Sunday, June 30, 2019

Got “baggage”? There is a way to get rid of it!

Are you being kept from being the person ADONAI meant for you to be, because you’re dragging some “baggage” around? If so, it’s time to let go!

Let’s start with a cute little parable that a wise old pastor once shared with me because he noticed I was “dragging baggage”:

A mother wolf once had her babies in a farmer's barnyard and then promptly abandoned them. Naturally, the farmer took pity on them and raised each one, himself. They were playful and adorable, and he loved them all. Once they started growing, they began to banter and play by grabbing a hold of the farmer’s pant legs and allowing him to drag them around the barnyard on their bellies. While this was cute and a lot of fun, the farmer noticed that as those little wolves got bigger, they were harder to drag along. Eventually, after just a few months, he couldn't move at all anymore when they descended upon his pant leg…

The above example can be likened to the "baggage" in our own lives. The baggage is hardly noticeable at first, because we feel confident that we’ve dealt with it; but as time goes along, we begin to realize that those “bad memories” we thought we had dealt with, keep coming back to haunt us. In other words, the “baggage” starts getting heavier and heavier; and pretty soon, it bogs us down altogether to the point where we can hardly function in our daily life.

What do I mean by “baggage”?

Well, “baggage” consists of the deep emotional scars caused by hurtful words or actions imparted on us by parents, spouses, relatives, friends and even strangers. These scars can be a result of a one-time event or an ongoing situation that had such a major, painful impact on our psyche that it continues to affect us for years on end – in many cases, even into old age.

Many tend to subconsciously drag their “baggage” into every relationship, never being able to figure out why their unions never seem to make them truly happy or allow them to feel complete. They usually don’t recognize that THEY often cause their own problems, and that they themselves are their own worst enemy - BECAUSE they have never “dropped the baggage” - and the reason for that is because this “baggage” became a part of their life somewhere along the way!  It’s almost as if they feel entitled enough to say, “This is me. This is who I am, and YOU need to accept me exactly as I am and learn to deal with ME and MY moods!”

Let’s use as an example, physically, sexually or emotionally abused children whose entire childhoods are ruined at the hands of some callous, me-oriented, mean-spirited older sibling or adult. The victims (even when very young), of course, realize that the abusive behavior is bad; but if it happens often enough or on an ongoing basis, it tends to become a part of the victim’s life – something they simply learn to  “live with” and even come to expect. It’s a rut in which they become stuck, with no way out … even after they become adults. In other words, it “becomes part of them.”

In the end, the victims often tend to either become abusers themselves (because it is what they learned during their formative years); or they choose to continue “being a victim” – many ending up as derelicts or sex or drug addicts or alcoholics with a perpetual desire to “drown” the pain that always returns once they sober up. They basically feel angry, sad, depressed and/or worthless, never being able to get ahead, and constantly attracting the same types of people they’re “used to” … because it’s “what they know” ….

It’s the rare person who is able to break the cycle and live a “normal” life. Unless one RECOGNIZES that they are stuck on a perpetual “merry-go-round” of emotional baggage, they will continue to cling to those painful memories that keep haunting them.

Some have the strength to learn “what NOT to do” from their awful childhoods, and to actually lead fairly “normal” and productive lives – but studies have shown that many, if not most, still tend to have “baggage” to deal with along the way, because the pain of their past can be triggered by many things, to include sights, sounds, songs, touches or smells….

One sad fact about many people with abusive pasts is that they tend to become self-centered, either incessantly talking about, or making everything about themselves - or going in the opposite direction to totally clam up and refusing to give of themselves at all. People who have suffered severe abuse in some way tend to lead either an overly-organized life, or they live in a continuous state of messiness, chaos and confusion. Their lives center around “how THEY feel” and what THEY think” and “what THEY want” – things that can drive a hard wedge into a relationship.

Some who were traumatized as children adopt the habit of “running” … leaving the relationship the minute they feel unhappy. It is a self-defense mechanism that says, “You hurt my feelings and therefore, I’m going to punish you by removing ME from your life!” or “I’m leaving YOU before you have a chance to leave me, because I don’t intend to let you hurt me!”

Emotional scars can be completely CRIPPLING!

The sad truth is, we ARE what we were molded into as children. If we grew up in a dysfunctional family, chances are great that we, too, will end up being dysfunctional and treating our spouses and children exactly the same way we were treated, dragging our “baggage” into every situation … UNLESS we follow some critical steps (not necessarily in this order, but they all need to be followed):

(1) Recognize that we have “a problem” and seek counseling from a Christian or Messianic counselor to learn how to CONFRONT and DEAL with it. Rarely can people accomplish the road to freedom on their own.

(2) Find your way to our Creator, YHWH, and accept the sacrifice His Divine Messiah made on our behalf. True healing from the inside-out comes ONLY from our Creator – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!  HE KNOWS what you’ve been through and He wants to help you grow and mature by allowing you to learn from, and overcome your problems. But He doesn’t “just take them” from you …

He expects you to LEARN to let go so you can become used to doing this on your own, becoming stronger every time you “give it to Him” and move on, instead of becoming depressed or throwing tantrums or running away,  Remember, He often allows us to go through situations so that we can learn first-hand … in other words by "refining us in the fire" as beautifully illustrated in this story: until we have been molded into His Image!

(3) Forgive the person or persons who hurt you - even if they can’t, or do not wish to cooperate in this matter. If it helps, write their names on a piece of paper, tell them out loud that you are NOT allowing them to continue having any kind of hold on you; and then burn it, telling ADONAI you’re turning the perpetrator over to Him.  It’s a very liberating feeling to do something tangible to “cut the ties” from those who hurt you.

A word of caution: Please understand that none of this is going to be easy and healing won’t and can’t happen “overnight”! Seeking counseling is NOT easy, because “peeling back those nasty emotional scars” HURTS! Unfortunately, it’s the only way for healing to take place. Once you give in and decide to kick God’s enemy, Satan, in the face, by learning to RECOGNIZE and DEAL with those triggers, you will eventually begin to notice that you react differently to the taunts of the enemy, in your quest to escape his claws.

May YHWH be with you as you start your journey toward healing so you can become the servant HE intended you to be!

Does life keep giving you more "bad" than "good"?

Does life keep giving you more "bad" than "good"? If so, we cannot always blame it on Satan or on others. Sometimes we need to step back and ask ourselves if WE aren't our own worst enemies.

Take a look at this little parable:

A guy comes to a "fork" in the road. He looks to the left and sees a lot of bumps and potholes. He looks to the right and the road looks a lot newer and better, so he takes that one. He walks for a long time with no problems, then all of a sudden, he falls into a huge pothole - one so big, it takes him days to climb out.

So, he goes back to the fork in the road, looks to the left and the right. The left has all those potholes and the right is still smooth, so he figures, now since he knows where that big pothole is, he will just walk around it, and so he takes that "right" road again.

When he gets to the pothole, he walks around it, but didn't realize there was another, even bigger one on the other side, and he falls into that one, which again takes him days to climb out of.

Once he does, he goes back to the fork, but rather than to try to see where that other road leads, he once again decides to take the smoother-looking road...because now he knows where those two potholes are, and he'll just be extra careful this time....

Are you getting the meaning? Sometimes - especially when we notice that our life seems to be at a stand-still and we're "going nowhere fast - we have to realize that "our way is not necessarily God's way!

Sometimes, we must choose to take the more difficult and complicated road, constantly seeking the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) and praying for divine guidance. ADONAI will NEVER lead us down the wrong path, even though it may well seem like it at the time.

In other words, don't be afraid to travel on that rocky road, because those lumps and bumps can serve as "teaching moments" to help you learn and grow.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Talking back to “weatherman” Sam Champion and his insistence that the world needs to “get used to” gays….

On today’s “Good Morning America” show (Jun 28, 2019), ‘weatherman’ Sam Champion” made a couple of statements that absolutely made me “see red!”

