Friday, February 28, 2020

Two end times passages containing dire warnings

Here are two Scripture passages containing dire warnings for our “end times” scenario assuring us that, while some BAD things are ahead, there IS hope and a promise of “new heavens and a new earth.” However, there are also some strict things expected of us. Read on:

Isaiah 65: “For, look! I create new heavens and a new earth; past things will not be remembered, they will no more come to mind. 18 So be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for look! I am making Yerushalayim a joy, and her people a delight. 19 I will rejoice in Yerushalayim and take joy in my people. The sound of weeping will no longer be heard in it, no longer the sound of crying. 20 No more will babies die in infancy, no more will an old man die short of his days — he who dies at a hundred will be thought young, and at less than a hundred thought cursed.

21 They will build houses and live in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They will not build and others live there, they will not plant and others eat; for the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, and my chosen will themselves enjoy the use of what they make. 23 They will not toil in vain or raise children to be destroyed, for they are the seed blessed by Adonai; and their offspring with them. 24 Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion eat straw like an ox (but the serpent — its food will be dust). They will not hurt or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain,” says Adonai. (CJB)

NOTE: See also 2 Peter 3:8 Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:13 Isaiah 65:17; 66:22.

Now, let’s check out 2 Peter 3:

2 Peter 3: 1. This second letter, my beloved,[1] I now write to you; in (both of) which I stir up your honest mind by admonition: 2. that you may be mindful of the words which were formerly spoken by the Set Apart prophets, and of the commandment of our Master and Redeemer by the hand of the Shlichim (Apostles): 3. knowing this previously, that there will come in the last days scoffers who will scoff, walking according to their own lusts 4. and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, since our fathers fell asleep, everything remains just as from the beginning of the creation.

NOTE 1: While the beginning of this Epistle is not addressed to particular groups of people, the notation here indicates that Peter has sent it to the same groups that he mentioned in the previous letter, Galatia, Cappadocia and peoples in Asia.

2 Peter 3: 5. For this they willingly forget, that the heavens were of old; and the earth rose up from the waters, and by means of water, by the Word of Elohim. 6. (And), by means of these (waters), the world which then was, (being submerged) again perished in the waters. 7. And the heavens that now are, and the earth, are by His Word stored up, being reserved for the fire at the day of judgment and the perdition of wicked men. 8. And of this one thing, my beloved, be not forgetful: That one day to Master YHWH, is as a thousand years; and a thousand years, as one day.

2 Peter 3: 9. Master YHWH does not delay His promises as some estimate delay; but He is long suffering for your sakes, being not willing that any should perish, but that everyone should come to repentance. 10. And the day of Master YHWH will come like a thief; in which the heavens will suddenly pass away; and the elements, being ignited, will be dissolved; and the earth and the works in it will not be found. 11. As therefore all these things are to be dissolved, what persons should you be, in Set Apart conduct and in the Fear of Elohim, 12. expecting and desiring the coming of the day of Elohim in which the heavens being tried by fire will be dissolved and the elements being ignited will melt?[2]

NOTE 2: Complement to Matthew 5:17-20; the followers of Y’shua will continue to observe Torah as this great event transpires.

2 Peter 3: 13. But we, according to his promise, expect new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14. Therefore, my beloved, as you expect these things, strive that you may be found by him in peace, without spot and without blemish. 15. And account the long suffering of Master YHWH to be redemption; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom conferred on him, wrote to you; 16. as also in all his letters speaking in them of these things in which there is something difficult to be understood; (and) which they who are ignorant and unstable pervert, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures,[3] to their own destruction.

NOTE 3: It’s rather shocking that Peter writes of how Paul’s letters had already been turned into a Torahless fiasco, even in Peter’s day! Certainly, it was not the Pharisees who were renouncing Torah Observance, but the humanist, pagan and materialist, “modernists” who operated under “Christian” labels.

