Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Bible does NOT say that "Torah is a curse"; rather it is a love letter from a Father to his children that provides instruction and wisdom for life!


Folks, it gets really tiresome hearing that “Torah is a curse!” or “Read Galatians 3:10!” or “You can't keep all those 613 laws anyway!” So, here’s our response to anyone who feels that way:

If you read the context of Galatians 3:10, the first thing you’ll notice that it does NOT say "Torah is a curse!"  It says people are cursed if they DON'T live by Torah!  (The curses and blessings on the people are found in Deuteronomy 27-15 to 28-68.)  Please go back and look at how Paul says the same thing in Galatians 2:16 as he does in 3:10.  If you'd only start reading Galatians from the beginning, you might come to understand who Paul is, and what he, himself is identifying as the problem in the congregations of Galatia (see Galatians 1-6 to 2-13). 

The confusion about what rules Gentiles were to follow was when Jews in the community were putting on the Gentiles, the same "mandates" they had learned and had grown up with.  These "mandates" meant that the Jews were insisting the Gentiles "live like Jews" (Galatians 2:14).  And the way Jews lived was by the requirements of the rabbis who mandated to them how they had to live to "be justified"! 

In other words, though the Messiah had brought eternal life to ALL (Jew and Gentile alike) through faith, the Jews were still teaching that one must "do this and do that".  But Paul and all the apostles understood that Torah itself does not "justify"; and that Torah is NOT meant to be a "must do this and must do that" sort of thing!

That "must do" mentality is called strict “religious halakha.”  You can study the meaning of halakha, but in a nutshell, it is from a Hebrew word that means "to walk" - and what it means in the phrase "strict religious halakha" is that rather than simply obeying Torah because YHWH asked us to (and doing so with the joy of our heart), your "walk" is instead burdened because obeying Torah had become a "you must to what the rabbis say" sort of thing.  Simple commands like "obey the Sabbath day" became instead a stressful thing because the rabbis declared what you could and could not do on the Sabbath! 

So, Paul is not condemning Torah! What he goes on to say is that if you have accepted the Messiah by faith, and have received the "Spirit" then your walk is by the Spirit, and you willingly follow YHWH's Torah, and you no longer want to be "your old self" when your life was dominated by the disgusting practices of the world and your old, gentile (pagan) ways.  What he is saying is that no "way of the Jew, prescribed by the rabbis" (which he knows was a problem, even for the Jews) must be forced upon the Gentile. (By the way, Paul was Jewish through the tribe of Benjamin.)

If you insist on believing that "Torah is a curse", and continue to “cherry-pick” your verses, then you need to sit down and reconcile why other scriptures in the New Testament, written by Paul and the other apostles completely contradict your own conclusion. 

Take for example James 2:17 which says: "Faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead."  Actions are what you do in your day-to-day life to demonstrate your love of YHWH and you should DO something to demonstrate your love!  After all, YHWH has offered you eternal life!  You certainly don't want to blow it.   All you have to do is live your earth-bound life without sin!  But if you have dismissed Torah, then you have no way to measure if you have sinned!  You are wandering through life without a guide to what YHWH measures as sin!

SIN IS TRANSGRESSION OF TORAH (1 John 3:4), and without Torah all you have is YOUR OWN definition of "sin"!  But by offering you eternal life, YHWH did not at the same time give you the authority to define sin.  If YHWH is your God, and Yeshua is your Messiah, and you have accepted what the Messiah did for you,  then you are obligated to define sin the way He does!

Indeed, John wrote earlier:  

"And by this we will be sensible that we know him, if we keep his Commandments.   For he that says I know him [Messiah], and does not keep his Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.  But he that keeps his Word, in him is the Love of Elohim truly completed: for by this we know that we are in him.   He that says “I am in him” is bound to walk according to his [Messiah's] halakha." (1 John 2:3-6, AENT).  The Messiah's walk (halakha) was in Our Master YHWH's Torah!

REFERRING TO THE MANTRA "you can't keep all those 613 'laws' anyway!" – who ever said you HAD to?  You only need to keep the ones that apply to you!  NOBODY is expected to adhere to "all 613 commands" as most of them were directed at the Levite cohens (priests); some were only for men; some only for women; and some were only for a certain time frame.)

But some were meant to last FOREVER - and those are the ones that believers must pay attention to!

