Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Counter-missionaries present the next installment of “Top Ten Halloween Stories in the New Testament”

Well, it’s nice to know that New Testament debunkers Jason and Jono saw fit to affirm that “Carmen Welker is not a lesbian!” (In their latest radio show aimed at comparing some New Testament stories with the horrors of Halloween, my name - apparently designed to provide levity or comedy relief to their show – is mentioned at 13:23 and lasts for several minutes. See their latest video.)

Why was my name mentioned? Who knows! But it certainly fit right in with the rest of the aimless and nonsensical banter of the first twenty minutes of their podcast. Apparently, Jono felt the need to mention me in his prattle because I had written “SHAME ON YOU!” on a recent Facebook post that was advertising an earlier show of theirs entitled, Top Ten Halloween Stories in the New Testament:

Anyway, of you are among those thinking of rejecting Messiah Yeshua because some counter-missionaries have been filling your head with “ear tickling” things about how the NT and “Jesus” are myths, then I invite you to take a listen to both of these shows (if nothing else, browse your way through), as they serve as perfect examples of the depth of nonsense counter-missionaries throw at the vulnerable in their relentless efforts to get people to reject the entire New Testament.

If, after you’ve watched these shows, you recognize these two podcast hosts are but a sample of the twisted world of deception that lies ahead for you should you decide to “reject Jesus,” then CONGRATULATIONS for having the intellect to see through their antics.

However, if you believe they have proven their case against YHWH’s Messiah and the NT, then we wish you well on your journey into complete separation from YHWH. (See: Matthew 25:34, 41, 46; Luke 16:22–23; Matthew 8:12; Thessalonians 1:8–9; Jude 1:13; Matthew 25:46; Second Thessalonians 1:8–9; Revelation 20:14–15, etc.)

For further information on this subject, please visit our website’s Countering Jewish Counter-Missionaries page.

Challenging one of the Jewish counter-missionary concepts of Isaiah 53

It’s really quite comical to watch Jewish counter-missionaries knock themselves out to twist Isaiah 53 into “proving” that Yeshua and the New Testament are myths:

Isaiah 53:10 reads:  "...yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness, to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering. If he does, he will see his offspring; and he will prolong his days; and at his hand Adonai's desire will be accomplished." (CJB)

Even in the anti-Messiah JPS the verse reads: "Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand."

The two interpretations are actually pretty similar.  But what does the verse actually say in the few words presented?

First, who was Isaiah talking about? This should be the first question. It can't be a "guess" or an "assumption". The verse says: "It pleased the LORD to crush him." Who is "him"?  Let’s go back to 53:1 to find out: "Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed?" (JPS)

So the "him" in 53:10 is, very clearly, "the arm of the LORD" identified in verse 1. Verses 53:2 to 53:9 go on to describe in some detail, though still quite general - after all, it is a prophecy, the suffering the 'arm of the LORD' would face. The word "he" in all these verses refer to “the arm of the LORD.”

What or who could “the arm of the LORD” be if not the prophesied Messiah? Yet, the counter-missionaries conveniently SKIP these verses and look ONLY at 53:10; and then somehow conclude the Messiah was to live a long life and have children, and deny him because clearly, Yeshua did not live a long physical life, nor have physical children….

So, let's discuss this. Here's Isaiah 53:10, phrase by phrase:

"Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease." Simple enough. The “arm of the LORD” would be metaphorically crushed by disease. (I say metaphorically, because Isaiah does not provide enough information to assess what disease or what kind of disease would be present here.) The “arm of the LORD” is described in verses 2-9 as suffering as the victim of HUMANS and suffering imposed by humans! So, it is not a leap to understand Isaiah as saying that the “arm of the LORD” would be “crushed” by “the disease” of his fellow humans!

" see if his soul would offer itself in restitution". Combining this phrase with the first phrase, important for context, we can readily see that the “arm of the LORD” would face pains, from humans, to see if he (“the arm of the LORD”) would still offer himself to save those very same humans who tortured him! What is too hard to understand about this verse so far?

Moving on.…

"...that he might see his seed, prolong his days."  Now here we have the revelation that the counter-missionaries can't seem to comprehend English. This phrase, again when read in context with the phrases which precede it, clearly states: "The 'arm of the LORD' suffers by humans as a test to see if “the arm of the LORD” would actually offer himself to redeem the very people who tormented him; so that, IF the “arm of the LORD” actually offers himself … ONLY THEN would “the arm of the LORD” see his seed and prolong his days.”

Please let THAT sink in!

It says “the arm of the LORD” must die (offer himself) and only then see his offspring and prolong his days! The verse does NOT say the Messiah would have children and live a long life! Given that the actual, clear meaning is that “the arm of the LORD” will see his seed and prolong his days AFTER he offers/martyrs himself (against which there is NO Torah command!), it means that the remainder of the phase cannot be talking about him having physical children and living a long life! A dead “man” can do neither!

So his "seed" is not physical children; rather, his "seed" must be the many people who will come to him, (the “arm of the LORD”) after he offers himself. And to "prolong his days" simply does not mean to "live a long, physical life"; it clearly means that his purpose, his gift, his message would "live on" after he offers himself!

If you are having trouble with this concept, consider the earthly analogy: A college professor teaches mathematics or whatever. His students then go on to use what he taught them. The professor dies, but his students "go on" to repeat what he taught them. The students are "his seed" in this case. They are not his physical, biological children; nevertheless, "he" lives on in them. In fact, he lives "long" because what he taught gets taught to generation after generation.

So, by now, we can all admit that "the arm of the LORD", whom we know as Messiah Yeshua, HAS lived long as he is STILL, to this day, well-known and talked about, and that many millions are his "seed". And since he "lives" (YHWH resurrected him), he most definitely has "seen his seed!"

Is Yeshua “God”? Let’s allow Bible hermeneutics to decide!

We, at The Refiner’s Fire, do not view YESHUA – while he was on earth as a man - as "God" … simply because GOD cannot be born or die. Yeshua came from YHWH. He was His Messiah, the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14) caused to be born as a human being with a divine nature, who was placed into the womb of a virgin by YHWH Himself. (Remember, Isaiah 53 calls him the “arm” of YHWH! An arm is attached to “the whole body” and only does what the brain commands - which is exactly what Yeshua did!)

Yeshua was NOT “the seed” of a human being. He was placed into the virgin (almah) Miriyam, whose hymen was broken from the inside-out (not from the outside-in!) when Yeshua was born – for the purpose of doing YHWH’s will, proclaiming the Kingdom of YHWH and doing everything His Father commanded. He never said he was YHWH/ADONAI/ELOHIM; he said he was “sent” by the Father; and he constantly deferred to YHWH, giving Him ALL the credit and proclaiming HIS Word.  He knew he was special; he knew he was the Messiah!