It’s one thing for Champion to “be gay” – I don’t “hate gays” and I don’t care what people do with their lives.  But I DO draw the line when it comes to being told what I should think and believe and how to live my OWN life!  Someone else’s “rights” END where mine BEGIN in my own home!

Anyway, this morning, Champion, with that ever-present flashy blinding smile of his – proudly shared a quick story about a couple of "gay penguins" in a London zoo, and he said it’s time we all learn to "deal with it” (homosexuality) because America “should be getting used to it by now."

EXCUSE ME?  Unlike Champion, my husband and I – as fervent believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob  – LIVE our faith (which is our RIGHT under the Freedom of Religion Act!)  And OUR GOD (THE Creator) calls homosexuality an ABOMINATION!  Not MY words, but HIS.  Take a look:

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

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

Revelation 22:14-16: How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! 15 Outside are the homosexuals, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (CJB)

1 Thessalonians 4:3: For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality....(CJB)

Romans 1:24: For this cause, Elohim gave them up to the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies with them. 25. And they changed the truth of Elohim into a lie; and worshipped and served the created things, much more than the Creator of them, to whom belong glory and blessing, forever and ever: Amen.

26. For this cause, Elohim gave them up to vile passions: for their females changed the use of their natures and employed that which is unnatural. 27. And so also their males set aside the use of females, which is natural, and burned with lust toward one another; and, male with male, they did what is shameful, and received in their core substance the just recompense of their error. (AENT)

And finally, here's a real wake-up call:

1 Corinthians 6: 18-20: Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (CJB)

Now – having said the above, in MY household I do NOT have to conform to the lifestyles of the ‘Sam Champions’ of this world.  Is that perfectly clear?  I will NEVER "get used to" something YHWH considers an ABOMINATION!  The homosexuals of the world better get used to THAT because I will proclaim THAT till the end of the world!

Here’s a wakeup call for those who believe homosexuality is “normal” and that the rest of the world needs to “get used to it” …

First of all, penguins are BIRDS. Our Creator gave Torah Rules (Divine Instructions in Righteousness) to HUMANITY, not to birds, fish or other animals! The last time I checked, we humans are to live HOLY, set apart lives according to YHWH's standards. (I can cite MANY scriptures.) Animals don’t have to do that.  They do exactly what they were created to do.  If some of them seek same-sex partners, it implies they are confused, not “gay” by choice!  To suggest otherwise is totally asinine!

Secondly, the animal kingdom didn't SIN; yet they were ALL punished the day Adam and Eve sinned; and, consequently, they are all living in a fallen world BECAUSE of us.

Thirdly:  When YHWH created life, He commanded ALL life to be "fruitful and multiply!" That commandment CANNOT be obeyed if you're in a same-sex relationship. Same-sex relationships only serve to douse "the Image" of God....

So, WHOSE fault is it that there are some "confused” penguins????

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Eager to get started on the next Torah portion? (Parashahs 42 and 43)

If you're eager to get started on the next Torah portion, you can find a synopsis our our website.  This week features another dual parashah:  

Parashah 42: Mattot (Tribes); Numbers 30:1 through 32:42


Parashah 43: Masa'ei (Stages); Numbers 3:1 through 36:13

To get started, simply click on each of the links above to read our synopses, and then read all of the Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our articles.

Parashah 42 discusses – among other things - how critical spoken words can be. As a matter of fact, volumes could be written about the very first verse in Numbers 30!

YHWH takes oaths very seriously, especially ones that were made to Him! Today, contracts don't seem to hold any meaning anymore because, many believe contracts were made to be broken and/or re-written to suit a certain purpose. Even many couples who are married in church and pledged to stay together "unto death" demonstrate instead that they didn’t take their oath very seriously, and end up divorced.

Unbeknownst to them, the vows made before YHWH stand, regardless! YHWH doesn't care what the reasoning, whether simple carnal desire or profit of some kind. A contract is a contract.

This parashah covers a WHOLE LOT more, and to read it, please click on the Parashah 42 link, above.

In Parashah 43 we see YHWH prophetically declaring the borders of Israel! As the Book of Numbers nears the end, we find YHWH's people anxiously waiting on the east side of the Yarden (Jordan) as they prepare to leave the Wilderness to enter the Land that he promised their forefathers many years before.

The beginning of this parashah, Numbers 33, is a recap, a summarization of the last 40 years before YHWH's people finally get to possess the Land of Israel! Today, we get to see Moshe taking the opportunity to recount each significant encampment their long and arduous journey toward the Promised Land.

This summarization must have been important to YHWH, who had His people move camps a total of 42 times (starting the count when they left Sukkot, Numbers 33:5, to when they reached the plains of Mo'av across from Yericho, Numbers 33:48). And, by the way, nothing in the Torah is mentioned in vain, and therefore we must pay special attention to those things that are mentioned more than once....

An important detail to grasp in these particular parashahs is that YHWH gave the Land to the Israelites (the offspring of Isaac); not to the Arabs (the offspring of Ishmael who ultimately became the enemy of YHWH: Muslims)!

Click on the link for Parashah 43 above to read all about how YHWH tells His people to not only kill or drive out the people living in the Land, but also their idols and "high places" (places of worship), lest they become infected with false gods. He did not do this because He was a mean God; He did it because (1) He intended for HIS people to inhabit the Land; and (2) He did not want them to fall prey to pagan ways…

IMPORTANT:  Please do not only read our synopses, but the actual Torah portions and the Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our articles.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

What were the “garments of skin” with which YHWH covered Adam and Eve after they sinned?

What were the “garments of skin” with which YHWH covered Adam and Eve after they sinned? It’s not what you might think….

As you all know, ADONAI keeps on opening eyes and revealing more and more of His Word to those who are truly seeking Him and His ways.  That is what He recently did for me on several levels, and I'm about to share something that's going to sound really odd.  (Some may already know this, but I didn’t until just a few months ago.)

For years now, I’ve been under the erroneous impression that YHWH introduced the sacrificial system in the Garden of Eden on the day He “made skins” for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).

I had always assumed the verse meant that He killed an innocent animal.  What else could “garments of skin” have referred to, right?  Well, one day it dawned on me that this passage does NOT say He killed an ANIMAL; it simply says:  “ADONAI, God, made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Hmmm.  Why would He have had to make garments of skin for them, once they discovered their “nakedness” when, back in verse 7 we saw that they had already covered their nakedness with fig leaves?  Why not just put them out of the Garden and let them fend for themselves when it came to “coverings” for their nakedness?

Genesis 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So, they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths. (CJB)

SOMETHING clearly wasn’t right here, and I HAD to find out what it was.  And so, I decided to do some in-depth research to investigate this matter (which included what the Orthodox Jewish Rabbis were teaching) – and what I found was absolutely stunning:  The “skin” to which YHWH was referring was HUMAN skin! 


Please stay with me, now as I explain.  You see, I’m not saying that Adam and Eve were “skinless”; rather, that they were “different” from us today. WE cannot be in the Presence of YHWH Himself without dying; but THEY could!

How would that have been possible?

Remember in Exodus 34 when Moshe (Moses), returned from Mt. Sinai after spending 40 days with YHWH, and he was “glowing” or “beaming” light so bright that he had to cover his face with a veil?  Moshe was in the Presence of the Most High, the Most Holy, a radiance so awesome and powerful that it must have activated the “light force” that glows within us all – a “light force” that receded once Moshe was back among fallen humanity.

I’m not making this up!  Take a peek back at Exodus 33:17-23 where YHWH told Moshe the following:

Exodus 33:17 ADONAI said to Moshe, "I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."  18 But Moshe said, "I beg you to show me your glory!" 19 He replied, "I will cause all my goodness to pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce the name of ADONAI (YHWH). Moreover, I show favor to whomever I will, and I display mercy to whomever I will.

