Thursday, November 14, 2019

The world as I see it through the lens of Scripture and common sense…

BOTTOM LINE:  Our world is sick, and getting sicker by the day!

Something has happened over even just the last 20 years – and, honestly, I believe one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) contributors to this travesty is Hollywood … that satanic industry that has been instrumental in making the “F word” dominant in the English vocabulary, and helped turn our young folks into selfish, me-oriented “binge watchers” of R-rated films that, in the not-so-distant past, would have been considered pornography.

Hollywood is a pawn of satan, rabidly influencing "good" to appear "bad" and "evil" to appear “normal” or even "righteous". (Please humor me as I continue generalizing my way through this rant….)

Satanic Hollywood has been stealing the minds of generations of children and turning them into mindless, disrespectful and even hateful zombies who trudge through life without any real work ethics or ambition (except perhaps to influence them into the pipe-dream of becoming singers, actors, entertainers or ballplayers - because, after all, that’s where the REALLY big money is).

Many live in their parents’ basement, rent-free, playing video games (or even becoming “gamers” because real jobs are just … er… “too hard” to find….) and expect to be taken care of till the end of time because … well, because they feel entitled to do so. And don’t even think of asking them to help around the house or even take out the trash because that’s their parents’ job. It’s THEIR house, after all….

If today’s young folks attend college at all, many are somehow led to believe and/or feel entitled to enter the work world, starting “at the top.” (I use the term, “attended” lightly, because colleges today seem to be nothing more than big party places, from which many graduate being able to tick off the names of every ballplayer since the beginning time, and they can recite the lyrics of every “rap” song; but they have NO CLUE about how to reconcile their checkbooks; nor can they tell you how many moons the earth has. You ask them that, and their eyes glaze over.)

One of the biggest reasons as to “who they are and HOW they are” today is because THAT is what they learned from watching the “boob tube” and the “big screen” where they, since early childhood, watched unsupervised, whatever they wanted while Mom and Dad were out making a living (to keep up with those pesky Joneses) or were out, partying somewhere.

I’ve LIVED through it all, and WITNESSED the changes happening before my very eyes! I even saw it in my own, unbelievably dysfunctional childhood home (another term I use loosely!) where I was raised with an iron hand (more like an iron fist) not being allowed to attend high school ballgames, dances or other activities, while expected to be a “little housewife” and babysitter for my partying mother who provided me with “kid brothers” to take care of.

By the time my baby brother came along, she was “too tired” to care what he ate, drank, thought or did, and he was allowed to do “whatever”, whenever he wished - and she loudly admonished anyone who tried to stop him. Today, he’s a middle-aged “has-been” who was kicked out of the Army for desertion (because he never learned nor accepted any discipline); never bothered to keep a real job because he was forever seeking “his destiny” - and has spent most of his life living with women gullible enough to take him in, until they figured him out – basically living from hand-to-mouth … ALL BECAUSE HE WAS TAUGHT to be that way! He was RUINED by “bad parenting” and Hollywood….

My baby brother was born in the mid-Sixties, after God had been kicked out of schools and government buildings; and sex, drugs and rock and roll became the “in thing” … around the time when famous liberals like Timothy Leary urged people to "turn on, tune in, drop out."

And, of course, there were movies where outlaws and criminals were “cool” – outlaws making the idea of running from the law a GOOD thing – to wit, Henry Fonda’s “Easy Rider”. Yes, Hollywood showed my brother that it was “okay” to be a good-looking loner, loser, an outlaw … the “runnin’ kind” whose every front door found him hopin' he would find the back door open, because there just had to be an exit for the runnin' kind… (Lyrics from Merle Haggard’s song, “Running Kind”.)

Oh, people, I’ve been watching YHWH’s adversary influencing every single aspect of our lives! I’ve seen the Hollywood influence over and over again as the years went by. I watched the world slowly morphing from a time where no bad language or behavior was tolerated in public or in schools; where girls were expected to “dress decently” in skirts and dresses that had to at least hit the top of your kneecaps; and where teachers were allowed to smack unruly children with a ruler … into a time where EVERYTHING started being “against the law” and you couldn’t slap your own out-of-control teenager for punching a hole in the wall - because he saw on TV or heard on the radio that he had “rights” and was able to call the police to have you arrested for child abuse!

Even over just the last 20 years (actually since April 1997, when Ellen “came out of the closet” – which, at first, destroyed her career…), I’ve watched that mythical “frog” (the dumbed-down, dead-from-the-neck-up viewing audience) being tossed into cold water, with the heat slowly being turned up to where he never even noticed that he was about to be blissfully boiled to death, as homosexuality was introduced and quickly turned into a “new normal” – a point where sexual identity is now “fluid” and no one bats an eye over the fact that little Johnny and Janie have “two mommies” or “two daddies” ….

We live in a time where all THAT’s perfectly okay, and if you have a problem with it, YOU are WEIRD and “intolerant”. Matter of fact, if you dare say anything - you intolerant pig! - YOU can be taken to court for harassment, prejudice or discrimination. Hey – even men today can’t look at a woman without being accused of sexual harassment – no matter if she’s dressed like a hooker, wearing a skirt so short you can see what she had for breakfast.

SHE has a “right” to look and dress like a whore, but MEN better NOT dare look or get turned on, because THAT can be viewed as a crime! (And yes, I realize that’s not always the case, but come on! The “Me Too” nonsense has gotten out of hand with women crawling out of the woodwork to make accusations about someone supposedly did something 50 years ago … never mind that, oops! – yeah, okay, they DID voluntarily go to the guy’s hotel room….)

In my humble opinion, ALL of that is a direct result of Hollywood’s influence! Stupid is “in” today, common sense is dead, “wrong” is now “right” and the godly and decent are “out”.

That’s what the world wants us to think – and ONLY the strong will survive the onslaught of the lunatics who have been taking over the proverbial asylum, in a world that has completely lost its way!

Matthew 24:10 At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other, 11 many false prophets will appear and fool many people; 12 and many people's love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah. 13 But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered. (CJB)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

So you’re trying to tell us that the King James is the "best Bible version?"

I just sit and shake my head whenever someone tries to tell me they have “a word from God” for me, and then proceed to cite via fluffy “King James English” terms how much God loves me – “I the Lord God say to thee, I love thee and thy family.”

Honestly – did YHWH, Y’shua or any of the Apostles speak in King James English? King James did some major damage in his “version” because he mistranslated and twisted some MAJOR concepts that made YHWH appear to have contradicted Himself!

Check out, for instance, passages like Leviticus 12:8, 15:29 and Numbers 6:10 where KJV mistranslated the SLANG word "turtles" - meaning "TURTLE DOVES" - supposedly being used as sin sacrifices. The problem is "turtles" could NOT POSSIBLY be used as sin sacrifices because they're not kosher!
And here’s a shocker:  King James perpetuated the “trinity” concept.  Yes, it's true! Nowhere in Scripture do we ever see our ELOHIM referred to as a “trinity” or the Holy Spirit called a “person.”  (Being “saved” in a Baptist church in January 1995, I always wondered how the heck a person would get inside another person to guide their life….)  Let’s see what happened:
I John 5: 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (KJV)
So, what's wrong with it? Well, the undiluted truth is: King James added the line! He worded it to make it seem as though John was defining the Father, Son and Spirit as three separate beings in one.
And oddly, all the other "versions" completely omit everything after the word "heaven" in verse 7! For instance the NIV says: “For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” This is TOTALLY different from the KJV! (Knowing this, and realizing all the various versions added, omitted and mistranslated, is it any wonder why we have nearly 40,000 different Christian "denominations"?)
Here is a footnote from the NIV referencing 1 John 5:7-8:
"Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven, the Father, the Word and Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify in earth--not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century."

This shows that both verses are late additions. Obviously, 5:7 is an addition post-397 CE, after the Council of Carthage and 5:8 is so late as to be meaningless. This is true because trinity was never, and is not, an original Biblical doctrine! It was a formulation of Constantine, Eusebius and others.

Here is the passage as seen in the Aramaic English New Testament:

I John 5: 6. This is he who came by the water and the blood. Y'shua the Mashiyach; not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit testifies; because the Spirit is truth. 7. (Verse 7 is nonexistent in the Eastern Peshitta!) 8. And there are three witnesses, the Spirit and the water, and the blood: and these three are in union. (AENT)

Footnote:  Appended text:  (For there are three that testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Ruach haKodesh: and these three are one.), which is why Murdock puts the brackets and adds: “This verse is not wanting in most MSS., and is omitted in the edit. London, 1826.” The fact is that this line was inserted under the authority of Constantine to promote the Trinity doctrine. 