Scripture confirms those facts:

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.

John 6: 35. Y'shua said to them, I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will not hunger. And whoever believes in me will not ever thirst. 36. But I have said to you that you have seen me, and you do not believe. 37. All who my Father has given to me will come, and whoever comes not to me I will cast outside!

38. For I came down from heaven,[*] not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me. 39. And this is His will, that of Him who sent me, that all that He has given to me I do not lose even one. 40. For this is the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in Him, will have life that is eternal. And I will raise him up on the last day. (Aramaic English New Testament)

NOTE: As in the context of Miltha (the Word) or the "Manifestation" or the "Will of" YHWH coming down from heaven to do the Will of YHWH upon earth; his Spirit is of YHWH but his nephesh (soul) and body are human and temporal. This shows that Yeshua was NOT in charge; HIS FATHER WAS!

As mentioned above, Yeshua came to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH and to do everything his Father commanded. He tore down the fences of man's legalism; and neither he nor his Apostles ever (EVER!) advocated against YHWH’s Torah!

John 12: 44. But Y'shua cried out and said, He who believes in me, it is not in me he does believe, but in Him who sent me.[1] 45. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me! 46. I have come as the light into this world that all who believe in me might not remain in the darkness! 47. And he who hears my words, yet does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I have not come to judge the world but to give life[2] to the world.

48. He who rejects me and does not receive my words, there is something that judges him. The word that I have spoken, it will judge him on the last day. 49. For I have not spoken from my soul, but the Father who sent me. He gave a Commandment to me what I should say and what I should speak. 50. And I know that His commands are eternal life.[3] Therefore, these things that I speak just as my Father told me, thus I speak.[4] (Aramaic English New Testament)

[1] Yeshua does not bring a new Faith, but reveals the original Faith of YHWH the Father.

[2] Yeshua proclaims that he came to give life, then he declares that his father's Commands are eternal life! The Father's "Commands" are instruction in righteousness; this is Torah which contains Commandments, Judgments, Testimony and Witness regarding the Kingdom of Elohim. Those who enter into Covenant with Mashiyach are entering into Covenant with his Father YHWH; therefore, it is evil - an outright lie - to teach that Torah is done away with and replaced by a new theology!

[3] The Commands of YHWH bring eternal life. YHWH's "Commands" refers to all of His Commandments; these are one and the same as every Word that proceeds out of the Mouth of Elohim. These are not Commands only between Yeshua and His Father, but they are universal for all souls who will enter into the Malchut Elohim.

[4] Y'shua speaks the Word of YHWH, not his own words; therefore, he conveys the revelation of YHWH according to the Ruach haKodesh without the baggage of man's religious tradition. Religion has a propensity to reinvent or interpret the Word of YHWH to make it "acceptable" to man's standards; whereas Mashiyach came not to please men, but to honor and bring Glory to his Father.

So, as you can see from the above, Yeshua was sent by the Father NOT as a human “god” and NOT to do His own will; but rather, the holy and perfect will of YHWH! Unfortunately, many seem to think He came to replace the Father and abolish Torah, which is a huge and dangerous misconception. He came to restore man's relationship with YHWH and remind us to totally rely on YHWH for everything.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Murdered “gay” man’s ashes interred in the crypt of the Washington National Cathedral

America has completely lost its mind!

The ashes of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was brutally murdered two decades ago, were recently interred in the crypt of Washington National Cathedral on Friday, interring him in the nation's capital as “an enduring symbol of the gay rights movement.”

I’m truly sorry that this young man was murdered for “who he was,” because NO ONE has a right to murder anyone. However, I am disappointed that he was HONORED for “who he was” and placed alongside some notables in our society, such as Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller, Admiral George Dewey, Bishop Satterlee and the architects Henry Vaughan and Philip Frohman.

America has become a nation of “tolerant for everything" EXCEPT for ELOHIM and His Word! So, cutting to the chase, YHWH calls homosexuality an “abomination,” end of story:

Leviticus 18:22 - You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Genesis 1:27 So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them: God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it..." (CJB)

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Let's face it, homosexuals cannot obey that command! Furthermore, YHWH doesn’t even like the appearance of gender twisting of ANY kind – including the abomination of what is being called “fluid sexuality” today where people can choose whether to live and behave as a male or female on any given day!

Deuteronomy 22:5 "A woman is not to wear men's clothing, and a man is not to put on women's clothing, for whoever does these things is detestable to ADONAI your God. (CJB)

In closing, let’s just allow Scripture to speak for itself:

Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles!

24 This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts' lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other's bodies. 25 They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator - praised be he for ever. Amen.

26 This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; 27 and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion. 28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.

29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless. 32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same.

2 Peter 2: 19. And they promise them liberty while they themselves are the slaves of corruption: for, by whatever thing a man is vanquished, to that is he enslaved. 20. For if, when they have escaped the pollutions of the world by the knowledge of our Master and Redeemer Y'shua the Mashiyach, they become again involved in the same and are vanquished, their latter state is worse than the former.

21. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after having known (it), to turn back from the Set Apart Commandment that was delivered to them. 22. But the true proverb has happened to them: the dog returns to his vomit and the pig that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

Revelation 22:14 How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! 15 Outside are the homosexuals, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Our lost world – including many churches that bend to the will of the people instead of bothering to teach the Word – has completely ignored YHWH’s warnings!

There WILL be a Judgment Day when ALL will stand before Him; and on that day there will NO confusion nor any "gray area" about HIS feelings concerning our deliberate sins!.. The undeniable truth is: There will be NO sinners in Heaven. (See 2 Corinthians 5:10.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

A word about Halloween

No matter how someone attempts to justify the tradition of Halloween, the bottom line is, ADONAI considers even the appearance of evil to be an abomination! Halloween glorifies the idea of death, decay, monsters, devils, ax murderers, etc. YHWH commands His people to stay away from those things! That didn't change just because "Jesus died!"

Here are just a couple of the hundreds of reminders in Scripture that YHWH's people are to abstain from evil of every kind (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Deuteronomy 18:10 There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, a diviner, a soothsayer, an enchanter, a sorcerer, 11 a spell-caster, a consulter of ghosts or spirits, or a necromancer. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to ADONAI, and because of these abominations ADONAI your God is driving them out ahead of you. 13 You must be wholehearted with ADONAI your God. (CJB)

Isaiah 47: 10 You were at ease in your wickedness, you thought, "No one sees me." Your "wisdom" and "knowledge" perverted you, as you thought to yourself, "I am important, and no one else." 11 Yet disaster will befall you, and you won't know how to charm it away; calamity will come upon you, and you won't be able to turn it aside; ruin will overcome you, suddenly, before you know it.