While YHWH eventually recorded ten in stone, we must remember, these ten are just part of the larger picture taken from His Torah which He said would stand forever. Many people balk at this idea because they are under the erroneous impression that they don't even have to bother even keeping the TEN Commandments anymore (let alone the "613"); but, rather, just TWO - and they cite the following as "proof":

Matthew 22:36. "Teacher, which Commandment in Torah is the greatest?" 37. And Y'shua said to him, that "You should love Master YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with all your mind." 38. This is the first and the greatest Commandment. 39. And the second is like it. That "You should love your neighbor as yourself." (AENT)

Unfortunately, they stop right there, totally ignoring the next verse, which says: 40. On these two commandments hang Torah and the prophets.

Does verse 40 imply that all of God's original instructions have been done away with? NO! The Torah and the Prophets HANG/ARE DEPENDENT ON those two commands! There's more to it than just "loving God and loving your neighbor!" SIN is still sin and God still expects His people to adhere to His Divine Standards for moral, holy living! So, it is important to note that Torah HANGS on those two commandments. 

Note also that it doesn't say they REPLACED the Torah!  (And it certainly doesn't say that "Jesus" came to bring a new religion that somehow abolished the Torah, because Gentiles were too special to bother with any of His Divine Commands.  Yeshua came to proclaim the Word and show people how to walk it out, and then to offer himself as the "Final SIN Sacrifice.")

Truth is, people love to pick and choose and play around with the commandments that were written in stone - such as, for instance, the Fourth Commandment concerning the seventh-day Sabbath; and it's time to realize that important commands such as the seventh-day Sabbath REST, along with His seven feasts were NEVER abolished ... on the cross, or anywhere else! There were parts of Torah that God said would endure FOREVER. (Has "forever" ended yet?)

2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture that was written by the Spirit is profitable for instruction and for decisive refutation, and for correction, and for deep extensive learning in righteousness; 17. that the man of Elohim may become perfect and complete for every good work.

HERE IS WHAT WE CAN STILL KEEP:  If you truly love God, then please don't ignore this - because He is not happy with those who refuse to comply with His commands.  What parts of Torah are still applicable today?

The bottom line is:  For those who do not have a relationship with YHWH, Torah might be viewed as a book of do’s and don’ts; but in reality Torah is a love letter from a Father to his children that provides instruction and wisdom for life…

So, before bashing Torah again, we suggest you do some serious scripture study to learn what Torah is before you ever again calling it a curse again … because Torah truly IS a blessing!

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

A mini-study about the “antichrist”– something ALL believers should pay attention to…

Please read all of Daniel 11 and 12 to get the gist of what the world will experience in the end times that usher in the arrival of Yeshua haMashiyach.  Given by the shape our world is in now, with everything that is happening – especially in Israel - it would seem that the events outlined in these two chapters concerning the “antichrist” aren’t that far away. EVERY believer in YHWH and Yeshua should pay close attention!

Daniel 11:

21 “There will arise in his place a despicable man not entitled to inherit the majesty of the kingdom, but he will come without warning and gain the kingdom by intrigue. 22 Large armies will be broken and swept away before him, as well as the prince of the covenant. 23 Alliances will be made with him, but he will undermine them by deceit. Then, although he will have but a small following, he will emerge and become strong.

24 Without warning, he will assail the most powerful men in each province and do things his predecessors never did, either recently or in the distant past; he will reward them with plunder, spoil and wealth while devising plots against their strongholds, but only for a time.

25 “He will summon his power and courage against the king of the south with a great army, and the king of the south will fight back with a very large and powerful army; but he will not succeed, because of plots devised against him. 26 Yes, those who shared his food will destroy him; his army will be swept away; and many will fall in the slaughter. 2

7 These two kings, bent on mischief, will sit at the same table, speaking lies to each other; but none of this will succeed; because the appointed end will not have come yet. 28 Then the king of the north will return to his own land with great wealth; with his heart set against the holy covenant, he will take action and then return home.

29 “At the time designated, he will come back to the south. But this time, things will turn out differently than before; 30 because ships from Kittim will come against him, so that his courage will fail him. Then, in retreat, he will take furious action against the holy covenant, again showing favor to those who abandon the holy covenant. 31 Armed forces will come at his order and profane the sanctuary and fortress. They will abolish the daily burnt offering and set up the abomination that causes desolation.