2 Peter 3: 17. You therefore, my beloved, as you know (these things) beforehand, guard yourselves or else, by going after the error of the Torahless, you fall from your steadfastness. 18. But be you growing in grace[4] and in the knowledge of our Master and Redeemer Y’shua the Mashiyach (AENT)

NOTE 4: Grace is the opposite of torahlessness. The Renewed Covenant prescribes Torah written upon the hearts of YHWH’s people; therefore, when we allow Him to write Torah upon our hearts, we are receiving Torah by His Grace and entering into the Renewed Covenant.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

“Why are you guys so blunt and direct all the time? Whatever happened to “love, kindness and gentleness?”

Great question, and the answer is:  Because our time to “get ourselves right with God” is short and growing shorter by the day. People have had SO MANY warnings over the centuries, and ignored them. Therefore,, we at The Refiner’s Fire have decided to simply "brave" just "tell it like it is" – even SHOUT IT OUT - BECAUSE the time is NOW to get ourselves right with God.

Why?  Because terrible things are happening at a record pace, and nobody is guaranteed the next day….

Unfortunately, no one seems to be listening. If the world had actually been doing what YHWH has been commanding since the beginning of time, we wouldn't have rampant sinning!  We wouldn't have "gay marriage" shoved down our throats as "normal" today - even LEGALIZED to the point where if you speak out against it, you're guilty of "hate crimes!"

"“Love, kindness and gentleness” didn't work on that, did they? Instead, those "soft voices" warning about God "not liking" homosexuality, were ignored, His ample warnings AND His people have been verbally trampled to death!  What’s more, today we don't even GET a voice because it's now illegal to speak out against homosexuality!

THAT’S where “love, kindness and gentleness” got us….

Therefore, we are SHOUTING to the world: "WAKE UP!”

SOMEBODY has to say it loud enough to get people to pay attention. And if some people get their feelings hurt because of it, that's sad, but simply the way it is. The forcefulness wouldn't have been necessary IF people had paid attention all along. At least now, SOME will - if for no other reason than because they're mad at us for being “so blunt”....

The truth is, we can no longer be "mealy-mouthed" about YHWH's Truth. The world is in the awful mess it's in BECAUSE mankind continues to ignore Him. While "love and gentleness" are great qualities, we must ask ourselves a hard question: "Are they really working?"

Take a look around you. What do you see? A world that reeks of SIN - and is, consequently, reaping its rewards in spades! We've got endless fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamies, earthquakes and other natural disasters happening with more ferocity, intensity and frequency than ever before!

We've got so many natural disasters and diseases, etc. that we can't even finish cleaning up from one, before the NEXT one hits...

We've got diseases for which we have no cure - including the AIDS epidemic that started back in the mid-Seventies (thanks to homosexuality - which YHWH considers to be an ABOMINATION!) and was finally diagnosed in the early-to-mid-Eighties.

And in 2020, here's STILL no cure!  Know why? Because the ONLY cure is to live according to YHWH's holy Rules! The ONLY cure is to STOP the "abominable" practices!

But it's too late for that, isn't it? I mean, homosexuality is LEGAL today - and you, Mr. and Ms. Believer, will end up in prison if you dare say anything against it...

Be that as it may, every time we find a cure for one thing (or come close to finding one), something NEW comes along....It never ends!  And that’s because we are IN THE END TIMES as outlined in the Books of Daniel and Revelation!

We humans have dared to take on YHWH way too often – but guess who's going to win...

Ever feel the drive for revenge?

Admit it - we've all felt the drive for "revenge" against someone who has hurt us. (God only knows I have!) But did you know that Scripture commands us not to?

Proverbs 20:22 Don’t say, “I’ll pay back evil for evil”; wait for Adonai to save you. (CJB)

Proverbs 24:28 Don’t be a witness against your neighbor for no reason — would you use your lips to deceive? 29 Don’t say, “I’ll do to him what he did to me, I’ll pay him back what his deeds deserve.” (CJB)

Although "revenge" against the perpetrator would feel good, we are to let it go and give it all to YHWH, because HE will avenge us!

