concerning this “Me too” movement of women coming out of their closets to claim sexual harassment and/or rape – many of whom I feel could probably have “nipped things in the bud” before they ever got out of hand. There are, after all, two sides to every story.

I was approached plenty of times during my 22-year Army career, and I always simply handled them quietly and swiftly with a firm, “NO!” No playing cute nor coy; no teasing nor suggesting I “might” oblige them. Just, “NO!” My entire childhood was fraught with sexual abuse, and I wasn’t about to be “used” or bullied around by anybody as an adult.

Two sexual harassment incidents stand out in my mind – one of which changed my entire life … for the better!

In 1975, in the days before I was to appear before the Staff Sergeant E-6 board, one of the men who was to sit on the board to judge my promotion readiness, approached me on the sidewalk to let me know that if I were to have sex with him, he could “ensure my promotion.” Yeah ... WRONG thing to say to me! There was NO way I was ever going to “sleep my way to the top!”

Still, I was taken aback and embarrassed – and being young and a little naïve, I didn’t know exactly how to respond. So, I finally managed a stiff smile and said, “You can really do that? Influence the rest of the members to agree that I should be promoted?” He nodded enthusiastically as he showed me all his pearly whites as I stood there, dumbfounded and wishing I could just sink into the ground.

Finally, I shook my head and said, “I don’t think so. I’d rather do things the old fashioned way and EARN my promotions.” His face fell and grew beet read. “You really ought to think about it, Carmen,” said lowly. “Seriously think about it….”

And so, yeah, I thought about it … all the way to my boss’ office where I spilled the beans on the guy. He was promptly removed from the promotion board.

The next incident was in 1978 when I was working as NCO-In-Charge of the Directorate of Engineering and Housing in Stuttgart, Germany. My boss was a Colonel who loved to tell dirty jokes, make sexual innuendos and couldn’t keep his hands off the women who worked for him. Well, I tried my best to deal with it, but he pretty much ignored my searing glances and sour faces.

So, I put up with approximately six months of that nonsense when, one day I decided enough was enough, and I grabbed my purse, hat and personal effects and stomped out of the office, hurling a few choice words over my shoulder as I went. I wasn’t just angry with the Colonel; I was mad at myself for having put up with it for so long. The thing is, the reason I put up with it for so longer was BECAUSE I also knew that it would be his word against mine, and I probably would lose the battle.

But now, I was angry!

Trembling with rage, I immediately headed for the Command Sergeant Major’s office, where I faced an uncertain future. Anyone who ever “told off” an officer had better have a great reason for doing so, or be prepared to be courts-martialed (which meant I could be demoted or even kicked out of the Army). I didn’t care. I was DONE with the nonsense and ready to face whatever lay ahead!

So, sweating bullets, I stood before the Command Sergeant Major (CSM) on legs that felt like rubber, trying to keep my voice from quaking as I explained what happened. Long story short: The CSM laughed at me because “everybody knows about that Colonel” – but they weren’t doing anything about him since he was getting ready to retire soon…

Well, cool that they “knew about him,” but I still wanted “something done” about him, anyway! How unfair to just let him keep getting away with it! Honestly, I could have taken this issue to higher echelons, but I knew the other women involved weren’t going to want to testify against him, and there was no way I could do this alone. So, I remained mum and hoped I could be reassigned, because I really, really did NOT want to be forced to go back to work for that jerk….

Okay, so, lo and behold, that was my lucky day because, it just so happened that the editor of the Army newspaper, The Stuttgart Citizen, had to return to the US on emergency leave, and the Command had just discovered that he wasn’t returning – which left a journalist slot open. Because the CSM knew of my writing skills and love for writing from some projects I had worked on for the Command, he told me to take over as the new editor, starting the next day.

“But, I’m not a journalist,” I responded hesitantly.

“You’ll learn,” he said dismissively. “Now get outta here and go, before I change my mind.”

WELL! I did learn and I LOVED it, and a year later, requested to change my military occupational specialty from administrative work to journalism. The Army sent me to school at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, and on to the Washington, D.C. area to become middle-manager of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command Headquarters Public Affairs Office.

What was ironic about this, is that I had always wanted to be a writer, but my mentally-abusive mother had completely doused my passion when I was 14 years old after I had started writing a book. The things she said to me about it were downright degrading and embarrassing, and I simply stopped bothering at that point.

But, the bottom line was, what Satan had meant for evil was thwarted when YHWH turned the tables (using, of all things, a sexual harasser!), and restored what HE had planned for my life, in the first place – to learn and grow and ultimately become a soldier and writer for Him!

Returning to my opening thoughts on the “Me too” movement, what I was trying to illustrate is that, while there are certainly legitimate harassment claims because some men are just swines, women (especially those who belong to YHWH) should NEVER allow themselves to be denigrated! When I hear that a woman slept with some “big-wig” because she wanted to ensure that she could “get to the top” – well, I don’t have much respect for that. I don’t care WHAT her career field was, prostitution is prostitution, and I would think it would be hard to look in the mirror after allowing yourself to be used like that.

I can see where someone like Harvey Weinstein might have intimidated someone to have sex with him, but women DO have the CHOICE to say “NO!” They chose to let him have his way (some sleeping with him to assure their place in the movie industry!) and never said a word – until 35 years later! It makes no sense to me!

And I’m completely baffled that so many women crawled out of the woodwork to accuse Bill Cosby decades after the “incidents” – some of whom were willing to admit they went to his home and/or hotel room! What did they expect of private meeting in a hotel room with a big, handsome TV star? Polite conversations about politics and world events?

I’ve personally known women were “teases,” who dressed like street-walkers and then got mad when guys whistled or make sexual denigrating comments or propositioned them. Well, as I said earlier, there are two sides to every story – and if a woman doesn’t want to be sexually harassed or molested “on the job”; then she needs to do two things: (1) Dress and behave in a professional manner, and (2) when someone approaches her – no matter who they are – tell the swine “I don’t play that game, so don’t bother!”

If he’s your boss and threatens to fire you, tell him you won’t go down without a fight, because you plan on taking this as high as you possibly can to drag his name hrough the mud. If you ultimately end up having to find a new job somewhere else, so be it. But make sure EVERYONE knows why! Women don’t have to take it! They CAN fight back NOW – not wait 35 or 40 years to “come out of the closet” and whine.

If an atheist attempts to tell you “there is no God”….

One of the eye-opening things I like to use against atheists who insist there is no God is to tell them this mind-blowing fact:

"Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, with Yeshua/Jesus fulfilling at least 300 himself! And I bet you didn't know that the prophet Isaiah made TWO prophecies that came true in 1948!"

Here's how I allow it unfold for unbelievers (and you can find this on my website).

DID YOU KNOW - God used what Hitler did during WWII, to bring about TWO of His end times prophecies? It's true!

In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet (1) foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel, and, just like the Bible says - (2) it happened "in one day." The woman giving birth before going into labor represents Israel.

This accurately describes what happened on May 14, 1948 - when "the world" briefly felt sorry for the Jews and returned Israel to them and they were able to declare independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2,900 years.

During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel's sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day.

Isaiah said the birth would take place before there would be labor pains. And that too is precisely what happened. A movement called Zionism began in the 1800s to encourage Jews worldwide to move to Israel, which at that time was called Palestine. Within hours of the declaration of independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

When reading Isaiah 66:7-8, keep in mind that Israel's status as a sovereign nation was established and reaffirmed during the course of a single day, and that it was born of a movement called Zionism, and that its declaration of independence was not the result of a war but rather the cause of one.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

“Test everything?”

Whenever I encounter and challenge those who begin to "reject Jesus," one of the first things they will say is what the woman in the meme below wrote. They will always insist they “have studied this out” for themselves and didn’t just blindly start following counter-missionaries; rather, they’re “testing everything.” (Never mind that SOMEBODY along the way encouraged them in that direction, because they surely didn’t just one day wake up and decide Jesus and the NT are a lie....)

What people don’t seem to realize is that – while we ARE to test everything MAN wrote or said, we are NOT to “test everything” that YHWH commanded or what Y’shua taught! As humans with limited mindsets, we don’t get to “test” God. The ONLY situation we see in Scripture where God says to “test” Him can be found in Malachi 3:10, concerning tithes and offerings.

