Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A great message for Believers to cling to during these trying times….

In these trying times, it's hard to tone down our anger against those who perpetrate violence to "get their messages" across (especially those who don't even have a "message"; but simply enjoy being destructive).

But being angry and wanting to retaliate avails nothing, because Scripture tells us that vengeance belongs to YHWH....

So, here is a great message for Believers to cling to:

Proverbs 4:14 Don’t follow the path of the wicked or walk on the way of evildoers. 15 Avoid it, don’t go on it, turn away from it, and pass on. 16 For they can’t sleep if they haven’t done evil, they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining ever brighter until full daylight.19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they don’t even know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I am saying; incline your ear to my words.

21 Don’t let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to their whole being. 23 Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences. 24 Keep crooked speech out of your mouth, banish deceit from your lips.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,fix your gaze on what lies in front of you. 26 Level the path for your feet, let all your ways be properly prepared; 27 then deviate neither right nor left; and keep your foot far from evil. (CJB)

Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance and payback are mine for the time when their foot slips;for the day of their calamity is coming soon, their doom is rushing upon them. (CJB)

Romans 12: 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but try to do what everyone regards as good. 18 If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people. 19 Never seek revenge, my friends; instead, leave that to God’s anger; for in the Tanakh it is written, “Adonai says, ‘Vengeance is my responsibility; I will repay.’” (CJB)

Monday, June 1, 2020


THE FOLLOWING IS A RUMOR ABOUT A THING CALLED LAMININ that has been passed around congregations and here on Facebook for many years. It’s time to put a stop to it…
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THE RUMOR:
The molecule, Laminin is the protein that holds human beings together. Do you notice its shape? Isn't it amazing that God would think so far in the future, and make the very thing that makes us think of Jesus, make up and play a crucial role in how we are formed? God formed you to not only live as an image of Christ, but to never escape the fact that you are HIS! We are branded by the Cross! He is before all things, and in him all things hold together... Colossians 1:17

THE RESPONSE:

Although very interesting, comparing the shape of laminin to God’s Messiah is a bit of a stretch - for several reasons: 

(1) The cross was never a “symbol of God” – GOD cannot be born or die! It was merely a death device used by the Romans, upon which His Divine Messiah was crucified. (If Yeshua had been put to death by hanging, would we be willing to wear nooses around our necks or hang them on our walls?)

(2) We don't know for sure that Yeshua died on a "cross" (the NT translates it "stake"), and if you Google "cross" you'll see that the shape of the modern Christian cross is from the Latin which looks like a lower case t while other "crosses" look like a capital T, a capital X and also a plus sign....So what WAS He actually nailed to? 

(3) The only symbol YHWH Himself ever designed and told us to make according to HIS instruction was the menorah (Exodus 25:31-40). (I would be impressed if laminin was in the shape of a MENORAH!) HOW Yeshua died is not indicative of the "stuff of life" that holds us together.

We don't have life because "the human Messiah" died; we have life because his Father, YHWH, created mankind. However, belief in the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua at the cross affords us "eternal life"... (Note also that GOD cannot be born or die, which means there's a whole lot more to the YHWH-Yeshua relationship than most realize!) 

Yeshua was the Word (John 1:1, 14) and the "arm of YHWH" (Isaiah 53:1), which renders him indelibly ONE with YHWH, but He never replaced YHWH or came to pass himself off as ELOHIM, or bring a new religion called Christianity - and YHWH certainly did NOT implant the method of his gruesome death into our DNA....

Believers get to have eternal life because Yeshua was our Redemption; but the hideous death device upon which he suffered and died, has nothing whatsoever to do with a molecule in our bodies that is coincidentally shaped like the latin "cross".... 

The pastors who push this "laminin" thing like to suggest that Colossians 1:17 says, "all things holding together" 

The Aramaic reads: Colossians 1: 15. who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim and the first-born of all creatures: 16. and by him was created everything that is in heaven and on earth, all that is visible and all that is invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; everything was through him and was created by [1] him: 17. and he was prior to all, and by him everything exists. (AENT) 

NOTE: The literal Aramaic reading is “by him”; whereas Greek and English texts have “for him.” Mashiyach is the creative Word through which everything was made (Psalm 33:6, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 1:1-5). 

The common Aramaic idiom here and in John is "through his hands" meaning as the Word, Mashiyach crafted all things according to YHWH's blueprints. Yeshua emerges as the Word from YHWH's breath and command and, as such, was with Him in the beginning (John 17:1-11).

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Whatever happened to common sense?

I’d like to know whatever happened to common sense. Let me give you some examples:

(1) About the death of George Floyd: While we weren’t privy to the origin of the incident, why did that cop have to press his knee into Floyd's neck until Floyd was dead? Common sense dictates that pressing your knee into someone's neck cuts off their air supply. The man was handcuffed on the ground, helpless as he was held down by at least TWO cops. We saw the video clips from several angles….

(2) Why did several people whip out their cellphones to video the incident; yet NOBODY bothered to charge that cop to knock him off of Floyd when it became clear that Floyd’s life was in danger? As far as we could tell from the various videoclips we’ve seen on the news, only one person (a woman) cried out to demand that the cop remove his knee from Floyd's neck; and she was ignored.

Why wouldn't the gathering crowd risk getting arrested for "assaulting a police officer" in order to help a man whose life was clearly in danger? IMO, everyone just standing there, WATCHING, was an accessory to murder!

(3) While Americans have every right to stage protests, WHY are some rioting, looting, stealing and basically destroying the lives and livelihoods of innocents who had nothing to do with the Floyd incident? It's one thing to "protest"; it's quite another to stage anarchy by allowing your animalistic, carnal nature to take over. We're supposed to be a CIVILIZED society!

(4) Another "black on white" case happened on February 23 when two white men attacked a black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, just outside the port city of Brunswick, in order to supposedly make a "citizen's arrest" because they thought he “looked like” some guy who had been breaking into homes.

While struggling with this unarmed man who was being held at gunpoint, Arbery was shot dead. WHAT RIGHT do ordinary citizens have to make a "citizen's arrest" of someone jogging, whom they only “believe” resembles someone else? (It would have been a different story if they had caught Arbery IN THE ACT of stealing…but they still wouldn’t have had a right to shoot him to death….)

Americans truly need to snap out of it, back off and regroup, and start THINKING.  

"Thinking" would include NOT jumping to conclusions or formulating opinions about things you have only heard or read about, or saw on TV.  The viewing audience is not necessarily given all the facts.  YOU are not "judge and jury," so STAY OUT OF IT!  (If you are physically present to witness some terrible injustice – as in the case of George Floyd where it was clear he was about lose his life – by all means, take action.  But if you’re watching it on TV, don’t get mad and run outside to riot and burn down buildings in protest. That is just plain STUPID!)

Many (if not MOST) things we read and hear about are lies and conspiracy theories - so STOP rushing to jump on some bandwagon to trash the person who's being lied about.  Unless YOU personally witnessed something and have ALL the data and ALL the facts, you are NOT qualified to speak into, or take action on the situation; you aren’t even prepared to make "an informed opinion" about the situation….

While I’m at it, "thinking" would also include learning to keep your mouth SHUT when stopped by the police.  Don't argue, don't get physical - just shut up and be quiet, and don't resist arrest if, for some reason they want to arrest you.   Most of the time there is a valid reason for being stopped by an officer.  Just be quiet and COOPERATE!  

Most of the time (according to what we’ve seen on the evening news) it seems that people argue and/or become downright belligerent when approached by cops. They scream and holler, cause escalation, and draw all kinds of attention to themselves, all while yelling, “Police brutality!” when the cops attempt to subdue them….

Therefore, it’s no wonder people often end up hurt or shot (or even killed). (Whether or not "excessive force" was used by police is an entirely separate matter - but, while "excessive force" is certainly wrong, we also need to put ourselves in the policeman's place, having to deal with loud-mouthed, argumentative, rowdy and abusive types constantly…. ) 

This is a WESTERN country founded on biblical principles.  Let's put away our pride, prejudices and pre-conceived notions and all the things haShem hates, and start concentrating instead on leading people to the Truth of YHWH/Yeshua/Torah. 

Proverbs 6: 16 There are six things ADONAI hates, seven which he detests: 17 a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet swift in running to do evil, 19 a false witness who lies with every breath, and him who sows strife among brothers. (CJB)

Saturday, May 30, 2020

A mini-teaching about YHWH’s Promise to humankind



Genesis 9:8 God spoke to Noach and his sons with him; he said, 9 "As for me - I am herewith establishing my covenant with you, with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you - the birds, the livestock and every wild animal with you, all going out of the ark, every animal on earth.

