Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Have you ever received a "God-sized" task

Have you ever noticed that, whenever ADONAI gives you a "God-sized" task, it always leads you to a crisis of belief? ("Surely, this can't be from God! He wouldn't do this to me ... would He? He knows I can't afford to do this right now....")

The thing to remember is that HIS timing doesn't necessarily line up with ours. Therefore, we shouldn't really dawdle too much when He tells us to move, change jobs, change careers ... whatever. (You'll know when the message is from Him! He will cause you to "just know.") Sometimes, He simply arranges for your life to "turn on a dime"; but when He doesn't, and He expects you to sh'ma/hear and obey, then be careful to pay attention and ultimately DO it.

The bottom line is that, whenever ADONAI "gives you a God-sized" task that leads you to a crisis of belief," LISTEN, because what you DO about it reveals how you really feel about Him!

Monday, August 13, 2018

AN URGENT MESSAGE TO THE WORLD!

Our skin color and individual differences have absolutely no bearing on where we will spend eternity. Our destiny is determined by whether or not our hearts and minds wholly belonged to Yahweh. What does that mean? Well, simply put, Yahweh has some rules for us to follow. We either do things HIS way, or not. There is no "gray area."

Yeshua obeyed His Father’s commands; yet some mere humans seem to be under the erroneous impression that their individuality and their “God-given” choices in life somehow make them exempt, because “God knows my heart.”

Well, I’m here with a warning that that is a HUGE mistake, because throughout Scripture, in both “Testaments” we are told, over and over again, that Yahweh’s people are to be HOLY, set apart. Here are ust a few examples:

Leviticus 19: 1 ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 "Speak to the entire community of Isra'el; tell them, 'You people are to be holy because I, ADONAI your God, am holy.

Leviticus 19: 19 "'Observe my regulations....

Leviticus 19: 37 Observe all my regulations and rulings, and do them; I am ADONAI.'"

Leviticus 20: 7 Therefore consecrate yourselves -you people must be holy, because I am ADONAI your God. 8 Observe my regulations, and obey them; I am ADONAI, who sets you apart to be holy.

When did the command to “be holy” change? When Yeshua died? NO! Yeshua came to proclaim the Kingdom and show us how to walk in obedience to Yahweh's commands - His Torah!

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

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

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

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

And take a look at this:

1 John 2:3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands. 4 Anyone who says, "I know him," but isn't obeying his commands is a liar - the truth is not in him. 5 But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with him.

6 A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did. 7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command. On the contrary, it is an old command, which you have had from the beginning; the old command is the message which you have heard before. (CJB)

We cannot separate YHWH/Yeshua/Torah! We cannot be holy/set apart UNLESS we have accepted the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who gave us Divine Rules (Torah) to follow; and who sent us His Divine Messiah who constantly reiterated those Rules and then martyred himself on our behalf.

Check out John 17, where we find Yeshua talking to Yahweh:

John 17: 1. Y’shua spoke these things and he lifted up his eyes to Heaven and said My Father the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son might glorify you. 2. Just as you have given him authority over all flesh that whomever You have given him, he will give to him life that is eternal. 3. Now this is life that is eternal, that they might know You, that You are the Elohim of Truth, and he alone whom You have sent, the Mashiyach Y’shua.

4. I have glorified You on earth. The work that You have given to me to do I have finished it. 5. And now glorify me my Father with You in that glory that I had with You from before the world was.

6. I have made Your Name known to the sons of those men whom You had given to me from the world. They were Yours and You have given them to me, and they have kept Your Word. 7. Now they have known that everything that you have given to me I have given to them and they received them.

8. And they know that I have truly proceeded from your presence, and they believe that You have sent me. 9. And I plead for them. It is not for the world I plead; rather, for those whom you have given to me because they are Yours. 10. And everything that is mine is Yours, and Yours is mine and I am glorified by them. (AENT)

The bottom line is, we must know Yahweh AND His Son to gain our eternal life. We get some clear clues in various scriptures:

1 John 2:3-6: "The way we can be sure we know Him is if we are obeying His commands. Anyone who says, 'I know Him,' but isn't obeying His commands is a liar - the truth is not in him. But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with Him. A person who claims to be continuing in union with Him ought to conduct his life the way He did." (CJB)

Yeshua, in Mark 12, verse 29 says: "The most important [mitzvah] is, "Sh'ma Yisra'el, ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad'". Translated to English this becomes "Hear O Isra'el, the Lord our God, the Lord is One." But let's look at that Hebrew word "Sh'ma". Translating "Sh'ma" to English as "Hear" does not do it justice. In Hebrew, the word means: "hear and do." Sh'ma does not just mean to "hear" as in "hear with your ears"; it means "hear these instructions and comply with them"; or more succinctly, "hear and do."

So, just how are you to "hear and do"? Well, Yeshua tells us! Look at the remainder of the verse: You are to "love ADONAI your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength."