It does not exist in the Peshitta nor the oldest Greek manuscripts of Aleph, A, B and the Vulgate.  Christo-Paganism which originated before Constantine taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are numerically three separate beings, but yet “all the same” is a blatant violation of the First and Second Commandments (see Sh’mot/Exodus 20:1-6).

Disheartening, isn't it?  It would be great if we could all read the original manuscripts...but that's just not possible.  All we can really do is to possess several different Bible versions for comparison purposes - and constantly seek the guidance of the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit to help us discern the REAL meaning of Scripture.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Examining the term “Fear of YHWH”

Here’s something really interesting that many have never realized before:

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

First - that term, “Fear of Elohim” - did you know that a picture of the Menorah is seen here with its seven branches? Let’s examine this from a Hebraic/Aramaic viewpoint:

Isaiah 11:2-3 “And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Yirah (Fear) of YHWH; And shall make him of quick understanding in the Yirah (Fear) of YHWH”….

The center is the Spirit of YHWH while the six other attributes are joined into the center pillar. These seven Spirits also signify perfection or completeness. The Fear of YHWH Elohim is a “Spirit” of YHWH; it is a vital spiritual quality for Life in Messiah!

The Fear of YHWH is a personal guide for us; Hebrew “yirah” means fear, as in fear/awesome/terrifying, contrary to the teachings that the Fear of YHWH is not really “fear” but rather, “love and respect.” (Isaiah 29:13 reveals how “the Fear of YHWH is taught by the commandment of men.”)

In other words, man’s religious theology and tradition has made void the FEAR of YHWH!

As a matter of fact, many (if not most) Greek versions suggest “reverence” over “fear”. Consequently, titles such as “Reverend” for clergymen and ministers, for instance, totally negate the term “Fear of YHWH, because they were given a theological/semantic twist to apply to their own leadership, as in the case of “reverend.”

The bottom line is:  The Fear of YHWH is noted throughout Scripture: Genesis 20:11; 42:18; Exodus 9:30; 18:21; Leviticus 25:17; Deuteronomy 10:12, and in more than a hundred other places. Without the Spirit of “the Fear” of YHWH, people will fear man, materialism, relativism and all form of idols, including their religious leaders.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Is “looking the other way” biblical?

A STERN WORD for those who choose to "look the other way" and admonish others to do so, when they see evil being perpetrated:

You're going against Scripture, which commands us to DO something about those types of people! If we don't, then we will be held responsible! Take a look:

Ezekiel 3:16 After seven days the word of Adonai came to me: 17 “Human being, I have appointed you to be a watchman for the house of Isra’el. When you hear a word from my mouth, you are to warn them for me.

18 If I say to a wicked person, ‘You will certainly die’; and you fail to warn him, to speak and warn the wicked person to leave his wicked way and save his life; then that wicked person will die guilty; and I will hold you responsible for his death.

19 On the other hand, if you warn the wicked person, and he doesn’t turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, then he will still die guilty; but you will have saved your own life.

20 Similarly, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, I will place a stumblingblock before him — he will die; because you failed to warn him, he will die in his sin; his righteous acts which he did will not be remembered; and I will hold you responsible for his death.

21 But if you warn the righteous person that a righteous person should not sin, and he doesn’t sin; then he will certainly live, because he took the warning; and you too will have saved your life.” (CJB)

A READER ASKED:

I have always thought these scriptures were in reference to the prophet Ezekiel. A better understanding might help me be more bold in doing the right thing. Do you have an article on this?

OUR RESPONSE:

We have referred to Ezekiel 3 (and Ezekiel 33) in several articles, yet have not addressed whether or not the words to Ezekiel apply to us as you seem to be questioning. This message came to Ezekiel twice - first in Ezekiel 3:17-21 and the second in Ezekiel 33:2-9. The revelation in Ezekiel 33, (the verses mentioned above), begin in verse 2 where we learn that we all are the "watchmen" over Israel, so the vision did not apply only to Ezekiel. The watchman is responsible to warn citizens. The citizen is responsible for heeding the warning.

Note that Ezekiel is called "ben a'dam" - son of man. The sages interpret it to denote mankind generally, that is, not a deity. So Ezekiel is called a "son of man", not so much being addressed only to him, or that he is something special above the rest of us, rather, because he is a righteous human in the position to speak for YHWH - because he was righteous.

The sages say the the time of prophecy is past. That means that there are no more "Ezekiels" for our time. And if that is true, then who is to fulfill Ezekiel's role to warn those who are sinning against YHWH if not us?

Further, Ezekiel (as are we supposed to be), was living righteously because he obeyed Torah. Torah commands us all to rebuke our brothers so we don't carry sin because of them. (Leviticus 19:17). This command is the origin of YHWH's pronouncement to Ezekiel to warn those who were sinning. The only difference in Ezekiel is that in Ezekiel's case, YHWH is talking about people who are about to lose their eternal lives due to their behavior and that is so serious that if WE know they are heading down that path, and WE don't warn them, then YHWH's message is that their blood is on our hands!

So yes, the words spoken to Ezekiel to warn those who are sinning and teaching falsely most certainly applies to us.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Are you, or is someone you know, struggling somehow?

We all know people who are undergoing financial struggles, or who are suffering from health, lifestyle, marital problems, addiction, etc..

Whether they ask for prayer, or whether we simply offer to pray for them, we must always remember that nothing will change for them UNLESS they are employing YHWH's will and His Torah in their lives ... being responsible stewards of their money, their marriages, etc..

What I'm suggesting is that the only thing we can really pray for is for THEIR hearts to be changed! YHWH isn’t going to magically “fix” someone’s bad lifestyle habits, marriage, addiction problem, broken relationships, or their financial situation unless they are willing to make some changes in their own behavior.

Turning to YHWH is always the first step. But it also takes some effort on our parts. For instance, if we're prone to whipping out that credit card to buy whatever we want – then we MUST cut it up. Nip that habit in the bud!  If you can't afford to pay cash for it, don't buy it, unless it's an absolute necessity - something you cannot do without.

If you're addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or whatever, and you cannot stop on your own, seek professional help. If you're overweight and wish to lose a few pounds, change your eating habits and start exercising. If you can't do it on your own, find a support group or professional help.

One huge deterrent to help you break a "bad" habit is to remember that your body is your TEMPLE! It's YHWH's Temple! Every time you feel the urge to abuse it in some way, remember, you're forcing the Holy Spirit to do it with you!

There are all sorts of little "tricks" to help you stay of His Path - but you first have to be WILLING and WHOLEHEARTED toward our awesome Creator. Everything we do should be for Him! (Colossians 3:17-24)

What has to happen is for each individual to seek HIM, repenting of their carnality and turning everything over to Him - and to begin DOING His Will, instead of just sitting around asking Him to bless whatever they’re doing, or to “fix” the messes they got themselves into by making unwise decisions.

Take a look at what Scripture says:

Matthew 25:20-21 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (ESV)

Matthew 25:20-21 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (ESV)

Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (ESV)

Psalm 90: 1 A prayer of Moshe the man of God: Adonai, you have been our dwelling place in every generation. 2 Before the mountains were born, before you had formed the earth and the world, from eternity past to eternity future you are God. 3 You bring frail mortals to the point of being crushed, then say, "People, repent!"

4 For from your viewpoint a thousand years are merely like yesterday or a night watch. 5 When you sweep them away, they become like sleep; by morning they are like growing grass, 6 growing and flowering in the morning, but by evening cut down and dried up. 7 For we are destroyed by your anger, overwhelmed by your wrath.

8 You have placed our faults before you, our secret sins in the full light of your presence. 9 All our days ebb away under your wrath; our years die away like a sigh. 10 The span of our life is seventy years, or if we are strong, eighty; yet at best it is toil and sorrow, over in a moment, and then we are gone.

11 Who grasps the power of your anger and wrath to the degree that the fear due you should inspire? 12 So teach us to count our days, so that we will become wise. (CJB)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Reader challenges our article about Halloween

READER COMMENT TO OUR WEBSITE'S ARTICLE ABOUT HALLOWEEN:

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." To the pure, all things are pure... Titus 1:15

OUR RESPONSE:

If you are attempting to use those scriptures to justify participating in Halloween, then we suggest you stop reading the Bible "with" your understanding and read it "for" understanding.

You have quoted Galatians 5:14 "For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'," and Titus 1:15; but you don't understand them. Paul, in his letter to Galatia, is writing to believers who have been misled and confused about how they are supposed to live now that they have the "Good News" of the Messiah. Please go back and read Galatians 1.

Galatians is the worst book of the NT for people to read when they don't understand YHWH or Yeshua. Out of context, as you are reading it, it sounds like your understanding is correct, that "the entire Torah is summed up in 'love your neighbor as yourself' ". But in context, knowing what was going on in Galatia, and knowing what Paul was saying, the meaning is completely different!