20 But my face," he continued, "you cannot see, because a human being cannot look at me and remain alive. 21 Here," he said, "is a place near me; stand on the rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you inside a crevice in the rock and cover you with my hand, until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand, and you will see my back, but my face is not to be seen."  (CJB)

And here’s what happened when he came down the mountain, after spending 40 days and 40 nights in the presence of YHWH:

Exodus 34:29 When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, he didn't realize that the skin of his face was sending out rays of light as a result of his talking with [ADONAI]. 30 When Aharon and the people of Isra'el saw Moshe, the skin of his face was shining; and they were afraid to approach him. 31 But Moshe called to them; then Aharon and all the community leaders came back to him, and Moshe spoke to them.

32 Afterwards, all the people of Isra'el came near; and he passed on to them all the orders that ADONAI had told him on Mount Sinai. 33 Once Moshe had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But when he went in before ADONAI for him to speak, he would take the veil off until he came out; then, when he came out, he would tell the people of Isra'el what he had been ordered. 35 But when the people of Isra'el saw Moshe's face, that the skin of Moshe's face shone, he would put the veil back over his face until he went in again to speak with [ADONAI].  (CJB)

It also now makes sense that Moshe was not like most people. YHWH met with Moshe "face to face" ("panim el panim", Exodus 33:11); that is, a close relationship of direct communication, while at the same time, no human can "look upon His face" and live ("l'ra'oth et-panai", Exodus 33:30).

With these thoughts in mind, doesn’t it make sense that Adam and Eve had to be VERY “special” somehow, in order to BE in the Presence of the One who created them?  While the Torah doesn’t actually say that they ever actually SAW Him, we can only surmise that they did, because on the day they sinned, they knew His Voice and Presence, and “hid themselves” from Him when He came down to admonish them: ….

Genesis 3:8 They heard the voice of ADONAI, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of ADONAI, God, among the trees in the garden. 9 ADONAI, God, called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." (CJB)

Genesis 3:21 YHWH, God, made Adam and his wife coats of skin and clothed them. (Schocken Bible, Vol. 1)

Note again that Scripture does NOT say He killed an innocent animal to cover them….

What this means is that Adam and Eve were somehow “different” BEFORE they sinned, until YHWH came down and made for them “garments of skin.”  Once they received those, their "light" was doused by … the confinement of human skin – in essence, “earth suits” - which we cannot shed until our earthly bodies die, allowing our souls (or the essence of whatever it is that makes us conscious, living beings)  to escape to stand before God on Judgment Day in our “original” state.

The thing is, once those events took place, out in the fallen world in their new “earth suits”, they required sacrifices of various kinds to remain reconciled to God - including BLOOD sin sacrifices. Ultimately, two thousand years ago, YHWH sent His Divine Messiah, who willingly martyred himself to become our “substitute” as the Passover (redeeming) Lamb, thus removing the need for “sin” sacrifices!

This, of course, sheds a whole new light on how Yeshua will probably look upon his return, as well – because we will all be VERY recognizable – an extraordinarily powerful, radiant and HOLY being in human form – with face glowing like Moshe's did. (And it’s doubtful he will be covering his face with a veil!)  Mere humans (the myriads who were left behind and managed to survive those chaotic final 3 ½ years) won't be able to get close to him - but those who are "caught up in the air to meet him" just before his return (the dead in Messiah who will rise first and then those true believers who are still living, will be able to join him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where they will subsequently return to earth to help him rule and reign during the Millennium. (See 2 Timothy 2:11-12, Matthew 19:28, and Revelation 3:21.)

(BTW, my opinion concerning our earthly flesh is that it will be left behind, as it is filthy and not needed. Those who are caught up in the air to meet him, will be in their "new, eternal bodies" so that they will also be recognizable to those who were left behind...those who will continue to live until they die, and be resurrected to stand before YHWH Himself after the thousand year reign, to give accounts of their life; and thus, either end up in Eternity with Him, or eternally separated from him. Please see our article containing all the pertinent scriptures.)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Tribe of Judah was chosen to take Torah into the world– to TAKE Torah into the world…. (Get it?)

The Tribe of Judah was chosen to take Torah into the world and safeguard and preserve it (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2); and (but, let's not forget also that: YHWH caused Yeshua to be born into the Tribe of Yehudah/Judah!).

But, has it ever occurred to anyone that this did NOT mean they were to keep Torah all to themselves? Traditional Judaism has this tendency to insist that Torah was “meant only for the Jews.” But let’s read this in another context:

Micah 4: 1 But in the acharit-hayamim it will come about that the mountain of ADONAI's house will be established as the most important mountain. It will be regarded more highly than the other hills, and peoples will stream there.

2 Many Gentiles will go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of ADONAI, to the house of the God of Ya'akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim. 3 He will judge between many peoples and arbitrate for many nations far away. (CJB)

Please re-read that last sentence:

“…’He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim. He will judge between many peoples and arbitrate for many nations far away. (CJB)

Read it again and again, until you grasp its significance! Judah was never supposed to keep Torah all to themselves! Even the Rabbi in this short two-minute video clip says so! Take a listen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Parashah 41: Pinchas (Phineas)

If you’re “chomping at the bit” to start reading this week’s Torah portion, you can find a synopsis of Parashah 41: Pinchas (Phineas)  on our website.

This parashah holds many nuggets, and we see that YHWH does not condone "tolerance" as seems to be the buzzword of modern Western society! He is very adamant about purity and righteousness in HIS people!

To measure where we are in YHWH's "grand scheme of things" - The tribes of Israel were numbered at Mount Sinai more than 38 years ago. The number of men over 20 years of age who were eligible to claim an inheritance in the land of the Patriarchs was then 603,550. In this week's portion, as the "final accounting" of Moshe concludes, we find that after almost four decades in the wilderness and a turn-over of population the number of men in the Redeemed Community who stood to inherit the land of promise had dropped to 601,730 (Numbers 26:51).

RTo get started, imply click on the link above to read our synopsis, and then read all of the Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our article.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

When will it all end? Not until Yeshua returns to put an end to man’s nonsense!

My husband and I became truly incensed while watching this evening’s news because we are sick and tired of having “gay” stories shoved down our throats (both on television and at the movies). It seems the ONLY way to keep from encountering the endless, relentless “gay agenda” is to throw out our televisions and computers, and never see another movie.

HOW is that right? Why is it that, seemingly all the sudden, nearly all movies and TV shows feel compelled to mention the homosexual lifestyle in one way or another. Never in my life have I ever introduced myself as a heterosexual.   “Hello, I’m author Carmen Welker, a heterosexual college and business college graduate, veteran of the United States Army….”

But that is exactly what all gays seem to be doing today. Somehow and for some reason, their sexual preference must come into play. How ridiculous, how utterly LUDICROUS is that?

Ever since our illustrious former LIBERAL and Bible-illiterate President, Obama, made “gay marriages” legal, the media and Hollywood has been behaving as if this is a perfectly “normal” thing, and they feel compelled to shove it down our throats on a continuing basis, not ever allowing us to “come up for air!”

Examples of what I’m talking about:

On this evening's newscast, we saw two stories wherein they mentioned LGBTQ as if it were a perfectly normal thing!

The first mention of it was story about Sara Cunningham, a 54-year-old mother and ordained minister with a gay son, who said she "wrestled with my faith as if I had to choose between my faith and my son...and I reexamined everything I believed." She then proudly went on to boast that the Holy Spirit told her, “What’s important to your son should also be important to me.”

Well, I’m sorry, but – according to the BIBLE - the Holy Spirit of God would NEVER tell someone that it’s okay for ANYONE to live in sin … especially a sin that YHWH cites as “an abomination!”