12 So for now, keep on with your powerful spells and your many occult practices; from childhood you have been working at them; maybe they will do you some good, maybe you will inspire terror! 13 You are worn out with all your consultations - so let the astrologers and stargazers, the monthly horoscope-makers, come forward now and save you from the things that will come upon you!

14 Look, they will be like straw! The fire will consume them. They will not save even themselves from the power of the flame. It will not be coals for warming oneself, not a fire to sit beside! (CJB)

Deuteronomy 18:10 "There must not be found among you anyone who is doing detestable things." (CJB)

Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (CJB)

I challenge you to Google the many scriptures wherein YHWH commands His people to "be holy for I am holy!" Leviticus 20:7 is just ONE example: 7 Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am Yahweh your God.

If you go after the UNHOLY - no matter how "innocent" your intent might be, or how much "fun" it might be for the kids - you're NOT honoring our Creator! The BIBLE says so!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

A public message for anyone who hates the Jews….

In the wake of the horrific mass shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue, Tree of Life, here is a public message for anyone who hates the Jews:

By hating the Jews, you are messing with God (actually YHWH, most likely pronounced "Yahweh") THE Creator! And, guess who will win in the end….

So, while you still have the option to do so, pick up a Bible and read it from cover to cover to see how HE feels about HIS people. Here is just a tiny sample:

Genesis 12: 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed." (CJB)

If you are an atheist or belong to any religion that does not claim YHWH as its God, then none of what is written here will matter to you – until Judgment Day when EVERY knee will bow before the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! (Revelation 20:11-15).

For Believers, it is imperative to remember, you are grafted in to the “olive tree” – not the other way around! (See Ephesians 2:11-16.) If it hadn't been for God's CHOSEN being scattered into the nations (Ezekiel 36:19), knowledge of YHWH would have remained the best-kept secret of tiny, little Israel, and the rest of the world would still be writhing in Paganism.

So, rather than to hate “the Jews,” please take some time to get to know who they are and how important they are to our Creator, who said the following:

Deuteronomy 7: 7 ADONAI didn't set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people - on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 Rather, it was because ADONAI loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that ADONAI brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

9 From this you can know that ADONAI your God is indeed God, the faithful God, who keeps his covenant and extends grace to those who love him and observe his mitzvot, to a thousand generations. 10 But he repays those who hate him to their face and destroys them. He will not be slow to deal with someone who hates him; he will repay him to his face.

11 Therefore, you are to keep the mitzvot, laws and rulings which I am giving you today, and obey them. 12 "Because you are listening to these rulings, keeping and obeying them, ADONAI your God will keep with you the covenant and mercy that he swore to your ancestors. (CJB)

Note that YHWH wasn't talking to "the Jews" at that point; but, rather, to the 12 Tribes of Israel....He didn't give the Land to just "the Jews"; He gave it to the descendants of Abraham and NO ONE else.

Genesis 15:18 On that day YHWH made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates...."

Jeremiah 31: 31 "Here, the days are coming," says ADONAI, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them," says ADONAI.

33 "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says ADONAI: "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know ADONAI'; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more."

35 This is what ADONAI says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves rorar -- ADONAI-Tzva'ot is his name: 36 "If these laws leave my presence," says ADONAI, "then the offspring of Isra'el will stop being a nation in my presence forever." 37 This is what ADONAI says: "If the sky above can be measured and the foundations of the earth be fathomed, then I will reject all the offspring of Isra'el for all that they have done," says ADONAI. (CJB)

Romans 11: 25 For, brothers, I want you to understand this truth which God formerly concealed but has now revealed, so that you won't imagine you know more than you actually do. It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Isra'el, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; 26 and that it is in this way that all Isra'el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, "Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer; he will turn away ungodliness from Ya'akov 27 and this will be my covenant with them, . . . when I take away their sins." (CJB)

So again, to anyone who hates “the Jews,” please heed the warning that God Himself passed down to mankind: “I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you…”

Atheist comment concerning the Sodom and Gemorrah story: "What kind of a man would offer his virgin daughters to a gang of sex-crazed men?"

A lot happened in this week's Torah portion; not the least of which was the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gemorrah - cities that were so vile and wicked that the occupants were determined to have their way with the "men" who came to visit Lot (Genesis 19:4-8).

People - this type of behavior is with us today! The Bible tells us that the Son of Man (Yeshua) would return when the world was once again as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27)....

Judging by everything that is happening today, it won't be long before Yeshua returns to snatch the world and its peoples out of the hands of haSatan! (This is why it is so important for people to "get themselves right with God" now. So many are just playing around with the Word, abusing the "I'm under grace" card....)

We once had a atheist write to our website to let us know that, in his opinion, "believers" are all perverts and hypocrites; using as an example the fact that Lot offered his virgin daughters to the town's men, to keep them from sexually abusing the "visitors."

"What kind of a man would offer his virgin daughters to a gang of sex-crazed men?" the atheist asked.

Our reply:

The kind who feared God! This man, Lot, knew that these visitors were ANGELS - holy beings, and that Lot and his entire household would be doomed forever if he allowed the angels to be sexually molested while under his roof.

Of course, the angels would never have allowed these perverts to get near them, in the first place; but be that as it may, Lot knew he HAD to try to prevent harm to them, at ANY cost!

Regardless, even though it would have killed him to see his daughters defiled, maimed or even murdered, Lot's fear of, and respect for YHWH overrode everything in this particular situation!

This story is a perfect example where "Fear of God" must override everything else because, in the end, HE is ALL that matters... HE offers eternal life to those who are wholeheartedly His; and eternal separation from those who aren't. There is no gray area.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Parashah 4: Vayera (He appeared) Genesis 18:1 through 22:24

Shabbat shalom, everyone!  As usual, a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion can be found on our website.

In this lesson we learn more about Avraham, who, in the last Parashah, had learned he had been chosen to receive a covenant from YHWH, to be the father of a great, obedient nation. Despite the magnitude of this great honor, we learn that Avraham is but an ordinary man, a frail human, with all the associated human desires, and human erring and human lack of faith.

As the Parashah opens, Avraham recognizes YHWH approaching as "three men" (we can only guess that one was Yeshua and the other two were angels because two of them later left and went to Sodom [see Genesis 18:22 and 19:1]).

