Friday, March 22, 2019

Shabbat shalom on this week of Pesach!

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/friends/family! Since we at The Refiner’s Fire are celebrating the Passover holidays right now, there will be no regular Torah portion this week. Instead, we have been doing various readings, including these:

Today, on the High Shabbat-Feast of Unleavened Bread, 1st day Bill and I read: Exodus 12:21-51, Numbers 28:16-25, Joshua 3:5-7, 5:2-6:1; Luke 2:41-52 (Omer count begins at sunset).

Tomorrow/Saturday, 6 Nisan - "FirstFruits" - 1st full day of Omer: Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 28:16-25, 2 Kings 23:1-9, 21-25; John 18:28-40

Shabbat of the week of Pesach/FULB: Exodus 33:12-34:26, Numbers 28:16-25, 2 Samuel 22:1-51, Luke 23:54-56.

Are you "hot", lukewarm" or "cold"?

Revelation 3:15. I know your works, that you are neither hot, nor cold; I would desire that you would be either cold or hot. 16. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you from my mouth.

We must constantly be asking ourselves whether we are "hot", lukewarm" or "cold". From what I can tell, most today seem to be "lukewarm" - basically pretending to be holy. We all know some "pretenders" - those who "talk the talk" but don't "walk the walk." None of us is "perfect" in haShem's eyes, but we should always do the best we possibly can. For instance ...

Those who have the Ruach within should become downright incensed if they see someone teaching and preaching falsehoods, or hawking the teachings of someone who does. I mean, I've never understood why a believer in Yeshua would want to forward the teachings of someone who DOESN’T believe in Yeshua, just because “they have lots of other really good teachings.”

I always like to ask, "would you knowingly eat brownies that have just a tiny bit of horse manure mixed into the dough because, 'after all, this person is known for GOOD brownies'?" If not, then stop fooling yourself into thinking you will always be discerning enough to be able to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” (as some are fond of saying).

I’ve seen the result of some of those who thought they had gathered “meat” unto themselves, and then ended up becoming “flat earthers" and conspiracy theorists, or rejecting Yeshua and the New Testament to start hanging out with Jewish counter-missionary rabbis and their ilk who sit around to engage in the endless bashing of "Jesus" and the New Testament (Ironic, isn't it, that they can’t quit talking about the one they’ve rejected?) … or becoming so disillusioned that atheism seemed like the most viable option….

We might want to do some spiritual adjustments if we find ourselves fighting correction of any kind. For instance, if I were openly flirting with some guy, I should expect to be reprimanded by my husband, or a sister or brother who witnessed me doing it. If I try to lie or argue my way out of it, whom am I really serving?

Which actually brings me to another point, and that is: If you have a problem with a brother or sister, Scripture commands that we go to THEM to discuss it, first, before we do anything else. We don’t go to others to gossip behind their backs….

Matthew 18: 15 "Moreover, if your brother commits a sin against you, go and show him his fault -- but privately, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16 If he doesn't listen, take one or two others with you so that every accusation can be supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to hear them, tell the congregation; and if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax-collector. (CJB)

Yes, in order for us to make sure we are always on YHWH’s Path, we MUST do regular spiritual inventories, so we can be sure NOT to be confused with the assembly of Laodicea.

Let’s read the context of the whole passage in Revelation 3:

Revelation 3:15. I know your works, that you are neither hot, nor cold; I would desire that you would be either cold or hot. 16. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you from my mouth.

17. Because you say, I am rich and affluent, and have all I need; and you don’t know that you are helpless and miserable and needy and blind and naked! 18. I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may become rich; and white robes, to be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be seen; and put eye-salve on your eyes, that you may see. 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. Be faithful emulators therefore, and repent.

20. Behold, I have been standing at the door, and I will knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me. 21. And to him that is victorious, to him will I give to sit with me on my throne, even as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22. He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. (AENT)

Yes, to make sure we remain on ADONAI's Path, we MUST do regular spiritual inventories; because in this lost world where we are surrounded by evil, it's easy to lose our way, if we're not careful.

Monday, March 18, 2019

A word about Joel Osteen’s teachings….

Southern Baptist Pastor Joel Osteen, as one of the guests on this morning’s “Good Morning America” news show, said something that really bugged me. While hawking his latest documentary about Jesus, he said that “Jesus is all about love, forgiveness, respect, being good to people and being selfless. His life was about lifting people up and teaching us to be a blessing to someone else.”

Not one mention of the fact that he died on our behalf and that his and only his blood redeemed us!

That's because - as Osteen said once in an interview with CBN News - he chooses to focus more "on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin," and that he tries "to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude."

Hmmm, I've read the Bible through many, many times, and nowhere do I see Yeshua concentrating all his efforts on the things that oozed from Osteen's lips. Yeshua was our Torah observant, tallit-wearing, Seventh Day Sabbath - and Feast - keeping Messiah who SAID he came to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH and do everything his Father commanded him to do:

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

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

And check this out:

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

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

So, while His death, burial, and resurrection and showing Israel how to "walk the walk" were the MOST IMPORTANT parts of the Good News, Osteen's idea of "love, forgiveness, respect, being good to people, being selfless, and lifting people up (while certainly important) are NOT the crux of Yeshua's appearance!

ADONAI isn't just in the business of "saving" people – and neither was His Messiah!. As Creator and law giver, He is in the business of teaching us how to be good subjects in His Kingdom to come - and two thousand years ago, He used Messiah Yeshua to do just that! Where did those teachings originate? In Torah - which is what Yeshua taught! He didn't come to spout off fluff....

And by the way, if "Jesus abolished Torah at the cross" as Osteen and others teach, then why was EVERY believer completely Torah observant for one hundred years after Yeshua's death, including the Apostle Paul who was "caught" being Torah observant 29 years after Yeshua's death (Acts 21:23-24)? Was Paul a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another; or were his teachings, perhaps, misunderstood unto this day?

Grrrr! I could go on, but I’ll shut up for now, but I have to say, if Osteen’s comments don’t irk you just a little bit, then you need to re-read the entire Bible, because “watered-down Gospel" is NOT what Yeshua taught.

“Once saved, always saved” isn’t biblical

You’ve all heard the phrase, “once saved, always saved,” espoused by various Christian denominations. In other words, just because Jesus shed his blood for you, you’re forgiven for anything and everything.

But do you realize that is not true? Why? Well, for one thing, that’s not what Scripture says; and secondly, by the sheer action of committing a sin, you’re literally forcing the Ruach (Holy Spirit) to commit the sin with you. HaShem does NOT allow that! Evil cannot abide with holiness.

Thirdly, YHWH’s Divine Messiah, Yeshua, didn't die for ongoing deliberate sins. Like the animal sin sacrifices we see in Leviticus, he martyred himself for our PAST sins. (See Colossians 2:13-14; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 10:26, etc.)  Like those animal sacrifices, which had to be done yearly to cover one’s sins for the year, Yeshua’s blood only atoned for what we have done in our past, to enable us to be clean enough to enter into YHWH’s Presence in the Holy of Holies, to pledge ourselves to Him.

It is imperative to remember that, for Yeshua’s blood to cover our deliberate FUTURE sins, he would have to die over and over again, every time we chose to commit a sin – and that can’t happen, because he could only die ONCE…

In other words, you got your chance to be redeemed, so don’t blow it!

Contrary to popular belief, prayer and repentance are NOT the only things required to be forgiven! We must also be willing to “turn from” our sins, and stop doing them, because we cannot willfully continue living in sin, and pretend we are a child of the Most High.

Whom are we worshiping if we deliberately continue to live in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth (once we have realized that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is THE Creator who sent His Messiah whose divine blood served to redeem us for our PAST sins? Whom are we worshiping if we ignore the Ruach concerning our sins – the very Ruach that resides within us as a constant reminder of ADONAI’s Divine Rules

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

(NOTE: The above Scripture is not referring to those unclean bondages that dwell in our flesh but to the conscious choices believers make. It refers not to our unintentional sins but to those we pursue knowingly and willingly.)

Here are Yeshua’s own words:

John 14: 15. If you love me, keep my Commandments. 16. And I will ask of my Father and He will give you another Redeemer[1] who will be with you forever. 17. The Spirit of Truth, He who the world is not able to receive because it has not seen Him, nor does know Him. But you know Him for He dwells with you and He is in you. 18. I will not leave you bereaved. For I will come to you in a little while.

19. And the world will not see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20. In that day you will know that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. 21. He who has my Commandments with him and keeps them, he is who loves me and he who loves me will be loved by my Father. And I will love him and reveal myself to him. (AENT)

(NOTE: The Aramaic construct means “Redeemer” (not “advocate”), or “One who ends the curse.” By the indwelling of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit), our fallen nature is redeemed from the curse of Adam. By ending the curse, Messiah, as savior, more literally fulfills the office of Messiah as the “giver of lives.”)