YES, by all means, we are to love our children unconditionally, but that does NOT mean we must condone their sins. As a “pastor” Cunningham should know that! (On the other hand, she is clearly a lukewarm Christian who isn’t familiar with the WHOLE of Scripture and somehow thinks she has a right to twist it to suit her purposes. She doesn’t realize she’s treading on very thin ice, because God isn’t in the habit of forgiving those who commit deliberate, ongoing sins. Jesus didn’t die so that we could CONTINUE to sin….)

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

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

That's a pretty strong word - "abomination." Unfortunately, today people like to pretend God has somehow changed His mind, and that - not only is it "okay to be gay", but God has even condoned homosexual marriage ... never mind that there is not one scripture to support that idea!

Let’s just lay it all on the line concerning what the BIBLE SAYS about homosexuality, shall we?

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

(In case people haven’t noticed, homosexuals cannot procreate or “be fruitful and multiply” – and therefore, those who engage in “gay sex” are denying YHWH’s “image” to proliferate.)

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

1 Corinthians 6:9. Or don't you know, that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim? Make no mistake! Neither sexual sinners, nor idol-worshippers, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lay down with other men, 10. Nor the oppressors, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. (AENT)

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.... (CJB)

Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles! 24 This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts' lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other's bodies. 25 They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator - praised be he for ever. Amen. 26 This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; 27 and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.

28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things. 29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless. 32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same. (CJB)

Moving on, the second mention of LGBTQ was by a female interviewer who was chatting with the Smithsonian Institution's new secretary, Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the Smithsonian's popular National Museum of African American history and culture in Washington.

Becoming all excited of the fact that the Smithsonian now features an African American history wing, the interviewer made a comment to the effect of, "Oh wow! Perhaps in the future we'll also be able to see a wing for the LGBTQ community!"

The bottom line is:  Our sex lives are no one else’s business!  It’s none of my business if someone else is attracted to the same sex and chooses to live outside of YHWH’s Will.  HOWEVER, if someone wants to live a homosexual lifestyle, thus condemning themselves, what gives them the right to require us to accept it, thus forcing us to condemn OURSELVES?

Human nature – the reason Moshe didn’t get into the Promise Land….

In reading our last two parashahs (39 and 40), we came across several harsh truths – all of which point to the importance of OBEDIENCE to God.

In Numbers 20: 2-5 (and also in Numbers 21), we got to see YHWH's people whining (again!), ultimately making Him angry enough to send vipers to kill many! It didn't seem to matter how many miracles they saw Him perform, the moment they encountered hardships, they would grumble and whine and make demands....

(Isn't that how we humans tend to react whenever things don't go our way? "God, WHY are You doing this to me?" Never mind that we're in a lost world where bad things happen to good people and every experience is a learning experience designed to make us wiser and stronger, preparing us for the Kingdom.)

Anyway, in Numbers 20, we begin to see why Moshe and Aharon didn't make it into the Promised Land. (For those who have never read these chapters, this is very important!)

You see, in verses 8-13, we were once again reminded that YHWH is not kidding around when He demands our trust and obedience! Here is how things unfolded:

Numbers 20: 8 "Take the staff, assemble the community, you and Aharon your brother; and before their eyes, tell the rock to produce its water. You will bring them water out of the rock and thus enable the community and their livestock to drink." 9 Moshe took the staff from the presence of ADONAI, as he had ordered him. 10 But after Moshe and Aharon had assembled the community in front of the rock, he said to them, "Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?" (CJB)

WHOAH! ""Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?"

What's this "we" stuff?  Since when was Moshe equal to God?

Numbers 20:11 Then Moshe raised his hand and hit the rock twice with his staff. Water flowed out in abundance, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them." 13 This is M'rivah Spring [Disputation Spring], where the people of Isra'el disputed with ADONAI, and he was caused to be regarded as holy by them.

NOW - note what happened to Moshe as a result of his disobedience! Moshe and the High Priest Aharon were the holiest men on earth at the time - and because of their occasional failure to TRUST in YHWH, they did NOT get to enter the Promised Land. (And today we think that we can get away with anything, just because we "believe"....)

This parashah is a powerful example of the high expectation YHWH has for His leaders, and it's sad that many back then, and most today are not paying attention! Many today are under the erroneous impression that they are "under grace" and therefore don't really have to bother with all those "old rules"....HUGE MISTAKE!

Numbers 20: 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them.

BOOM! There it is! YHWH just told Moshe and Aharon they weren't going to get to cross over into the Promised Land....

Kinda makes one think a little bit, doesn't it? I doubt that ANY of us is as holy and obedient as Moshe was. And we definitely cannot compare ourselves to Messiah Yeshua. Therefore, we truly need to take some time to reassess ourselves on a regular basis....

On true holiness….

Oh, this week's two Torah portions were absolutely awesome! YHWH never ceases to amaze me! I mean, for instance, I got chills reading Numbers 19, which talks about how very serious YHWH is about "holiness" - which also includes "cleanliness"....

We puny humans believe ourselves to be "holy" just because we "read the Bible" or "go to church or synagogue" and raise our hands to sing and worship.

Truth be told, that is only "playing at" holiness, when you get right down to it, because true holiness comes from the heart and from active obedience to YHWH's Divine Instructions in Righteousness.

Yes, those instructions in Numbers 19 were for the Levite Priests and "don't pertain to us" ... BUT - consider this:

Having been cleansed by the divine blood of Messiah Yeshua, our bodies are the Temple and WE are considered priests - which means WE MUST ALSO be "clean" and "holy"....We should never, ever take it for granted that "it's okay to sin sometimes because God knows my heart."

NO! As PRIESTS, we must shine so the world can literally SEE that we are "set apart" and "different". If we don't take YHWH's commands seriously, then HOW can the world recognize that we are different?

1 Peter 2:9. But you are an elect race (referring to the prophecy of Isaiah 66:20-21) officiating as priests of the Kingdom; a Set Apart people, a redeemed congregation; that you should proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness to his precious light: 10. who formerly were not counted as a people but now are the people of Elohim; and also, there were (once) no mercies on you but now mercies are poured out upon you.

11. My beloved, I entreat you as strangers and pilgrims, separate yourselves from all lusts of the body, for they war against the soul. 12. And let your behavior be honorable before all men; so that they who utter evil speeches against you, may see your good actions and may praise Elohim in the day of trial. (AENT)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Yes, God certainly DOES want to bless and reward His people … BUT, to get those blessings we must obey!

It always pains me to see people posting fluff about all the great things “God wants to do for you, because He loves you,” etc.

YES, our gracious and loving Creator WILL take care of His people with lots of favor - IF they obey HIS Divine Rules! (Notice I said “if”….)

Way too many people tend to forget that God is not just all about "love" - He is now, and has always been about teaching people to become Torah obedient citizens being prepared for the Kingdom. Take a look at Leviticus 26 where YHWH discusses all the GREAT things He will do for those who obey Him; and then follows it all up with, “Here’s what will happen if you don’t obey me….” Here’s a small excerpt:

Leviticus 26: 14 "'But if you will not listen to me and obey all these mitzvot, 15 if you loathe my regulations and reject my rulings, in order not to obey all my mitzvot but cancel my covenant; 16 then I, for my part, will do this to you: I will bring terror upon you -wasting disease and chronic fever to dim your sight and sap your strength. You will sow your seed for nothing, because your enemies will eat the crops.

17 I will set my face against you - your enemies will defeat you, those who hate you will hound you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you. 18 If these things don't make you listen to me, then I will discipline you seven times over for your sins.

19 I will break the pride you have in your own power. I will make your sky like iron, your soil like bronze - 20 you will spend your strength in vain, because the land will not yield its produce or the trees in the field their fruit. 21 "'Yes, if you go against me and don't listen to me, I will increase your calamities sevenfold, according to your sins. (CJB)

That passage goes on.  Please read the whole chapter to see that He is NOT kidding around! The death of Yeshua in NO WAY changed our need to obey ELOHIM’s Divine Instructions, so what makes people today think that all that’s required is belief in “Jesus and God’s grace”?....