Paul is not "doing away with Torah"; rather he is quoting Leviticus 19:18. In Galatia, people were fighting and arguing with each other about how they should observe Torah. "You have to do it this way!"; "No! You do it this way!", etc. Paul was only saying "Knock it off!" He was NOT saying that all of Torah is accomplished by that one verse!

Yeshua said the GREATEST and most important commandment is "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37) - and Paul cannot negate Yeshua! In fact, Yeshua went on to say that ALL the commandments of Torah "hang" on that greatest commandment and on the second, "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39-40).

You have clearly not understood the verse you quoted! Similarly, you have not understood Titus 1:15 - again, out of context. Here's a suggestion: Don't read the New Testament anymore until you have read and studied the whole "Old Testament." Then and only then will you will have an understanding of Torah, and the "New Testament" will start to make sense.

In the meantime - I'll address your error about Titus 1:15:

It's Paul again, this time writing to Titus, giving Titus instructions on how to deal with believers in his community and appoint good leaders so they can properly teach. See Titus 1:4-9. When you read 1:15, Paul is talking about the Jews in the community who are teaching falsely (1:10). Paul is saying "[IF they] themselves were pure, then everything [they teach would be] pure."

But Paul goes on in the same verse: "But to those who are defiled and without trust, nothing [they teach] is pure — even their minds and consciences have been defiled. 16 They claim to know God, but with their actions they deny him. They are detestable and disobedient; they have proved themselves unfit to do anything good."

Thus, in context, you are wrongly taking part of 1:15, "To the pure, all things are pure", on its own to conclude it means what you thought it meant.

We, at The Refiner's Fire, highly suggest you read the entire Bible, every word, from cover to cover, BEFORE making any more assumptions.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Jewish man who has accepted Yeshua, has some questions

READER COMMENT:

Hello. I have recently become a messianic Jew. But I do not know where to fit in. Evangelical Christianity accepts me but tell me to reject my jewish roots. Rabbinic judaism - well, we won't go any further.

But what do I do? Can I still wear Kippot? Can I still wear tefillin and say shema? Can I still wear tzit-tzit? I just need a little guidance on these issues. What about clothing and not wearing certain materials together? Do these laws still stand today?

Yeshua was jewish and I never want to forget my jewish roots.

OUR RESPONSE:

Thanks for writing.  This "not fitting in" feeling is common, and will probably not go away.  Neither side will "understand" you for they are both in their respective "trenches", so-to-speak.

So what do you do?  Keep on obeying and demonstrating the Truth!

  • YES, you can wear Kippot!  (Not a command, but “tradition”)
  • YES, you can wear tefililn and say the Sh'ma!  (Exodus 13:1-10, 13:11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:12-21)
  • YES, you can wear tzitzit!  (It’s a command - Numbers 15:37-41)

You are a LIGHT! Be a LIGHT! If they are blinded by your light, then that is their problem!
The ENTIRE Bible teaches you to do exactly what you have come to see.  Just be gentle with your nay-sayers and move on...

To answer your question about clothing, there is a thorough explanation in our article.

As you surely know from reading Torah, YHWH laid down many Divine Rules - all of which were designed to set HIS people apart from the nations. ("His people" included all 12 Tribes AND the gerim who were standing at Mt. Sinai and had accepted Him as their God.)

Anyway - as you surely know - most of those Torah rules were only for the Levite Priests; some were only for men, and some only for women.  (It's a common-sense thing.  For instance, men never had to "live outside the camp" for a week because they don't menstruate.  [Plus, where is "outside the camp" today?]  Women in ancient times had no real way of keeping clean during menstruation; and therefore, HAD to get away from the general population for health reasons.  Today, we have all kinds of products for use during "those days" and there's really no need to stay out of the general population anymore.)  You can find some in-depth info in our article concerning Torah rules.

The problem with Christianity is that most of that religion (which contains well over 40,000 different denominations) is still "in the nations." What I mean by that is, their theology is based mostly on the misunderstood writings of Paul who is, unfortunately, viewed only through the "Greek mindset" that talks about a "Greek god" type of Messiah who came to "bring grace" and abolish all of His Father's Divine Instructions - instructions that even suggest Torah is a curse!  (Please check out one of our articles about Paul.)

They don't get it.  They don't realize that YHWH didn't send His Divine MESSIAH to "be God" OR abolish His Torah! (GOD cannot be born or die!)  Why WOULD He have?  Torah is mankind's ONLY blueprint for moral, holy living!  Please see our blog article, Is Jesus God?

The most important thing for a Jew who has come to recognize that Yeshua is THE Messiah, is to simply remain a Jew … a Jew who has accepted ALL of YHWH's Truth.  You don't have to wear the traditional Orthodox garb or a kippah if you don't want to - as those are just TRADITIONS. Simply learn to separate the "traditions" from the "forever commands" (i.e., Shabbat, the mo'edim, the covenant of circumcision - all of which say things to the effect of "do this forever" or "throughout your generations").

Since we don't have Yeshua or Moshe or anyone else who sees God face-to-face walking among us today, the bottom line is that one simply has to constantly be IN Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and learn to use some common sense today about "what still pertains" to us.

By the way, what I've just shared with you, is simply knowledge that my husband and I have gleaned from our own research and constant study of Scripture, from our studies under Messianic rabbis, and what I personally learned in my Messianic yeshiva studies. 

Please understand, we're not trying to pass ourselves off as the "be-all-end-all" who have ALL the Truth - because we DON'T!  The purpose of our website is to get people to find their way to the WHOLE Truth of our ELOHIM and to READ His Word for themselves - where they can then ultimately make up their own minds about Scripture.

Shalom and we hope this helps!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A word about Halloween

If you are among those who see nothing wrong with this witches, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils, demons, blood and death, then by all means, enjoy this pagan holiday! But be aware that our Creator considers these things to be detestable ….

Let’s allow Scripture to speak for itself:

Deuteronomy 18: 9 “When you enter the land Adonai your God is giving you, you are not to learn how to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 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. (v) 14 For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and diviners; but you, Adonai your God does not allow you to do this. (CJB)

Galatians 5: 19 And it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. It expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency; 20 involvement with the occult and with drugs; in feuding, fighting, becoming jealous and getting angry; in selfish ambition, factionalism, intrigue 21 and envy; in drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you now as I have warned you before: those who do such things will have no share in the Kingdom of God! (CJB)

Revelation 9: 20 The rest of mankind, those who were not killed by these plagues, even then did not turn from what they had made with their own hands — they did not stop worshipping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk.[a] 21 Nor did they turn from their murdering, their involvement with the occult and with drugs, their sexual immorality or their stealing. (CJB)

Revelation 21: 8 But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshippers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death.” (CJB)

Ephesians 5: 11 Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them, 12 for it is shameful even to speak of the things these people do in secret. 13 But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is, 14 since anything revealed is a light. This is why it says, “Get up, sleeper! Arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you!” 15 Therefore, pay careful attention to how you conduct your life — live wisely, not unwisely. 16 Use your time well, for these are evil days. 17 So don’t be foolish, but try to understand what the will of the Lord is. (CJB)

An interesting tidbit about that "Put your hand under my thigh” thing…

Genesis 24: 1 By now Avraham was old, advanced in years; and ADONAI had blessed Avraham in everything. 2 Avraham said to the servant who had served him the longest, who was in charge of all he owned, "Put your hand under my thigh; 3 because I want you to swear by ADONAI, God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from among the women of the Kena'ani, among whom I am living; 4 but that you will go to my homeland, to my kinsmen, to choose a wife for my son Yitz'chak." * (CJB)

Referencing Parasha 5 in this week’s Torah Study, we did some research  – and discovered this very interesting tidbit:

QUESTION:  What do you think it meant to “Put your hand under my thigh” and swear an oath when Avraham asked his servant to do that?

ANSWER: In that time, to “put your hand under the thigh” meant just that. It was an act of two, honorable, men of God (“the circumcised”) to cement an oath. In men of that time, the “loins” were his source of posterity and to “swear” by one’s loins was thus being honorable and worthy of having descendants.

The phrase “under the thigh” was likely a euphemism for “on the loins.” It is interesting to note that today, we “swear” by putting our hands on the Bible and we “testify” to the truth. Our English word “testify”, indeed, has its orgin in “testis”, or “testicles”.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Reader question about circumcision: “What should I do?”

READER QUESTION:

To the webmasters of TheRefinersFire.org,

Firstly, I cannot say what a relief it is to find your website!

It's a great joy to find a refuge such as your site, which provides simple, clear and truthful teaching to those weary from sailing the endless ocean of misinformation out there.

