Saturday, October 20, 2018

Are women allowed to teach men?

Every once in a while we encounter the issue of women teaching men, as some are under the erroneous impression that they cannot.

While some Bible passages might sound a little confusing, we must remember to look at the context, and compare them to other passages - which we have done in this article on our website.

One example featured in our article concerns Titus 2, which some insist explicitly states that women cannot teach men. But let’s look at the context:

Titus 2:3. And so also the elder women that they be in behavior as is becoming to the Fear of Elohim; and not to be slanderers; and not to be addicted to much wine; and to be teachers[1] of beautiful things, 4. making the younger women to be modest, to love their husbands and their children, 5. to be chaste and Set Apart and to take good care of their households and to be obedient to their husbands, so that no one may reproach the Word of Elohim. (AENT)

Footnote:

In 1 Timothy, Rav Shaul commands that women keep silent in the assembly and not assume authority over a man. However, here in Titus 3:2, the older women are instructed to lead by examples of their own piety and to teach the younger women in the Fear of Elohim. (The word malpan most certainly means to teach.) Y’shua is frequently called a Malpana almost as often as he is called a “Rabbi.”

The concern in 1 Timothy seems not so much about women speaking, but to not speak out of turn while the official leader is teaching. Surely, such action is disrespectful universally; neither is it normal for men to be given such liberty.

Rav Shaul (Paul) encourages the older and spiritually mature women to both teach and be examples for the younger women, as they are able to help safeguard young men and women from “worldly lusts.” We don’t see endorsement of women congregational leaders in Paul’s writings, but we certainly do see encouragement for women to exercise leadership in modesty and be Set Apart unto YHWH.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Parashah 3: Lekh L'kha (Get yourself out) Genesis 12:1 through 17:27

Shabbat shalom, everyone, and welcome to our weekly Torah studies!  This week’s Parashah is Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out); Genesis 12:1 – 17:27.   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 means "exalted father") was guilty of not placing all his faith and trust in God....

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."

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. 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).

Do you realize that this is exactly what YHWH wants us ALL to do?  The more you read and study Scripture (from cover to cover, and then starting all over again), the clearer it will become that you cannot belong to God and be who HE wants you to be, if you allow “the world” to hold you back! This includes friends and relatives.  In other words, make a decision as to whether or not you want to BE a man or woman of God … or not.  There will be no “lukewarm” or “half-hearted” in Eternity with Him.  Take a look:

Isaiah 66:1 "Heaven is my throne," says ADONAI, "and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house could you build for me? What sort of place could you devise for my rest? 2 Didn't I myself make all these things? This is how they all came to be," says ADONAI. "The kind of person on whom I look with favor is one with a poor and humble spirit, who trembles at my word.

3 Those others might as well kill a person as an ox, as well break a dog's neck as sacrifice a lamb, as well offer pig's blood as offer a grain offering, as well bless an idol as burn incense. Just as these have chosen their ways and enjoy their disgusting practices, 4 so I will enjoy making fools of them, and bring on them the very things they fear. For when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear. Instead they did what was evil in my sight and chose what did not please me."

5 Hear the word of ADONAI, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers, who hate you and reject you because of my name, have said: 'Let ADONAI be glorified, so we can see your joy.' But they will be put to shame." (CJB)

For more, please click on the link above!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

John 8 - "the woman caught in adultery" is a myth!

Here's an interesting tidbit: Did you all know that the story of John 8 about the "woman caught in adultery" was never in the original manuscripts? The story is nonexistent in the Peshitta and does not appear in the four earliest Greek manuscripts of John....Here is what most Bibles say:

John 8: 1 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.

7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (AENT)

So, who inserted the story? Here is an explanation from an appendix in the Aramaic English New testament (AENT):

Who inserted the story of the woman caught in adultery into the text? Considering the revisions, additions, adulterations and conflicts in the thousands of Greek manuscripts which surfaced since the Fourth Century, we know one thing: The story crept into the text a couple hundred years after Yochanan/John. Therefore, it’s shameful to suggest that one of “John’s disciples” did it. Many assume that it is reasonable to insert cunningly devised fables into their Bibles that support their religious traditions, yet they continue to refer to their books as “holy.”