Note He did NOT say: "You are to assert your individuality and cling to your limited, human mindset and personal opinions while ignoring My forever commands, and pretending I’m only about 'grace' and 'love.'" He said to love ADONAI with all your heart, soul, understanding, and strength…

So, to gain eternal life we must know Yahweh, follow Yeshua’s example, AND obey what he taught. That is simply the “bottom line.”

Friday, August 10, 2018

Parashah 47: Re'eh (See); Deuteronomy 11:26 through 16:17

In this week’s parashah we once again see YHWH laying down the Divine Laws for His people to follow, while we encounter some "tests" He has laid down for His people:

Deuteronomy 11: 26 "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse - 27 the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot of ADONAI your God that I am giving you today; 28 and the curse, if you don't listen to the mitzvot of ADONAI your God, but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow other gods that you have not known. 29 "When ADONAI your God brings you into the land you are entering in order to take possession of it, you are to put the blessing on Mount G'rizim and the curse on Mount 'Eival. (CJB)

Note verse 29: "When ADONAI your God brings you into the land you are entering in order to take possession of it, you are to put the blessing on Mount G'rizim and the curse on Mount 'Eival. What does that mean? In order to find out, we need to read ahead in a future Torah portion:

Deuteronomy 27: 11 That same day Moshe commissioned the people as follows: 12 "These are the ones who are to stand on Mount G'rizim and bless the people after you have crossed the Yarden: Shim'on, Levi, Y'hudah, Yissakhar, Yosef and Binyamin; 13 while these are to stand on Mount 'Eival for the curse: Re'uven, Gad, Asher, Z'vulun, Dan and Naftali. 14 The L'vi'im, speaking loudly, will proclaim to every man of Isra'el: 15 "'A curse on anyone who makes a carved or metal image, something ADONAI detests, the handiwork of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret!'All the people are to respond by saying, 'Amen!'  (CJB)

Returning to Deuteronomy 11:

Deuteronomy 11: 30 Both are west of the Yarden, in the direction of the sunset, in the land of the Kena'ani living in the 'Aravah, across from Gilgal, near the pistachio trees of Moreh. 31 For you are to cross the Yarden to enter and take possession of the land ADONAI your God is giving you; you are to own it and live in it. 32 And you are to take care to follow all the laws and rulings I am setting before you today.  (CJB)

Note the words, "you are to cross"....Remember how YHWH told Abraham "to cross over" into the land which YHWH commanded him in Genesis 12? The word "hebrew" means "to cross over"; and so the moment Abraham obeyed and crossed over both physically into the land and spiritually into the Presence of YHWH, he became a Hebrew! In Deuteronomy 11:31 above, YHWH's people, the Hebrews, are told they would finally be "crossing over" into Israel, the Promised Land!

Most Christians insist TORAH is a curse, but the above, when read in context, clearly shows otherwise! The above shows that Torah is not the curse but you are cursed if you don't listen to and obey the Mitzvot (words/commands) of YHWH. Throughout the entire Torah, He keeps reiterating the need to obey His commands! After all, without Torah, how can we possibly know what constitutes SIN and moral, holy living (1 John 3:4)?

For more, please click on the link above!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A word about water and washing….

Have you ever noticed that, since YHWH first gave us rain in the days of Noah, He has been using water to cleanse each man of his sin through baptisms and the washing of clothing? We read myriad commandments in the Laws He gave to Moshe to cleanse both body and clothing of impurities. Before they met YHWH at Mt. Sinai, the entire nation was to wash and consecrate themselves because God had intended to make them a holy nation - a nation of priests. Every priest also consecrated himself in a like fashion before being ordained. Washing is very important to YHWH as we can see in the following verses:

In Psalm 51:1-7, after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, David asks to be cleansed: ...2 Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my crimes, my sin confronts me all the time. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil from your perspective; so that you are right in accusing me and justified in passing sentence. 5 True, I was born guilty, was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 Still, you want truth in the inner person; so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart. 7 Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

And in the beginning of the Book of Isaiah, the prophet tells the nation in Isaiah 1 verses 15-16 and 18 to "Wash and make yourselves clean."

In Jeremiah 4, the prophet beseeches Jerusalem to "Wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?"

That was the job John the Baptist was doing on the day he baptized Yeshua. As a Levitical priest, he was helping his fellow believers cleanse themselves of evil/sin by using the Jordan as a Mikvah or baptismal pool. As Luke 3:3 explains, "He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."

But even John was confused, wondering why he would have to baptize and purify one like Yeshua who was without sin, for - as we read in Matthew 3:12 ... Then came Y'shua from Galeela to the Yordanan to Yochanan, 13. to be immersed by him. 14. But Yochanan was refusing him and said, I should be immersed by you, and you come to me. 15. Then Y'shua answered and said to him Allow (it) now for as such, it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness, and then he allowed it.