32 Those who act wickedly against the covenant he will corrupt with his blandishments, but the people who know their God will stand firm and prevail. 33 Those among the people who have discernment will cause the rest of the people to understand what is happening; nevertheless, for a while they will fall victim to sword, fire, exile and pillage. 34 When they stumble, they will receive a little help, although many who join them will be insincere. 35 Even some of those with discernment will stumble, so that some of them will be refined, purified and cleansed for an end yet to come at the designated time.

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt himself and consider himself greater than any god, and he will utter monstrous blasphemies against the God of gods. He will prosper only until the period of wrath is over, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no respect for the gods his ancestors worshipped, or for the god women worship [*] — he won’t show respect for any god, because he will consider himself greater than all of them.

NOTE ABOUT VERSE 37:  The King James Bible renders it thusly:  “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”  Apparently the antichrist, among other things, will be homosexual…

Continuing with Daniel 11:

38 But instead, he will honor the god of strongholds; with gold, silver, precious stones and other costly things he will honor a god unknown to his ancestors. 39 He will deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. He will confer honor on those he acknowledges, causing them to rule over many and distributing land as a reward.

40 “When the time for the end comes, the king of the south will push at him; while the king of the north will attack him like a whirlwind, with chariots, cavalry and a large navy. He will invade countries, overrun them and move on. 41 He will also enter the Land of Glory, and many [countries] will come to grief, but these will be saved from his power — Edom, Mo’av and the people of ‘Amon. 42 He will reach out his hand to seize other countries too. The land of Egypt will not escape — 43 he will control the treasures of gold and silver, as well as everything else in Egypt of value. Put and Ethiopia will be subject to him.

44 However, news from the east and north will frighten him, so that he moves out in great fury to ruin and completely do away with many. 45 Finally, when he pitches the tents of his palace between the seas and the mountain of the holy Glory, he will come to his end, with no one to help him. (CJB)

Daniel 12:

1 “When that time comes, Mikha’el, the great prince who champions your people, will stand up; and there will be a time of distress unparalleled between the time they became a nation and that moment. At that time, your people will be delivered, everyone whose name is found written in the book. 2 Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence. 3 But those who can discern will shine like the brightness of heaven’s dome, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

4 “But you, Dani’el, keep these words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there as knowledge increases.”

5 Then I, Dani’el, looked; and I saw in front of me two others, one on this bank of the river and the other on its other bank. 6 One of them asked the man dressed in linen who was above the water of the river, “How long will these wonders last?” 7 The man dressed in linen who was above the water of the river raised his right and left hands toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times and a half, and that it will be when the the power of the holy people is no longer being shattered that all these things will end.

8 I heard this, but I couldn’t understand what it meant; so I asked, “Lord, what will be the outcome of all this?” 9 But he said, “Go your way, Dani’el; for these words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will purify, cleanse and refine themselves; but the wicked will keep on acting wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand. But those with discernment will understand. 11 From the time the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 How blessed will be anyone who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13 But you, go your way until the end comes. Then you will rest and rise for your reward, at the end of days.” (CJB)

Monday, June 17, 2024

A perfect example of the dangers of Scripture twisting

THIS MEME BELOW  IS A BLATANT LIE, and clearly created by someone who doesn't understand the Hebrew context of Scripture! What it does reveal is that a little knowledge intertwined with self-serving aspirations to be viewed as a "Bible scholar", and spewed forth as "truth" in a public forum can be dangerous!


 

 A critical eye on 1 Timothy 4:1-6 reveals that this passage in NO WAY shows that God’s Divine Instructions (which is what the Hebrew faith is based upon!) is supposedly a “doctrine of demons.”

TAKE A LOOK at that whole passage via the Hebrew instead of the Greek mindset:

1 Timothy 4: 1. But the Spirit says explicitly that, in the latter times, some will depart from the faith, and will go after deceptive spirits and after the doctrine of demons. (AENT)

First of all, there’s no mention of WHAT the “doctrine of demons” refers to (even though anyone with two brain cells to rub together can figure out that it refers to anything that goes AGAINST Torah).

Secondly, it’s truly ironic that so many supposed “believers” attempt to demonize those of us who wish to obey YHWH’s original Divine Instructions in Righteousness! Since when is OBEYING God's Instructions evil?

The Bible warns us that we would be attacked for our faith. (2 Timothy 4)

Paul wrote, Therefore, what are we to say? That the Torah is sinful? Heaven forbid! Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is. For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if the Torah had not said, "Though shalt not covet." (Rom.7:7).