Here's more from the pertinent appendix:

Why would someone insert this story into the book of John? Firstly, this narrative is a fundamental proof text for Christians to prove that Jesus forgives adultery with no consequences to the offender. For Christians, Jesus says “go and sin no more.” Therefore, the woman was, in fact, guilty as charged but her sin was without consequence. If she had been falsely accused Y’shua would not have said “go and ‘sin’ no more.” Bringing an accused person publicly before Mashiyach for judgment is extremely perverse and shameful.

There is no co-accused, no husband, no credible witnesses, and we have no idea whether or not those making the charges were even the ones who caught her in the act! It is written in such a way that the reader automatically feels sorry for the victimized woman. It’s impossible that the woman be judged, because the basic criteria are entirely nonexistent. In reality, Torah requires that both parties involved in adultery be brought up on charges together and in the presence of their accusers, as well as with any witnesses and the elders of the community, none of which was done here (Leviticus 20:10-21).

Why would God threaten children with punishment for the wrongdoing of the father?

Someone asked us a great question recently. They wanted to know why God would be so mean as to threaten the children with punishment for the wrongdoing of the father. They used this example:

Exodus 20:5 You may not go down on your faces before them or give them worship: for I, the Lord your God, am a God who will not give his honour to another; and I will send punishment on the children for the wrongdoing of their fathers, to the third and fourth generation of my haters;

OUR RESPONSE:

Excellent question, and to properly understand that passage, one needs to read the whole passage in context; not just a couple of verses.

Exodus 20:1 Then God said all these words: t 2 "I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery. 3 "You are to have no other gods before me. 4 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.

5 You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot. 7 "You are not to use lightly the name of ADONAI your God, because ADONAI will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly. (CJB)

YHWH handed down rules for mankind to follow so that we could live holy lives unto Him, and thus be separated from the world. If we ignore Him, or take him "lightly" He is going to get angry, because HE and ONLY He is THE Creator who gave us some Divine Rules to follow. He WANTS us to obey, for our own good - and that is why He WARNS us to obey, or else! (The consequences of endless rebellion is eternal separation from YHWH (Deuteronomy 28:1-68; also see Deut. Chapters 11, 28 and 30; Leviticus 26; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15, to mention just a few!).

Here is a simple illustration: A parent warns his/her child to not "touch that hot stove, or you'll get burned!" If the child ignores the warning, he/she will get burned. It pains, disappoints and angers the parent to see their child hurt - especially after the child was WARNED it would get hurt.

Most parents would probably take the child aside by the arm and give them a stern follow-up reminder: "I TOLD you not to do that! Why did you ignore me? Don't do it again, or you will end up REALLY hurt one day!"

Unfortunately, not every human parent will do that. Instead, they "baby" the child and tell him/her that everything will be okay. In those cases, the children might misconstrue this as permission to disobey. "Yes, I just got hurt, but Mom/Dad don't always know what they're talking about, and I want to experience things on my own, to see how they work."

And so they continue to disobey, simply because they don't fear the parent enough to bother obeying. Disobedience leads to more willful disobedience and outright rebellion, and even disrespect for the parents.

Human beings tend to be like that, because that is simply how we are! We don't necessarily like authority. The thing is, some people have NO boundaries and will eventually end up in prison because they never learned to behave themselves....

So if the parents don't give their children stern warning about some dire consequences (i.e., a spanking if they disobey again) if they don't start learning to OBEY, then their children will most likely ignore everything they're told, and eventually end up totally out of control - and when those children grow up, they will end up raising unruly children as well, because they, themselves grew up in a lax household where there were no real consequences.