Not to mention, “testing” is totally unacceptable when the test is rooted in doubt. It is imperative to remember that you’re treading on thin ice if you’re testing ELOHIM himself! Take a look at just one example on what YHWH has to say on this issue:

Deuteronomy 6:16 Do not put ADONAI your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah [testing].17 Observe diligently the mitzvot of ADONAI your God, and his instructions and laws which he has given you. (CJB) (See Exodus 17. By the way, the Hebrew word for “test” in, is nacah, which means “to put to the test, try, or tempt.”)

Also unacceptable when it comes to testing is when doubt leads us to demand something of YHWH to “prove” Himself to us. For instance, in Matthew 4:7-10, Y’shua quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 in the wilderness, in response to one of Satan’s temptations. Truth is, we are to accept YHWH’s Word by faith, without demanding a sign (Luke 11:29).

It is evil to manipulate situations in an attempt to coerce Him into fulfilling His promises! (Also interesting to note is that Y'shua, i the above example, didn't try to fight or argue with Satan; he simply responded by using Torah - the Words of YHWH as written down by Moshe!)

The bottom line is: It's all about FAITH! Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see”

When true faith is present, obedience follows; simple as that. It’s a “package deal.” When we are faithful, He is faithful. However, when we view God through the lenses of doubt and demand something of Him as a way of determining whether or not He can be trusted, we’re in danger of testing Him (see Mark 8:11–12).

Anyone who suggests they're "testing everything" when it comes to Scripture, had better be referring to the things MAN said, and not Scripture itself! Scripture contains everything we need to know about God and His Word, from Genesis to Revelation. While Scripture isn't always crystal clear, that does not give us permission to pick and choose or dismiss ANYTHING from the Bible.

Nobody has a right to "reject Y'shua" just because, for instance, the writings of Paul don't make sense to them. If you would consult the Ruach haKodesh instead of your friends or your limited human understanding, you WOULD eventually recognize that Paul's writings, read in context - while hard to understand - NEVER, EVER contradicted what Y'shua said or what YHWH commanded.

So, "test" at your own peril, and be sure you recognize WHOM you are testing BEFORE you head down that road!














Genesis 17 and the covenant of circumcision

Genesis 17 reveals the covenant of circumcision - which is for all who accept YHWH as their God!

Genesis 17:4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.

7 "I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena'an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God."

9 God said to Avraham, "As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10 Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11 You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

12 Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13 The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin -that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant." (CJB)

More on Torah Portion 3

Did you notice, while reading this week's Torah portion, that the first thing we see in Genesis 12:1, after Avram, the pagan Chaldean, accepted YHWH, is YHWH separating Avram from his pagan ties? Take a look.

Genesis 12: 1 Now ADONAI said to Avram, "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed." (CJB)

YHWH needed Avram to completely sever his ties with his family and friends so that he could be molded into whom YHWH needed him to be. (As you know, we cannot belong to YHWH/Y'shua UNLESS we stop all past behavior and ways!)

NOTE: The moment Avram accepted YHWH and began to obey him, he became a "Hebrew" (which in Hebrew means "to cross over" - remember Avram crossed over both spiritually and physically when he left his own country; see Genesis 14:13).

Was Avram perfect? Heck, no - he got caught LYING! You would think that, after hearing from YHWH Himself, he would do his best to be a good, God-fearing "chosen" man who "toed the line" and trusted God with all his heart - but, nooooo.....:

Genesis 12: 11 When he came close to Egypt and was about to enter, he said to Sarai his wife, "Here now, I know that you are a good-looking woman; 12 so that when the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife,' and kill me but keep you alive. 13 Please say that you are my sister, so that it will go well with me for your sake, and so that I will stay alive because of you." (CJB)

While this was not exactly a lie (because in Genesis 20:12-20, we learn that Sarah was actually Avram's half-sister), Avram DID hide the truth in hopes of protecting himself - which revealed he didn't trust YHWH 100 percent.

Let's take a quick look at that passage which reveals that Avram, several chapters from now, still had not learned to trust YHWH completely:

Genesis 20:11 Avraham replied, "It was because I thought, 'There could not possibly be any fear of God in this place, so they will kill me in order to get my wife.' 12 But she actually is also my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother, and so she became my wife. 13 When God had me leave my father's house, I told her, 'Do me this favor: wherever we go, say about me, "He is my brother."'"

14 Avimelekh took sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Avraham; and he returned to him Sarah his wife. 15 Then Avimelekh said, "Look, my country lies before you; live where you like." 16 To Sarah he said, "Here, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. That will allay the suspicions of everyone who is with you. Before everyone you are cleared."

17 Avraham prayed to God, and God healed Avimelekh and his wife and slave-girls, so that they could have children. 18 For ADONAI had made every woman in Avimelekh's household infertile on account of Sarah Avraham's wife. (CJB)

Torah portion 3: Lekh L'kha (Get yourself out)

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah! It's time again to get really serious about the week's Torah portion. Our synopsis can be found at In this week's lesson we learn that Avraham, our first Patriarch (a former pagan Chaldean), was truly one of the "great and chosen ones" because YHWH made several covenants with him - even though, Avraham (at first known simply as "Avram" which meant "exalted father") was guilty of not placing all his faith and trust in God....

Please note, first and foremost, that Avram was from the line of Seth, not Cain (see Genesis 5) and that he "called on the Name of YHWH" (Genesis 12:8; 13:4 and 13:18) which means he was obedient to YHWH's commands/Torah!

The first thing we see in Genesis 12:1 is YHWH separating Avram from his pagan ties:

Genesis 12: 1 Now ADONAI said to Avram, "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed." (CJB)

For more, you'll have to read the Torah portion synopsis....

Friday, October 27, 2017

Does forgiving also entail forgetting?

Every once in awhile, someone asks a question about forgiveness. They want to know whether forgiving also means we have to forget. This is my response;

First of all, "forgiving" does NOT mean "forgetting." Forgiving means to recognize that WE have also done things we're not proud of, and we have no business holding someone else's sin against them. That doesn't mean we have to love or even like them, or ever see them again. it simply means, "let go" so YOU can be free of the psychological hold they have on you.

YHWH's command to forgive, is many-fold:

YHWH says HE will personally deal with our enemies (Deut. 32:35, Romans 12:17-19). This means we should never react with hatred, repaying hurt with hurt. As human being who are commanded to love each other, we have no right to repay in kind.

"But God says, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth!" ...

Let's take a look at that passage to see what it really says:

Matthew 5: 38. You have heard that it has been said that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth[1]. 39. But I say to you that you should not stand against evil[2], but who hits you upon your right cheek, turn also to him the other. 40. And he that desires to go to court with you and take your coat, leave to him also your cloak.

41. He that compels you to go one mile, go two with him. 42. He that asks you to give to him and he desires to borrow from you, you should not deny him. 43. You have heard that it has been said to love your neighbor and hate your enemy[3]. 44. But I say to you to love your enemies and bless those that curse you and do that which is pleasing to those who hate you. And pray for those that take you by force and persecute you. 45. So that you may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] When Y’shua says, “you have heard it said” he refers to oral tradition; when he says “it is written” he refers to Scripture. The matter of an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, according to Torah, refers to fair restitution; not literally taking out an eye or tooth. The amount to be restored must be commensurate to the loss; the loss of an eye must be rewarded the value of an eye. See Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21. Torahless ultra-religious judges or pagan cultures opted for barbaric punishment as crime for crime, however this is not a Torah principle.

[2] Do not react with evil towards evil, rather let patience and temperance prevail when accosted by evil doers. Torah instructs the strong to protect the weak, Deut 22:27. Ya’akov teaches to “stand firm” against Satan, James 4:7. Paul teaches to stand against the strategies of the Accuser in Ephesians 6:11; neither does he mince words in Acts 13:10. Isaiah 14:15 states that haSatan will be brought down to hell and a slaughter is prepared for his children (verse 21). Rev 20:10 promises a date for Satan in the lake of fire, in the meantime we are to recognize that our battles are not against flesh and blood, and to act accordingly.

[3] Y’shua says, “You have heard that it has been said,” implying “oral law.” Torah (Leviticus 19:18) does NOT teach that anyone should hate their enemy; it teaches “You shall not avenge nor bear any grudge, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Returning to the subject at hand:

Holding grudges only serves to eat us up, make us suspicious of everyone and wastes our time because we end up thinking of that person{s) more than we need to. It eats away at our soul and at the very fiber of our being, and causes us to become bitter.