He further added, So the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good. (verse 12). He went on to say that YHWH's Law is spiritual (Rom.7:14) - and that which is spiritual is eternal. Paul also wrote, We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal. (II Cor.4:18).

If the Laws of God were all abolished, as some believe, then Yeshua did away with what was clearly holy, righteous, good, and spiritual...

Let’s continue with 1 Timothy 4:

1 Timothy 4: 2. These will seduce by a false appearance, and will speak a lie and will be seared in their conscience; 3. and will forbid to marry,[1] and will require abstinence from meats which Elohim has created for use and for thankfulness by them who believe and know the truth 4. because whatever is created by Elohim is good; and there is nothing which should be rejected if it be received with thankfulness, 5. for it is sanctified by the Word of Elohim[2] and by prayer.

6. If you will elucidate these things on your Brothers, you will be a good minister of Y’shua the Mashiyach, being educated in the language of the faith and in the good doctrine which you have been taught. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Roman Catholic church and other Christian organizations forbid priests to marry; by installing their own so called “infallible” deity-like “fathers” they’ve chosen to wage war against Torah and Mashiyach Y’shua. See also Matthew 23:9.

[2] Food includes meat which must be sanctified by the Word of Elohim (Torah), and there are clean and unclean meats – some are sanctified, some are not; see Leviticus 11. Saying a prayer over unclean food doesn’t sanctify the food anymore than praying that you don’t get caught stealing can “sanctify” or protect you from the consequences of that transgression. Many fail to remember that, just because the punishment is not immediate, doesn’t mean that it’s been forgotten by heaven.

SO, WHERE IN 1 TIMOTHY 4 IS MY FAITH IN YHWH/YESHUA/TORAH supposedly being addressed as a "doctrine of demons?" Whoever created this meme is a LIAR!

PLEASE READ ON:

Acts 21: 20 On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him (Paul), "You see,brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah. 21 Now what they have been told about you is that you are teaching all the Jews living among the Goyim to apostatize from Moshe, telling them not to have a b'rit-milah (circumcision) for their sons and not to follow the tradition.

22 "What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that hear that you have come. 23 So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. 24 Take them with you, be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary, you yourself stay in line and keep the Torah. (CJB)

If Yeshua had abolished the "law", then why did the apostle Paul observe it with four other Church men in Yerushalayim 29 years AFTER the crucifixion of the Messiah?

What does this tell us about the true "religion" that Yeshua the Messiah proclaimed? What does it tell us about His true gospel?  Those who teach contrary to the Torah, which Yeshua upheld - and Paul also taught - are false preachers and prophets. Paul wrote of them:

2 Corinthians 11: 13 The fact is that such men are pseudo-emissaries: they tell lies about their work and masquerade as emissaries of the Messiah. 14 There is nothing surprising in that, for the Adversary himself masquerades as an angel of light; 15 so it's no great thing if his workers masquerade as servants of righteousness. They will meet the end their deeds deserve. (CJB)

So - is "the Law" still valid today? You bet it is! It is a standard for righteousness. Yeshua said that not one yod or tittle would pass away, and that those who love Him will keep His commandments. The Law is not for salvation, but for sanctification (being Holy). No one can keep the Law perfectly, but striving to live as ADONAI commands brings us closer to His desire for our lives.

We need to remember that, while God changed the Covenant, He never changed His Torah. Yeshua came to abolish the "rabbinical stuff" and the need to sacrifice innocent animals to atone for our sins; not YAHWEH's Divine Instructions in Rigthteousness. Torah observant believers adhere to both, the "Old" and the "New" covenants without pretending they are allowed to ignore the "forever" commands.

And so I leave you with this, my brothers and sisters in the Hebraic Faith:

2 Timothy 4:1. I charge you before Elohim and our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach who is to judge the living and the dead at the manifestation of his Kingdom 2. Proclaim the Word and persist (in it) with diligence, in time and out of time; admonish and rebuke with all patience and instructiveness. 3. For the time will come when they will not give ear to sound teaching; but, according to their lusts, will multiply to themselves teachers in the itching of their hearing; 4. and will turn away their ears from the truth, and incline after fables. 5. But be vigilant in all things; and endure evils and do the work of a proclaimer of the Good News, and fulfill your ministry. (AENT)

 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

THE HEBREW LANGUAGE IS AMAZING!