I’m offering the following true example of deliberate sin as an illustration designed to drive home the severity and dreadful consequences of deliberate sinning:

Some years ago, there was a well-loved, married pastor in our area who had a huge, flourishing and ever-growing “mega-church” he had started in his basement decades ago. One day, this pastor got caught having a homosexual affair with a male masseur in another city which was approximately an hour’s drive away. At first, when confronted by a local news team, this beloved pastor tried to lie his way out of it, but then finally admitted to having had this affair for at least three years.

Consequently, he lost everything, except his wife, who opted to stay by his side as they left town and disappeared for a while.

The real tragedy was that, as a pastor, this guy KNEW how God feels about homosexuality, but he did it, anyway – which constituted a deliberate sin. So, he was not only guilty of lying and committing what God considers an abomination (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; Deuteronomy 22:5, Romans 1:22-32; 2 Peter 2:19; Revelation 22:14-15), but he also committed adultery - which, according to Torah is a sin that is to receive the death penalty (Exodus 20:12-14; Leviticus 20:10; Proverbs 6:32).

The Ruach always pricks our conscience when we’re about to sin, and this pastor’s homosexual lover was an hour's drive away - which means he had at least an HOUR of conscience pricking, which he clearly chose to ignore!

(How many times do you think the Ruach was with him when he was about to enter into this sinful sexual union? Once? Twice? My guess is ZERO – and that is why this pastor was able to continue to delude himself into believing that “Gawd knows my heart and surely he understands that I have needs….” Once the Ruach leaves, WHO is left to remind you that your carnal ways WILL result in your eternal separation from God?)

Anyway, in the end, this pastor was so deluded, so obstinate and so arrogant that, instead of spending the rest of his life repenting and trying to make things right with ADONAI, he instead returned two or three years later to do start a NEW church...one that is built on “tolerance” and not only accepts homosexuality as “normal”, but actually insists that God CONDONES homosexuality....

"Once saved, always saved?" I think not! Here’s why:

Numbers 15: 30 "'But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut off from his people. (CJB)

Hebrews 6: 4. But they who have once descended to immersion and have tasted the gift from heaven and have received the Ruach haKodesh 5. and have tasted the good Word of Elohim and the power of the world to come, 6. cannot again sin and a second time be renewed to repentance; or a second time execute him on a stake and insult the Son of Elohim.

7. For the earth that drinks the rain which comes often upon it and produces the herb that is of use to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from Elohim. 8. But if it should put forth thorns and briers, it would be discarded and be approaching closely to a curse, and its end would be a conflagration. (AENT)

2 Peter 2: 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. (CJB)

How many of today's believers behave in a way they know is sinful and yet they go ahead and do what they feel like doing, anyway? That's because they mistakenly think Divine grace covers intentional sin. That is a huge misconception! Divine grace has made wonderful provision for unintentional sin. But there is no provision for intentional sin. The Bible tells us so.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Parashah 25: Tzav (Give an order) Leviticus 6:1 (6:8 in some versions) through 8:36

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends!  As always, a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion (Parashah 25: Tzav (Give an order) Leviticus 6:1 (6:8 in some versions) through 8:36) can be found on our website.

In this week's parashah we will be studying the various offerings Israel was to make for YHWH: Burnt, grain, sin, guilt, consecration and peace (see Leviticus 7:37-38). Try to put yourself in the desert with YHWH's people who were doing their best to obey the commands He was relaying to them through Moshe. What a horrible sight it must have been to see hundreds of innocent animals sacrificed; how awful it must have been to hear their screams; how powerful the overwhelming stench of blood - and being reminded again that we are NOT to eat blood....

Leviticus 7: 26 You are not to eat any kind of blood, whether from birds or animals, in any of your homes. 27 Whoever eats any blood will be cut off from his people.'"

Leviticus 17: 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes the atonement because of the life.

We today, can only surmise why YHWH ordered the killing of these animals, while literally putting Israel through some strange gyrations! The people (and remember, they numbered in the MILLIONS at that point!) were constantly reminded how powerful these sacrifices were, and that they were to be taken VERY seriously.

An "unclean" person was not allowed to eat any meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings made to ADONAI! If they did, they were to be "cut off" from YHWH's people! And yet today, we believe we can sin over and over again and get away with it, just because "Jesus died"? We believe we can ignore the commanded Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts and come up with our own "holy days"?

Please understand, we at The Refiner's Fire are NO experts when it comes to YHWH's sacrifices, but we do understand how significant they were/are to our Elohim. As a matter of fact, they were gifts for ADONAI (Leviticus 7:14)! The enemy has attempted to use these sacrifices in order to turn them into something seemingly evil, as is evidenced by the fact that they are mimicked (to a great extent) by satanists and other lost folks who sacrifice animals and drink their blood, etc. (Notice that YHWH was adamant that NO ONE is to ever drink blood, as the life force is in the blood [Leviticus 17:11-14.])

For more on this week’s Torah portion, please click on the link, above!

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Christian is “outraged” at some of our teachings

READER COMMENT TO OUR WEBSITE:

I’m a King James-only, trinity-believing Christian who, frankly, is outraged at some of the things you teach! I find it sad that you and your ilk reject the Greek Primacy of the New Testament Scriptures, thus, opening up all kinds of new interpretations of the writings to the Body of Christ as they purpose to substitute specific Greek language that the Apostles actually used in their writings with what Hebrew Roots teachers consider to be Hebrew or Aramaic 'equivalents'. Give me a break!

OUR RESPONSE:

Thanks for your comments. You actually mentioned two things that must be addressed. First, since you are a King James-only adherent, we feel obligated to tell you that King James was solely responsible for creating the “trinity” concept – all because he chose to ADD a line to 1 John 5:7-8,

Verse 7- “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. in heaven.” This verse 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).

Rather than to type it all out here, we’ll just ask you to read our short article on this issue.

As for your comment about “Greek primacy” - you mean the primacy that resulted in not only mistranslated words, but entire concepts that totally removed the Hebraic meanings; and which have skewed the writings of Paul into oblivion, while making what you THINK Paul wrote, more important that what YHWH commanded and what Yeshua taught?

As an example, you're referring to the "primacy" that has turned "Miltha" to "logos" and the word "rope" into "camel" in Matthew 19:24, thus suggesting a camel was to go through the eye of a needle?

NOTE: In Matthew 19:24, the Aramaic word, Gamala, referred to a "heavy rope" rather than a "camel". Greek scholars puzzled over a camel passing through the eye of a needle, which is a physical impossibility. But, Yeshua was clearly not saying a rich man can't enter!

The footnote to this scripture in the Aramaic English New Testament explains that the "heavy rope" lesson teaches about a rich man entering into heaven, after he "unravels" his fortune strand by strand as Y'shua instructs. If his wealth was bound tightly and strong like a rope, it is to be unwound like threads which will pass through the eye of the needle! Careful attention is required to thread a needle; so are the rich obligated unto YHWH for how their wealth is acquired and dispersed. Theological attempts to "prove" the eye of the needle to be a geographical location have utterly failed.

And also, how about the word "cock" in Matthew 26:34, which became "rooster" (a concept around which entire Christian sermons have been built!); which, in reality was simply a slang Hebrew word “gaver”, referring NOT to an actual “rooster” but to the temple crier blowing his shofar!  The gaver was responsible for opening the temple before dawn and calling out loudly, two or three times to announce the early morning services.

If you really believe a chicken could do this, then we will gladly start believing in “Greek primacy!”

People are free to bash and rant about the Hebrew and Aramaic originals all they wish, but that in no way negates them and in no way makes the "Greek" versions somehow correct! The above are only a couple examples of mistranslated words; we haven't even begun to touch on the mistranslated/misunderstood CONCEPTS and CONTEXTS of certain subjects, or the horrific misunderstandings about Paul's writings....

If you wish to know more about this subject, please search the articles on our website, The Refiner’s Fire.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Do you have a problem acknowledging Yeshua as Messiah?

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MESSIAH YESHUA, KNOW THIS:

Y'shua haMashiyach was a Hebrew born into the Tribe of Yehudah (Judah). He had to be, to inherit David's throne and fulfill Messianic promises. The prophets didn't talk about a Gospel being fulfilled by a Roman or a Philistine or a Babylonian.

If being a HEBREW were only confined to Israel, then how do we explain the ministry of Jonah to Nineveh? How do we explain ALL RACES being judged and perishing in the flood of Noah? What about Melichzedek, Jethro and Job - all righteous and obedient servants ACCORDING TO TORAH and ALL being outside of Israel?

Torah and Gospel are the same thing. Why? Because the Gospels refer back to the Torah, which is YHWH's Divine Instruction in Righteousness, without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living! The "New Testament" in no way replaced the "Old"; it serves to affirm Torah!

Yeshua summarized the Gospels through the Ten Commandments and Deuteronomy 6:4. His disciples, like James, talk about "the perfect Torah that is liberty," and Paul to Timothy says "ALL Scripture is fit for reproof" including that inconvenient "Torah of the Jews" that the Bereans themselves followed and were praised for following.

