Sunday, July 30, 2017
Those who actually read AND study Scripture can immediately recognize false teachings; and they could have easily figured out that this person based their "teaching" on only the last four words of that one sentence!
Let's take a look at the context:
Leviticus 23:3 "'Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for ADONAI, even in your homes. (CJB)
The words “even in your homes” does NOT imply we cannot or should not attend a congregation! Indeed, the weekly Shabbat is specifically identified as a day of holy convocation!
The dictionary tells us that a convocation is (1) a large formal assembly of people, or (2) the action of calling people together for a large formal assembly, etc. This modern definition of convocation is completely in line with the original Hebrew “mik’ra’ei” which refers to something “called out” as in “a meeting”, “a gathering”, or “an assembly”.
Sure, we can have a holy convocation in our homes, but in biblical times, people didn't own a Torah scroll, couldn’t read and needed someone to TEACH Torah, which certainly couldn’t be accomplished by a teacher or a few teachers going into hundreds of separate homes on Shabbat!
And excuse me if I’m wrong, but my Bible says that Yeshua taught in synagogues on Shabbat (Luke 4:15). If it was good enough for him, it should be good enough for us, and no “Facebook scholar” has a right to suggest otherwise!
This person also asked (with great authority!): "Are we not defiling Sabbath when we travel and spend for transportation? That's still buying and selling, right? Think about it."
SIGH! Okay, I've THOUGHT about it: First, your "buying and selling" problem is solved if you fill up your gas tank BEFORE Shabbat. And if you need to travel by bus or train, buy your tickets in advance. (If this is the only way to have like-minded fellowship on Shabbat, then the ONLY options available to you are to (1) take public transportation; (2) hitch a ride with someone from the synagogue who lives close enough to you; (3) rent a place closer to the congregation so you can walk; or (4) stay home. It's a real dilemma, and YHWH knows that...)
One thing to remember on Shabbat is to NOT go out to eat at a restaurant after the service because, you'll not only be guilty of committing commerce, but also of causing others to work directly for you. (See Exodus 20:10; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Ezekiel 20:12) It doesn't matter that "they" aren't Torah observant; YOU are!
People in biblical times lived in close proximity, close enough to walk to synagogue. Try walking across a major city today, to attend a congregation! If you live in rural America, you could be 100 miles or more from any formal congregations. We need to realize and admit that we live in an ungodly, Torah-less world where we sometimes have to make a few modifications to do the things YHWH asks of us. Driving to synagogue (or taking public transportation) happens to be among them.
Trying to be high-browed and legalistic about the Word (especially when the idea is spawned by nothing more than personal opinion derived from sentence fragments in Scripture!) is only going to prevent others from bothering to learn and grow and fellowship with like-minded people!
Luke 11:52 "Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge! Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter!” (CJB)
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Over the course of my life I’ve had several premonitions, all of which came true. Back in the summer of 1997 while I was making my bed and getting ready to go to work, quite out of the blue, the faces of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa came to mind, along with this strange thought that froze me in my tracks: “The death of Princess Diana will overshadow the death of Mother Theresa. Diana will be mourned and revered for months and years on end, while Mother Theresa and all her accomplishments will be but an afterthought.”
A few days later, Princess Diana died in a horrific auto accident in Paris; and a week later, Mother Theresa died in Calcutta. And sure enough, Mother’s Theresa’s death - was then, and still is, but a footnote in the wake of Princess Diana’s fame - and that holds true still today, 20 years later! How sad.
All scriptures from ESV:
John 12:43 For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
At a recent house party to which we were invited, I saw a young lady "vaping." Having never seen a vaping device, I went out on the porch for a "greet and meet" and to ask if I could see it up close. Well, the first thing that hit me was the overpowering, chemically-produced smell of brownies - which immediately started swelling up my sinuses, as I have severe reactions to any chemical scents. (Yes, perfumes are practically a death knell for me, and some will cause my lungs to shut down and cause me to pass out in under a minute, if I don't get away from the person!)
Regardless, while striking up a conversation, I discovered that her "vape-mod" (a surprisingly heavy device housing batteries that connects and transfers power to the atomizer) produced "E-Juice" consisting of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavorings, and sometimes nicotine which is heated to create vapor for inhalation. This left me wondering why any rational human being would want that stuff in their lungs, which were designed to breathe AIR!
I wasn't able to stick around very long because I found her "vaping" to be not only nauseating, but the chemicals were giving me a headache. I listened, nonetheless, as she proudly explained that it was safer than smoking and that she enjoyed it and loved all the flavors that vaping provided. (Never mind that, like perfumes or "regular' cigarette smoke, her "favorite flavor") might bother OTHERS....)
Well, I personally hated the smell her vaping device produced, but kept my mouth shut, thanked her for allowing me to get an up-close look at her vaporizer and left, wondering what mental flaw causes people to insist on deviating from and rebelling against "normal". YHWH made every organ, every cell in our bodies for a specific purpose, yet humans insist on altering that purpose for their own "pleasure." Never mind that their pleasure might pose a danger to their health or the health of an innocent bystander. Never mind that their pleasure might be viewed as SIN in our Creator's eyes.
