Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Think you've got it bad?

During their 40 years in the desert, YHWH’s people had no toilet paper. Come to think of it, they didn't even have toilets... No running water, either. Nor any houses. No electricity. No stoves, ovens or microwaves. No cars, no flatbed trucks to help move their camps and a Temple that required endless assembly and disassembly via hard labor.

Any dissension or chaos was quickly doused via the commanding leadership of an old man though whom YHWH spoke. Those who attempted to rebel were put to death (Deuteronomy 13:5; Proverbs 17:11; Psalm 68:6, etc.). Disease and pandemics often came as a direct result of disobedience (Numbers 12).

What most don’t seem to grasp is that, if it hadn’t been for rebellion (Numbers 13-15), Israel would only have had to wander in the desert for FOUR years. (The number 4 or any variant of 4 always depicts a “time of learning”….)

Because of their rebellion and gross disobedience YHWH multiplied that time of learning by 10. As a result, most of those original approximately 2 million people who came out of Egypt, did NOT get to see the Promised Land (Israel). Not even Moshe (the holiest man on earth at the time) got to enter the Promised Land (see the last few chapters of Deuteronomy).

Know why? Because he had, on a few occasions, taken glory unto himself instead of remembering that it was ALL about YHWH. (Exodus 17; Joshua 3; Numbers 20). Yes, YHWH loved Moshe, and there’s no doubt we WILL see Moshe in the Olam Haba (World to Come) because he was definitely a “believer.”

But at the time of his death, he knew, beyond that proverbial shadow of a doubt, why he wasn’t going into the Promised Land during his own lifetime….

The only original people of the Exodus to enter the Promised Land were Yehoshua (Joshua), son of Nun, who replaced Moshe as leader, and Caleb (Numbers 14:30).

What this historical record tells us is simply this:

We MUST take YHWH and His Divine Instructions seriously, as they are our ONLY blueprint for moral, holy living. He has constantly, since the very beginning, reached out to humanity – NOT to restrict our free will, but to show us HOW to receive Eternal Life in His Presence!

The fact that He ultimately sent us His Divine Messiah whose holy blood redeems those who “believe” AND repent AND turn from their sins to begin living a HOLY life, is PROOF that He wants to see as many as possible in the Olam Haba. (Study the Gospels through Hebrew, instead of Greek eyes! Example: https://www.therefinersfire.org/hebrew_mindset.htm)

If you haven’t done so, then please DO consider it, because – as you can surely see – some major Bible prophecies are unfolding before our very eyes. Hundreds of prophecies have already come true (see our article https://therefinersfire.org/accurate_messiah_prophecies.htm), but we are quickly approaching a time when they will ALL be fulfilled, and those who “missed the boat” as in Noah’s day, will simply be no more. (See Matthew 7:13-14.)

The naked truth is, humanity has had its chance to shine – and we blew it. Throughout history mankind has continuously reverted to the “sin nature” in this fallen world we inherited from Adam and Eve – who committed only ONE sin.

Please think about that as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues its slow but unrelenting spread around the world. It is only the beginning of our human sorrows….

Sunday, March 29, 2020

On “using the Lord’s name in vain”

Maybe it's just me, but I can't stand it when someone says, "Halleluyah!" just for the heck of it, when they're not really talking to YHWH/Yeshua. A few years ago, while standing in line at a pharmacy, some people behind the counter were kidding around with each other, and one - to show agreement with another - shouted, "Well, halleluyah!" It literally made me cringe! To me, that's an example of "using the Lord's Name in vain."...YHWH's Name is HOLY and is to be treated with reverence and respect!

Psalm 8:1 O יהוה, our Master, how excellent is Your Name in all the earth, You who set Your splendour above the heavens! (ISR)

Psalm 111:9 He sent redemption to His people, He has commanded His covenant forever. Set-apart and awesome is His Name. 10 The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, All those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever. (ISR)

Matthew 6: 9. Therefore, you pray like this: Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. As in heaven so on earth. 11 Give us the bread of our need this day. 12. And forgive us our offences as we also have forgiven those who have offended us. 13. And not bring us into trial, but deliver us from the evil one, for Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. (AENT)

Philippians 2:9. Wherefore, also, Elohim has highly exalted him and given him a name [1] which is more excellent than all names; 10. that at the name of Y’shua every knee should bow, of (beings) in heaven and on earth and under the earth; 11. and that every tongue should confess that Y’shua the Mashiyach is YHWH [2], to the glory of Elohim his Father. (AENT)

Footnotes:

[1] More that his literal birth name Y’shua (which was and is a common Hebrew name), and more than the perfect reputation that his name represents. Y’shua bears the Name of YHWH, the “name above all names”! Y’shua has the Name and reputation of the Father YHWH in him (John 17:11) and the name means “YHWH is Salvation” (Matthew 1:21).

[2] (The footnote suggest we read the whole appendix entitled, "Y'shua is YHWH" - however, to the sake of brevity, I'll only post the first few lines.)

The Spirit of YHWH, also known as the Ruach haKodesh, is both within Mashiyach and is YHWH; however, the nephesh (soul) of Y’shua is “the person” or vessel of Y’shua where the Spirit of YHWH dwells. The physical body of Y’shua and his soul are not YHWH, but Y’shua made himself subject to YHWH in all aspects.

Rabbis have long believed that Mashiyach existed before the material universe and that everything in time and space is subject to Mashiyach. That Mashiyach existed continuously from before creation indicates a very intimate spiritual connection to YHWH, which isn’t such a mystery when we consider our own spirit, soul and body.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Teaching the plain and simple truth is not popular…

Some people seem to think I'm too rough and gruff and should show more compassion. While that may be true, the thing is, I can't and won't bring myself to ever promote an endless string of "feel-good" messages that veer from Scripture just to make people "feel good!"

I have been telling Biblical TRUTH ever since the day the Ruach opened my spiritual eyes, and I'm not going to change now, just to gain followers or popularity.

So, if you're looking for someone to lie to you concerning His Word, you've got the wrong person - because the truth is, contrary to popular belief, YHWH is NOT kidding around when it comes to His Divine Instructions to humanity!

To make memes that promise He "will bless you if you forward this post to 15 people within the next 10 minutes"; or "He will increase your wealth and bless you" if you tithe to some televangelist (or, like a Hebrew Roots pastor who insists God will bless you if you "give everything you have, even if it means reaching into your 401-K!"); or to promise that He will "protect you from Coronavirus" or any other disease or disaster - well, those are OUTRIGHT LIES originating in TWISTED Scripture!