Rav Shaul (Rabbi Paul) kept a Nazirite vow, performed circumcision at least once and fasted on Yom Kippur. He had to rush home for Shavuot (Pentecost) and kept Saturday Shabbat 84 times - just in the book of Acts alone.

John defined sin as "transgression of the LAW" - Torah. And this is 30+ years after the resurrection and 15 years after the events of Acts 15....

As John says, "the new commandment is the old one that you have had from the beginning" - so, please don't try to suggest that the Brit Chadasha is a bunch of malarkey!

No blood sacrifice is necessary?

COUNTER-MISSIONARY COMMENT:

It says in Ecclesiastes 12:13 the sum of it all to fear the L-rd and keep his commandments, no blood sacrifice, and the other thing if yeshua is our final sin sacrifice why is animal sacrifice coming back? But right now just like Hosea 6'6 - for I desire goodness not sacrifice, over and over he does tell them to repent, that is why when the messiah does it will be the final redemption.

THE NETZARIM RESPONSE:

No blood sacrifices? Hmmm. Let's check this out in context:

Ecclesiastes 12: 11 The sayings of the wise are as sharp as goads, and those given by leaders of assemblies are like well-fixed nails; [in this case,] they are presented by a single shepherd. 12 In addition, my son, take heed: one can write many books - there's no end to it; and one can study so much that it wearies the flesh. 13 Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about. CJB)

Yes, as humans we ARE to fear God and keep His mitzvot. But WHERE and HOW does this scripture suggest that we no longer require SIN sacrifices? The entire Torah is about who YHWH is and how to worship Him by keeping His Mitzvot - which include over and over again the need for SIN sacrifices!

By suggesting that the above has somehow abolished the need for sin sacrifices, you are doing exactly what you are accusing Christians of: You are picking and choosing and MISQUOTING! You have done exactly what all other counter-missionaries do, which is to take Scripture out of context. Let's take a look:

Hosea 6: 1 Come, let us return to ADONAI; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind our wounds. 2 After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence. 3 Let us know, let us strive to know ADONAI. That he will come is as certain as morning; he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rains that water the earth.

4 "Efrayim, what should I do to you? Y'hudah, what should I do to you? For your 'faithful love' is like a morning cloud, like dew that disappears quickly. 5 This is why I have cut them to pieces by the prophets, slaughtered them with the words from my mouth - the judgment on you shines out like light. 6 For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7 "But they, just like men, have broken the covenant, they have been faithless in dealing with me.

8 Gil'ad is a city of criminals, covered with bloody footprints; 9 just as bands of robbers wait to ambush someone, so does a gang of cohanim. They commit murder on the road to Sh'khem! Their conduct is an outrage! 10 In the house of Isra'el I have seen a horrible thing; whoring is found there in Efrayim, Isra'el is defiled. 11 For you, too, Y'hudah, a harvest will come! "When I restore the fortunes of my people, (CJB)

The deeper answer is basically that the sacrifices return as a REMEMBRANCE because per Hebrews, Yeshua is now our high priest with atonements "better than these". That is why Yeshua said, "someone greater the Solomon is here" because Solomon built the Temple in the first place.

The idea of the remembrance is no real stretch because if Yeshua is our atonement, the atonement can't be in the sacrifices of beasts and the reality is, IT NEVER WAS! (Micah 6, Hosea 6:6, Isaiah 1)...It seems that YHWH demanded blood sacrifices because the life force is in the blood ( Lev. 17:10-14; Deut. 12:23-28). It was an act of obedience we were to comply with to make us realize how very bad SINNING is....

Finally, the "sacrifice" of Messiah on the execution stake (ever notice that NOBODY "sacrificed him; he martyred himself, against which there is no law!) has UNIQUE RULES that have no precedent prior, nor will ever be repeated again.

This is not just in Hebrews 9, by the way. It is also in Zechariah 12:10 where Messiah houses YHWH's spirit (YHWH is speaking and is metaphorically "pierced" but they MOURN FOR HIM AS AN ONLY [YACHID] BEGOTTEN SON.)

The word YACHID is an exclusive singularity, as in never before and never again. Therefore, while some aspects of Yeshua's time on the stake RESEMBLE sacrifices of animals and such, THERE ARE PARTS OF IT THAT ONLY RELATE TO HIM EXCLUSIVELY. One of these is the eternal atoning power of believing in that sacrifice, but there are others.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Every moving thing that lives will be food for you?

Someone recently requested clarification of Genesis 9:3 which says:

Genesis 9:3 [Speaking to Noach] "Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything"

[Now don't get ahead of me here! In Genesis 9:3, YHWH is NOT saying that "every" animal is food for Noach and his family; rather, see Genesis 7:2 - YHWH tells Noach to take into the Ark "Of every clean animal you are to take seven couples, and of the animals that are not clean, one couple". So Noach already knew which animals were clean and which were unclean! Thus, by the commandment in Genesis 9:3 which says "Every moving thing that lives will be food for you", it can only mean "clean moving things" to Noach.]

Do take note that the first we hear of what humans can eat is in Genesis and it is "every seed-bearing plant" and every tree with "seed-bearing fruit". Therefore we already have a sense that YHWH intended only certain things for us to eat, for while telling us we can eat seed-bearing fruits and plants, it simultaneously implies that plants that do not bear seeds, we cannot eat! This is a most important understanding!

Take note also that during the creation, YHWH gives every wild animal, bird in the air, and creature crawling on the earth "as food every kind of green plant"! So it seems that YHWH intended EVERY animal, bird and creature to eat green plants!

For more on this issue, please check out our two articles explaining what constitutes "clean" food": Clean food? and Eating kosher.

With whom did God make His “New Covenant?”

As you all know, ADONAI, through the Prophet Jeremiah, spoke of the New Covenant … a covenant still in the process of unfolding. Notice with whom this covenant was to be made: the Torah observant Houses of Israel and Judah! (It was NOT made with Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Hare Krishnas, Buddhist, Gentiles, or anyone who worships gods other than THE Creator – יהוה (Yud Hey Vav Hey), the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)

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

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

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

Notice that this “New Covenant” is still unfolding because people still don’t yet have Torah “written on their hearts”. Nobody is born “knowing the Torah”; they still have to be open to receiving it.

Notice also that the “offspring of Israel” will remain a nation forever... and that this is contingent upon obedience to His Torah laws. So, what does this mean for those who are grafted in to Israel?

Simple: Same God, same rules! Torah applies to ALL who have accepted YHWH as their God and who believe that He sent His Divine Messiah to earth to proclaim the Kingdom (Luke 4: 43; 8:1) and do everything he was commanded to do (Deuteronomy 18:15-17; John 12”44-49) – and willingly martyred himself on our behalf.

Numbers 15:13 "'Every citizen is to do these things in this way when presenting an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI. 14 If a foreigner stays with you - or whoever may be with you, through all your generations - and he wants to bring an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI, he is to do the same as you. 15 For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before ADONAI as yourselves. 16 The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.'" (CJB)

Deuteronomy 29:9 Therefore, observe the words of this covenant and obey them; so that you can make everything you do prosper. 10 "Today you are standing, all of you, before ADONAI your God - your heads, your tribes, your leaders and your officers - all the men of Isra'el, 11 along with your little ones, your wives and your foreigners here with you in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water.

12 The purpose is that you should enter into the covenant of ADONAI your God and into his oath which ADONAI your God is making with you today, 13 so that he can establish you today for himself as a people, and so that for you he will be God -as he said to you and as he swore to your ancestors, to Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov. 14 "But I am not making this covenant and this oath only with you. 15 Rather, I am making it both with him who is standing here with us today before ADONAI our God and also with him who is not here with us today. (CJB)

To reiterate:

As you can see: Same God, same rules!

So, the question remains: Are YOU part of the “New Covenant” … or are you among the myriads simply “religion-hopping”; who keep playing around with the Word in an attempt to force God to be and do what they imagine in their minds?

HINT: ADONAI doesn’t work that way….

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A meme created by someone who doesn’t know Scripture!

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Oh, what a great and "set apart" world we would have if only people read their Bibles from cover to cover, without those "Greek glasses!"  But they don't ... and that is why "Jesus" was turned into a Torah-less entity who seems to teach against Torah, thus defying his Father's commands.

Would the REAL Messiah (Yeshua, whose name means "YHWH is Salvation"; and who was the "Word" and the "Arm" - John 1:1, 14 and Isaiah 53:1) EVER have taught against Torah?

NO! Please check out our article to find out why the idea behind this meme is straight from the pits of hell.

Parashah 24: Vayikra (He called) Leviticus 1:1 through 5:26

Halleluyah - another Shabbat is on the horizon!  As always, you can find a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion (Parashah 24: Vayikra (He called) Leviticus 1:1 through 5:26) on our website.

