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.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A passage that serves as a warning to all the unbelievers and half-hearted

2 Corinthians 4:3. And if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled to them that perish; 4. To them whose minds the god of this world has blinded, in order that they might not believe, or else the light[1] of the Flame (Good News) of the glory of the Mashiyach (who is the likeness of Elohim)[2] should dawn upon them.

5. For it is not ourselves that we preach, but the Mashiyach, Y’shua our Master;[3] and, as to ourselves, that we are your servants for Y’shua’ sake.

6. Because Elohim, who commanded the light to arise from darkness, has Himself shined in our hearts, that we might be illuminated with the knowledge of the glory of Elohim on the face of Y’shua the Mashiyach.[4] 7. But we have this treasure in an earthen vessel that the excellence of the power might be from Elohim, and not from us. (AENT)

Footnotes:

[1] An Aramaic wordplay between “blinded” (aeor) and “light” in Hebrew (aur), which can also become the Aramaic word for “Torah,” i.e. aurayta, since Torah certifies the Good News. Also, in mystical thinking when the aleph is replaced by an ayin (as in the word for blind), even though both have a potential silent or “A” sound, the ayin is said to drain power; so from light to blindness.

[2] Damota d’Alaha = likeness of Elohim. This is an interesting word choice because damota denotes likeness but not equivalence. As in the book of Hebrews the earthly Temple vessels are representative of the heavenly; in this case Y’shua is the human face of YHWH. However, Hebrews 1:3 also tells us that Y’shua is “the radiance of His glory” – with a synonym to damota, tzemya – “and the exact representation (tzelma) of His (YHWH’s) nature.”

Tzelma is a much closer idea of the spiritual blueprint of man, which is also the reflection of YHWH. It is not representative like damota, but is almost like reflection in the sense of a cloned image that is the image itself. The word “copy” should be avoided as that would denote two natures of YHWH, which is not supported in the Peshitta text.

[3] Just as Y’shua spoke in his Father’s Name, so does Paul speak in the name of Y’shua Mashiyach. Paul’s authority was not on the basis of his own name. Neither was Paul given any authority to do away with Torah; this is simply a Pagan or Hellenistic ideology that is projected upon Paul.

[4] This verse strengthens the idea that the glory of Elohim is “reflected” in Y’shua’s face.

Responding to yet another Jesus-rejecter….

antimis_crap_answerl

Oh my, how lost can some people be? Please read Will Hodges’ words above (which were posted publicly on Facebook), and then read our response to his accusations – assertions that prove that he doesn’t have a clue about God’s Word!

First of all, YHWH didn’t “arrange for the murder of his own son.” Our all-knowing, all-seeing ELOHIM already KNEW how humanity would react to the teachings of His Son! He KNEW they would kill him … and the thing is, he HAD to die to become our atonement. He MARTYRED himself, against which there is no law! (See our blog article which explains: https://blog.therefinersfire.org/2018/12/challenging-counter-missionary-argument.html)

Mr. Hodges doesn’t think “the Hebrew scriptures” foreshadows the death, burial and resurrection? Hmmm. In that case, one has to wonder what these passages are all about:

Concerning the death of Messiah, check out Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. Psalm 22 is especially remarkable since it predicted numerous separate elements about Yeshua’s crucifixion a thousand years before he was crucified. Here are some examples (and please don’t try to tell us that anyone else besides Yeshua has EVER fulfilled all those Messianic prophecies, because we ALL know that's not true!)…

Messiah will have His hands and His feet “pierced” through (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25). His bones will not be broken (a person’s legs were usually broken after being crucified to speed up their death) (Psalm 22:17; John 19:33). Lots would be cast for Messiah’s clothing (Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35).

Isaiah 53, the classic messianic prophecy known as the “Suffering Servant” prophecy, perfectly details the death of Messiah for the sins of His people. More than 700 years before Yeshua’s birth, Isaiah provided details of His life and death!

Messiah would be rejected (Isaiah 53:3; Luke 13:34); killed as a vicarious sacrifice for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:5–9; 2 Corinthians 5:21) – all the while, he would be silent in front of His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; 1 Peter 2:23). Messiah would be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57–60), and with him at his death would be criminals (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:27).