Turning over to Him those who have hurt us, relieves us of the need and responsibility to "repay" them; which consequently, releases us from the psychological hold they have over us.

We should never "forget" what happened, but we also shouldn't hurt ourselves by clinging to the hatred for the one who hurt us. You see, everything (including bad things) that happen to us, serves to help us learn and grow. We are constantly learning.

We learn that touching a hot stove hurts, and so we remember not to do it again. We learn that our words can hurt people; and so we remember to not say them again (even if they were said in jest). We learn from the actions (whatever that might have entailed) of certain people who have hurt us, that behavior such as what they exhibited HURTS - which, in turn, helps us learn to recognize and discern, and keeps us from becoming like them: In other words:

(1) Through the pain they caused us, we can learn to recognize that our own actions might have done something to cause their action/reaction, and we can immediately apologize. (2) We can learn to recognize that a person is toxic and prone to make us miserable, and so we block them from our life; thus, freeing ourselves from an abusive relationship. And: (3) We "hand it over to YHWH" while forgiving the person in our own mind, and consequently, release ourselves from the hold they have on us.

No, we don't need to forget; but we DO need to recognize that clinging to the memory and hating that person serves no purpose. Concentrate, instead, on the positive - that the person is forgiven and you've "kissed and made up": OR that they are no longer a part of your life and can no longer cause anymore hurt, and YOU have moved on and learned some valuable lessons, in the process!

Lastly, "forgiving" someone may lead to reconciliation - which is YHWH's preferred outcome. But if it cannot happen, then "letting go, and letting God handle it" is the best solution for all concerned. Live your life and go on; never giving the perp another thought because YHWH/Y'shua's got your back!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Time to stop molly-coddling criminals!

I know I'm not going to be popular for saying this, but I hope they "throw the book" at these teenage punks who thought it would be funny to throw huge rocks off a freeway pass onto oncoming cars. Well, they killed a young father of a little toddler, and then went to eat a hamburger at McDonalds.That's EVIL personified! NO regard for human life! It's not like they were 5 years old and didn't know any better....

It's time America stopped molly-coddling CRIMINALS - I don't care how old they are! These boys are downright EVIL and need appropriate punishment. YHWH used to order stoning of those committing deliberate sins! As a matter of fact, the victims families were allowed to kill the perp. Take a look:

Numbers 35:16 "'However, if he hits him with an iron implement and thus causes his death, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death. 17 Or if he hits him with a stone in his hand big enough to kill someone, and he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death. 18 Or if he hits him with a wood utensil in his hand capable of killing someone, and he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death.

19 The next-of-kin avenger is to put the murderer to death himself - upon meeting him, he is to put him to death. 20 Likewise, if he shoves him out of hatred; or intentionally throws something at him, causing his death; 21 or out of hostility strikes him with his hand, so that he dies; then the one who struck him must be put to death; he is a murderer; and the next-of-kin avenger is to put the murderer to death upon meeting him. (CJB)

These incidents of stone throwing off overpasses are happening all too often, and it is PAST TIME for people like this to get their just desserts! 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reader question: Why the three divisions of Torah portions into Torah, Haftarah and New Testament?

Someone recently had a great question: “Why the three divisions of Weekly Torah portions into Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha?”

Simplest answer:

The weekly Torah portions (Hebrew: Parashas) serve to cross-reference the Torah and Tanach ("Old Testament") passages with B'rit Chadasha ("New Testament") passages to reveal their seamless continuity, thus revealing God's continuous, ongoing disclosures from Genesis to Revelation.

There are 54 parashahs in all, one for each week of the year (including leap years), so that in the course of a year, we read the entire Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy). During non-leap years, there are 50 weeks, so some of the shorter portions are doubled up.

The Haftarah consists of the portions from the Tanach (Writings and Prophets), and Brit Chadasha readings are from the "New Testament" scriptures all of which correlate to that week's Torah portion.

The reason for reading the weekly, consecutive Torah portions are, of course, to get to know YHWH and what He expects of His people. We read the Haftarah portions to discover what happened to YHWH's people AFTER they left the "wilderness." And we read the Brit Chadash (NT) portions to learn "the end from the beginning" and to see how it all ties in.

WHY do we have "Torah portions?" Basically, to keep everybody around the world "on the same sheet of music" all year long.

The Rabbis of old decided exactly how the readings should be divided. According to Wikipedia, "The division of parashiot found in the modern-day Torah scrolls of all Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Yemenite communities is based upon the systematic list provided by Maimonides in Mishneh Torah, Laws of Tefillin, Mezuzah and Torah Scrolls, Chapter 8. Maimonides based his division of the parashot for the Torah on the Masoretic text of the Aleppo Codex."

Friday, October 20, 2017

This week’s Torah portion (10/21/2017)

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah! Well, we’re getting ready to do the second Torah portion! Getting things started, we see that, by the time we reach Genesis 6, we've already seen the Creation and the downfall and destruction of a lost mankind. Noah, in YHWH's eyes, was the only righteous man on Earth; someone who did everything YHWH asked him to do. And so it is no surprise that Noah and his family were the ONLY people who were saved from destruction (Genesis 6:9-22) - for Noah was a righteous man:

Genesis 6: 9 Here is the history of Noach. In his generation, Noach was a man righteous and wholehearted; Noach walked with God.

What powerful words! Noah was RIGHTEOUS and WHOLEHEARTED before YHWH! Being "righteous" means more than just "believing" in God; it means to believe, hear, obey and do.

Surely there were others on earth who "believed" but they were destroyed because they didn't bother adhering to YHWH's Torah - His "Divine Instructions in Righteousness." We see examples of how Noah obeyed when he sacrificed CLEAN animals to YHWH in Genesis 8:20. How did he know to offer CLEAN animals? He came from the "good" line of Abel and Enosh whose descendants called on the Name of YHWH (Genesis 4 and 5).

Note also that Noach was not a Jew. There were no Jews until Jacob had one of his 12 sons whom he named Yehudah (Judah) where the term "Jew" originated. Noach wasn't even a Hebrew as nobody was considered Hebrew (Heb: "to cross over") until Genesis 12:1 when Abram (who was later renamed Abraham) accepted and obeyed YHWH and "crossed over" physically and spiritually into the land YHWH showed him, when he became the first Patriarch and Torah obedient follower of YHWH.

Yet Noach, back in Genesis 6 (like Cain and Abel in Genesis 4) was Torah observant - which reveals that one does NOT have to "be Jewish" in order to obey His Divine Instructions! (This fact is also revealed in the "New Testament, when read in context.)

For more, please read our synopsis of this week’s Torah portion and be sure to do all the readings.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

A word on Christians rejecting Torah

On the other side of the endless Jewish "counter-missionary" arguments, our website receives myriad attacks from Christians who write to challenge our assertions about following Torah. Why is that? Because most have NO concept of what Torah is, that's why. Most simply cannot grasp that we serve the same God - and that this same God has some Divine Rules for ALL people to follow. Their consistent argument is: "That Old Testament stuff was just for the Jews!"

The truth us, Scripture, when read in context, reveals that His "forever" commands are meant for ALL! Why would YHWH's Divine Instructions in Righteousness be "only for the Jews?" Are only JEWS supposed to be holy?

"But, we're under grace! Jesus paid it all."

Yes, but the thing is, "grace" is nothing new! We've ALWAYS been "under grace" - otherwise Adam and Eve would have been killed on the spot instead being allowed to live to experience the difference between "good and evil." But God also gave mankind some rules to follow. Jesus didn't abolish them! He abolished our need to sacrifice innocent animals as "sin sacrifices." Please contemplate that when you remember he willingly shed his blood for you - and then ask yourself why he would have, at the same time, abolished your need to obey His Father's Divine Instructions. Did the blood of Jesus in any way ever suggest you're now free to make up your own rules? HOW do you know what holiness is, unless you receive your instructions from the Holy One of Israel?

Many Christians become irate over the idea of keeping the COMMANDED Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts. "You've put yourself back under the law!" they scream, with murder in their eyes. (Yes, some have actually sent us death threats!) And the thought of having to give up their pork and shellfish because God commands us to eat only "clean" animals? Well, that one sends them straight through the roof! DOING something for God in return for a chance of eternal life is apparently too much to ask..
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So who is right and why are there all these divisions? We always like to ask: Which of the 40,000 different Christian "denominations" is the one GOD approves of? Which one did "Jesus" bring? Do you really believe He approves of those who can't even be bothered with His Seventh Day Sabbath, which is a SIGN between Him and His people?