Romans 12:19. And be you not avengers of yourselves, my beloved: but give place to wrath. For it is written: If you do not execute judgment for yourself, I will execute judgment for you, says Elohim. 20. And if your adversary be hungry, feed him: and if he be thirsty, give him drink. For if you do these things, you will heap coals of fire on his head. 21. Do not be overcome by evil; but overcome evil with good. (AENT)

There are NO directives from Genesis to Revelation that counsel anyone to take vengeance upon their adversaries. YHWH says, "vengeance belongs to Me" (Deut. 32:35, 41; Psalm 94);

He will judge and resolve all matters according to His Righteous Judgment. The idea of taking vengeance upon others, as in jihad or holy war against the infidels is rooted in fear and heathenism by those who put their faith in self rather than in Elohim.

Romans 12:19 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)

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Let’s discuss "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit"....

What do you think? Am I right or wrong?  I personally believe  that those who publicly ridicule and denounce Yeshua, are guilty of  committing the only "unforgivable sin" which is "blasphemy of the Holy  Spirit".... (Mark 3:22–30 and Matthew 12:22–32)

Let me explain:

In my opinion, the unpardonable sin  is the state of continued unbelief. (How can anyone NOT see that Isaiah 53 is all about YHWH's Divine Messiah?)

The Ruach (Holy Spirit) convicts the "unsaved" world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8).  To resist that conviction and willfully remain unrepentant is to  “blaspheme” the Spirit.

Since Yeshua shed his divine blood, there is NO OTHER pardon, in this age or in the  age to come, for anyone who rejects the Spirit’s promptings to know, believe in, and trust that his blood atoned for our sins.

John 3:16.Thus, for Elohim loved the world so as he would give His Only-Begotten Son, that whoever would believe in him would not perish, but would have life that is eternal. 17. For Elohim did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to give life to the world through him. 18. He who does not believe in him is judged, and he who does not believe is already judged because he does not believe in his name, that of the Only-Begotten, the Son of Elohim. (AENT)

So, the choice is clear: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,  but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains  on him” (John 3:36).

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Some GREAT messages from the Apostle Paul

Rav Shaul (Rabbi Paul) wrote the following great message to Timothy that actually resonates into our modern day:

1 Timothy 1: 3. When I was going into Macedonia, I requested you to remain at Ephesus and to charge certain persons not to teach different doctrines, 4. and not to throw themselves into fables and stories about genealogies of which there is no end, which produce contention rather than edification in the Faith of Elohim.

5. Now the goal[1] of the command is love which is from a pure heart and from a good conscience and from true Faith. 6. But from these some have strayed and have turned aside to vain words; 7. because they wished to be teachers of Torah, while they understood not what they speak, nor the thing about which they contend.

(Note: Sound familiar? How many of "those types" do WE know!)

1 Timothy 1: 8. Now we know, that Torah is a good thing if a man conduct himself in it according to Torah; 9. he knowing that Torah was not established for the righteous but for the evil and the rebellious, and those without Elohim, and the sinful, and the perverse and for the impure, and for smiters of their fathers and smiters of their mothers, and for murderers, 10. and for sexual sinners and for copulators with males, and for the stealers of free people, and for liars, and for violators of oaths, and for whatever is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 (namely) that of the glorious Good News of the blessed Elohim with which I am entrusted.[2]  (AENT)

NOTES:

[1] Mashiyach/Messiah is the goal of Torah, not its termination (not "the end of the law" which some versions say.

Love is also the sakal(goal) of the commandment, not the termination. This is validated throughout Rav Shaul’s writings in key places like Romans 3:31; 7:12; 10:4.

[2] In other words, Torah was not made to confirm the righteousness of man, but to set the boundaries of the Kadosh (Set Apart) as good, and the profane as evil. It is only through the boundaries set by YHWH that the Good News can proceed into the hearts of those who seek the Kingdom of Elohim.

The Good News is the advancement of Torah, not its destruction as taught by the majority of Christian theologians.

Friday, February 21, 2020

What constitutes a “graven image?”

READER COMMENT:

Please explain what it means about making graven images like anything in heaven, on earth or under the earth.  Does this mean for bowing down to worship only or does it mean more than that, even if it is a picture?  I am talking to someone who thinks that since YHWH is in heaven that means Him, too.  You cannot make a likeness of Him since He is a Spirit.  Could you help me In this matter?  Thanks!