11 I will establish my covenant with you that never again will all living beings be destroyed by the waters of a flood, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth."

12 God added, "Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come: 13 I am putting my rainbow in the cloud - it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and the earth.

14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud; 15 I will remember my covenant which is between myself and you and every living creature of any kind; and the water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings.

16 The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of any kind on the earth." 17 God said to Noach, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between myself and every living creature on the earth." (CJB)

The rainbow is a beautiful sign from God! But have you ever thought about how a rainbow is formed? My husband, Bill Welker, explains, using a “double rainbow” we recently had the privilege of seeing with our own eyes:

Notice how bright the primary rainbow is. That's because those drops are all at just the right angle (42 deg) from the anti-solar point so that the ray of light reflects/refracts one time in the drop and almost all the light reaches your eye.

Then notice the secondary rainbow. Those drops are all at a higher angle (51 deg) from the anti-solar point, and the light in those drops reflect twice inside the drop so the part that comes out toward your eye is "weaker", so the secondary rainbow is always significantly darker than the primary rainbow.

Note also that the colors in the secondary rainbow are the reverse of the primary rainbow because the refraction is in the opposite direction in the secondary rainbow!

Then notice the "dark" area between the two rainbows. This is called "Alexander's dark band". It appears dark because all the raindrops in that gap are scattering the light AWAY from your eye.

Also notice the area below the primary rainbow - it is brighter! That's because all the raindrops in that area are scattering more light, but of all colors, toward your eye. Since it is all colors, it is seen a white light.

Everyone who sees a rainbow sees a different rainbow than everyone else. Each rainbow is unique to the observer. Each person actually sees two rainbows because a rainbow is formed by each eye. You can't perceive two rainbows because the raindrops are so far away from you that the two rainbows essentially "overlap".

Also, the rainbow is not really there! It is only seen by the eye, and the "bow" is actually a "cone". We can't perceive any "depth" to the rainbow, but the colors you see are actually formed all along a line from your eye to the raindrops at that particular angle.

Any raindrop just a few feet from you, to raindrops miles away are all contributing to the colors you see, as long as the drops are on the same line, and what you see is completely unique to your eyes!

Though it is difficult to see in the photo without enlarging it, running just inside the Primary rainbow is another, very faint rainbow. This is called a supernumerary rainbow and is caused by optical "interference" which we see as colored rings just inside the primary bow.

Supernumerary rainbows are more likely to be seen when the raindrops are mostly all the same size in the direction you are looking.

By describing the rainbow in this manner, I've probably spoiled the rainbow for many, but to me, knowing how it all happens is itself a beautiful thing that adds greatly to the simple beauty of the rainbow.

Friday, May 29, 2020

A mini-teaching on praying

Abba. thank you for blessing us with the privilege of coming to You in prayer - and being able to invoke the Name of Your Divine Messiah, who is the ONLY Heavenly Entity who has YOUR Name within his own!

(For those who didn't know this, to vocalize the Name of Y'shua (also written in English as Yeshua), is to acknowledge the power of YHWH to save us according to HIS Word!)

A mini-teaching on praying:

Matthew 6: 6. But when you pray enter your inner room and close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret[1] and your Father who sees in secret He will reward you in open.[2]

7. And when you pray, you should not be chatterers like the pagans, for they hope that by many words they will be heard. 8. Therefore, do not imitate them[3] for your Father knows what need you have before you ask Him.

9. Therefore, you pray like this: Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. As in heaven so on earth.[4] 11 Give us the bread of our need this day. 12. And forgive us our offenses as we also have forgiven those who have offended us. 13. And not bring us into trial,[5] but deliver us from the evil one, for Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. (AENT)

[1[ See Psalm 91.

[2] The Aramaic word for “open” is b’gelya, which means “to reveal” or “revelation”. Y’shua resided in the Galilee which literally means the “land of revelation”, he is the revealed light to the nations (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 8:23-9:2).

[3] Prayer is a dialogue with Heaven, not a monologue. Y’shua’s teaching stands as the demarcation between relationship with YHWH rather than a religion about Him. Prayer is meant to establish and maintain an intimate relationship, and accountability between each individual and YHWH.

[4] Heavens always come before the earth in terms of the creation order, importance and having heaven’s laws rule on earth (Job 38:31-33).

[5] YHWH does not lead His people into “temptation”, but He does test and prove them. Deut. 13:3; Job 1:7-12; James 1:14.

For a deeper study on this issue, please check out our article.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Responding to a reader question about the Omer Count

READER QUESTION:

Hello, Please may I ask a question about counting the omer as it's not clear to me.

If we count the omer from the day after the first day of unleavened bread and Yeshua is first fruits, wouldn't He will still be in the grave still as He is the pesach lamb and 3 days and 3 nights wouldn't have passed yet?  Sorry if my question isn't very clear.

Thank you. 

QUR RESPONSE:

Thanks for asking.  It is a common misconception that Yeshua had to "rise" in Firstfruits and not just "be" Firstfruits.

There are many reasons for this misconception.

First, Christians have a long-held tradition that Yeshua rose on Sunday morning. But it is tradition only, based on an assumption and is not supported by scripture. Nevertheless, that perception led many to believe that Firstfruits is a Sunday, indeed, most all Christian denominations today observe Firstfruits on "Resurrection Sunday".

Second, the Jewish people can't agree on which day is the day of Firstfruits. The disagreement is so contentious that the differing groups in Yeshua's time (Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes) actually observed Firstfruits on different days! That certainly contributed to the myth that Yeshua rose on Firstfruits since the Sadducees of his day observed Firstfruits on the first Sunday after Passover.

Third, most assume that the "shabbat" in Leviticus 23:11 must be the weekly Shabbat without realizing that the weekly Shabbat is set-apart as its own moed, and that the "shabbat" of Leviticus 23:11 is the shabbat of Leviticus 23:7 & 15.  The assumption that the "shabbat" of Leviticus 23:11 is the weekly Shabbat misleads many to conclude that Firstfruits is always a Sunday.

Fourth, many assume that the "week" count of Leviticus 23:15 is from Sunday to Saturday, and thus the "Count" must begin on a Sunday.  This, too, has misled many. But the command to count the Omer,  Leviticus 23:15-16, specifically commands the counting of days, until a period of 49 days has passed - the 50th day is the next High Holy day, and is the next firstfruits offering. The Hebrew word in Leviticus 23:15 translated into English as "weeks" is actually "shabbatot" which in the context of the verse is a "count of seven". (The root of the word "shabbat" is "sheva" which means seven.) If all we had to do was count 7 weekly Sabbaths, then there would have been no reason for the commandment have been to count days.  

Finally, Firstfruits don't "rise", they are "presented". Yeshua did not need to "rise" on the "day of firstfruits" to be the firstfruits.  And since there is no requirement that "Firstfruits be 3 days and three nights from Passover", we can see that the connection that Yeshua has to "rise" on Firstfruits is simply a human misconception about what firstfruits means. 

In all three of the annual "firstfruits" offerings (barley at Passover, wheat at Shavuot, and fruits at Sukkot) the important aspect is that before humans get to eat of the new crops of the year, YHWH is to be recognized by presenting Him with the "first" of the crop. But we humans have somehow concluded that Yeshua had to "rise" on firstfruits, and we at The Refiner’s Fire contend that is wrong.  Only Yeshua had to be "3 days and 3 nights" in the grave, then he "became" the firstfruits and was "presented" to YHWH.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Here's a little history lesson you can use against those who tell you they "hate the Jews!"

Tell them this:

If it hadn't been for Elohim's CHOSEN being scattered into the nations (Ezekiel 36:19) who were ultimately referred to as "Jews," ADONAI and His Son Yeshua would have remained the best-kept secret of tiny, little Israel, and the rest of the world would still be writhing in paganism.

One cannot condemn those Jews who are not yet Believers in the Mashiyach because God hasn't yet opened their spiritual eyes.

And, let's get realistic: traditional Jews have been pretty much frightened away by the prospect of this "Torah-less Christian "Jesus" who has been presented as "God in the Flesh" - who was born and died (which is something GOD cannot do!); who "brought grace" along with a new religion called Christianity that insists "the law (Torah - God's Divine Instructions in Righteousness) was abolished at the cross"....

Jews are, however, Torah observant believers in YHWH, which brings them a lot closer to Him than anyone who ignores God's original Divine Instruction in Righteousness (Torah) in favor of Sun-day worship and man-made "holidays" that are steeped in paganism..

