Wednesday, January 31, 2018

And God used a skunk….

You know how sometimes your whole day just seems to be full of little frustrations that drive you nuts? Well, I’m a firm believer that sometimes – more often than not – those things happen for a reason. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-5, John 9:1-41, Genesis 50:20, Matthew 10:29-31, etc.)

Take, for instance, the day יהוה used a skunk to prevent my husband and me from being involved in a horrific, head-on car crash.

The year was 2008 and we were on our way to synagogue early on one Saturday morning. Running late, I was trying to make up for it by speeding – until we happened upon a poor dead skunk plastered across both lanes of the two-lane highway in Black Forest. Well, naturally, I slowed way down and veered off the pavement to keep from getting any of the mess on our car.

This little diversion took no more than maybe 10 seconds, but it literally saved our lives because, had I kept up my speed on that fateful morning, we would have had a head-on collision with a careless driver who was passing several cars stuck behind a slow vehicle crawling up a steep hill, just a mile or so further up the road…

As it was, we couldn’t see the speeding car coming until it was nearly upon us at the crest of the hill - and the ONLY reason we didn’t collide was because I stomped on the brake and drove off the side of the road – which, luckily, consisted of a narrow strip of freshly-mowed, fairly even terrain.

YHWH sees and knows all, the end from beginning (Isaiah 46:10) and that day He surely knew that my hubby and I needed those 10 extra seconds to keep us from being killed; and He used a poor, unsuspecting precious little creature to keep that from happening. We’ll never be able to thank Him enough for that!

A sampling of what counter-missionaries spew

Counter-missionaries who, on a daily basis, knock themselves out proselytize to Christians and Messianic Believers, also insist: "We don't hate Jesus!" Really? Take a gander at the following screen shots and then tell me again why we should believe that!

(Mishpocah, I apologize in advance for the sampling of blasphemies you are about to see, but I’m posting them because the filth the counter-missionaries concoct is a REAL and growing threat to those of us who believe in the WHOLE of Scripture! I'm posting them because, we have many falling for their ear-tickling theologies….)

Here is something to ponder: Regardless as to whether or not you believe in the veracity of God's "rest of the story" which happens to include Yeshua, HIS WORD should NOT be taken lightly! Just suppose for a moment that you're wrong about Yeshua. Imagine for two seconds that Yeshua (who has His Father's Name within his own! - see Ex 3:15) IS real. Now imagine what you have done to yourself by not only REJECTING him, but spending enormous amounts of time to relentlessly BASH him. Do you really believe YHWH approves of you doing this to HIS Word (1 John 1, John 15:1-17))?

Please take a moment to think about this: Whenever you speak poorly of Yeshua (the "arm" of YHWH, Isaiah 53:1), you are speaking poorly of not only of the Mashiyach who martyred himself on our behalf, but you are bashing YHWH Himself!...

He who spoke those words of Exodus 3:15 to Moshe, also spoke Y'shua into Miriam's womb...So, be VERY careful about what you say when it comes to ANYTHING concerning ADONAI!

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Bogus Alert: “Super blue blood moon”

Now that the “super blue blood moon” is over, let’s address the media hype that surrounded the event and dissect it for what it really was. (If you did not know of it, the “super blue blood moon” was the total lunar eclipse which was visible to a large part of the United States on the morning of January 31, 2018.)

Here is what it was not:  It was not “super”, it was not “blue”, and it was not a “blood moon”.

Here is what it was: It was an entirely predictable and understood, common total lunar eclipse, always worth watching if you happen to be in a cloud-free place where it is visible. Here’s a shot of the Jan 31, 2018 lunar eclipse as the fully-eclipsed moon was setting.

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The Supermoon

According to the media hype, a “supermoon” is rare, and during a supermoon it “will appear larger and brighter”.  Not so fast.  First, the term “supermoon” itself is bogus having been coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. (Notice I said “astrologer”, not “astronomer”! In fact, Mr. Nolle claims he is a “professional” astrologer, happy to sell you his “World Forecast Highlights” each year for a modest $75.)  Mr. Molle is very proud of the fact that his term “supermoon” has been assimilated by the media and by astronomers and is now in common use.  But here is what a “supermoon” is and what it isn’t:

Mr. Nolle decided that the term “supermoon” would apply when the moon is in-line with the sun and earth (that is, the moon is at “new” or “full” – called “syzygy”) while it is near its closest point to the earth (a distance called “perigee”).  Mr. Nolle decided that the moon must be “within the 90th percentile” of perigee when the moon is new or full to be called a “supermoon”. (There’s no real reason for the 90th percentile, but he invented the term, so I guess he gets to decide.) Mr. Nolle goes on to say that “a supermoon is a type of extreme lunar alignment” which he argues gives the moon superpowers of sorts. He says the effects of a supermoon include: “We feel it in ourselves – some of us more than others – and we see it in the people around us. There’s an intensification of emotionality, for better or worse.”  (Oy vey!)

The media, and Mr. Nolle love to point out that a “supermoon”, since it is closer to the earth, will appear bigger and (in the case of a full moon) brighter than usual.  The common numbers usually provided are “14% bigger” and “30% brighter”.  People are encouraged to go out and look at the “extra large and extra bright" full moon”.  Don’t waste your time. While the statements are true that the full moon does appear “bigger and brighter” when it is a supermoon, the average person will be hard pressed to recognize any difference from any other full moon.  Indeed, the numbers, 14% larger and 30% bigger, are compared to a full moon which happens when the moon is the farthest from the earth (i.e., at apogee)!  When at apogee, it is (unfortunately, sadly) known as a “micromoon”.  But no one ever informs you when a micromoon happens.  Have you ever heard any talking head, …er…, journalist say “This month’s full moon will be the smallest and faintest full moon in a long time…”?  So you have probably never seen a “micromoon”, or at least known of one.  To make it even more difficult, supermoons and micromoons happen many months or years apart and to actually discern the difference in appearance between a supermoon and a micromoon, you would have had to observe them when the moon was near the horizon so you could visually compare the apparent size of the moon while it was observed near objects of fixed size such as distant homes, buildings, trees or mountains.  That’s the only time when a skilled observer could comprehend the visual difference in the apparent size between a supermoon and a micromoon.  Otherwise, when a full moon, any full moon, super or micro, is up in the sky, it looks the same to you every month.  The visible size difference is described by astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson as “about as ‘super’ as a 16-inch pizza compared to a 15-inch pizza.

As to the brightness difference of a supermoon, give me a break!  While a 30% change in the brightness of most anything would be detectible by most humans with good eyes, the caveat is that you typically must witness the change in brightness of something to assess if it is brighter or dimmer.  You can easily tell, for example, if a lightbulb is becoming brighter or dimmer as you adjust the rheostat, or if you are changing the brightness on your cell phone.  After all, you just saw the brightness change.  But you don’t have that sensory input to tell if the moon is brighter or dimmer! You cannot look up at the full moon and definitively make the statement that it is, at that moment, brighter or dimmer than any other full moon you’ve ever seen.
 
And finally, what about the “rarity” of a supermoon?  Well, it’s not all that rare.  1st, the moon is closest to the earth at some point every month. But the term, supermoon, is only supposed to be used when the moon is near perigee when the moon is new or full. So it certainly makes a supermoon less frequent than a full moon. Supermoons occur around every 14 lunar months yet supermoons often happen multiple times in a calendar year such as what we just saw with the present supermoons of November and December, 2017, and January 2018.  The previous trio of full-moon supermoons was October, November, and December 2016 and the next full-moon supermoons are January, February  and March 2019.  So your next “rare” supermoons are only 12 months away!

The Blue Moon

The media is quick to inform you, as they did this time (January, 2018), that a “blue moon” means a second full moon in the month.  But the media is wrong. That meaning is only a popular myth.  The reason for the erred meaning of “blue moon” is due to an error originally made by amateur astronomer James Hugh Pruett (1886–1955). He misunderstood the basis for determining the seasonal “Blue Moon” and wrote that a blue moon was the second full moon in a month  - published in an article in Sky & Telescope magazine in 1946. The term actually refers to the third full moon of four in the astronomical season and has nothing to do with calendar months. (An astronomical season should ordinarily have only 3 full moons.)