What I'm trying to illustrate is that YHWH gave stern warnings in hopes of instilling enough fear into His people to make them want to obey His Divine Guidance … to make them LEARN that His rules are for their own good. If, after that, they still refuse, then they are on their own, because - through their willful disobedience - they have CHOSEN to become eternally separated from Him. There will be NO unruly trouble-makers in Eternity....

You either learn to follow His Rules while here on earth ... or not. Your choice.

An important message to remember here is that SIN is the culprit. Unless it is repented of somewhere along the way, "sin" (including all our habits, both good and bad) is passed along to our children, from generation to generation. In other words, “sins of the fathers” and all our good and bad habits BECOME the sins of the children! (See Exodus 34:6-7 and 20:5; Deuteronomy 5:8-10; Numbers 14:18, etc.) But, because of ADONAI’s grace, the children can confess their sins and the sins of their fathers and be forgiven and accepted by God (Leviticus 26:40-42).

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

True believers are like that lone house on Mexico Beach that survived Hurricane Michael

The photo below of one of the very few houses that survived hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, reminds me of believers – TRUE believers – those who sh’ma (hear and do) and live their life according to the Word.

Scripture tells us that the gate that leads to life is narrow, and that most won’t be taking it (Matthew 7:13-14). I believe that, if we could take this type of photo of the souls of humanity who actually live their lives according to the Word, it would pretty much look the same as that lone house on Mexico Beach, with just a few scattered souls here and there.

James 1:22. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only; and do not deceive yourselves. 23. For if any man will be a hearer of the Word and not a doer of it, he will be like one who sees his face in a mirror: 24. for he sees himself and passes on and forgets what a man he was. 25. But everyone that looks upon the perfect Torah of liberty and lives fully in it, is not a hearer of something to be forgotten, but a doer of the things; and he will be blessed in his work. (AENT)

The owners of that house said they fortified it – they actually “went beyond building codes to hurricane-proof” their home.

How many people today who proclaim to be believers, truly fortify themselves with the Word and obey YHWH’s “forever” commands (i.e., keep the commanded Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts, eating only what YHWH considers to be “clean” so they can be “clean” from the inside-out)?

Hearing and DOING is required to please YHWH:

Deuteronomy 6:4 "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear and Do, Isra'el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one.] (CJB)

Revelation 12: 17. And the dragon was enraged against the woman; and he went to make war upon the remnant of her seed who keep the Commandments of Elohim AND have the testimony of Y'shua.

Revelation 14: 12. Here is the patience of the Set Apart believers who keep the commandments of Elohim, AND the faith of Y'shua.

James 1:: 22 Don't deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it! 23 For whoever hears the Word but doesn't do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror,

24 who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does.

26 Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing. 27 The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world. (CJB)

BOTTOM LINE:

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

Please note that “keep His mitzvot/commandments” is repeated twice in this passage…. “Keep His commands" is not a request! There are certain things we must DO, if we wish to spend Eternity with ADONAI. "Doing" doesn't mean offering to drive the church bus or serving as an usher. Those things, while nice to do, are "works."

Keeping the mitzvot" refers to just that: Keeping those things we can, should and are able today to keep. There is no excuse for NOT keeping the Sabbath REST, or doing the Feasts! If nothing else - if your worldly job prevents you from doing these things - at least ACKNOWLEDGE them and do your level best to take those days off. If possible, change jobs so you CAN keep them. After all, what's more important? YHWH or your earthly desires?

People need to come out of the mindset that merely “believing in Jesus” is all that God requires. Satan and his demons “believe” too – and they won’t be spending Eternity with Him….

James 2: 19. You believe that there is one Elohim; you do well; the demons also believe and tremble. 20. Would you know, O weak man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Awraham our father, was not he justified by works[1] in offering his son Yitz’chak upon the altar? 22. Do you realize that his faith aided his works, and that by the works his faith was rendered complete?

23. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says: Awraham believed in Elohim, and it was credited to him for righteousness and he was called the Friend of Elohim. 24. You see that by works a man is justified[2] and not by faith alone. 25. So also Rahab the harlot, was she not justified by works when she entertained the spies and sent them forth by another way? 26. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Some theologians allege this teaching to be opposite of the Pauline Epistles, such as Galatians. The reality is that Paul was grossly misquoted whereas Ya’akov (James) was not. Rav Shaul did not accept empty ritual devoid of proper spiritual focus.

He was Torah Observant; he kept the Moedim (feast days), the Shabbat, and took one or more Nazirite vows; he fasted on Yom Kippur, ate “clean” food and lived a Set Apart life in Mashiyach Y’shua. The fact is that Romans 7:12 totally harmonizes Galatians with, and complements, Galatians and Ya’akov.

[2] The Hebrew word for a righteous soul = tsadiq; righteousness = tsedeq; justified = tsadaq; notice they are the same word. A soul without righteousness can never be “justified” regardless of what theologians claim.

The original root word for justified relates to righteous action. However, mainstream Christianity teaches that a person is “justified” solely on the merits of belief in Y’shua, and that observing Torah is impossible. Even in Ya’akov’s day, some individuals wanted cerebral belief to “justify” themselves, which is impossible.

Y’shua’s person (example) and Spirit is meant to literally be imparted into us; this must be evidenced by our actions, otherwise we do not belong to him. Theological, or cerebral “belief” without works, is dead religion; but active literal Faith comes to life in Mashiyach. Torah Observance/obedience is clear evidence that we have passed from death to life. See John 5:29, Matthew 7:23.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

People who accept false teachings will continue to accept false teachings….

People who fall into the pit of accepting false teachings and never recognize TRUE teachings, will teach those false teachings to others ... and lead others right into the pits of hell. YHWH allows those who refuse Truth to remain in their ignorance. As a matter of fact, He even sends them deceiving spirits!


The Word teaches that if we seek after a false prophet, YHWH will put a LYING spirit in the mouth of that false prophet and cause us to believe the LIE and then God will judge us for that; and He will judge the false prophet for speaking the LIE. It is actually a judgment by God against those who seek a false prophet, instead of seeking Him.

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

The price for not receiving the "love of the truth" is to become overly self-confident in false religion. The "love of the truth" is the spirit of truth which must be sanctified by thought and action. One cannot "love the truth" and, at the same time, break the Commandments.

What is Truth:

John 17: 17. Father sanctify them by your Truth, for Your Word is Truth.

This principle is also taught here:

1 Kings 22: ADONAI asked, 'Who will entice Ach'av to go up to his death at Ramot-Gil'ad?' One of them said, 'Do it this way,' and another, 'Do it that way.' 21 Then a spirit stepped up, stood in front of ADONAI and said, 'I will entice him.' 22 ADONAI asked, 'How?' and he answered, 'I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.' ADONAI said, 'You will succeed in enticing him. Go, and do it.' 23 So now ADONAI has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; meanwhile, ADONAI has ordained disaster for you."  (CJB)

The New Testament constantly promotes Torah!

The NT doesn’t promote Torah? Sure it does. We just have to read Scripture in context. Here’s just one example:

Acts15:21 For from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat." (CJB)

This is a fulfillment of Isaiah 56:1-9. Here we see Gentile converts observing Shabbat and learning Torah as one body along with Jews. Unfortunately, not long afterward, Marcion (whom Polycarp referred to as “the firstborn of the devil”) built the first all-Gentile church to promote Paganism. (Of course, no one noticed because it all “sounded good” so people blindly followed.

Marcion held his services on Sunday which blended with Zeus (the sun god) culture – which, of course was in total opposition to our Jewish Mashiyach. These modern theologies were based more on Hellenism than on original fundamental Hebraic values.

Marcion coined the words “Old - New Testament” and did his very best to warn Gentiles away from Torah and “the God of the Old Testament.” He also invented theologies known as replacement, dispensational, supercessionism, etc., which are very popular among Christianity today. (Source: AENT)