YHWH commands that we take care of our "temples" - but many don't think about that when putting smoke or chemicals in their lungs, or abuse ANY organ for something it was never intended, or when they feed their precious systems drugs or alcohol to "get high"; or even eat too much food, which leads to illnesses of various kinds (Genesis 3:6; Deuteronomy 21:20; Ezekiel 16:49; Philippians 3:19; Proverbs 23:2, 28:7; 1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:7, 15:32, etc.).
Monday, July 24, 2017
I know I’m going out on a limb here, but it has to be said: You are hosed if you reject Yeshua; AND you are just as hosed if you reject YHWH’s Torah. YHWH/Yeshua/Torah are indelibly linked. The Bible says so.
Scripture tells us that YHWH is ELOHIM (Genesis 1, 4:26; Exodus 29:46; Numbers 22:6; Joshua 3:7; 1 Kings 8:43, etc.), and that Yeshua was not only His Messiah (Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2, John 3:16, 7:42; Luke 1:26-35, 2:4-7; Matthew 2:1-7, etc. ) but he was also the WORD, which is one of Yeshua’s titles (John 1:1, 17: Acts 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Colossians 1:19-25; 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:2).
According to Wikipedia, “the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means "to guide/teach" (cf. Lev 10:11). The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the commonly accepted "law" gives a wrong impression. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, theory, guidance, or system.”
YHWH is ELOHIM who created the entire universe through His “Word”. He temporarily wrapped that “Word” in flesh to dwell on the earth to preach the Kingdom of YHWH (NOT to proclaim himself as God, but to be THE Messiah who – as the divine “SON” – was able to walk on water, turn water into wine and raise the dead; and then offer his own blood to atone for the past sins of all who accepted him as YHWH’s Messiah). Yeshua never made it about himself; he constantly deferred to His ‘Father” who sent him….
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.
So, while Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection are an important part of the Good News, it's not the whole story, as the Christian churches insist! God isn't just in the business of "saving" people. As Creator and law giver, He is in the business of teaching us how to be good subjects in His Kingdom to come! If "Jesus abolished Torah at the cross" then why was EVERY believer completely Torah observant for one hundred years after Yeshua's death, including the Apostle Paul who was "caught" being Torah observant 29 years after Yeshua's death (Acts 21:23-24)!
Was Paul a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another; or were his teachings, perhaps, misunderstood?
No! MEN began to change the rules to fit their agenda, and the entire world has blindly followed suit. MEN have come up with “religion” and “religions” and “denominations” – NONE of which adhere to what Scripture actually commands … which is this: YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. Period.
YHWH's Word was never meant to be "religion"; it was simply meant to be a way of life. His people are to be set apart/holy. His Torah reveals how holiness is to be accomplished.
The bottom line is, if you are rejecting YHWH’s Torah, you ARE, in fact, also rejecting His WORD who is Yeshua. If you reject Yeshua, you reject Torah. If you reject either of those, you are rejecting YHWH Himself! And if you do that, then whom are you worshiping? Reject any of part of this "Whole" and you are hosed.
We CANNOT and SHOULD NOT play around with Scripture. If you’ve never done so, I beg you to read the entire Bible, from start to finish, so you can see for yourself the WHOLE Truth that was established at “the beginning” and which has never changed – regardless as to what mere men keep trying to tell us.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
As you all know, I am into Messianic Apologetics. I spend my life explaining God and the Bible to the world. YHWH has used my website to lead all kinds of "hard to reach" people to Himself, including two Muslim men and a super nasty "White supremacist skin head."
Among my biggest challenges are traditional Jews and their converts ... "counter-missionaries" - those who openly and arrogantly "reject Jesus" and feel a driving need to tell the whole world via their keyboards. These people, I've come to realize over the years, are living proof that the Ruach leaves your body, once you "reject Jesus!" Their Facebook walls reek of vicious, vitriolic demonic behavior as they spend their days bashing "Jesus" (they refuse to call him Yeshua) and anyone who believes he is YHWH's Messiah.
These people (most of whom ended up being "counter-missionaries" after they found their way to Torah) "left Jesus" because they started following the "eari-tickling" rants of counter-missionary rabbis (such as Tovia Singer, Stuart Federov and others), never realizing that these rabbis (who make their living doing this) are just USING them as mouthpieces! These people don't know that they will NEVER be accepted as "Jews" unless they go through a grueling, years-long conversion; they are just mere "donkeys" doing the "grunt work" for the rabbis.
Here is my response (which can be found on our website)....
"Anti-missionaries" (traditional Jews and/or converts who attempt to "prove" that Yeshua is NOT the Messiah and that the New Testament is a farce) will often use the following scripture to show "Jesus" can't be real because God would never demand that you eat His flesh or drink His blood - something that supposedly suggests he is a vampire.