“Grace” has always been around! It’s the reason He spared Adam and Eve, instead of killing them on the spot. It’s the reason He sent His Messiah, His only Son to teach YHWH’s people, and ultimately, to be our “substitute” by offering his own, divine blood.

Torah portions for June 15, 2019

Time to start thinking about the Torah portion for this Shabbat. As always, you can find informative synopses on our website.  This week, there will be two parashas:

Parashah 39: Hukkat (Regulation) Numbers 19:1 through 22:1 -


Parashah 40: Balak - Numbers 22:2 through 25:9

Parashah 39 begins with Moshe being taught the laws of the red heifer whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body. We also witness the death of both Miriam and Aharon (Moshe's sister and brother); and see Moshe leading the people in battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og (who seek to prevent Israel's passage through their territory) and conquering their lands, which lie east of the Jordan.

In Parashah 40, we will see YHWH using a donkey to teach someone a lesson

Not too long ago, we saw that those who tried to set up an alternate priesthood other than the Aaronic priesthood established by YHWH (which is what Korach did), were dealt with very harshly.

As the last few parashahs unfolded, we saw YHWH clearly paving the way for the Aaronic priesthood to serve Him. In this Torah portion, we will see what happens when someone decides to come against the Israelites by trying to bring curses on them....

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Reader question about “cheap grace” and other miscellaneous topics


Does “cheap grace” include the types who commercialize salvation? I refer to types who wear shirts saying Jesus Saves or tattooing Jesus or Crosses on their bodies. I also notice people who live on welfare but don't work (wonder who or what fills their void) praising Jesus.


GREAT questions – thank you!

Cheap grace is when people take "grace" for granted, erroneously thinking they are "saved" no matter what, even if they commit ongoing, deliberate sins.  God does not want us to use our bodies as an art canvas, no matter what the reason.  And, in all honesty, just because someone wears a cross on their neck or tattoos a cross on their body doesn't make them holy.  It only gives one the APPEARANCE of being holy.

According to author Everett Fox:

"Holiness in the Bible is a trait that can be acquired, even transmitted to an extent, but it is not absolutely innate, except in the case of God; and the Torah see as one of its major goals developing the means whereby people can, with holy intent and preparation, properly serve the Holy."  (Fox, "The Five Books of Moses", pg 734)

As for your question about "welfare" - some people who are experiencing excruciatingly hard times certainly should be afforded government assistance, especially if they are disabled or cannot work for some reason.  They can and should certainly praise God. (We are commanded to praise Him in ALL things: Psalm 34 and 75:1; 1 Chronicles 16:28; Daniel 20:20; Jeremiah 20:13; Ephesians 1:6, etc.) 

The bottom line for those who are able-bodied but remain on welfare generation after generation need to be ashamed of themselves for being leeches on society!  Scripture tells us in various ways that those who refuse to work, shouldn't eat. (See Proverbs 10:3-5;  12:11-12;  14:23; 18:9-10; and 21:25.)

2 Thessalonians 3: 7 For you yourselves know how you must imitate us, that we were not idle when we were among you. 8 We did not accept anyone's food without paying; on the contrary, we labored and toiled, day and night, working so as not to be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not that we hadn't the right to be supported, but so that we could make ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: if someone won't work, he shouldn't eat! 11 We hear that some of you are leading a life of idleness - not busy working, just busybodies! 12 We command such people - and in union with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah we urge them - to settle down, get to work, and earn their own living. 13 And you brothers who are doing what is good, don't slack off!  (CJB)

As for the "praising Jesus" idea - Yeshua (his given, Hebrew name, which means "YHWH is Salvation), the human who walked this earth - never asked for praise.  He always deferred to the Father who is YHWH ELOHIM/GOD. 

ADONAI our ELOHIM only has one Name, and that is Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey (YHWH in the English transliteration, most like pronounced Yahweh/Yahway - a name He gave to Moshe/Moses in Exodus 3:13-15).  He has many titles, of course, all designed to describe Him - such as HaShem (Hebrew for, "The Name"), ADONAI, ELOHIM, El Elyon (God Most High or Exalted One), El Shaddai (the Almighty) as well as all of the following:

  • YHWH-Yireh — "Yahweh will provide" (Genesis 22:13-14)
  • YHWH-Rapha — "Yahweh that healeth" (Exodus 15:26)
  • YHWH-Niss"i — "Yahweh our Banner" (Exodus 17:8-15)
  • YHWH-Shalom — "Yahweh our Peace" (Judges 6:24)
  • YHWH-Ra-ah — "Yahweh is the Way, my Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1)

His SON, His MESSIAH, was Yeshua.  We are to praise YHWH, in the name of Yeshua (John 14:13-14, 16:23-24) whose divine blood cleansed our past sins away.

“Yeshua the Worm!?”

Musing on the misguided rantings of the Jewish “counter-missionary” Menashe Walsh about Yeshua the Worm!?” (

“Blind men can’t see”.

There are two meanings to this simple phrase. First, the obvious meaning is that the person is physically blind, that is, the electrical signals from the eyes do not reach the brain and the only possible image “perceived” is complete darkness.

Physical blindness is overcome using other senses to properly perceive the world. But a second meaning is equally applicable. That is: a person whose disposition toward a “truth” is only based on bias, hate, or ignorance who simply refuses to see the truth and therefore is more “blind” than the person who physically can’t see.

If the title of Menashe Walsh’s article, “Yeshua the Worm!?” is not already clear, it refers to Psalm 22:6, largely regarded outside of Judaism, as a messianic prophecy. But Menashe Walsh, if you’ve never encountered him, is an Orthodox Jew who loudly exclaims that he “is not a believer in Jesus/Yeshua (or any name combinations) in any way whatsoever” – yet he is not shy to blog about his disdain for same.

In fact, Menashe apparently believes more strongly in Jewish Orthodoxy than in the true Words of the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible) because he dedicates his entire “blog” attempting to counter anything “Jesus/Yeshua” for he apparently believes he and his fellow Jews are somehow “targets for conversion to some form/brand of Christianity.” In fact he writes: “according to Orthodoxy, for a Jew to practice Christianity or a variant of it, such as Messianic Judaism or Jewish Adventism, that Jewish person is placing themselves in a situation of potential spiritual excision or to be cut off from the world to come for practicing idolatry.” (Keep this in mind as well as you read the following for it goes a long way to reveal a narrow-minded bias.)

Menashe begins by referencing Psalm 22:6 “But I am a worm (תּוֹלָע), and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people” with the claim that Psalm 22:6 is “abused” by Christians who “pounce” upon the Hebrew word תולעת (tolat, crimsom worm) in the verse “as being representative of Jesus/Yeshua.” He then displays a screen shot from a Facebook user expressing her amazement of the connection to the Hebrew תולעת (tolat) and its association with the “crimson” or “scarlet” worm and its parallels with Yeshua. Of course, Menashe can’t possibly agree so he argues that “Psalm 22 is a well maligned psalm by the missionaries in their quest to convert Jews” (this despite his agreement that תולעת (tolat) is a crimson worm.)

[Aside: While Menashe bashes Messianics & Christians for, as he says, “maligning” scripture, I can’t help but notice he seems to never point out when the rabbis do the same! Case in point: Job 25:6, which curiously involves the same Hebrew word, תולעת (tolat).

Job 25:6 (ISR) reads: “how much less man, a maggot [רמה , ri’mah], and a son of man, a worm [תולעה, to’le’ah]?!" [I have inserted the Hebrew words used in the verse; the first for “worm”, the second one, תולעה, to’le’ah, the word that Menashe agrees means “crimson worm”.]