If the world operated on the Biblical, Hebrew, calendar, it would be ludicrous to talk about a “2nd full moon in a month” because in the Biblical calendar that is simply not possible. (Full moon is always in the middle of the Hebrew month.)  But the world uses the civil, Gregorian calendar which pays no attention to the moon, so with months of 30 and 31 days, it should come as no surprise that there can be two full moons in a month since the moon’s “month” averages 29.5 days.  That still does not make it right that the term “blue moon” has come to mean the 2nd full moon in a month because the proper term for “blue moon” works in any calendar because the term is associated with seasons, by the sun, and not the moon.  Shame on the media for perpetuating myth and not educating.  At least one journalist I read came close.  He wrote: “Yes, the blue moon thing is dumb”, unfortunately, he went on to justify perpetuating the myth.

The Blood Moon

It is this term that raises my hackles the most. Only in our modern world has a total lunar eclipse become known as a “blood moon”. (Simply writing the term makes me shudder!)  The term was popularized in 2013 when sensationalist Christian pastor John Hagee wrote a book about the 2014-2015 series of four total lunar eclipses.  A series of four, total lunar eclipses is called a “tetrad” and sensationalist Hagee (and others) cashed in on the tetrad to offer predictions of gloom and doom of the “Biblical end times”.  To add dramatization to this swill, Hagee (and others) employed the term “blood moon” because the term “blood” and the term “moon” are used in the same sentence 3 times in the Bible (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, and Revelation 6:12).  Here is the verse as found in Joel:

“The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and terrible Day of Adonai.”

Needless to say, Hagee (and others) capitalized on the term “blood moon” and the (then pending) tetrad of total lunar eclipses to, well, to sell books.  At that, they were very good. At real astronomy, they were not so good. But I’m quite sure they sold millions of books.

The problem resulting from the sensationalized hype of Hagee (and others), which causes me so much discomfort, is that now any total lunar eclipse is called a “blood moon”!  The insult is that the situation found in scripture is in no way associated with an ordinary total lunar eclipse and most certainly is not associated with a lunar eclipse tetrad.  The “sun turning to darkness and the moon into blood” in no way refers to an ordinary astronomical event.  What is the event found in scripture?  Who knows?!  But it sure isn’t an ordinary, predictable lunar eclipse.

A total lunar eclipse is not visible just everywhere on earth.  To witness the moon passing through the earth’s shadow means the moon must be above your horizon at the time.  That means not all places on the earth can witness a lunar eclipse when one happens.  The “big deal” hyped by Hagee and others about the 2014-2015 lunar eclipse tetrad was that the eclipses happened on the High Holy days of Passover and Sukkot in Israel!  Really? Let me tell you a little secret about lunar and solar eclipses.  If you can’t see them, as far as you are concerned, they didn’t happen.  For an astronomical event to have any significance in Israel, it must have been observed in Israel. If they did not see it there, then they would never have known it happened. (Today, of course, everyone all over the world knows when an event happened, but we are not talking about simply knowing something happened. In ancient times, if the eclipse was not seen, it didn’t happen.)  And I hate to tell Hagee and company, but none of the eclipses of 2014-2015 were visible in Israel. (In actuality, the 4th eclipse, September, 2015, began while it was visible from Israel, but the moon set before it became a total eclipse.) 

A total lunar eclipse is also rarely “blood” in color.  The color of a total eclipse depends on the conditions of the earth’s atmosphere at the time. A “dirty” atmosphere will mean a darker, reddish-orange color.  A “clear” or “clean” atmosphere will provided a bright, peach color. A total eclipse can be a great number of shades of “peach” from bright peach to ruddy peach, or it can be as dark as rust.  I remember the total eclipse of July, 1982 – at mid totality it appeared so dark, ruddy rust that it was next to impossible to even see in the sky!  It was magnificent!

So a total lunar eclipse is not a biblical “blood moon” and I will thank the media to refrain from referring to one as such!

Nevertheless, if you got to see the Jan 31 lunar eclipse in the US, I hope you enjoyed your non-super, non-blue, non blood moon!   

Monday, January 29, 2018

A note to the counter-missionaries who behave like schoolyard bullies

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The prohibition on idol worship and its applicability to Yeshua

Deuteronomy 4: 15 "Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day ADONAI spoke to you in Horev from the fire, 16 do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure - not a representation of a human being, male or female, 17 or a representation of any animal on earth, or a representation of any bird that flies in the air, 18 or a representation of anything that creeps along on the ground, or a representation of any fish in the water below the shoreline. 19 For the same reason, do not look up at the sky, at the sun, moon, stars and everything in the sky, and be drawn away to worship and serve them; ADONAI your God has allotted these to all the peoples under the entire sky. (CJB)

The question becomes, what does God consider an idol? After all, isn't Yeshua allegedly God in the shape of a man?

Habakkuk 2: 18 "Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. 19 Woe to him who says to wood, 'Come to life!' Or to lifeless stone, 'Wake up!' Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.

Throughout the Torah and Haftarah (and best represented in Habakkuk 2), an idol is described as a lifeless creation shaped (literally) by man from wood, stone, or metal. These manmade creations never bear any relationship to the God of Israel.

By sharp contrast, Yeshua represents the God of Israel's choice to send an aspect of Himself, or His "arm" (Isaiah 53:1) - a human with a divine qnoma (nature) - to act as an intercessor between man and Himself. (See Isaiah 59:16; see also Matthew 10:32)

But wait! Doesn't Deuteronomy 4 indicate that God is without form? At times, yes. But one must not forget that God "takes form" as a man in Genesis 18:1-2 and also in Numbers 12: 8 With him (Moses) I speak face to face and clearly, not in riddles; he sees the image of ADONAI.

The point is that at this point in Jewish history, God chose only to reveal His form in select circumstances. However, the notion that God "taking form" is tantamount to idol worship is simply not true. Deuteronomy 4 must be considered in the context of these other Torah passages - including the following:

Deuteronomy 18: 15 "ADONAI will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him, 16 just as when you were assembled at Horev and requested ADONAI your God, 'Don't let me hear the voice of ADONAI my God any more, or let me see this great fire ever again; if I do, I will die!' 17 On that occasion ADONAI said to me, 'They are right in what they are saying. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I order him. 19 Whoever doesn't listen to my words, which he will speak in my name, will have to account for himself to me. (CJB)

It is important to note that God is not simply speaking of the prophets in general (Isaiah, Eziekel, etc.), but "a prophet" as great as Moses. A prophet that will play a role far greater than those played by traditional prophets, whom God communicates with through visions and dreams. (See Numbers 12:6.)

Taking these passages together, the concept of what constitutes idol worship and its applicability to Yeshua is placed in some context. Please review other articles on this website for additional information as you continue your journey.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Parashah 16: B'shallach (After he had let go) Exodus 13:17 through 17:16

Shabbat shalom, everyone.  It’s time to concentrate on Parasha 16.   This week we see YHWH’s people leaving Egypt!  It is interesting to note that, not counting the "mixed crowd/multitude" (Exodus 12:38) who chose to follow Moshe and his people, approximately two million Israelis - if you count one wife and one child for each man - were brought out of Egypt! How do we know this? Last week's parashah in Exodus 12:37-38 told us the following, which was right after the last Plague, which was the killing of the firstborn:

Exodus 12: 37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. (CJB)

By the way, there are certain religious types who like to use certain scriptures - such as the ones we studied in this parashah - to show that "the Jews" were an unruly, rebellious people who refused to obey God, and that is why He supposedly turned His back on "the Jews" and ultimately scattered them into the nations and made "the church" His "chosen." These people tend to forget that:

(1) ALL humans are rebellious to a certain degree; the entire Bible shows proof of that, and the events of our world keep revealing proof of it, as well

(2) "The Jews" (called Israelites or Hebrews back then, as there were no "Jews" before Jacob had one of his 12 sons whom he named Judah where the term "Jew" originated) were the ONLY people on earth at the time who were following YHWH (and He ultimately scattered them into the nations, which enabled the nations to also hear of Him and His Torah);

(3) Moshe brought out of Egypt not just the Hebrews, but also a "mixed crowd/multitude" that included the Egyptians (Exodus 12:38) who chose to accept YHWH as their God.

Be that as it may, this particular parashah revealed how hard YHWH kept trying to get mankind to understand that HE was God...and how, over and over again, people kept on testing Him - even after they had witnessed the Ten Plagues sent against Egypt; even after they saw how YHWH used Moshe to lead them out of Egypt via supernatural means; even after He caused the sea to part so that they could escape Pharaoh on "dry land"; even after they saw how He fed them supernaturally and gave them quails to eat after they complained about having no meat (Exodus 16)....

For more, please click on the link above.