OUR RESPONSE:

You are talking about Exodus 20:4 or Deuteronomy 5:8.  The Hebrew word "פסל" [phe'sel] in these verses comes from the root word "פסל" [pa-sal, (spelled the same in Hebrew)], and "pa-sal" is a verb meaning "to carve".  So the word "phe'sel" is a Hebrew idiom for a "carved image".  (Many English translations use the word "graven image" since an antonym of "carve" is to "grave" (as in "dig/cut into" as in the word "engrave".)  A carved image in the Hebrew idiom is closest to an "idol" in English. 

So this commandment is to not make an "idol" of any god.  (The Hebrews had been brought out of Egypt and were headed to lands where there was enormous idol worship, and YHWH was admonishing them NOT to do that, and the people did not even see an image of YHWH on Mt. Sinai. 

Deuteronomy 4:14-19: "14 At that time Adonai ordered me to teach you laws and rulings, so that you would live by them in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 15  "Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day Adonai spoke to you in Horev from the fire, 16  do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure - not a representation of a human being, male or female,

17  or a representation of any animal on earth, or a representation of any bird that flies in the air, 18 or a representation of anything that creeps along on the ground, or a representation of any fish in the water below the shoreline. 19  For the same reason, do not look up at the sky, at the sun, moon, stars and everything in the sky, and be drawn away to worship and serve them; Adonai your God has allotted these to all the peoples under the entire sky." (CJB)

So you have to be careful when you ask: "Does this mean for bowing down to worship only or does it mean more than that, even if it is a picture?" The No. 1 meaning in the Hebrew idiom "carved image" is that it is considered by the person to be "a god". So it's not that it must be "carved", for even a drawing or painting is "graven" for "graven" is an archaic term for an inscription or image on a surface.  So the English "graven image" comes pretty close to the meaning of the Hebrew idiom.  It's any image or shape considered a god, and that includes an image of YHWH!

But, found in scripture, there is a reference to an "idol" that is not a carved/graven image of a god! In 1 Samuel 19:13, we find that when Mihhal, David's wife took an "idol" and put it in David's bed as a dummy: "Mikhal took the household idol, laid it on the bed, put a goat's-hair quilt at its head and covered it with a cloth." 

But the word here is "teraphim" [תרפים], not "phe'sel" and means "healer". Consider Judges 17:5 "This man Mikhah owned a house of God; so he made a ritual vest and household gods [teraphim] and consecrated one of his sons, who became his cohen."  A teraphim seemed to have been a kind of "helper" or household charm for good luck,  or to help summon YHWH, rather than an object of worship. 

So a teraphim is not a false god [carved/graven image], rather it is a "prayer aid". These people had YHWH as their God but no King (Judges 17:6) so they were left on their own to try to worship YHWH as best they could. (Remember, no on in those days could read or had access to a Tanakh.

In fact all of Judges 17-18 is a very interesting read if one pays attention to this odd behavior of these leader-less people, and the difference between the phe'sel and the teraphim.  These people were truly struggling on their own.  There are other references of the use of teraphim, but I think you get the picture.)

Today, we tread on dangerous ground if we have phe'sel or teraphim in our presence. That's why I said you have to be careful thinking that Exodus 20:4 or Deuteronomy 5:8 might mean "bowing down to worship only".  A picture could be either a phe'sel or teraphim, and if it is a phe'sel, it should not be in the house, and if considered a teraphim, why have it? 

We, today can possess, read, and study the direct word of YHWH.  Why would we need or even desire a teraphim, "helper/healer" or prayer aid?  Our "helper/healer" is the Ruach HaChodesh who dwells in us provided we remain holy by our obedience to YHWH's Word. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

“The sins of the father” …. Do you know what that means?

The following is a graphic tale illustrating how “the sins of the father” (Exodus 34:7) are passed down through the generations.

For this lesson, I’m going to use my own family history, as it is replete with examples of how the "sins of the father" are passed down through the generations. (And while some may feel that this article is too graphic, we must remember that deliberate sins of ANY kind will seriously jeopardize our relationship with YHWH – and even result in the loss of our salvation - Numbers 15:30, Romans 1:18-32, and Hebrews 6:4-8).