King David wrote about the Resurrection in Psalm 16, which was also written a millennium before the birth of Yeshua: “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay”...

On Shavuot (Weeks or Pentecost), when Peter preached the first gospel sermon, he boldly asserted that God had raised Yeshua from the dead (Acts 2:24)., and then explained that God had performed this miraculous deed in fulfillment of David's prophecy in Psalm 16.

Matter of fact, Peter quoted the words of David in detail as contained in Psalm 16:8–11. A few years later, Paul did the same thing when he spoke to the Jewish community in Antioch, when he declared that ELOHIM had raised Messiah from the dead in fulfillment of Psalm 16:10 (Acts 13:33–35).

Returning to Isaiah 53: After prophesying that the Suffering Servant would suffer for the sins of God’s people, the prophet says he would then be “cut off out of the land of the living.” However, Isaiah then stated that Messiah “will see His offspring” and that the Father will “prolong his days” (Isaiah 53:5, 8, 10) ... offspring not referring to children, but spiritual offspring, which we Believers are!.

Isaiah then proceeded to reaffirm the promise of the resurrection in different words: “As a result of the anguish of His soul, he will see light and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11).

Every aspect of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua WERE prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures long before the events ever unfolded in the timeline of human history!

No wonder Messiah would say to the Jewish religious leaders of His day:

John 5:39. Search the Scriptures, because in them you think you have that life that is eternal, and they testify concerning me. 40. And you do not desire to come to me, that you may have that life that is eternal. 41. I do not receive praise from the sons of men. 42. But I know you that the love of Elohim is not there in you!

43. I have come in the name of my Father, and you have not received me. Yet, if another should come in his own name, you will receive him.[1] 44. How are you able to believe, who receive praise from one to another, and yet the One that is from Elohim you do not seek? 45. Why? Do you think I will accuse you before the Father? The one who will accuse you is Moshe, in whom you place your hope.

46. For if only you had believed in Moshe, you would also be believers in me, for Moshe wrote concerning me. 47. And, if you do not believe the writings of that man, how will you believe my words? (AENT)

NOTE:

[1] All forms of science and religion have a “Messiah” and “priesthood.” A “name” carries authority, or “branding” just as a university awards degrees in its “name”. Honor and recognition by the faculty or “priesthood” extends the use of the “name” to its “disciples.”

Y’shua comes in his Father’s Name; mankind struggles to distinguish the Name of YHWH, versus the name of man. Most who practice Judaism or Christianity know that Yahweh is the Personal Name of the Creator of the Universe, yet most prefer to follow religious traditions about His Name.

Rabbinical authorities have long established a ban on verbalizing the Name of YHWH, they’ve invented the title “HaShem” to replace YHWH’s Name. Christians say, “the LORD”. In such cases religious traditions come in “their own name” the followers of these two religions have accepted longstanding religious traditions against the Word of YHWH. By usurping authority over Scripture, religion sends followers out “in the name” of their religion.

So, yes, Yeshua (Jesus) WAS  innocent! That was actually part of the whole point. This guy should actually read the Tanakh…

YHWH (God) did not "arrange for the murder of his own son"! He sent a part of himself (redeemer) as a blood redemption just as he did for Abraham when he sent a ram to be slain instead of Issac. Again, this guy should actually read the Tanakh.

Yes, murder is a crime. (Buzzers and bells sound, the guy got one right!) But think about this: The point is missed entirely. He does not see that even Pilate, the Roman pagan, understood that Yeshua's blood was "on their hands"; he said "My hands are clean of this man's blood; it's your responsibility."

So, legally (Roman law was the rule), Pilate (not “Pilot”!) gave the authority to the frenzied crowd, led by the Jewish cohanim, to slay the Messiah. Thus the prophecy was fulfilled.

Sadly, and again, this guy should actually read the Tanakh.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Do you know of anyone who is thinking of rejecting Yeshua?

As sad as it is, there are many today who are rejecting ADONAI's Messiah, insisting Yeshua is a farce and the New Testament is a complete myth. If you know someone like this, please have them read the following:

HaShem said HE would send a prophet who was to do everything He ordered him to do - and that is exactly what Yeshua did!