To fulfill righteousness? Surely not Yeshua, for He was without sin! No, it was for the righteousness of mankind. Before he could minister and teach mankind how to apply the laws YHWH gave to Moshe in the way God intended (in accord with the Spirit of the Law, not just the Letter or legalism of the Laws which is how the Levites had mistaught the laws), Yeshua first took on the sins of the world which had been committed until the day He ministered. When Yeshua was immersed, YHWH was keeping His word. He was not flooding the world to rid it of sin; He was covering Him who carried the sins of the world in Him so all who believe would be found righteous in YHWH's eyes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Leaving Jesus? Counter-missionary radio hosts are ready to assist you as you slide into the pit….

How ironic that former “believers” in Y’shua/Jesus all seem to have this drive to crow about “leaving Jesus” once they’ve been warmly embraced by the Jewish counter-missionary rabbis and their converts who make their living by bashing “Jesus and the NT” on the Internet.

It seems, the first thing these former “believers” all do when they decide to reject ADONAI’s Messiah, is to run to some counter-missionary radio host to share their “testimony” – which always reveals that they didn’t have a good grasp of Scripture OR their former faith, to begin with. Yet, suddenly, they’ve found what they think is the Truth (after doing plenty of religion hopping in their quest to find one that suits them), and now they just HAVE to tell the world why they’ve denounced “Jesus.”

What a sad commentary about the hearts of humans – hearts that have always strayed and disappointed Him (Jeremiah 17:9), and which STILL aren’t listening to HIS Word because it’s easier to sit around and twist and over-analyze Scripture with their limited human mindsets, than it is to actually comprehend what it says at the most basic level….

Something I recently heard a Y’shua rejecter say on a radio podcast is that one of the reasons she left Y’shua behind is because Isaiah 53 tells us Messiah would have children, and “Jesus didn’t have any.” Really? Is that what that passage REALLY says?

If you’ll take a look at this passage in Isaiah 53, you’ll see it talks about the Messiah being a GUILT offering who gave himself unto death…where ADONAI said that when Messiah DID make himself into a guilt offering, he would “see a seed.” Does that mean “children”? No! How could he have children after death?

Leviticus 7:2 The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be splashed against the sides of the altar.

How could his life be “prolonged” if he offered HIMSELF as a guilt offering? Yeshua’s life was never meant to “be prolonged.” He was here for just a season and a reason – as outlined in the “Rest of the Story” called the Brit Chadasha…

Isaiah 53, verse 10 says that Yahweh purposed Messiah's suffering in His pleasure and would bring it to pass to see the "seed", or the result of this offering; i.e., many redeemed and saved, children of God.

Isaiah 53:10 But יהוה was pleased to crush Him, He laid sickness on Him, that when He made Himself an offering for guilt, He would see a seed, He would prolong His days and the pleasure of יהוה prosper in His hand.

11 He would see the result of the suffering of His life and be satisfied. Through His knowledge My righteous Servant makes many righteous, and He bears their crookednesses. 12 Therefore I give Him a portion among the great, and He divides the spoil with the strong,

Don’t “toot your own horn” when doing good deeds

Does anyone besides me have problems with people who take selfies or make videos of themselves doing good deeds? We see that so often in our society today, and it really bothers me. It’s one thing for a group such as Habitat for Humanity to be highlighted by the media; but it’s quite another to post of a video of yourself giving money to a homeless person, or making sure everyone knows how much money you donated to someone’s Go Fund Me page, etc.

Good deeds are something we do “from the heart”; they are between us and God. Their purpose is not to put the spotlight on ourselves; rather, to bless the receiver and thus, give glory to ADONAI. As a matter of fact, Scripture commands us to NOT toot our own horn or brag whenever we do a good deed. Take a look:

Matthew 6:1 “Beware of doing your kind deeds before men, in order to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in the heavens. 2 “Thus, when you do a kind deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do, in the congregations and in the streets, to be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 “But when you do a kind deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your kind deed shall be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret shall Himself reward you openly. (ISR)

Contrary to what some (or even most) religions teach, Y’shua taught that giving should be done anonymously if one expects a reward from Heaven. There is no need for givers to receive public recognition for parting with one’s cash! Y’shua said that those who make it their goal to be recognized through their giving have already received their reward - from their peers, not from Heaven. Of course, that teaching did not make him popular among the rich religious leaders, as he exposed their nonsensical ideas that the rich received some “spiritual” rewards for supporting their religion.

Please remember that, the next time you do a good deed. YHWH knows what you’ve done.. No one else matters! (See also Job 13:10 and Proverbs 18:11.)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Parashah 46: 'Ekev (Because) Deuteronomy 7:12 through 11:25

Shabbat shalom, Mishpocah/friends/family! On this Shabbat, please remember to pray for Jerusalem and all of Israel, for Israel is constantly under attack by the world.

And, as always, you can read a great synopsis of the weekly Torah portions on our website. This week's reading is Parashah 46. In this reading, you will continue witnessing Moshe's review for the "new generation" of all that YHWH had done for His people over the last 40 years.... For more, please click on the link.

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