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

Truths such as these are necessary to remind us that YHWH considered “sin” to be heinous enough to warrant the killing an innocent animal whose blood was used to atone for our sins! He considered SIN so grave and urgent that He gave His one and only Son to shed his own divine blood on our behalf….)

So, in my lesson today, I will use the examples of two of my four “lost” (unsaved) half-brothers. I've tried to reach all of them over the years, to no avail. To this day, none of them have any clue as to how "lost" they are and, sadly, they’ve made it VERY clear that they don't wish to be "found".

The thing is, it’s not totally their fault; it’s a direct result of the "sins of the father" – the parents; the family of unbelievers into which they were born – with each generation becoming more “lost” and vile than the previous one.

Please pay special attention to the progression I’m trying to illustrate with the following real-life examples….

I’LL BEGIN THIS STORY WITH MY FIRST “AWAKENING” to this “sins of the father” dilemma that seems to have plagued my family for many generations. It happened when I was just 12 years old, when “Grandpa” - my abusive adoptive father’s 72-year-old father - came to live with us temporarily. Up until then, I figured “Daddy” (an American soldier who I first met at age 9 when he and my mother jerked me out of my happy foster home in Germany to live with them) was the only child molester in the world … because, back in my day, nobody ever talked about those things.

(By the way, my mother never knew about the sexual abuse because I was too terrified of her reaction, as she and I had no rapport, whatsoever. The only reason I was living with her now was because she had to take me back from my foster parents of 9 years, in order to leave Germany legally with her new, American soldier husband, who was – unbeknownst to her - a raving pedophile. A confused and godless woman who was forced to hide her Jewish heritage in post-War Germany (and forced into prostitution by her own, alcoholic mother!) she was a lost soul – always searching for, but never finding something to fill that little hole in her soul that only ADONAI can fill. She was married a total of 8 times, and died of colon cancer, alone and bitter at age 45 - leaving in her wake, five emotionally-scarred children, myself included…)

Please remember what I have related about my mother and adoptive father because, in the history of my immediate family, those two kicked off the series of events that absolutely ruined the lives of two of my younger brothers!  (It almost ruined mine, as well, but thankfully, I heeded YHWH’s call.)

BACK TO THE STORY: Grandpa’s arrival introduced me to the idea that Daddy’s sick desires for little girls seemed to have been inherited – because ol’ “Grandpa” didn’t hesitate to approach me at the first available opportunity.

The only difference between the old man and my adoptive father was that I knew I didn’t have to obey or please Grandpa in any way, because the roof over my head and the food in my mouth didn’t depend on him. And so, I didn’t hesitate to make it perfectly clear that his inappropriate touches were NOT welcome!

As time went on, I also saw that pedophile “gene” (for lack of a better term) exhibiting itself in “Daddy’s” natural son, my younger half-brother, whom I’ll call Terry. The difference between father and son, however, was that Terry eventually became a bisexual pedophile. NOT just your ordinary “garden variety” pedophile, but a BISEXUAL pedophile….

Can you already begin see the progression caused by the “sins of the father?”

Read on; I’m just getting started.

I knew Terry had some weird issues during childhood because, on one hand, he was Mother’s favorite – and she never once bothered to hide that fact; while on the other hand, his father seemed to resent and even outright HATE him. While “Daddy” was sexually abusing me (and “grooming” me for his sick purposes), he was downright evil to Terry, constantly berating him and letting him how stupid he was and how he would never amount to anything. That poor kid couldn’t do ANYTHING right in “Daddy’s” eyes! I can’t tell you how many times he was thumped in the forehead for not “holding his fork right” at the supper table….

But I didn’t discover just how disturbed Terry really was until decades later, after many years of separation. I nearly fell off my chair when he nonchalantly related that he was a bisexual who liked having sex with children - and that he had “always been into having sex with whomever, wherever and whenever.”

If that wasn’t surprising enough, he also dropped the bombshell that I – his “perfect big sister” (said sarcastically) – had NOT been the only victim of a pedophile in our family, because our mother had used him (Terry) for sex whenever she was in between boyfriends and/or husbands!