This week's parashah is another hard to grasp study as it's all about the offerings of various kinds, to include sin, guilt, peace and burnt offerings. While it can be boring, confusing and downright hard to read about these offerings with our modern mindsets, we must always remember that the idea was for people to learn to obey and please YHWH with their whole being … to recognize the horrible consequences of sin … to appreciate that His desire for people was to be HOLY in every aspect of their lives.

Holiness begets holiness; while sin begets more sin and leads to death (eternity away from YHWH). YHWH simply wanted (and still wants) His people to be CLEAN from the inside-out and to keep Him constantly in mind in all things.

The message that comes across loud and clear in this parashah, however, is that YHWH's intentions were to draw and keep us close at all times. What we have witnessed over and over again in the last several parashahs is the fact that He cares enough to admonish us into doing things HIS way so that we can truly know Him and have a real relationship with Him - even though it often meant that He would employ some very harsh measures to force His people to GET what He was saying. (He wants us to "be holy" - look ahead to Leviticus 11:44).

Note that, whenever YHWH's people sinned, He didn't say, "If you love Me, go to the field and pick me a flower."  No! He demanded something much harsher: Blood from an innocent animal that had to die to atone for the sins of man. He expected His people to KILL something to atone for their guilt and sin, thus driving home the point that He is very adamant about mankind's refraining from sin, as much as possible. Drawing blood sticks in our minds a lot longer than picking a flower or something equally as simple....

For more on this week’s Torah portion, please click on the link above.

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Monday, March 4, 2019

What did Yeshua really mean when he said, “Eat my flesh and drink my blood?”

The plain and simple fact is, he certainly didn't mean it to be literal - yet,many are rejecting Messiah Yeshua and flocking to traditional Judaism because of this passage! Let's check it out:

John 6:53. And Y’shua said to them, Amen, amen I say to you, that unless you eat the body of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in Qnoma.[1] 54. And he who eats from my body and drinks from my blood has life that is everlasting, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55. For truly my body is food and truly my blood is drink.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] Qnoma, usually translated here as “you”, “self”, or “yourselves”, but literally means “Underlying substance.”. The body/blood imagery is metaphoric. Y’shua, of course, knows very well that it is an abomination to drink any kind of blood, let alone human blood (Leviticus 17:11).

Consuming human flesh is also an abomination that is strictly prohibited. Rabbis even suggest that part of the reason swine’s flesh is forbidden is because it resembles human skin.

There are two underlying parts:

Part 1 recalls the imagery of Ezekiel 3:1-15 where the prophet actually ate a Torah scroll; the imagery symbolizing the prophet being sustained by and proclaiming Torah, which is the essence of what Y’shua is teaching.

Y’shua’s example and teaching are to be part of our innermost being, literally taken in and ingested into our hearts. This imagery is also seen in Mark 7:19 which distinguishes between physical food and spiritual (heart) “food”, and Jeremiah 31:33 which speaks of writing Torah upon the heart.

Part 2 is the life which Y’shua refers to; it is not physicality, as “self”, but the core essence of being, literally of the neshama, (spirit of man).

Moving on to the next part of that particular passage, which Jewish counter-missionaries and their followers love to tout as a reason to "reject Jesus.":

John 6:56. He who eats my body and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. 57. As the Living Father has sent me, and I live because of the Father, and whoever eats of me he also will live because of me. 58. This is the Bread that has descended from Heaven. It is not as manna your forefathers ate and died. He who eats this Bread will live forever! [2] (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

[2] Clear evidence that opposes the “communion” model of mainstream Christian institutions. Nothing is being eaten while Y’shua is making this statement; he had just levied a rebuke for their desire of physical rather than spiritual “bread.”

It is Faith in Y’shua as Mashiyach which causes a person to “eat the flesh and drink the blood.” The “wafer” (transubstitution) is a Pagan adulteration against Y’shua’s teaching.

Y’shua observed Torah to perfection; his perfect atoning sacrifice would be remembered specifically on the Moedim (YHWH’s feasts) as the Word of YHWH instructs.

TO SIMPLIFY:

The wine and wafer custom used in communion is "pagan" because it represents Yeshua's blood and body - a thing that is considered cannibalism in Scripture, which is a terrible evil. God commands His people NOT drink blood or eat human flesh:

Genesis 9:4 only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat. 5 I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. 6 Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image. (CJB)

The bottom line is that Yeshua was simply using a metaphor! And in case you’re wondering about the verse in the NT that says the Messiah is the Torah made flesh, there is a great explanation about this passage in the Aramaic English New Testament.

Let's check it out:

John 1:1. In the beginning[1] was the Miltha.[2] And that Miltha was with Elohim. And Elohim was that Miltha. 2. This was with Elohim in the beginning.[3]

John 1: 14. And the Miltha[4] became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw his glory,[5] the glory as the Only-Begotten[6] who is from the Father who is full of grace and truth. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The phrase B’resheet aytohi hwa miltha breaks a most basic rule of Aramaic grammar by combining a feminine noun (miltha) with two masculine verbs for “to be” (aytohi, hwa). This is unheard of in Aramaic literature other than right here in this passage and in 1 John.

This shows YHWH has male and female “images/spirits” even though YHWH remains a He. It may also be a midrash on Isaiah 11:1-2, which describes the Spirit of YHWH descending on Mashiyach using both masculine and feminine suffixes. This is not something easily translated, let alone when it occurs within the first four words.

[2] Miltha has no direct English equivalent. It can mean ‘Word’, ‘Manifestation’, ‘Instance’ or ‘Substance’ among other things. In this context, it may best be left untranslated.

[3] Fulfilling Messianic prophecy: Mashiyach (ruler of Israel) to have origins of the ancient past Micah 5:2; Isaiah 48:16. Bear in mind that Micah is referring to the spiritual “Israel of Elohim,” those of the Kingdom of Heaven according to the circumcision of heart.

[4] Miltha refers to the “Manifestation” of the Ruach haKodesh within Mashiyach. The physical body of Mashiyach is not the Word of YHWH, but his words and actions demonstrate the Will and Word of YHWH, which upholds observance of Torah.

However, Christo-Pagans like Marcion and Constantine taught that Y’shua’s body and spirit manifest a different “word” that did away with Torah. The Word of YHWH was substituted with dispensational and replacement “theologies,” which are very popular among Christians.

[5]  Isaiah 42:8; 48:11

[6]  Ekhadaya is a beautiful term used among Eastern theologians and poets; it literally means “THE ONE”

It is a real shame that many people – including some learned Jewish Rabbis! – cannot see the Hebraic context in the passages of the New Testament!

Did Yeshua commit blasphemy?

There is a huge faction on the Internet who are busy berating ADONAI's Divine Messiah, accusing him of "being a Christian idol" who committed blasphemy, and presented himself as God.

Well, that's not exactly true! Let's check out John 10 in context:

John 10:25. Y’shua answered and said to them, I have told you and you do not believe! And the works that I do in the Name of my Father they testify concerning me. 26. But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep, just as I have told you. 27. My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they come after me. 28. And I give to them life that is eternal and they will not perish and no man will ever snatch them from my hands.

29. For my Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no man is able to snatch them from the hands of my Father. 30. I and the Father are one. 31. And again the Yehudeans took up rocks to stone him. 32. Y’shua said to them, Many pleasing works from the presence of my Father I have shown you. For which of them do you stone me?

33. The Yehudeans said to him, “It is not because of the pleasing works that we stone you, rather because you do blaspheme and that while you are a Son of man you make yourself Elohim!” 34. Y’shua said to them Is it not written in your Torah that “I have told you that you are Elohim.” 35. If those people he called Elohim because the Miltha of Elohim was with them and Scripture is not able to be broken

36. To him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world you say, “You blaspheme!” concerning that I had told you that “I am the Son of Elohim.” 37. Unless I do the works of my Father, do not believe me. 38. If, however, I do them even if you do not believe me, you believe the works that you may know and believe that my Father is in me and I am in my Father. (AENT)

What Y’shua was trying to say in the verse 33, above, was that the Ruach of YHWH is within him, (Isaiah 11:1-2, Zechariah 12:10). He taught that while his nefesh would die, YHWH would reanimate both his neshama (human spirit/ruach) and nefesh (soul). Y’shua never claimed his nefesh was anything other than human and that as such, it would die.

Let's also remember that GOD cannot be born or die; which means there was more to Yeshua than meets the eye!  Please check out our indepth discussion on the phrase, “I and the Father are one” referring to verse 30.

In verse 34, he is referring to Psalm 82:6.

Referring to verse 38, in Isaiah 22:20-25 a priestly father is named Hilkiah (“my portion is YHWH”) and his son is Eliakim (Elohim raises) which foreshadows Mashiyach whose “portion” is YHWH, and who is raised up by Elohim.

Mashiyach is the first begotten of YHWH who suffers, then is raised up and then is given governance over all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples as foreshadowed in verses 21-22:

“And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” (Source: AENT)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Jews are correct in their attempts to keep their own from rejecting Torah in order to “accept Jesus" … but there’s more to it!