Let's put this outrageously ridiculous MISUNDERSTOOD scripture into its proper context with the help of footnotes from Andrew Gabriel Roth's Aramaic English New Testament:
John 6:53 And Y'shua said to them, Amen, amen I say to you, that unless you eat the body of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in Qnoma. 54. And he who eats from my body and drinks from my blood has life that is everlasting, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55. For truly my body is food and truly my blood is drink. 56. He who eats my body and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. 57. As the Living Father has sent me, and I live because of the Father, and whoever eats of me he also will live because of me. 58. This is the Bread that has descended from Heaven. It is not as manna your forefathers ate and died. He who eats this Bread will live forever! 59. He said these things while he taught in the assembly in Capurnakhum.
60. And many who heard it of his disciples said, "This saying is hard! Who is able to do it?" 61. But Y'shua knew in himself that his disciples were arguing about this, and he said to them, This offends you! 62. What if, therefore, you see the Son of man ascending to the place that he was before? 63. It is the Spirit that makes alive; the body does not profit anything. The words that I speak with you are spirit and are life. (AENT)
Qnoma, usually translated here as "you", "self", or "yourselves", but literally means "Underlying substance." The body/blood imagery is metaphoric. Y'shua, of course, knows very well that it is an abomination to drink any kind of blood, let alone human blood (Leviticus 17:11). Consuming human flesh is also an abomination that is strictly prohibited. Rabbis even suggest that part of the reason swine's flesh is forbidden is because it resembles human skin.
There are two underlying parts: Part 1 recalls the imagery of Ezekiel 3:1-15 where the prophet actually ate a Torah scroll; the imagery symbolizing the prophet being sustained by and proclaiming Torah, which is the essence of what Y'shua is teaching. Y'shua's example and teaching are to be part of our innermost being, literally taken in and ingested into our hearts.
This imagery is also seen in Mark 7:19 which distinguishes between physical food and spiritual (heart) "food", and Jeremiah 31:33 which speaks of writing Torah upon the heart. Part 2, is the life which Y'shua refers to; it is not physicality, as "self", but the core essence of being, literally of the neshama, (spirit of man).
"He who eats this Bread will live forever!" is clear evidence that opposes the "communion" model of mainstream Christian institutions.
Nothing is being eaten while Y'shua is making this statement; he had just levied a rebuke for their desire of physical rather than spiritual "bread." It is Faith in Y'shua as Mashiyach which causes a person to "eat the flesh and drink the blood." The "wafer" (transubstitution) is a Pagan adulteration against Y'shua's teaching. Y'shua observed Torah to perfection; his perfect atoning sacrifice would be remembered specifically on the Moedim (YHWH's feasts) as the Word of YHWH instructs.
As the "body does not profit anything," then neither can ingesting a wafer that symbolizes the body! Sin is violation of Torah. The absolution of sin begins with Teshuva (turning to YHWH). Faith in Mashiyach is evidence that the Ruach haKodesh has begun to write Torah upon the heart. Obedience to Torah as the Word of YHWH is the process of Sanctification, which is the setting apart of YHWH's people unto Himself, from all manner of worldliness and false religion. No volume of wafer-ism or canned prayer in or about Mashiyach will provide an acceptable substitute to being born into the Image of Elohim!
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
There's a lot of Internet and FaceBook "buzz" about prophecy unfolding before our eyes this coming September (2017), when we will supposedly "witness" in the skies the prophecy of Revelation 21:1. Well, I'll be abrupt: It's complete hyped garbage. It is sensationalized nonsense.
In a nutshell, here is what it is all about: On September, 23, 2017, the sun will be in the constellation Virgo ("the virgin"), and on that same date the moon will be seen near Virgo’s feet. Then, with Jupiter also appearing "in" the constellation Virgo, and the planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury also present above and to the right of Virgo in the constellation Leo - we supposedly have the makings of what is described in Revelation 12:1:
"Now a great sign was seen in heaven — a woman clothed with the sun, under her feet the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."
The planets and other stars in Leo are supposed to represent the "crown" of Revelation 12:1.
[This stuff is being hyped by websites, many of dubious credibility, (usually the "content farms" whose only goal is the income produced from people coming to their website to view this nonsense so they hopefully will click on "ads" which earns the site money.) Most of these sites should be ashamed of themselves.]
The problem is, this "sign" on September 23rd is completely bogus!
So what's wrong with this "sign" of September 23rd, 2017? Plenty.
First, the sun passes through Virgo every year in the September time frame. Every year. Therefore Virgo is metaphorically "clothed with the sun" for about 35 days EVERY year. Second, when the sun is in Virgo, during that 35 days or so each year, the moon will, on one or two of those days, be observed to appear "under her feet". So the situation with the moon being "under her feet" also happens ONCE A YEAR, every year (at the time when the sun is also in Virgo).
Third, it's a real stretch to call the 9 brightest stars of the constellation Leo part of the "crown" and to call the 3 planets that will be in Leo at the time the other 3 stars of the "crown". The stars in Leo are nowhere near the head of Virgo! Leo spans 32 degrees in the sky (about 2/3 as long as Virgo is "tall"), and the entire formation (to call it that) is nowhere near "crown-shaped"! (Visually, Leo spans almost 20% of the sky when the constellation is overhead. If this is a "crown", that's some giant, misshapen, unfamiliar crown! It's almost as large as the constellation Virgo herself!)