Exodus 31:16 The people of Isra'el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the people of Isra'el forever; for in six days ADONAI made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and rested.'" (CJB)

Aren't YOU a part of Israel once you accept the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Ezekiel 20: 11 I gave them my laws and showed them my rulings; if a person obeys them, he will have life through them. 12 I gave them my shabbats as a sign between me and them, so that they would know that I, ADONAI, am the one who makes them holy. (CJB)

When Israel and the Egyptians who had followed Moses out of Egypt were gathered on Mount Sinai, YHWH made it clear that ALL who accepted Him were to do exactly as His Chosen. He said it FOUR times in a row in the following passage:

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)

Please re-read the above in case you missed it: Any Torah-less non-Jew/Hebrew/Israelite who does not yet believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an "alien"/foreigner. However, if they do wish to accept Him, then they are to do exactly as those who already belong to Him! (NOTE: Once you've "crossed over" like Abraham the pagan Chaldean did in Genesis 12, you're no longer a "Gentile"; you are a "Hebrew" - for the word "hebrew" means "to cross over.")

One last thing: Many Christians will immediately point to Jeremiah 31:32 to show that THEY are under a "New Covenant." They seem to forget that YHWH didn't make that particular covenant (or any other covenant) with the Gentiles, He made it with the Torah observant Houses of Israel and Judah. See for yourself:

Jeremiah 31: 31 "Here, the days are coming," says ADONAI, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them," says ADONAI. 33 "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says ADONAI: "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know ADONAI'; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more." (CJB)

QUESTION: Do YOU have "Torah written on your heart?" Not unless you've studied it and obey Torah commands to the best of your ability. Those who outright reject Torah don't belong to YHWH, simple as that. You cannot adhere to just the last THIRD of the Bible, using as excuses your misunderstood concepts about the writings of Paul which you feel NEGATED everything YHWH ever commanded and everything Jesus ever said, and then honestly believe yourself to be a child of God!

Paul reiterates this fact:

Romans 10: 12. And in this, it discriminates neither Jews nor Gentiles. For there is one, Master YHWH, over them all, who is abundantly generous towards every one that calls on him. 13. For everyone that will call on the name of Master YHWH, will have life. (AENT)















Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Halloween is an ungodly “holiday” that caters to witches and demons and the “dark side”….

It’s kind of sad to see some Torah observant believers talking about the joys of Halloween, and making excuses for it, just to please their children. “Well, it’s just make-believe; innocent fun for the kids.” Fine, but as Torah observant believers you know that you cannot use the "we're under grace" mantra to justify SIN, right? Or do you?

You CANNOT get away from the fact that Halloween caters to the forces of darkness. That’s the bottom line! Witches, goblins, demons, sorcery, magic… some crazies even see pleasure in sacrificing black cats. What’s “innocent” about that? Every one of these things are an abomination to YHWH who made sure to tell us we CANNOT serve two masters (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13).

How many times does Scripture condemn the idea of “other gods” (in Halloween's case, SATAN!) and magic and sorcery, etc., as evil? I don’t understand how people can simply overlook that! Is THAT what “Jesus” died for? NO!

Paul puts it well in his explanations about humanity’s stiff-neckedness and desire to do exactly what they want, whenever they want, ignoring Torah and pretending. Here’s just one example - and I pray that those who are lauding Halloween will let this sink in:

Titus 1:10. For many are stiff necked and their discourses vain; and they mislead the minds of people, especially such as are of the circumcision. 11. The mouth of these should be stopped: they corrupt many families; and they teach what they should not, for the sake of sordid profits. 12. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies.”

13. And this testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith 14. and may not throw themselves into Jewish fables and into the precepts of men who hate the Truth. 15. For to the pure, everything is pure; but to them who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but their understanding is defiled, and their conscience.

16 And they profess that they know Elohim, but in their works they deny him; and they are odious and disobedient and to every good work reprobates. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

A persistent charge is levied against the Renewed Covenant for being anti-Semitic; this is, of course, wholly remarkable when we consider that every writer, except perhaps Luke, was in fact Jewish! Still, the charge continues due to some very strong language; language that must be considered both carefully and in its proper historical and cultural context. Perhaps the largest source of misunderstanding comes from not appreciating the vociferous manner in which Jews are known to debate.

If we fast-forward this verse two thousand years, we now interpret the invectives through our own modernity, but a good preview of how certain statements can be easily misunderstood is right here in Titus 1:10-16. If a Jewish person didn’t know better, they would wince and cry “Ouch!” The reading here is in fact accurate, but there is much more to this passage than first meets the eye.

First, the line about “Cretians are always liars” is from a Greek poet, Epimenides, who often wrote in an exaggerated theatrical style. Even today, the term “cretin” survives in English and is a holdover from those times, meaning the same thing. Also, since Paul is Jewish and following “all righteousness” it’s impossible that Torah is the object of his rebuke as “fables” and “commandments of men”! The same can be said of Jewish mysticism, which we have seen Paul teach on a variety of levels.

What then are these “Jewish fables”? According to Charles Ryrie: Jewish myths; speculations of a Gnostic sort, supposedly based on OT scripture. Ryrie Study Bible (NASB), p. 393. The key is in the highlighted portion of the above passage, “they profess to know Elohim, but in works deny him” for by this very description, Paul has named the heretical sect. “Gnosticism” is derived from the Greek gnosis, “to know.”

What is often overlooked is that Gnosticism did not originate with Christianity, although later adopted by many Messianic themes. Rather, it began as a Jewish sect with their own “myths and fables.” According to Professor Ryrie: The heresy of Gnosticism had begun to make inroads among churches in John’s day.

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

Is it any wonder then why Paul was upset at these false teachers? Even a conventional Pharisee would take great offense to such posturing, and they most certainly did with four of these five articles of belief.

These false teachings are, of course, diametrically opposite to Paul’s own teaching as a “ringleader” of the Netzarim, so there should be no surprise when he takes these false teachings to task. In any case, one can easily see how modern readers, divorced from the historical context, can easily draw the wrong conclusion and not take into account who the speaker is, and who the intended audience is

Monday, October 16, 2017

The great “falling away” continues….

The exodus of “Hebrew Roots” types leaving Y’shua to join the counter-missionaries continues.  Daily, there are those who “cross over” to join them – and this is because they never had the Holy Spirit within and they never understood the Bible, in the first place.  Too bad for them!

All sides are to blame, really (especially the individuals themselves, who allowed themselves to be sucked into all sorts of ignorant teachings that they readily swallowed as Truth!); but here’s a quick explanation as to why Jewish counter-missionaries and their hangers-on are so vicious and outspoken against Y'shua and the New Testament:

The reason why Jews get all bent out of shape and have formed their "counter-missionary" cults is because of the Christian mantra that "Jesus is God and it's all about Jesus!" NO, it's NOT! Yeshua was the MESSIAH! YHWH is God! Yeshua had a Divine Nature, but he never came to replace YHWH as "God" in the short time that he was a human walking this earth. Humans CANNOT be God! Yeshua was born and died - something that ELOHIM cannot do....

Yeshua, as "the Word" came from YHWH and was part of YHWH, but in his brief time on earth as a HUMAN, he never once said HE was God and that it's all about him! He was YHWH's MESSIAH! And he certainly didn't bring "Christianity." He didn't bring ANY "religion." He proclaimed the Kingdom of YHWH and did everything his Father commanded him to do.

But thanks to this Christian "Jesus is God and everything is about Jesus" mantra (which is what many "Hebrew Roots" adherents are bringing into the faith), the Jews are out there challenging the crud out of us and taking our gullibles away and using them to become their mouth pieces to constantly teach AGAINST "Jesus." (Once they reject our Messiah, they cannot even bring themselves to use his real name, Y'shua!)

Does this sound like Y'shua, the Messiah thought of himself as "God"?

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.

John 12: 44. But Y'shua cried out and said, He who believes in me, it is not in me he does believe, but in Him who sent me. [1] 45. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me! 46. I have come as the light into this world that all who believe in me might not remain in the darkness! 47. And he who hears my words, yet does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I have not come to judge the world but to give life[2] to the world.