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. (CJB)

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. (Aramaic English New Testament)

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

Yeshua came to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH and to do everything His Father commanded. He tore down the fences of man's legalism. Neither He nor His Apostles ever advocated against Torah!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 8, 2019

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

I really like some of Will Rogers’ sayings. He was a very wise man who had a lot of common sense. And so, it’s no surprise that YHWH used Mr. Rogers to get me on the “right track” toward becoming a Believer. It happened back in 1993, approximately a year after a messy divorce from a mentally abusive “recovering alcoholic” control freak who also happened to be bisexual….

Oh, that sham of a marriage had been horrible! It had literally sucked the life force out of me; and my only goal was to see El Paso in the rearview mirror the day I packed my suitcase, grabbed my dog and pointed my car down the road to "anywhere." Numb with anger, shame and grief over yet another failed relationship (because I’ve always had a tendency to pick "losers"), I ended up in Springfield, Missouri, where I had graduated from high school 24 years before.

Having recently been retired from a very successful and rewarding career as a US Army journalist, I just wanted a fresh start. I didn’t know what lay ahead, and I didn’t really have a plan. All I knew was, I was tired; tired and depressed and longing for that terrible aching in my heart to go away. It was like my heart had this hole in it that couldn’t be filled or fixed.

Anyway, proverbial long story short, while connecting with some old friends in Springfield, I was invited to attend a Sunday morning Singles group meeting at one of the churches – something I immediately rejected as I wanted NOTHING to do with men or church! Period. Too many bad experiences with both.

Plus, I didn’t really want to “put down roots” or risk getting into a relationship because I wasn’t sure what my future held. At age 42, I was lost and aimless in those days - and having to start all over again, was downright depressing. I had no clue whether or not I would stay in Missouri because, in all honesty, that place held so many horrific childhood memories. Matter of fact, I didn’t really know why I had chosen to return! It was almost like my car had just kind of headed there on its own….

So, long story short, I moped around for many months. Tried to find a job to supplement my military retirement income, but my nerves were too raw. I couldn’t be around people. And so I stayed holed up in my little rental house, playing with my dog and taking long walks. My life was at a complete standstill – and I didn’t know what to do about it. Moreover, I didn’t care to do anything about it. It was almost as if I was happy being mired in misery.

Truth be told, I was actually used to being miserable and unhappy. My entire life had been one disaster after the next, as far as personal relationships were concerned, so this was nothing new, really. This time, though, I seemed to be in a complete rut, stuck in neutral, not knowing what to do or which way to turn. And that “not caring” thing was a new twist for me. Something simply wasn’t right.

Looking back, I’m sure that’s why God intervened - even though I wasn't a true "believer" back then. Yes, I "believed in God," but I had no clue what to do with Him; and so, He reached out to me in ways I could understand.

And He did it early on one Sunday morning by waking me up from vivid dream that left me completely shaken. In the dream, I was sitting at the very top of a steep roller-coaster track with the wind blowing on my face, watching throngs of tiny people milling around below. No one seemed to notice that I was perched at the summit of the track; no one cared. I was all alone, just sitting there, too numb to wonder why I was there or how I got there..

Somehow, a uniformed police officer materialized on a motorcycle that came to rest near my feet. “Hello, ma’am,” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“I don’t know,” I replied lethargically.

“Well,” he said, after some moments, “you need to leave.”

“Why?”

“Because you can’t stay here, ma’am.”

When I awoke, I lay there for a few minutes, wondering why on earth I would have had a dream like that, because I’ve always hated roller-coasters. But shortly thereafter, while sitting at the kitchen table, staring into space while holding a steaming hot cup of coffee with both hands, it hit me:

“EVEN IF YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK, YOU’LL GET RUN OVER IF YOU JUST SIT THERE!”

It came seemingly out of nowhere - that saying by Oklahoma’s “favorite son” Will Rogers.

I was stunned, for I had read that saying somewhere many years before - and suddenly here it was, like some lighthouse beacon telling me to snap out of my depression and DO something!

And so I did. Recognizing this incident as "some kind of a sign" on that sunny Sunday morning, I forced myself to get up and take a shower, get myself dressed, and go to that church’s singles group meeting.

It was a move that would change my life in ways I never dreamed - because it was through that particular singles group, that I ended up dating a man who, on our first date, took me to his hometown Baptist church (yes, big surprise - a church!) where the Holy Spirit wasted no time "opening my spiritual eyes" … which changed my life in ways I never imagined….