(A recent video by counter-missionary Rabbi Tovia Singer - asking for donations to his Jews for Judaism organization, prompted me to write the below.)

It’s no secret that I don’t like “counter-missionary” organizations such as Jews for Judaism – a network of Jewish rabbis who make their living berating Jesus; and spending all their time and energy “proving” that the New Testament is a myth.

On the other hand, I can certainly understand where Singer is coming from, because he is trying very hard to keep his Jewish brethren from falling into the gnarly clutches of Christian organizations such as Jews for Jesus, who knock themselves out to take Jews away from YHWH’s Torah (Divine Instructions in Righteousness) to bring them into one of the 40,000 different Christian “denominations”.

The truth is, Christianity, as a whole, is doing a great disservice to the Jews (and anyone else who obeys ADONAI’s Torah) because it insists “the law (Torah) is a curse” that was supposedly “abolished at the cross”; and suggests that Jews “aren’t completed” UNTIL they leave “that Old Testament stuff behind” and just “believe in Jesus.”

HUGE MISTAKE! By trying to take Jews away from Torah and all of their Jewish history, you are denying the importance, not only of God’s Torah, but also of the first two-thirds of the Bible. The last third is NOT the “only important part!”

The Bible – when read IN CONTEXT – in no way suggests that Torah was abolished, just because "the Son of God died.”

Yeshua (Messiah’s given Hebrew Name which means YAHWEH is Salvation) came NOT to bring a new religion called “Christianity”; he came to proclaim the Kingdom of ADONAI and do everything his Father commanded him to do (Luke 4:43; Luke 8:1; Acts 28:23 and Acts 24: 14).

YHWH said HE would send a prophet who was to do everything He ordered him to do (Deuteronomy 18:15-18, which ends with, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I order him.” Yeshua was that prophet!

Yeshua Himself said He came to do HIS FATHER's will; not His own (John 6:35-40). The Truth is, Yeshua was the Word or the "Manifestation" or the "Will of" YHWH coming down from heaven to do the Will of YHWH upon earth. His Spirit was of YHWH, but his nephesh (soul) and body were human and temporal. This shows that Yeshua was NOT in charge while on earth; HIS FATHER WAS!

So, the Jews are actually correct in trying to protect their own from this thing called “Christianity” – a religion that insists on turning the Messiah into God, over and above the Father Himself….

The bottom line is, Christianity is based NOT on Torah, but on the misunderstood writings of Paul (who, by the way, NEVER negated Torah!)…. (For more on the errors of Christianity, please check out the articles on our Examining Christianity page: https://therefinersfire.org/challenging_christianity.htm)

Now – back to Rabbi Singer and his urgent request for donations….

It would be one thing if he were simply trying to keep his fellow Jews from “Jesus”. But that is NOT all that Jews for Judaism does! They have, for decades now, been actively taking not only Jews away from Jesus; but also Christians, as well as Messianic and Hebrew Roots types – which is just as bad as Christians trying to take Jews away from Torah!

(Check out some of the counter-missionary viper pits sometime to see exactly what they say and do. You can read some of their allegations – along with our responses - on our website’s Countering the Counter-Missionaries page; as well as on my Facebook page of the same name.)

The truth is, because – no matter whatever else the Jews attempt to twist it into – Isaiah 53 foreshadows YHWH’s Messiah. Plain and simple. (See our article.)

It is an absolute death knell to the Word of God to TWIST His Word in ANY way, or to try to separate the Truth of YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. When you do those things, WHOM are you really worshiping?

BOTH sides need to snap out of their slumber and read the WHOLE Bible without their respective prejudices. YHWH and His Torah belong to everyone; not just the Jews! His Divine Instructions in Righteousness pertains to ALL - not just the Jews. And Yeshua and "Grace" weren't given only to the Christians.

SCRIPTURE SAYS SO!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dual parashahs for the first Shabbat of March, 2019!

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends!  As always, a synopsis of this week's Torah portion can be found on our website.  This week there is a double parashah reading:  

Parashah 22: Vayak'hel (He assembled),  Exodus 35:1 through 38:20

And:

Parashah 23: P'kudei (Accounts), Exodus 38:21 through 40:38

Some of you have probably yawned your way through the last few parashahs. The thing is, the more we study Torah, the more we realize that we are provided so many "mundane" details about the Tabernacle and all the work that went into it because, in part, it was YHWH's way of revealing Himself to us. Every little detail, including the various colors had special meaning. Everything concerning YHWH's people and their Tabernacle and the items in the Tabernacle were designed to be "set apart" and holy.

He reveals all this to us because it is IMPORTANT for us to know!

So, what changed over the years? Where and how did "set apart" end up being "flashy" and "all about us" (i.e., many churches today)?

You can find the answers by reading this week’s two parashahs!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Passover is on the Horizon! Time to start cleaning out your leaven….



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Passover is on the horizon, no matter which calendar you decide to use this year! (For anyone who has any questions about why the calendars are all different this year, please check out our article.)

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 Pharoah 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).

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 freed Believers from the slavery of earthly bondage to “the world!”

Yeshua fulfilled this event when he was crucified. However, please note, he was NOT “the Passover Lamb” per se! Why? Because (1) the original Passover lamb in Egypt was not a "sin “sacrifice”; it was a “substitute”, a “redemption”; and (2) no one “sacrificed” Yeshua, as he martyred himself to shed his divine blood on our behalf.

This is the whole connection: Yeshua was our substitute, our redemption - and by believing and always following YHWH's Torah to help us to lower our tendency to sin and do our best to NOT sin anymore, we have the chance for eternal life!

Passover, celebrated near evening on Nisan 14 on the Hebrew calendar, marks the beginning of a seven-day period during which the eating of leavened Bread is forbidden as leaven is a symbol of sin (I Corinthians 5:6-8; see also Exodus 23:14-16; Romans 6:4 and II Corinthians 5:21).

(Some people insist you are to clean out your “yeast” before Passover, but this is not true. There is no way to get rid of all yeast, because yeast spores are everywhere, including in every breath we take. For an indepth explanation, check out our article entitled, Yeast or Leaven.)

NOTE: In case anyone is interested, we offer a free downloadable haggadah (liturgy) for Pesach/Passover on our website. Just click on our Articles and Studies page, and scroll down until you see "Free calendars, Siddurs & Pesach Seder", and choose one of the final two links...

Thoughts on one of the most recent counter-missionary videos

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I usually don’t bother listening to William Hall’s Jesus bashing videos, because I find them boring, elementary and downright laughable. The only interesting (albeit it, weird) thing about this particular segment was when Rabbi Stuart Federow broke into the song, “Feelings”… (which was, of course, designed to poke fun at Christians for believing in what he believes is a myth).

William Hall (who boasts that he used to be a tongue-talkin’ Christian who was “Messianic for about 5 years” and has “over 500 videos, over a thousand … fifteen-hundred … hours of teachings against these topics that they try to support…”)  likes to mention ad nauseum that the “Shekinah is feminine."  (By the way, Rabbi Federow insists that Shekinah does not mean “Holy Spirit”; rather, the “Spirit of Holiness that is the revelation from God.”)

Whatever the Shekinah is, Hall's repeat teachings on both it, and the word “Torah” (which he has mentioned in previous videos) are somehow supposed to prove that Jesus is a fake and the New Testament is a myth….

The gist of this particular levity-filled teaching was that the Shekinah of God (which is FEMININE) somehow impregnated Mary - a comment that elicited guffaws from both men. The thing is, anyone who has ever taken Hebrew (or any other language) classes learned early on that grammatical gender is NOT the same as biological gender! In the second day of Hebrew class, pupils learn that inanimate things have grammatical gender…. 

What does that mean? It means that you CAN'T ASSIGN a sex to the Shekinah, as Federow jokingly suggested! I’ll explain in a moment, but first I want to clarify something:

The thing that probably most of Hall’s audience isn’t aware of, is the fact that he and Rabbi Federow are approaching this entire topic NOT from a Torah or Bible standpoint; rather from a strictly kabbalistic one. (This means, most likely, my argument will be irrelevant to them – but I intend to provide it, anyway, because somebody HAS to mention for the open-throated gullibles what the Bible says.

According to my friend, Rabbi Shmaryahu Lehtimaki (congregation leader of Beit haSha’ar Messianic Fellowship Inc.), from a kabbalistic definition, Federow and Hall are correct... but kabbalah is purely mystic; it is the belief that Scripture is inspired - not only in its obvious interpretations, but to the degree that, through the use of mystic interpretation, one could find hidden meaning in the very numerical and alphabetical interpretation of the texts. While true in some aspects, it is mostly subjective and hyperbole.

Lehtimaki writes, “There are many rabbinical Jews that believe as I do, in that I denigrate Kabbalah as backward, superstitious, and marginal. Kabbalah, in my opinion, has led more Jews to secularism than the reform and reconstructionist movement.