But in the rabbinical JPS Tanakh (Jerusalem Publication Society; both the 1917 and the later, 2000, editions) the same verse reads: “How much less man, that is a worm [רמה , ri’mah]! and the son of man, that is a maggot [תולעה, to’le’ah]!” Note the roles of the “worm” and the “maggot” are reversed! Why, one wonders, was it important for the rabbis translating the JPS to reverse the roles of mortal man (worm/maggot) and the son of man (crimson worm)? Job 25:6 seems to be very clear evidence of rabbinical manipulation to obfuscate any “messianic” understanding. So it seems the claim of “maligning” can be argued from both sides.]

Menashe goes on in his attempt to negate any messianic understanding of Psalm 22 by citing verse 17: “For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evildoers encircles me; like a lion (כָּאֲרִי), they are at my hands and feet” complaining that the “missionaries translate ‘ke’ari’ (כָּאֲרִי) in the verse as: ‘they have pierced my hands and feet’.”

[Note: Psalm 22:17 in the Hebrew Tanakh is verse 16 in most English Bibles. It is not important why the numbering is different so to avoid confusion this document will simply use “22:16”.]

So let’s stop right here and consider this problem.

Menashe says Psalm 22:16 reads: “For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evildoers encircles me; like a lion (כָּאֲרִי), they are at my hands and feet.” Yet most English versions read something close to this translation: “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (KJV).

A great volume of literature has been written about this very verse, not only because it is apparently corrupt and uncertain in meaning, but also because of its importance in Messianic interpretation. Much and I mean MUCH(!) is written about this verse!

Messianics and Christians will write, at length, for example, of how the verse (Psalm 22:16), is found in the very ancient Septuagint (also called the LXX) where it reads (from the Greek): “For encircled me dogs many; the gathering of the ones [acting] wicked compass me. They dug into my hands and my feet.” But the rabbis counter, at length,by refusing the authenticity of the LXX  arguing that the Book of Psalms is a late addition to the LXX, in the 2nd Century CE, thus claiming (without defense) that 22:16 was “obviously” corrupted by early Christians.

Messianics and Christians will also write, at length, about the scroll fragment found at Nahal Hever,, pointing out that one scrap of these Dead Sea scrolls contains Psalms 22:16 and reads “ka’aru” (כארו) instead of “ka’ari” (כארי), but the rabbis simply argue that the ending “vav” was misunderstood as it should be a “yud”, and state that there is no such word as “ka’aru” (כארו) in ancient or modern Hebrew and that the Nahal Hever scroll fragments, as with the Psalms in the LXX, may also be from the 2nd Century CE as well and thus the scroll fragment is also assumed corrupt. (, pg 9).

Nevertheless, it is true that most English versions of Psalms 22:16 read “pierced”, while modern Hebrew versions read “like a lion”.

So where does that leave us? It seems there are no unbiased linguistic arguments on either side for “like a lion” or “they pierced” in Psalms 22:16! What to do? Will this ever be resolved?

It may not ever be resolved, as neither side can produce a single, ancient, original Hebrew manuscript of Psalms 22. In fact, the rabbis can’t produce a single, ancient, unadulterated Hebrew Tanakh! The entire thing is lost! Today’s “official” Tanakh is the “Masoretic Text” (MT), which is a product largely from the 6th to 10th centuries  of our common era (CE). It is a compilation and retranslation into Hebrew from a variety of ancient Greek and Hebrew fragments of manuscripts which included, by the way, parts of the LXX, (which today Judaism rejects as corrupt)! In fact, the “official” Hebrew text of Judaism, the MT, was not “finished” until about the 10th century of the CE after centuries of rabbinical debate and adding vowels and cantillation marks not found in ancient Hebrew writing! And even then, the MT has been “republished” numerous times since the 10th century, with all the associated and inevitable changes one would expect. In fact, the King James Version, 1611 was based not on the earliest MT, rather it is from a 16th century MT rendition.

Curiously, modern Judaism supports and defends the Masoretes of the 6th to 10th centuries CE, yet dismisses the authority of the 70 (or 72) Jewish rabbis who created the far older Septuagint during the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. So, again the question remains: What about Psalm 22:16? What is the correct reading?

The answer is in the verse itself.

The astute reader immediately sees that Menashe’s translation is not understood as it does not actually make sense. “For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evildoers encircles me; like a lion (כָּאֲרִי), they are at my hands and feet.” How so is it not understood? Let me explain.

The verse describes a “company of evildoers”, men, whom David, the Psalmist, has declared as “dogs”. So we already know these are villainous/evil men who are “at his hands and feet”, and they have “encompassed him”. Why then, change the villains from “dogs” to “lions”? In fact, the verse begins with “kelev’im (כלבים, dogs) surround me”… but it is important to know this does not refer to the modern domesticated animal we know in our time! The domestication of dogs did not happen until the Persian and Hellenistic periods within Israel during the 6th to 4th centuries BCE.

At the time of David, our Psalmist, about 1000 BCE, the term “dog” was a derogatory one meant to make a statement about the character of a person and did not refer to the modern, beloved “dog”. We find evil people of David’s time are often referred to in scripture as “dogs”. To compare a human to a dog or to call them a dog was to imply that they were of very low status (see for example: 2 Kings 8:13; Exodus 22:31; 2 Samuel 3:8; Proverbs 26:11; Ecclesiastes 9:4; 2 Samuel 9:8; 1 Samuel 24:14).

On the other hand, lions in this era were generally revered in Judaism. In more than 150 references in the Tanakh: for example, the tribes of Judah (Genesis 49:9) and Dan (Deuteronomy 33:22) are compared to the lion (וכלביא, u’ch’lavi; and אריה, a’ryeh respectively); Balaam said of the Israelites: "Behold a people that riseth up as a lioness (כלביא, che’la’vi), and as a lion (וכארי, v’cha’ari) doth he lift himself up" (Numbers 23:24); the mother of the kings of Judah was compared to a lioness (ארית, a’ra’yot) and her sons to lion (גוריה, gureha) cubs (Ezekiel 19:2-3). David, of whom it was said that his "heart is as the heart of a lion" (האריה, ha’a’ryeh) (2 Samuel 17:10), declared in his lament over Saul and Jonathan that: "they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions" (מאריות, me’a’rayot) (2 Samuel 1:23).

The lion was seen as the essence of strength, courage, and majesty. To be compared to a lion was lauding the person or group. ( Dogs, in these Biblical times, were not revered as were lions. David’s attackers were described as dogs because David was describing evil people, and they weren’t just “at” his hands and feet! What do angry dogs do when they attack? They viciously “nip” and “bite” at one’s hands and feet or perhaps “dig at” the hands and feet or…maybe… they “pierce” the hands and feet as they sink their teeth into the skin.

The context of Psalm 22:16 makes far more sense if David used a word to describe the vile action of these “dogs” – than to suddenly change from the derogatory term “dogs” to beloved and noble “lions”! (Remember, original Hebrew had no vowel markings, so the interpretation of a phrase requires understanding the context while reading from the original manuscript – but, no original manuscript survives.)

Keep in mind Menashe charges that a word in Psalm 22:16 has been “mistranslated” by Christians as “they pierced”. Here again is his version, the offending word underlined: “For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evildoers encircles me; like a lion (כָּאֲרִי), they are at my hands and feet.” Menashe says: “The phrase ‘like a lion’ is a direct translation of the Hebrew word ‘ke’ari (כָּאֲרִי)’.” But the MT itself is also a translation! It is certainly not valid to argue that “like a lion” is a direct translation when the translation is from a text that is known to be inauthentic. As mentioned earlier, rabbis cannot produce a single, original Hebrew manuscript of the Tanakh to prove the relatively modern MT is correct, and the MT itself has been revised over the centuries. Dismissing the far older Septuagint and the far older Nahal Hever scroll fragment as “corrupt” while claiming authority of a text that also has an uncertain history is disingenuous.