DOES God bless and save people from disasters? Sure! At His own discretion and often for reasons known only to Him. While at the same time many believers and innocents (babies and young children) are NOT spared from disease or disaster! Many faithful have perished in disasters. How would you explain your fluffy, lying memes or messages to their families?

Have you ever noticed how many Christians and or Hebrew Roots and Messianics have NOT been blessed, and who HAVE succumbed to disease or disasters? Have you ever noticed how many innocent little babies are born with horrific birth defects or with cancer or some other disease?

Why didn't He bless THEM?

Hmmm. Perhaps there's more to "being blessed" and "being protected" than we know.... like, "OBEY Me and all will go well with you," and "curses on those" who blatantly refuse to obey!" Unfortunately nobody wants to hear that Old Testament stuff because, hey, we're all "under grace"!!!

Yes, of COURSE we're under grace - but that didn't remove the need for Believers to OBEY! That "OT stuff" contains ALL of God's original do's and don'ts, and - here's a real shocker - without the OT, the NEW Testament wouldn't even exist!

Here's just a small sampling of the scriptures most seem to ignore:

Deuteronomy 28:15 - "But if you refuse to pay attention to what ADONAI your God says, and do not observe and obey all his mitzvot and regulations which I am giving you today, then all the following curses will be yours in abundance....

Deuteronomy 28:9 - "ADONAI will establish you as a people separated out for himself, as he has sworn to you - IF you will observe the mitzvot of ADONAI your God and follow his ways.

Deuteronomy 29:9 - Therefore, observe the words of this covenant and obey them; SO THAT you can make everything you do prosper.

Deuteronomy 30:10 - "However, all this will happen ONLY IF you pay attention to what ADONAI your God says, so that you obey his mitzvot and regulations which are written in this book of the Torah, if you turn to ADONAI your God with all your heart and all your being.

Deuteronomy 30:16 - 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.

DO YOU GET THE PICTURE? There are literally hundreds of warnings about OBEDIENCE - yet hardly anyone wants to hear "the negative side" of their willful disobedience. They're all mired in "God loves me" and other "fluff" that leads to the false belief that nothing is required of us in return...

THAT is why I'm forever harping on STUDYING Scripture so we can all get ourselves RIGHT with YHWH, while there's still time. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be very popular, because actual study takes effort.

So, yeah - "fluff" makes one popular; the plain and simple Truth does not. Regardless, it's what I feel He wants me to preach, and I'm never going to stop until He tells me otherwise....

Remember libraries - the place where you could get solid and truthful information?

Remember libraries - the place where you could get solid and truthful information? Where you had to thumb through the card files and search myriad shelves to find what you were looking for? Where everyone was expected to be quiet? Where civility reigned and people respected each other's right to peace and solitude while doing their research or were simply relaxing with a good book or magazine full of stories written by actual published, educated authors who knew how to formulate a proper sentence?

People who frequented libraries learned a lot, including how to discern fantasy from reality, good from bad, truth from lies.

Compare that to today, where one no longer has to do a lot of thinking to find what they’re looking for. All it takes is a word or phrase typed into a search engine that will bring up every article and video pertaining to the subject you’re looking for – including all the trash written by lay persons who never met an actual, solid FACT, and who are busy espousing nothing more than personal opinions.

While the Internet is certainly a fantastic addition to our modern mindsets, the drawback is that we’ve been lulled into accepting the mediocre and the downright false, while “feeling educated” because “we’ve done our research and know the truth” – never even recognizing that much of that “truth” came from some unqualified lay person’s OPINION rather than actual knowledge, true research and facts.

It’s unfortunate that all the great technology at our fingertips has only served to “dumb down” civilized society; in part, because we no longer need to THINK. We no longer need to know how to use cursive to write a letter, nor use elementary arithmetic to balance our checkbooks because we have technology to do all the “thinking” for us….Why, while doing that “search” for whatever you are looking for, you don’t even need to know how to spell! The search engine corrects it for you!

Consequently, instead of progressing, we’re actually regressing. In the hustle and bustle of social media where everyone has a voice, there is no more “quiet” or respect for anyone.

We’re no longer inundated with truth, knowledge and wisdom because the writings of actual experts in various fields has been diluted and even drowned out with the ocean of thoughts and voices of those who were born and raised in a modern technological world where education has become unnecessary and even frowned upon; and where “social media” now serves as our “library” where people accept whatever “sounds good” to them.

Worse, people have now grown up lacking the skill to assess what they’re reading, and are, consequently no longer able to determine fact from fiction.

One has to wonder how much further we will regress before we finally destroy EVERYTHING we’ve managed to accomplish since the beginning of time….

Proverbs 8:11-12 For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. (ESV)

Proverbs 1:7 Someone who is already wise will hear and learn still more; someone who already understands will gain the ability to counsel well; 6 he will understand proverbs, obscure expressions, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (CJB)

Proverbs 16:16  How much better than gold it is to gain wisdom!  Yes, rather than money, choose to gain understanding. (CJB)

Proverbs 3:13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, (ESV)

Proverbs 4:7 “Let your heart treasure my words; keep my commands, and live; 5 gain wisdom, gain insight; don’t forget or turn from the words I am saying. 6 Don’t abandon [wisdom]; then she will preserve you; love her, and she will protect you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom! And along with all your getting, get insight! (CJB)

Ephesians 5:15-16 14. Therefore it is said: Awake you who are asleep and arise from the dead, and the Mashiyach will illuminate you.  15. See therefore, that you walk with spiritual knowledge; not like the simple,  16. But like the wise who purchase their opportunity; because the days are evil. (AENT)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

“Praying Psalm 91” for protection from COVID-19?

In these terrible, trying days it is absolutely imperative that we become very serious about turning to ADONAI. And as you’ve surely guessed by now, the time for any “lukewarm”, pew-warming behavior has come to a screeching halt.

Therefore, I’m going out on a limb to do what I always do: tell the plain Truth by allowing Scripture to speak for itself.

And here it is:

Simply “being a believer” or “praying Psalm 91” for protection from COVID-19 will do absolutely nothing for you UNLESS you are a wholehearted, obedient, Torah observant Believer. (Remember, Proverbs 28:9 says, “If a person will not listen to Torah, even his prayer is an abomination”….)