48. He who rejects me and does not receive my words, there is something that judges him. The word that I have spoken, it will judge him on the last day. 49. For I have not spoken from my soul, but the Father who sent me. He gave a Commandment to me what I should say and what I should speak. 50. And I know that His commands are eternal life. [3] Therefore, these things that I speak just as my Father told me, thus I speak.[4] (AENTt)

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

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

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

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










Sunday, October 15, 2017

Do you know any “weed-people”?

HERE'S A THOUGHT:

Many people are kind of like weeds; they have the spark of life in them .... a kind of “pilot light” which allows them to live, multiply and die. But that's it. They're not really good for much of anything. They serve no purpose in life but to "be there" and do whatever they do in their own little world. Like weeds, most people really never accomplish anything except to multiply and die. They've never figured out they could use that "pilot light" to spark a wildfire within that's designed to "fill that little hole in our soul" that only God can fill....

I had those thoughts as I was watching my husband struggle to mow down the "weed patch" in front of our house last week. The part nearest the house is "lawn': but the rest is not. The Home Owners Association calls it, “Protected Wetlands.” Nothing can be built there, which means there won’t be another house built between us and our next-door neighbor to the north, who shares this “wetland” with us. (That's a GOOD thing, really!)

Regardless, weeds have no boundaries, and so they pretty much started taking over as Bill was waiting for our procrastinating neighbor to agree to “going half-sies” on a brush hog, Bill finally “took the bull by the horns,” and simply rented one and mowed the whole area himself.

So, my mind raced as Bill was mowing and I got to thinking how Satan must be having a field day (pardon the pun) among all the "weed-people" on this earth, who haven't got a clue about the Spiritual Realm and the "big picture" outlined in Scripture. And this came to mind:

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

I’ve known many people like that over the course of my lifetime, and have personally witnessed these "weed-people" doing nothing with their lives and having nothing to offer the world other than wreaking havoc in some way; and mindlessly passing along the sins of the father - whatever they might have been (Exodus 20:5-6). They don't realize they're easy prey for satan.

I remember one such person - a "religious" man who pretty much fooled everyone with his phony actions and ways - someone who started attending the synagogue Bill and I belonged to a couple decades ago. This guy completely managed to tear our congregation apart, bit by bit, thanks to the weak leadership who didn't recognize him for who he was...
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My book, Destroyed from Within, is actually based on what happened in those dark dark days, perpetrated on us by one of those "weed-people" who clearly made Satan smile. Here’s a quick synopsis borrowed from the back cover:
"Satan just walked through the door!"

Those were Rebecca Ritter's initial thoughts when handsome rancher, R. B. "Rex" Lambert, first entered the Messianic synagogue!

And she was right. Not only did Rex end up wreaking havoc in the congregation, but he also devastated the leadership, caused some to lose their faith in God, and even managed to destroy the Rabbi's marriage.


Making matters worse, his very presence caused "flashbacks" for the forty-something Becca - flashbacks to a childhood fraught with unspeakable horrors at the hands of her demented father, Klaus-Dieter Behringer, a former prison guard at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, who had a few sinister "skeletons in his closet."

Set in the beautiful countryside near Seymour, Missouri, "Destroyed from Within" is an intense, fast-moving psycho-thriller revealing how the "sins of the father" are passed along from generation to generation while depicting the many ways in which weak faith and poor leadership can lead people completely away from God.

(If you are interested in any of my books, you can find them on my books website: http://betorahobservant.com/ or at Amazon.)











A mini-lesson on being sober and alert

My husband and I had the most interesting morning! Our house happens to be on a migratory path for the forest's wildlife, and this morning we saw a doe in the back yard behaving very oddly. She stood, very alert, one leg raised as if frightened of something; but she kept advancing toward it, while kind of stomping her front legs. She was clearly afraid, but ready to charge at whatever it was.

Well, we soon discovered what it was: A lone lynx! Small as it was compared to the doe, the doe knew this was a dangerous animal and she was prepared to meet it head on! Luckily, the lynx seemed oblivious to the deer (deers are docile animals, after all), and it passed right on through our back yard and disappeared into the underbrush.

This serves as a great example of how YHWH's people are to behave - believe and obey YHWH, first and foremost - but remain alert, always ready to defend yourself against the evils of this fallen world of ours! Scripture tells us so:

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.… (Berean Study Bible)

We are also told that those who endure to the end will be saved (see Acts 2:21; Mark 13:13, also please read all of Mark 13 and Matthew 24). And remember that“being saved” doesn’t necessarily mean physically saved from harm; it refers to our souls/natures/the “being” that is left when we die lives on in Eternity with ELOHIM. THAT is what truly matters.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Yeshua, from an Aramaic perspective

Let’s take a look at John 1 and who Yeshua is - from an Aramaic perspective:

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Miltha.[1] And that Miltha was with Elohim. And Elohim was that Miltha. 2. This was with Elohim in the beginning. 3. Everything existed through His hands,[2] and without Him, not even one thing existed of the things which have existed. 4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5. And that light shines in the darkness,[3] and the darkness did not overtake it. 6. There was a man who was sent from Elohim whose name was Yochanan.

7. This man came for a witness that he might testify concerning the light that all might believe through his hand. 8. He was not the light; rather that he might bear witness concerning the light. 9. For the light was of truth, that which shines on all who come into the world. 10. He was in the world, and the world existed by His hand and the world did not know Him. 11. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

12. But those who did receive Him He gave to them authority that they might be the sons of Elohim, those who have believed in His name. 13. Those who neither by blood nor by the will of the flesh nor by the will of a man, rather were begotten by Elohim. 14. And the Miltha[4] became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory,[5] the glory as the Only-Begotten who is from the Father who is full of grace and truth.

15. Yochanan witnessed concerning him and cried out and said, “This is he whom I said would come after me, and yet be before me because he was earlier than me.” 16. And from his fullness we all have received grace on account of grace; 17. Because Torah was given through Moshe, but truth[6] and grace[7] through Y’shua who is the Mashiyach[8]. 18. Man has not ever seen Elohim. The Only Begotten of Elohim, he who is in the bosom of his Father, he has declared Him. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Miltha has no direct English equivalent. It can mean ‘Word’, ‘Manifestation’, ‘Instance’ or ‘Substance’ among other things. In this context, it may best be left untranslated.

[2] Literal Aramaic reading; “through his hands” indicates the Word as a creative force, like a sculptor working under the orders of a king. See Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 44:24; 66:1, 2.

[3] Aramaic wordplay. Nohra b’nshokha menhar (light in the darkness that shines) is a deliberate mirror-reversal of menhar-nohra (menorah), which marks the conception of the light of the world at Hanukkah. This puts the birth of Mashiyach nine months from Hanukkah, during the fall feasts; many point to the first day of Feast of Tabernacles for the date of Y’shua’s birth.

[4] Miltha refers to the “Manifestation” of the Ruach haKodesh within Mashiyach. The physical body of Mashiyach is not the Word of YHWH, but his words and actions demonstrate the Will and Word of YHWH, which upholds observance of Torah. However, Christo-Pagans like Marcion and Constantine taught that Y’shua’s body and spirit manifest a different “word” that did away with Torah. The Word of YHWH was substituted with dispensational and replacement “theologies,” which are very popular among Christians.

[5] Isaiah 42:8; 48:11

[6] Shemot/Ex. 34:5, 6; D’varim/Deut. 32:4; Psalm 25:10; 31:5; 119:142, 151; 146:5, 6; Isaiah 65:16; Jer. 4:1, 2; John 17:17.

[7] Genesis 6:8; Shemot/Ex. 33:12-17; Psalm 84:11; Jeremiah 31:1-3.

[8] The Torah of Moshe is the Word of YHWH, but grace and truth revealed in Y’shua are the impelling forces that uphold all righteousness and keep the Word of YHWH (Torah) positioned in our hearts; these are complimentary, not opposites. It is according to the Grace of the Father YHWH that Mashiyach is revealed in a person’s heart; see John 17:9, 10.

Atheist comment: “Mary was raped by God”

There's a guy posting on one of my Facebook threads who insists "Mary was raped by God." Well, that kind of an ignorant and blasphemous comment deserves "getting real" about rape:

During rape, a virgin's hymen would be broken from the outside. Miriam's hymen was broken from the inside when baby Y'shua pushed his way out. So, HOW does that constitute "rape"?

And why would ELOHIM, when He chose to impregnate a young virgin, have a need to do it the conventional "human" way? "GOD" is SPIRIT! Unfortunately, that silly train of thought seems to be rampant among atheists and counter-missionaries who clearly don't have the Ruach within and yet insist on challenging those of us who DO believe that Y'shua is the Messiah.