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Thursday, January 25, 2018

The many was counter-missionaries attempt to negate Yeshua

The counter-missionary crowd seems to spend all their waking hours bashing Yeshua and the NT. They love to challenge all prophecies concerning Yeshua, insisting there are no Tanakh scriptures suggesting, for instance, that he would rise within three days. They call Paul a false apostle and a liar. They knock themselves out to reveal that Luke 24:46 and 47 “prove” that “Jesus does not know the Bible”; when in fact, it is THEY who clearly don’t know Scripture or the Messiah!

For instance, they’ve failed to see that earlier Luke 24:25-27 explains that the proper evidence was revealed to those on the road to Emmaus – it simply was not revealed to “us”! Consequently no one knows which verses from the Tanakh Yeshua addressed revealing that he would rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance in His name would be preached!

Does that mean the verses don’t exist? Of course not. So, what we have to do is turn to the Tanakh with unbiased eyes and ears to see what it reveals. Unfortunately, any two people can read the Tanakh and come away with a divergent understanding. (This is why it took Yeshua to reveal the meaning to those on the road in Luke 24:27!)

Fact is, there are hundreds of messianic prophecies in the Tanakh (Micah 5:2, 6; Zechariah 9:9-10 to cite a couple), and YHWH Himself declared He would be Israel’s salvation (many verses, including Exodus 15:2, Isaiah 45:17, 46:13, etc.); and while some understand “Yeshua” in “salvation”, others don’t see it. So, sadly, there is little agreement on which verses in the Tanakh are Messianic and which are not.

Let's examine one of their questions: “Is there a verse in the Tanakh which suggests the Messiah would die and rise on the 3rd day?” Well, yes, there is - but again, it is up to the reader to see it. Take Hosea 6, for instance:

Hosea 6:1 “Come, and let us return unto the LORD; for He hath torn, and He will heal us, He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. 2 After two days will He revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence. 3 And let us know, eagerly strive to know the LORD, His going forth is sure as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth.”

Does this specifically mention Yeshua? No. Does it address that there will be a death with a resurrection on the 3rd day? Yes. Does it ask that YHWH will come to them? Yes. (Since YHWH can’t come to them in His form because no one can look upon Him and live (Exodus 33:20), we realize that YHWH must be “seen” in another form.) It is not that hard to see the Messiah in these verses!

See also Isaiah 53:3-5 and Psalm 16:8-10 which include the prophecy of death and resurrection of the Messiah. And for what it’s worth, the author of Acts (accepted as Luke) said in Acts 17:2-3 that Paul went into Synagogues teaching from the Tanakh how the Messiah had to suffer, die and rise again. But here again, we aren’t told which scriptures Paul would have used from the Tanakh prophecies.

And so, what about “repentance in His name being preached?” Again, WE aren’t TOLD which verses Yeshua explained, but there are many in the Tanakh linking YHWH and Yeshua (as savior and mashiyach) of YHWH. Here are a few which can be understood when one realizes how YHWH can be savior:

Hosea 13:4 “Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt; and thou knowest no God but Me, and beside Me there is no saviour (moshia).”

Isaiah 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no saviour (moshia).”

And here are two sources identifying the Messiah as the Savior: Micah 5:2 & 6; Zechariah 9:9-10.

And in Isaiah 53:1-12 (which, for brevity, I won’t reproduce here), Isaiah reveals details of the Mashiyach. (Yes, I know the counter-missionaries poo-poo these verses and explain them away but that does NOT negate what the verses say!) And Micah 6:6-8 reflects repentance (without using the word) to walk righteously with YHWH.

As Yeshua explained in Luke 24:25, people were foolish and did not comprehend the meaning in the words of the prophets. It should not be surprising that it takes the lifting of blinders for the message to become clear how the Tanakh reveals the Messiah.

By the verses cited here alone, one can conclude that 1) YHWH is the savior, 2) Yeshua is the mechanism, and therefore YHWH and Yeshua are “one”. And wouldn’t you know it, Yeshua actually said that (John 10:30)! When one repents in the name of Yeshua, then they are repenting in the name of YHWH.

Can one repent in the name of YHWH and not Yeshua? Certainly. But since everyone must be redeemed for their individual salvation, and Yeshua is the redeemer, why give up your redemption and only seek forgiveness through repentance?

Repentance (i.e., returning to a state of righteousness through remorse and being forgiven for innocent acts against Torah); and Salvation (i.e., the continual possession of an everlasting life with YHWH through redemption), are two different things. Nowhere in the Tanakh do we find eternal salvation obtained only upon turning from one's sinful behavior through repentance. Eternal salvation in the Tanakh was obtained solely upon turning to YHWH in faith and being redeemed by a blood sacrifice.)

Counter-missionaries insist that Scripture doesn’t predict that “Jesus” (as they ALWAYS insist on calling him, because it helps to remove him from the meaning of his given, Hebrew name!) would rise on the third day. Well, since the NT is YHWH’s “rest of the story, we DO see it there - in places like 1 Cor. 14:1-8, Matthew 12:40, Matthew 17:23 and Matthew 20:19. (See also Matthew 27:64; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:34; Luke 9:22; Luke 13:32; Luke 18:33; Luke 24:7; Luke 24:46; Acts 10:40; and 1 Corinthians 15:4.) Let’s take a look:

1 Corinthians 15: 1. And I make known to you, my Brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, and which you received, and in which you stand. 2. And by which you have life. In what word I preached to you, you remember; unless you have believed in vain. 3. For I delivered to you from the first, as I had received it; that the Mashiyach died on account of our sins, as it is written: 4. And that he was buried and arose on the third day, as it is written:

5. And that he was seen by Keefa; and after him, by the twelve: 6. And after that, he was seen by more than five hundred Brothers at once; many of whom survive at the present time, and some of them sleep. 7. And subsequently to this, he was seen by Ya’akov; and after him, by all the Shlichim. 8. And last of them all, he was seen by me, as if I were an unborn fetus. (AENT)

Matthew 20: 19. And they will deliver him to the Gentiles, and they will mock him, and they will beat him, and they will execute him on a stake. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE: The upright stake was foreshadowed by to the “pole” which Moshe held up in Numbers 21:8, 9. The brass serpent was put upon the pole and when the people looked upon it they were preserved from the deadly venom of the snake. So it is, that when people are bitten by the “spiritual serpent” of Genesis 3:15, they must look to Mashiyach for healing and deliverance.

The pole was replaced by the cross which was formerly the symbol of the Babylonian sun god. Julius Caesar and his heir struck coins with symbols of the cross (solar wheel) to commemorate the sun god. The Roman Emperor Constantine was a sun worshipper who became a famous Christian, advancing Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. His version of “Christianity” included many pagan rituals, including Sun-day, Tammuz (Christmas) and Ishtar (Easter) worship.

The Greek “stauros” also denotes an upright stake; the verb stauroo means to drive stakes. The Greek “xulon” denotes a timber or a log or any piece of dead wood. Bullinger’s Companion Bible notes: “Our English word ‘cross’ is the translation of the Latin crux; but the Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word ‘stick’ means a ‘crutch.’”

The bottom line is, the “counter-missionaries” can argue until the cows come home that Yeshua and the NT are bogus, but that doesn’t make their opinion Truth! Reiterating what was mentioned above:

“What we have to do is turn to the Tanakh with unbiased eyes and ears to see what it reveals. Unfortunately, any two people can read the Tanakh and come away with a divergent understanding.”

We pray that YOU are able to read the entire Bible with "unbiased eyes" and can ultimately come to the conclusion that rejecting Yeshua - the one who died for you - would be the biggest mistake of your life!

May the Ruach haKodesh help us ALL to see YHWH’s Truth!

Woe to you self-proclaimed Torah “experts”….

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)

Today, we see self-proclaimed Torah "experts" all over the place - and they will absolutely shred you to pieces if dare challenge them! Today, it seems anybody can be an "expert" - simply because they insist they've read the Bible. (And yes, there are even some who have never read it from cover to cover, but yet feel qualified to teach and verbally abuse those who ask questions or dare challenge them)...

The sad thing is, those who wish to learn about Torah are being turned off by these self-proclaimed "experts" and their arrogant attitudes.

So, what's going on? Scripture has attempted to warn us:

2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: 2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good, 4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim, 5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you. 6. For of them are they who creep into this and that house and captivate the women who are plunged in sins and led away by divers lusts, 7. who are always learning, and can never come to the knowledge of the truth. (AENT)

What can we do about it? Again, Scripture explains:

Romans 14: 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. (CJB)

Colossians 3:5. And let the peace of the Mashiyach direct your hearts for to that you have been called, in one body; and be thankful to the Mashiyach. 16. And let his Word dwell in you richly in all wisdom. And teach and admonish yourselves by psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and with grace in your hearts sing you to Elohim. 17. And whatever you do in word or act, do it in the name of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, and give thanksgiving through him to Elohim the Father. (AENT)

Hebrews 12:14. Follow after peace with every man; and after being Set Apart, without which a man will not see our Master (Y’shua). (AENT)

Please re-read Hebrews 12:14 above and let it sink in that those who engage in endless wars (verbal or otherwise) will NOT see Master Y'shua!