Genesis 18: 1 ADONAI appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day. 2 He raised his eyes and looked, and there in front of him stood three men. On seeing them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground, 3 and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don't leave your servant.

Now, YHWH had promised that Avraham would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 17:4), so we see YHWH preparing Avraham for the coming birth of his son:

Genesis 18: 10 He said, "I will certainly return to you around this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son. "Sarah heard him from the entrance of the tent, behind him. 11 Avraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, "I am old, and so is my lord; am I to have pleasure again?" 13 ADONAI said to Avraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and ask, 'Am I really going to bear a child when I am so old?' 14 Is anything too hard for ADONAI? At the time set for it, at this season next year, I will return to you; and Sarah will have a son."

Wasn't it typically human of Sarah to laugh when she heard that she was to bear a child in her old age? It had to be really embarrassing when she realized YHWH had heard her laugh and then, to make matters worse, she lied and tried to tell YHWH she hadn't laughed (vs. 15)....(Remember, Abraham and Sarah (then "Avram and Sarai") had "jumped the gun" by deciding to take matters into their own hands and have a child with Sarah's handmaiden, Hagar in Genesis 16 - even though YHWH had promised to give "this land" to Avram and his descendants! - Genesis 15:17-20)

For more, please click on the link above!


Why does the media make a big deal out of crosses, steeples or “paintings of Jesus” that survive disasters?

Isn’t it ironic how the media always makes a big deal out of the fact that crosses, steeples, or – in the latest case – paintings of Jesus, survive disasters?  And, naturally, the parishioners of those churches always insist the “survival” was a “sign” or miracle of God.

Be that as it may, the survival of this particular painting has left me wondering why YHWH would cause a painting of a “gentile-ized” Jesus to be spared, when nobody knows what the Jewish Yeshua (His Son’s given, Hebrew name which means “YHWH is Salvation”) actually looked like. To me, the depiction is simply a lie, worse but not unlike, depictions of the mythical Bigfoot, or Nessi” – neither of which has ever been seen; yet, paintings and drawings of both abound.

The truth is, just as Christmas is decidedly NOT Yeshua’s birthday, a painting of “Jesus” is in no way a true depiction of the actual Messiah who walked on earth for three decades two thousand years ago. The only hint about his appearance that we have is contained in Isaiah 53:1-3 which reads:

Isaiah 53: 1 Who believes our report? To whom is the arm of ADONAI revealed? 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. 3 People despised and avoided him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, he was despised; we did not value him. (CJB)

One can hardly “paint Jesus” from that description – much less, conclude he was amazingly handsome or even “beautiful” as nearly all “paintings of Jesus” portray him!

It would seems that YHWH purposely sent to earth His Divine Messiah at a time when cameras, videos, cellphones and computers didn’t exist - BECAUSE the life and times of Yeshua were NOT to be a three-ring media circus centered on his appearance and other unimportant, humanistic “fluff’; but rather, a matter of FAITH (Emunah/trust, loyalty, like the kind Avram displayed in Genesis 12) rather than perception! (See Genesis 15:6; Deuteronomy 32:4;Psalm 119:30; Galatians 2:20 and 3:22; Titus 1:2; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:5-9 , etc.)

So, did “God cause” that painting to survive that devastating fire? Of course, I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. However, I DO know that God is adamant that there be no depictions of Himself in ANY shape or form … and this would include His Messiah!

Deuteronomy 4: 12 Then ADONAI spoke to you out of the fire! You heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice. 13 He proclaimed his covenant to you, which he ordered you to obey, the Ten Words; and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 At that time ADONAI ordered me to teach you laws and rulings, so that you would live by them in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it.

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)

Human beings have a tendency to to be "shallow" and forget to look beyond appearances....

In light of the above, in my opinion, there is no reason to be in awe over some Christian symbol surviving a disaster - especially a likeness of Jesus, who is ... let’s just tell it like it is ... an endlessly forgiving god in human form who supposedly came to bring "grace" in the form of a new religion to the Gentiles that released them from the personal responsibility of obedience to YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness. That is simply NOT who Yeshua was!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Counter-missionaries compare Halloween horrors to “Jesus” and the New Testament….

Well, they're still at it - Those who have rejected YHWH's Divine Messiah and are trying to make a profit off bashing him. Just as they do every year at this time, "counter-missionaries" Jono Vandor and Jason "Spiritual Babies" are busy promoting this piece of perverted blasphemy to "prove" that Yeshua and the New Testament are myths. SHAME ON THEM!

Isn't it amazing how these types were not only responsible for killing YHWH's Messiah for merely going around proclaiming the Kingdom and doing everything YHWH commanded him to do; but today, that same spirit CONTINUES to kill him verbally in social media? (Luke 4:43; Luke 8:1; John 6:35-40; John 12:44-50)

One has to wonder why - when Israel and the Jews are constantly being viciously attacked and killed by Muslim terrorists - counter-missionary rabbis and their followers never attack THAT religion. After all, Mohammed "borrowed" scripture from the Torah to come up with his own religion, which is now busy KILLING Jews....

Oh gosh, I just remembered why!

Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another,…

John 16:1 I have told you these things so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me.…

Oh yeah, and read all of Isiah 53 - which these "men of G-d" pervert into being all about "Israel" instead of Messiah Yeshua....

Monday, October 22, 2018

Can women teach men?

Every once in a while, I encounter someone who has a problem with me being a woman “daring to teach men.” I’ve even had death threats over this issue! At first, my only inclination was to say one thing: “Deborah!”

But then, I figured that wasn’t enough, and so I dove into the Bible to locate every single scripture I could find on the subject, and here is the end result:

Can women teach men? According to Scripture, they can.

While some Bible passages might sound a little confusing, we must remember to look at the context, and compare them to other passages.

The question that begs to be asked is this: If YHWH caused Balaam to be taught a lesson by a donkey (Numbers 22), why couldn't He use women to teach men? YHWH can and will use whomever He wishes! Check out scriptures such as 2 Kings 22:1-20, Joel 2 and all the ones mentioned below - and then ask yourself:

If a woman can be a disciple like Junia or Tabitha/Dorcas; a deacon like Phoebe; evangelists like Euodia and Syntyche; or a judge over all Israel like Deborah (Judges 4:4, 5), why can't she be a "teacher of men?"