Terry emitted a raucous laugh when he saw the horrified look on my face; but assured me very matter-of-factly, that he hadn’t minded it all, because “Mother taught him a lot about sex.”

In other words, he truly couldn’t see anything wrong with that scenario! (And by the way, during this particular conversation, Terry propositioned me! “After all,” he insisted with a chuckle, “incest is best; it’s all relative.”

Anyway, remembering the endless abuse we had both endured at the hands of Terry’s mentally deranged and violent father, I discovered that my former sweet and shy little half-brother (now well over six feet tall) was a completely broken person who didn’t realize that, due to the abnormal, twisted lifestyles of our parents, he had become confused about his own sexuality!

From the casual way he was relating his experiences, he had clearly convinced himself that he “liked” having sex with our mother; and openly admitted that, as a young boy, desperate for his abusive father’s love, he had entertained sexual fantasies about him, because he didn’t know what else he could possibly do to please the man….

In other words, Terry didn’t know he was a completely BROKEN vessel, thanks to the “sins of BOTH his parents.” He still doesn’t – and, unfortunately, he cannot be persuaded otherwise. Believe me, I’ve tried. He’s convinced he’s a “loser” – he’s told me that several times – and he has certainly done everything in his power over the course of his life to live up to that low standard….

Terry’s whole life reflects self-imposed failure – and I say “self-imposed” because YHWH has given ALL of us the opportunity and ability to recognize the need for a CHANGE in our life. Terry (who’s now in his mid-sixties and completely disfigured from the horrible disease called Scleroderma), has CHOSEN to remain in that “rut” his parents built for him … a rut that he carefully tended and maintained over the years.

Growing up, he never knew what a “normal” and loving relationship was! That was because our mother was forever getting married and divorced. We were like gypsies, moving constantly. (I attended 14 different schools before I graduated from high school.) She could never find that elusive happiness she was seeking – and even when she had a “decent man” in her life, she inevitably found a reason to dump him.

You see, she “craved” unhappiness – because that’s what she was used to! She HAD to be unhappy to FEEL “happy”. “Unhappy” was her norm. (I know that feeling because, until YHWH came into my life, I always did the same thing!  Without realizing why, I always figured out ways to remain unhappy.)

So, it’s no wonder that Terry ended up going from one relationship to the next, in between his four or five marriages. In keeping with his “sex with whomever and whenever” lifestyle, he once got a 14-year-old girl pregnant when he was 29; and in the meantime, he had two daughters by two different women (neither of whom he helped raise).

One of his daughters is now serving time in prison for selling drugs…..

I lost all contact with Terry a couple decades ago, because – according to him – I “changed too much after becoming a Spirit-filled Believer” and, consequently, we no longer had anything “to talk about” and he wasn’t interested in my “holier-than-thou attitude,” as he put it - adding very dramatically that I needed to “come down off the cross, because somebody might need the wood.”

DO YOU SEE HOW TERRY CONTINUED IN HIS PARENTS’ FOOTSTEPS? He is exactly what his parents caused him to be! They dug that “rut” for him, and he remained in it – because he never realized he had been emotionally scarred. Subconsciously, he had to STAY in that rut, because it was “home”; it was “who he was,” and anything else would have “felt foreign.”

One of the saddest parts about Terry’s story is that he literally passed on his sick behaviors to our baby brother. Read on…

In order to explain the last couple of sentences, I will have to back up to my childhood again - to when I was 16 (and Terry was 11), when my mother (married to her fourth husband by then) gave birth to a little boy I’ll call “Tommy”.

Unfortunately, because I ran away from home and ultimately enlisted and made the US Army my career in order to “get away from it all” - poor little Tommy ended up being raised mainly by our alcoholic, mostly absentee mother … and by Terry … who, after I ran away from home, ended up becoming my mother’s main housekeeper and babysitter (and also her substitute sex partner).

(I have often regretted that I didn’t get to help raise Tommy, but I’m not sure my presence would have made much difference because my mother was an overpowering entity, and I was a “broken vessel” myself back then, just trying to survive on the mentoring I had received in high school from some great teachers. But, alas, by age 16, I was in a “fight or flight” situation to preserve my own sanity, because I felt my only other option was suicide….)