Matthew 5 38-39 says we are to "turn the other cheek" when attacked - however, "turning the other cheek" doesn't mean we have to be shrinking violets! There's nothing wrong with admonishing a false teacher and leading him or her to Biblical TRUTH via Bible hermeneutics - especially someone who isn't an actual, educated teacher; but merely a self-proclaimed "expert" whose teachings don't line up with Scripture, yet they sit around to argue and belittle for the sake of building themselves up and making themselves feel important.

Titus 1: 13. And this testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith 14. and may not throw themselves into Jewish fables and into the precepts of men who hate the Truth. 15. For to the pure, everything is pure; but to them who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but their understanding is defiled, and their conscience. 16 And they profess that they know Elohim, but in their works they deny him; and they are odious and disobedient and to every good work reprobates. (CJB)

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

And here, in my opinion, is the most powerful scripture of all, concerning this issue:

Matthew 7:6 - "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (CJB)

Bottom line: Learn to be discerning and simply back away from a verbal altercation when it becomes clear that the person's eyes have been blinded and they cannot or will not acknowledge that they might be wrong. Let it go and get on with your life. In the meantime, continue to allow the Ruach to teach and guide you, and "keep on keeping on" and enduring until the end, because those who cling to YHWH's TRUTH will be saved (Matt 24:13).

Turn the self-proclaimed "experts" over to YHWH. They're not your problem.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Can an uncircumcised man partake of the Passover?

READER QUESTION:

I have a question about Passover - do men have to be physically circumcised in order to partake of Passover? Or is circumcision of the heart adequate?  Exodus 12:48 seems to say they cannot partake unless they are circumcised.

OUR RESPONSE:

Great question, and the answer is no (with a caveat). Anyone, man or woman, with the "right" heart for YHWH can enjoy Passover. But the thing is, once a man becomes a Torah observant Believer, he MUST, at some point, become physically circumcised as well, because that is part of YHWH's Covenant with His people. (If he TRULY belongs to YHWH, he will most likely be convicted to do it, anyway. But he shouldn't do it "just because" Torah commands it. The HEART has to "be right" before taking such a step. Remember, we are ONE in Messiah. Same God, same rules. Please see our article on this.

You see, the events of verse 48 occurred during Exodus times before Yeshua came onto the scene. The Egyptians (pagans) in those days had NOT YET known who YHWH (the God of the Hebrews) really was. All they knew is that they witnessed the Ten Plagues in Egypt, with this powerful God of the Hebrews "winning"....They were actually still "on the outside" because it wasn't until many actually followed Moshe out of Egypt that they ultimately became absorbed into one of the Tribes...

YHWH was trying to show them with the plagues that there was a distinction between HIS people and the rest of the world who didn't know Him. Not until you are a Believer should you bother with His Torah commandments. And even then, unless you are "all in" for Him, living your life completely for Him, should you even bother getting circumcised. You can't fool Him. There is no gray area.

So, the first Passover was really for ONLY those who knew YHWH. All Hebrews were circumcised, because that was part of the Abrahamic covenant. YHWH wanted only HIS people to experience the "Passover" to show unity and how His people were "set apart" from the world. The "mixed crowd" which follows the Hebrews out of Egypt (a mix of Egyptians, and pagans of other nationalities) were not only not circumcised but they served, (up to that point), other gods. YHWH was simply declaring, "putting His foot down", so to speak, that no one serving other gods would participate in His Passover.

That still holds true today... Only today, uncircumcised men, believers and followers of YHWH, can certainly attend a seder because YHWH is their God.  But that doesn't make them truly HIS - UNLESS they're both circumcised in the heart and convicted to the circumcision of the flesh to uphold His covenant with Abraham.

The Books of Daniel and Revelation are unfolding before our very eyes….

Big earthquake off the coast of Alaska causing fears of tsunami all along the West Coast last night. Fires, floods, mudslides, volcanic activity in various places and freezing winter weather in the Southern US. Terrorism, wars, unrest everywhere. Decadence reigns.

How much more proof do you need that we are IN the end times? The time to get ourselves "right" with our Creator is NOW, this very second! We are in a fallen world where bad things happen. Nobody is guaranteed another day, but yet, many are asleep at the wheel, concentrating on everything except our Creator and His warnings to a rebellious humanity..

Here are just a select few of the many scriptures that warn humanity about what's ahead:

Mark 13:. 6. For many will come in my name and say that it is I. And many will deceive. 7. But when you hear of wars and rumors of revolutions, do not have fear. This is bound to happen, but is yet not the end. 8. For nation will arise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be earthquakes in various places. And there will be famine and uprisings. These things are the beginning of sorrows. (AENT)

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (ESV)

Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, (ESV)

Zephaniah 1:2 "I will completely sweep away everything off the face of the land," says ADONAI. 3 "I will sweep away humans and animals, the birds in the air and the fish in the sea, also the wicked and what makes them stumble; I will wipe humanity off the land," says ADONAI. (CJB)

Revelation 16:17. And the seventh poured his cup on the air; and there issued a loud voice from the temple, from the throne, which said: It is done! 18. And there were flashes of lightning, and thunders, and voices; and there was a great earthquake, the like of which there was never, since men were on the earth, such an earthquake, and so great. (AENT)

Revelation 16:20. And every island fled away; and the mountains were not found. 21. And a great hail, as it were of a talent weight, fell from heaven upon men: and the men blasphemed Elohim on account of the plague of hail; for the plague of it was very great. (AENT)

Yes, the time to get ourselves "right" with YHWH is now. Please don't wait any longer. We ARE "as the days of Noah were"...

Genesis 6:6 ADONAI regretted that he had made humankind on the earth; it grieved his heart. 7 ADONAI said, "I will wipe out humankind, whom I have created, from the whole earth; and not only human beings, but animals, creeping things and birds in the air; for I regret that I ever made them." (CJB)

Do you really believe He's any happier with us today? Read Psalm 18, Nahum 1 and Revelation 8 - about God's wrath and the proverbial "calm before the storm"....

Monday, January 22, 2018

My comments to a counter-missionary who has been busy bantering and bashing me for refusing to reject "Jesus"....

Let me tell you something about myself: I am Jewish by birth, through my mother. At age 44, God Himself put me in a little Baptist church to find "Jesus" who changed my whole life. NO amount of badgering or cajoling or screaming and hollering by "counter-missionaries" can change that FACT. Until then, my life was simply never "right."

But, unlike most who are now "counter-missionaries," I didn't just hang out in church to warm the pews on Sunday - I began to study the Bible from start to finish. I devoured it, along with every Bible study I could find. Before then, I had never even read the Bible in my whole life.

Within three months I began to realize "something was missing in church," but I had no clue what it was.... and with every question, my pastor sent me to the writings of Paul. "PAUL said...."

I - unlike most - kept wondering why PAUL was more important than Jesus and His Father, and why Paul would be allowed to contradict God!

But one day I realized Paul DIDN'T contradict God! He wasn't to blame for the fact that people didn't "get" what he said, because it's hard to translate and explain complex Hebrew terms to the Gentile population. The PASTORS were forever busy misunderstanding Paul, who ALSO said, "Does that mean we NEGATE Torah? May it never be! On the contrary, we ESTABLISH Torah!" (Romans 3:31)

It was at that point, I KNEW churches were wrong in their teachings about Paul AND "Jesus" who, to me, didn't resemble a TRUE JEW, and was always depicted as a blond, blue-eyed adonis hanging dead on the cross. Unlike most, I wondered what gave the HUMAN MESSIAH (despite his divine nature) the right to change everything His Father commanded! But guess what - Scripture doesn't say he did! He came to proclaim the Kingdom and 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.

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 so I begged God to show me what I was "missing" in church - and He caused me to sell all my possessions, including my house, and moved me to another state where I ultimately ended up in a Messianic Torah study - a place where ALL my endless questions were answered. That was exactly 3 1/2 years from the time I "got saved" in that little Baptist church.

Since then, I have been in the Bible every day of my life - I am even a Messianic yeshiva graduate, and not some blind dummy off the streets, as you seem to assume. I have NEVER wavered about God, His Messiah or my faith.