And ask yourself whether the following women weren't being used by God:

Miriam who was Prophetess and sister to Moshe (Genesis 24:15, 19), the Daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-11); Ruth (Ruth 1:1-4:22); Huldah (2 Kings 22:3-20); Esther (saved the Jewish nation, Esther 4:1); Anna (Luke 2:36-38); the woman at the well; Phoebe (Romans 16:1); and Philip's daughters (Acts 21:9). YHWH uses whoever is on His path to get HIS TRUTH out to the world! He even included Moshe's and Aharon's sister, Miryam in his list of "leaders":

Micah 6: 1 So listen now to what ADONAI says: "Stand up and state your case to the mountains, let the hills hear what you have to say." 2 Listen, mountains, to ADONAI's case; also you enduring rocks that support the earth! ADONAI has a case against his people; he wants to argue it out with Isra'el: 3 "My people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! 4 I brought you up from the land of Egypt. I redeemed you from a life of slavery. I sent Moshe, Aharon AND MIRIYAM to lead you.

Who was YHWH talking to? Only men? No! He was talking to HIS people! Women are people, too! We can see that YHWH gave blessings and commands to both "male and female" right from the beginning:

Genesis 1: 27 So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them: God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth."

Exodus 15:20 And Miryam the prophetess, the sister of Aharon, took the timbrel in her hand. And all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miryam answered them, "Sing to YHWH, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!"

For plenty more on this sensitive issue, please check out my article on The Refiner's Fire.

Friday, October 19, 2018

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

Shabbat shalom, everyone, and welcome to our weekly Torah studies!  This week’s Parashah is Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out); Genesis 12:1 – 17:27.   In this week's lesson we learn that Avraham, our first Patriarch (a former pagan Chaldean), was truly one of the "great and chosen ones" because YHWH made several covenants with him - even though, Avraham (at first known simply as "Avram" which means "exalted father") was guilty of not placing all his faith and trust in God....

Note, first and foremost, that Avram was from the line of Seth, not Cain (see Genesis 5) and that he "called on the Name of YHWH" (Genesis 12:8; 13:4 and 13:18) which means he was obedient to YHWH's commands/Torah!

The first thing we see in Genesis 12:1 is YHWH separating Avram from his pagan ties:

Genesis 12: 1 Now ADONAI said to Avram, "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed."

YHWH needed Avram to completely sever his ties with his family and friends so that he could be molded into whom YHWH needed him to be. The moment Avram accepted YHWH and began to obey him, he became a "Hebrew" (which in Hebrew means "to cross over" - remember Avram crossed over both spiritually and physically when he left his own country; see Genesis 14:13).

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

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

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

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

For more, please click on the link above!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's more from the pertinent appendix:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hearing and DOING is required to please YHWH:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Monday, October 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

What is Truth:

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

This principle is also taught here:

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

The New Testament constantly promotes Torah!

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Taking on a counter-missionary’s comments


Oh my, this guy thinks he has ALL the answers, doesn't he?  Yeah…we sure can pick it apart!

Yeshua was the arm of YHWH, the branch/netzer and the Word of YHWH (Isaiah 53:1-2; 11:1 and 11:10; Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15; Zecheriah 3:8 and 6:12; John 1:1:14). As such, he was a part of YHWH, and Torah teaches that the Image of Elohim is both male and female (B'resheet/Gen. 1:27). We learn about the unique and unified female and male attributes of YHWH in the Netzer of Isaiah 11:1-4.

Rav Shaul also addressed the nature of YHWH as male and female in Romans 1:26, 27 when he spoke of male and female "natures" which are part of the Image of Elohim.

There are many Commandments that establish clear gender recognition, which shows distinct honor to both genders while upholding the Creator's male and female characteristics. Clearly YHWH has chosen to reveal Himself as a Father with a predominately masculine identity, but He also reveals Himself through both male and female spirits.

The fact that He chose to send his SON (arm) to earth has NO bearing on the fact that Yeshua was also the Word!

We do hope Jews are not actually taught the things William Hall espouses, as it is downright false to suggest that the lamb for sin offering HAS to be female! If that's the case,then why in Exodus 12, for the preparation for the one-and-only original "pass over", does it say:

Exodus 12:3 ...On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household - 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it.

5 Your animal must be without defect, A MALE in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats. "'You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra'el will slaughter it at dusk.

Be that as it may, the Passover offering was NOT a "female" and we read in verse 6 that the animal is not sacrificed, but killed. (Yeshua wasn't sacrificed - he martyred himself, against which there is NO LAW!

Additionally, it's not a correct that a sin offering must be a female animal because we see throughout Torah that atonement for sin is not so much the sex of the animal, rather what animal is required for the person or group or sin being atoned. (Leviticus 4:23 - a bull for a Cohen; Leviticus 4:13 - a bull for the entire community; Leviticus 4:22 - a male goat for a "leader", etc.)

And in Leviticus 5:7, we learn that if a person can't afford a lamb, two doves or pigeons can be substituted! And, as we see in Leviticus 5:11, YHWH is even willing to accept from those who can't afford even a bird: "two quarts of fine flour for a sin offering"....

Leviticus 5:11 "'But if his means are insufficient even for two doves or two young pigeons, then he is to bring as his offering for the sin he committed two quarts of fine flour for a sin offering; he is not to put any olive oil or frankincense on it, because it is a sin offering.

And look at this:

Leviticus 12:8 If she can't afford a lamb, she is to take two doves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; the cohen will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"

As is clearly evident when read in context, the "female lamb" is not the point! Yes, Leviticus 4:32 says a female lamb, for an individual's sin; but 4:28 says a female goat instead, for an individual's sin. When the Cohen sinned inadvertently, or the entire community sinned inadvertently, a male animal was used for atonement! (See Lev 4:1-4; 4:14; all the sin offerings for the clans in Numbers 7:12-87, the sin offerings of Numbers 28, to mention a few).

And by the way, the use of the word "lamb" for the Messiah is entirely metaphorical. His substitution was for all, so it is appropriate that he was male, as the lamb of the original passover was a male.

The name of Yeshua….

The name of Y’shua has so much meaning. Take a look:

Matthew 1: 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 will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call his name Ammanuel,[1] which is interpreted ‘our El[2] (is) with us’” (AENT)

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

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

John 17: 11. Henceforth, I will not be in the world, and these are in the world. And I am coming to Your presence. Kadosh[1] Father, keep them by your Name,[2] that which you have given to me, that they may be one as We are. 12. I was with them while I was in the world. I have kept them in your Name;[3] those whom you have given to me, I have kept. And not a man of them is lost except for the son of perdition, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. 13. And now I come to Your presence, and these things I speak in the world that my joy may be full in them. (AENT)

[1]  Kadosh/Set Apart means that YHWH and His Word will never change; we can put our trust in Him knowing He will keep His Word.