Fourth, while Jupiter is present in Virgo this year, this happens in Virgo every 12 years at the same time the sun is in Virgo, so this "rare situation" happens every 12 years. The only thing somewhat unique about 2017 is the position of Mercury, Venus, and Mars between Virgo's head and the star Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, which, as I said, in no way forms a "crown"!
Fifth, when the sun is "in Virgo", you can't see it "in Virgo". The only way to "see" this is during the day when the sun, and the constellation of Virgo, are overhead, but then of course, you can see nothing but the very bright sun in the sky and the bright blue sky which obscures all stars and planets alike. You can't “see” Virgo, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus, or the moon at that time! So this great hyped "sign" of September 23rd, 2017 is not even visible to anyone as any “sight”! It is, however, visible in small "pieces".
Here is what I mean: On the morning of September 23rd, before the sun rises, you may see Regulus, Venus, and Mars if you would only look in the right direction at the right time. Mercury might be visible for a few moments before the dawn gets too bright so long as you know exactly where to look. Otherwise, the only other "part" of this "great" (bogus) "sign" in the sky is at sunset September 23rd, when you will be able to see Jupiter low, near the horizon, and the crescent moon. But there is absolutely nothing special about seeing these planets in this way - before sunrise or after sunset. Planets are often visible at sunrise and sunset when they appear close to the sun!
Sixth, if the creator of this hype sees the prophecy of Revelation 12:1 in the sky on September 23rd, 2017, where is the sign in the sky at the same time from Revelation 12:3? There is also supposed to be a "a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven royal crowns"! Seems to me if the situation of September 23, 2017 is so prophetic as the hype says, then the "vision" should also reveal the 7-headed dragon and the 7 crowns. Where is the dragon on September 23rd?
Seventh, and this is the most important flaw in the hype: The revelation in Revelation 12:1 is not to be taken as seen from earth! Read Revelation 4:1:
"After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.'"
See the phrase "come up here"? John's vision is FROM HEAVEN, not from earth! So John's vision in Revelation 12 is from a vantage point not possible from earth so attempting to "fit" the ordinary astronomical view we have from earth to John's vision is complete nonsense! Even in Revelation 6:13-14, we read: "The stars fell from heaven to earth just as a fig tree drops its figs when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place." What John is seeing is NOTHING related to what we see from earth!
Once again, we here at The Refiner's Fire caution people to steer clear of such hyped and sensationalized stories as this. If anything, remember the same hype and sensationalizing was seen just two years ago with the "Blood Moon" nonsense when there were four total lunar eclipses in a row (the great “tetrad”) through 2014-2015 - all happening on Jewish holy days. Oh what major events were supposed to happen! "Here, buy my book!" said several authors. Well, if you bought the book, you only found your wallet lighter. That's all.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
While this meme is funny, it actually depicts the relationship some have with their Bible. They never actually read it; they just like to talk about it. Some have never read the Bible from cover to cover, yet they love to discuss and debate it - and they become belligerent when challenged about their opinions on Scripture.
Others may have read it once, many years ago, and what they read has long since faded; and most of their knowledge today about Scripture comes from what they see others post on Facebook.
My question is: HOW can one know God or His Word if they're never actually IN the Word?
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Hey, did you all know that Jesus Christ has been on earth since 1979? Yup, it's true. And he's got more than 300,000 followers!
Matthew 24:24 For there will appear false Messiahs and false prophets performing great miracles -- amazing things! -- so as to fool even the chosen, if possible. (CJB)
Deuteronomy 13: 1 “When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’ 3 do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.
4 “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him. 5 “And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה your Elohim – who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim and redeemed you from the house of bondage – to make you stray from the way in which יהוה your Elohim commanded you to walk. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst. (ISR)
Why do we keep YHWH’s Commandments? Because we LOVE Him!
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commands; (CJB)
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)
1 John 2: 3. And by this we will be sensible that we know him, if we keep his Commandments. 4. For he that says I know him, and does not keep his Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5. 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. 6. He that says I am in him, is bound to walk according to his halacha. 7. My beloved, I write no new commandment to you, but the old Commandment which you had from the beginning; and the old Commandment is the Word which you have heard. (AENT)
“Elohim is light”, (1 John 1:5); therefore, it can be argued that at Creation when YHWH said, “Let there be light”, Genesis 1:3, that He in effect brought a part of Himself out to accomplish the creative act. The “Word” does this same feat, Psalm 33:6; John 1:1; a few lines earlier we read the “Word of Life.” We have also seen before the direct linguistic relationship between the Hebrew and Aramaic roots for “Light” and “Torah” such as: “Your word (davar) is a lamp to my feet, a light (aur) to my path.” Psalm 119:105. “For the commandment is a lamp. The teaching is a light (aur), and the way to life is the rebuke that disciplines.” Proverbs 6:23
What makes this citation in Proverbs most profound is the word mitzvah (commandment), since tradition commonly calls the revelation at Sinai the Ten Commandments when in fact the Tanakh uses davarim (words)! Keep this in mind while considering 1 John 2:4. “He who says I know Him and does not keep His Commandments (poqadona) is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word (miltha) in him, verily is the love of Elohim perfected; hereby we know that we are in Him.” 1 John 2:4 (Lamsa).