The funny thing is, I didn’t really want to date that man because he was a “Bible thumper.” (My adoptive father – a raving pedophile who had molested me for years – was a “Bible thumper!” So, in my mind, “religious folks” were all hypocrites and frauds…)

But the man I dated wasn’t a hypocrite or a fraud. The bottom line was that we weren’t meant to be a “forever” couple; YHWH had lots of other plans for me, and He had simply used him to “lead me to the Lord” – to put me “on the right track,” so to speak.

But, oh, the places He took me to, once I was on that track … and it was all because I had had the good sense to listen to that dream He gave me during one of the darkest periods of my life!

HALLELUYAH! Praises be to ADONAI Rapha, ADONAI Nissi, ADONAI Yireh, El Shaddai!

John 15:16 You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you. (CJB)

Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (ESV)

Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know what plans I have in mind for you,' says ADONAI,'plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. 12 When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly; 14 and I will let you find me,' says ADONAI…. (CJB)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Parashah 19: T'rumah (Contribution) Exodus 25:1 through 27:19

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends!  As always, a synopsis of this week's Torah portion (Parashah 19: T'rumah (Contribution) Exodus 25:1 through 27:19) can be found on our website at   https://www.therefinersfire.org/parashah_19.htm

Many will skip over passages such as the ones in this week’s parashah reading – although, it is clearly very important as it presents the design of the tabernacle and dimensions of the ark, etc. Not to mention, most view these things as "Old Testament" which - according to our pastors - was full of interesting history, but they supposedly in no way pertain to New Testament teachings, because Jesus had supposedly "fulfilled" it all. The only thing that was really of any consequence for us today, the pastors insist, is our "belief in the shed blood at the cross"….

How wrong they are!  We invite you to check out our indepth study about the tabernacle to get just a tiny glimpse of its significance….

Poster_bat_tallit

More responses to Jesus-rejecters….

Counter-missionary comment:

Do you see in Scripture that the Messiah is supposed to wear a tallit and call himself Yeshua?

Our response:

Yes! "But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings" (Mal. 4:2)

Men don’t have “wings”…. The Hebrew word for "wings" used in this passage is kanaf, which is a word that specifically means the fringe-like feathers or edges of a bird's wing, not the whole wing. All of us have seen an eagle or hawk circling in the summer sky and have seen these fringe-like feathers. This word, therefore, had two meanings and could be translated wings, or fringes.

This refers to his tallit.  Why?  Well, 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 are we saying? 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.)

As for Yeshua’s name:

Isaiah 7: 14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9: For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo'etz El Gibbor Avi-'Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace],

Jeremiah 23:5-6: 5 "The days are coming," says ADONAI when I will raise a righteous Branch for David. He will reign as king and succeed, he will do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Y'hudah will be saved, Isra'el will live in safety, and the name given to him will be ADONAI Tzidkenu [ADONAI our righteousness].

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

His Name IS Yeshua which, in Hebrew, means "Yahweh is salvation."  Y'shua is the only Heavenly Entity who has the Name of Yud Hey Vav Hey (YHWH/Yahweh) within His own name! The angels/messengers all have the title of Elohim (God) within their names: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel....

The Name above all Names, however, is YHWH.

John 17: 11. Henceforth, I will not be in the world, and these are in the world. And I am coming to Your presence. Kadosh [1] Father, keep them by your Name [2], that which you have given to me, that they may be one as We are. 12. I was with them while I was in the world. I have kept them in your Name [3]; those whom you have given to me, I have kept. And not a man of them is lost except for the son of perdition, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. 13. And now I come to Your presence, and these things I speak in the world that my joy may be full in them. 14. I have given to them Your Word and the world hates them because they are not of the world as I am not of the world. (AENT)

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

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

[3] Y'shua keeps them in YHWH's name so when we call upon YHWH in Y'shua's name, we are calling on YHWH for Salvation. As the Name of YHWH is in Mashiyach, so are we to have the name of Mashiyach in us, which means that as followers of Y'shua we are to walk according to his righteousness, observe Torah and walk in the anointing of the Ruach haKodesh as Mashiyach demonstrated to us.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Jewish Rabbi: Certain New Testament passages make him “want to vomit”….