[2]  A very key passage. Aramaic literally reads that YHWH gave His Name to Y’shua; therefore, he has the Name of his Father within him.

]3]  Y’shua keeps them in YHWH’s name so when we call upon YHWH in Y’shua’s name, we are calling on YHWH for Salvation.

As the Name of YHWH is in Mashiyach, so are we to have the name of Mashiyach in us, which means that as followers of Y’shua we are to walk according to his righteousness, observe Torah and walk in the anointing of the Ruach haKodesh as Mashiyach demonstrated to us.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Individual Meaning of the Rainbow Covenant

Here is something few may have realized is buried in today's Torah portion, Genesis 6:9-11:32.
In Genesis 9:9-17 Elohim makes this covenant with Noah and all his descendants.

Gen 9:9 'As for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the fowl, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that go out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. 11 And I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.'

12 And God said: 'This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow is seen in the cloud, 15 that I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.' 17 And God said unto Noah: 'This is the token of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon the earth.' (JPS)

Read carefully verse 16, highlighted above.

Elohim says, when HE looks upon the rainbow, He will remember the covenant between Him and all flesh upon the earth.

Figure: Real photo of a double rainbow observed in Colorado in 2015. The sky looks clear
behind the rainbow, but the rain was from clouds which were above and behind the camera.

What is significant about Elohim’s “remembering” the covenant with us?

Well, every rainbow is unique to the observer! When we see a rainbow, the rainbow I see is not the rainbow you see or the rainbow seen by anyone else, for the rainbow perceived is centered upon the eye of the viewer. Every ray of light making up that particular rainbow is unique to you and you alone! This is true! Every rainbow is unique to you and you alone!

But Elohim says He can see that rainbow too!

The only way for Elohim to see the rainbow you see is for His Spirit (His Ruach) to be within you!  You can see a rainbow and Elohim can see a rainbow, but it is not the same rainbow unless He sees it through your eyes.

The covenant is shared! Indeed, all covenants are shared. Is YHWH in your life so His Spirit can dwell in you and you share in His covenants which were intended for you?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Parashah 2: Noach (Noah) Genesis 6:9 through 11:32

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah! An outline of this week's Torah portion (Parashah 2: Noach/Noah; Genesis 6:9 through 11:32) can be found on our website.

Diving right in, by the time we get to Genesis 6, we've already seen the Creation and the downfall and destruction of a lost mankind.

Noah, in YHWH's eyes, was the only righteous man on Earth; someone who did everything YHWH asked him to do. And so it is no surprise that Noah and his family were the ONLY people who were saved from destruction (Genesis 6:9-22) - for Noah was a righteous man.

For more, please click on the link above!


A word about Kaepernick’s latest award

So, let me see if I got this right: If you play a game for a living, have never served in one of the armed forces, disrespect our country's flag by "taking a knee" to make your racist statement (thereby kicking in the face every veteran who's ever served in the history of our nation), you get a millions of dollars deal with Nike, and a black history award at Harvard.

Yeah, that makes a LOT of sense!

We have become “America the STUPID!”

We will rebuild!

Have you ever noticed how people will always use the phrase, “We will rebuild!” after every natural disaster? Even those whose homes were located right at the edge of a cliff, or on an oceanside beach, or in a city that’s actually below sea level, such as New Orleans? “WE WILL REBUILD!”

It seems the hearts of men never change!

Isaiah 9: 8 Adonai sent a word to Ya'akov, and it has fallen on Isra'el. 9 All the people know it, Efrayim and the inhabitants of Shomron. But they say in pride, in the arrogance of their hearts, 10 "The bricks have fallen, BUT WE WILL REBUILD with cut stone; the sycamore-fig trees have been chopped down, but we will replace them with cedars." (CJB)

Malachi 1:4 Edom says, "We are beaten down now, but WE WILL COME BACK AND REBUILD THE RUINS." ADONAI-Tzva'ot answers, "They can build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Land of Wickedness, the people with whom ADONAI is permanently angry. 5 You will see it and say, 'ADONAI is great, even beyond the borders of Isra'el.'" (CJB)

And speaking of men building and planning without first consulting YHWH, remember this story about the Tower of Babel? This seems to be the origin of different languages on earth….

Genesis 11: 1 The whole earth used the same language, the same words. 2 It came about that as they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shin'ar and lived there. 3 They said to one another, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them in the fire." So they had bricks for building-stone and clay for mortar.

4 Then they said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city with a tower that has its top reaching up into heaven, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth." 5 ADONAI came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 ADONAI said, "Look, the people are united, they all have a single language, and see what they're starting to do! At this rate, nothing they set out to accomplish will be impossible for them!

7 Come, let's go down and confuse their language, so that they won't understand each other's speech." 8 So from there ADONAI scattered them all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 For this reason it is called Bavel [confusion] - because there ADONAI confused the language of the whole earth, and from there ADONAI scattered them all over the earth. (CJB)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Requesting input from you all, to answer this question!

Someone recently asked me a great question about our first Torah portion wherein we see the “serpent” deceiving Eve. The question was, “If the serpent was satan, how could satan, disguised in a serpent, be in a Holy place like Garden of Eden?”

Well, that IS a great question! Was the serpent satan, or what?

My thoughts: Who really knows for sure? The thing is, regardless as to whether or not the serpent was Satan, the serpent certainly was controlled by evil, which managed to sow seeds into Eve’s mind and cause her to doubt YHWH. Obviously satan (aka Lucifer) was already roaming the earth during the Garden of Eden times.

We get a glimpse of this in Ezekiel 28 (which is a confusing chapter, since it appears to be all about the King of Tyre, in the first part; yet switches gears to discuss the beautiful cherub IN THE GARDEN in the second part:

Ezekiel 28: 11 The word of ADONAI came to me: 12 "Human being, raise a lament for the king of Tzor, and tell him that Adonai ELOHIM says: 'You put the seal on perfection; you were full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; 13 you were in 'Eden, the garden of God; covered with all kinds of precious stones - carnelians, topaz, diamonds, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphires, green feldspar, emeralds; your pendants and jewels were made of gold, prepared the day you were created.

14 You were a keruv, protecting a large region; I placed you on God's holy mountain. You walked back and forth among stones of fire. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. 16"'When your commerce grew, you became filled with violence; and in this way you sinned. Therefore I have thrown you out, defiled, from the mountain of God; I have destroyed you, protecting keruv, from among the stones of fire.