Harsh words? Yes, but we are living in the end times as outlined in the Bible, and time is short. Jew-bashing is NOT the way to please God! The Bible tells us that anyone who goes up against them in any way will suffer His wrath:

Genesis 12: - 3 I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Note that YHWH wasn't talking to "the Jews" at that point; but, rather, to the first Patriarch, Abraham who "crossed over" (which is what the term "hebrew" means) both physically and spiritually when he accepted YHWH as his Elohim. There were no "Jews" until the third Patriarch, Ya'akov (Jacob) gave birth to Yehudah (Judah) whose offspring became one of the 12 Tribes of Israel....

Deuteronomy 7:6-8: For you are a people set apart as holy for ADONAI your God. ADONAI your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure. 7 ADONAI didn't set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people - on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples.

8 Rather, it was because ADONAI loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that ADONAI brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharoah king of Egypt. (CJB)

Again, note that YHWH wasn't talking to "the Jews" at that point; but, rather, to the 12 Tribes of Israel....He didn't give the Land to just "the Jews"; He gave it to the descendants of Abraham. That is who the Land belongs to.

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

Ezekiel 37: 21 Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: 'I will take the people of Isra'el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land.

No tribe or race in history has remained a distinct people group outside of a national homeland for thousands of years like the Jewish people. No people on earth have ever been repatriated after dozens of generations had forgotten their distinct language. No people, that is, except for Yahweh's people.

The Land belongs to Yahweh's Chosen People. God gave the Land to Abraham and his descendants (not "the Jews" per se) in Genesis 15:18-19. Abraham bought a large burial site at Hebron (Genesis 23:1-20); David bought the Temple Mount (1 Chronicles 21:25).

And who was the Land ever sold to? NOBODY! Only in recent years has anyone even been able to TAKE it from the Jews forcefully, thanks to "the world" (including the United States which sticks its collective nose into everything) insisting on dividing Israel!

But, unless the Muslims are willing to buy the Land (which, as it happens, is not for sale!) then NOBODY has a right to it except for "the Jews"!

Genesis 15: 18 That day ADONAI made a covenant with Avram: "I have given this land to your descendants - from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River - 19 the territory of the Keni, the K'nizi, the Kadmoni, 20 the Hitti, the P'rizi, the Refa'im, 21 the Emori, the Kena'ani, the Girgashi and the Y'vusi."

Leviticus 25: 23 "The land is not to be sold in perpetuity, because the land belongs to me -you are only foreigners and temporary residents with me.

How YHWH feels about Israel:

"I will make Yerushalayim a cup that will stagger the surrounding peoples. Even Y'hudah will be caught up in the siege against Yerushalayim. When that day comes, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves, and all the earth's nations will be massed against her. (Zecheriah 12:2-3).

All the nations of the Earth will take up arms against Israel, and YHWH's chosen people will be surrounded. But He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep, (Psalm 121:4) and HE will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. (Zechariah 14:3)

The final battle in the Age of Man will be for control of Jerusalem, a place no one wanted until YHWH chose it as His own. (2 Chronicles 6:5-6). Since then the forces opposed to Him have ceaselessly tried to take it from Him, for in the spiritual realm control of Jerusalem signifies victory over ELOHIM.

Israel is quite simply the most important piece of Real Estate in the entire Universe - and for all those who would seek to divide it or give it to someone else or even "internationalize" it, be advised He still wants it.

He said, "Human being, this is the place for my throne, the place for the soles of my feet, where I will live among the people of Isra'el forever. The house of Isra'el, both they and their kings, will never again defile my holy name by their prostitution, by [burying] the corpses of their kings [on] their high places." (Ezekiel 43:7)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A musar (supplementary) prayer for our times…

Just sharing a beautiful prayer from Professor Rabbi Brian Tice, Messianic Jewish Rabbinate.  It is a musar (supplementary) prayer for our times, distributed by Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

We cannot merely pray to You, O G-d, to end war: for we know that You have made the world in a way so that all of us must find our own path to peace, within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to You, O G-d, to end starvation; for You have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to You, O G-d, to root out our prejudice; for You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O G-d, to end despair; for you have already given us the power to clear away slums and to give hope, if only we would use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O G-d, to end disease; for you have already given us great minds with which to search our cures and healing, if we could only use them constructively.

Therefore, we pray to You instead, O G-d, for strength, determination, and courage, to do instead of just pray, to become instead of merely to wish.

Praised are You, O G-d, You bless our people Israel, and all peoples with peace.

Please feel free to share this prayer, as it is exactly the type of message ADONAI has been trying to teach mankind since the very beginning. He gave us the intellect, wisdom and the tools to accomplish “set apart” living according to His Torah!

He even warned us about the blessings for obedience, and the curses for disobedience! (See Deuteronomy 27 and 28.) How much clearer could He have been? Yet, mankind has always managed to disappoint Him because we have continued to “put Him in a box” and make up our own rules, while viewing ourselves as “holy”.

Monday, May 25, 2020

To belong to YHWH/Yeshua, we must be able to “see the whole picture” and “be all we were created to be”….

EXAMPLE #1: Knowledge, wisdom and faith are nothing without love, 1 Corinthians 13:

1 Corinthians 13:1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body [a]to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (CJB)

EXAMPLE #2: Faith without works is dead, James 2:

James 2:14. What is the use, my Brothers, if a man say, I have faith; and he has no works? Can his faith resurrect him?[1] 15. Or if a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16. and one of you say to them, “Go in peace, warm yourselves, and be full;” and you do not give them the necessities of the body, what is the use? 17. So also faith alone, without works, is dead.

NOTE 1: Literally “restore life”, not “save” as often translated.

James 2 (continued):

James 2:18. For a man may say, you have faith and I have works; show to me your faith that is without works and I will show to you my faith by my works. 19. You believe that there is one Elohim; you do well; the demons also believe and tremble. 20. Would you know, O weak man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Awraham our father, was not he justified by works[2] in offering his son Yitz’chak upon the altar?

NOTE 2:

Some theologians allege this teaching to be opposite of the Pauline Epistles, such as Galatians. The reality is that Paul was grossly misquoted whereas Ya’akov (James) was not. Rav Shaul (Paul) did not accept empty ritual devoid of proper spiritual focus. He was Torah Observant; he kept the Moedim (feast days), the Shabbat, and took one or more Nazirite vows; he fasted on Yom Kippur, ate “clean” food and lived a Set Apart life in Mashiyach Y’shua. The fact is that Romans 7:12 totally harmonizes Galatians with, and complements, Galatians and Ya’akov.

James 2 (continued)

James 2: 22. Do you realize that his faith aided his works, and that by the works his faith was rendered complete? 23. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says: Awraham believed in Elohim, and it was credited to him for righteousness and he was called the Friend of Elohim.

24. You see that by works a man is justified[3] and not by faith alone. 25. So also Rahab the harlot, was she not justified by works when she entertained the spies and sent them forth by another way? 26. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (AENT)

NOTE 3: The Hebrew word for a righteous soul = tsadiq; righteousness = tsedeq; justified = tsadaq; notice they are the same word. A soul without righteousness can never be “justified” regardless of what theologians claim. The original root word for justified relates to righteous action.

However, mainstream Christianity teaches that a person is “justified” solely on the merits of belief in Y’shua, and that observing Torah is impossible. Even in Ya’akov’s (James’) day, some individuals wanted cerebral belief to “justify” themselves, which is impossible.

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

EXAMPLE #3: Fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:

Galatians 5:19. For you know the works of the flesh, which are these: adultery, impurity and lasciviousness, 20. idolatry, witchcraft, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, stubbornness, treacheries, heresies, 21. Envy, murder, drunkenness, revelry and all like things. Those who do things like these, they will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. 22. The fruits then of the Spirit are these: Love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faith, 23. meekness, self-control. Against these there is no instruction(4) put in place.

24. And those who are of Mashiyach have put to death their flesh with all its passions and lusts. 25. Let us therefore live by the Spirit and surrender to the Spirit. 26. And let us not be of vacant glories that cause us to ridicule one another and envy one another. (AENT)

NOTE 4: In this context, namusa, the Aramaic cognate for torah, is better understood at its root level, meaning “to instruct,” rather than as a formalized title. Otherwise, Rav Shaul might be construed as saying that these “Fruits of the Spirit” are not taught in Torah, when (the fact is) they are. His point is that there is no instruction against fulfilling these fruits of the spirit.