And after 22 years, HE has NEVER told me to vacillate or join the hordes of Christians who were mired in the last THIRD of the Bible for decades, who suddenly decided to jump to the other side of the pendulum and accept the first TWO-THIRDS while rejecting that last Third. People like that are not seeking God - they're simply "religion-hopping" - cherry-picking Scripture to assuage their bent egos.

So, please don't attempt to tell me how stupid or lost I am for not jumping on YOUR bandwagon to reject the divine Messiah YHWH sent, who martyred himself on my behalf! I know what I'm doing by teaching YHWH/Yeshua/Torah, and until GOD HIMSELF tells me otherwise, I'm going to continue doing it!

"Government shut-down" is just one of the symptoms of our declining society

"Government shut-down" is just one of the symptoms of our declining society. Our country is falling apart at the seams because we have turned our backs on YHWH. We want "instant gratification" on whatever we want instead of what is needed for ourselves and the greater good. "Good" is looked down upon while "bad" is lauded and viewed as "good." People LOVE "bad" behavior and decadence. We've turned upside-down everything YHWH has commanded and what He expects of His people.

As a whole, we are NOT "His" people! We are a godless and divided nation, demanding personal attention to whatever "pet project" our minds can concoct. We've made everything "about us" and "our" desires. Even illegal aliens "demand" attention and "rights"... yet, we as a nation have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to those who cannot speak for themselves, and those who have no platform from which to be heard - unborn babies, the homeless and animals in abusive and wretched situations (i.e. puppy mills).

We've got Hollywood (with their endless string of self-aggrandizing "award ceremonies" pushing their liberal political agendas down our throats, simply because they have a platform to speak to the gullible. open-throated, blind-eyed American public. Hollywood, the truth-skewing media, and our former President and his daughters are THE main reason bakers who refuse to cater to homosexual "weddings" are being ostracized and demonized for their Constitutionally protected religious beliefs and their desire to obey God....

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who change darkness into light and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter! 21 Woe to those seeing themselves as wise, esteeming themselves as clever. 22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, men whose power goes to mixing strong drinks, 23 who acquit the guilty for bribes but deny justice to the righteous! (CJB)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ya think America might have a problem?

Good kid bad kid

A mini-lesson about the safety of Torah

Remember my little article from a few weeks ago about our dog’s “Torah” (the little wire fence that keeps him safe in our backyard because it’s a deterrent to keep him from straying)? Well, a couple mornings ago when we got ready to let him out the back door into his “Torah” we noticed a small herd of deer hanging out just up the hill. Figuring they would be no threat as long as we were there to keep an eye on him, we hesitantly let him out.

To our surprise, one of the does came strutting down the hill to have a closer look at little Dallas, and so Bill stepped outside, just to let her know Dallas’ Dad was going to be watching, just in case she had evil on her mind. This, of course, caused the doe to stop and back up a little, but she didn’t leave.

Seconds later, Dallas was ready to come back inside (he’s almost blind and deaf, so he didn’t even know about the deer), and when he turned to head back inside, the doe started trotting toward him, outside the little fence. It was adorable, and she honestly appeared to just want to play, but Dallas was oblivious. Once Dallas was out of sight, the doe slowly turned and left. She never once tried to step across the fence into Dallas’ “Torah” - obviously, because Bill was standing in it….

Isn’t this how ADONAI protects us, too? “The world” is out there, ready to devour us in myriad ways, but if we’re standing on His Torah, He will keep us safe from the onslaughts of the Evil One. That is not to say, life is always a “bed of roses,” because it’s not – we are, after all, in a “fallen world” where bad stuff happens to good people. But being in HIS Will simply makes our paths smoother and easier to navigate. Not to mention, for those who endure, there is an eternal reward! (Matthew 5:12; Luke 6:23; 1 Cor 15:42-44; 2 Cor 5:1-4 and 9:6; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 22:4)


Poster_deers

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A challenge for the Yeshua rejecters: Tanach DOES reveal that Y’shua is the Messiah!

If you are among those who have rejected Messiah Yeshua because you believe he is not mentioned in the Tanach (Old Testament), we offer this short article as proof to the contrary. Please note that the key to discovering ELOHIM’s Truth is that you don’t just accept what the Jewish counter-missionary Rabbis proclaim (because they refuse to believe that Yeshua is Messiah, while at the same time, expecting the long-dead Rabbi Mendel Schneerson to suddenly rise…); but instead, you must personally be willing to READ and STUDY this issue through the lens of the Ruach haKodesh.

With that said, we invite you to read and absorb everything written below, including the links to our articles. When you’re finished, please feel free to contradict anything we’ve espoused, using Scripture instead of personal interpretation!

To begin with, the Tanakh records the name Y’shua 30 times, Y’hoshua (Joshua) 199 times. Y’shua is the shortened form of Y’hoshua, the same name given to Mashiyach (Messiah). The successor of Moses, Yehoshua (Joshua), is a type of Mashiyach, who brought the Israelites into the promised land. Additionally, yeshua (salvation), used 78 times, is the passive participle of yasha (save or savior), which is used 205 times. (Source: Aramaic English New Testament – AENT.)

(Please bear with us as we bounce back and forth between the Tanakh and the NT.)

"God with us"; Emmanuel, Imanu'el) is a Hebrew name appearing in Book of Isaiah as a sign that ELOHIM will protect the House of David. Matthew 1:22-23 quotes part of this, "a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel", as a prophecy of the birth of the Messiah and the fulfillment of Scripture. (See our articles about the early stages of Miriam’s pregnancy, ; and the explanation of “almah”)

Proverbs 30:4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has cupped the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!

Y'shua has the Name and reputation of the Father YHWH in him (John 17:11) and the name means "YHWH is Salvation" (Matthew 1:21). (The angels, for instance, only have YHWH's title of ELOHIM within their names: GabriEL, MichaEL, RaphaEL....) Yeshua was an arm of YHWH (Isaiah 53:1).

Genesis 49:18 “I have waited for your yeshua (salvation), O YHWH.”

In our article containing an explanation of Son of Man (which uses scripture and footnotes from the AENT) you can find the following proofs of Y’shua filling the shoes of the prophesied Jewish Messiah:

John 10: 30 "I and the Father are one."

The intimate relationship between Father and Son unfolds in Matthew 6:9-13 with the Prayer of our Master, and progressive revelation continuing in Matthew 26:39, 42 and so on. Put simply, if Yeshua is YHWH, then is he talking to himself? The answer, of course, is NO! But, in order to understand we must go deep into the Tanakh ("Old Testament") to the following milestone passages:

(1) In Exodus 23:20-22 we find mention of the only Messenger that YHWH sent to Israel who "has My Name in him." This is key because every other messenger has only YHWH's title - EL (MichaEL, RaphaEL, Gabri_EL, etc.) in their names. But Y'shua's name means, "YHWH is salvation" which is tied to prophecy about him in places like Jeremiah 23:5-6, and fulfilled in John 17:11.

Mashiyach has a superior name to the other messengers (Hebrews 1:1-5) and a Name in him that is above all other names (Colossians 1:16-19, Philippians 2:9-10). This means that Y'shua and this Messenger, who are one and the same, have the Name Yah rather than El/Eloah/Elohim.

(2) The other aspect of Exodus 23:20-22 is that YHWH warns that this Messenger will not forgive Israel if they sin; implying that he had the independent power to do so, but would not on this occasion. Such ability was not ever afforded any other heavenly messenger. To see how this might manifest with Mashiyach's power and office, please see Matthew 9:5-8.

(3) Isaiah 9:6 tells us that one of the names of Mashiyach is "the Everlasting Father," who is obviously YHWH Himself. Then Isaiah 11:1-2 tells us that Mashiyach as the Root of Jesse will have the Spirit of YHWH rest inside him! Incidentally, the Spirit of YHWH and the Ruach haKodesh are also one and the same, as evidenced by Psalm 51:1-11 and Isaiah 63:1-11.

(4) Perhaps the most essential passage is in Zechariah 12:10, where the only begotten Son is killed but YHWH is "pierced." The Hebrew here, despite of rabbinic arguments to the contrary, could not be clearer. The phrase in question is et asher dakaru. The et serves as a direct object pointer; it shows what part of a Hebrew sentence is receiving the action. So in Genesis 1:1 we are told et hashamayim v'et ha'aretz, with the et meaning that the heavens and the Earth are receiving the action of being created.

