Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Reader comment concerning counter-missionaries and their antics

READER COMMENT:

"I was recently approached by a Messianic on FB who informed me that none (!) of the so-called "fulfillment texts" in the Gospels support the idea of Y'shua being the Saviour. I was also given a link to download/watch videos that purportedly refute the whole idea of the Tanakh EVER even suggesting that YHWH would send an intermediary/Saviour. The person took the time to provide all said "fulfillment texts" in the gospel of Mattityahu and then proceeded to show that none actually support the gospel account when looked up and read in context.

"I must admit, a few of the texts did seem to validate what this person was saying. One was the verse pertaining to YHWH calling His Son out of Egypt. A reading of the verse in the Tanakh would seem to indicate that, in that instance, Yisrael as a whole was being referred to, not Y'shua.

"I haven't bothered to watch the videos. I know you have written extensively on anti-missionaries so please help!"

OUR RESPONSE:

Thanks for your correspondence! Anti-missionaries say ALL KINDS of things in their attempts to negate Y'shua. The thing I like to tell them is this:

Isaiah 53 is all about Y'shua. End of story. Here's the short rebuttal: Can Israel DIE for Israel? (No, but Y’shua did! See Matthew 27.) Can Israel be wounded for our transgressions? (No, but Y’shua was! See Matthew 27.)

Can people take Israel's garments and divide them? (No, but that certainly happened in Y’shua’s case! See John 19:23.) WHEN was "Israel" wounded for our transgressions or crushed because of our iniquities? Has the world been HEALED by "Israel"? Not hardly! Y'shua has filled myriads of Tanach prophecies - and people can reject it all they want, but they cannot CHANGE those facts!

If you would like to rebut that, Mr/Ms Anti-Missionary, then please read this, first.

Another thing: Why does Y'shua HAVE to be foretold in the Torah? Neither Torah nor Tanakh "foretold" that YHWH's people were to brush their teeth or wear socks, so, according counter-missionaries, those things must NOT exist! Were Kings David and Solomon foretold in Torah? How about Ruth? How about the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah, etc.? They couldn't have been real, either, because Torah doesn't mention them!

They suggest NONE of the "so-called fulfillment texts" in the Gospels support the idea of Y'shua as Savior? Hmmm. You can find 300 of them right here, our article!

He has also fulfilled the first FOUR of the SEVEN Mo'edim/Appointed Times.

Why it is imperative to be prepared for the certainty of death

Lately I’ve been noticing that people are beginning to freak out about the Corona Virus.  So, let's take a moment to discuss the reality.

There's no doubt in my mind that the Corona Virus is a BAD thing; it's certainly nothing to be ignored. After all - as much as some wish to downplay it - we ARE in the end times as outlined in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. That is why I've been harping on people for the last two decades to "get themselves right with God."

Truth is, if you've been slumbering in the "Jesus loves me and will protect me" mindset, you need to ask yourself if that's the case, then didn't he love others in the world besides Noah and his family before the whole earth was wiped out by the Flood? Doesn't he love tiny, innocent babies who are born with HIV or starving and dying in "third-world" countries?

Doesn't he love those who died in a terrible church bus accident? And didn't YHWH love the 24,000 who were killed after the Golden Calf incident (the very people He had liberated from Egypt)? Didn't He love His only begotten Son?

I could go on, but surely you get the gist. Death is inevitable and there are no "get out of death free" cards.

The truth is, we are in a fallen world where bad things can happen to anyone - and the ONLY thing we can count on is that TRUE believers (not "half-hearted" ones!) are going to have eternal life. These earth-suits in which we reside, don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Our sinful flesh won't be resurrected, anyway; our souls will.

That's why it is imperative to remember that the soul that sins, can DIE (Ezekiel 18:2-4 and 19-20; Romans 6:23; Exodus 20:5; etc.) Therefore, be whole-hearted - which includes the main ingredient of obedience.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,

And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Deuteronomy 30:15 “Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death and evil — 16 in that I am ordering you today to love Adonai your God, to follow his ways, and to obey his mitzvot, regulations and rulings ; for if you do, you will live and increase your numbers; and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it.

17 But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you are drawn away to prostrate yourselves before other gods and serve them; 18 I am announcing to you today that you will certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess.