So, Baruch HaShem for that, and please do keep up the good work!

I'm writing to ask for your guidance. My question is this:

I am English born, and in my country it's rare to be circumcised (unless Jewish obviously).

I am now 18 years old, and I'm wondering if it is necessary to be circumsised now and if so, how? All the ways I've looked into are said to be risky (according to the National Health Service we have here) and look pretty scary. I'm not sure why Adoneinu would require someone to go through that?

What should do?

OUR RESPONSE:

Thank you for writing. And thank you for your compliments about The Refiner's Fire. We do try hard to be clear and Biblical.

Other than knowing that you are English born we don't know much about you. Whether or not you were raised in a particular faith (religion) you seem to have found your way to the true God of Israel and His Torah. Good for you!

Circumcision is a particularly interesting and difficult subject. There are a TON of opinions out there, but we think Scripture, as a whole provides the answer. Many reading only the New Testament, conclude (in error) that circumcision is not necessary for gentiles; while others, referring to the Old Testament find (also in error) that Moshe did not observe circumcision when he led the Hebrews out of Egypt and conclude similarly that circumcision is not necessary.

Many in Judaism have turned circumcision into a ritual and conclude that the actual removal of the foreskin is not necessary; rather, that a hatafat dam brit [extracting a drop of blood] substitutes as a ritual "reenactment"; thus, sadly, they replace the covenant with YHWH with a ritual.

The problem is, one can't simply say one way or the other without first understanding circumcision and what it is for. You have asked both necessary questions: "Is it necessary to be circumcised now?", and "Why would Adonai require someone to go through that?" So, let's look at scripture.

The covenant was given in Genesis 17:9-14. These are very important verses which we will come back to in a moment.

Some 600 years elapsed from Abraham to the time of the Exodus and we find that the covenant of circumcision was still present in the story of Moshe. The Hebrews were captive in Egypt when Moshe was born (Exodus 1:8-14), but he was born of a Levite man and Levite woman (Exodus 2:1-2).

Moshe was "hidden" for his first 3 months of life from Pharaoh's order to kill all baby boys born to the Hebrew women, and since Moshe's parents were Levites it stands to reason that Moshe was circumcised on the 8th day after his birth. (This fact is not found in scripture, but it makes absolute sense. On the other hand, some teach that Moshe was "born circumcised" (also not found in scripture).

This is from interpreting Exodus 2:2 which reads "And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, ..." - the sages believe this meant he was born "perfect" (already circumcised) for his role as the leader of the Israelis. (We know that is not true because Moshe was not perfect, see Exodus 2:11-12; 3:11; 4:10, and so on; and he died in the desert, Numbers 20:12 due to his lack of perfection.) Nevertheless, the covenant of circumcision was reiterated by YHWH immediately upon the exodus, that very night (Exodus 12:44-48) - so even after centuries of captivity in Egypt, circumcision was still the sign of the covenant.

From the NT, suffice it to say, the writings of Paul, today, are horribly twisted into the belief that circumcision is no longer necessary. But if these writings of Paul are studied in detail, it is clear that the only reason circumcision was such a stumbling block in Paul's time was that the Pharisees claimed and argued that circumcision was required for salvation (Acts 15:1).
The apostles knew that not to be true, and argued instead that what was more important was that any gentile leaving paganism and coming to YHWH as their God, should instead begin their journey to Torah obedience by coming to know YHWH in their heart first, and to begin by obeying only the essential things (Acts 15:29) - those things that would render them "unfit" to be in the presence of YHWH.

Gentiles, after all, would likely not have been circumcised at birth, nor would they have lived by anything in Torah - for they did not know! Paul argued it was best to let them accept YHWH first, then learn what it means to "love YHWH with all your heart" (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Which brings me back to Abraham and Genesis 17:9-14, and the purpose of the covenant of circumcision.

Genesis 17:7 reads "I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you."

Here is the essence of the purpose of the covenant - it is for YHWH to be their God forever. He is their God, and they are His people and the sign of the people is the circumcision of the flesh as we find in verse 11: "You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you."

What we learn here is that God's people are to be "set-apart", that is, YHWH's people are circumcised for the express purpose of having a visible "sign" of the covenant that they are "set apart for Him" (Exodus 19:6, Deuteronomy 14:2). The indication that circumcision is the sign of "being set apart" is cemented in Genesis 17:13-14 and Exodus 12:43-49.

In the verses in Genesis, even a slave of the household - either born into the household, or purchased, MUST be circumcised; and it is repeated that "my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant." It is further clarified that any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised would not be permitted to live in the community of YHWH's people.

So if any uncircumcised male would not be circumcised, it meant he had NOT taken YHWH as his God, and was therefore not "set-apart" from his pagan origins. Thus, YHWH made His covenant with Abraham and his descendants so they would be "set-apart" from the world of those who are godless (both in recognition of Him and in their character.)

In the verses in Exodus, we see again that even the "foreigner", i.e., not a Hebrew, who would participate in the Pesach ceremony must be circumcised - that is, that he had taken YHWH as his God. This echoes again that YHWH's people are "set apart" from the world.
This answers your question about "Why would Adonai require someone to go through that?" Clearly, it is for the purpose of being committed to the covenant. And this is how the human household of the covenant would work:
YHWH would be the Head of the man. Man would be the head of his wife (and household), and the sign of this set apart household would be the circumcised male. In the hierarchy of the home that YHWH established, the household members "follow the lead" of the man - the man is the spiritual leader of the home. Thus, all the people in that household are "set-apart" by virtue of the leadership of the man. Circumcision is the physical sign that the man and his household are "set-apart" for YHWH and that they live a life pleasing to YHWH.
So, what does this mean to you? You were not circumcised at birth. Should you be circumcised now?

Opinions will vary wildly, but as we have attempted to explain above, circumcision should, under no circumstances, be done on "compliance" alone. The man is expected to take YHWH as his God FIRST, give himself time to find, hone, and foster his love for YHWH (this is called "circumcision of the heart"), and grow in his understanding and knowledge of YHWH. Then, at a time unique and appropriate only to him, become circumcised when he is ready to make that full commitment - to be set apart for YHWH. This idea, of waiting until the man is fully ready to commit his heart to YHWH is exactly what the NT teaches, and it is also seen in the OT.

Take a look at Jeremiah 9:24-26: "...'instead, let the boaster boast about this: that he understands and knows me — that I am Adonai, practicing grace, justice and righteousness in the land; for in these things I take pleasure,' says Adonai. 'The days are coming,' says Adonai, 'when I will punish all those who have been circumcised in their uncircumcision — Egypt, Y'hudah, Edom, the people of `Amon and Mo'av, and all those living in the desert who cut the edges [of their beard]: 'For although all the Goyim are uncircumcised, all the house of Isra'el have uncircumcised hearts'."

Here YHWH says to FIRST to "understand and know" HIM! YHWH then says that He will "punish those who are 'circumcised in their uncircumcision' ". What does that mean? It means that they became physically circumcised only to "comply" with the covenant, yet they were NOT ready to "live the covenant" and their hearts were not "in it" (that is primary meaning of "uncircumcision" - their heart was not 'circumcised'.)

He concludes: "For although all the Goyim are uncircumcised, all the house of Isra'el have uncircumcised hearts." This means that the Gentiles have not yet taken Him as their God, but Israel is worse off because they ARE circumcised; yet running around failing to obey Torah since their hearts are uncircumcised. (Many, many people misunderstand these verses in Jeremiah to 'prove' that Gentiles don't need to be circumcised - which is NOT the message at all.)

The bottom line: We are NOT going to tell you to get circumcised or not. That is YOUR decision. But if you should decide to commit because you are ready, take your time to find the right doctor (if that is possible with your country's health service) and don't fear, for Doctors do know how to do this safely and with minimal discomfort.

And be cognizant of your future. If you have plans to marry, it would be best if you made this decision before dating since after marriage, this decision could be very traumatic to your relationship. Ideally, your bride-to-be would fully understand for your faith in YHWH since it would also be her faith. If she is not, then make sure your relationship is honest and forthcoming about your walk in faith and that you might one day decide you are ready for circumcision.

And one final thing:  If you find that in your situation, you absolutely cannot find a doctor of your liking to perform the circumcision, then do not feel that you must be circumcised anyway. The purpose here is NOT to get circumcised just to be circumcised, and it is NOT a salvation issue.
If the health service in your country cannot provide this in complete confidence and safety, then don't do it. No one, considering any medical procedure (unless for life or death), should have the procedure done if they are not completely satisfied that it will be done competency and safely.

There is so much more we could say about this, but this reply is already quite long. Read scripture and study this issue, but remember "Where no wise direction is, a people falleth; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14, JPS).