“Kabbalism is not a religion, it leads to humanism in my opinion. It would be better described as a discipline of mystical and scriptural theosophy. Kabbalists comprise but a small fraction of orthodox Jews and using their teachings is not a foundation for argument of scripture and Hebrew grammar.”

So, there you have it. And this is why Rabbi Federow actually sat there and tried to say that words change meaning and now gender means “biological plumbing” (his exact words)... So, apparently forks being masculine in Spanish but feminine in German and Italian has some biological meaning?

Let’s take a logical look at this issue:

While, Hebrew and Aramaic grammar is certainly difficult, there is often no rhyme or reason for a word being masculine or feminine.  Let’s use John 1:1 as an example. 

John 1:1. In the beginning[1] was the Miltha[2].  And that Miltha was with Elohim.  And Elohim was that Miltha.  2. This was with Elohim in the beginning.[3]  3. Everything existed through his hands,[4] and without him, not even one thing existed of the things which have existed.  4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.**  5. And that light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.[5] (AENT)

[1]   The phrase B’resheet aytohi hwa miltha breaks a most basic rule of Aramaic grammar by combining a feminine noun (miltha) with two masculine verbs for “to be” (aytohi, hwa).  This is unheard of in Aramaic literature other than right here in this passage and in 1 John.  This shows YHWH has male and female “images/spirits” even though YHWH remains a He.  It may also be a midrash on Isaiah 11:1-2, which describes the Spirit of YHWH descending on Mashiyach using both masculine and feminine suffixes. This is not something easily translated, let alone when it occurs within the first four words.

[2]   Miltha has no direct English equivalent. It can mean ‘Word’, ‘Manifestation’, ‘Instance’ or ‘Substance’ among other things. In this context, it may best be left untranslated.

[3]   Fulfilling Messianic prophecy: Mashiyach (ruler of Israel) to have origins of the ancient past Micah 5:2; Isaiah 48:16. Bear in mind that Micah is referring to the spiritual “Israel of Elohim,” those of the Kingdom of Heaven according to the circumcision of heart.

[4]  Literal Aramaic reading; “through his hands” indicates the Word as a creative force, like a sculptor working under the orders of a king.  See Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 44:24; 66:1, 2.

{5]  Aramaic wordplay.  Nohra b’chashokha menhar (light in the darkness that shines) is a deliberate mirror-reversal of menhar-nohra (menorah), which marks the conception of the light of the world at Hanukkah.  This puts the birth of Mashiyach nine months from Hanukkah, during the fall feasts; many point to the first day of Feast of Tabernacles for the date of Y’shua’s birth.

In the passage above, according to Aramaic and Hebrew scholars, the phrase B'resheet aytohi hwa miltha, breaks a most basic rule of Aramaic grammar by combining a feminine noun (miltha) with two masculine verbs for "to be" (aytohi, hwa).

This is unheard of in Aramaic literature other than right here in this passage and in 1 John!

This shows ADONAI has male and female "images/spirits" even though ELOHIM remains a “He”. It may also be a midrash on Isaiah 11:1-2, which describes the Spirit of YHWH descending on Mashiyach using both masculine and feminine suffixes. This is not something easily translated, let alone when it occurs within the first four words.

If Rabbi Federow and the podcast host William Hall would read the Bible in context, they would discover that, while Yahweh might have male and female "images/spirits" He is ALWAYS referred to in the MASCULINE gender - as is His Son!

In Hebrew, the Shekinah, the manifestation of God's presence that fills the universe (Shekinah), is conceived of in feminine terms, and the word Shekinah is a feminine word. But that does NOT make our Creator OR His Son female!

The foreshadowed Messiah of Israel both in the Bible and in the Talmud (Jewish "oral Torah") is ALWAYS referred to in the masculine gender. Even all the angels (who apparently have no sex because we're told they can't procreate) are referred to in the Bible as being male….

So, what did William Hall’s interview with Rabbi Federow really prove? 

You decide!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Parashah 21: Ki Tissa (When you take) Exodus 30:11 through 34:35

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends!  As always, a synopsis of this week's Torah portion (Parashah 21: Ki Tissa [When you take] Exodus 30:11 through 34:35) can be found on our website.

This parashah is a tear jerker, beginning with the first powerful paragraph! As is obvious throughout the Torah, all YHWH ever asked of His People was obedience and, in Exodus 30:11-16, He reiterates the importance of obedience and reminds us that our lives do NOT belong to us but, rather, to Him who made us. Belonging to YHWH means constantly atoning and repenting for our sins. Take a careful look at this entire passage:

Exodus 30: 11 ADONAI said to Moshe, 12 "When you take a census of the people of Isra'el and register them, each, upon registration, is to pay a ransom for his life to ADONAI, to avoid any breakout of plague among them during the time of the census. 13 Everyone subject to the census is to pay as an offering to ADONAI half a shekel [one-fifth of an ounce of silver]- by the standard of the sanctuary shekel (a shekel equals twenty gerahs). 14 Everyone over twenty years of age who is subject to the census is to give this offering to ADONAI - 15 the rich is not to give more or the poor less than the half-shekel when giving ADONAI's offering to atone for your lives. 16 You are to take the atonement money from the people of Isra'el and use it for the service in the tent of meeting, so that it will be a reminder of the people of Isra'el before ADONAI to atone for your lives." (CJB)

Notice in the above that YHWH is very fair; He says we are accountable beginning at 20 years of age, to "pay a ransom" for our lives. In other words, living for Him requires ACTION and OBEDIENCE. He treats us all equally, rich or poor. Back then, everyone was to pay half a shekel. (Yes, today Yeshua has paid our ransom, but that in no way means we are no longer accountable or don't have to act responsibly in the conduct of our lives for YHWH! We are still required to do something for Him: Keep His Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts and whatever else we still can keep of the Torah, His original Divine Instructions for Righteousness.)

For more educational reading about this parashah, please click on the parashah link above. And, for some interesting additional reading, check out this wonderful commentary about this week’s Torah portion by Hannah Nesher.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

If you encounter Jewish counter-missionaries who bash Jesus, SAY something; don’t remain passive

The explanation for my meme below is this: Counter-missionaries are sitting around on Facebook and elsewhere, bashing and trashing YHWH's Messiah on a daily basis - and hardly anyone bothers to refute them, even if simply to say, "You guys are committing blasphemy!"

These "counter-missionaries" are following the teachings of Jewish rabbis and their converts who are making their living writing articles and making videos and radio podcasts designed to berate Messiah Yeshua and the entire New Testament.

There is perhaps a handful of people (including myself) who yell "STOP!" and try to show these Jesus-haters how and why they are off the mark - even though it usually does no good, because Jesus haters REFUSE to see God's Truth, and it's clear they actually WANT to sit around with their own kind to commit vicious gossip about the one who martyred himself on our behalf.

And yes, it's VERY hard to discuss Scripture with "them" because - instead of rational discussion, they ALWAYS resort to sarcasm and character assassinations of the ones trying to defend Yeshua - most often in very vile and mean-spirited ways.

YES, it's hard to try to defend Yeshua in those viper pits (on Facebook and in the comments sections on their blogs, videos or podcasts), but someone HAS to speak up for him, so that those who are being pulled away from him because of counter-missionary teachings can KNOW that these folks do NOT have all the answers, and that by "rejecting Jesus" (as counter-missionaries like to call it) they are making the biggest mistakes of their lives.

What we need to remember is, we're talking about YHWH's MESSIAH who died for us, who is being systematically bashed and trashed and basically re-crucified on a daily basis! So, WHY can most NOT be bothered to speak up in defense of him? One truly has to wonder if people would just sit on the sidelines and say nothing if it were one of their own family members being beaten up...

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

On beauty and old wineskins….

My friend Shmaryahu Lehtimaki presented some “food for thought” recently, that went something like this:

Yeshua said thisMark 2:22; And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins; and the wine is lost, also the skins. But one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

In Gemara, Taanit 7a, we see something similar to Yeshua’s words:

This is as the daughter of the Roman emperor said to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya, who was an ugly man: “Woe to glorious wisdom such as yours, which is contained in an ugly vessel.”  Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya said to her, in a seemingly unrelated response: “Does your father keep his wine in simple clay vessels?” 

The emperor’s daughter said to him: “Rather, in what, then, should he keep it?” Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya said to her: “You, who are so important, should put it in vessels of gold and silver.”

The emperor’s daughter went and said this to her father. He put the wine in vessels of gold and silver and it turned sour. When his advisors came and told the emperor that the wine had turned sour, he said to his daughter: “Who told you to do this?” His daughter responded: “Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya.”

The emperor summoned him and said to him: “Why did you say this to her?” Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya said to him: “Just as she said to me, so I said say to her, to demonstrate to her that fine material is best preserved in the least of vessels.”

The emperor said to him: "But there are handsome people who are learned.”

The above actually contains two separate teachings:  Man's idea of "beauty"; and the importance of the "right vessel." 