CONCLUSION:

After reading just these few scriptures, it is evident that it’s not only “all about love”; rather, the “whole package all rolled into one.” YHWH expects a lot out of His people – and ultimately, it’s all about learning how to be good subjects in the Kingdom.

The Bible tells us that "blaspheming the Holy Spirit" is an unforgivable sin…


Matthew 12: 30. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever did not gather with me, scatters. 31. Because of this I say to you that all sins and blasphemies will be forgiven to the sons of men, but blasphemy that is against the Spirit will not be forgiven to the sons of men. 32. And anyone who says a word against the Son of man, he will be forgiven, But anyone who will speak against the Ruach haKodesh, he will not be forgiven - not in this world or in the world that is to come. (AENT)

YHWH is the One True Universal Authority Who chose to be represented by His Mashiyach. But man wars against Yeshua and one another to establish his own authority. Dividing and scattering, fallen man inadvertently follows the pattern of haSatan, the Adversary.

If a person committed one of the capital offenses that are mentioned in Torah, but confessed and pleaded for forgiveness, there were ways to receive atonement. But those who blaspheme against the Spirit of YHWH have no way to make atonement for themselves, nor can they make an appeal in the name of Yeshua. See also Acts 5:1-11 and Hebrews 10:28-30.

Put another way, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an eternal sin, because if one rejects the evidence provided by the Holy Spirit and ascribes it to God's enemy haSatan, he rejects the only evidence upon which faith can be based.

Here's more:

Matthew 13: 32. And anyone who says a word against the Son of man, he will be forgiven, But anyone who will speak against the Ruach haKodesh,[1] he will not be forgiven – not in this world or in the world that is to come.

Mark 3: 28. Truly I say to you, that all sins and blasphemies that the sons of man will blaspheme will be forgiven them. 29. But he who blasphemes against the Ruach haKodesh has no forgiveness ever, rather he is guilty before the eternal judgment. 30. This is because they were saying that an unclean spirit is in him.

Acts 5: 1. And a certain man whose name was Khanan-Yah, with his wife whose name was Shapeera, sold his field. 2. And he took from its sale price and hid it while his wife knew of it. And he brought some of the money and placed it before the feet of the Shlichim. 3. And Shimon said to him, “Khanan-Yah, why is it that the Adversary has filled your heart thus that you should lie in (the presence of) the Ruach haKodesh, and that you should hide that sum of the money of the proceeds of the field?

4. Was it not yours before it was sold? And after it was sold, again you were in control over its proceeds. Why have you placed in your heart to do this spectacle? You have not lied (in the presence of) men, but in (the presence of) Elohim.” 5. And after Khanan-Yah heard these words, he fell down and died. And there was a great fear among all those who heard. 6. And those who were young among them rose up and they gathered him together and took him outside and buried him. 7. And after three hours had passed, his wife also entered while not knowing what happened.

9. Shimon said to her, “because you have deliberated to tempt the Spirit of Master YHWH, behold the feet of the grave diggers of your husband (are) at the door, and they will take you out.” 10. And at that moment, she fell before their feet and died. And those young men entered and found her dead, and they gathered (her) up, took her away, and buried her next to her husband. 11. And there was a great fear in all the assembly, and in all those who heard.

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?

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

The bottom line is: It is "defiant irreverence" - a term that can be applied to such sins as cursing Yahweh or willfully degrading things relating to Him, or attributing some evil to Him, or denying Him some good that should be attributed to Him. For instance, in Matthew 12:31-32, the Pharisees, having witnessed irrefutable proof that Yeshua was working miracles in the power of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit), claimed instead that He was possessed by the demon "Beelzebub" (Matthew 12:24).

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Same thing happened with the AIDS/HIV epidemic. Everybody was talking about how to prevent the disease; NO ONE mentioned we should stop doing the ONLY thing that caused AIDS/HIV, which was the exchange of body fluids. And they STILL don't! That's because, in today's world, ANYTHING goes. "If it feels good, DO IT!" YHWH keeps sending us clear messages, but we humans have selective hearing....


Thursday, May 21, 2020

What we’ve learned from COVID-19

I think one thing we can all agree on, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, is that Americans have realized how fragile life and society is, because we've finally gotten a taste of how quickly everything can be taken away....

We all should have learned to NOT take anything for granted - from our personal health and freedoms, to our grocery stores and everyone working in them, to our hospitals and ALL their staff, including the precious janitors, to our schools and teachers, to our gas stations, banks, barbers and hair salons, sanitation and highway workers and, of course, our places of employment.... (There are many more I could have named, but you get the drift.)

We should have learned how very valuable and essential ALL jobs are, and to never, ever denigrate any one particular profession.  We can do without Hollywood’s entertainers, actors, singers and sports “heroes” as they are NOT “essential”.  We can do without so-called YouTube “influencers” and all that the superfluous and unnecessary and unessential “stuff” provided by the “rich and famous” – but we CANNOT do without the above-mentioned professions!

We all should have learned a lesson to keep "extras" on hand so no one has to selfishly buy up and hoard all the toilet paper, canned and dry goods and hand-sanitizers, etc., while leaving others "high and dry."

And most of all, we all should have learned a lesson to STOP living on credit. Americans have been in debt now for DECADES, thanks to banks handing out credit cards to anyone with a pulse, including those able-bodied people not pulling their weight in our society....

It’s rather pathetic that most Americans didn’t even have enough “emergency” money saved up to even be able to pay for a couple months rent or mortgage!  This dilemma – in most cases - was kicked off because most Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs because they’ve never bothered to control their spending habits.

They have been busy making credit card purchases to buy anything their hearts desired, without giving one iota of a thought to the consequences of “living beyond their means.”  It didn’t dawn on them that – on certain high-interest credit card rates - they would be spending many YEARS paying on ONLY the INTEREST of their large purchases before ever being able to start paying off their principals….

If nothing else, this pandemic should have taught us that that it’s high time for us rearrange our thinking – to change our “bad” habits and begin figuring out how to properly manage our finances, and learn to live within our means while preparing for the future on every level – including any unforeseen emergencies!

We CAN do it – but that will require the realization that everyone needs to start taking personal responsibility for their actions.  We shouldn’t have to rely on “the government” to bail us out – that is NOT written into the Constitution!

What we are mostly in need of doing is getting ourselves RIGHT with YHWH – living by HIS Divine Instructions (Torah), so that “all will go well with us” in every way.  (See Deuteronomy 28 through 20.)

A mini-lesson on sexual sin

1 Corinthians 6:12. Everything is in my power: but everything is not profitable to me. Everything is in my power; but none (of them) will have dominion over me. 13. Food is for the belly; and the belly is for food; but Elohim will bring them both to nothing. But the body is not for illicit sex, but for our Master (Y’shua); and our Master (Y’shua) for the body.

14. And Elohim has raised up our Master; and he will raise us up, by his power. 15. Don’t you know that your bodies are the members of the Mashiyach? Will one take a member of the Mashiyach, and make it the member of a harlot? May it never be!

16. Or don’t you know, that whoever joins himself to a harlot, is one body (with her)? For it is said, the two will be one body. 17. But he that joins himself to our Master (Y’shua), is with him one spirit. 18. Flee from sexual sin. For every (other) sin which a man commits, is external to his body; but he that commits sexual sin, sins against his own body.[1]

19. Or don’t you know, that your body is the temple of the Ruach haKodesh who abides in you, whom you have received from Elohim? And you are not your own. 20. For you are bought with a price. Therefore you glorify Elohim with your body, and with your spirit, which are Elohim’s. (AENT)

[1] Actually the sexual sin goes deeper than the body, as the note on Romans 1:26 shows. But the other point is also that a sexual sinner brings sin upon himself rather than his partner, and vice versa, unless rape or abuse is involved.

Here is what ADONAI Has in Store for the Sexually Immoral....

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, idol-worshippers, and all liars - their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulphur, the second death." (CJB)

Psalm 145:17-21: 17 ADONAI is righteous in all his ways, full of grace in all he does. 18 ADONAI is close to all who call on him, to all who sincerely call on him. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 ADONAI protects all who love him, but all the wicked he destroys. 21 My mouth will proclaim the praise of ADONAI; all people will bless his holy name forever and ever. (CJB)

Times sure have changed….

For those of us who were born in the middle of the last century, we’ve had the privilege of seeing a growing change in humanity ... and it has not necessarily been for the better, as one would have thought.