On this everyone agrees, but the same rabbis who agree with this usage in Genesis everywhere else in Tanakh turn a blind eye here. In this passage in Zechariah, it can only read as "to whom pierced they," and since YHWH is speaking, He is being pierced! And yet the rest of the passage talks of people mourning for the man as "an only begotten son"! How can this be? The Son whose flesh is pierced contains YHWH's Spirit – His qnoma, or nature - so while it is the flesh that is literally pierced and dies, the Spirit of YHWH is pierced too, but of course, cannot die.

(5) Finally Isaiah 53:1: "to whom has the arm of YHWH been revealed?" This is the only acceptable form of "Godhead" in Scripture. Clearly not a Trinity of three separate beings (or persons), because the arm is not a separate entity from the rest of the body and has no independent will. The "arm" moves only with the power and control from the mind. In the same way YHWH's nature is manifest as an occurrence within the Son that is separate but side-by-side with his human nature. These two natures then communicate with one another; thus explaining why Y'shua is not talking to himself when he prays to his Father.

This fact is also why sometimes Y'shua says things like, "My teaching is not my own" and "I can do nothing without my Father" on the one hand but on the other he says, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father" and "I and my Father are one of the same." This indicates a 100 percent divine nature that exists in a 100 percent human soul and flesh, where one or the other talks through Y'shua. But the human is subject to the divine (again, "Not my will...") which is the only way the Scripture cannot be broken. It is not Trinity but neither does this deny the divine aspects in Y'shua himself. It is also the real meaning behind, "No one comes to the Father but by me." See also John 5:26.

And take a look at this:

Philippians 2:5. And think you so in yourselves, as Y’shua the Mashiyach also thought; 6. who, as he was in the likeness of Elohim, did not regard it sinful to be the coequal of Elohim; 7. yet disinherited himself and assumed the likeness of a servant, and was in the likeness of men and was found in fashion as a man; 8. and he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the stake. 9. Wherefore, also, Elohim has highly exalted him and given him a name** which is more excellent than all names; 10. that at the name of Y’shua every knee should bow, of (beings) in heaven and on earth and under the earth; 11. and that every tongue should confess that Master YHWH is Y’shua the Mashiyach, to the glory of Elohim his Father. (AENT)

Footnote: More that his literal birth name Y’shua (which was and is a common Hebrew name), and more than the perfect reputation that his name represents. Y’shua bears the Name of YHWH, the “name above all names”! Y’shua has the Name and reputation of the Father YHWH in him (John 17:11) and the name means “YHWH is Salvation” (Matthew 1:21).

Yeshua, the Branch, the Sprout, the Root … will remove the sin of the land in one day!

Please allow the following verses discussing YHWH's Messiah to touch your soul: Genesis 49:10, Deuteronomy 18:15, Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 9:5-7, Isaiah 11:2-9, Isaiah 42:1-4, Daniel 9:25, Ezekiel 21:26-27, Zechariah 9:9. See also Number 12 of the 13 Principles of Faith - wherein Maimonides himself said that Jews are to "believe" in the Messiah!

  • Isaiah 11:1 - But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai (Jesse), a shoot will grow from his roots.
  • Isaiah 11:10 - On that day the root of Yishai (Jesse), which stands as a banner for the peoples - the Goyim (Gentiles) will seek him out, and the place where he rests will be glorious.
  • Isaiah 53:2 - For before him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.
  • Jeremiah 23:5 - "The days are coming," says ADONAI when I will raise a righteous Branch for David. He will reign as king and succeed, he will do what is just and right in the land.
  • Jeremiah 33:15 - When those days come, at that time, I will cause to spring up for David a Branch of Righteousness. He will do what is just and right in the land.
  • Zecheriah 3:8 - Listen, cohen gadol Y'hoshua (Joshua the high priest), both you and your colleagues seated here before you, because these men are a sign that I am going to bring my servant Tzemach [the sprout]. 9 For look at the stone I have put in front of Y'hoshua: on one stone are seven eyes; I will engrave what is to be written on it,' says ADONAI-Tzva'ot; 'and I will remove the guilt of this land in one day.
  • Zecheriah 6:12 - ...and tell him, 'ADONAI Tzva'ot says: "There is coming a man whose name is Tzemach [the sprout]. He will sprout up from his place and rebuild the temple of ADONAI.

More than 300 Tanach prophecies about Messiah match Y’shua, so what more proof do you need? (See our articles:   Accurate Messiah Prophecies and Prophecies Continued.)

Just because ALL of the messianic prophecies haven’t been fulfilled yet, doesn’t mean they won’t be!  There is NO scripture that says the prophecies must be fulfilled in a certain timeframe. Y’shua is due to return to fulfill the rest, so be patient (see Matthew 24).

How would you feel if your virgin fiancée suddenly suddenly found herself pregnant? Joseph experienced it!

Have you ever wondered how Joseph felt when he discovered that his virgin fiancée - whom he had never known in an intimate way – became pregnant?  How would you have felt?  How would you have reacted?

Luckily, a Messenger from YHWH stepped in to save the relationship. Take a look – and be sure to read all the footnotes:

Matthew 1:18. Now the birth of Y’shua, the Mashiyach, was like this: While Maryam his mother was betrothed to Yosip, without them being united, she was found pregnant by the Ruach haKodesh.[1] 19. But Yosip, her husband was just and did not desire to expose her, yet he was thinking in secret that he would dismiss her.

20. While he was thinking these things, a messenger of Master YHWH [2] appeared to him in a dream, and said to him, “Yosip, the son of Dawid, do not have fear to take Maryam as your wife, for he that is begotten[3] in her (is) from the Ruach haKodesh. 21. And she will bear a son and she will call his name Y’shua, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22. And this all happened that it might be fulfilled what was said by Master YHWH through the prophet, 23. “Behold, a virgin (almah) will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call his name Ammanuel [4] which is interpreted ‘our El [5] (is) with us’” 24. When Yosip now rose from his sleep, he did as the messenger of Master YHWH commanded him, and he took his wife. 25. And he did not know her until [6] she had given birth to her first-born son, and she called his name Y’shua.[7] (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Ruach (Wind/Spirit) haKadosh (the Set-Apart). Most English translators follow the tradition of using “holy ghost”. Holy is etymologically derived from the word “heile” referring to the warmth of the sun; “ghost” is a saxon term that refers to the spirit of a dead person; neither are consistent with being Set Apart for the Kingdom of Elohim.

[2]  YHWH (yud-hey-vav-hey, most likely pronounced YAH - WEH) is the Name of the Most High Elohim. Netzari followers of Mashiyach never subscribed to the Rabbinic ban against vocalizing the Name of YHWH. Neither was the pronunciation of the Name lost within Jewish culture. When Torah was translated into Greek, observant Jewish scribes preserved the Name of YHWH by writing “YHWH” with Hebrew characters in the Septuagint. Isaiah 52:5-6 states that the Name of YHWH is continually every day blasphemed, therefore YHWH’s people shall know His name.”

This prophecy is nested in Scripture that reveals the “arm of YHWH” who is Mashiyach, therefore it is Mashiyach Y’shua who brought the knowledge of the Name of YHWH to the world. Jeremiah 12:16 states that the Israelites swore by the name of Baal (Lord) a popular heathen deity of the day. Jeremiah 23:27 says that false prophets postured false dreams to manipulate YHWH’s people away from YHWH into Baal worship.

One should also note that the English “LORD” is an equivalent term for “Baal.” Jeremiah 44:26 states that YHWH would remove His Name from their lips for using the cliché, “as Adonai YHWH liveth,” all while they burnt incense to the Queen of Heaven.

However, Jeremiah 16:21 states that they shall know my Name is YHWH.” Ezekiel 36:20-24 states that when Israel “entered unto the heathen… they profaned my Set Apart Name… but I had pity for my Set Apart Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen… and I will sanctify my Great Name, which was profaned among the heathen!”

[3]  Y’shua the Son is begotten of YHWH as Mashiyach, see Psalm 2:7-12.

[4]  Isaiah 7:14-25 speaks of the salvation and regathering of Yisrael, preempted by the sign of a virgin giving birth.

[5]  El is the shortened form of Eloah, and the singular form of Elohim.

[6]  Which means he “knew” his wife afterwards (Genesis 38:26; 1 Kings 1:4), and they had other children.

[7] The Tanakh records the name Y’shua (Jeshua) 30 times, Y’hoshua (Joshua) 199 times. Y’shua is the shortened form of Y’hoshua, the same name given to Mashiyach. The successor of Moses, Yehoshua (Joshua), is a type of Mashiyach, who brought the Israelites into the promised land. Additionally, yeshua (salvation) used 78 times is the passive participle of yasha (save or savior), which is used 205 times. “I have waited for your yeshua (salvation), O YHWH.” Genesis 49:18.