Check out this video where Jesus-rejecter William Hall and some Jewish rabbi are sitting around bashing the NT. The Rabbi a couple times has mentioned that certain NT passages make him want to vomit. Well, if he had ever read the NT IN CONTEXT, he wouldn't feel that way. But hey, it's easier to sit around and bash than it is to actually consult the Ruach for proper understanding!

Their mean-spirited dialogue makes ME want to vomit!

Here's a wake-up call for these two "gentlemen", who mentioned John 8:1-4 as being "Jew bashing verses":

The story of John 8 about the "woman caught in adultery" was never in the original manuscripts! The story is nonexistent in the Peshitta and does not appear in the four earliest Greek manuscripts of John.  (Click on the link to see my blog on this issue.)

They also mentioned John 5:16. Well, let's take a look at the CONTEXT of that passage, shall we?

Temember, God cannot be born, nor can He die. Yeshua, the MESSIAH, the SON, did both. This SHOWS that He did not come as YHWH's replacement! Yet what made Him "divine" was the fact that He had a divine qnoma (Nature). You can view the relationship in John 5 as outlined in the Aramaic English New Testament (AENT) shown below:

John 5: 16. And because of this, the Yehudeans were persecuting Y'shua and were seeking to kill him because of these things he would do on the Shabbat. 17. But he, Y'shua, said to them, My Father works until now, I also work. 18. And because of this the Yehudeans were seeking all the more to kill him, not only because he had loosed [1]> the Shabbat, but also concerning that he would say that his Father was Elohim and was equating [2] himself with Elohim. 19. But Y'shua answered and said to them, Amen, amen I say to you that the Son is not able to do anything by his desire, but what he sees the things that the Father does. For these things that the Father does, the Son also likewise does. 20. For the Father loves the Son and everything that he does he shows to him. And greater than these works He will show him so that you will marvel. 21. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, likewise also the Son will make alive to those whom he desires. 22. For the Father does not judge man, rather all judgment he has given to the Son. 23. So that every man may honor the Son as he honors the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

24. Amen, amen: I say to you that whoever hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has life that is eternal, and does not come into judgment but has passed [3] from death into life. 25. Amen, amen I say to you that the hour is coming, even now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of Elohim, and those who hear will live. 26. For as to the Father, there is life in his Qnoma [4]. 27. And He gave him authority to also execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. 28. Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming when all those who are in the grave will hear his voice! 29. And those who have done good things will go forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil things to the resurrection of judgment.

30. I am not able to do anything of my desire, but as I hear I judge and my judgment is just, for I don't seek my will, rather the will of Him who sent me. 31. If I bear witness concerning myself, my testimony is not true. 32. Another is he who bears witness concerning me. And I know that his testimony that he testifies concerning me is true. 33. Yochanan was sent to you and he testified concerning the truth. 34. And I did not receive testimony from man; rather I say these things that you may live. 35. That man was a lamp that shone and brought light, and you desired to boast for an hour in his light.

36. But I have a testimony that is greater than that of Yochanan. For the works that my Father has given to me to complete them, those works that I do, testify concerning me that the Father has sent me. 37. And the Father who sent me testifies concerning me. You have never heard His voice, nor have you seen His appearance. 38. And His Word does not dwell in you because you do not believe in him whom He sent. 39. Search the Scriptures, because in them you think you have that life that is eternal, and they testify concerning me. 40. And you do not desire to come to me, that you may have that life that is eternal.

41. I do not receive praise from the sons of men. 42. But I know you that the love of Elohim is not there in you! 43. I have come in the name of my Father, and you have not received me. Yet, if another should come in his own name, you will receive him.[5] 44. How are you able to believe, who receive praise from one to another, and yet the One that is from Elohim you do not seek? 45. Why do you think that I will accuse you before the Father? There is one who accuses you, Moshe, he in whom you hope! 46. For if only you had believed in Moshe, you would also be believers in me, for Moshe wrote concerning me. 47. And, if you do not believe the writings of that man, how will you believe my words?

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Y'shua did not break the Shabbat according to Torah; rather, he restored the observance of Shabbat as YHWH intended, without the burden of religious tradition. In so doing, the traditions of the Pharisees had been violated, but certainly not the Torah of Moshe.