19 “I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, 20 loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him — for that is the purpose of your life! (CJB)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A short lesson on the importance of “holiness”

Let’s start with King David speaking to his son, Shlomo (Solomon) …

1 Chronicles 28: 9 “As for you, Shlomo my son, know the God of your father. Serve him wholeheartedly and with desire in your being; for Adonai searches all hearts and understands all the inclinations of people’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let himself be found by you; but if you abandon him, he will reject you forever. (CJB)

Later on, in 2 Chronicles, you see why YHWH made King David’s son, Shlomo ,so successful:

In reading 2 Chronicles chapters 1 and 2, it became clear that King Shlomo made things prosper by creating paying jobs, and putting people to work via his love for, and obedience to, YHWH.

2 Chronicles 6: 12 Then he stood before the altar of Adonai in the presence of the whole community of Isra’el, spread out his hands — 13 for Shlomo had made a bronze platform eight-and-three quarters feet long, eight-and-three-quarters feet wide and five-and-a-quarter feet high and had set it up in the middle of the courtyard. He stood on it, then got down on his knees before the whole community, spread out his hands toward heaven, 14 and said, “Adonai, God of Isra’el, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth. You keep covenant with your servants and show them grace, provided they live in your presence with all their heart. (CJB)

Skipping over to 2 Chronicles 6:24, we see the reiteration of Torah commands where YHWH’s people (which includes YOU, by the way!) are told that if they OBEY Him, all will go well with them:

….24 “If your people Isra’el sin against you and in consequence are defeated by an enemy; then if they turn back to you, acknowledge your name, and pray and make their plea to you in this house, 25 hear from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Isra’el, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.

26 “When they sin against you, and in consequence the sky is shut, so that there is no rain; then if they pray toward this place, acknowledge your name and turn from their sin when you have brought them low; 27 hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Isra’el — since you keep teaching them the good way by which they should live — and send down rain on your land, which you have given your people as their inheritance. (CJB)

Is it ANY wonder that our world is experiencing so much disease, depravity, natural disasters and chaos and confusion today?

NOW, HERE’S SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:

The bottom line is: As you’ve seen in the passages above, being “holy” requires obedience to ADONAI’s Divine Instructions! We can “believe in God” from now until the cows come home; but unless we OBEY His rules, we aren’t really “being holy.”

Please check out the following scriptures (just a few of many) that leave no doubt WHO is in charge and what will happen to you if we refuse to obey! (And remember – YHWH’s commands come from LOVE for His Creation, which He desires to be HOLY enough to join Him in Eternity. He doesn’t force us to obey; He has given us the CHOICE to obey, or not! The stark reality is that there will be NO unholiness in “Heaven”….)

Leviticus 19: 19 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Speak to the entire community of Isra’el; tell them, ‘You people are to be holy because I, Adonai your God, am holy. (CJB)

Leviticus 19: 37 Observe all my regulations and rulings, and do them; I am Adonai.’” (CJB)

Here is Moshe/Moses giving instructions and pleading with Israel to HEAR YHWH’s heart:

Deuteronomy 4: 39 know today, and establish it in your heart, that Adonai is God in heaven above and on earth below — there is no other. 40 Therefore, you are to keep his laws and mitzvot which I am giving you today, so that it will go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you will prolong your days in the land Adonai your God is giving you forever.” (CJB)

Deuteronomy 5:25 (28) Adonai heard what you were saying when you spoke to me, and Adonai said to me, ‘I have heard what this people has said when speaking to you, and everything they have said is good. 26 (29) Oh, how I wish their hearts would stay like this always, that they would fear me and obey all my mitzvot; so that it would go well with them and their children forever. 27 (30) Go, tell them to return to their tents. 28 (31) But you, stand here by me; and I will tell you all the mitzvot, laws and rulings which you are to teach them, so that they can obey them in the land I am giving them as their possession.’

29 (32) “Therefore you are to be careful to do as Adonai your God has ordered you; you are not to deviate either to the right or the left. 30 (33) You are to follow the entire way which Adonai your God has ordered you; so that you will live, things will go well with you, and you will live long in the land you are about to possess. (CJB)

The question remains: Are YOU “hearing His Heart?”

Monday, February 10, 2020

What is a "counter-missionary"?

If you don't know what a "counter-missionary" is, it's simply someone who has come to the conclusion that Yeshua is NOT the Messiah, that Paul was a total farce, and that the New Testament is a complete myth.