The hybrid name Jesus (Je–Zeus) was coined within a culture where “Zeus” is the chief deity. The name “Jesus” contributes to the polytheistic values that breaks Mashiyach away from his Torah based identity. The Greek persona of the “new Messiah” made way to endorse Trinitarian, anti-Torah and Hellenistic lifestyles.

(Also, please check out our explanation of the word “almah” on our website, The Refiner’s Fire.)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Parashah 15: Bo (Go) Exodus 10:1 through 13:16

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah! Time to get serious about this week's Torah portion and related readings! A synopsis can be found on our website.  This is a GREAT parasha on many fronts, including the fact that we are allowed to experience with YHWH's people the original Pesach - "Passover"! Our reading contains a continuation of the plagues YHWH sent to Egypt. If you've already read the Torah portion, you saw that the final three plagues were: Locusts (Ex. 10:4, Ex. 10:12-15); Darkness (Ex. 10:21-23); Death of the Firstborn (Ex. 11). These plagues kept happening because it was YHWH's will to teach Egypt a lesson in who was really in charge! For more, please click on the link above.

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Yeshua-rejecters: Leave Yeshua alone and get a life!

Here's a question for the Yeshua-rejecters who seem to be following me around, lately. Chew on this meme for awhile and then ask yourself why you're following a religion where some believe that swinging a dead chicken or wave money over their head on Yom Kippur (Kapparot) serves as atonement; yet you're adamantly rejecting Yeshua who shed his blood for you. Yeshua martyred himself on our behalf - against which there is no law.

Also ask yourself why you - someone who once believed Yeshua was Messiah - now spend endless amounts of time chatting about Yeshua. You've REJECTED him as Messiah. Let him go and get a life!

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Why God kept His people in the desert for 40 years

One has to wonder why YHWH keeps putting up with mankind. We see in so many Torah portions how YHWH’s people kept disappointing Him, over and over. If they weren’t whining and crying about having no meat or fish to eat, and feeling forced to survive on manna (Numbers 11:4-6), then we see them actually saying these very hurtful things that pushed YHWH over the edge and caused Him to decide to stretch the original FOUR years in the wilderness to FORTY (Numbers 14:34)!
Numbers 14: 2 … "We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! 3 Why is ADONAI bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn't it be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 And they said to each other, "Let's appoint a leader and return to Egypt!" (CJB)

Numbers 14: 32 But you, your carcasses will fall in this desert; 33 and your children will wander about in the desert for forty years bearing the consequences of your prostitutions until the desert eats up your carcasses. 34 It will be a year for every day you spent reconnoitering the land that you will bear the consequences of your offenses - forty days, forty years. Then you will know what it means to oppose me! 35 I, ADONAI, have spoken.' I will certainly do this to this whole evil community who have assembled together against me - they will be destroyed in this desert and die there." (CJB)

There were actually TEN TIMES in which the Israelites "tested" YHWH (Numbers 14:22). Take a look:

1. Lacking trust when at the Red Sea.

Exodus 14: 10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Isra'el looked up and saw the Egyptians right there, coming after them. In great fear the people of Isra'el cried out to ADONAI 11 and said to Moshe, "Was it because there weren't enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the desert? Why have you done this to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we tell you in Egypt to let us alone, we'll just go on being slaves for the Egyptians? It would be better for us to be the Egyptians' slaves than to die in the desert!" 13 Moshe answered the people, "Stop being so fearful! Remain steady, and you will see how ADONAI is going to save you. He will do it today - today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again!

2. Complaining about the bitter water at Marah.

Exodus 15: 23 They arrived at Marah but couldn't drink the water there, because it was bitter. This is why they called it Marah [bitterness]. 24 The people grumbled against Moshe and asked, "What are we to drink?"

3. Complaining of the lack of food in the Desert of Seen.

Exodus 16: 1 They traveled on from Eilim, and the whole community of the people of Isra'el arrived at the Seen Desert, between Eilim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving the land of Egypt. 2 There in the desert the whole community of the people of Isra'el grumbled against Moshe and Aharon. 3 The people of Isra'el said to them, "We wish ADONAI had used his own hand to kill us off in Egypt! There we used to sit around the pots with the meat boiling, and we had as much food as we wanted. But you have taken us out into this desert to let this whole assembly starve to death!"

4. Failing to trust that the next-day's manna would be there and keeping leftovers overnight.

Exodus 16: 19 Moshe told them, "No one is to leave any of it till morning." 20 But they didn't pay attention to Moshe, and some kept the leftovers until morning. It bred worms and rotted, which made Moshe angry at them. 21 So they gathered it morning after morning, each person according to his appetite; but as the sun grew hot, it melted.

5. Collecting Manna on the Sabbath.

Exodus 16: 26 Gather it six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat - on that day there won't be any." 27 However, on the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather and found none. 28 ADONAI said to Moshe, "How long will you refuse to observe my mitzvot and teachings?

6. Complaining over lack of water at Rephidim.

Exodus 17: 1 The whole community of the people of Isra'el left the Seen Desert, traveling in stages, as ADONAI had ordered, and camped at Refidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moshe, demanding, "Give us water to drink!" But Moshe replied, "Why pick a fight with me? Why are you testing ADONAI?" 3 However, the people were thirsty for water there and grumbled against Moshe, "For what did you bring us up from Egypt? To kill us, our children and our livestock with thirst?"

7. Building the Golden Calf to worship.

Exodus 32: 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."

8. Complaining at Tav'erah.

Numbers 11: 1 But the people began complaining about their hardships to ADONAI. When ADONAI heard it, his anger flared up, so that fire from ADONAI broke out against them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried to Moshe, Moshe prayed to ADONAI, and the fire abated. 3 That place was called Tav'erah [burning] because ADONAI's fire broke out against them.

9. Complaining of no meat.

Numbers 11: 4 Next, the mixed crowd that was with them grew greedy for an easier life; while the people of Isra'el, for their part, also renewed their weeping and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt - it cost us nothing! -and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, the garlic! 6 But now we're withering away, we have nothing to look at but this man."

10. Failing to trust YHWH's promise to enter the promised land after the bad report from the spies.

Numbers 14: 1 At this all the people of Isra'el cried out in dismay and wept all night long. 2 Moreover, all the people of Isra'el began grumbling against Moshe and Aharon; the whole community told them, "We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! 3 Why is ADONAI bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn't it be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 And they said to each other, "Let's appoint a leader and return to Egypt!"

Yes, it is definitely NOT wise to oppose YHWH!

1 Corinthians 10:11 These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim. 12 Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing up be careful not to fall! 13 No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and God can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.

(The above can also be found in Torah portion 37. )

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Discussing Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness

READER QUESTION:

Just wondering – in the original writings of the Tanach, whenever it says YHWH "made someone hard-hearted" I’m guessing the content of the original word did not mean "forced them to be hard-hearted" but, rather, "allowed their hard-heartedness and turned them over to their own desires."

Am I right, or just shooting in the dark? I mean, if He FORCED them to be hard-hearted, then that would mean we don’t have personal choices and are "pre-destined"....

OUR RESPONSE:

In this particular case it seems that Pharaoh's free will was taken away because YHWH did “chazak” (strengthen, harden, reinforce) Pharaoh's heart. One has to wonder why, and the bottom line is, YHWH already knew that Pharaoh wasn’t His, and never would be – and so He “used” him.

The answer is that YHWH specifically said He had already set aside Egypt for judgment. He decided He would "bring judgment on the GODS of Egypt." Pharaoh was thought to be a god in Egyptian theology, so YHWH was determined to show His glory over pharaoh. You see, if YHWH shows that He has control over pharaoh, the elements - nature, and so on - then each part of Egyptian life that the natives thought their ruler controlled, is overturned.

So, did Pharaoh have a choice and could he have repented? Yes, if he had renounced his crown and the spiritual claims that came with it!

Remember, the Egyptians were warned BEFORE Moses not to mess with the Israelites. An earlier pharaoh had taken Abraham's wife Sarah, although Abraham didn't admit openly she was his wife. But that didn't matter. That pharaoh, when he found out that YHWH was angry, he immediately released Sarah with extra gifts for Abraham's “inconvenience.” His question to Abraham is most interesting as it was part apology and part "why the heck didn't you tell me?"

Now when Exodus opens, we are told that as long as Egypt "remembered Joseph" all would be well for them and for Israel. But then "a king arose who did not know Joseph". The Egyptians, in essence, forgot their own history and hence forgot the warning.