This same person also asked why we would need a Messiah, in the first place. Well - the simple answer is: To show a fallen and decadent world that YHWH is real. Y'shua (the WORD) was sent in human form to TELL people, human-to-human and face-to-face (something they could identify with, instead of "just believing" in an entity they couldn't see), about YHWH and what YHWH expects of human beings ... and to warn people what was ultimately going to happen to a lost and fallen world where people kept insisting on ignoring Him (Matthew 24) - things that are unfolding right now, today!

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." (AENT)

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. (AENT)

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.
(CJB)

YHWH said HE would send a prophet who was to do everything He ordered him to do:

Deuteronomy 18: 15 "ADONAI will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him, 16 just as when you were assembled at Horev and requested ADONAI your God, 'Don't let me hear the voice of ADONAI my God any more, or let me see this great fire ever again; if I do, I will die!' 17 On that occasion ADONAI said to me, 'They are right in what they are saying. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I order him. (CJB)

Yeshua Himself said He came to do HIS FATHER's will; not His own!

John 6: 35. Y'shua said to them, I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will not hunger. And whoever believes in me will not ever thirst. 36. But I have said to you that you have seen me, and you do not believe. 37. All who my Father has given to me will come, and whoever comes not to me I will cast outside! 38. For I came down from heaven,[1] not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me. 39. And this is His will, that of Him who sent me, that all that He has given to me I do not lose even one. 40. For this is the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in Him, will have life that is eternal. And I will raise him up on the last day. (AENTt)

[1] As in the context of Miltha (the Word) or the "Manifestation" or the "Will of" YHWH coming down from heaven to do the Will of YHWH upon earth; his Spirit is of YHWH but his nephesh (soul) and body are human and temporal. This shows that Yeshua, while in his human form, was NOT in charge; HIS Father, the One who sent him, was!

So, Mr/Ms Atheist - please set aside your arrogance for awhile and think about the above before attempting to fight Believers any further! And, oh yes, pick up a Bible and READ it from cover to cover BEFORE making anymore comments about it. If you can't do that, then I'm going to ask you to start discussing other books you've never read and see how far THAT conversation can go!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

“Grace” a permit to sin?

I read a post by a devout Christian who said: “Some falsely teach that the Christian concept of salvation by grace is the equivalent of a license to sin. This is absolutely false, because Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness!” 

Take special note of the last phrase: “…because Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness.”

He is quoting Titus 2:11-12 which, in the ESV, reads:  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness…”

But let’s read Titus 2:11-15, in context, and from a version not so watered-down:

“For the all-resurrecting grace of Elohim is revealed to all men;  and it teaches us to deny that which is without Elohim and worldly lusts, and to live in this world in sobriety and in uprightness and in the Fear of Elohim, looking for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of the great Elohim and our Life-giver, Y’shua the Mashiyach who gave himself for us that he might recover us from all iniquity and purify for himself a new people who are zealous in good works. These things speak and encourage and point out with all authority; and let no one despise you.” (AENT).

Here, the verse quoted says “it teaches us to deny that which is without Elohim and worldly lusts”! In this verse, Paul, in his letter to Titus, is NOT simply saying “Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness” as if “grace” somehow negates one’s actions and magically renders all personal actions “godly”! Not at all!  Paul is saying instead that “grace” is a gift for all people who accept it and become zealous in good works!

Paul is saying that people have been given a chance to abandon, to deny, that “which is without Elohim and worldly lusts”! Indeed, Paul goes on to say  that those who are thus “purified” for YHWH are those who are “zealous in good works”!  That means that Christians who have been so taught, are, or should be ZEALOUS to obey God!  Not by “demands” or by “law”, but by the simple desire to please Him! (Leviticus 20:7 for example which reads: “And you shall set yourselves apart, and shall be set-apart, for I am יהוה your Elohim” – ISR).  Indeed, Leviticus 20:8 goes on to say: “and you shall guard [My statutes] and do them. I am יהוה, who sets you apart.”  Who, being “zealous”, would not want to guard and do God’s statutes?

Well, Christianity teaches that “grace” is some “get out of jail free” card – in Christianity there is no 7th-day Sabbat, no observance of the annual feasts, and no obedience, so absolutely YES, the Christian concept of “grace” is most certainly the equivalent of a license to sin! Few, if any, Christians are taught that “grace” only means that one’s sins are forgiven only up to that point that they accept the atoning death of the Messiah for their prior sins!  Upon acceptance, they are obligated to live a life “sin-free” as best they can! The term “grace”, simply is NOT a “permit to continue to sin and be forever forgiven”!  I’m sorry to break that news to you , but “grace” is not a blanket permit!

Folks, the fact that God said, repeatedly, “BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY”, did not change just because the Messiah was sent to die and atone for all who accepted Him! People have always been expected to live their lives in a manner pleasing to God! THAT DID NOT CHANGE with the death and resurrection of the Messiah!  The phrase in Titus 2 which in some English versions reads “Biblical grace trains us to renounce ungodliness”, is not something that “just happens” to Christians! It is something that is supposed to be manifested in Christians as a DESIRE to abandon the things of the world and to live a life pleasing to God!  We are told what pleases God! It is in scripture!  But Christians, for the most part, are taught that all behaviors are “forgiven” because of this misunderstanding of the term “grace”.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Believers, are you really separate from the world?

People on Facebook (including some so-called “Believers”) seem to have this need to constantly engage in one-upmanship. For instance, the many memes that do their best to downplay those who were struck down by the crazed killer in Las Vegas recently.

WHY do people feel the need to make and pass on memes that belittle something as horrific as that incident? I mean, WHAT causes someone to make memes that say something like, "The government faked it!" or “59 people killed by a gunman in Las Vegas, and everybody goes crazy. There are 3,000 babies aborted every day, and nobody cares!” Or, “59 people killed by a gunman in Las Vegas, and everybody goes crazy. Well, 59 are killed in Chicago every day. Why doesn’t anybody care about THAT?”

To me, that is just plain mean and callous! First of all, it’s a LIE (and lying is a SIN!) and nothing more than personal opinion that “nobody cares” about aborted babies or the endless gang-banger and drive-by shootings in Chicago! Just because everyone you know (including YOU!) doesn’t constantly post anti-abortion memes or posts, or photos showing the bloodshed in Chicago on a daily basis, doesn’t mean “nobody cares!” We ALSO don't post the hundreds who die in car wrecks or from drug or alcohol overdoses, etc., on a daily basis, so come down off your high horse and snap out of it!

By downplaying the fact that 59 people died at the hands of a LUNATIC, how are YOU any different from that vegan cook who recently made the callous comments that there were now 59 fewer meat eaters in the world, and “how many animals will live because of this?”

My goodness, what a vicious, calloused world we live in! And many Believers aren’t much nicer, judging by the hateful comments some of them post. What's pathetic is that you'll also see those same people posting all kinds of Bible verses and things designed to show the world just how "holy" they are....

Friday, October 6, 2017

Had “a word from God” lately?

I always cringe whenever anyone presumes they may speak for God - especially when all they ever advocate is the same, hackneyed "God told me He loves you, so do not fear because I'm coming soon" kind of stuff. If God WERE to speak to anyone today, He wouldn't say the usual "fluffy" stuff that so many espouse. He would say something like this:

"In case you haven't noticed, I am angry! Human beings, since the very beginning have been ignoring Me, testing My patience and fighting each other over everything, including what they THINK My Word says. Nothing has changed today. In fact, it's gotten worse than it's ever been. Nobody seems to be able to get along anymore.

You are a prideful, arrogant and despicable people, ready to kill others with your tongues and/or your precious idols called guns! You seem to have forgotten that I commanded you to NOT murder each other (Exodus 20:13). You can’t even be bothered to keep My Seventh Day Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11), let alone bother with the rest of the Ten Commandments; let alone, realize there is more to each of those than meets the eye. It’s all in my Torah. Try reading it sometime!