Aramaic could not make a more forceful point. The fact is, poqadona and miltha are exceedingly close matches for their Hebrew counterparts mitzvah in Proverbs, and davar in Psalms. However, it is in this next passage that the full measure of John’s brilliance is shown: “My beloved, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard from the beginning.” 1 John 2:7 (Lamsa)
The Commandment is the Word, which comes from the beginning. We must now realize that to translate this as “his Commandments” is wrong, but “His Commandments” is correct. “His Commandments” is the WORD which came from the very beginning of time. Many fail to understand this truth: It is impossible for Torah to have passed away during the lifetime of the Shlichim if John himself writes about the Word they have heard from the beginning.
What else could this WORD be, except the living Torah! John is a native Aramaic speaker and follower of Y’shua who knows that the WORD (or the Torah of YHWH) comes from the “Light”; he states that Elohim is Light and that we abide in that Light when we do His Mitzvot/Poqadona/Commandments. Furthermore, the interchanging of “Word” and “Commandment ” simply does not happen in any other language except Hebrew and Aramaic, the “word that you have heard” is the Shema!
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Have you ever noticed that YHWH expects His people to turn their backs toward ANYONE who chooses to live in sin? This means, if even your own close relatives insist on sinning, you will incur their guilt if you keep making excuses for them, and hanging with them – because, as you know, Scripture is clear that deliberate sin will keep you out of Eternity. There will be no “lukewarm” in His Presence (Revelation 3:16). The ONLY reason YHWH doesn’t kill people on the spot for their ongoing, intentional sins today is because, once we have accepted Yeshua as our Final Sin Sacrifice/Offering, his blood covers our "past sins” (and, of course, because ofYHWH’s Grace and Mercy).
To illustrate what I’m talking about, please check out the mini-study below about what happened to YHWH’s people after they built the “golden calf” while Moshe was up on the mountain, receiving the Ten Commandments. I’ve inserted some personal comments along the way:
1 When the people saw that Moshe was taking a long time to come down from the mountain, they gathered around Aharon and said to him, "Get busy; and make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Moshe, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt - we don't know what has become of him."
(COMMENT: HOW can a people who just witnessed the 10 plagues and crossed the Sea of Reeds on "dry land" POSSIBLY decide build a "golden calf" to worship and attempt to present this abomination as “the God of Israel?” HOW did Aharon (in following passage below) decide to join them in this? How could Aharon then tell a "half truth" to Moshe when confronted (Exodus 32:21;24). He was a COHEN! Every time I read these passages, I'm left wondering why YHWH didn't just kill Aharon on the spot.)
2 Aharon said to them, "Have your wives, sons and daughters strip off their gold earrings; and bring them to me." 3 The people stripped off their gold earrings and brought them to Aharon.
4 He received what they gave him, melted it down, and made it into the shape of a calf. They said, "Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!" 5 On seeing this, Aharon built an altar in front of it and proclaimed, "Tomorrow is to be a feast for ADONAI." 6 Early the next morning they got up and offered burnt offerings and presented peace offerings. Afterwards, the people sat down to eat and drink; then they got up to indulge in revelry.
(COMMENT: Can you believe this? Aaron is a COHEN/HIGH PRIEST! Why didn’t he explain the need for patience? And if that didn’t work, he could have yelled at them to sit down, shut up and wait! After all, as Moshe’s mouthpiece during Pharaoh’s plagues, he KNEW YHWH and what YHWH could and would do to those who dared disobey! …WOW! Doesn’t this just serve to prove that we humans are gullible and ignorant and sometimes plain stupid when it comes to YHWH and the Kingdom; and that we’re often prone to doing our own will, regardless? Read on to see how YHWH ultimately handles this!)
7 ADONAI said to Moshe, "Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! 8 So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have cast a metal statue of a calf, worshipped it, sacrificed to it and said, 'Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'" 9 ADONAI continued speaking to Moshe: "I have been watching these people; and you can see how stiffnecked they are. 10 Now leave me alone, so that my anger can blaze against them, and I can put an end to them! I will make a great nation out of you instead."
11 Moshe pleaded with ADONAI his God. He said, "ADONAI, why must your anger blaze against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? 12 Why let the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don't bring such disaster on your people! 13 Remember Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, your servants, to whom you swore by your very self. You promised them, 'I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky; and I will give all this land I have spoken about to your descendants; and they will possess it forever.'"
14 ADONAI then changed his mind about the disaster he had planned for his people. 15 Moshe turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets inscribed on both sides, on the front and on the back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
(COMMENT: Yes, ADONAI “changed his mind” – BUT! – hang onto your hats, because Israel can’t and won’t get away with it! DELIBERATE sin requires punishment; that has never changed. You don’t mess with God and pretend you can get away with it!)