17 Your heart grew proud because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. But I have thrown you on the ground; before kings I have made you a spectacle. 18 By your many crimes in dishonest trading, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore I brought forth fire from within you, and it has devoured you; I reduced you into ashes on the ground in the sight of all who can see you. 19 All who know you among the peoples will be aghast at you. You are an object of terror, and you will cease to exist.'"  (CJB)

So, from what I can tell is that the King of Tyre was apparently controlled or influenced by Satan, who was once Lucifer. So, holy or not, apparently, both humans and animals in the Garden had the CHOICE to obey YHWH, or not. The serpent certainly allowed itself to be controlled by satan, and thus, we can surmise that evil was already in the Garden BEFORE the fall. YHWH gave them that choice.

Isaiah 14 does the same confusing thing. That chapter seems to be talking about man, and then suddenly turns to the “Morning Star” - Lucifer, the evil one who puffed himself up and got kicked out of heaven, and then began wreaking havoc on earth, influencing men.  Check it out:

Isaiah 14:12 "How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? 13 You thought to yourself, 'I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God's stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. 14 I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.'

15 "Instead you are brought down to Sh'ol, to the uttermost depths of the pit. 16Those who see you will stare at you, reflecting on what has become of you: 'Is this the man who shook the earth, who made kingdoms tremble, 17 who made the world a desert, who destroyed its cities, who would not set his prisoners free?'

18 "All other kings of the nations, all of them, lie in glory, each in his tomb. 19 But you are discarded, unburied, like a loathed branch, clothed like the slain who were pierced by the sword, then fall to the stones inside a pit, like a corpse to be trampled underfoot.

20 You will not be joined with those kings in the grave, because you destroyed your own land, you have brought death to your own people. The descendants of evildoers will be utterly forgotten. 21 Get ready to slaughter his sons for the iniquity of their fathers; so they won't arise, take over the earth and cover the world with their cities." (CJB)

What I’ve gleaned from the above is that those passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah have "dual references" - to both Lucifer and man … man with his evil, fallen nature….

Apparently, those passages represent the actual beginning of sin in the universe, BEFORE the fall of Adam and Eve. Sin originated in the free will of Lucifer in which — with full understanding of the issues involved — he chose to rebel against the Creator.

YHWH then judged this mighty angelic being: “I reduced you into ashes on the ground in the sight of all who can see you.” (Ezekiel 28:18). This in no way implies that satan had no further access to heaven, for other Scripture verses clearly indicate that he retained this access after his fall (Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1,2).

However, Ezekiel 28:18 indicates that Lucifer lost his place of authority in heaven (Luke 10:18), and was completely and permanently cast out.  Yet, for reasons known ONLY to YHWH Himself, he was allowed to “roam the earth:

Job 1:6 It happened one day that the sons of God came to serve ADONAI, and among them came the Adversary [Hebrew: Satan]. 7 ADONAI asked the Adversary, "Where are you coming from?" The Adversary answered ADONAI, "From roaming through the earth, wandering here and there."  (CJB, see also Job 2.)

So, yes, it is entirely possible that the “serpent” Eve saw and spoke to, WAS satan, himself!  Or – as mentioned above – perhaps the serpent was simply influenced/controlled by satan.  Who really knows?

Our Messiah’s name wasn’t Y’shua? That might be true in the Greek versions, but the original documents say otherwise...

Matthew 1: 23. “Behold, a virgin (see NOTE below) will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call his name Ammanuel,[1] which is interpreted ‘our El[2] (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[3] she had given birth to her first-born son, and she called his name Y’shua.[4] (AENT)

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

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

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

[4] 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.

NOTE: See our article on “Almah.”

Paul warns us to NOT go beyond “what is written”

Paul admonished the Corinthians to NOT go beyond “what is written.”

So why do counter-missionaries feel it’s okay to quote Talmud at every turn?

1 Corinthians 4:5. Therefore pronounce not judgments before the time, (or) until Master YHWH comes,[1] who will pour light upon the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the thoughts of (men’s) hearts: and then will each one have (due) praise from Elohim.

6. These things, my Brothers, I have stated concerning the person of myself and of Apollos,[2] for your sakes; that, in us, you might learn not to think (of men), above what is written; and that no one might exalt himself in comparison with his fellow, on account of any person. 7. For who has seen into you? Or what have you, which you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you brag as if you did not receive it?


[1] This passage is another example of where being able to separate MarYah (YHWH) from Maran/Mari (Y’shua) becomes highly desirable over Greek, which confuses the Two with the same word “kurios.”

While it is true that Mashiyach is the light of the world, this powerful passage reminds us that Mashiyach’s power comes from His Father YHWH. This distinction also highlights the original Jewish nature of the older Aramaic text.

[2] “Person”, or in Aramaic parsopa, which can be translated also as “face” or “presence.” This is a critical term; had the Christian theology of “the Trinity” been correct, we would see this word used in connection with a “Godhead.” However, this is never the case; nowhere is this found in all of the original NT.

Instead, the word used is qnoma, which is defined as an occurrence of a nature, retaining the same core substance of that nature. As such, you may have three qnomeh, but only ONE divine nature. When we understand this, the relationship between Father and Son becomes understood more like the relationship of limbs of a body to the mind (Exodus 6:6, Isaiah 53:1).

Limbs are directed according the will of the mind. The divine side of the Son is not separate from YHWH; “he” is the arm of YHWH, and the Word that YHWH directed (spoke) to create the universe.

Continuing with 1 Corinthians 4:

8. Now you are yourselves full, and enriched; and, without us, are on thrones! And I wish you were enthroned; that we also might reign with you. 9. But I suppose that Elohim has placed us Shlichim in the last (position), as if condemned for death; since we have become a spectacle to the world, to Messengers and to men.

10. We are fools, on account of Mashiyach; but you are wise in Mashiyach! We are weak; but you are strong! You are praised, we are hated. 11. Up until this hour, we hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no permanent home:

12. And we toil, working with our own hands: they defame us, and we bless: they persecute us, and we endure it: 13. They revile us, and we beg to them: we are as the filth of the world, and the expiation for all men, up to this time. (AENT)

This endless persecution of Yeshua and anyone who believes him to be THE Messiah, is just as real today as it was when Paul admonished the Corinthians to NOT go beyond “what is written!”

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Reader question about the "dome that separates the waters from the waters”

Someone recently sent us a great question that seems to be on the minds of many - especially those who insist on believing that the earth is flat, or some other shape:


Dear Refiner's Fire..first of all just let me say that I LOVE this site. It has been an invaluable resource in my new walk. I am starting on my second cycle of the weekly lessons. But let me get to the point. In the first lesson we read in Genesis where it is saying that YWWH created a "dome that separates the waters from the waters". The explanation of Refiner's Fire was that it was not meant to be a scientific account of creation..