First, we'll discuss the "beauty" aspect:

Referencing Gemara, Taanit 7a, it isn't really surprising that the emperor responded with, "But there are handsome people who are learned”  - because it accurately describes our shallow society today.   We are naturally drawn to appearance and/or the charisma of some public figure, and automatically assume "pretty" or "handsome" equates to "intelligence" and "knowledge".  In reality, this is not always true!

For instance, our divine Messiah, Yeshua - while he is often depicted as "beautiful" - wasn't that much to look at, according to Isaiah 53. 

Isaiah 53: 2 For before him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us. 3 People despised and avoided him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, he was despised; we did not value him. 4 In fact, it was our diseases he bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God.

5 But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and by his bruises we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way; yet ADONAI laid on him the guilt of all of us. Or: and in fellowship with him. 7 Though mistreated, he was submissive - he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth. (CJB)

There was surely a reason YHWH sent His Messiah at a time when there were no cameras, cellphones, computers, televisions or - paparazzi!  The bottom line was that YHWH didn't send him to earth to be a sex symbol.  He was sent to represent and "teach the Kingdom of God" and do everything his Father commanded (Luke 4:43; Acts 28:23, John 12:44-50). 

YHWH said HE would send a prophet who was to do everything He ordered him to do:

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

Yeshua Himself said He came to do HIS FATHER's will; not His own!

John 6: 35. Y'shua said to them, I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will not hunger. And whoever believes in me will not ever thirst. 36. But I have said to you that you have seen me, and you do not believe. 37. All who my Father has given to me will come, and whoever comes not to me I will cast outside! 38. For I came down from heaven,[1] not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me. 39. And this is His will, that of Him who sent me, that all that He has given to me I do not lose even one. 40. For this is the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in Him, will have life that is eternal. And I will raise him up on the last day. (AENT)

Now, let's take a look at what Yeshua (the not-so-handsome Messenger to Israel) said about the "old and new wineskins":

Matthew 9:15. Y’shua said to them, Why?  The sons of the wedding-feast are not constrained to fast as long as the bridegroom is with them, but the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast.  16. No man places a new patch on a worn out garment or else its seam should tear away from that garment, and the hole will be greater.  17. And they do not place new wine in worn-out wineskins or else the wineskins should rip and the wineskins are destroyed and the wine should pour out.  Rather, they place new wine in new wineskins, and both of them are preserved.[1]  (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

A Hebrew idiom of the old wineskin refers to an older mature man; old wine refers to the old ideas/doctrines he holds. A new wineskin is a young man; the new wine represents his new ideas. When the old wineskin (a mature man, full of YHWH’s Torah) has new wine put inside of him (man’s new traditions) the wineskin and wine are ruined.

Torah is likened to the sweetness of honey but never to new wine.  The new sweet wine is immature wine which is not well aged; therefore, new wine represents teaching or spiritual understanding lacking in substance and maturity.

Y’shua alludes to this when He quotes Jeremiah 6:16.  Scripture reveals several varieties of “wine” ‑ “the wine of trembling” Psalm 60:3; “the wine of violence” Proverbs 4:17; “the wine of the condemned” Amos 2:8; “wine of wrath” Revelation 14:8; “wine of her fornication” Revelation 17:2. 

Neither does “new wine” represent the Renewed Covenant; Y’shua’s teaching makes such an association impossible: “And no one after drinking the old wine wants the new, for they say, the old is better,” Luke 5:39.  When religious people elevate their “new wine”, “oral law”, or “new theology”, it is imperative to remember that the original Ancient Path is the mature wine!

…What a powerful message for the world to ponder!  Baruch haShem ADONAI for His willingness and patience to teach mankind what is truly important to HIM!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Parashah 20: Tetzaveh (You are to order) Exodus 27:20 through 30:10

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends!  As always, a synopsis of this week's Torah portion (Parashah 20: Tetzaveh [You are to order] Exodus 27:20 through 30:10) can be found on our website.

This parashah takes place while Moshe (Moses) is up on Mt. Sinai receiving instructions from YHWH Himself! (See Exodus 24:18 and 32:1.)

In this particular lesson we get yet another inkling about how adamant YHWH (Yahweh/The Creator) was concerning obedience to His holy Commands. He did not allow any "half heartedness" and certainly no reinventing of His instructions. Any veering from the Truth and instructions could lead to death - and that is reinforced throughout the Bible. We are to be dedicated to Him in every area of our lives.

In reading these chapters, we get a sense that the there is "something divine" about the role of the cohanim (priests) that goes way above and beyond the roles of today's priests and pastors. (For instance, check this link to discover the mystical powers of Urim and Tumim.)

For more educational reading about this parashah, please click on the link above.

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Explaining the Hebrew vs. the Greek mindset

If you've been following our teaching for any length of time, then you've probably noticed that I personally use the term "Hebrew mindset" a lot. For instance, I might say something like, "To understand the Word of God, one must try to view it from a Hebrew instead of a Greek mindset."

What does that mean?

Well, the "Hebrew mindset" and the "Greek mindset" refers to the fact that there is a difference in their respective ways of thinking about life, about God, and about Truth. Both the Hebrews and the Greeks were "set" in their thinking about what and how they believed. To the Hebrew God was an easy concept; He was their Creator.

The Greeks, on the other hand, were more prone to be atheistic or agnostic. That is why Rav Shaul (the Apostle Paul) used different approaches when he spoke to the Hebrew and Greek cultures. In speaking to the Hebrews, he could preach the Gospel directly because they already believed in God and in creation. But in his dealings with the Greeks, he first had to present Messiah Yeshua as the Creator God before actually giving them the Gospel.

Rav Shaul (Paul) points out that the "arm of YHWH" is Y'shua who, while on Earth, is addressed in human terms, where Mari (my Master) is more appropriate. It is a forceful way of identifying the source of this "arm" which relates directly to YHWH's name and His chosen messenger. He is the only "messenger" in the Tanakh with the ability to forgive sin and to officiate in the Name of YHWH, as opposed to the title of "El" (Exodus 23:20-22). The angels all have only YHWH's "title" within their names: Gabri-el, Rapha-el, Micha-el....

Here's something that will blow your mind: The "Greek" mindset imagines a tattoo or something similar on the thigh of Y'shua (Jesus) when he returns as "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19:11-13,16). But the Hebrew mindset sees something more realistic: The tzit-tzits (braid/knots/tassels) of Yeshua's tallit (prayer shawl) falling across his thighs when He returns to earth atop a white horse!

What does that mean? Well, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value. Consequently, the knots of the tassels on the four corners of a tallit spell out the name of YHWH....(There are actually different trains of thought about this, depending on how the knots are tied. The Sephardics tie the knots in windings of 10, 5, 6, 5 which spells out the numeric values of "YHWH" but the Ashkenazies use windings of 7, 8, 11, 13 which, adds up to 39, which is the numerical equivalent of Deuteronomy 6:4 which cites the Shema.)

Regardless, the numeric values refer to the only ONE true Name of our ELOHIM - (Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey) - the Name He gave to Moshe (Exodus 3:13-15)!

Another example of a Hebrew as opposed to Greek mindset can be seen in their respective calendars/timelines. For instance, according to God, a "day" is from "sunset to sunset" (Genesis 1:5) as opposed to "midnight to midnight". He called the days of the week the "first day", "second day", etc., whereas "the world" has named its days and months after pagan gods...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Does Matthew 23 suggest that the Pharisees in Yeshua’s day HAD to be obeyed, in spite of their own unholy behavior?

QUESTION TO OUR WEBSITE, THE REFINER’S FIRE:

I’ve been having a discussion with someone who has rejected Jesus, and they are telling me that Matthew 23 says that the Pharisees in Yeshua’s day HAD to be obeyed, never mind that they didn’t even follow their own rules. What say you guys?

OUR RESPONSE:

That’s total nonsense! This person, like so many, is viewing the New Treatment through a Greek mindset. Let’s take a look at the context of that entire chapter via the Hebraic mindset:

Matthew 23:1. Y’shua then spoke with the crowds and with his disciples. 2. And he said to them, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moshe[1] 3. Therefore everything that they[2] say to you that you should keep and do. But not according to their deeds, for they talk, but do not. 4. And they bind heavy burdens and place them upon the shoulders of the sons of men, but they do not desire to touch them with their fingers.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Aramaic word korseya (Hebrew cognate kisseh- see Genesis 41:40) specifically means “throne”, exactly as in the Aramaic portion of Daniel 7:9. Y’shua is describing a seat of judgment that implies YHWH’s authority. So while Y’shua vigorously rebukes the scribes and the Pharisees for rebellion, hypocrisy, and their man made traditions that make void the Torah; he also recognizes them as the rightful inheritors of Torah-based halakha (applying the Word of YHWH to our lives).