So, seek the wisdom of many as you consider this. We are but two teachers and you would be wrong to make any decision only on what we say. Just be sure to compare their counsel (and ours) to scripture.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Is “feel good” lying biblical?

Lying has been around since the Garden of Eden. Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10). Actually, that wasn’t true. Adam knew he had disobeyed YHWH and hid because he was afraid of punishment. Then Adam blamed Eve for giving him the fruit, while Eve blamed the serpent for deceiving her. Later on, after Cain killed Abel, he lied to YHWH (Genesis 4:10). He knew exactly where his brother was, because he had just killed him….

Lying without repentance and forgiveness leads to “the second death” described in Revelation, which says, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Scripture tells us that it’s impossible for YHWH to lie (Hebrews 6:18). WHY? Because pure HOLINESS cannot sin!

So, what makes us believe that it’s okay?

For instance, what makes us believe that it’s okay for parents to lie to their children about Santa Claus or the Easter bunny? “Because it’s fun for the kids and teaches them make-believe” is NOT the correct answer because, first, lying is a sin (Exodus 20:16; John 8:44; Revelation 21:8); and secondly, many children feel betrayed once they discover Santa and the bunny weren’t real. Think back to when you were a child and discovered the truth about Santa. Surely, there was at least a twinge of resentment, making you wonder what other lies your parents might have told you.

Regardless, this brings me to a story I happened upon on Facebook recently which, on the surface, was a wonderful, tear jerking story about a little four-year-old girl named Meredith who was distraught over the death of her dog, Abbey. So, Meredith asked her mother if she could write a letter and send a picture of Abbey to God, so He would be able to recognize her and take good care of her.

Rather than to explain that there was no way to send a letter to Heaven, and that they could simply pray to God together to ask Him to take care of Abbey, this loving mother played along and wrote what the little girl dictated, addressed the envelope to “God/Heaven” and allowed Meredith to put several stamps on the envelope (“because it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.“)

Then, instead of allowing the child to think that her parents would mail the letter, the mother actually took her to the post office and had her drop it into the letterbox – thus (you guessed it!) getting postal workers involved.

The story went on to say that, a few days later, when the little girl asked her Mom if God had gotten the letter yet, the mother told her that she believed He had.

Okay – there is MORE to this story, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But let’s take a moment to take a breath and don our “Bible glasses” to really contemplate and analyze with an open mind what has happened so far:  The bottom line was that the mother (1) didn’t actually teach her child anything about death; (2) she didn’t turn it into a “teachable moment” about God or His Word; and (3) the mother actually LIED to her child - TWICE! (And remember, lying is a sin.)

You see, true Believer would never dare do such a thing. A true believer would be honest with their children. There are other ways to help a child deal with the death of a pet, without lying. However, this mother - out of sheer love for her child - not only wrote the letter for the girl and allowed her to believe she could actually SEND it through the US mail, even going so far as to have the child put stamps on it, and then taking her to the post office to actually mail it!

WHAT DECEPTION!

Now, by now you’re probably going, “Oh, Carmen, don’t be so mean. The mother meant well.” Well, of course, she did! But those lies led to MORE lies, which “snow-balled” into a whopper of a lie when a postal worker became involved! That’s what I’m hoping to get across to people….

You see, what happened next was a real tear-jerker, causing people to post wonderful and glowing comments about the kindness and generosity of some people, which “restored their faith in humanity.” (The thousands – yes, this thread had 173 THOUSAND likes and tons of comments by people who clearly did NOT know (or care) what Scripture says!

The article continued with the mother’s comments:

“Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page were the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

“Dear Meredith, Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

“Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

“Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

“Love, God”

At the end of the article, were the words: “Don't say you're too busy to Share this. Just go ahead and do it. You will all be happy to know this wonderful story is 100% true, please don't take offense to the reference of God, it's part of the story.”

(NOTE FROM CARMEN: Yes, by all means, don’t be offended by the reference to God … whom you will ALL get to meet on Judgment Day, whether you like it or not!)

Anyway, it certainly WAS a beautiful story. HOWEVER - it was also a lie ALL the way around! While the kindness and generosity of this postal worker was to be commended, the bottom line was that this well-meaning person (1) perpetuated and participated in the original lies by pretending to BE GOD;  (2) and was, in essence, SPEAKING FOR Him – even telling the child that “He” (God) had picked her mother especially for her, and that “He” was sending blessings every day; and (3) although remaining anonymous, this person was basically bringing the glory to him/herself via this deception.  Why couldn’t they – instead of pretending to be God - have at least written, “I feel that God led me to respond to your letter and give you this gift.”

The thing is, pretending to be ELOHIM is BLASPHEMY! (See Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:13-16; and the Third Commandment, where the Hebrew word is SHAV, which means, "to substitute, make desolate, drain of power".)

Plus, NO ONE can realistically promise someone that God is “blessing them every day,” because only YHWH chooses whom to bless. Unless one belongs to YHWH and is a “good and faithful servant” who actually DOES HIS will, we cannot promise someone that they’re “being blessed” - because it would be a LIE!

Anyway, what I’m attempting to illustrate for those with an “ear to hear” and an “eye to see,” if you don’t see that there’s something wrong with this kind of deception, I would strongly suggest they re-read the Bible – especially those first five Books that reveal how very adamant YHWH is about being holy/set apart unto Him.

Contrary to popular thought, Jesus (whose given Hebrew name was Yeshua, which means “YHWH is Salvation”) did NOT come to earth to die so that people could purposely sin while believing they have a “get out of sin free” card! He came to erase our PAST sins before we accept him as YHWH’s Divine Messiah. PLEASE think about that….

Deuteronomy 12: 28 Obey and pay attention to everything I am ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, as you do what ADONAI sees as good and right. 29 "When ADONAI your God has cut off ahead of you the nations you are entering in order to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and are living in their land; 30 be careful, after they have been destroyed ahead of you, not to be trapped into following them; so that you inquire after their gods and ask, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I want to do the same.'

31 You must not do this to ADONAI your God! For they have done to their gods all the abominations that ADONAI hates! They even burn up their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods! 32 "Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it. (CJB)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Reader wants to know how to respond to “the law was done away with”….

READER QUESTION:

So, I have heard people say that since the Veil in the temple was torn when Jesus died - this means the Law was done away with.

What is the best answer to this?

OUR RESPONSE:

The best reply would be something like this:

First of all, the word was always "Torah" and not "law". Torah consists of God's Divine Instructions in Righteousness, without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living. WHY would "Jesus" (whose given name was Yeshua (which means "YHWH is Salvation" in Hebrew) have come to abolish his own Divine Instructions?

Secondly, the death of Yeshua abolished NOTHING except the need to sacrifice innocent animals to atone for our sins. If you'll read the entire Bible from cover to cover, you will discover that truth…

And if that doesn't work, Jeanie, tell them to answer the questions on our Christian Questionnaire.

Hope this helps!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Reader questions the titles of “God” and “Lord”, etc.

READER COMMENT:I

I've often had this battle:

if/when I concede to use the terms God/Jesus for these reasons (while speaking to Christian friends), they claim that "it's the same God".'

My hang up with that is, is God double minded? Is he wrong? Because Christians who call Him God, Lord, and Jesus say that God basically abolished Torah. Its OK to eat pork, observe Christmas, etc etc etc. And the Greco-Roman understanding of God continues on.

This is a strange God to me, because Yahweh is not like this. The relationship and understanding between us and the Creator (Torah) is different than theirs.

What happens is: they say "its the same God, we just love Him differently". Well, is it ok to stay outside of a Torah-observant lifestyle?

All constructive replies are greatly appreciated

OUR RESPONSE:

Thanks for your question.  You're right - once we KNOW the "Sacred Names", we should use them and definitely teach them to others. What I'm always trying to get through to people, though, is that so many Hebrew Roots (HR) types get downright MEAN about it, acting like a bunch of know-it-all, holier-than-thou Schmucks - which turns people OFF. And when people are turned off, you've lost what YHWH wants us to do, which defeats the whole purpose!

The thing is - God, Lord, etc. are just TITLES we use in the language we speak. WHY would that be "pagan" as so many HR types insist?

There's nothing wrong with using the TITLES in our OWN language. Unless we were born into a Hebrew speaking household, none of us popped out of the womb speaking Hebrew! So, why - when people find their way to Torah - is everything suddenly "PAGAN"?

While Christianity is very much OFF the mark on several levels, the fact remains, they ARE referring to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! They're NOT referring to Buddha or Krishna or some "sacred cow" in Hinduism. They believe in YHWH and the Divine Messiah He sent!