MOVING A FEW YEARS AHEAD WITH THE STORY, Tommy was 9 years old when our mother died, and he was forced to live with his natural father (who was actually a GOOD guy whom our mother had, unfortunately, vilified). Naturally, the child hated his father, and he literally spent all his time rebelling and making himself unlovable. (You see, “unhappiness” was Tommy’s norm, too. He learned that in spades during his early childhood.)

In short, Tommy turned into a hateful, spiteful, uncontrollable teenager who adopted unhealthy habits, such as engaging in witchcraft and “magic spells” as a way to “feel in control” of something in his life.

Like Terry, he never “made anything out of himself” either – he never had a real career or any ambition. He simply started roaming freely around the country, sponging off people. (He called me a couple times over the years, asking for financial help, because everything he did, fell through.) At one point, he joined the Army, and quickly deserted and disappeared for a whole year, after discovering he would be required to follow some rules….

Needless to say, he received a Dishonorable Discharge (which not only resulted in some prison time, but is was also pretty much a death knell for any future career plans), and so he spent most of his life doing odd jobs and simply “living with women” who were gullible enough to fall for his drop-dead gorgeous good looks … until they figured he out that he was a total deadbeat, and tossed him out on his ear.

Last year I reached out to Tommy (now in his mid-fifties), because he admitted on his Facebook page that he was living in his car, after yet another woman threw him out of her life. (Of course, according to him, none of these breakups were ever his fault…)

Unbeknownst to Tommy, he was exhibiting the same, exact habits as our mother and her “favorite son” Terry (who by the way, had even adopted a smidgeon of her German accent as a child, which he has kept it to this day – even though he was raised in the US).

Anyway, as always, my advice to Tommy, along with all attempts to help him come out of that lifelong rut he had continued to bury himself in, were met with an almost violent hostility that ultimately ended with me completely blocking him out of my life when (I guess, in hopes of hurting me) he publicly began berating and saying excruciatingly disparaging things about YHWH. (Many people, including ALL my half-brothers, HATE Believers!)

Like his half-brother Terry, Tommy has never exhibited ANY interest in turning his life around by simply accepting YHWH/Yeshua/Torah and repenting. He has always stayed in his rut because he is COMFORTABLE there! He doesn’t KNOW any different and therefore, he cannot bring himself to try “taking a different fork in the road!” He’s determined to take that same “road” over and over again, completely oblivious to the fact he’s like someone wearing the same old dirty clothes, and fooling himself into thinking his clothes are clean, because he regularly turns them inside-out and back again….

As a matter of fact, Tommy’s Facebook wall today shows that he is progressively and steadily heading “downhill” into the proverbial pits of Hell, as he proudly considers himself to be (among other things) a witch, a Satanist and a “pirate” – while also being a follower of several mythical gods.

NOW WATCH WHAT ELSE HAPPENED because of Tommy’s refusal to try to break that horrible cycle his parents and older brother caused him to be stuck in:

Tommy has never been married but, like Terry, he also has a couple of out-of-wedlock children he didn’t personally raise - a daughter (who, by some miracle, seems to be doing fairly well, and – a 31-year-old son who is – like his father, Tommy – serving prison time.

His son – a self-proclaimed "Neo-Nazi" and "White Supremacist" - received a many-years-long prison sentence in 2016 for “drug possession and distribution, first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, assault of a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault resulting in serious bodily injury, resisting arrest, and first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle….”

SO, DO YOU SEE HOW “sins of the father” (and mother) ARE passed down through the generations? Scripture tells us this could and would happen:

Exodus 34:5 Adonai descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of Adonai. 6 Adonai passed before him and proclaimed: “YUD-HEH-VAV-HEH!!! Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [Adonai] is God, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in grace and truth; 7 showing grace to the thousandth generation, forgiving offenses, crimes and sins; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and grandchildren, and even by the third and fourth generations.” (CJB)

THE GOOD NEWS IS, THIS CYCLE OF CURSES CAN BE BROKEN! It can be broken by the simple act of turning to YHWH for forgiveness, repenting and living a holy, set apart Torah life:

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked person abandon his way and the evil person his thoughts; let him return to Adonai, and he will have mercy on him; let him return to our God, for he will freely forgive. (CJB)

It’s not easy, and nothing can or will change “overnight”. Change takes time. Getting to know YHWH takes time. It’s an ongoing process….