This morning, my husband, Tom, and I somehow landed on the subject of the Hebrew letter “Yud” (also spelled as “Yod”) – the tenth, and smallest, letter of the Hebrew alef-beit (alphabet). The Yud resembles an apostrophe, but there is so much more to it, as show below in part of an article I borrowed from Chabad.org. 

Anyway, Tom and I got on this subject because it seems that YHWH has a certain affinity to the Yud, as many Hebrew names (including His own Name and that of His Messiah) begin with a Yud. For instance, YHWH (Yahweh), Yeshua, Yehuda (Judah), Ya’akov (Jacob), Yisrael (Israel), Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), etc.

Curious, I began to do some research on this tiny, little Hebrew letter, and found some amazing insight at Chabad.org.

Here’s an excerpt:

The tenth letter of the alef-beis—and also the smallest—is the letter yud.

On the simplest level, the design of the yud is a point: a dot which represents G‑d’s essential power; the one G‑d Who is indivisible. Furthermore, the yud looks like a flame that soars ever higher, representing the soul of a Jew yearning to unite with G‑d.

Additionally, the yud represents the method by which the blessing descends from G‑d to His people. The letter yud when spelled out is י-ו-ד. (Yud-Vav-Dalet).

The yud represents a seminal drop, the concentrated power of G‑d. The vav represents a descent, for its form is that of a chute—and through this the bless­ings of G‑d travel downward to our world. The dalet, having height and width, represents the physical world, signifying how G‑d’s blessings are manifest in every aspect of nature.

This teaches us that G‑d’s blessings don’t only reside in heaven. They flow down to this corporeal world and endow us with physical health, sustenance and success.

Perhaps this is why the first letter of each of the three pas­sages of the Priestly Blessing begins with the yud:

יברכך ה' וישמרך—May G‑d bless you and guard you.

יאר ה' פניו אליך ויחנך—May G‑d shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you.

ישא ה' פניו אליך וישם לך שלום—May G‑d turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace.


TO LEARN MORE, AND GO REALLY DEEP, please check out the full article Chabad.org.

A warning: Always give God the glory, but don’t be guilty of ascribing to Him something He did not do or say …

SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO PONDER:

Moshe was the most holy man on earth in his day, chosen by YHWH to liberate His people from Egypt, and lead them into the Promised Land, knowing that he himself would never see the land he had been looking forward to seeing, ever since he had led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Why didn't he get to the Promised Land? (1) Because he had broken the first set of tablets containing the Ten Commandments; and (2) because he had failed to "speak to the rock" as commanded by YHWH; and (3) pride and arrogance.

Let's take a look:

Numbers 20: 8 "Take the staff, assemble the community, you and Aharon your brother; and before their eyes, tell the rock to produce its water. You will bring them water out of the rock and thus enable the community and their livestock to drink." 9 Moshe took the staff from the presence of ADONAI, as he had ordered him. 10 But after Moshe and Aharon had assembled the community in front of the rock, he said to them, "Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?" 11 Then Moshe raised his hand and hit the rock twice with his staff. Water flowed out in abundance, and the community and their livestock drank.  (CJB)

Notice in verse 10 he said "WE"? What's this WE business? Now, based on what Moses has just done and said, who do the people believe brought the water from the rock, YHWH or Moses? How can they tell? Do they put their trust in YHWH or in man? Of course, there is no other choice but to make sure the people put their faith in YHWH. So in the next verse, He takes the matter into His hands:

Numbers 20: 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them." (CJB)

This is a great lesson about the importance of always giving ELOHIM the credit that He is due … as well as being very careful to NOT ascribe to Him something He DIDN’T do … the kind of thing we can see people doing every once in a while.

For instance, not only do some create memes to send around on the Internet, promising God’s blessings to anyone who reads them; but some actually even dare to write messages “from God” (in the first person) telling us all that, “I, the Lord God, say to you … blah, blah, blah” – whatever they think God “told” them to share in the message.  It doesn’t matter that the material MAY line up with Scripture to a certain degree; but the fact is, YOU, not YHWH, are the one writing down things that you imagine Him to have said – especially when those things are are “new” and never mentioned in Scripture. When it comes to God, there is nothing new under the sun!

Do you get the drift?  “We” mere humans are NOT Yeshua or Moshe, receiving our messages straight from YHWH, “face-to-face”... which means we must be VERY careful about what we attempt to tell others concerning any “messages from God.”