The behavior and lifestyles of many Americans today has gone from one extreme to the other, where "bad" and outrageous and even downright sinful acts are now viewed as "good" and "normal" - and if you can't "get with the program," then you're just plain weird! Everyone is an expert at everything in their own eyes, and you're violently berated and even threatened if you dare disagree with them in any way.

We have it easier than ever, thanks to electronic devices that allow us to have information and communication, etc. at our fingertips - yet, our nation has become more "dumbed down" than ever before, and there is no such thing as common sense anymore.

Not to mention that we've gone completely backwards when it comes to things such as race relations, Neither side gives an inch, jealously guarding and clinging to their hatred and preconceived notions. Instead of desiring to "talk things out," they all want to whip out their guns and kill each other.

It seems in America, the more technologically advanced we became, the more we lost our humanity, civility and ability to recognize our need to get in touch with our Creator and His Divine Instructions for mankind.... (In America, nobody wants instructions or rules of ANY kind - it's "against their precious rights"....)

Everybody in America is into doing their own selfish thing, no matter how adversely it might affect someone else. Founded on Judeo-Christian values, we've evolved into a mostly godless society consisting of instant-gratification-on-demand, me-oriented people.

My homeland of Germany isn't much different. Having been stationed in Germany with the US Army for nearly 12 years, I got to see Germans evolve from the hard,authoritarian, super-gruff and stubborn "I know everything" types, to overly lax and tolerant about "everything and anything" - especially when it comes to religion (and especially Islam, which they have even allowed to creep into their government at every level for the last 5 decades or so...)

They have absolutely allowed their country to be overrun by Muslims - and most don't seen to notice that the Muslims are NOT bothering to integrate into German society. I personally feel that Germany will be the first entire nation to succumb to the "convert or die" command. And most will "convert" because they don't know or care about God, anyway.

Sorry for the long rant, but I can't see anything positive about humanity anymore. I've lived long enough now to have witnessed the destruction of our planet, each other, and society, in general. ONLY the return of Yeshua is going to turn things around!.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Many Americans seem to feel that they’re above the law

I remember, the first time I was stationed in Germany with the US Army in 1973-1976, when the term "Ugly American" was still being tossed around by certain Germans whose experiences with some arrogant "we liberated you, and you owe us!" American soldiers, had left a sour taste in their mouths.

The term, "Ugly American" still applies today; as it is a stereotype depicting American citizens as exhibiting loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, and ethnocentric behavior; mainly abroad, but also at home - where today, we see myriads exhibiting that "Ugly American" behavior as they rebel against EVERYTHING, including ALL rules designed to keep us safe!

Case in point:

Some Americans, in the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, feel they have a "right" to not only disobey the "quarantining" and mask-wearing rules while in public, but ALL laws designed to keep us safe!

This is the main reason for a major uptick in speeding fatalities lately, as many are blatantly disregarding speed limits. For instance, in Connecticut, traffic has been cut in half compared to last year, but fatal motor vehicle accidents are up by about 40%!

And in California, the Highway Patrol issued nearly 2,500 citations statewide for driving over 100 miles per hour from mid-march to mid-April -- an 87% jump from the same time last year.

This is absolutely unacceptable behavior!

Whether people believe it or not, that makes them LAWLESS, both in regards to our country's rules and regulations, AND to YHWH's commands to guard our lives (Numbers 35:9-34; Deuteronomy 22;8; Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17, etc.)

NO ONE can arbitrarily decide they don't have to "follow the laws of the land," as those laws were put in place to keep people safe! Therefore, it goes without saying that driving at a reckless speed or any other reckless behavior that can cause accidents or harm self or others is forbidden under the Torah obligation to safeguard your life and the lives of those around you!

If you can't abide by the simplest Torah rules, what makes you think you're going to get to be among those who will get to help Yeshua "rule and reign during the Millennium? (Matthew 24:27-48; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Jude 1:11-21;Revelation 20:1-6, etc.)

HaShem is watching our every move and judging our every action - and we WILL be rewarded according to what He witnesses!

Revelation 20: 11. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sits upon it; from whose presence the earth and heaven fled away, and this their place was not found. 12. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is (the book) of life. And the dead were judged from the things written in the books, according to their deeds.

13. And the sea gave up the dead in it; and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. And they were judged, each one according to his deeds. 14. And death and Sheol were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (namely,) this lake of fire. 15. And if any one was not found enrolled in the book of life, he was cast into this lake of fire. (AENT)

Monday, May 18, 2020

A mini-lesson on "fence straddling...."

We used to have a sweet little Miniature Schanuzer named Dallas, who left this world a couple of years ago at the ripe ol’ age of 14.

Dallas was afraid of many things, and so, it wasn’t hard to contain him in his little postage stamp, fenced-in back yard consisting of just a few wires Bill had fastened to some rebar posts.

He could have easily jumped over the short fence, but luckily for us, he was somewhat of a coward. (He also wouldn’t go near the heat vents in the house, because they were apparently too scary and weird…)

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that the little fence served as a kind “Torah” for our little fur person.  As long as he stayed within its boundaries, he was safe. In that yard, he remained close to the house where we could keep an eye on him through the French door.

But if he were to ever escape and run up the hill into the woods, he would run the risk of becoming a meal for any number of predators, including a bear, lynx, or coyote (all of which we have personally seen).

If he had decided to run down the hill and across the properties of two of our neighbors, he would end up on a fairly busy highway. He would face possible danger even if he were to simply trot down our driveway toward the mail box, because he would end up on the road that snakes through our neighborhood where many didn't bother to follow the speed limit.

I shudder to think what would have happened if he had tried to make it all the way to the freeway which is approximately only a half mile away….

What I’m trying to illustrate is that YHWH gave us Torah to keep us safe from this fallen world.

Adam and Eve were safe in the Garden until they decided to break just one little rule. Suddenly, they found themselves outside of their safe haven, in a “fallen world” where hard work, pain, sorrow, sickness and death ruled … where jealousy, greed, drunkenness, lewdness, arrogance, fornication and adultery and all manner of vileness lay in wait as the world’s population began to grow.

In our “fallen world,” we aren’t guaranteed health, wealth, riches or anything else our carnal selves desire. But when we belong to YHWH, we have shalom in knowing that, no matter what else happens, YHWH is with us, guiding and teaching and allowing us to grow in knowledge of Him.

We have His Divine Rules for holy living which serve to make our earthbound existence smoother.  And, of course, we have the assurance of eternal life…

The moral of the story?

If little Dallas had dared to jump over his “Torah” fence that kept him safe, he would have mostly likely lost his life.

If YHWH’s people jump their Torah “fence” the world will close in and cause them to lose not only their “way” but possibly, their eternal life….

(See Romans 1:18-32; Numbers 15: 30; Hebrews 6:4-8 and 10:26-27; 2 Peter 2: 19-21; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10; Deuteronomy 7: 9-10, Revelation 3:16, etc.)

Sunday, May 17, 2020

YHWH must be so very sad….

On our “date day” this past Thursday, Bill and I watched the video, “The Two Popes” – a kind of dramatized documentary about the relationship between Pope Benedict (who resigned as Pope in 2013) and his successor, Pope Francis.

I have to admit, it was a really GOOD movie, and we literally cried our way through it, because it’s so clear that these two men both love God with all their hearts; and they’ve clearly studied Scripture and believe they’re doing His will - yet they have never realized that their theology is completely skewed and does not reflect the Word at all.

I find it mind-boggling that such learned “men of the cloth” have been completely unable to grasp that YHWH has some non-negotiable divine rules to follow … for ALL who accept Him as their ELOHIM. (See Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:13-16, Isaiah 56:6, and Romans 10:12-13 for starters; and then truly STUDY the entire Torah for more clarity.)

He kept His people in the “wilderness” for FORTY YEARS to teach them to OBEY and look to Him for everything – yet, somehow men keep feeling the need to stray and “do their own thing.” (Men seem to forget that YHWH KILLED Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, on the spot for “adding to” the incense/offering “strange fire”….

Leviticus 10: 1 But Nadav and Avihu, sons of Aharon, each took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and offered unauthorized fire before Adonai, something he had not ordered them to do. 2 At this, fire came forth from the presence of Adonai and consumed them, so that they died in the presence of Adonai. (CJB)

Yet – like the Jewish Rabbis – Catholic Popes (as well as every pastor who insists “those old rules were just for the Jews”) adhere mostly to traditions and the writings and interpretations of men.

YHWH must be so very sad….

Thursday, May 14, 2020

“Did you ever see Yeshua practice or teach civil disobedience?”