17 When Y'hoshua heard the noise of the people shouting he said to Moshe, "It sounds like war in the camp!" 18 He answered, "That is neither the clamor of victory nor the wailings of defeat; what I hear is the sound of people singing." 19 But the moment Moshe got near the camp, when he saw the calf and the dancing, his own anger blazed up. He threw down the tablets he had been holding and shattered them at the base of the mountain. 20 Seizing the calf they had made, he melted it in the fire and ground it to powder, which he scattered on the water. Then he made the people of Isra'el drink it.
21 Moshe said to Aharon, "What did these people do to you to make you lead them into such a terrible sin?" 22 Aharon replied, "My lord shouldn't be so angry. You know what these people are like, that they are determined to do evil. 23 So they said to me, 'Make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Moshe, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt - we don't know what has become of him.' 24 I answered them, 'Anyone with gold, strip it off!' So they gave it to me. I threw it in the fire, and out came this calf!"
(COMMENT: Honestly! The people MADE the High Priest do this; and then - voila! - “out came this calf”? This is so reminiscent of the “blame game” Adam and Eve attempted to play with YHWH, and how Cain feigned ignorance after he killed Abel. Now watch what happens to all those who perpetrated this sin … all except for Aharon whom God allowed to live, for some reason.)
25 When Moshe saw that the people had gotten out of control - because Aharon had allowed them to get out of control, to the derision of their enemies - 26 Moshe stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "Whoever is for ADONAI, come to me!"All the descendants of Levi rallied around him. 27 He told them, "Here is what ADONAI, the God of Isra'el, says: 'Each of you, put his sword on his side; and go up and down the camp, from gate to gate; and every man is to kill his own kinsman, his own friend and his own neighbor!"
28 The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died. 29 Moshe said, "You have consecrated yourselves today to ADONAI, because every one of you has been against his own son and against his own kinsman, in order to bring a blessing on yourselves today." 30 The next day Moshe said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin. Now I will go up to ADONAI ; maybe I will be able to atone for your sin."
(COMMENT: Notice that the sons of Levi – as horrified as they must have been – obeyed YHWH’s command to kill EVERYONE including their own relatives who had participated in this heinous sin of building the “golden calf” idol. They knew that if they refused, they too, would have to be put to death. This is proof that deliberate sin against YHWH – no matter how great or small – is NOT taken lightly, and those who participate willingly or even “from afar” WILL be held accountable!)
31 Moshe went back to ADONAI and said, "Please! These people have committed a terrible sin: they have made themselves a god out of gold. 32 Now, if you will just forgive their sin! But if you won't, then, I beg you, blot me out of your book which you have written!" 33 ADONAI answered Moshe, "Those who have sinned against me are the ones I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go and lead the people to the place I told you about; my angel will go ahead of you. Nevertheless, the time for punishment will come; and then I will punish them for their sin." 35 ADONAI struck the people with a plague because they had made the calf, the one Aharon made. (CJB)
FINAL COMMENT: Sin of ANY kind is bad! But, through Yeshua, YHWH made it easy for us to receive eternal life. None of us has to kill an innocent animal to atone for our sins. Yeshua was the Ultimate Sacrifice (even though he was NOT “sacrificed” per se; he martyred himself). But the blood of Messiah only covers our PAST sins. Once we accept YHWH as our Elohim and Y’shua as His Messiah, we MUST obey His Divine Instructions to mankind (Torah). If we don’t, WHOM are we worshiping, and why bother?
The act of “obedience” is not what “saves” us; belief in YHWH/Yeshua does. But that “belief” and acceptance means we start to do things HIS way so we can become holy/set apart; thus, leaving “the world” behind. THAT is what it means to be Torah observant.
YHWH had His people in the wilderness for 40 years to learn the simple concept of being “holy/set apart” by obeying His commands and behaving according to His Holy Rules. That has never changed because, if we dare veer from His Path, we end up being erased from His Presence. It’s OUR choice to either BE COMPLETELY HIS, or not….
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. (CJB)
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)
NOTE: Huge contrast between Aramaic and Greek. The Greek reads: "once having been enlightened..." This "enlightening" seems logical until we look at Aramaic: "But they who have once descended to immersion..." The difference is acute, since baptism is clearly a subject being introduced just two verses earlier. The reason for the Greek redaction to "enlightenment" may well have been due to early Gnostic influence that stressed Mashiyach's knowledge over his actual power and incarnation of Deity. See also Hebrews 10:32.
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)
The above Scripture is not referring to those unclean bondages that dwell in our flesh but to the conscious choices believers make. It refers not to our unintentional sins but to those we pursue knowingly and willingly.
2 Peter 2: 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. (CJB)
How many of today's believers behave in a way they know is sinful and yet they go ahead and do what they feel like doing, anyway? That's because they mistakenly think Divine grace covers intentional sin. That is a huge misconception! Divine grace has made wonderful provision for unintentional sin. But there is no provision for intentional sin. The Bible tells us so.