Another example is people daring to “send you to Hell” because your theology doesn’t line up with theirs.  Just recently, some Christian on a Facebook post told me I was going to Hell because I have “put myself back under the law” because “Torah-keeping is unbiblical.” My only response to that guy was, “Unless you’re God Almighty, you don’t get to decide where I will spend eternity!”

My final example of the dangers of ascribing to YHWH something He did not say or do, is about a former Facebook friend from years ago who was always teaching and preaching and genuinely appearing to be “walking the walk.”

Then one day, he suddenly shared that he was leaving his (second) wife and moving to somewhere in Africa because God had supposedly given him a “soulmate” on the other side of the world. (She was someone he had never met in person, but they often “talked on the phone” and he just KNEW “she was the one.”

Because he didn’t have a job or money, he promptly started asking his FB friends for donations – and he actually managed to get enough for a plane ticket and start divorce proceedings! (I know of no one else besides myself who tried to warn him that he was treading on the proverbial “thin ice” by believing this was a gift from YHWH; but he wouldn’t hear it.)

Anyway, I surely don’t have to explain what all was wrong with that whole, sordid situation but I’ll never forget how he was praising God all over the place, and many were agreeing and cheering him on. I was absolutely floored, and left wondering what Bible these people were all reading, because he was definitely guilty of taking some liberties with the Word!

It’s not a good thing to make a habit of twisting Scripture to suit your purposes. As we see in the Bible passages above, YHWH is NOT kidding around! Yes, by all means, fall on your face to thank Him daily for His grace and mercy and the bounty in your life, etc.; and don’t be afraid to give Him credit where credit is due when you’re positive that He has performed some great works in, or for you; but don’t ever be guilty of “making something up,” or using His Name in vain to bring glory unto yourself.

The following passages pertain to ALL of us:

Titus 1:7:  7 For an overseer, as someone entrusted with God’s affairs, must be blameless — he must not be self-willed or quick-tempered, he must not drink excessively, get into fights or be greedy for dishonest gain. 8 On the contrary, he must be hospitable, devoted to good, sober-mindedness, uprightness, holiness and self-control. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy Message that agrees with the doctrine; so that by his sound teaching he will be able to exhort and encourage, and also to refute those who speak against it. (CJB)

1 Peter 2: 9. But you are an elect race, officiating as priests of the Kingdom; a Set Apart people, a redeemed congregation; that you should proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness to his precious light: 10. who formerly were not counted as a people but now are the people of Elohim; and also, there were (once) no mercies on you but now mercies are poured out upon you. 11. My beloved, I entreat you as strangers and pilgrims, separate yourselves from all lusts of the body, for they war against the soul. 12. And let your behavior be honorable before all men; so that they who utter evil speeches against you, may see your good actions and may praise Elohim in the day of trial. (CJB)

Monday, June 10, 2024

The Book of Jude puts a damper on the once-saved-always-saved debate!

If you haven’t read the Book of Jude lately (it consists only of one chapter), then we suggest you take some time to do so, as it is a real eye-opening reminder.  It seems to lay to rest the “once-saved-always-saved debate!  In other words, we CAN lose our salvation.  Take a look:

Borrowed from Stern’s Complete Jewish Bible:

1 From: Y’hudah, a slave of Yeshua the Messiah and a brother of Ya‘akov

To: Those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept for Yeshua the Messiah:

2 May mercy, love and shalom be yours in full measure.

3 Dear friends, I was busily at work writing to you about the salvation we share, when I found it necessary to write, urging you to keep contending earnestly for the faith which was once and for all passed on to God’s people. 4 For certain individuals, the ones written about long ago as being meant for this condemnation, have wormed their way in — ungodly people who pervert God’s grace into a license for debauchery and disown our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

5 Since you already know all this, my purpose is only to remind you that Adonai, who once delivered the people from Egypt, later destroyed those who did not trust. 6 And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day. 7 And S’dom, ‘Amora and the surrounding cities, following a pattern like theirs, committing sexual sins and perversions, lie exposed as a warning of the everlasting fire awaiting those who must undergo punishment.

8 Likewise, these people, with their visions, defile their own flesh, despise godly authority and insult angelic beings. 9 When Mikha’el, one of the ruling angels, took issue with the Adversary, arguing over the body of Moshe, he did not dare bring against him an insulting charge, but said, “May Adonai rebuke you.” 10 However, these people insult anything they don’t understand; and what they do understand naturally, without thinking, like animals — by these things they are destroyed!