We see myriad examples about YHWH’s wrath against those who refuse to obey Him, in just those first five Books of the Bible (Torah). Contrary to popular belief, the commands to OBEY were NOT only for Israel; they were for ANYONE who accepted YHWH as their ELOHIM. (See Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:13-16, Isaiah 56:6, and Romans 10:12-13.)

But for this article, let’s take a look at the whole chapter of Deuteronomy 6, where YHWH is perfectly clear about OBEDIENCE and what will happen to those who ignore Him.

Deuteronomy 6: 6 “Now this is the mitzvah, the laws and rulings which Adonai your God ordered me to teach you for you to obey in the land you are crossing over to possess, 2 so that you will fear Adonai your God and observe all his regulations and mitzvot that I am giving you — you, your child and your grandchild — as long as you live, and so that you will have long life. 3 Therefore listen, Isra’el, and take care to obey, so that things will go well with you, and so that you will increase greatly, as Adonai, the God of your ancestors, promised you by giving you a land flowing with milk and honey.

4 “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear and Do, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; 5 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. 6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; 7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, 9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.

10 “When Adonai your God has brought you into the land he swore to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov that he would give you — cities great and prosperous, which you didn’t build; 11 houses full of all sorts of good things, which you didn’t fill; water cisterns dug out, which you didn’t dig; vineyards and olive trees, which you didn’t plant — and you have eaten your fill; 12 then be careful not to forget Adonai, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves. 13 You are to fear Adonai your God, serve him and swear by his name.

14 You are not to follow other gods, chosen from the gods of the peoples around you; 15 because Adonai, your God, who is here with you, is a jealous God. If you do, the anger of Adonai your God will flare up against you and he will destroy you from the face of the earth. 16 Do not put Adonai your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah [Exodus 17:7]. 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, and you will enter and possess the good land Adonai swore to your ancestors, 19 expelling all your enemies ahead of you, as Adonai said.

20 “Some day your child will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of the instructions, laws and rulings which Adonai our God has laid down for you?’ 21 Then you will tell your child, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and Adonai brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand. 22 Adonai worked great and terrible signs and wonders against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household, before our very eyes.

23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us to the land he had sworn to our ancestors that he would give us. 24 Adonai ordered us to observe all these laws, to fear Adonai our God, always for our own good, so that he might keep us alive, as we are today. 25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to obey all these mitzvot before Adonai our God, just as he ordered us to do.’” (CJB)

BOTTOM LINE: Obey YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness, and do NOT put Him to the test. He IS with all true believers, and He KNOWS what we’re going through. He allowed it to happen. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear will recognize that trials and tribulations like this are simply the indicators of where our hearts truly are at any given point.

Monday, March 16, 2020

A quick message about Passover (which, this year, starts at sunset April 7)

Passover/Pesach (Nisan 14) celebrates the deliverance of the slaves from Egypt. It is the story of redemption by the killing of the Passover Lamb. The Israelites obeyed God by applying the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorposts of their houses so that their firstborn would be spared the Tenth Curse against Pharoah who refused to let God's enslaved Chosen People leave Egypt. When the Angel of Death passed through the land and saw the blood, he "passed over" those houses and spared the first born (Exodus 12:1-13).
This was a picture of Yeshua, God's "Passover Lamb" who willingly allowed His own blood to be shed on our behalf and thus became our redemption. The Messiah fulfilled this holiday when he was crucified! 
Please note: The lamb for the original Passover was NOT a sacrifice - and neither was Yeshua! The lamb was offered as a substitute, not as a "sacrifice"!  So, though not a "sin" sacrifice, the lamb's blood was offered as a substitute, giving the Hebrew first-born males the chance to live. This is the connection: Yeshua was our substitute - and by believing and following YHWH's Torah to help us to lower our tendency to sin, and do our best to NOT sin anymore, we have the chance for eternal life. And this, of course was the point: Eternal life.
Yeshua took our bitterness so that we might live the abundant life. We remember and identify with the bitterness of slavery by eating the bitter herbs and the matza (unleavened bread) on Passover. The innocent died for the guilty. Yeshua's willingness to "sacrifice" (offer) His life not only meant death - it also meant LIFE (Isaiah 53).
So - the prophetic fulfillment of Passover is clear: Redemption! Passover is a time to thank God for our freedom - and that covers several types of freedoms ... To be a free people, and to be free to worship God.  Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) summed up this theme in his letter to the Corinthians in which he addressed moral problems within their membership. To solve this problem he drew upon a well-known analogy of Pesach:
1 Corinthians 5: 6. Your bragging is not praiseworthy. Don’t you know, that a little leaven leavens the whole mass?  7. Purge out from you the old leaven, that you may be a new mass, as you are unleavened. For our Passover is the Mashiyach, who was slain for us.  8. Therefore let us celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of wickedness and bitterness, but with the leaven of purity and sanctity.  (AENT)
Footnote: The word for “leaven” here is makhmae, the cognate in Hebrew of which is chometz.  Therefore, Rav Shaul is teaching the Corinthians by using Passover imagery, by commanding them to purge the chometz from the house of their hearts, so that they can be sanctified. Of course, the rest of this verse and the next proves this interpretation.
In 1 Corinthians 5 above, he was telling Believers to celebrate Passover and to have a Seder (Passover meal) that celebrates the deliverance from slavery and being a free people ... To set aside this day to thank, praise and worship God.
NOTE: In case anyone is interested, we offer a free downloadable haggadah (liturgy) for Pesach/Passover on our website. Just click on our Essays and Articles page, and scroll down until you see "Free calendars, Siddurs & Pesach Seder", and choose one of the final two links...

Be careful about believing conspiracy theories concerning COVID-19!

I find it truly mind-boggling to know that we have some HR teachers making disparaging and "conspiracy-theory" type of comments about COVID-19 designed to rile everybody up to make it look like "the government" or some "unknown enemy" is somehow behind the virus.

It's NOT a government conspiracy and this is not some scare tactic so that "the government" can take control of you! It's a slowly-but-surely spreading new virus - a pandemic - with nobody knowing exactly how it's spread, how to treat it, or how to keep it from spreading, or how to convince the billions on earth to cooperate with whatever measures need to be taken to save lives!

The governments of the world, and the medical communities, etc. are trying to handle the situation to the best of their knowledge. Nobody was prepared for something like this.