The Torah (first five Books of the Bible) outlines exactly WHO God is, and what He expects of His people, and amply outlines, in excruciating detail, HOW to live a truly holy life – one that will give you inner peace and help you to recognize the beauty of TRUE happiness, stability and all-around shalom!

You CAN do it, IF you will learn to recognize that you may be in a “rut”….

Monday, February 17, 2020

A word for the those who accuse us of “doing works” to get into Heaven

To the pastors accusing us of "doing works to get into Heaven," we have this to say:

WORKS is what YOU'RE doing every Sunday, standing there at the pulpit in your special frocks, preaching what you were taught in your seminaries.

WORKS is vacuuming the floors of your church, or volunteering to drive your church bus; or visiting the sick or cooking at your local homeless shelter.

OBEDIENCE, on the other hand, is NOT "works". It's obeying God's Divine Instructions on how to live a holy, set apart life. Since He commanded HIS people to keep, for instance, the Seventh Day Sabbath REST, our responsibility is to OBEY that command; not twist it into something else, and pretend He's okay with that!

The ONLY thing you are accomplishing by rejecting His Divine Instructions (Torah - the first five Books) is to make yourself appear to be half-hearted (Revelation 3:16) - which will keep you OUT of Heaven!

If you can't even be bothered to keep the commanded Seventh Day Sabbath, WHOM are you worshiping?

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. 2 On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

Exodus 31:16 The people of Isra'el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the people of Isra'el forever; for in six days ADONAI made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and rested.'"

Ezekiel 20:11 I gave them my laws and showed them my rulings; if a person obeys them, he will have life through them. 12 I gave them my shabbats as a sign between me and them, so that they would know that I, ADONAI, am the one who makes them holy.

Eternal Life depends on WHOM you know...

Here's what Messiah Y'shua said:

Yochanan (John) 17:1 Y’shua spoke these things and he lifted up his eyes to Heaven and said My Father the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son might glorify you. 2. Just as you have given him authority over all flesh that whomever You have given him, he will give to him life that is eternal.

3. Now this is life that is eternal, that they might know You, that You are the Elohim of Truth, and he alone whom You have sent, the Mashiyach Y’shua. 4. I have glorified You on earth. The work that You have given to me to do I have finished it. 5. And now glorify me my Father with You in that glory that I had with You from before the world was.

6. I have made Your Name known to the sons of those men whom You had given to me from the world. They were Yours and You have given them to me, and they have kept Your Word. 7. Now they have known that everything that you have given to me I have given to them and they received them. 8. And they know that I have truly proceeded from your presence, and they believe that You have sent me.

9. And I plead for them. It is not for the world I plead; rather, for those whom you have given to me because they are Yours. 10. And everything that is mine is Yours, and Yours is mine and I am glorified by them.

11. Henceforth, I will not be in the world, and these are in the world. And I am coming to Your presence. Kadosh [1] Father, keep them by your Name, [2] that which you have given to me, that they may be one as We are.

12. I was with them while I was in the world. I have kept them in your Name; [3] those whom you have given to me, I have kept. And not a man of them is lost except for the son of perdition, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

13. And now I come to Your presence, and these things I speak in the world that my joy may be full in them. 14. I have given to them Your Word and the world hates them because they are not of the world as I am not of the world. (AENT)

NOTES:

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

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

[3] Y’shua keeps them in YHWH’s name so when we call upon YHWH in Y’shua’s name, we are calling on YHWH for Salvation.

As the Name of YHWH is in Mashiyach (Messiah) , so are we to have the name of Mashiyach in us, which means that as followers of Y’shua we are to walk according to his righteousness, observe Torah and walk in the anointing of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) as Mashiyach demonstrated to us.

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.