11 Woe to them, in that they have walked the road of Kayin, they have given themselves over for money to the error of Bil‘am, they have been destroyed in the rebellion of Korach. 12 These men are filthy spots at your festive gatherings meant to foster love; they share your meals without a qualm, while caring only for themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; trees without fruit even in autumn, and doubly dead because they have been uprooted; 13 savage sea-waves heaving forth their shameful deeds like foam; wandering stars for whom the blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

14 Moreover, Hanokh, in the seventh generation starting with Adam, also prophesied about these men, saying, “Look! Adonai came with his myriads of holy ones 15 to execute judgment against everyone, that is, to convict all the godless for their godless deeds which they have done in such a godless way, and for all the harsh words these godless sinners have spoken against him.”

16 These people are grumblers and complainers, they follow their evil passions, their mouths speak grandiosities, and they flatter others to gain advantage.

17 But you, dear friends, keep in mind the words spoken in advance by the emissaries of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 18 They told you, “During the acharit-hayamim there will be scoffers following their own godless passions.” 19 These are the people who cause divisions. They are controlled by their impulses, because they don’t have the Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, and pray in union with the Ruach HaKodesh. 21 Thus keep yourselves in God’s love, as you wait for our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to give you the mercy that leads to eternal life.

22 Rebuke some who are disputing; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and to yet others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained by their vices.

24 Now,

to the one who can keep you from falling
and set you without defect and full of joy
in the presence of his Sh’khinah
25 to God alone, our Deliverer,
through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord —
be glory, majesty, power and authority
before all time, now and forever.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

HOW TO RECOGNIZE A COUNTER-MISSIONARY

To hook you into their beliefs, counter-missionaries will usually approach you with the supposedly “false” teachings of the supposedly “anti-Torah” Paul - which is an absolute LIE, because Paul NEVER spoke against Torah. All he was guilty of was trying hard to explain difficult Hebrew concepts to a pagan populace! Remember, Paul was the one who wrote:

Romans 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law (Torah) through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we ESTABLISH the Law.... (CJB)

Still, once they get you to believe that Paul was a fake, they’ll start attacking “Jesus” (they will hardly ever use Messiah's given, Hebrew name "Yeshua" - which means "YHWH is Salvation") who is supposedly either a "myth" or "just some man" or an “idol” you are guilty of worshiping (which, of course, is a SIN).

They’ll tell you “God doesn’t have a son, nor did He ever demand human sacrifice.” (Never mind that Yeshua wasn’t “sacrificed” – because nobody “sacrificed” this DIVINE Messiah of God, who chose to martyr himself - against which there is NO Torah law!)

In other words, unless you KNOW Scripture properly (from a Hebrew; not a Greek mindset), they will tear you to shreds and use your comments as teaching tools to hone their skills!

If you don't want to risk being "confused" by their shrewd and calculated assertions about Yeshua, Paul and the NT, then start doing some intense Bible studies from the Hebraic perspective so that you can respond intelligently to their, for instance, "God never demanded human sacrifices" allegation thusly:

Offerings "qurbana" and sacrifices "dabekha" are two different entities. Although there are certain aspects to Mashiyach's death that are utterly unique to him (Zechariah 12:10, etc.), his death nevertheless echoes aspects of offerings and sacrifices that came before. The qurbana is the human life (nefesh) that Y'shua voluntarily offers up on the stake. The result of that offering is his blood put out on the "altar"; hence dabekha.

However, this is certainly not, as some critics suggest, "human sacrifice." Rather, this indicates Y'shua's status as Mashiyach ben Yoseph. Per strict accordance with Isaiah 53 and Genesis 22:8, Mashiyach ben Yoseph was required to suffer and die.

After his death, the offering of himself became a sacrifice that was taken up, and he was resurrected three days later. Many of YHWH's prophets also suffered and were martyred at the hands of those who fought against the Kingdom of Elohim. In the case of Mashiyach, his shed blood is counted as the acceptable offering, the Lamb of YHWH, which is most Set Apart unto YHWH.

BOTTOM LINE: KNOW the Bible, from cover to cover! If you've only read the NT (the last FOURTH of the Bible), or have spent your life cherry-picking your way through it, then IGNORE the counter-missionaries completely, and do everything in your power to get away from them. Don't even bother trying to defend yourself because you have no real understanding of Scripture ... in other words, you DON'T really know God, His Messiah, or what happened in the first THREE-FOURTHS of the Bible...