These false ideas are spurred on by several things, including the fact that these people have not only misunderstood the teachings of Paul (who NEVER spoke against Torah, and was desperately trying to teach difficult and deep Hebrew concepts to pagans); but also allowed themselves to be sucked into the "counter-missionary" webs of people like Rabbis Tovia Singer, Stuart Federow, Michael Skobac, and God only knows how many others, who make their living (or at least spend huge amounts of time) trying to show the world why "Jesus" (they always refuse to call Messiah by his given Hebrew name) and the NT are FAKE!

The hidden agenda of these Jewish Rabbis seems to be to NOT simply draw the Jews who "found Jesus" back into the fold; but to also lure Christians, Messianics and Hebrew Roots folks AWAY from Yeshua for the purpose of USING THEM AGAINST US, once they've "rejected Jesus."

It's brilliant, really ... yet also very SAD that so many are falling for these shysters and their wiles.

The truth is, people who have rejected Yeshua never knew our Messiah, in the first place; or else they could NEVER have rejected him! However, they're made to feel very welcome in their "new surroundings" consisting of those "amazing new Rabbi friends" and other like-minded people who have been duped into rejecting "Jesus" - and they now feel compelled to sit around on the Internet to endlessly bash him.

Like I said - it's a brilliant idea to use our own people against us. After all, a house divided cannot stand." (Mark 3:25)

Scripture amply warns us that there would be deceivers in the end times who would do everything in their power to take us from YHWH's Truth:

1 Timothy 4: 1. But the Spirit says explicitly that, in the latter times, some will depart from the faith, and will go after deceptive spirits and after the doctrine of demons. 2. These will seduce by a false appearance, and will speak a lie and will be seared in their conscience… (AENT)

YHWH told us about Messiah and what would happen to him (read all of Isaiah 53)....

Counter-missionaries love to insist Isaiah 53 is "all about Israel" and that passages such as the ones below, are NOT about Yeshua because he "didn't fulfill everything." Well, to that I say - who SAID Yeshua HAD to fulfill EVERYTHING in a certain time frame. He HAS fulfilled at least 300 Messianic prophecies - so what more do you expect of him?

Jeremiah 23:5-6: "Behold the days come, saith YHWH, that I will raise up unto Dawid a righteous shoot, and he shall reign as king and prosper, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby he shall be called: YHWH is our righteousness." (1955 JPS)

Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour out on the House of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born." (CJB)

HELLO!!!

Now, take a look at what happens to those who REJECT Messiah Yeshua! (I can't imagine the punishment that awaits those who actively take people AWAY from him....)

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

Counter-missionaries are DEAD WRONG!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Something to consider for those seeking eternal life...

Paul wasn't God; he was a mere man. So why would anyone believe he had the right to suggest YHWH's Divine Instructions (Torah - Genesis through Deuteronomy) or Y'shua's teachings were negated in any way, just because Y'shua sacrificed himself on our behalf?

Truth is - Paul DIDN'T do that - ever! The Bible, when read in context, amply reveals that fact. The problem was that Paul was attempting to translate difficult Hebrew concepts into Greek, the Bible translators ran with what they THOUGHT he meant - and then basically skewed those scriptures to match what they thought.

The result?

Greek translations that present a supposedly Torah-less Messiah who came to abolish all of his Father's Divine Instructions and teach that after his death, man would have no other obligation to God besides "believing in Jesus" - and that the entire "Old Testament" pertained only to the Jews ... with the exception of the tithing thing, of course...

HUGE MISTAKE!

Over and over again, throughout the Torah, we see YHWH saying in various ways: "Be holy because I am holy.".

And how does one know how to "be holy"? It was revealed to us in Leviticus 18:

Leviticus 18: 1 ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 "Speak to the people of Isra'el; tell them, 'I am ADONAI your God. 3 You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Kena'an, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws. 4 You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am ADONAI your God. 5 You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am ADONAI. (CJB)

And here we see that His Torah pertained to ALL who chose Him to be their God:

Numbers 15: 13 "'Every citizen is to do these things in this way when presenting an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI. 14 If a foreigner stays with you - or whoever may be with you, through all your generations - and he wants to bring an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI, he is to do the same as you.