OUR responsibility is NOT to freak out and buy out the stores or fight each other for the last roll of toilet paper; it is to stay calm, prepare to the best of our ability (helping neighbors whenever needed), watch our own cleanliness, use some common sense, and just DEAL with whatever is on the horizon.

Getting stupid and crazy will only serve to hasten the breakdown of society that's beginning to happen because everybody's listening to and believing conspiracy theories.

This is THE TIME to turn to YHWH and His Word; to "get ourselves right with Him" and understand that these ARE the end times as outlined in Daniel and Revelation. It is a time to recognize that HE IS GIVING US A CHANCE to do that - so let's do it! TODAY!

This is only the first of many pandemics and bad times to come. Getting ourselves right with ADONAI is the first and BEST step toward handling the unfolding of His Plans. Ultimately, it's all for our own good, because it serves to prepare us for the Kingdom.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Let’s pray that this pandemic will serve as a real eye-opener for the entire world!

I believe this coronavirus is designed, in part, to help humanity see that there is a greater force than mankind, and that the most important thing we can all do is to start turning to ADONAI - because if we don't, He WILL hand us over to calamities.

Below is just one example:

2 Chronicles 24:20 24 Although the army of Aram attacked with only a small company of men, Adonai handed over a very great army to them, because they had abandoned Adonai the God of their ancestors. Thus they executed judgment against Yo’ash. (CJB)

Mankind, as a whole, has abandoned God. We're too busy being arrogant and relying on ourselves. I mean, most Believers can't even be bothered to keep His COMMANDED Seventh Day Sabbath Rest - so whom are they really worshiping?

People, He is giving us a chance to turn to Him, because - as we see in the Books of Daniel and Revelation - bad things ARE on the horizon! We NEED to be ready - both spiritually AND physically!

Instead of being in "panic mode" as so many are right now, common sense should have dictated that it would have been wise to keep a little extra canned goods and necessities in the house, in case of any emergencies.

Common sense should have dictated that we needed to use our credit cards wisely, instead of buying everything (with borrowed money) that we felt like buying. (Scripture warns us that the buyer is slave to the lender – Proverbs 22:7)

Common sense should have dictated the necessity to "tighten our belts" each month so that we could actually HAVE that little nest egg to fall back on during any emergencies.... (Financial guru Dave Ramsey has been teaching that for decades!)

Unfortunately, nobody today listens to reason. America, especially, is a spoiled, instant gratification, me-oriented nation where people need "cry-rooms" every time the slightest thing goes wrong in their life.

Instead of returning to BIBLICAL principles, we are doing exactly what the various kings of Yehudah did in ancient times by getting full of themselves and forgetting about YHWH and His Torah.

I'm praying that this pandemic will serve as a real eye-opener for the entire world!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ready for a Messianic psycho-thriller?

"Satan just walked through the door!"

Those were Rebecca Ritter's initial thoughts when handsome rancher, R. B. "Rex" Lambert, first entered the Messianic synagogue!

And she was right. Not only did Rex end up wreaking havoc in the congregation, but he also devastated the leadership, caused some to lose their faith in God, and even managed to destroy the Rabbi's marriage.

Making matters worse, his very presence caused "flashbacks" for the forty-something Becca - flashbacks to a childhood fraught with unspeakable horrors at the hands of her demented father, Klaus-Dieter Behringer, a former prison guard at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, who had a few sinister "skeletons in his closet."

Set in the beautiful countryside near Seymour, Missouri, "Destroyed from Within" is an intense, fast-moving psycho-thriller revealing how the "sins of the father" are passed along from generation to generation while depicting the many ways in which weak faith and poor leadership can lead people completely away from God.

Ready for this Messianic psycho-thriller? It's called, "Destroyed from Within" - and you can find it either at Amazon.com, or at this link where all of my books are displayed.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Jesus rendered the Old Covenant Torah Law obsolete!

READER COMMENT:

Folks that preach the Law tell us that we must 'walk as Yeshua walked', and tell us that means “walking in Torah observance.” Sounds plausible, until you consider that Jesus walked in Torah observance before the Work of the Cross, the Resurrection, and His Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood, which rendered the Old Covenant Torah Law obsolete!

OUR RESPONSE:
Please examine exactly “how” Yeshua walked before making those typical assumptions!

First of all, just because “Jesus walked in Torah observance” doesn’t release us from OUR responsibility to do so. His death didn’t negate the need to obey God; it removed our certificate of debt (Colossians 2:14)….

Remember that 1 John 2:6 says: He that says I am in him, is bound to walk according to his Halacha (literal reference, “walk according to his walking” and in both cases the word is halakh).

Let’s take a peek at that whole passage in its Hebraic and Aramaic context: 

1 John 2: 3. And by this we will be sensible that we know him, if we keep his Commandments.  4. For he that says I know him, and does not keep his Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.  5. But he that keeps his Word, in him is the Love of Elohim truly completed: for by this we know that we are in him. 

6. He that says I am in him, is bound to walk according to his halacha.  7. My beloved, I write no new commandment to you, but the old Commandment which you had from the beginning; and the old Commandment is the Word which you have heard.[*] (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

“Elohim is light”, (1 John 1:5); therefore, it can be argued that at Creation when YHWH said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), that He in effect brought a part of Himself out to accomplish the creative act. 

The “Word” does this same feat (Psalm 33:6; John 1:1). Note that few lines earlier we read the “Word of Life.” 

We have also seen before the direct linguistic relationship between the Hebrew and Aramaic roots for “Light” and “Torah” such as: “Your word (davar) is a lamp to my feet, a light (aur) to my path”  (Psalm 119:105).  “For the commandment is a lamp. The teaching is a light (aur), and the way to life is the rebuke that disciplines” (Proverbs 6:23).

What makes this citation in Proverbs most profound is the word mitzvah (commandment), since tradition commonly calls the revelation at Sinai the Ten Commandments when in fact the Tanakh uses davarim (words)! 

Keep this in mind while considering 1 John 2:4 - “He who says I know Him and does not keep His Commandments (poqadona) is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word (miltha) in him, verily is the love of Elohim perfected; hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:4). 

Aramaic could not make a more forceful point. The fact is, poqadona and miltha are exceedingly close matches for their Hebrew counterparts - mitzvah in Proverbs, and davar in Psalms. However, it is in this next passage that the full measure of John’s brilliance is shown:

“My beloved, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard from the beginning” (1 John 2:7). 