Unfortunately, Gentiles have skewed His Word and ignored and picked and chosen and "read into" Scripture things that aren't there and consequently, we have something like 50,000 different "denominations" - each one claiming to be THE right one.... THAT is what we are supposed to be trying to get them past.

But since most HR types are such raving lunatics, expecting anyone they talk to, to "do an immediate 180" just because they (the exalted HR self-proclaimed "teachers") tell them to, they tend to LOSE people, thus defeating the purpose.

The Hebrew Roots "movement" - with its myriad "denominations" and false teachers and weirdos verbally beating the stuffins out of everyone who doesn't agree with THEIR exalted use, ideas, or spellings of the transliteration of the "Sacred Names" - is its own worst enemy.

In all honesty - many who are out there yelling the loudest, seemed to have learned from total morons who got their initial intro to HR from somebody on Facebook where EVERYBODY who's been in Torah for 5 minutes believes themselves to be a Hebrew and Bible "expert"....

And yes, "Jesus" wasn't Messiah's name. It's simply the "translated" version, as my husband explains in our blog article, which I hope you'll take a couple minutes to read it, because most don't bother, and continue to ask and challenge ad nauseam.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wisdom from Timothy about the term “Fear of ELOHIM”…

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

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


FOOTNOTE:

Isaiah 11:2-3 “And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Yirah (Fear) of YHWH; And shall make him of quick understanding in the Yirah (Fear) of YHWH:” A picture of the Menorah is seen here with its seven branches. The center is the Spirit of YHWH while the six other attributes are joined into the center pillar. These seven Spirits also signify perfection or completeness.

The Fear of YHWH Elohim is a “Spirit” of YHWH; it is a vital spiritual quality for Life in Mashiyach. The Fear of YHWH is a personal guide; Hebrew yirah means fear, as in fear/awesome/terrifying contrary to Christian teaching that the Fear of YHWH is not really “fear” but love and respect.

Isaiah 29:13 reveals how “the Fear of YHWH is taught by the commandment of men”; in other words, man’s religious theology and tradition has made void the Fear of YHWH.

Unfortunately, many Christians prefer the term “reverence” over “fear”; Christians also use a title of “Reverend” for their clergymen and ministers; therefore, the term “Fear of YHWH” was first negated and then given a theological/semantic twist to apply to their own leadership, as in the case of “reverend.”

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

Sunday, October 6, 2019

You’re no longer a “gentile” if you believe in YHWH

For those who are new to the concept of "Torah" (the first five Books of the Bible that contain all of ADONAI's original teachings and commands), did you know that you no longer need to call yourself a "gentile"?

The word "gentile" in the Bible has always had a negative connotation representing the pagans - those who worshiped "other gods."

But, here's the thing: In Genesis 12, we see a pagan Chaldean named Avram, being chosen by YHWH to ultimately become "the father of many great nations!" (Remember, people early on in the Bible didn't really have any labels, and there were no Jews at the time. But YHWH chose to initiate His grand Plans with Avram, who accepted Him as his God.)

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.” 4 So Avram went, as Adonai had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran. (CJB)

NOTE that YHWH told Avram to get AWAY from everyone and everything he knew. Why? Because, in order to affect change, it is necessary get away from any "old" influences and old habits, and leave ALL your "baggage" behind....

Now, watch this!

Genesis 14:13 Someone who had escaped came and told Avram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Emori, brother of Eshkol and brother of ‘Aner; all of them allies of Avram.

Did you notice that? We now suddenly discover that Avram is referred to as a HEBREW – a term that means "to cross over" … which is what Avram did, both spiritually and physically.

What does this mean? Well, Avram accepted YHWH as his God and thus, "crossed over" both "spiritually" and also physically into the land God told him to go to. Avram chose to OBEY ADONAI. Was he perfect? NO! Nobody is. But he certainly made every effort to BE the man YHWH chose him to become, once YHWH had turned Avram's entire life upside-down..

And BECAUSE of Avraham's obedience, this happened:

Genesis 17:When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him:

4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.

7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”

9 God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. (CJB)

So, what did we learn here? Well, once we accept the truth of YHWH/Yeshua/Torah, we are no longer Gentiles or Christians, really (as Christianity is missing some very important aspects of YHWH's teachings). But we CAN refer to ourselves as "Hebrews" if we wish ... because we've "crossed over."

What we've learned here is that (1) YHWH chooses whomever He wishes; and that (2) He does give us the choice to accept or reject Him; and (3) that, if we accept Him, he constantly moves us - HIS people - to the next level.

Did you know that he wasn't "sacrificed"? But, here is his connection to Passover….

For those who keep referring to Yeshua as YHWH's "sacrifice" - did you know that he wasn't "sacrificed"? That’s because ADONAI never demanded human sacrifice.

(Yes, Abraham had Isaac gather firewood and lay down on the altar to be sacrificed, according to ADONAI’s command; but, as revealed later, it was simply a test for Abraham to examine himself on whether he was willing or unwilling to follow YHWH, no matter what (Genesis 22:2). We all know how the story ended – YHWH provided a ram, just in the nick of time.)

But, back to Yeshua, who was never meant to be a “sacrifice”. Here's why:

Because (1) God didn’t tell anyone to “sacrifice” him; (2) nobody was told to spread his blood on the doorposts of their houses; and (3) the Pesach lambs weren't "sacrifices"! (Remember, Yeshua was our "Passover Lamb"...but that title also needs more explanantion. Read on.)

(NOTE: In Exodus 12:6 the lambs are to be "slaughtered" [or "killed" depending on the version], while in Exodus 12:26-27, the act is said to be "the sacrifice of Adonai's Pesach". The fact is that it was NOT a sacrifice, since the lambs were not taken to the Temple [there was no temple!], and that the same word, "zeh-bakh" means "slaughter" or "offering" or "sacrifice" depending on the context. Only the ISR for Exodus 26:27 reads "It is the Passover slaughtering of יהוה,", rendering "zeh-bakh" properly.)

So, that is why Yeshua wasn’t exactly a "Passover Lamb”…

The simple Truth is, Yeshua martyred himself, thus redeeming us by voluntarily shedding his divine blood; and, in doing so, he redeemed us for our past sins (“our” referring to those who accepted YHWH [the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob] as their ELOHIM, and recognized that Yeshua was His Divine Messiah who martyred himself on our behalf).

If you’ll recall, YHWH always demanded blood sacrifices as a substitution/redemption for our lives, as you can see fully explained in our blog (https://blog.therefinersfire.org/…/what-sins-did-jesus-die-…). The bottom line of the article is that one’s salvation always required that blood substitution or redemption of one nephesh (soul) for another.

The possibility of that substitution of an animal at the Temple is gone; it has been replaced by your acceptance that the Messiah died for you, and redeemed you, so you can receive eternal life.

Yeshua volunteered to substitute His nephesh for yours, and yet, today, many reject the offer. Yeshua, sinless, MARTYRED himself, offering His blood for yours, against which there is NO Torah prohibition!

Some are claiming that Yeshua changed the meaning of Pesach - perhaps, because of the following verses:

1 Corinthians 5:7. Purge out from you the old leaven,[1] that you may be a new mass, as you are unleavened. For our Passover is the Mashiyach, who was slain for us. 8. Therefore let us celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of wickedness and bitterness, but with the leaven of purity and sanctity. (AENT)

NOTE: The word for “leaven” here in Hebrew is chometz. Therefore, Rav Shaul is teaching the Corinthians by using Passover imagery, by commanding them to purge the chometz from the house of their hearts, so that they can be sanctified. Of course, the rest of this verse and the next one prove this interpretation!

Notice also that this is Paul writing, not Yeshua speaking - and Paul is clearly relating the shed redeeming blood of the Messiah to that of the redeeming blood of the lamb at Pesach. But neither Paul, nor Yeshua “changed” the meaning of Pesach! Pesach in Paul’s time (and in Yeshua’s time) was celebrated in the same manner and for the same purpose as all of Judaism!

The claim might also have come from Luke 22:19-20 which reads: “Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b'rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, ‘This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.’ He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, ‘This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.’” (CJB).

So, for those who believe “Jesus changed” the meaning of Pesach, please know that, that is simply not the case! Yeshua only expressed the remembrance of what He was about to do for the apostles and all mankind; that the life and redemption of the original pass-over for the Hebrews would forever be given to them by His redemptive blood. This in no way “changed” Pesach!

Let’s consider some parallels where we can see that the meaning of Pesach was in NO WAY changed:

1. At the original and only “pass-over” the blood of an unblemished lamb redeemed the firstborn of the Hebrews. Jesus is recognized as our “unblemished lamb” whose blood redeemed us. (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

2. Jesus was killed the same afternoon as the lambs.

3. The sacrificed lamb “spared” the Hebrews (Exodus 12:27). Jesus’ (volunteer) substitution of Himself delivered mankind from bondage to sin and death (Romans 8:2).