And thus, the claim of “abuse” can also be applied to the Rabbis who can be said to be “manipulating” scripture! Why would they do that? Clearly so the scriptures are void of any “messianic” reference! (Refer back to Menashe’s own words! He “is not a believer in Jesus/Yeshua (or any name combinations) in any way whatsoever.”) Orthodox rabbis simply can’t permit a Tanakh scripture to reference the Messiah they don’t accept!

So it seems that maybe the rabbis themselves played games with Psalm 22:16 - perhaps because they did not want it to be read as or understood as a messianic prophecy! This deception is not unprecedented! There are other examples of manipulation in the Tanakh (besides Job 25:6, already cited above) where the rabbis altered the text to avoid a messianic reference. Here is another:

Turn to Zechariah 12:10. In the 1917 Jerusalem Publication Society (JPS) Tanakh the verse reads:

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.”

But the same JPS Tanakh, published in 2000, Zechariah 12:10 reads this way:

“But I will fill the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a spirit of pity and compassion; and they shall lament to Me about those who are slain wailing over them as a favorite son and showing bitter grief as over a first-born.”

Take some time to compare these two rabbinic versions of the same verse! See how much the meaning has changed! This is most damning to Menashe’s argument that only Christians “abuse” scripture! Here, we see that the rabbis have clearly altered scripture to negate the clear messianic reference! Consider:

- In the 1917 JPS Tanakh, the “messianic” meaning is still present: they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; and they shall mourn for him

- In the 2000 JPS Tanakh, the “messianic” meaning is completely removed, negated: they shall lament to Me about those who are slain wailing over them

Let’s examine some of the comments on this very same verse by the great Jewish sages who documented their thoughts far earlier than the 1917 and 2000 JPS Tanakh:

- Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a (5th century CE): “It is well with him who explains that the cause [of the mourning] is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse, ‘And they shall look upon me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son;’”

- Rashi in his commentary to Sukkah 52a (11th century CE): “The words, ‘The land shall mourn,’ are found in the prophecy of Zechariah, and he prophesies of the future, that they shall mourn on account of Messiah, the son of Joseph, who shall be slain in the war of Gog and Magog.”

- Ibn Ezra (12th century CE): “All the heathen shall look to me to see what I shall do to those who pierced Messiah, the son of Joseph.”

- Isaac ben Judah Abarbanel (15th century CE): It is more correct to interpret this passage of Messiah, the son of Joseph, as our rabbis of blessed memory have interpreted in the treatise Succah, for he shall be a mighty man of valour, of the tribe of Joseph, and shall, at first, be captain of the Lord’s host in that war, but in that war shall die.”

- Moshe Alshich (16th century CE): “I will do yet a third thing, and that is, that ‘they shall look unto me,’ for they shall lift up their eyes unto me in perfect repentance, when they see him whom they pierced, that is Messiah, the son of Joseph;”

So, it seems that it is not just the Messianic or Christian communities who are so guilty of “massaging” scripture to highlight Messianic references in the Tanakh; the Jewish community is similarly guilty of blatantly altering scripture to reduce, remove, and deny the Messiah in the same Tanakh!

I am reminded of the old Latin saying: “Caveat lector”: “[Let the] reader beware.”

In closing, let me remind the reader of the opening phrase highlighting the dual meaning of “blind men can’t see”. Who do you think most represents the blind in these disparate understandings of Psalm 22?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Pray your way to unexpected blessings?

While listening to financial advisor Dave Ramsey recently he had as a guest, Pastor Robert Morris, author of "The Blessed Life" and "Beyond Blessed". His subject was how we are blessed when we give.

Pastor Morris says, "We don't give to get, we get to give". Yes, I agree. Absolutely!

Then He says, "The reason He blesses us is 1) He loves us but 2) also because he wants us to be a blessing."  Well, okay...I agree with that too...

But then he says: "The whole of scripture is about stewardship" - and goes off the deep end.  He says (paraphrasing):

When he and his wife decided to get out of debt, "We said that we are not buying anything that's not a necessity until we're out of debt completely. So she comes to me one night and her hair dryer broke.  And she says to me 'This, is a necessity!' - making sure that I, as a man, understood."

So, he said: "I agreed with her, but we've learned to pray about every purchase. I said 'I just want to pray about it first. Do you need it before in the morning? Do you need me to go to the 24-hour store and get it? She said no.' So we pray about it and the next day happened to be Sunday. We go to church and we come home and on our porch is a package."

"We open it up and on the package there's a note that says 'I was at the store yesterday and I know this sounds crazy, but I felt like God told me to buy this for you.' It was a hair dryer! It's as weird as the Red Sea parting, the point is that when we set our hearts to it to do God's will in our finances, God said: 'I would like to encourage you.' "

What bunk!!!  My goodness...Let's see exactly how we can tell this story is complete NONSENSE:

FIRST, is the obvious:  God does NOT care if you have a hair dryer or not, any more than He cares if you drive a BMW or a Yugo or ride a bike!

God is NOT going to "bless" you with a hair dryer just because you “need” one any more than He would give Janice Joplin a color TV just because she prayed for it!  No woman during the exodus had a hair dryer for 40+ years in the desert. Not one. Not to mention the fact that if Pastor Morris had an emergency fund, as Dave Ramsey recommends, he could just go buy an $18 hair dryer! No need to involve God. It's certainly NO emergency, and therefore, it's nothing anyone should have to "pray" about!

SECOND:  Though God certainly can 'compel' someone to go by a hair dryer for someone else if he wished (Exodus 33:19), why on earth would this be his first solution? I mean, why would He compel someone else to go 'buy' a hair dryer when He could just 'create it' out of thin air and put it on your doorstep?

THIRD:  If the wife truly had a failed hair dryer, and the next day was Sunday, the day she had to "make a public appearance", she would have had her husband go to the 24-hour store!  No question about it!  I do know women!

FOURTH:  A hair dryer on one's doorstep is NOT comparable to the parting of the Red Sea!  The people of Israel set out to do God's will too; they LIVED through the parting of the Red Sea, but they ended up 40 years in the desert for disobedience before they truly learned what God wanted of them. I guarantee that if today I found a hair dryer in a box on the porch, I would NOT compare it to the parting of the Red Sea!

No, Pastor Morris, the "whole of Scripture is NOT about stewardship!"

The “whole” of scripture, (what Pastor Morris seems to have missed), is TO BE HOLY, FOR HE IS HOLY - to be eligible for eternal life in the Kingdom (Leviticus 19:2, 20:7, 20:26, 22:32, Numbers 15:40, Deuteronomy 14:2, 26:19, among other verses).  We are asked to live our lives by His rules, all the time, every day. If we do that, then we have absorbed wisdom in our lives and 'In the home of the wise are fine treasures and oil, but a fool quickly devours it' (Proverbs 21:20, CJB).  If we have been wise, then we don't need to pray for replacement hair dryers.

Well, I dare say that Pastor Morris has, indeed, lived a "blessed life"  hawking this kind of nonsense! His books apparently sell very well, for there are many who won't read the Bible for themselves to avoid being so deceived.

And that brings me to my odd conclusion: "Enter by the straight door, for wide is the door and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many are they, those that go in it. How narrow the door and straight the road that leads to life, and few are they, those that find it."  (Matthew 7:13-14, AENT).

Read the Bible, cover to cover. Seek that narrow door. Don't be misled by the latest ear-tickling teaching in expectation of God solving your next hair dryer “emergency”.

Women are Hypocrites....

The ad below is absolutely pathetic! What a hypocritical world we live in! Why did these buffoons have to use a model in short-shorts to show that stretching is good for you? Why would this young woman allow herself to be used in this manner - especially in the wake of the ridiculous and tyrannical "Me Too!" movement that wants men castrated for even looking at a woman "in the wrong way"?  HYPOCRITES!