With all due respect I think we have to ask ourselves some questions. Are we to take the Torah literally for what it says or explain away the meaning. Do we believe YHWH or do we believe the Jesuit and Masonic scientists. Thank you again for this incredible study and website... I anticipate your reply,


You asked a perfect reasonable question: "Are we to take the Torah literally for what it says or explain away the meaning." The short answer is "both" - but it takes much more to fully understand what we mean by "both".

First, "do we take the Torah literally?" Yes, except we must realize that some is literal and some of the narrative in the Torah ... and indeed, in all parts we find some allegory. This includes the Prophets, Writings, and New Testament. For example: Take the animal sacrifices in Leviticus. The narrative literally speaks of slaughtering animals, and that the sins of the person offering the animal are "taken away."

Indeed, there is a literal, formal ritual of a substitutionary death described in the narrative of animal sacrifice. But there is also allegory. The slaughter only represents human's sins and ties the condition that our sins deserve death. Thus, for us to live, an animal, (sinless by the way), had to die. If the people had not sinned, they would not have had to kill an animal. So, the Torah was actually trying to teach people to choose NOT to sin.

Today, people get caught up in the literal description of the slaughter process. and see only the "commandment" that it "must be followed"; they don't see the greater picture in the allegory: that it was intended to represent a spiritual truth in terms a human can come to understand. Don't sin, you live; sin, and you must be redeemed from that sin.

You asked: "...or explain away the meaning?" Yes, except we are not really explaining it "away"; rather, we are trying to understand it from the original Hebrew perspective. In your example of Genesis 1:6, you are seeing the literal verse: "God said, "Let there be a dome in the middle of the water; let it divide the water from the water."

In English, that certainly paints a picture in our minds of a "dome" and becomes our literal understanding. But that's not what the Hebrew says. The Hebrew word, incorrectly translated as "dome" is "ra'kita", which means "expanse". So, the verse actually reads, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it divide the waters from the waters."

You see, the English translators inadvertently changed the meaning of the scripture. Some English translations use "firmament" instead of "dome" which is a bit better. However, without understanding the deeper meaning in the Hebrew, "firmament" still does not convey the meaning of "ra'kita".

Similarly, Genesis 1:8 in English usually reads "and God called the dome Sky." But the Hebrew, properly reads, "And Elohim called the expanse, Heavens." Here, "Heavens" is from the Hebrews "ha'mayim" - it is plural and means "the lofty". So "sky" is close to correct, but in the Hebrew context the word implies not only the sky, but beyond, including the air where the clouds move, along with celestial bodies.

So, you see that we must take care in our literal reading to see beyond both what we are able to comprehend (due to the inadequacy the English); and to consider and look for the deeper meaning which the English does not convey.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Animals are in a fallen world because of us!

Did you know that humanity is THE reason animals suffer in our fallen world? It’s true; they are in a "fallen world" because of us; Scripture tells us so. Let's check it out:

In the Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) Adam and Eve named the animals. Genesis 1:24–27 states that YHWH made the land animals, as well as the first man and woman, on Day Six of Creation Week. Genesis 2:18–23 tells us that Adam named the animals before Eve was created. This shows that Adam had some kind of a relationship with the animals. Everyone lived in harmony.

Ultimately, Adam and Eve sinned and were banned from the Garden, consequently, mankind is born into a "fallen world." That is why MAN – who knows the difference between “good and evil” and can make logical decisions - has to be redeemed. Man tends to sin. but animals do not. Animals don't lie or cheat or sit around planning to do evil; they simply do what they were created to do: Live and survive, multiply and die.

We are told that animals have souls (Genesis 1:30), but unlike man, animals don't sin; and therefore, they don't need to be redeemed. However, if they kill a human being, according to Scripture, they WILL suffer the consequences:

Genesis 9:2 The fear and dread of you will be upon every wild animal, every bird in the air, every creature populating the ground, and all the fish in the sea; they have been handed over to you. 3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything - 4 only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat.

5 I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. 6 Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image. (CJB)

Moving on to the next covenant, in Genesis 6:5-8, we discover that the fall brought man to new depths. YHWH was sorry that He created mankind and planned to destroy every living thing (which He repeated in verses 17-19):

Genesis 6: 5 ADONAI saw that the people on earth were very wicked, that all the imaginings of their hearts were always of evil only. 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." 8 But Noach found grace in the sight of ADONAI. (CJB)

Now, pay close attention to this: Most children's stories center around the idea that Noah took two of every animal onto the ark. However, Genesis 7:2-4 reveals that He ordered "two of every kind" of UNCLEAN animal, and "seven of every CLEAN animal!" Why? Well, the answer lies in Genesis 8:17-22. Noah's first act, upon setting foot on dry land, was to sacrifice one of every clean animal. The blood of those CLEAN animals atoned for man's sins. With "clean" animals being sacrificed, it seems that more were needed so that they could survive and reproduce!

In Genesis 9:1-5, we see YHWH making His covenant with Noah, wherein Noah is reminded of the elements of the covenant with Adam - and we discover that this new covenant did not "replace" the old; rather, it augmented it.

But now we also discover the reason why animals suddenly came to FEAR man:

Genesis 9:2 The fear and dread of you will be upon every wild animal, every bird in the air, every creature populating the ground, and all the fish in the sea; they have been handed over to you. 3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything - 4 only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat. 5 I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. 6 Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image." (CJB)

And then we also discover, to our utter amazement, that He established His covenant not just with MAN but also with the animals!

Genesis 9: 9 "As for me - I am herewith establishing my covenant with you, with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you - the birds, the livestock and every wild animal with you, all going out of the ark, every animal on earth. 11 I will establish my covenant with you that never again will all living beings be destroyed by the waters of a flood, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth." (CJB)

So…if animals were of no consequence, then WHY would our Creator have bothered to include them in a covenant? He clearly viewed them as living, breathing beings with the ability to THINK, COMPREHEND and UNDERSTAND – each, according to their own kind and abilities! (For instance, remember the story about Balaam's donkey in Numbers 22, which certainly seems to suggest that animals are capable of thinking and have a "sense of self.")

BOTTOM LINE: The animals of the world suffer because of sinful MAN! Scripture amply reveals that man is certainly prone to sinning, and that's why we need to be redeemed. As a matter of fact, humankind is in a "fallen world" because we have always sinned ... and, according to Scripture, our actions caused animals to end up in a "fallen world" right alongside of us, being cursed BECAUSE of us!

(For a more indepth study, please see our article, Animals in Heaven.)