On a recent Facebook thread where some people began to bash anyone who agreed with current mandates to wear facemasks, remain vigilant and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, someone asked: “Did you ever see Yeshua practice or teach civil disobedience?” One man responded, “Yes … against the authorities when cleansing the temple. When speaking to the pharisees in Matt 23. By not answering the governor in Matt 27.”

Let’s examine this through Hebrew eyes.

The first thing that sprang to mind when I read that guy’s response was this: The difference is that Yeshua was divine, and you’re not.

Furthermore, Yeshua wasn’t practicing “civil disobedience.” As the Divine Messiah, the “Arm of YHWH” [Isaiah 53:1] and the Word of YHWH [John 1:1, 14], HE had the authority to reprimand those who were clearly violating and disobeying Torah.

Our authorities are not doing either of those things by trying to keep us all safe from a worldwide pandemic – a NEW virus that has killed nearly 300,000 worldwide (and is continuing to kill), that takes up to 2 weeks to incubate (meaning the carrier is able to infect dozens and hundreds without realizing it – by simply breathing), for which there is no cure.

Hospitals around the world have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases (because, unlike the regular flu, you can’t just take flu meds and go to bed). Those who have had to be hospitalized and survived after WEEKS of recovery, said they felt like they were drowning in their own bodies!

Furthermore, this NEW disease keeps revealing odd aspects of itself (check the latest stats on a “mystery disease” in children that is directly linked to COVID-19)….

Now, as to those Bible references provided, let’s discuss them through Hebrew lenses.

Referencing Matthew 21, perhaps it might interest you to know that Yeshua wasn’t committing “civil disobedience" by throwing the money changers out of the Temple. They were DESECRATING the Temple on SHABBAT! He said, “It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:17; Luke 14:23; Mark.11:11). The Temple was his own possession and he had a personal interest in what was taking place. (See Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11.)

Matthew 23:2 was also quoted.

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).

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.

As for Matthew 27, the DIVINE JEWISH MESSIAH KNEW HE WAS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE PUT TO DEATH at the hands of his own people and a pagan government that had been enslaving YHWH’S people and harassing them about TORAH, so why should he have bothered answering? What good would it have done? He KNEW HE HAD TO DIE to become our REDEMPTION! He was obeying his FATHER’S commands to do everything he was told (Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Luke 4: 43 and 8:1).

GOD HIMSELF isn’t telling US to DISOBEY orders designed to keep us safe from a plague, is He? It’s strictly the American public rebelling because most don’t seem to have respect for authorities of ANY kind anymore….

Unlike Yeshua, the selfish and self-serving, arrogant, rebellious people of the United States, aren’t being crucified for their beliefs. Being instructed to “shelter in place” and to COOPERATE in order to remain safe during a pandemic can hardly be compared to Nazi Germany (as many “armchair experts” are also doing). Nobody is standing at the gallows waiting to be hung if they don’t cooperate with the instructions to wear facemasks in public.

So as much as people are trying to make it look like the end of the world because they’ve been asked to cooperate during a deadly PLAGUE, we aren’t living under any oppressive regime as in Yeshua’s day (although in recent times we began to start voting for some with questionable qualifications and agendas)….

The bottom line is, most Americans are unbelievers, or lukewarm, at best (with MOST NOT BEING OBEDIENT TO TORAH!) … and so YHWH has sent a plague. Judging by everything that has transpired over the last 2,000 years since Yeshua died, we’re IN the end times!

Instead of hanging out on Facebook to fight and argue with each other, and relentlessly talk about and bash our country’s leaders (no matter how much we might dislike them), how about turning to YHWH/Yeshua/Torah, like were SUPPOSED to do?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A question for the hyper-religious Hebrew Roots types who see paganism under every rock

After seeing tons of “anti-Mother’s Day” memes and articles on Facebook the other day,I just HAVE to ask this of those who find paganism under every rock:

Since America and most of the world uses the "pagan" Gregorian calendar that uses the names of pagan gods and goddesses for the months and days of the week...

Do you refuse to celebrate your own birthday that fell on May 5th (or whatever)? And when you make a doctor's appointment, do you ask for the "4th day of Abib at the 6th hour?"

People, the truth is, believers in YHWH/Yeshua/Torah are not "worshiping" those mythical gods! They're just NAMES that mean NOTHING to us except letting us know what "day of the week" it is.

So let's just snap out of it and move on with our lives, shall we?

Monday, May 11, 2020

A biblical description on what the future holds for the world’s rabid rebels and conspiracy theorists….

To begin with, it’s time people started realizing that YHWH hates lies, gossip and conspiracy theories (Proverbs 12 and 16:16-19; Daniel 4:37; Jeremiah 50:31; Matthew 5:28 and 23:12, Ephesians 4:31; James 1:26).

Scripture forbids gossip of ANY kind. I personally believe that those anti-everything rebels who see nothing wrong with spreading untruths and causing division in the body of believers (while espousing Scripture out the other side of their over-active mouths) are the exact same people who will be:

(1) Falling for the “antichrist” when he arrives on the scene to deceive the world for seven years (Daniel 9:27; 1 John 2:18-22 and 4:3; 2 John 4:7); and …

(2) That their descendants will be rebelling against Yeshua during the last days of the Millennium when “Satan” is released “for a time” to wreak havoc with his myriad gullible followers all over the earth.

Revelation 20 tells us that “Satan” will be bound for 1,000 years upon Yeshua’s return – for the obvious reason of allowing Yeshua to rule and reign without any interference while he is preparing for the Kingdom all those who are lucky enough to survive the tumultuous final 3 ½ years of the “Antichrist’s” reign, when all hell breaks loose on earth before his arrival. These people will comprise the unbelievers and “lukewarm” who weren’t “caught up in the air to meet Yeshua” for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Daniel 9:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

Here’s exactly what is going to happen to that “entity” who has been wreaking havoc on earth since the days of Adam and Eve – the same entity that has been influencing those who like to gossip and spread unfounded personal opinions, etc.:

Revelation 20:1. And I saw a Messenger that descended from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2. And he seized the dragon, the old serpent, who is the Deceiver and Satan, who seduced the whole habitable world: and he bound him a thousand years. 3. And he cast him into the abyss and closed and sealed upon him; so that he might deceive the nations no more until these thousand years will be completed: but after that, he will be released for but a short time. (AENT)

Now, take a look at this … After a thousand years of world peace and tranquility with everyone living according to YHWH’s Torah, Yeshua will be releasing the evil back into the world for short a while to basically ferret out the “lukewarm” and the unbelievers and rebellious, and everyone who is NOT fit the Kingdom to Come; and they will quickly get their reward, which is complete annihilation – because there will be NO “lukewarm”, conspiracy theorists or rebels in the New Heaven and New Earth! YHWH is busy weeding them out even now!

Revelation 20:7. And when these thousand years will be completed, Satan will be released from his prison; 8. and will go forth to seduce the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog; and to assemble them for battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth and encompassed the camp of the Set Apart believers and the beloved city. And fire came down from Elohim out of heaven and consumed them. 10. And the Accuser who seduced them, was cast into the lake of fire and sulfur, where also were the beast of prey and the false prophet: and they will be tormented, day and night, forever and ever. (AENT)

At that point, we WILL see the complete end of mankind as we know it:

Revelation 20:11. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sits upon it; from whose presence the earth and heaven fled away, and this their place was not found. 12. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is (the book) of life. And the dead were judged from the things written in the books, according to their deeds.

13. And the sea gave up the dead in it; and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. And they were judged, each one according to his deeds. 14. And death and Sheol were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, (namely,) this lake of fire. 15. And if any one was not found enrolled in the book of life, he was cast into this lake of fire. (AENT)

In closing, I would implore all those who see nothing wrong with lashon hara (evil tongue), who spend their days concentrating on the promotion of all things YHWH hates instead of practicing HIS Divine Rules, to rethink where they want to spend Eternity, as there are only TWO choices (to make an analogy to our time): The smoking section or the non-smoking...

A perfect and important message from James…

James 1: 21. And so, throw all that is defiled and the myriads of evil things far away from yourselves and with meekness, receive the Word that is implanted in our nature which is able to resurrect your souls.

22. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only; and do not deceive yourselves. 23. For if any man will be a hearer of the Word and not a doer of it, he will be like one who sees his face in a mirror: 24. for he sees himself and passes on and forgets what a man he was.

25. But everyone that looks upon the perfect Torah of liberty and lives fully in it, is not a hearer of something to be forgotten, but a doer of the things; and he will be blessed in his work. 26. And if anyone thinks that he worships Elohim and does not subdue his tongue, but his heart deceives him; his worship is desolate.