"You have made a mockery of My Word and decided 'bad' is now 'good' and vice-versa. You justify killing My tiny, living human beings in the womb, and insist it’s ‘just tissue’ – never mind that that ‘tissue’ is growing BECAUSE it’s alive! You promote perversion via homosexuality, adultery (Leviticus 18: 22, 1 Thessalonians 4:3) and commit other despicable acts (Romans 1: 18-32); and then sit there and pretend you’re forgiven just because My Son’s human flesh died! You’ve clearly forgotten that there’s a limit to My grace and mercy. (Some scriptures below.) It’s clear that the ONLY thing that matters to most of humanity is NOT what I commanded, but what YOU all think. Please let the following scriptures sink in:"

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)

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)

“Human being, you would do well to remember what happened in the days of Noah, because similar days are on the horizon, as I am tired of your human nonsense! You have clearly abused the 'free will' I've given you.

"None of you is as holy as you think you are, so stop judging each and start witnessing to your neighbors. Expend your energies on DOING My Mitzvot and MY Will, instead of wasting your time pushing your personal opinions on others in order to assuage your own egos.

“READ my Word and OBEY it! You are now experiencing the end times as outlined in My Word, and no one is guaranteed another day. The main thing you should do, human being, is to get yourself right with Me because Eternity consists of only two things: Eternal Life WITH me; or Eternal Life WITHOUT me. For the latter this means, it will be as if you never existed." Your choice.

“So, the next time you want to insist you have “a word” from Me, shout these following words from the rooftops."

Leviticus 26: 23 If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins. (CJB)

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. 31 Because he has had contempt for the word of ADONAI and has disobeyed his command, that person will be cut off completely; his offense will remain with him.'" (CJB)

Deuteronomy 7: 9 From this you can know that ADONAI your God is indeed God, the faithful God, who keeps his covenant and extends grace to those who love him and observe his mitzvot, to a thousand generations. 10 But he repays those who hate him to their face and destroys them. He will not be slow to deal with someone who hates him; he will repay him to his face. (CJB)

Isaiah 66: 24 "As they leave, they will look on the corpses of the people who rebelled against me. For their worm will never die, and their fire will never be quenched; but they will be abhorrent to all humanity. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 6:9. Or don't you know, that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim? Make no mistake! Neither sexual sinners, nor idol-worshippers, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lay down with other men, 10. Nor the oppressors, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. (AENT)

Revelation 22: 12 "Pay attention!" [says Yeshua,] "I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the 'A' and the 'Z,' the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." 14 How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! 15 Outside are the homosexuals, those involved with the occult and with drugs, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood." (CJB)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A mini-teaching of the first day of Sukkot readings

A mini-teaching on one of today's Sukkot readings:

1 John 1: 1. We announce to you that which was from the beginning which we have heard and have seen with our eyes, looked upon, and handled with our hands, that which is the Word of Life. 2. And the life was manifested, and we have seen and do testify and announce to you the life which is eternal; which was with the Father and was revealed to us. 3. And what we have seen and heard, we make known to you also that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Y’shua the Mashiyach.[1] 4.  And these things we write to you, that our joy in you may be complete.[2]

5. And this is the announcement which we have heard from him and declare to you, that Elohim is light and no darkness at all is in him. 6. And if we say that we have fellowship with him and we walk in the darkness, we are liars and walk not in the truth. 7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other and the blood of Y’shua his Son cleanses us from all our sins. 8. And if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all our iniquity. 10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not with us. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] As in The Good News According to John, Yochanan bar Zawdee (Shaliach/Apostle John) writes with a poetic flair that breaks grammatical conventions and marks his texts as both an Aramaic original and as a unique creation that could only come from his pen.

The first sentence in the Good News begins with four words that “break all the rules” in order to make a spiritual point about all divine attributes resting on and in Mashiyach, which we will briefly review here for easy comparison with his First Epistle: Breshit aytohi hwa Miltha:-- In the Beginning was the Miltha. Once again, we have the unusual and unprecedented mating of two male terms (there, was) with one female noun miltha, (word).

This usage is so unique as to constitute a literary fingerprint for John’s style, as it appears nowhere else in either the Renewed Covenant or any known Aramaic/Syriac literature, with the exception of those works that draw directly on John. Paul never breaks this grammatical rule, and the same can be said of Peter, James and Yehuda. However, in the first line of his letter here, John makes it clear that he is returning to teach:

“He who was with us from the beginning, the one whom we have heard and have seen with our own eyes, have looked upon and have touched with our hands, we declare to you is the Word of life.” 1 John 1:1 (Lamsa). Just as the opening words from the Good News, John again packs an amazing degree of spiritual depth into very few words. The first aspect is the exact poetic construction; only it is one male verb and female noun which has essentially the same effect (aytohi miltha).

The parallels continue with the word B’resheet (in the beginning), which dovetails with the first lines of both his Good News as well as that of Genesis. In fact, if we compact this text we still have the phrase, “from the beginning there was the Word.” Perhaps the greatest comparison is with the foundational statement of Torah itself: Shema Yisrael YHWH Eloheinu, YHWH echad. Hear O Israel, YHWH is our Elohim, YHWH is one.

If we examine various translations of this text, an interesting pattern emerges. Some translate this as “that which we have heard and seen,” as opposed to Lamsa’s “The One whom we have heard and seen”. Why? The answer is that this phrase in the first line of John’s Good News (eykhadaya) is implied in Aramaic. Choosing a literal translation, using the word what here gives a reading that could refer to the truth, a precept, teaching, and so on.

Lamsa takes a different view, perceptively pointing out that there is only one “Who” that has been from the very beginning, and that same Individual is the Word of Life. The “Word” then is neither a concept nor a teaching, but an all-powerful Being. However, what is not entirely wrong; English has two ways of expressing “who” but Aramaic only has one.

It is just as correct to say, for example, “the man who was good to me” as it is to say “the man that was good to me.” I favor the Lamsa rendering, Elohim is a Who rather than a That and, of course, He is the only One who existed before creation. Further, it is in this uniqueness where we find the idea of “The One” (eykhadaya) staring back at us by subtle inference.

These details showcase, conceptually, the linkage between Aramaic 1 John, and the Shema declaration of Deuteronomy 6:4. In the Shema, Israel is being asked to hear; in 1 John members of Israel respond to what they have heard. Similarly, the Shema proclaims that Elohim is ONE (echad). Aramaic in 1 John reflects this with implied “eykhadaya.” In fact, “the One whom we have heard” strongly and clearly reflects the Aramaic mindset of John. It is simply a connection indicative of a Semitic mindset, in much the way Isaiah’s (26:3) use of the phrase shalom shalom (perfect peace) is.

[2] Perhaps the most beautiful pattern in 1 John has to do with another incredible implied wordplay. As shown in the section on cognate accusatives in the publication Ruach Qadim, where the multiple meaning of an Aramaic root is exploited two or more times in a phrase. A statement by Ben Franklin was used to highlight this concept where he stated, “Gentlemen we must all hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.” But what if, instead of a direct exploitation of hang’s dual meanings, Franklin referred to one meaning of the word while indirectly referencing its other use.

In other words, what if he had instead said: “Gentlemen, we must all hang together or most assuredly they will string us up with rope separately.” Granted while not nearly as graceful as the first foray, it would nevertheless be clever. The joke then would rely on a slight delay mechanism, since it may take a few seconds for the hearer to rationalize, “Right, string up with rope is hang too, I get it.”

The same thing is happening in these two passages from 1 John: And these things we write to you that our joy in you may be complete. 1 John 1:4 (Lamsa). There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear is tormenting. He who fears is not made in perfect love. 1 John 4:18 (Lamsa).

The key to this bit of genius is found when looking at what is described as opposed to what is being stated. Put simply, if perfect love casts out fear, or complete joy fills you up, what else can the result be other than shalom (peace)? And so, once again, we see a direct root relationship between perfection/completion (mshamliya) and peace (shlama), and the meaning of the first occurrence is clearly describing the end product of the second!

What prayers did Yeshua pray?

By Kathy Hamlett

What prayers did Yeshua pray?  This is not an exhaustive study but will give you enough information for you to study it out on your own.

To understand the prayers Yeshua prayed and taught, this has to be taken in light of the traditional prayers that were said in the pre first century Israel and beyond. Tradition is not a dirty word and there is a lot of it inside the covers of the Scriptures. This is not from Talmud but from the very version that each student of Scripture has in his/her possession.

Let us take a look at a few of the traditional, repetitive prayers.


The first prayer that Yeshua taught the people was the Amidah, or the Standing prayer. The Amidah is part of a much larger liturgy called the Shemonah Esrei. The Amidah began approximately in the 6th century BC. This prayer was to take the place of the daily burnt offerings that were forbidden during captivity in Babylon. Although the Amidah is only one portion of the Shemonah Esrei it is vitally important. All of the Shemonah Esrei is important and taken directly from Scripture.