15 For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before ADONAI as yourselves. 16 The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.'" (CJB)

Isaiah 56: 6 And foreigners who bind themselves to YHWH to serve him, to love the name of YHWH, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." (CJB)

And here we see it reiterated in the New Testament:

1 Timothy 6: 3 If anyone teaches differently and does not agree to the sound precepts of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah and to the doctrine that is in keeping with godliness, 4 he is swollen with conceit and understands nothing. Instead, he has a morbid desire for controversies and word-battles, out of which come jealousy, dissension, insults, evil suspicions, 5 and constant wrangling among people whose minds no longer function properly and who have been deprived of the truth, so that they imagine that religion is a road to riches. (CJB)

Were the passages above for "the Jews" only? NO! There were no "Jews" until Jacob had a son named Yehudah (Judah) who "became" the Tribe of Judah, where the term "Jew" originated - yet up to that time, ALL who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Torah observant.

As "grafted in to the Olive Tree" today's Gentile believers are part of Israel, and therefore, obligated to OBEY God just the same as "the Jews." Same God, same rules. See Numbers 15:13-16, which Paul reiterated:

Romans 10: 12. And in this, it discriminates neither Jews nor Gentiles. For there is one, Master YHWH, over them all, who is abundantly generous towards every one that calls on him. 13. For everyone that will call on the name of Master YHWH, will have life. (AENT)

The bottom line is:

If you aren't obeying YHWH's Divine Instructions, then WHOM are you worshiping? By ignoring the things we are still able to keep today (Seventh Day Sabbath, seven Feasts/Appointed Times (all of which foreshadow Y'shua) and eating only "clean" meats) you'll risk being considered "lukewarm" on the day of Y'shua's return (Revelation 3:16).

Ever seen God in action?

Not too long ago, Bill and I literally experienced the raw anger of YHWH at a filthy-mouthed intruder at one of our Weekly Torah studies.

It happened during our Pacific Coast vacation last July where Bill and I decided to hike up a steep mountain trail near San Francisco to do our Weekly Torah reading beside a babbling brook.

It all began when three very loud people (what appeared to be a mother and her teenaged-son and daughter) came huffing and puffing up the trail and decided to stop and do their picnic just yards away from where we had been enjoying the quiet beauty of that particular setting.

Bill had been reading the Bible to me for approximately half an hour, and during that time we could literally feel the Ruach all around us. We could FEEL the spiritual realm all around us, and it truly seemed as though we were on Holy Ground.

And then those loudmouths arrived to ruin it all.

They were so noisy, Bill had to stop reading, and we just sat there, perched on the rocky outcroppings, watching the raucous trio (who clearly SAW that Bill was sitting there reading the Bible outloud), laughing and carrying as if they were only ones there.

This went on for at least a couple of minutes, and we figured our Bible reading had come to an abrupt end, and we should think about leaving because “the enemy” was clearly trying to ruin our Shabbat shalom.

But then, quite out of the blue, the girl – while peering up into one of the trees – loudly proclaimed, “WHAT THE F---!!!”

And then, a miracle happened because, as soon as she uttered that filthy word, it was as if an invisible hand knocked her HARD onto her rear end. I mean, we didn’t even have time to be shocked over that “f-word” when we witnessed her 200-pound bulk simply collapsing into a bone-jarring heap onto the huge rock on which she stood.

We could tell it HURT as she sat there in stunned silence for a few seconds, legs splayed out in front of her. It hurt so badly, she began to cry, because that fall had NOT been a gentle one!

Bill and I looked at each other, knowing with every fiber of our being that we had just witnessed YHWH’s anger at someone who dared to “step onto holy ground” and desecrate it….

Anyway, things quieted down considerably because the Mom broke out their lunch and they basically all sat there, munching on Granola bars and talking in hushed tones. The girl seemed to be glued to the spot because she never moved and ate her lunch right where she fell.

So … we took the opportunity to finish our Torah reading, and then we gathered up our things and proceeded to hike back down the mountain, feeling we had just experienced a “behind-the-scenes spiritual battle” – and one that YHWH (as always) had clearly won!

Deuteronomy 6: 16 Do not put Adonai your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17 Observe diligently the mitzvot of Adonai your God, and his instructions and laws which he has given you. 18 You are to do what is right and good in the sight of Adonai, so that things will go well with you… (CJB)

Matthew 4:7 Y’shua said to him, Again it is written that you will not test Master YHWH your Elohim. (AENT)

Friday, February 7, 2020

Remember what happened to Sodom and Gemorrah!

I try to not voice too many personal opinions when it comes to politics, but I will say this: If by some sick quirk of fate Pete Buttigieg actually makes it to the White House, Bill and I have come to the conclusion that we might leave the US, because we refuse to be governed by a male President who has a "First Husband".