[2] To consider oneself "equal" to YHWH is a very serious matter. Y'shua spoke of himself as being about his Father's business, of coming in his Father's Name; he spoke and taught with authority and performed healings which made him a formidable opponent to religious tradition. The charge here of Y'shua making himself equal to YHWH is simply Pharisee tradition projecting itself onto Y'shua. The Ruach haKodesh in Mashiyach is "equal" to YHWH, but the Pharisees supposed that Y'shua and his followers equated his humanity with YHWH; they didn't understand Isaiah 11:1-2, that Mashiyach has the Ruach haKodesh (another name for YHWH-Psalm 51:1-11, Isaiah 63:1-11) within him.

YHWH spoke through the Spirit of Mashiyach, rather than through his human component! Y'shua maintained that his nefesh (soul) would die, but that YHWH would resurrect it! Y'shua believed his own nefesh was mortal. Zechariah 12:10 the Spirit of YHWH is "pierced" but they mourn for him (Y'shua) as an only begotten son. YHWH cannot literally be "pierced"; therefore, this refers to Mashiyach who has the Spirit of YHWH in him. The matter of the Father raising the dead is confirmed in verse 21, but we also see in this verse that the Son takes on the role of His Father as His Firstborn, for both Resurrection Power and Judgment.

[3] Literally, "He has removed himself." (PY)

[4] Qnoma literally means, "Underlying substance." (PY)

[5] All form of science and religion has a "Messiah" and "priesthood." A "name" carries authority, or "branding" just as a university awards degrees in its "name". Honor and recognition by the faculty or "priesthood" extends the use of the "name" to its "disciples." Y'shua comes in his Father's Name; mankind struggles to distinguish the Name of YHWH, versus the name of man.

As for those two guys getting all hot and bothered over the supposed anti-Semitism of Matthew 27:25, read this.

As for their complaint about Revelation 2:9, it just so happens, we have an article on our website about that.

The horrific truth about abortion

No matter how one attempts to justify abortion, it is is murder, plain and simple!  Watch this short video where a doctor explains exactly what happens…..

Poster_abortion

Are you “plugged in” to ELOHIM?

For several hours today, I kept hearing a little melodic sound on my computer, every time a new message came into my inbox. “Can’t be mine making that noise,” I thought. “My headphone cord is plugged in.”

When it continued, I finally turned around to ask my husband if that was his computer, and he said no. Baffled, I glanced at my speaker, and it sure looked like the headphone was plugged in. So, I shrugged and continued my work until the “sound” repeated again. Irritated, I started to jiggle the speaker cord – and, to my surprise, it kind of fell out into my hand.

It wasn’t plugged in! I had unplugged it earlier that day to have my husband listen to something, and apparently, failed to properly reconnect the plug afterward.

Well, immediately, the thought came to mind that this is why many people fail to “hear” God! They’re not properly “plugged in!”

Sure, they “believe in Jesus” or “go to church” (or synagogue). Or, they might even “do the stuff” (keep the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts and eat only “clean” foods. But they’re not “feeling it.” They’re just going through the motions. They trudge through their daily routines and never really make any effort to “DO something for God.” They don’t take time out to read the Bible, meditate on scriptures or pray.

In other words, their relationship with Him is NOT a “two-way street.” They’re simply not “plugged in!”

The thing is, if you’re not “plugged in,” it’s certainly not ADONAI’s fault! He has done everything He can possibly do to reach humanity.

He allowed Adam and Eve to continue LIVING after they sinned. He allowed Noah to start the human race all over again after the Flood that was sent because the world had become too wicked (Genesis 5). He ended Israel’s 400 years of slavery by bringing them out of Egypt and kept them in the wilderness for 40 years to teach them to learn to trust in, and rely on Him for everything (see the Books of Exodus – Deuteronomy).

He even sent His only Son to be our Final “SIN Redemption”; and all we have to do to today to receive eternal life is to know and accept that YHWH is our ELOHIM, and “believe” that His Divine Messiah was our blood atonement (see the Gospels) and live our lives in obedience….

The catch is, in order to receive that eternal life, you MUST be “wholehearted”.