Have you ever noticed that "the world" is no different from the hypocritical Pharisees of old - those Yeshua yelled at for saying one thing and doing another.

Matthew 23:24. 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.

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. (AENT)

Job 8: 13 Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of a hypocrite will perish - 14 his confidence is mere gossamer, his trust a spider's web. 15 He can lean on his house, but it won't stand; he can hold on to it, but it won't last; 16 [for its destruction will come] like the lush growth of a plant in the sun, its shoots may spread out all over its garden, 17 but meanwhile its roots cause the stone house to collapse, as it seizes hold of the rocks;18 someone who tears it away from its place denies he has ever seen it. 19 Yes, this is the "joy" of the way [of the godless], and out of the dust will spring up others [like him].' (CJB)

Matthew 7:23. And then I will profess to them that from everlasting, I have not known you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity! (AENT)

The bottom line is: If women don't want men to "sexualize" them, then they shouldn't dress like common whores and street walkers or give the appearance that they are "asking for it.". End of story! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Parashah 38: Korach (Korah) Numbers 16:1 through 18:32

Shabbat is on the horizon again, mishpocah! Just a few days away! Time to buckle down again and look ahead to our day of rest on Saturday! 

As always, a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion (Parashah 38 - Korach (Korah) - Numbers 16:1 through 18:32) can be found on our website.

This lesson reveals exactly who is in charge! We see what happens when people rebel against YHWH, and we see Him choosing Aharon as the High Priest of the Redeemed Community. And we also see Him confirming the appointment of the Levi'im as Aharon's assistants, and explaining the ways in which the priests, the Levi'im and the rest of the tribes were to interact.

As a quick sneak peek, you will see that Numbers 16 unfolds with Korach rebelling against Moshe and causing others to rebel with him - some who were "leaders of the community, key members of the council, men of reputation" (vs. 1-3).

BIG MISTAKE! (This reflects Yeshua's warning in Mark 13:22: For false Messiahs and lying prophets will give signs and wonders and will deceive even the elect if it is possible.)

Korach of the Tribe of the Levi family of K'hat was an ambitious, talented, self confident, aggressive individual who felt that the community did not appreciate his talents and abilities. He clearly believed that he has been slighted by his assigned position of levitical duty.

After all, each time the instruction to break camp arose, it was Aharon and his sons who would go into the Tabernacle and cover the holy furnishings and utensils for transport, while Korach couldn't even touch them, and could only carry them on poles.

That REALLY grated on Korach!

So, watch what happens when Moshe's righteous anger explodes at Korach's insolence:

Numbers16: 1 Now Korach the son of Yitz'har, the son of K'hat, the son of Levi, along with Datan and Aviram, the sons of Eli'av, and On, the son of Pelet, descendants of Re'uven, took men and 2 rebelled against Moshe. Siding with them were 250 men of Isra'el, leaders of the community, key members of the council, men of reputation.

3 They assembled themselves against Moshe and Aharon and said to them, "You take too much on yourselves! After all, the entire community is holy, every one of them, and ADONAI is among them. So why do you lift yourselves up above ADONAI's assembly?" (CJB)

So, we see Korach, in his attempt to usurp the God-given authority of Moshe and Aharon, contesting the authority of God's Word which was transmitted through Moshe to the community. Korach had convinced himself that Moshe and Aharon had elevated themselves to the position of spiritual leadership in the community, promoting their own personal agendas.

(Really? "Personal agendas?" Korach seems to have forgotten that Aaron's own sons, Nadav and Avihu, were killed for "offering unauthorized fire" to YHWH! If anybody had a healthy fear of YHWH it was Moshe and Aharon! - See Leviticus 10.)

Frustrated, he not only seeks to demean Moshe and Aharon's positions in the community, but he seeks to raise himself up with his own lofty purposes and ideas, becoming a self prescribed advocate of the people's rights, proclaiming a message of democracy, freeing them from the autocracy (rule by one person) of Moshe.

For more, please click on the link above!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Do you agree that some are abusing the privilege of “Go Fund Me”?

I'm still "sitting on the fence" when it comes to GoFundMe pages. While there are understandably some true needs out there, I have to admit, it really irks me to see people abusing it, just because they want instant gratification on something they don't want to save money for.

Whatever happened to working hard and waiting until you've saved up enough money to buy that car or house, or take that long-desired vacation? Oh - I see: You've maxed out your credit card have tons of payments that keep you broke each month because you have no common sense and don't know the meaning of self-control, and you really, really want that new car or house or whatever RIGHT NOW....

And you want SOMEONE ELSE to pay for it. Gosh, what else will you want us to pay for six months from now? (I know of some on Facebook who have had endless WANTS for years on end - and well-meaning people keep giving, thereby enabling these leeches on society.)

Many people don't think to ask WHY the rest of the world should be obligated to fund their particular desire for something, or pay for the damage some natural disaster did because the owner didn't secure insurance. WHY didn't the owner have insurance? WHY should the owner's lack of preparation and future planning become OUR problem?

Yes, it's clear that many who put up a GoFundMe page are doing it for all the wrong reasons - and they don't hesitate to use Scripture to "guilt" you into giving. Truth is, God ALSO expects everyone to be responsible stewards of what they own and what they want to eventually own., Unfortunately, some of the things missing in our society is individual responsibility, common sense, respect and self-control when it comes to NOT spending more than we make each month....

Proverbs 22:7 ...and the borrower is slave to the lender.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all the evils; because of this craving, some people have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves to the heart with many pains. 11 But you, as a man of God, flee from these things; and pursue righteousness, (CJB)

Luke 14:28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Don't you sit down and estimate the cost, to see if you have enough capital to complete it? 29 If you don't, then when you have laid the foundation but can't finish, all the onlookers start making fun of you 30 and say, `This is the man who began to build, but couldn't finish!' (CJB)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The the type of "arrogant and puffed up" behavior exhibited by counter-missionaries

The the type of "arrogant and puffed up" behavior exhibited in the above meme is a perfect example of what YOU will become if you allow the Jewish Rabbis and their converts to lure you away from the whole of YHWH's Truth concerning Messiah Yeshua. If that's who you want to be, go for it, but just remember, there IS a Judgment Day when you WILL get to explain to Yeshua why you - a mere ignorant human with a limited mindset - believed you were smarter and better than YHWH's Divine Messiah.

Whoever created this meme was too dense and stupid to realize that HUMANS are NOT immortal. Yeshua's HUMAN BODY was mortal, but hIs Divine Nature has always existed, and still exists today. Unlike the eternal "nature" of Yeshua - who was Word (John 1:1 and 14), and the "Arm" (Isaiah 53), which is a part of the "body" of YHWH, who has no beginning nor end, the creator of this meme will NOT exist eternally!

On Judgment Day, right after the creator of this meme discovers from God Himself what a HUGE mistake they made due to ignorance, pride and arrogance, they will simply be gone, as if they never existed. Too bad so sad. (Wonder what will happen to the counter-missionary Rabbis who made their living on earth by luring people away from Yeshua?)

Hebrews 10: 28. For if he who transgressed the Torah of Moshe, died without mercies at the mouth of two or three witnesses; 29. how much more, do you think, will he receive capital punishment who has trodden upon the Son of Elohim and has accounted the blood of his covenant by which he is sanctified, as the blood of all men and has treated the Spirit of grace in an insulting manner? (AENT)

Acts 5: 32 And we are witnesses of these words and the Ruach haKodesh; He Who Elohim gives to those who obey Him. (CJB)

The bottom line is, this whole issue is called "defiant irreverence" - a term that can be applied to such sins as cursing YHWH or willfully degrading things relating to Him, or attributing some evil to Him, or denying Him some good that should be attributed to Him. The "rest of the story" (sadly referred to as "The New Testament" as if it somehow replaced "the old") TELLS us all about YHWH's Divine Mashiyach. It is a grave sin to reject HIS Truth....