27. For the worship that is pure and Set Apart before Elohim the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction; and: that one keep himself without blemish from the world. (AENT)

An interesting fact about the Hebrew letter "Shin"....


A Facebook friend, Jeremy Chance Springfield, enlightened us to a very interesting fact about the Hebrew letter "Shin".  He wrote:

This sign has a biblically-derived origin according to Judaism: Song of Songs 2:9 speaks of the male “peering through the lattices” at his love. Based on this, the high priest would make this shape with both hands, join them at the thumb, raise them up about face-level, and recite the Aaronic benediction. It was believed that the Presence / Shekinah would peer through those “lattices” at the people of Israel gathered in the Temple.

A Cohen will still do this in a synagogue today. Nimoy saw this and thought to add it to his character. Additionally, it is custom not to look at this sign when it is done out of respect for the Presence, but to look instead at the speaker’s feet.

Interestingly, right before Yeshua ascended, we are told he “raised” his hands and blessed the disciples. This appears to be a reference to this very blessing. And what is interesting is that the disciples would have known to drop their eyes to his feet, which the text then tells us lifted from the ground as he was taken up.
🙂

Image may contain: ‎possible text that says '‎LIVE LONG AND PROSPER The Letter SHIN Stands For שדי SHADDAI SHADDAI is Hebrew name for LORD. The Temple Priests would hold out cheir hande in this position to give the Bonediction: "May the LORD bless you and keep you. May He lift up His Face to shine Light upon you and be gracious to you, and may He give you Peace."‎'‎

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A close look at Psalm 92

DId you know that when the wicked sprout like grass, and all who do evil prosper, it is so that they can be eternally destroyed?

Take a look:

Psalm 92

(1) It is good to give thanks to Adonai and sing praises to your name, ‘Elyon, 3 (2) to tell in the morning about your grace and at night about your faithfulness, 4 (3) to the music of a ten-stringed [harp] and a lute, with the melody sounding on a lyre. 5 (4) For, Adonai, what you do makes me happy; I take joy in what your hands have made.

6 (5) How great are your deeds, Adonai! How very deep your thoughts! 7 (6) Stupid people can’t know, fools don’t understand, 8 (7) that when the wicked sprout like grass, and all who do evil prosper, it is so that they can be eternally destroyed, 9 (8) while you, Adonai, are exalted forever. 10 (9) For your enemies, Adonai, your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered.

11 (10) But you have given me the strength of a wild bull; you anoint me with fresh olive oil. 12 (11) My eyes have gazed with pleasure on my enemies’ ruin, my ears have delighted in the fall of my foes. 13 (12) The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in the L’vanon. 14 (13) Planted in the house of Adonai, they will flourish in the courtyards of our God.

15 (14) Even in old age they will be vigorous, still full of sap, still bearing fruit, 16 (15) proclaiming that Adonai is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no wrong. (CJB)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Let’s do a quick examination of Romans 2 on “judging”

Romans 2: 1. There is therefore no excuse for you, O man, who judges your neighbor; for by judging your neighbor, you condemn yourself; for you that judges, do practice the same things. 2. And we know that the judgment of Elohim is in accordance with truth, in regard to those who practice these things. 3. And what thinks you, O man, who judges those who practice these things, while practicing them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of Elohim? 4. Or will you abuse the riches of his benevolence, and his long suffering, and the opportunity which he gives you? And do you not know that the benevolence of Elohim should bring you to repentance?

5. But, because of the hardness of your un-repenting heart, you are treasuring up a store of wrath against the day of wrath, and against the revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim: 6. Who will recompense to every man, according to his deeds. 7. To them who, by perseverance in good works, seek for glory and honor and immortality, to them he will give life eternal. 8. But to them who are obstinate and obey not the truth, but obey iniquity, to them he will return with wrath and fire. 9. And tribulation and anguish (will be) to every man that does evil; to the Jews first, and also to the Arameans.

10. But glory and honor and peace to every one that does good; to the Jews first, and also to the Arameans.[1] 11. For there is no respect of persons with Elohim. 12. For those without Torah, who sin, will also perish without Torah; and those under Torah, who sin, will be judged by Torah. 13. For not the hearers of Torah are righteous before Elohim; but the doers of Torah are being made righteous.[2] 14. For if Gentiles who have not Torah will, by their nature, do the things of Torah; they, while without Torah, become a Torah to themselves.[3] (AENT)

[1] Arameans, as opposed to "Gentiles" who have no ancestral ties to Israel. Rav Shaul is extremely clear throughout this epistle to make proper distinction between these two, although the point of the message is clear that YHWH is no respecter of persons.

[2] Notice how those "under Torah" and those "doers of Torah" are put in opposition to one another; therefore, both cannot simultaneously be in error. This is clarified with the phrase "for doers of Torah will be made righteous." So, if Torah-doers are made righteous, it stands to reason Torah itself is not passing away! The fact that such deep pro-Torah statements are being sent to Gentiles in Rome speaks volumes of how mainstream Christianity is perverting Rav Shaul's teachings. "Under Torah" means to look to its rituals as a form of magic; a power that needs no purity of intent to bring about blessing, but merely fixed repetition. Torah in itself provides no authority of magic. Rather, Torah has authority because it is YHWH's instruction to man! So "under Torah" is a false teaching that has never been true according to the Tanakh: YHWH blesses man for Torah observance, which is obedience to His Commandments. Notice in Matthew 15 how Y'shua rebukes the Pharisees on this very issue, how they set aside YHWH's Torah (instructions) in favor of their traditions.

[3] Rav Shaul does not suggest that Gentiles are spontaneously Mastering Torah. The point is they should learn the written Torah without distraction from Pharisaic traditions which are not rooted in the plain understanding of Torah.

Romans 2:15. Additionally, they show the work of Torah as it is inscribed on their hearts; and their conscience bears testimony to them, their own reflections rebuking or vindicating one another. 16. (And that vindication is for) in the day in which Elohim will judge the secret (actions) of men, as my tidings (teaches), by Y'shua the Mashiyach. 17. But if you who are called a Jew, and rely yourself on Torah and glory in Elohim, 18. (And further that you think) that you know His good pleasure and discern obligations because you are instructed in Torah; 19. And (that Elohim) has confidence in yourself, that you are a guide to the blind, and a light to them who are in darkness, 20. And an instructor of those lacking knowledge, and a preceptor to the young; and you have the appearance of knowledge and of verity in Torah (then what do you all say to the following):

21. You therefore, who teach others, teach you not yourself? And you who teach that men must not steal, do you steal? 22. And you who say, Men must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? And you who condemn idols, do you plunder the sanctuary? 23. And you who glory in Torah, don't you, by acting contrary to Torah, insult Elohim himself?[4] 24. For, the name of Elohim, as it is written,[5] is reviled among the Gentiles on your account. 25. For circumcision profits indeed if you fulfill[6] Torah: but if you depart from Torah, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.[7] 26. And if uncircumcision should keep the precepts of Torah, would not that uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?[8] (AENT)

[4] Torah is the standard for righteousness that Rav Shaul applies to both himself and his readers; violation of Torah, Paul states, is an insult to Elohim; therefore, Paul never teaches against Torah as modern translations suggest.

[5] Rav Shaul here also shows that he expects the name of Elohim to be a singular, fixed "sacred" vessel. He is quoting (as it is written) from Ezekiel 36:20 and alluding to the next verse after it, viz: "But when they came to those nations, they caused My Set Apart Name to be profaned in that it was said of them: These are the people of YHWH, but they had to leave His land. Therefore, I am concerned for My Set Apart Name which the House of Israel have caused to be profaned among the nations." One way to profane the Name is by substituting the Name of YHWH for Pagan names that YHWH Himself has not ordained. This, of course, was done at the hand of many translators and theologians who imposed their own ideas into the text. Another common way of profaning The Name is to proclaim His Name, but not do the things He commands.

[6] Fulfill means to properly understand and manifest that understanding of Torah through accurate practice.

[7] If someone is circumcised because of their culture but not taught that it is a sign of the covenant with Awraham and to walk in that covenant, then his circumcision is irrelevant for purposes of the Malchut (Kingdom of) Elohim. A person must enter into Covenant with YHWH to claim any legitimacy (or credit) for his circumcision.

[8] Yes, because the action of keeping the precepts of Torah, the obedience and the knowledge of YHWH must first precede the act of circumcision. Awraham was counted righteous before he was circumcised because he had Faith to observe all that YHWH commanded.