Deuteronomy 6:4 "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra'el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one]; 5 and you are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. 6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart;

7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, 9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates. (CJB)

Joshua 22:5 Only take great care to obey the mitzvah and the Torah which Moshe the servant of ADONAI gave you - to love ADONAI your God, follow all his ways, observe his mitzvot, cling to him, and serve him with all your heart and being." (CJB)

And Yeshua said:

Revelation 3:20. 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)

The “lukewarm pew warmers” and those who are only “doing the stuff” because they feel obligated to do it, aren’t completely “plugged in!” They’re missing the boat! They know “about God” but they don’t KNOW Him! As a matter of fact, Yeshua said he would “vomit those types from his mouth” during his millennial reign on earth (Revelation 3:16-22).

So, check your “connection” to see if you are fully “plugged in.” If you’re not, perhaps it’s time to MAKE some time for the One who created you; the One who breathed into your nostrils the breath of life and has fed and clothed and guided you throughout your life (for nothing happens without Him - Lamentations 3:37, Romans 8:28, Psalm 33:13-14, and 46:1; Isaiah 57:15, etc.)

Start MAKING time to read and study Scripture and to have a daily dialogue with ADONAI who clearly wants a real relationship with you. Really “meet” with Him on Shabbat - His designated weekly “date” with you! You keep “dates” with your spouse, children, family and friends, because you cherish your relationships with them. So, start keeping your weekly “date” with the One who matters the most – the One who guarantees eternal life to those who love him with all their might.

No relationship is more important!

Isaiah 40: 12 Who has counted the handfuls of water in the sea, measured off the sky with a ruler, gauged how much dust there is on the earth, weighed the mountains on scales, or the hills in a balance? 13 Who has measured the Spirit of ADONAI? Who has been his counselor, instructing him? 14 Whom did he consult, to gain understanding? Who taught him how to judge, taught him what he needed to know, showed him how to discern? (CJB)

Will YOU find grace in the sight of ADONAI?

In Genesis 6: 5 ADONAI saw that the people on earth were very wicked, that all the imaginings of their hearts were always of evil only. 6 ADONAI regretted that he had made humankind on the earth; it grieved his heart. 7 ADONAI said, "I will wipe out humankind, whom I have created, from the whole earth; and not only human beings, but animals, creeping things and birds in the air; for I regret that I ever made them." 8 But Noach found grace in the sight of ADONAI. (CJB)

Will YOU find grace in the sight of ADONAI?

Will you be able to “endure to the end?”(Matthew 24:13.) Are you ready to face whatever lies ahead in these end times, and stand in the face of adversity? Whether you are, or not, these prophesied times are HERE, and only those who are securely grounded in their faith – in the Word of ADONAI - will be able to understand what’s happening, and cope….

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)

2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (CJB)

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (CJB)

Acts 20: 29. For I know, that after I am gone, fierce wolves will come in among you, and will have no mercy on the flock. 30. And also, from among yourselves, there will rise up men speaking perverse things, that they may turn away the disciples to go after them. 31. Therefore be vigilant; (AENT)

1 Peter 5: 10 You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (CJB)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Jewish “counter-missionaries” on their assertion that God never accepted human sacrifice….

antimis_crap_jason2

Yes, this "human sacrifice thing” is a true thorn in the sides of Jewish "counter-missionary" Yeshua rejecters ... and it's only because they've never understood that in the case of Mashiyach, his shed blood is counted as the acceptable sacrifice, the Lamb of YHWH, which is most Set Apart unto YHWH!

Why? Well, let's find out, using Ephesians 5 to help us understand:

EPHESIANS--Chapter 5

1. Be therefore imitators of Elohim as beloved children: 2. And walk in love; as the Mashiyach also has loved us and has given up himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to Elohim, for a sweet aroma. 3. But sexual sin and all impurity and greed, do not let them be at all heard from among you, as such (denials) are not becoming of the Set Apart believers; 4. Neither obscenities nor words of foolishness, or of division, or of falsehood, which are not useful; but instead of these, thanksgiving.

5. For you know this: That every man who is a sexual sinner, or impure, or greedy, or a worshipper of idols has no inheritance in the Kingdom of the Mashiyach and of Elohim. 6. Let no man deceive you with desolate words; for it is on account of these things that the wrath of Elohim comes on the children of disobedience.