Americans have proven over and over again that we, as a whole, have no discernment, and it's only a tiny remnant that actually cares about what our Creator commanded.

And our Creator has proven over and over again that He is NOT kidding around! Mankind has been "pushing the envelope" for six thousand years, and we are now IN the "end times" as outlined in the Books of Daniel and Revelation....

Now, concerning Soddom and Gemorrah...

It is imperative to remember that YHWH did NOT necessarily destroy those cities because their inhabitants were "homosexual"; but, because the inhabitants were mean, nasty, depraved, and uncompromisingly greedy.

Classical Jewish writings affirm that the primary crimes of the Sodomites were, among others, terrible and repeated economic crimes, both against each other and to outsiders. (To find out what caused ADONAI to destroy the city, read the entire chapters of Genesis 13, 14, and 18.)

As for homosexuality, although "the world" continues to pawn it off as normal, our Creator's original commands remain, and they are perfectly clear! They did not disappear just because "Jesus died." (Messiah's death did not abolish God's Torah; it removed our certificate of debt .. our past sins.)

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

Deuteronomy 22: 5 "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9 "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, 10 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.

1 Tim 1: 9 We are aware that Torah is not for a person who is righteous, but for those who are heedless of Torah and rebellious, ungodly and sinful, wicked and worldly, for people who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral - both heterosexual and homosexual - slave dealers, liars, perjurers, and anyone who acts contrary to the sound teaching 11 that accords with the Good News of the Glorious and blessed God. (CJB)

May YHWH give HIS people wisdom in whatever lies ahead!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Torah is our way to holiness!

(Reprinted from 2015 since more people need to be exposed to this.)

We at The Refiner's Fire find a lot of people spending a lot of time finding ways to deny any obligation to Torah. The "Law" they say, "...no longer applies"; "I just don't see the sense in all those 'rules' ";  "Jesus paid it all so we don't have to"; "That was just for the Jew"; "We are under grace"; "We have Torah written on our hearts." The excuses go on and on and on.

But I have to wonder if anyone saying these things ever bothered to find out just what "Torah" is, and what it means?

If you aren't already turned off by these first two paragraphs, here's something that may stun you: No one is permitted to come before God unless they are "clean" in mind, spirit, and body. If you do not live by Torah, then you are not "clean", and I'm sorry, but when the time comes, be that in life, death, or rapture, you cannot be in the presence of God.

Ouch!

OUCH! That statement hurts doesn't it? If you are not "holy" then you cannot be in His presence! I'm sorry, but this is not my rule, this is God's rule! Here it is in blue and white:

"For I am Adonai your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy..." (Leviticus 11:44)

"...you are to be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:45)

"...you people are to be holy for me; because I, Adonai, am holy; and I have set you apart from the other peoples, so that you can belong to me." (Leviticus 20:26)

You see, God commanded us to "be holy" so we could be in His presence. "In this way you will separate the people of Isra'el from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in a state of uncleanness for defiling my tabernacle which is there with them." (Leviticus 15:31)

"The person who remains unclean and does not purify himself will be cut off from the community because he has defiled the sanctuary of Adonai." (Numbers 19:20)

And lest you think this is just "Old Testament" stuff, look at the situation in the end, when the old earth has passed away and God and Jesus are sitting on the throne and the whole world is the "city" where He dwells: "Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." (Revelation 21:27).

And look at what Paul wrote: “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.“ (Hebrews 12:14, ESV).

So how does one "be holy" so you can be in His presence? That would be by Torah! But you'd object "That's Old Testament stuff, it doesn't apply to us today." Really? The command for us to "be holy" somehow would not apply to us today?

Jesus said "If you love me, you will keep my commands". Most all of Christianity accepts/believes that Jesus is God, so if Jesus is God, and Torah comes from God, wouldn't Jesus' commandments be Torah? Even Peter, who valiantly tried to teach us who the Messiah was and what He did for us, said "...following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; since the Tanakh says, 'You are to be holy because I am holy.' " (1 Peter 1:15-16). Was Peter talking about some other way to be "holy"?

NO! Torah is our way to be holy. Torah teaches us how to behave. Torah teaches us how to have a relationship with God.