Deliberate, premeditated sin is willful disobedience and rebellion against ELOHIM. It results in severe punishment or even loss of our salvation.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Here’s a message for the counter-missionaries who like to insist that Yeshua didn't have a "biological father" and genealogy is only valid through the father, which supposedly renders Yeshua invalid:
Mary should be disqualified to transfer the rights of her lineage to her son Yeshua - EXCEPT for a little known exception to the rule....
In Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 we are presented with two genealogies of Yeshua. On the surface these different listings would appear to be a contradiction in the scriptures. The genealogy found in Matthew's gospel is the lineage of Yeshua's earthly father Joseph, while the genealogy found in Luke's gospel is the lineage of Yeshua's mother Mary. However, many of the people that teach on the genealogies fail to realize or address a major problem associated with the genealogical listing found in Luke's gospel, the lineage of Mary.
Once you have established that the line is indeed Mary's you must deal with a second difficulty. The rights of the line are not passed through the mother, only the father. Even though Mary, through her lineage, was of the Davidic bloodline, she should be excluded from being able to pass those rights of the bloodline because of being a female (Deut 21:16). So it is not enough to prove that Mary was an unblemished descendant of David, she had to be a male to transfer the rights. Therefore she would be disqualified to transfer the rights to her son Yeshua, except for a little known exception to the rule.
HOWEVER - In Numbers 26 we are introduced to Zelophehad. Zelophehad, we are told, had no sons, only daughters. In Numbers 27, following the death of Zelophehad, the daughters of Zelophehad came before Moses and argued their plight. Because their father had died with no sons, all of their rights of inheritance were to be lost and they felt this was unfair. So Moses prayed to God and God gave Moses an exception to the rule. The Lord told Moses that the inheritance CAN flow through a female, IF they fulfill two requirements. There must be no male offspring in the family (Num 27:8) and if the female offspring should marry, they must marry within their own tribe (Num 36:6).
Now we come back to Mary. On the surface she should be unable to transfer the rights to her Son. But when you research you find that Mary had NO brothers, AND Mary did indeed marry within her own tribe to Joseph. What an awesome God we serve that set in order the requirements to allow the virgin birth to take place 1,400 years in advance!
Footnote to Matthew 1 from the Aramaic English New Testament:
The word gowra designates a protector-male or guardian; the context of this verse determines its specific meaning. Y'shua elsewhere says "which one of gowra, if he has a son...."; obviously "father" is intended. "Gowra" also applies to other forms of protector-male type relationships depending on the context, such as "husband", "son", and so forth. Ancient Aramaic Matthew ends at verse 17, not verse 25. The text not only establishes the subject, but shifts from "background history" into the present, from intro to body. This means that the Yosip in verse 16 (the guardian or adopted father of Miriyam (Mary)) is not the same Yosip as the husband of Miriyam in verse 19.
The word gowra designates a protector-male or guardian; the There is no reason for Matthew to use two different words for the same individual, whereas gowra sometimes means "husband" but can also mean "father". The other term baalah can only mean "husband". On the other hand, there would most definitely be a reason to differentiate two men named Yosip, one being the adopted father, the other the husband of Miriyam. With this differentiation we now have three full sets of 14 generations, which satisfies the demands of verse 17.
Furthermore....When you read thoroughly the details of Zelophedad's daughters it is clear that is exactly what it is about: Females inherit the assets of their father when there is no male heir. This is stated DIRECTLY:
Numbers 27: 7 'Zelophehad's daughters are right in what they say. You will indeed give them a property to be their heritage among their father's kinsmen; see that their father's heritage is passed on to them. 8 Then speak to the Israelites and say, "If a man dies without sons, his heritage will pass to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, the heritage will go to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, his heritage will go to his father's brothers. 11 If his father has no brothers, his heritage will go to the member of his clan who is most nearly related; it will become his property. This will be a legal rule for the Israelites, as Yahweh has ordered Moses."' (NJB)
Proof of this is also indirectly stated with Joseph and Mary returning to Bethlehem. Mary is attached to that inheritance through her husband but she also inherits from her family without there being a male heir.
And let's not forget, Talmud says a child is considered Jewish if his MOTHER is Jewish....And Torah says land can only pass WITHIN THE TRIBE it is allotted to. YHWH calls it an INHERITANCE. And with the Levites YHWH says, "I am their inheritance"...so obviously being from a tribe is an asset if you inherit YHWH....
Monday, July 10, 2017
There are many who insist that "pork today is different from pork in Biblical times." Well, that's not true! Pork is still pork and God said the pig is NOT a "clean" animal - period. Why? Because as outlined in Leviticus, there are certain criteria to follow.
Leviticus 11:2 "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'These are the living creatures which you may eat among all the land animals: 3 any that has a separate hoof which is completely divided and chews the cud - these animals you may eat. 4-6 But you are not to eat those that only chew the cud or only have a separate hoof. For example, the camel, the coney and the hare are unclean for you, because they chew the cud but don't have a separate hoof; 7 while the pig is unclean for you, because, although it has a separate and completely divided hoof, it doesn't chew the cud. (CJB)
Take a really close look at these verses and ask "What is it about these animals which differentiates them?"