4. The bones of the lamb were not broken. (Exodus 12:46). None of Jesus’ bones were broken. (John 19:33).

5. The lamb spared the firstborn from death, the consequence had the Hebrews sinned and not obeyed. (Exodus 12:12). Jesus spares from eternal death those who accept His redemption. (Leviticus 17:11, Revelation 1:5).

6. Even the disciples of Jesus recognized that Jesus changed nothing about Pesach but only provided for their redemption. They continued to celebrate Pesach but with the renewed “life” in the remembrance that now, they too, were saved as were the Hebrews in the one-and-only pass-over. “So then let us observe the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:8).

7. As with all the Pesach lambs, Yeshua was not “sacrificed” at the Temple, either!

As you surely know, Passover/Unleavened Bread/Hag HaMatzot celebrates the deliverance of the slaves from Egypt. It is the story of redemption by the killing of the Passover Lamb, the blood of which was applied to the doorposts while the Israelites were still in Egypt, shortly before their Exodus.

Obedience to the command to take a lamb into their homes for a few days and then kill it for the purpose of spreading its blood on the doorposts ensured that their firstborn would be spared the Tenth Curse against Pharaoh who refused to let God's enslaved Chosen People leave Egypt.

When the Angel of Death passed through the land and saw the blood, he "passed over" those houses and spared the first born within (Exodus 12:1-13). The annual remembrance and celebration of Passover not only serves as a reminder of the events leading up to the Exodus from Egypt; but it is also the story of redemption through Messiah Yeshua, whose shed blood on the cross/stake freed Believers from the slavery of earthly bondage to “the world!”

In other words, Yeshua fulfilled this event when he was crucified.

And that is the whole connection: Yeshua was our substitute, our redemption - and by believing and always following YHWH's Torah to help us remain holy and sin-free, we have the chance for eternal life!

Friday, October 4, 2019

A word about vaping, smoking and the “stupidity” epidemic in America….

I never cease to be amazed over the lack common sense in America. This "vaping" problem we're experiencing where people are literally DYING from whatever toxin they're sucking into their lungs, is being marginalized not only by the vaping industry (which has fought and won the first battle to block a BAN on e-cigs), but also by people who smoke or vape...

After all - gosh, golly, gee - people "have a RIGHT to smoke and vape" ... and to kill themselves with whatever method they choose, while blaming everyone but themselves, and then suing the company that makes the thing that made them sick....

That's Americans for ya! I remember, the same thing happening in the Eighties with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Doctors were reporting that "unsafe" sexual practices were the crux of the epidemic, and were consequently trying to warn people to NOT engage in "unprotected sex."

I remember discussing this issue with my then-co-workers in the Public Affairs Office of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command where - as was always the case in every public relations office I've ever worked in - I was the ONLY Republican conservative, and ended up being the "butt of their jokes" with my "old-fashioned" ideas......

Anyway, my suggestion that the ONLY way to stop the HIV epidemic would be for people to STOP the promiscuity and stick with only one sex partner, was met with icy stares, chuckles and rebukes that made it plain that people "like me" shouldn't impose their prudish ways on "modern society" where people had an unimpeded "right" to choose their next, random sex partner.

Even though I wasn't a true Believer back then, I DID have plenty of common sense (that I now know, lined up with Scripture, even though I didn't realize it back then). Unfortunately, common sense hasn't been popular in America over the last two centuries, and I'm obviously in the minority..
Why can't anybody see that "liberal ideas" and mindsets are THE reason why we're experiencing an "epidemic of chaos" in just about all facets of our lives today. People smoke too much, drink too much, do drugs too much, fumigate their gardens without bothering to don face masks, etc. - and then, when they end up with cancer or another killer disease, they sue the people who made the products which made them sick....

America has become SO lacking in common sense that one has to wonder whether to laugh or cry.

Regardless, I'm going to once again stick my neck out and suggest that ALL vaping devices and their nasty perfume chemicals should be banned. Period. They are SICKENING to even be around!

My husband and I were at a neighbor's house party a couple years ago, where some teenage girl was puffing on a vape device outside on the porch. Of course, the "smoke" from that thing permeated EVERYTHING and gave me an instant migraine, and we had to leave thanks to the nasty, perfumy chemicals. There was no use in trying to ask her to stop because - well, after all, she "had a right" to vape (just like the cigarette smokers "had a right to smoke" on the porch - and the owners of the house allowed it.

What people have never seemed to realize is that THEIR nasty habits can affect everyone around them. And, say what you like, but that's NOT fair! Perhaps the answer is for ALL of us to lose our common sense and for the non-vapers and non-smokers to start suing those who do "for ruining our quality of life" because THEIR bad habits are making US sick....

What a ridiculous world this has become.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Response to yet another Jesus-rejecter...



Chaz Miller (the author of the lies in this screen shot) is clearly smitten with the rabbi’s explanations and he is blind to the essence of "forgiveness" vs "afterlife". 

Okay, this is going to be long, for there is no true, easy explanation.

There are two issues here.
  First is the forgiveness of sins during our earthly life, and the second is eternal life after death.  Miller seems convinced that forgiveness of sins automatically includes eternal life with Hashem.  But with or without the Temple, we all have access to forgiveness of our unintentional sins during our earthly lives by repentance and returning our hearts to Hashem.  So, there is more here than he realizes.

Miller is plain wrong to make his assumption that his sins are [automatically] forgiven and that he is therefore "saved" like Daniel who could not offer sacrifices at the Temple.  Daniel was in Babylon, and the several kings he lived under demanded that people of the kingdom worship the king.  But Daniel did not.  Daniel continued to live by the Word, and only worshiped Hashem.  That contributed to Daniel's righteousness.

Daniel – who was TRULY righteous, and “favored by Hashem” -  was not able to bring sacrifices because (1) he was not in Jerusalem; and (2) the Temple was destroyed during his lifetime.    (Daniel was 3 times called "a man greatly loved" by Hashem! - Daniel 9:23, 10:11 and 19).  Not many of us can make that claim!

Further, Hashem made it clear that He does NOT "automatically" forgive sin, or offer eternal life to an unrepentant sinner! In Ezekiel 14 we read that Israel had (once again) separated themselves from Hashem, completely turning from Torah.  Hashem says he would destroy animals and people alike as a result (vs 13), but that "even if these three men were in it [living at that time] — Noach, Dani'el and Iyov (Job) — they would, by their righteousness, save only themselves" (vs 14). 

So, if Mr. Miller thinks he is going to be saved just because "all my sins are forgiven by Hashem," he has a rude awakening ahead; for we are told that humans DIE when they sin:

Ezekiel 18:4 "All lives [nephesh] are Mine; the life [nephesh] of the parent and the life [nephesh] of the child are both Mine. The person [nephesh] who sins, only he shall die." (JPS Tanakh; I have inserted "nephesh" where it appears in the original Hebrew.)

So, recognizing that Mr. Miller is NOT Daniel, how do we obtain eternal life without the Temple sacrifices? How does our nephesh, which belongs to Hashem (Ezekiel 18:4), join Him when our earthly bodies die?  Well, first, we live our lives righteously (or as righteously as we can).  Since we are not perfect, we will sin from time to time.

But we can return to righteousness by our repentance and returning to a conscious obedience to Torah.  Our purpose in life is to live for Hashem and be obedient (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Being "righteous" alone, however, is not enough for the nephesh to be "saved"; that is, for our soul [nephesh] to be with Hashem when we die.  

Being "saved" requires, in addition to living righteously, the substitution on the altar - a "redemption" if you will - of a nephesh for your nephesh.  This was ALWAYS required, and with or without the temple, it is still required.  Most people don't understand this. 

"For the life [nephesh] of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar; it is the blood, as life [nephesh], that effects expiation." (Leviticus 17:11, JPS Tanakh). 

Most Jewish rabbis dismiss this verse as only addressing individual sins or only condemning the consumption of blood; sins which can be atoned for by other means; thus, they dismiss that the expiation of sin by blood is required.

So… the Jewish rabbis miss the point.  Annually at Yom Kippur, at the Temple, the people were both atoned for in their earthly lives (the goat released to Azazel, Leviticus 16:21), and they were purified, "ta'her" (meaning "sound, unadulterated, pure) for their everlasting life. In other words, they were redeemed. This is different from being "forgiven". 

Redemption is required to be in the presence of Hashem and redemption is by blood - one nephesh for another. 