The Commandment is the Word, which comes from the beginning. We must now realize that to translate this as “his Commandments” is wrong, but “His Commandments” is correct.  “His Commandments” is the WORD which came from the very beginning of time!

Many fail to understand this truth:

It is impossible for Torah to have passed away during the lifetime of the Shlichim/Apostles if John himself writes about the Word they have heard from the beginning.  What else could this WORD be, except the living Torah! 

John is a native Aramaic speaker and follower of Y’shua who knows that the WORD (or the Torah of YHWH) comes from the “Light”; he states that Elohim is Light and that we abide in that Light when we do His Mitzvot/Poqadona/Commandments.

Furthermore, the interchanging of “Word” and “Commandment” simply does not happen in any other language except Hebrew and Aramaic, the “word that you have heard” is the Shema!

Don’t be afraid to challenge false teachers! Yeshua did….

There are LOTS of false teachings and pseudo-teachers on the Internet. While Believers are not to engage in endless silly arguments with those types, is imperative to remember that we ARE to expose false teachers and try to bring people back to YHWH: Romans 16:17-18, Ephesians 5:11, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, and many others - and most importantly: Ezekiel 33:7-9.

That is why we must not slumber! We MUST be aware of the garbage being passed around – and we do that by checking out the posts and videos of the known violators, so that we can KNOW first-hand, what they espouse.

Why? Well, so that we can properly counter their false assertions in the hopes of leading both the teacher and their followers back onto YHWH's Path!

You never when when “something will click” and either bring or return someone to the Truth. Perhaps YOU can be the one to do that!

Let's also remember that Yeshua exposed false teachers. Aren't we to walk as Yeshua walked, and follow in his footsteps? (1 John 2:3-7)

Monday, March 9, 2020

On intellect … a fading human attribute

When, exactly, did education, success and wealth become a "bad" thing? Somehow, somewhere that’s exactly what has happened over the last 20 or 30 years.

Don’t you find that a bit disturbing? I sure do!

I mean, I’m floored to see so many “armchair experts” spewing vitriol at the educated and education in general. For countless centuries, men have always striven to become educated and successful. But now? Now, it’s looked down upon and something to poke fun at.

And, have you ever noticed that the claws really come out if someone dares to actually use their earned title or – God forbid! – they dare mention that they have credentials! Matter of fact, in many Facebook groups, you risk becoming completely ostracized if you show ANY intellect, whatsoever!

What’s more, those same vicious know-nothing loudmouths who loathe intellect and education, will also berate those who have “made something” of themselves and become wealthy in the process.

(Yes – “being well-to-do” is ALSO “uncool” today!)

Instead of admiring and lauding those who have “made it to the top” via hard work, good choices and good stewardship of their finances, the “armchair experts” will verbally pummel them to pieces, level lies and baseless accusations at them, and generally tear them to shreds - all from the safety of their computer or cellphone keyboards (never mind that it never dawns on them that -unlike themselves - smart and successful people aren’t drowning in a sea of debt, begging the "government" to bail them out).

(As you probably already know, “armchair experts” aren’t necessarily bright enough to figure out THEY created their own problems. No - they will quickly place the blame on “the government” or the current President, or the “rotten economy” or anything else that deflects the blame from their own poor choices).

So, while my little rant might make me very unpopular, I HAVE to say it - that little adage I once saw somewhere:

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups!”

It's hard to escape them, and they seem to be taking over.

Stupidity, impertinence, arrogance, self-centeredness and callousness are the “in-thing” today! If you want to be accepted by the masses, you MUST drop your intellect, never mention your education level, loudly babble on and on about things you know nothing about, give all your money away and just generally pass yourself off as one of the “good ol’ boys or girls – like all those “armchair experts” who have never contributed anything worthwhile to society and see no problem letting the whole world know it….

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Isaiah 53 most certainly DOES refer to the Messiah!

Traditional (especially "counter-missionary") Jews will tell you Isaiah 53 is all about Israel. But let's examine that assertion, shall we?

The servant of Isaiah 53 is an innocent and guiltless sufferer.  Israel is never described as sinless. Isaiah 1:4 says of the nation: "Alas sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity. A brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters!" He then goes on in the same chapter to characterize Judah as Sodom,  Jerusalem as a harlot, and the people as those whose hands are stained  with blood (verses 10, 15, and 21). What a far cry from the innocent and  guiltless sufferer of Isaiah 53 who had "done no violence, nor was any  deceit in his mouth!"

The prophet said: "It pleased the LORD to bruise him." Has the awful  treatment of the Jewish people (so contrary, by the way, to the  teaching of Yeshua to love everyone) really been God's pleasure, as is  said of the suffering of the servant in Isaiah 53:10?

If, as some rabbis  contend, Isaiah 53 refers to the holocaust, can we really say of  Israel's suffering during that horrible period, "It pleased the LORD to  bruise him?" Yet it makes perfect sense to say that God was pleased to  have Messiah suffer and die as our sin offering to provide us  forgiveness and atonement. The person mentioned in this passage suffers silently and willingly. 

Yet all people, even Israelites, complain when they suffer! Brave  Jewish men and women fought in resistance movements against Hitler. Remember the Vilna Ghetto Uprising? Remember the Jewish men who fought  on the side of the allies? Can we really say Jewish suffering during the  holocaust and during the preceding centuries was done silently and  willingly?

The figure described in Isaiah 53 suffers, dies, and rises again to  atone for his people's sins. The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 53:10 for  "sin-offering" is "asham," which is a technical term meaning  "sin-offering." See how it is used in Leviticus chapters 5 and 6. Isaiah  53 describes a sinless and perfect sacrificial lamb who takes upon  himself the sins of others so that they might be forgiven. Can anyone  really claim that the terrible suffering of the Jewish people, however  undeserved and unjust, atones for the sins of the world?

Whoever Isaiah  53 speaks of, the figure described suffers and dies in order to provide a legal payment for sin so that others can be forgiven. This cannot be  true of the Jewish people as a whole, or of any other mere human! It is the prophet who is speaking in this passage. He says: "who has  believed our message." The term "message" usually refers to the  prophetic message, as it does in Jeremiah 49:14.

Also, when we  understand the Hebrew parallelism of verse 1, we see "Who has believed  our message" as parallel to "to whom has the arm of the Lord been  revealed." The "arm of the Lord" refers to God's powerful act of  salvation. So the message of the speaker is the message of a prophet  declaring what God has done to save his people.