So instead of spending time trying to justify that Torah does not apply to you, how about spending some time finding out what it is? It will surprise you, I guarantee it, how wonderful Torah is. Stop looking at Torah as "rules," and try to see it as our expected "way" of life to be holy people. You can begin your journey by studying the many articles on The Refiner's Fire (therefinersfire.org). And if you are truly new, you can begin at the beginning with the inexpensive book "Should Christians be Torah Observant?" by Carmen Welker, on Amazon.com.

Rumors, “conspiracy theories” and hoaxes….

I'm left wondering why people feel compelled to post so many "conspiracy theories" and hoaxes. If you're spreading lies about someone for all to see, in hopes of getting everyone to hate that person or you simply wish to "be the first to share a juicy tidbit" of some kind - and YOU personally can't verify whether it's true or not, then you're guilty of spreading rumors, "gossip" and/or "lashon haral" - evil tongue - which is a SIN....

More often than not, the obviously sensationalized and downright unbelievable things we pass around on Facebook are clearly LIES! (Including nonsense such as "McDonald's is using rat meat in their chicken nuggets" or "Chinese restaurants are making soup out of aborted fetuses"...)

MOST seem to see nothing wrong with simply "passing on" these lies - and yet they call themselves Believers!

Well, if you truly were a Believer, then you should KNOW that Scripture forbids this kind of thing. Unfortunately, many (when confronted about the lie) will stubbornly JUSTIFY it....

Why? Well, because they apparently LIKE gossiping and spreading "juicy" rumors. They have clearly overlooked passages such as Numbers 12:11-15 where YHWH gave Miriam Leprosy for gossiping about Moshe....

See also Exodus 23:1; Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 10:18;-19 and 16:28; Psalm 34:13; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Ephesians 4:29; James 1:26 and 4:11; etc.

Monday, February 3, 2020

I can’t have dogs or cats for pets because they’re “unclean”?

READER QUESTION:

Some Hebrew Roots dude recently told me we can't have cats or dogs as pets because they are "unclean". That can’t be true, can it?

OUR RESPONSE:

Of course, it’s not true – and I can’t tell you how often we’ve seen that silly allegation! Some people are just downright dangerous with their skewed ideas and desire to twist Scripture to support their own understanding.

These “armchair scholars” (who aren’t doctors or scientists) espouse all kinds of “proof” (stemming solely from personal opinions and ideas they found somewhere on the Internet) to scare you into believing you’ll end up with cancer and other diseases if you own a cat or dog … and they don’t hesitate to use scriptural “proof” that God hates cats and dogs!

For instance, someone wrote to us a few years ago, insisting that Leviticus 11:24-31 says cats and dogs are unclean and you shouldn’t even touch them. Well, those passages, read in context, reveal we are not to touch their DEAD CARCASSES. If you've touched a carcass, you are considered "unclean" for a prescribed time.

And, oh, by the way - these commands were given while Israel was wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, and didn’t always have access to soap and water!

The animals we are not allowed to EAT are "tamei", they are impure. These are listed in Torah. Eating them is forbidden, but TOUCHING their carcasses makes YOU "tamei", impure, unclean – in part, because of the risk of contracting some disease. There are generally 4 "categories" of "tamei":

1. The internal flesh of "tamei" creatures. See Leviticus 11:25

2. Dead bodies and animal carcasses. See Leviticus 5:2, 11:27-28, 31, 39; Numbers 19:11.

3. Human beings who have touched either of these things, or whose bodies have an issue of blood or other bodily fluids; Leviticus 7:21, 11:25, Leviticus 11:27-28, 31, 39; 12:2; 15:2-4, 7-8, 16-33; Numbers 19:11

4. Inanimate objects [esp. furnishings and vessels] touched by 1, 2, or 3. This is from Leviticus 11:32-38; 15:20, 26

Bottom line: There is nothing wrong in having "unclean" animals for pets! A simple reading of Leviticus 11:24-31 IN CONTEXT shows this. Nothing is even implied that you must not "touch" them or own them.

The same even holds true even for pigs. There’s nothing wrong with having a barnyard full of pigs if you happen to love pigs and want them as pets. You're fine ... as long as you don’t EAT them…

Sunday, February 2, 2020

A short note for the men who hate the idea of women teachers

Please understand, this article is not meant to degrade men in any way, as I can assure you, I am not some man-hating women’s libber. Matter of fact, my husband is a man, and as such, the spiritual head of our house. Unlike many who seem to view their role as “head of the house” as having a God-given right to be an abusive slave taskmaster, my husband views us as equals with specific gender roles and purposes.