Then YHWH, who had left them alone, seemed to have lost his patience and basically said, "Okay, you guys were warned, you didn't listen, now you're gonna get it." So, when YHWH's patience ran out, “NO, there is no more free will for whom judgment has come. You have your free will only until you become hopeless!”

Pharaoh and his ancestors had free will until they incurred divine wrath.

The Tanakh is clear: You either learn the lesson or you become one for others.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Parashah 14: Va'era (I appeared) Exodus 6:2 through 9:35

It’s Shabbat time again and a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion can be found here on our website. (Please take time to read and study all the mentioned readings.) This Torah portion is awesome on many fronts because it reveals the raw power of our God!

To begin with, in Exodus 6:2, we see YHWH giving His Name to Moshe (Moses): I am ADONAI. 3 I appeared to Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov as El Shaddai, although I did not make myself known to them by my name, clip_image002.

The tetragrammaton, Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, consists basically these letters in English: YHWH (which is most likely pronounced “Yahway”). So, God Himself revealed His Name to us, and man has had access to it all along as we saw in Genesis 4:26, yet actually only knowing Him up until then as El Shaddai, the God who performs hidden miracles and exercises mastery over Nature (Exodus 6:3)!

As the story continues, we are allowed to witness the tug-of-war between YHWH and man, when Pharaoh (who views himself as God) attempts to fight THE Creator! To find out what happened, please click on the link above.  Shabbat shalom, mishpocah!


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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A snapshot of some Jews who clearly don’t know who they are!

Well, here’s something that will blow your hair back! It’s a slap in the face of YHWH. Held in San Francisco recently, a foundational myth of American Reform Judaism was memorialized, deconstructed — and then eaten. Yes, EATEN, at the “Trefa Banquet 2.0,” a delicious spread of treyf (nonkosher food) made by local Jewish chefs and served up with a side of Jewish learning and — get this! — a communal bracha (blessing) for treyf led by Rabbi Camille Angel (formerly of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco’s historically gay synagogue), who proudly identifies as a “second-generation lobster-eating rabbi.”

All I can say is, forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do! But if they DO know, then perhaps they should read the Bible to learn what happens when you try to take on God Almighty!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oprah for President? May it NEVER be!

The "New Age, all paths lead to God" billionaire, Oprah, for President? I don't think so! Our country's been messed up enough over the last 30 years by various unsavory characters, including the "Ah never had sex with that woe-man" lying adulterer. I really couldn't stand to see the "First Shack-Up" in the White House! I don't care HOW long she and Stedman have been a "couple"....

What are her qualifications for this office?  She’s never held ANY government positions.  She’s just another actor and talk-show host.  HOW does that qualify anyone for the highest office in the United States? She has spent at least a quarter of a century tossing liberal tidbits at people, parading herself off as some kind of a special spiritual guru, perverting Scripture into “all paths lead to God” and seemingly pushing for a “one world, one size fits all” religion… 

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

What spirit does Oprah have?  She proclaims to be a Christian, yet she never mentions the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  She makes blanket and carefully-worded statements such as this:

“Originally our goal [with the show] was to uplift, enlighten, encourage, and entertain through the medium of television. Now our mission...is to use television to transform people’s lives, to make viewers see themselves differently, and to bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment into every home. I am talking about each individual coming to the awareness that, ‘I am Creation’s son. I am Creation’s daughter. I am more than my physical self. I am more than this job that I do. I am more than the external definitions I have given myself...Those roles are all extensions of who I define myself to be, but ultimately I am Spirit come from the greatest Spirit. I am Spirit.”

She says all the “right” things for those who are seeking “ear tickling” promises.  She gives away gifts because she can, and it makes her popular because people LOVE free stuff and to have their egos stroked and be “mothered.” 

Face it:  She’s charismatic and simply knows how to push all the right buttons. If she runs against Trump in 2020, she will most likely win by a landslide – NOT because she’s qualified, but because she’s Oprah. And because much of America is just plain ignorant and liberal to the core.

But then, that’s our world today. God help us all.

A sample of what Hollywood hypocrites look like….

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

A wonderful mini-lesson on 1 Timothy 6

What an awesome passage! What an awesome message....

1 Timothy 6:3. But if there be anyone, who teaches a different doctrine and does not agree to the foundational Words of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach and to the doctrine of the Fear of Elohim,[1] 4. he is one that exalts himself while he knows nothing; and he languishes in the search and inquiry about words from which come envy and contention and railing and evil suspicions 5. and the constant arguing of men whose minds are corrupt and devoid of the truth, and who suppose that gain is without Elohim. But from these stand away.

6. But great is our gain which is the Fear of Elohim, with the use of our competence. 7. For we brought nothing into the world; and we know that we can carry nothing out of it. 8. Therefore, food and clothing satisfy us. 9. But they who desire to become rich fall into temptations and into snares and into many lusts which are foolish and hurtful and which drown men in destruction and destruction: 10. for the love of money is the root of all these evils. And there are some who, coveting it, have erred from the faith and brought themselves into many sorrows.

11. But you, O man of Elohim, flee from these things and follow after righteousness and rectitude, and faith and love, and patience and humility. 12. And contend in the good contest of faith; and lay hold of life eternal to which you are called and (of which) you have confessed a good confession before many witnesses. (AENT)

A footnote in the AENT explains the deeper meaning:

Isaiah 11:2-3 “And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Yirah (Fear) of YHWH; And shall make him of quick understanding in the Yirah (Fear) of YHWH:” A picture of the Menorah is seen here with its seven branches.

The center is the Spirit of YHWH while the six other attributes are joined into the center pillar. These seven Spirits also signify perfection or completeness. The Fear of YHWH Elohim is a “Spirit” of YHWH; it is a vital spiritual quality for Life in Mashiyach. The Fear of YHWH is a personal guide; Hebrew yirah means fear, as in fear/awesome/terrifying contrary to Christian teaching that the Fear of YHWH is not really “fear” but love and respect.

Isaiah 29:13 reveals how “the Fear of YHWH is taught by the commandment of men”; in other words, man’s religious theology and tradition has made void the Fear of YHWH. Many Christians prefer the term “reverence” over “fear”; Christians also use a title of “Reverend” for their clergymen and ministers; therefore, the term “Fear of YHWH” was first negated and then given a theological/semantic twist to apply to their own leadership, as in the case of “reverend.”

The Fear of YHWH is noted throughout Scripture; B’resheet/Genesis 20:11; 42:18; Shemot/Exodus 9:30; 18:21; Vayikra/Leviticus 25:17; D’varim/Deuteronomy 10:12 and in more than a hundred places. Without the Spirit of the Fear of YHWH, people will fear man, materialism, relativism and all form of idols, including their religious leaders.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A few notes about the beginning of our trek into Exodus

This week’s parsha was absolutely wonderful as several amazing events happened that revealed how short man’s memory is! I mean, can you believe that the new Pharaoh didn't know anything about Yosef who had saved Egypt from the great famine and helped Pharaoh increase his wealth? That, in itself, suggests that many, many years had passed. Scripture does that a lot. We often see someone's entire life outlined in just a couple of sentences or paragraphs - but yet, we still get the gist of the story or the lesson we are to learn.

Anyway, turning to Moshe (who seemingly overnight grew from a baby into an adult hero used by YHWH to free Israel from their 400 years of slavery ... Have you ever given much thought to the "burning bush" that Moshe encountered in Exodus 3, where when he received a visit from an "angel of ADONAI in a fire blazing from the middle of a bush?" How awesome this must have been! We can only imagine the terror and amazement Moshe must have experienced.

When Moshe moved in closer to examine this phenomenon, he was told by YHWH to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5).

My random thoughts are - and I might be wrong - that this could very well be where the Muslim "final prophet" Muhammed [who borrowed many of his ideas from Torah] got his idea that everyone must remove their shoes before entering the mosques, which are supposedly "holy ground."

But, what I also saw in this passage was that man doesn’t necessarily have to travel to some far-away "holy" site to “meet God” or undergo some personal transformation! YHWH can meet us anywhere He wishes!

Rabbi Michi Yosefi from Sivan Rahav-Meir wrote:

This verse teaches us a vital truth:

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES: Remove what restricts and confines you

FROM YOUR FEET: The Hebrew for 'feet' can also mean habits, routines

BECAUSE THE PLACE UPON WHICH YOU STAND IS HOLY SOIL: You don't need to find a new place to find what you are seeking. The place you are standing upon at this moment can become holy.

Simple, yet amazing are the nuggets we can receive from Torah!