Note verse 30: "For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the LORD" (JPS Tanakh).  See the words "ye shall be clean before the LORD"? …

No one unclean can appear before Hashem, so this is a redemption - a price was paid (one nephesh) for the sinner's nephesh to enable them to appear before Hashem.  Thus, every year, the people were redeemed; and should they then die that year (provided they did not intentionally sin) that is, they remained righteous, their place in the Kingdom of YHWH was assured.

So, what about Daniel, and everyone else, who couldn’t obtain their eternal life at Yom Kippur because there was no Temple?  Perhaps there was a Temple and they simply could not get to it at Yom Kippur! So, were they not "saved"?  That's the real question and the only answer is that it was all up to Hashem and no one else.

Here, Mr. Miller will poo-poo the response because he will likely disagree with how one obtains eternal life. You see, the rabbis actually never explain "eternal life"; rather, they argue that "all you have to do is repent and do teshuva" – and, of course, the Mr. Millers of this world WANT it to be that easy!  Nevertheless, the response is this:

Even Daniel knew there was an eternal life.  Some would receive it while others would not (Daniel 12:1-2).  So those who have died but have not been redeemed, MUST be given the opportunity to be redeemed or they (i.e., their nephesh) simply can't appear before Hashem.  Since YHWH tells us that He is our redeemer (Isaiah 60:16, for example), and we are to be in His presence, how are we redeemed?

Daniel, who was favored by Hashem (see above), probably was simply accepted on his righteousness alone - we don't know! But we do know that it is up to Hashem as He shows favor to whomever He chooses; and it's not our choice (Exodus 33:19).  Since none of us were Daniel, Noah, or Job, how would we have been redeemed “back then”?

Well, the New Testament (which the Millers of the world dismiss) tells us that Hashem, once and for all sent the Messiah so HE (Hashem) could be our redeemer as He promised (see again Isaiah 60:16).  And since the redeeming Messiah (who was the Word – John 1:1, 14 – and the “Arm of YHWH” – Isiah 53:1, and thus always a part of YHWH) has always been, and always will be with Hashem, even those who were not redeemed at Yom Kippur (while there was an earthly Temple), WILL HAVE the opportunity to accept and receive the redemption of the Messiah when they (i.e., their nephesh), appears before YHWH. 

To put it plain English, their salvation is retroactive!

In closing, we strongly suggest that the Chaz Millers of the world read again Daniel 12:2 and reconsider their choice!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Is it wrong to have pictures of “Jesus”– or just pictures, in general? Are they idols?

READER QUESTION:

I have a huge problem with the following verses:

Deut 4:15 “Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day YHVH 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; YHVH your God has allotted these to all the peoples under the entire sky.

(CJB version except "Adonai" has been changed to "YHVH" being far more correct - as even Stern now acknowledges ).

I have a girlfriend who died of cancer who I have a picture of her which I look at occasionally. I also have photos of my mother, father and sister. In addition I have photos of other created things including animals and even trains. I do not “worship” them but I do appreciate them and when I look at them I am reminded of them.

I can totally understand, therefore, Christians (not including me, at this time) wanting a picture in their home of some representation of Yeshua (or “Jesus”) to help them remember someone they are meant to love. They love Jesus - not the picture. They wouldn’t worship that.

I have read your article  about this, but do still struggle. I realise I am not to worship created beings but what is really wrong with having pictures of them (which, I do realise, in today’s context, is really extremely similar to the old practice of carving an image. These days it is a lot easier to simply take a photo than carving a piece of wood.

Could you please clarify in due course?

OUR RESPONSE:

This is a great question, but perhaps you are overthinking it. A photo of one's loved one is just that - a photo - not an idol. I agree with that of course.

But the commandment in Deuteronomy is pretty clear:

Deuteronomy 4:15-16 "Since you *did not see a shape of any kind* ... do not ... *make yourselves a(n) ... image having the shape of ANY figure* - *not a representation of a human being, male or female*, ..." (emphasis added).

Unfortunately, exactly what YHWH said would happen, happened. Christians have, indeed, become "corrupt" for they have made images of their "god", "Jesus". They pray to this god, and they worship him. I suppose some can look upon a drawing or painting of Jesus and not "worship", yet for the majority, that is actually what they are doing.

They are looking upon an image of the entity they worship, and YHWH undeniably said not to do that! Catholicism is even worse. They make statues of Mary, and worship her and they pray to Mary!

But YHWH said we are not to do these things because we are to be His inheritance and not be drawn away to something else, something that did not bring us out of the smelting furnace, out of Egypt (verse 4:20).

You see, it is not the "thing" (piece of wood, photo, painting, etc.) that is being worshiped. It is the god or idol the image represents that is being worshiped.

We love the "Southwest" style of home decorating, and when we first got married, we had a cute, 3-D metal silhouette of a "Kokopelli". It looked nice on the wall with the other “southwest” decorations. But soon we found out that it represents an Native America Indian god - a fertility deity.

So, we immediately got rid of it! I suppose you can argue that we did not worship Kokopelli, so what did it matter that we had it in our home? Well, it mattered a lot to us! Our home is anointed for YHWH, and there will be no other "god" within it, period!

Hope this helps.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What constitutes “foul language”?

Someone on a Facebook post recently asked “what sets the standard for 'foul' language?"

OUR INDEPTH RESPONSE:

YHWH sets the standards!  Torah constantly warns us to "be holy for I am holy" - Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 26, etc.)....

1 Peter 1:16 ….because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

Ephesians 4:29 tells us, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." First Peter 3:10 declares, "For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech."

James 3 brings home the fact that “our tongue can at once be a friend and enemy.”

James 3: 6. Now the tongue is a fire, and the world of sin is like a forest. And this tongue, which is one among our members, corrupts our whole body; and it inflames the series of our generations that roll on like a wheel; and it is itself on fire. 7. For all natures of beasts and birds and reptiles of the sea or land are dominated by the nature of man.

8. But the tongue has no one been able to tame: it is an evil thing, unruly and full of deadly poison. 9. For with it, we bless Master YHWH and Father; and with it we curse men who were made in the image of Elohim: 10. and from the same mouth issues forth curses and blessings. My Brothers, these things should not be.

11. Can there flow from the same fountain, sweet and bitter waters? 12. Or can the fig-tree, my Brothers, bear olives? or the vine, figs? So also salt waters cannot be made sweet. 13. Who is wise and instructed among you? Let him show his works in praiseworthy actions, with modest wisdom. (AENT)

Y’shua explained that what comes out of our mouths is that which fills our hearts. Our speech will always indicate what is in our hearts. “From a good man the treasures that are in his good heart brings forth good things, and an evil man the evil treasures that are in his heart brings forth evil things. For the abundance of the heart speak the lips.” (Luke 6:45).

Why is it a sin to cuss /swear /curse? Sin is a condition of the heart, the mind, and “the inner man” (Romans 7:22), which is manifested in our thoughts, actions and words. When we use “bad language”, we are giving evidence of the polluting sin in our hearts that must be confessed and repented of. Thankfully, our ELOHIM is merciful and “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)

The thing is, we cannot have the Holy Spirit within and continue to “live in the world” because to do so would be considered deliberate sinning” – for which there is no sacrifice!

Hebrews 10: 26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the enemies.

The key is to use some common sense and ask ourselves if we would use a certain word in Yeshua's presence. His Father constantly said, "be holy because I AM holy!" Holiness doesn't use the "F" "P" or or "S" words, for starters. Whenever I see those being used by supposed Believers, it makes me cringe and want to simply unfriend them so that my eyes won't be forced to see their garbage mouths again. So, if I feel that way, imagine or YHWH or Yeshua would feel.

The thing is, the Bible cannot possibly "define" foul language since words come and go. Some words become obsolete, and fade from the human vocabulary (in any language) with the passing of time, and new "words" become the norm.

Scripture speaks of “filthy” talking (Ephesians 5:4). The term “filthy” means “behavior that flouts social and moral standards, shamefulness, obscenity” while “shameful speech” denotes “speech of a kind that is generally considered in poor taste, obscene speech, dirty talk.”

We know today, and we can't deny it, which words denote/express "filth". When one cannot express themselves without the common gutter words "f___", "s___", "p___", "g__ d___", "c___" we are using "foul" language, and they only demonstrate what seems to be their low intellect.

Even referring to a police officer as a "pig" is using unacceptable language. YHWH repeats often "be holy for I am holy",(in many verses), and it seems clear that the "world" acceptance of poor, gutter, carnal language does not render one holy.

We must remember that no one unclean can appear before YHWH!  Matthew 15:11, Mark 7:15 make it clear that we *own* what comes out of our mouths, and it is that which makes us unclean. Matthew 15:18 makes the stinging addition: "But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean."  Would we really want Yeshua telling us that he knows our heart by the language we used during our life on earth?

Few today realize that their language expresses the darkness of their heart….