However, not every man is like my husband. You see, I am often reminded by both men and the occasional woman, that I shouldn’t be teaching Scripture, because that’s a “man’s job.”

Well, I beg to differ, and here’s the reason why – and please bear with me:

Bottom line: BOTH men and women have been guilty of creating the world in which we live right now – BECAUSE, instead of adhering to YHWH’s Divine Instructions, we’ve constantly strayed. We are “equally” to blame – and have been, right since the very beginning!

(And let’s just be brutally honest here: we’re certainly no longer what YHWH originally intended! Today’s society includes (and sometimes seems to be run by) people who aren’t even sure of their gender or their roles – and we’re all being FORCED to cater to their nonsense….)

Consider:

When YHWH created Hava (Eve) from Adam’s rib, He clearly expected Adam (the “head of his house” - Eden) to teach her everything he himself had been taught. However, when haSatan (in the guise of a serpent) started asking Hava some pointed questions, we see that she, for some reason, “added to” what she had been taught – which actually kicked off the “fall of humanity.”

Why? Well, remember, in Genesis, Adam is told not to EAT the forbidden fruit, 'for if you do, you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:15). That was it: Don’t eat from that tree or you will die. Period. (Notice YHWH didn’t provide a timeframe for Adam’s death after eating the fruit. He simply stated that there was a death penalty.)

One would hope that Adam passed this on to Havah at some point. But while conversing with the serpent, (Genesis 3:2), what does she say? She says she should not TOUCH OR EAT the fruit, lest she die. In other words, she “built a fence” (kind of like what many Jewish Rabbis have done). Her "fence" (like all "fences" that humans pass along) became part of her normal understanding of the command.

As a result, when she did touch the fruit and then DIDN'T die, the serpent was easily able to convince her that the fruit was safe! YHWH never said not to “touch” the fruit, so touching really meant nothing; but, because she then broke HIS command by actually EATING it AND getting Adam (the “head of his house”) to stupidly join her, guess what? They BOTH got evicted from the Garden and ultimately DIED! And consequently, we are all STILL suffering and dying to this day….

So, getting back to the crux of my article about those “macho” or overly zealous “religious” men who hate women Bible teachers, it seems they have forgotten some very important details concerning women teachers.

For instance, they seem to have forgotten that ADONAI used a WOMAN to bring them into this world; and that most likely it was their MOTHERS who gave them most of their baths, changed their diapers and helped them take their first steps. It was also most likely a WOMAN taught them how to read, write and provided them with simple arithmetic skills. (Google the stats for elementary teachers where you’ll discover that MOST elementary teachers have been, and still are, WOMEN.)

There are also many women high school teachers and college professors, and there are plenty of MEN and BOYS taking their classes. Yet, once some men “find Jesus” (and especially “Torah”) – BAM! – somehow, women suddenly become lesser citizens who need to be subjugated!

My first experience (of MANY) with that type of thinking came in 2004, when our website, The Refiner’s Fire, was still fairly young; and was discovered by a guy named Gary Reckart - a rabid Jew hater who at the time pastored some “Messianic Apostolic” church (whatever THAT is!) down in Florida.

I still have his emails wherein he not only called my husband a “wimp” for not keeping me “barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, where I belonged”; but he also Googled our address, sent us pictures of what he thought was our house, and threatened to “jump on the next plane” to personally teach me a lesson in what “a woman’s place” was!

His maniacal emails scared us so badly that we removed ALL personal info from our website for many years – which is a GOOD thing, because we’ve received several “death threats” over the years (mostly from Jew haters, but also from several who had a problem with a woman Bible teacher).

But those days are OVER with! I know who I am today, I certainly have more qualifications than most of the “armchair scholar” men here on Facebook; and I’m not ashamed to share my God-given writing and teaching gifts, nor hide the fact that I feel YHWH has tasked me to do what I’m doing! If someone has a problem with that, it’s THEIR problem; not mine. Nobody is forcing them to read my teachings or to be in my life in any way….

There is NO DOUBT in my military mind (yes – I am a former Army Sergeant Major!) that I have just as much right to teach Scripture as any man does. My ministry is simply an online ministry. I don’t head a congregation (and wouldn’t want to), and my intent is not to lord myself over men. My goal is to teach Scripture; nothing more, nothing less.

To read more about why it’s wrong to suppress a qualified woman’s right to teach Scripture, please check out my article on women teaching men.