Romans 2:27. And the uncircumcision, which from its nature fulfills Torah, will judge you; who, with the Scripture and with circumcision, transgresses against Torah.[9] 28. For he is not a Jew who is so in what is external (alone): nor is that (only physical) circumcision, which is visible in the flesh.[10] 29. But he is a Jew who is so in what is hidden: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not from men, but from Elohim. (AENT)

[9] Those who are not as yet circumcised in the flesh but who fulfill and observe Torah, will judge those who are circumcised and know the scriptures well, but who transgress against Torah. Torah has equal weight; no one can observe some precepts and ignore others, yet hold themselves to be qualified enough to judge others.

[10] Because a person could be physically circumcised and be a thief, liar, murderer, etc.

Let's discuss that "judging thing" again, because many seem to be confused about it....

First, here's an example of what "judging" is and is not:

When a long-married pastor at a "mega-church" was discovered to have had an ongoing homosexual affair with a male prostitute, some members of his congregation immediately jumped to his defense by proclaiming: "You shouldn't judge him! You don't know his heart. He just made a mistake," etc. This is a total misinterpretation of the passages about "judging"!

First of all, a "mistake" is accidentally doing or miscalculating something. A "mistake" is doing or saying something you didn't realize might end up affecting you or someone else in a negative way. Having an ongoing homosexual affair when you KNOW what Scripture says - well, that is NOT a "mistake"! The pastor not only defied YHWH by doing something He considers "an abomination"; but he also committed adultery against his wife - which is another sin YHWH frowns upon.

The truth is, Believers MUST keep each other in line, so to speak. If we see a fellow believer deliberately sinning, we cannot simply "turn a blind eye"; we are obligated to help him/her back onto God's path. At the same time, we cannot add to what Torah says....

James 4: 11. Speak not against each other, my Brothers; for he that speaks against his brother, or judges his brother speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah, but its judge[1]. 12. There is one Torah-giver[2] and Judge who can make alive and (can) destroy: but who are you that you judge your neighbor? (AENT)

NOTES:

(1) If you add your own judgments to those already established in the Torah of YHWH, then you have judged Torah as insufficient, and are not allowing it to be your judge.

(2) One Torah Giver who gives One Torah. The halacha (way to observe Torah) is revealed by the Ruach haKodesh, and demonstrated in Mashiyach. The concept of "two torahs" one oral and one written is the basis of authority on which the Rabbinate operates. "The Rabbis" wrote their own "oral Torah" and give themselves the authority to interpret it; unfortunately, their oral Torah often speaks against both the Written Torah and haMashiyach.

On the other hand, Christian theologians have made up their own "New Testament" based on their own non-Torah cultural value systems which makes void Torah and diminishes the true goal of Mashiyach.

We would be "judging" this pastor if we were to slander him by suggesting, for instance, "Well, he probably had lots of affairs before this and he'll never change, because that's just how he's wired. He's homosexual, through and though and God will NEVER forgive that!"....WE do not have the right to make those types of statements! We don't know for sure that the pastor "won't change." Knowing what people will or won't or are likely to do is YHWH's job; not yours!

It would NOT be "judging" to tell this pastor biblically how and why he sinned; or telling him with conviction that he needs to repent and totally turn from that sin, or else his soul will be in jeopardy! There's nothing wrong with showing him the scriptures that reveal there is no sin sacrifice for continued, deliberate sinning. Once you know what you've done is a SIN, you must stop! YHWH/God knows our hearts; He knows who is serious about doing HIS will, and who is being "lukewarm." And He and only He is able to determine where we each get to spend eternity.

If you have done your job and tried to help a brother or sister back onto YHWH's Path, but they refuse to repent and turn from their ways, then all you can do is "turn them over to God" and shake the dust from your sandals. Do not hang out with, or condone the sin, or else you will be guilty of aiding a sinner.

As the old adage goes, "Don't give a drunk a drink. Don't give a Heroin addict money to buy more drugs." We can add to that, "Don't help an adulterer commit adultery by 'playing nice' and refusing to get involved"....GET involved, and if it looks like they aren't going to listen to scriptural advice, stay away from them. Scripture commands us to stay away from evil.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Some ramblings about not “fitting in”; and what it means to be “set apart”….

I’ve always wondered why I’ve never really “fit in” anywhere. During my childhood school days, I never really fit in because I was the quiet, studious type; I didn’t fit the mold of popular kids with perfect features, gorgeous hair or outgoing personalities. I attended a total of 14 different schools before graduating from high school, and in every one of them, I had one girlfriend, at most – and usually that one would be someone who was also an unpopular “loner” type like me.

When I joined the Army to get away from my abusive childhood, I thought I had finally found a place where I “fit in” because we (all colors, creeds and religions) were viewed as equals; all of us having to adhere to the same rules where we were expected to work hard and get advanced education so we could qualify for the next promotion. In other words, we were expected to strive to “be all we could be” while serving our country.

While I “fit in” professionally (because I’ve always been a hard worker, and a friendly, dedicated, cooperative person), I still felt somehow separated from humanity. Consequently, I always ended up with a lot of “acquaintances.” Rarely did I have any real friends. And when I did, it was usually just one person – because I simply did not “click” with most.

Always hoping to become a member of the “in-crowd,” I occasionally joined some clubs. For instance, I joined the Heidelberg Country Dance Club during one of my tours in Germany. It felt great to be part of a group, and I had LOTS of “acquaintances” there – but, as usual, only one actual FRIEND.

Still, try as I might, I continued to feel like an “outsider”….

Back in my earlier Army years, I sometimes managed to be the “life of the party,” thanks to my talent at the time for remembering and telling dirty jokes. Every time I did, I “felt dirty” – and kept wondering why, because this was the MODERN world, not the First Century! Eventually, I stopped, because – modern day or not - it simply wasn’t the “real me.”

Unfortunately, I could never figure out who the “real me” was! Apart from my Army rank and identity, “Carmen” was an enigma to me.

Decades ago, while stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco I somehow became involved with some filthy rich people – with the accent on “decadence, extravagance and pretentiousness.” For seven fun-filled months I enjoyed champagne breakfasts at fancy restaurants and attended weekend yacht parties with people who “knew people” and introduced me to some Hollywood movie producers (including a very short-lived blind date with a really arrogant movie maker named Harvey … as in “Weinstein” - if memory serves me correctly)….

As exciting as all this was at first, in all honesty, I didn’t “fit in” there, either. I simply didn’t fit in anywhere! I always felt “alone and different.” Always. It was like a CURSE!

Anyway, my “new lifestyle with the rich and famous” abruptly ended when, while at one of their extravagant parties (feeling all alone, even though I was surrounded by dozens of “beautiful” people), I literally “heard” a loud voice in my head that said, “Oh, God doesn’t like this!” Although there was no one nearby, I could have sworn someone had yelled that phrase into my right ear!

Even though I wasn’t really into God in those days, I decided that it may have been some kind of a clear sign that I needed to extricate myself from these people and their fake existence. And so I did – much to the chagrin of my “friends” – a husband/wife couple in a “May/December” relationship (yes, she was a “gold digger”) who had a painting of Marlon Brando as the Godfather hanging above the fireplace in their expensive Sausalito penthouse….

After my retirement from the Army, I moved to Springfield, Missouri, where I ended up in a huge singles group that changed my life; because it was there I eventually (on New Year’s Day, 1995) met a super religious Baptist “Bible thumper” who took me to his church on our first date – where the Ruach opened my spiritual eyes to show me WHY I had never fit in anywhere; and why I had been feeling “alone and different” all my life!

I’m guessing you thought you were going to read all about how my new-found faith changed everything and caused me to suddenly feel as though I “fit in.” But no – quite the opposite - because now I’m even MORE alienated than ever from humanity (especially, once I became Torah observant during the Passover holidays in 1998!).

But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.

Suffice it to say, YHWH gave me a like-minded husband in 2000, one who had also “felt alone and different” throughout the course of his life – and together we have accepted the fact that we really DON’T “fit in” anywhere … not even in the Messianic realm, because we refuse to accept hypocrisy (and let’s face it: there are MANY hypocrites!). We view the world as “black and white” …. You’re either a true, obedient Believer, or not. There is no gray area.

In order to truly belong to YHWH, we are told that we MUST BE HOLY and set apart from the world. Being “set apart” includes distancing ourselves from everyone whose lifestyle does not reflect Torah. That’s just the bottom line.

THANK YOU, YHWH for setting us apart and teaching us how to prepare for the Olam Haba/Kingdom to Come!