Do you see it? Clean edible animals only eat grasses! They are distinguished by a completely split hoof and chewing the cud! All others eat meat (or junk - the pig for example)! Same goes for carnivorous birds and sea life designed to clean the ocean or river floors....
Yahweh was clear from the beginning about what we could and couldn't eat. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 provide a list of animals that are not to be eaten as food; and included in this list of "unclean" foods are some of man's favorites: pork, shrimp, lobster, crab, catfish, squid, rabbit, squirrel, etc. - things that were meant to be the "garbage disposals" of the world! The New Testament, on the other hand, seems to indicate that God changed His mind somewhere along the line:
MARK 7:18 And he said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
A footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament provides insight:
This chapter showcases one of the greatest discussions of oral versus written Jewish law that exists in these writings of the Renewed Covenant. In many ways this presages the heated exchanges that would be recorded in the Talmud some 200 years later. However, a major misunderstanding of this verse found its way into the modern translations with the parenthetical comment "in so doing Y'shua declared all foods clean."
Neither Aramaic nor early Greek manuscripts include this in the text, which is clearly an attempt by Gentile or Christian editors to abandon Torah's dietary laws. The point being established is that if you plot things like murder, lies, adulteries and so forth, then why be concerned about the food you eat, when weightier things are making you much more unclean than your food? Even if a person kept a perfectly kosher diet, but had such unclean thoughts, such a one would rank among the most unkosher of people. See Luke 11:40.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Scripture tells us Yeshua was "the Word" (John 1:14); he was "an extension" of the Father, the "arm of YHWH" (Isaiah 53:1); someone who basically came to temporarily "put a face on God" while teaching YHWH's people about the Kingdom (Luke 4:43) before OFFERING/SACRIFICING Himself on our behalf. (Yeshua martyred himself, against which there is no Torah command! He could have called down legions of angels to remove Him from that cross/stake, but He didn't because He KNEW who He was and what He had to do!)
The "arm" (Yeshua) doesn't control the "brain" (YHWH) and Yeshua never suggested that he came to replace YHWH/the "Father" in any way! He even said He came to do His Father's will and now his own; and that he would do everything His Father commanded.
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.
Philippians 2:5-11 and John 10:22-39 tell us that Yeshua IS ELOHIM - but we need to understand that the RUACH OF YHWH was encased in the flesh of the SON, and it is THAT FLESH that was pierced! YHWH Himself was never born, nor did He die.
For more, please check out our article.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
I've been thinking a lot about some of my Facebook brethren who are forever undergoing trials and tribulations, and are constantly asking for prayer and/or money because they simply cannot seem to escape “hard times.” Peering into their lives from my “outside-looking-in” vantage point, it’s usually clear to me that they often cause their own problems - mainly because they love to "talk the talk" but don't ever bother "walking the walk."
Unfortunately, you risk unleashing World War III if you attempt to tell them THEY are at fault! Oh no - it's never "them" - it's "the government" or their mother-in-law, or their history as an abused child that's to blame; it's never their own fault ...never mind that they CHOOSE to overlook YHWH's Divine Instructions as they (pick one): continue to CHOOSE to make filthy language a daily habit, hang out in bars and drink too much, spend all their money on “wants” instead of “needs”, are living in sexual sin, or are forever berating their spouse or kids and generally stirring up strife within the family unit, etc.
They'll make excuses until the cows come home, using all kinds of verbal bombs to lop at you, including my favorite: “Well, you don’t know my situation, and you’d best walk a mile in my shoes so you could REALLY see what’s going on!” (Hmmm, well, I am going by what I see you posting, which reveals that you’re living a carnal lifestyle and I’m trying to be a good friend by keeping you from falling off that upcoming cliff…You can either heed my warning, or you can view me as an enemy for trying. It's your choice, bubba! (Ezekiel 33.))
Anyway, these "talk the talk but don't ask me to walk the walk" people sit around on Facebook to talk about God and the Bible, but when that proverbial “rubber meets the road,” they'll balk and quickly backtrack and make endless excuses and begin picking and choosing which scriptures to bother with, because their carnal side will overtake all reason as they attempt to force YHWH into doing their own desires.
“God knows my heart and He knows what I’m going through. I totally trust Him to get me out of this!” (Yes, genius…but did it also ever occur to you that He allows us the FREE WILL to get ourselves INTO messes, because He wants us to LEARN TO HEED HIS WORD instead of our carnal natures? Have you ever read the Torah that shows why His people ended up in the wilderness for 40 YEARS instead of the original 4 (see Numbers 14:2-35) so they could finally learn to trust in Him by doing things HIS way? How many more messes are you going to put yourself into before you begin to realize YOU ARE OFF THE PATH?)
...The thing is, those who are habitually and perpetually in trouble (physical, financial, or otherwise) clearly don't realize the implication of Proverbs 28:9 which says, "If a person will not listen to Torah, even his prayer is an abomination." And what does Torah do for us? It reveals HOW we are to live a holy, set apart life!
Oh, how I wish more people would begin to realize that!