The prophet speaking is Isaiah himself, who says the sufferer was  punished for "the transgression of my people," according to verse 8. Who  are the people of Isaiah? Israel. So the sufferer of Isaiah 53 suffered  for Israel. So how could he be Israel?

The figure of Isaiah 53 dies and is buried according to verses 8 and  9. The people of Israel have never died as a whole. They have been out  of the land on two occasions and have returned, but they have never  ceased to be among the living. Yet Yeshua died, was buried, and rose  again.

If Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Israel, how about Isaiah himself? But  Isaiah said he was a sinful man of unclean lips (Isaiah 6:5-7). And  Isaiah did not die as an atonement for our sins. Could it have been  Jeremiah? Jeremiah 11:19 does echo the words of Isaiah 53.

Judah  rejected and despised the prophet for telling them the truth. Leaders of  Judah sought to kill Jeremiah, and so the prophet describes himself in  these terms. But they were not able to kill the prophet. Certainly  Jeremiah did not die to atone for the sins of his people.

What of Moses?  Could the prophet have been speaking of him? But Moses wasn't sinless  either. Moses sinned and was forbidden from entering the promised land  (Numbers 20:12). Moses indeed attempted to offer himself as a sacrifice in place of the nation, but God did not allow him to do so (Exodus 32:30-35).

Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah were all prophets who gave us a glimpse of what Messiah, the ultimate prophet, would be like, but none  of them quite fit Isaiah 53.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue

Did you know that prayer is a dialogue with Heaven; not a monologue? Prayer is meant to establish and maintain an intimate relationship, and accountability between each individual and YHWH. When we read Y’shua’s teachings in context, we can see that they amply reveal this fact! His teachings ALL stand as the demarcation between a true relationship with YHWH, as opposed to a “religion” about Him. Take, for example, this awesome passage where he explains “how to pray”…

Matthew 6: 5. And whenever you pray you should not be like the hypocrites that love to stand in the assemblies and on the corners of the marketplaces to pray that they be visible to the sons of men. And truly I say to you that they have received their reward.

6. But when you pray enter your inner room and close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret[1] and your Father who sees in secret He will reward you in open[2]. 7. And when you pray, you should not be chatterers like the pagans, for they hope that by many words they will be heard. 8. Therefore, do not imitate them for your Father knows what need you have before you ask Him.

9. Therefore, you pray like this: Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. As in heaven so on earth.[3] 11 Give us the bread of our need this day. 12. And forgive us our offenses as we also have forgiven those who have offended us. 13. And not bring us into trial,[4] but deliver us from the evil one, for Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. (AENT)

NOTES:

[1] Psalm 91

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

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

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

In other words, it’s all about doing YHWH’s Will and pleasing HIM!

How can we do that?

Well, first, we must do an inventory of ourselves to make sure we are being the holy/set apart people He wants us to be – and repent, if we are not. This means not only loving Him with all our heart, being and resources (Deuteronomy 6:5) which means we should WANT to do His Will; but we must also be obedient to His Torah commands.

For instance, if we refuse to keep His commanded Seventh Day Sabbath or His mo’edim (Appointed Times), and are constantly shoveling “unclean” meats into our mouths, then exactly whom are we worshiping? Certainly not the One we think we’re praying to!

Next, we must make sure that our prayer will be geared toward HIS will in the matter for which we are praying. We can’t expect Him to, for instance, magically fix our broken marriages or financial situations, or to take away our drug or alcohol habit, or cause us to lose the extra 200 pounds we’ve gained over the years – UNLESS and UNTIL WE actively decide to make a change in our OWN habits.

WE have to be willing to start lining up our will with His! WE have to be willing to sit down and admit that WE didn’t handle our life’s affairs according to His Word, or that we weren’t good stewards of our money. We have to be willing to admit that we have anger or relationship issues; or that we have an over-eating, drug or alcohol problem. Recognizing and admitting these things is the first step toward change!

Most of all, we MUST remember that YHWH doesn’t even hear the prayers of those who refuse to obey His Torah:

Proverbs 28:9 If a person will not listen to Torah, even his prayer is an abomination. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or don't you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves; 20 for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 3:12 Some will use gold, silver or precious stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. 13 But each one's work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire - the fire will test the quality of each one's work.

14 If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward; 15 if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire. 16 Don't you know that you people are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17 So if anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you yourselves are that temple. (CJB)

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Day of Prayer and Fasting against the Coronavirus? How about a Day of Prayer and Fasting for people to repent for our sins against God, instead?

Some ministries are proposing "a day of prayer and fasting against the devastating Covid-19 virus".  While that might seem like a good idea on the surface, instead of praying against the virus, wouldn’t it make more sense to come together in repentance regarding OUR sins against YHWH in case the virus ends up becoming a plague?

I don’t think I need to go into detail about YHWH is justifiably upset with us; but the thing is, we cannot simply cite passages such as Joel 2:15-17 to suggest that all we have to do is come together and pray, and all will be well.  What about Joel 1:1-2:14, where we learn that it is YHWH's anger on His people which brings the darkness to those people? 

Instead of attempting to “pray away” the plague or any “bad times” it seems we should come together as a community far more concerned about what WE have done that CAUSED this plague, and pray for forgiveness of our unholiness and our actions!

Joel 2:12 says "turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and lamenting."  It does NOT say "Ask me to stop this virus while you do nothing, and continue living out your sins."

One ministry wrote:

"We want our prayers to rise like incense from the censer of the high priest Aaron who interposed between the living and the dead to stop the plague." 

Great idea but, unfortunately, the scripture was misquoted and misapplied! You see, this idea came from Numbers 16:47-48, where Korach and his followers had rebelled against Moshe and YHWH! (Numbers 16:1-3).  This was not a plague that simply "came upon" the people, that Aaron was required to stop; it came about BECAUSE of what the people had done – and Aaron atoned for them as an action to stop the plague (Numbers 16:47). 

We are not to ask OUR will of YHWH. Our responsibility is to seek HIS Will, and to be holy and set-apart for Him. 

Of course WE want the virus to stop – but what we need to do, if we are to participate in a world-wide day of prayer is to pray that YHWH would have mercy on his sin-filled people, AND for everyone to turn back to Him and to call on His Name so that maybe, just maybe, He would have mercy as in Joel 2:18-32.

YES, by all means, PRAY without ceasing! (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)  But remember that our prayers should never be geared toward “compassion for a purposely sinful people” who refuse to seek YHWH.