7. Therefore don't be like them. 8. For you were up to now darkness, but now are light in our Master. Therefore, as the children of light, walk you that way. 9. For the fruits of the light are in all goodness and righteousness and truth. 10. And search out what is beautiful before our Master (Y'shua): 11. And have no commerce with the works of darkness which are unfruitful, but reject them.

12. For the things they do in secret, it is sickening even to mention. 13. For all things are exposed and made manifest by the light: and all things that are revealed, are light. 14. Therefore it is said: Awake you who are asleep and arise from the dead, and the Mashiyach will illuminate you.

5. See therefore, that you walk with spiritual knowledge; not like the simple, 16. But like the wise who purchase their opportunity; because the days are evil. 17. Therefore, do not lack in understanding; but understand what is the will of Elohim. 18. And don't be drunk with wine in which is rebellion; but be filled with the Spirit. 19. And converse with yourselves in psalms and hymns; and with your hearts sing to Master YHWH in spiritual songs. (Aramaic English New Testament)

Footnote:

Offerings "qurbana" and sacrifices "dabekha" are two different entities. Although there are certain aspects to Mashiyach's death that are utterly unique to him (Zechariah 12:10, etc.), his death nevertheless echoes aspects of offerings and sacrifices that came before. The qurbana is the human life (nefesh) that Y'shua voluntarily offers up on the stake. The result of that offering is his blood put out on the "altar"; hence dabekha.

However, this is certainly not, as some critics suggest, human sacrifice! Rather, this indicates Y'shua's status as Mashiyach ben Yoseph. Per strict accordance with Isaiah 53 and Genesis 22:8, Mashiyach ben Yoseph was required to suffer and die. After his death, the offering of himself became a sacrifice that was taken up, and he was resurrected three days later. Many of YHWH's prophets also suffered and were martyred at the hands of those who fought against the Malchut Elohim.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Dispelling some of the myths surrounding the “synagogue of satan” and “those who say they are Jews and are not"

Let’s dispel some of the hateful myths surrounding the “synagogue of satan” and “those who say they are Jews and are not."

Revelation 2: 9. I know your works and the affliction and the poverty (yet you are rich) and the railing which is from them who say they are Jews and they are not, but are of the congregation of haSatan.

Revelation 3: 9 Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren't - on the contrary, they are lying - see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. 10 Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. (CJB)

Many people seem to be under the erroneous impression that these verses refer to any Jew who doesn’t believe that Y’shua is the Messiah. “Jews are evil.” “Jews killed Jesus.” Blah, blah, blah. (Just this morning, I saw a post where some “Black Hebrew Israelite” wrote that the Jews in Israel today are all “fake Jews”. Strangely enough, this divisive group also believes that anyone who isn’t black cannot claim to be a Jew.)

The fights and arguments are endless – and isn’t ironic that, in the midst of all these silly divisions, EVERYBODY wants to be a Jew? For instance, one of the first things people will do once they find their way to Torah is knock themselves out to show that they have “Jewish heritage.”

Anyway, back to those verses …

When read in context, it’s clear that they refer to people in those days claiming the Jewish faith, perhaps pretending, perhaps espousing faith but teaching something else causing strife. (Not unlike the false teachers of today!)

While clearly applicable to any community where believers are oppressed or persecuted by non-believers, John was addressing the Messianic assemblies, not the world in general! He was not suggesting that there were "fake Jews" all over who somehow would occupy the Land. And it certainly doesn’t mean that modern-day Israel is occupied by "fake Jews" today!

Actually, to put "synagogue" in the above passages inadvertently implies that all Jews are meeting with the "devil" - but that is clearly not in the original message! John was talking about an "evil assembly" or a conspiratorial group who desired the destruction of believers, an evil assembly who may or may not be of Jewish bloodline – including the Jewish "establishment" who are clearly fearful of Jews who preach Mashiyach (Messiah) Y’shua and Torah!

John was NOT making a wholesale indictment against his own people!

Unfortunately, those verses in Revelation 2 and 3 have ended up being mantras for the self-righteous haters of the world to promote their hatred of the Jews. They are THE reason why we wrote this in-depth article for our website that reveals why all their sick assertions are just plain WRONG: https://therefinersfire.org/synagogue_of_satan.htm