This would include the ancient Priesthood calendar that the Pharisees followed for keeping the Feasts. There are no accounts in the New Testament or in Jewish history of Y’shua or the Apostles departing from the calendar that the Pharisees sanctified. Y’shua and the Apostles routinely taught in synagogues of the Pharisees and in the Temple and observed the moedim (Set Times) in unity.

[2] A very late and unattested reading in Shem Tob Matthew states: “everything ‘he’ (Moshe) tells you to do, do it.” This rendering is nonsense; Y’shua would not mention Moshe when the Pharisees are “they” who sit in Moshe’s seat. Peshitta and Greek texts agree that since the Pharisees sit in Moshe’s seat they should teach Moshe but, instead, they elevate their oral traditions above Torah. The fact of the matter is, if they would actually study Torah, they would know Y’shua is Mashiyach. Y’shua returns to this point in John 5:46-47.

Matthew 23:5. And they do all their deeds that they might be seen by the sons of men. For they widen their Tefillin[3] and lengthen the Tekhelet[4] of their robes. 6. And they love the chief places at festivals and the chief seats at the assembly. 7. And a greeting in the streets, and to be called Rabbi by men. 8. But you should not be called “My Great One”,[5] for there is only one Who is Great and you are all brothers

FOONOTES:

[3] Leather box/straps containing Bible verses that traditional observant Jews bind on their arms and foreheads during daily prayer, except on Shabbat (Deut. 6:8-PY).

[4] The “ribbon of blue” of the “tzitzit” (fringes), as commanded in Num. 15:38. “Tekhelet” can also refer to tzitzit, or even the whole prayer shawl/talit.

[5] Aramaic here does not mean "Rabbi" as in "teacher" per se, as in Matthew 28 Y'shua commands his disciples to teach the world. Instead, Y'shua is addressing the more literal meaning of “rab” which is “great” as shown in Genesis 6:5, “the wickedness of man was great on the earth.” The previous eight verses teach against elitist behavior, so "do not be called My Great One, for you have One that is Great, YHWH." This is directed to the Rabbis (leaders) themselves, not to the followers. Certainly this does not win popularity among the Rabbis.

Matthew 23:. 9. And do not call yourself Father[6] for your Father is one who is in heaven. 10. And you should not be called leaders, because one is your leader, the Mashiyach. 11. But he who is greatest among you, let him be a servant to you. 12. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven before the sons of men. For you are not entering yourselves, and those who would enter you do not allow to enter.[7]

FOOTNOTES:

[6] This prohibition against calling leaders “father” is to avoid giving high status to men which is due unto YHWH. Catholics openly defy this commandment, but all institutions who use flattering titles for leaders are culpable; see Job 32:21-12. Isaiah 56:10-12 exposes leaders who “can never have enough” and who keep their “followers” in spiritual and often financial poverty by seeking personal gain for themselves. See also 1 Timothy 4:3 .

[7] There can be no doubt that religious leaders are the greatest stumbling block that keeps people from entering into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 23:14. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you consume the houses of widows, and that for a pretense you lengthen your prayers. Because this you will receive a greater judgment. 15. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you traverse sea and land that you might make one proselyte, and when he has become one, you make him double the son of Gehenna that you are yourselves. 16. Woe to you blind guides, for you say that whoever swears by the temple is not anything, but who swears by the gold of the temple is guilty.

17. You are blind fools, for what is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18. And whoever swears by the altar, it is not anything, but he who swears by the offering that is upon it is guilty. 19. You are blind fools! What is greater, the offering or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20. Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and all things that are upon it. 21. And whoever swears by the temple, swears by it and by He who dwells in it. 22. And whoever swears by Heaven swears by the throne of Elohim, and by Him who sits upon it.

23. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and you overlook the weightiest[8] things of Torah: Judgment[9] and Mercy[10] and Faith.[11] And these things were necessary for you to have done, and these things you should not have forgotten. 24. Blind guides who strain at gnats and swallow camels. 25. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate but inside they are full of extortion and iniquity. 26. Blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, Then the outside will be clean also.

FOOTNOTES:

[8] Lighter or weightier (kol v’homer) is a principle that Y’shua employs on many occasions. In Matt. 6:30 Y’shua teaches that if Elohim clothes the fields with grass (lighter), then how much more will he take care of your needs? (weightier)

[9] The Mitzvot (Commandments) of YHWH are categorized as Mishpatim (Judgments), Edyut (Testimonies) and Khokim (Statutes). The Judgments are the moral or ethical Commandments that differentiate right from wrong.

[10] Hosea 6:6

[11] Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4

Matthew 23:27. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! For you are like white tombs that appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are filled with the bones and all the corruption of the dead. 28. Thus you also appear on the outside as righteous men to the sons of men. On the inside you are filled with iniquity and hypocrisy. 29. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and you adorn the sepulchers of the righteous.[12] 30. And you say that if we had been in the days of our forefathers, we would not have been participants with them in the blood of the prophets.

FOOTNOTE:

[12] A “marketing strategy” of the Pharisees is to posture themselves as being obedient to YHWH’s Prophets, and thus appear to legitimize their authority regarding Torah and the Prophets. A similar strategy is adopted by Christians who postures themselves as authorities on the Jewish Mashiyach, but who instead promote pagan religious traditions; these “crucify” Mashiyach daily by choosing to willfully neglect the Word of YHWH.

Matthew 23:31. Whereby you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who killed the prophets. 32. And you also fill up the measure of your forefathers. 33. Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How will you flee from the judgment of Gehenna? 34. Behold, because of this I will send to you prophets and wise men and scribes. Some of them you will kill, and you will execute them on stakes, and some of them you will scourge in your assemblies. And you will pursue them from city to city,

35. So that will come upon you all the blood of the righteous. And up to the blood of Zakharya,[13] the son of Brakhya, he whom you killed between the temple and the altar. 36. Truly I say to you that all these things will come upon this generation. 37. Urishlim! Urishlim! Murderess of the prophets and stoner of those that are sent to her. How often I have desired to gather your children like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you did not desire it! 38. Behold, your house is left desolate.[14] 39. I say to you that you will not see me from now on until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of Master YHWH.”[15] (Aramaic English New Testament)

FOOTNOTES:

[13] Meshikha (Mashiyach in Aramaic) is using the Hebrew canonical order of Tanakh. By referring to the righteous blood of Haweel (Abel, recorded in Genesis) and of Zakharya (Zechariah, 2 Chronicles), Meshikha is making reference to the first and last book of the Hebrew canon. The meaning of Meshikha’s teaching is clear; the blood of every righteous person recorded in all of Scripture will come upon the scribes and Pharisees.

[14] Jeremiah 22:5

[15] Psalm 118:26

Monday, February 11, 2019

Is the Old Testament fading away?

READER QUESTION to The Refiner's Fire:

I saw in Hebrews that the Old Testament is fading or vanishing away. How can that be true? The Old Testament contains God's Divine Instructions to us!

OUR RESPONSE:

Thank you for the excellent question. Fear not! One simply has to look at that particular passage in context, using the Hebrew mindset:

Hebrews 8:10. But this is the covenant which I will give to the family of the house of Israel after those days, says Master YHWH: I will put my Torah in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts; and I will be to them a Elohim, and they will be to me a people.

11. And one will not teach his son of the city nor his brother, nor say: You shall know your Master YHWH: because they will all know me, from the youngest of them to the oldest. 12. And I will forgive them their iniquity; and their sins will I remember no more. 13. In that he said a Renewed (Covenant), he made the first old; and that which is old and decaying, is near to disappearing. (Aramaic English New Testament)

The context is Jeremiah 31:31-34, what is “near to disappearing” is the sinful nature of man that breaks Torah, not the standard of Torah. It is imperative to remember that WE broke Torah, not YHWH. YHWH did not drop the standard of Torah because Israel chose disobedience; rather, He installed a Renewed Covenant to write Torah upon the heart through the work of the Ruach haKodesh, according to Mashiyach.

The fact of the matter is that in Mashiyach, YHWH raised the bar; He magnified Torah (see Isaiah 42:21). Because mankind broke Covenant, YHWH requires complete renovation on our part, not HIS part of the Covenant. This verse in its twisted form, became one of the “crown jewels” of Christianity which teaches that Torah is decaying and is near to disappearing - but NOTHING could be farther from the truth!

Also important is that fact that, back in chapter 7, it is the “instruction” (Torah) of the Levitical priests being discussed, pointing towards Awraham submitting his sons to be into the line of Melchisedec (Malki-Tzedek), by tithing to this man in advance.

What happens is a switching of priestly modalities within Torah where the priestly model in Exodus gives way to its predecessor from Genesis, in accordance with all the prophecies in the Tanakh. Again, Pagan tradition uses this passage to teach that it is the “Law” that is passing away.

Another vital component to understanding this priesthood is that the akeida (binding of Isaac) points to the Malki-Tzedek priesthood, not to the Levitical priesthood. The akeida is fully realized in Mashiyach ben Yoseph, the Suffering Servant who is Y’shua.