Numbers 15: 30 "'But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut off from his people.

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.

2 Peter 2: 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them.

Leviticus 26: 23 If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins.

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Some great questions from someone wishing to prevent a friend from “rejecting Jesus”….

READER QUESTION:

Your ministry was referred to me by a friend. A good friend of mine, Torah observant, has been listening to a teacher from Beit Tefillah productions on you tube. I don t know the teacher’s name, but the teaching she sent me is called “no messiah can die for your sins.”

Based on his teaching, my friend is deciding to deny Messiah and the entire apostolic scripture. He makes a very good case, but I think I could make a rebuttal for most of his points. But I may need help. His premise is that one person dying for another’s sin is not in Tenahk, and human sacrifice is an abomination.

Are you familiar with this teaching and do you have ideas to answer it? Any rebuttal must come only from Tenahk, which I believe can be done. I can answer the issues on human sacrifice , and the idea of one person atoning for another. He claims and proves blood is not required for forgiveness, etc. He does not take into account the covenant blood. Thanks in advance for any help

OUR RESPONSE:

Hello and thank you for writing to The Refiner's Fire!

It is admirable that you wish to keep your friend from making the biggest mistake of his life, but I can tell you from experience that, once someone has decided to "reject Jesus", there's nothing you can say or do to change their mind. They drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and became "star-struck" by the Jewish rabbis who have crawled out of the woodwork to "rub elbows" with the Gentiles to supposedly lead them to "G-d's Truth" (which, of course, means teaching them to toss out the entire New Testament).

These unsuspecting former Christians, Messianics or Hebrew Roots types don't recognize the hidden agenda of those rabbis and their converts, which is to get people to REJECT Messiah Y'shua and then begin to teach the rest of the world to do the same. (Ironically, once they've rejected him "Jesus" seems to be all the "Jesus rejecters" ever talk about!)

It's brilliant, really, the "reverse psychology" the rabbis and their converts employ: make your enemy into a friend and then use him to help you carry out your mission.

Doesn’t it sound familiar? If not, it should, because that's exactly how the serpent in Genesis 3:1-7 operated! That "serpent" and those two gullible humans who used poor judgment and strayed from YHWH's commands (like the entire world is doing today!) are THE reason we are IN a fallen world that is now in the process of collapsing!

Anyway, questions such as yours cannot be answered in one, neat and simple paragraph, so I will be referring you to some of our website's articles, where we have answered tons of "counter-missionary" questions.

So - getting to the point - I'm sure you know, anyone who teaches against YHWH's Divine Messiah is dead wrong. And they ALWAYS try to use the same ol' hackneyed excuses that, if it wasn't prophesied in Torah or Tanakh, then it is a myth. Realistically, if that's the case, then none of our forebears exist, either, because NONE of them were mentioned in Torah/Tanakh! George Washington was just another guy off the street, because Tanakh didn't prophesy him to become the first President of the United States. Same with Benjamin Netanyahu or any other world leader. Furthermore, the computers or cellphones we use today are also myths, as neither of those things were prophesied (along with multitudes of other modern inventions that make our life easier).

The thing is, Tanakh DOES reveal Messiah and his sufferings! I mean, who do you think Isaiah 53 is all about? Oh sure, those illustrious "counter-missionaries" (just like Christians, on the other side of the spectrum) apply plenty of Scripture twisting to force YHWH's Word to say what they WANT it to say; but ask yourself the following:

  • If Isaiah 53 is supposedly about Israel (as "they" insist) we must question whether Israel can 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 myriad Tanach prophecies - and people can reject it all they want, but they cannot CHANGE those facts! (And, by the way, NOTHING SAID that Y'shua would have to fulfill ALL the Tanach prophecies within his lifetime - which is another thing "they" attempt to use against him. (Please read our articles: Isaiah 53 and Yeshua   and Accurate Messiah Prophecies.)

All these so-called "learned rabbis" (and their blinded hangers-on) can't seem to see the supernatural events surrounding Mashiyach Y'shua. They have no problem believing that "G-d" (a Being they've never seen) created the universe and everything in it - but to cause His Divine Messiah to be supernaturally implanted into an almah (virgin)? - well, that's apparently too ridiculous and far-fetched!

YOU WROTE: "His premise is that one person dying for another's sin is not in Tenahk, and 'human sacrifice' is an abomination." He claims and proves blood is not required for forgiveness, etc. Are you familiar with this teaching and do you have ideas to answer it? Any rebuttal must come only from Tenahk, which I believe can be done."

OUR RESPONSE: Please read our blog article, "Mere men cannot atone? WRONG!"  Also see Judges 11 where Yiftach did sacrifice his daughter to fulfill the vow he made to YHWH. And let's not forget that Avraham was perfectly willing to sacrifice Yitzhak until YHWH provided a ram...

Today, many (if not most) Jews insist that prayer and repentance are all God requires of us to be forgiven. That is absolutely FALSE!  Please see our article on eternal life.

See also our article about the Passover connection to Y'shua - which shows that Y’shua wasn’t a “human sacrifice” because nobody sacrificed him. (Much like the Passover lambs that were NOT “sacrificed” either….)

Y'shua volunteered to substitute His nephesh for yours, and yet, today, many reject the offer. Y'shua, sinless because of who he was, MARTYRED himself, offering His blood for yours, against which there is NO Torah prohibition!

As mentioned above, I doubt your friend will listen to you, much less, bother to read our articles containing biblical proof, but we wish you well in this endeavor and pray YHWH's favor upon you both.

By the way, the website you were referring to belongs to Scott Shoob (who has various spellings of his last name, including Schubbe). Scott used to be a Messianic believer up until two or three years ago, when he suddenly "became enlightened".... His teachings are absolute POISON. And, of course, like the counter-missionary rabbis, Scott is also in it for the money. Controversy, after all, sells.   (And, as I mentioned before, just like all the others who reject YHWH's Messiah, how ironic that he just CAN'T seem to quit talking about him…)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A word about the Coronavirus

People, please don't listen to those who are either trying to be alarmists about the Coronavirus, or telling you there's nothing to worry about. Be proactive and prepare for the eventuality that you might have to stay at home as this thing continues to spread,, because it IS spreading across the US now! So far there have been 9 deaths in the US, but God only knows how many are infected.

This virus IS in every country around the world now, except for Antarctica. The worst outbreaks so far have been in China, S. Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy.