The daily burnt offerings were forbidden by Israel's captors in Babylon. The next best thing Israel could do was to pray. Odd isn't it that prayer would be offered when all hope of offerings would have been forbidden. How would they have gotten the idea to do this? Maybe, just maybe from this verse:


Hos 14:2 Take words with you, and return to יהוה. Say to Him, “Take away all crookedness, and accept what is good, and we render the bulls of our lips.

"Bulls", is a reference to offerings.

Yeshua taught this prayer, the Amidah, to the crowds that followed him, Matthew 6:19. This prayer was said 3 times a day in place of the daily offerings and continued thru the Second Temple period in addition to the offerings until the destruction of the Temple occurred. This prayer was repeated by Israel 3 times a day, morning and afternoon and evening.
You will notice that the prayer begins "Our Father"...not "my Father", meaning this was a communal prayer to be repeated by all.

Another prayer that Yeshua said daily was the Shema. Most all of us know this prayer..."Hear Oh Israel"! This prayer is from Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 1 1:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41. You will notice it is commanded to repeat the Shema and to teach to our children:

Deu 6:4 “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one!
Deu 6:5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
Deu 6:6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart,Deu 6:7 and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up,
Deu 6:8 and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Notice there are four time periods of time mentioned in the command, when you sit in your house, when you walk and when you lie down and when you rise up. Did Yeshua use this same command when talking and teaching? Of course he did.

Consider this reference:

Mar 12:29 And יהושע answered him, “The first of all the commands is, ‘Hear, O Yisra’ĕl, יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one.

I hope each one can see that Yeshua said this was the first of all "COMMANDS". This is not an option being spoken of here. This is repeated in Luke 10.

Now the question then becomes what other prayers were given that we are to repeat and teach our children? Well, there is one famous song from Torah that was commanded to be sung and taught to our children.

Deu 31:19 “And now write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Yisra’ĕl. Put it in their mouths, so that this song is to Me for a witness against the children of Yisra’ĕl.
Deu 31:20 “And I shall bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they shall eat and be satisfied and be fat, then they shall turn to other mighty ones, and they shall serve them, and scorn Me and break My covenant.

This is a command given by none other than Elohim. This is a song for all to sing and teach to the future generations, for all times. Again, this is not optional. Why this would be commanded, you may ask. The answer is really many fold. Actually there are a several reasons for this, one would be that a song is easier to remember and teach. The next reason was because the people could not afford any type of scrolls that would contain the Torah. The next reason is contained in the follow up verse to the above verses:

Deu 31:21 “And it shall be, when many evils and distresses come upon them, that this song shall answer before them as a witness. For it is not to be forgotten in the mouths of their seed, for I know their thoughts which they are forming today, even before I bring them to the land of which I swore to give them.”

Now, let us not forget the Priestly blessing that was and has been spoken for centuries and will continue into "forever".


Num 6:22 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Num 6:23 “Speak to Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is how you bless the children of Yisra’ĕl. Say to them:
Num 6:24 “יהוה bless you and guard you;
Num 6:25 יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you;
Num 6:26 יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.” ’

Not only did Yeshua endorse these prayers, he taught them to his talmidim and sent ones, to be passed on in their teachings. Shaul, Kefa and Yohanan can be found at Temple 3 times a day repeating these prayers.

Act 3:1 And Kĕpha and Yoḥanan were going up to the Set-apart Place at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

The "hour of prayer" is the key. Those are the hours of set times for the liturgy or prayers to be prayed. For anyone who does not think those hours are important, I suggest that those defined times played an important and vital role in the life and death of Yeshua and the talmidim.

Consider this verse:

Act 10:3 He clearly saw in a vision, about the ninth hour of the day, a messenger of Elohim coming to him, and saying to him, “Cornelius!”

What hour? The ninth hour! Don't over look these things when studying what is written. This ninth hour was the prescribed hour of prayer with set prayers. During this time a vision was given to Cornelius. Receiving these type visions happened often at the prescribed hour of prayer. Another reference:

Luk 1:10 And the entire crowd of people was praying outside at the hour of incense.

Luk 1:11 And a messenger of יהוה appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

I hope that you can see a pattern is emerging that is evident. Although this is just a short summary I hope you can see the pattern. One cannot explain any writing without knowing the "tradition" that had been established long before the first century.

It is imperative to understand these things if we want to understand what was written and taught by Yeshua. Yeshua did not come against any of the set prayers or times, just the opposite happened. Traditions are not bad, traditions that hold up the ideals of Torah are forever and beyond. I hope in some small way this helps to understand the situations and circumstances of what was written about prayer and what was taught.

Always remember the 5 W's....who, what, when, where and WHY. Without those 5 elements the study will fall short of any sort of accomplishments.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tragedy in Las Vegas as lone lunatic opens fire, kills at least 50 and wounds at least 400 more….

Tragedy in Las Vegas!  Last night a gunman opened fire from the 32d floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and, with military-style assault weapons, killed at least 50 and wounded at least 400. I pray that all of them were “saved”; but I know chances of that are very slim.

These days, if we aren’t hit by some natural disaster, then we’re plagued by lunatics with vendettas. I’ve been saying for years that Scripture warns us about events of the end times (which we are in now), where things would happen so quickly, we won't have a chance to clean up from one disaster before the next one hits. Check out Y'shua's warning in Matthew 24:

Matthew 24: 3. And while Y'shua was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples drew near and were saying among themselves and to him, "Tell us when these things will be and what is the sign of your coming and the end of the world." 4. Y'shua answered and said to them, Beware, let no man deceive you. 5. For many will come in my name and will say that "I am the Mashiyach." And many they will deceive.

6. For you are bound to hear of revolutions and rumor of wars. Watch out and do not be disturbed, for it is necessary that all these things happen, but it is not yet the end. 7. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and plagues and earthquakes in different places. 8. But all these things are only the beginning of sorrows. 9. Then they will deliver to afflictions and they will kill you and you will be hated by all nations because of my name.

10. Then many will stumble and will hate one another and will betray one another. 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. 14. And this Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.... (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)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Don’t let others ruin your relationship with God!

Been perusing Facebook today, and, as always, I end up saddened for those who either return to Christianity, become atheists, or look toward traditional Judaism to fill their need for God, just because they are turned off by all the fights and various clashing teachings in the realms of Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism. Yes, these "movements" are a total mess - but is that YHWH's fault?

I once saw a great bumper sticker that said: "If you allow a hypocrite to come between you and God, then he is closer to God than you are!" So, if you've stopped being Torah observant, or decided to deny Yeshua because YOU chose to hang with the "wrong crowd" who were teaching falsehoods, then you need to look inward and ask yourself why you would turn your back on YHWH/Yeshua just because certain people have turned you off.

Instead of fleeing to find yourself a new group you can fit into, get into SCRIPTURE with all your might, so you can know what it says and doesn't say. That will allow you to become knowledgeable enough to be able to discern "good" from "bad" teachings, and the next time someone attempts to shove their "exalted knowledge" down your throat, you'll be able to recognize whether or not it's sound, and then act accordingly.

"Acting accordingly" does NOT mean you turn your back on God or return to "religion" and "religiosity" or - God forbid, you decide to become an atheist. It means you dig into Scripture and read it through the lens of the Ruach, so you can get ever closer to Him and stand on the whole Word when you encounter some loud-mouth with skewed theology.

You must be willing to constantly learn and grow so you can stand your ground while telling the Truth ... and if people aren't willing to hear THE Truth, then you simply smile and turn around and "shake the dust from your feet" (Matthew 10:14). Your job is NOT to convert anybody; your job is to explain your faith (via personal informed and diligent study) and let YHWH deal with those who insist on adhering to their ideology.. We are not to waste our time arguing (Titus 1:13-16 and Matthew 7:6).

Titus 3: 9 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile. 10 Warn a divisive person once, then a second time; and after that, have nothing more to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a person has been perverted and is sinning: he stands self-condemned.(CJB)

And, in the meantime, don't forget that YOU don't have the market cornered on Truth, either. Nobody does! We must always be willing to learn and grow - from SCRIPTURE, not from random people on Facebook or wherever.... But whatever you do, do NOT turn your back on God! If you do, you might as well get used to the "smoking section" of Eternity.