Be smart, employ plenty of common sense, prepare to be quarantined in your own homes with plenty of food and supplies - and stay informed! If, for some reason this thing somehow fizzles out on its own, then what have you really lost by buying extra non-perishable foods? Nothing!

Judging by everything going on in the world, we are IN the end times where bad things are going to happen - so just stay calm, stay in Scripture, get yourself right with ADONAI, and pray. The good news is - Believers KNOW where they will spend eternity, no matter WHAT happens - Halleluyah!

This website contains both maps of the infected countries around the world and in the United States….

Sunday, March 1, 2020

On forgiving and defending a known sinner….

Have you ever noticed how quickly people will rush to forgive known deceivers? I’m talking about deceivers who are busy cheating, lying, committing adultery; those who are abusive drunks or drug addicts, or who are purposely sinning in some other way, who were caught red-handed in their sin, after generally deceiving everyone into thinking they were “godly” men and women…

Unfortunately, most seem to be ready, willing and able to immediately "take them back" the moment they apologize - no matter WHAT they did!

Equally sad is that these same people rushing to forgive knowns sinners, will also quickly ostracize those who warn others about the sinner, and those who attempt to find two witnesses to help them confront the sinner in hopes of getting him/her back onto YHWH’s Path! (I know this from experience because I once attempted to lead a sister in our former congregation back onto YHWH’s Path, who was committing adultery. Things turned ugly when I approached the other Elders’ wives to help me confront and pray with that sister (whom I had actually already counseled in private). Ultimately, that whole congregation fell apart because the leaders had allowed “the enemy” to gain a foothold….)

People who are quick to forgive sinners (and judge YOU for attempting to step in), clearly don’t know that Scripture commands us to stay completely away from those who purposely sin and refuse correction. (See Deuteronomy 13:4-18; 24:7, to mention just a couple of passages.) Of course, today, we don’t have YHWH Himself commanding us to put the evil-doers to death. (If an evil-doer has been found guilty of a heinous crime, then the justice system will decide what to do with him or her.)

The thing is, we DO have scriptures that tell us to STAY AWAY from people who refuse to walk according to Torah – especially if they refuse any “Matthew 18” correction. We’re not to blindly “forgive and forget” just because they’ve apologized! This holds true especially if the perp was a Messianic or Hebrew Roots teacher. You don’t arbitrarily forgive those who purposely sinned and simply allow them to return to continue teaching, as if nothing ever happened! They’re no longer qualified to teach because they should have KNOWN better!

Matthew 18:15 And if your brother with you is at fault, go rebuke him, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16. And if he does not listen to you, take with you one or two others, because of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word is established. 17. And if he will also not listen to them, tell the congregation. And if he will also not listen to the congregation, let him be to you like a tax collector and like a heathen. (AENT)

Oh sure, they’re “sorry” and asking for forgiveness – because they got caught! But what qualifies them to return to your “friends list” or congregation and expect to continue teaching and preaching to YOU? YHWH expects HIS people to be HOLY, set apart from the world. If you wish to forgive them and allow them to return to “your world,” fine – but they should NOT be allowed to even give the appearance of trying to “teach” anyone….

1 Corinthians 5: 11. But this is what I wrote to you, that you don't mix, if anyone is called a brother, and is a sexual sinner, or avaricious, or an idol-worshipper, or a charlatan, or a drunkard, or rapacious, with him who is such, not even to eat bread.[1] 12. For what business have I to judge them who are without? But those within the body, you judge, 13. and those without, Elohim judges; and remove you the wickedness from among you. (AENT)

NOTE: Breaking of bread, of course, is a timeworn Middle Eastern custom that is done only with family and friends. If you cannot eat with someone (as Peter tried to separate himself in Galatians 2:13), then you cannot associate with them at all. If the sinner was out of the assembly, you were not permitted to persecute them. However, you could, and in fact you must, demand that such a person put away detestable habits if they are to join the assembly and partake of the communal and havdilah meals that Y'shua and his disciples enjoyed.

Here is another dire warning for the “bleeding hearts” who don’t believe in holding people accountable for their actions:

Ezekiel 3:18 If I say to a wicked person, 'You will certainly die'; and you fail to warn him, to speak and warn the wicked person to leave his wicked way and save his life; then that wicked person will die guilty; and I will hold you responsible for his death. 19 On the other hand, if you warn the wicked person, and he doesn't turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, then he will still die guilty; but you will have saved your own life.

20 Similarly, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, I will place a stumblingblock before him - he will die; because you failed to warn him, he will die in his sin; his righteous acts which he did will not be remembered; and I will hold you responsible for his death. 21 But if you warn the righteous person that a righteous person should not sin, and he doesn't sin; then he will certainly live, because he took the warning; and you too will have saved your life." (CJB)

If a brother or sister has "fallen from grace," it is our DUTY to speak up and tell them how and why they're "off the mark." This holds true, no matter WHO they are!

So many of "our" teachers have "fallen from grace" over the years, yet people continue to promote, and even defend these teachers and their teachings – and they will verbally blast anyone who attempts to tell them otherwise. The truth is, Scripture reveals that "teachers" are held to a higher standard and should be as blameless before YHWH as is humanly possible because they should KNOW Scripture inside-out (James 3:1).

If they've committed sins against Him, it usually turns out to be a "deliberate" sin - for which there is no sin sacrifice! (Please see our article on deliberate sinning.) People who committed deliberate sins during Israel's 40 years in the wilderness, were KILLED because YHWH commanded that HIS people to "rid themselves of such evil from among them."

Yet, today, we seem to be all about "forgiveness" of anything including deliberate sins. That is why churches and synagogues reek with "religiosity." Many insist on watering down the Word and immediately accuse us of “judging” if we dare attempt to rectify a situation.  (This kind of “upside-down” thinking is why humanity keeps getting worse and more vicious, violent and unruly; and why the world is in the bad shape it’s in….)

Many reading this will counter: "But scripture says 'Don't judge, so that you won't be judged'!", quoting Matthew 7:1.

What they fail to do is to continue reading verse 2 where Matthew goes on to say: "For the way you judge others is how you will be judged..."  Judgment is always to be made with Torah as the standard of judgment - not your own interpretation.  Torah is the only measure of sin.  So, when you have pointed out a person's sin according to transgression of Torah, you are not judging according to the world or your own standards; you are judging righteously!

Therefore, if you see a brother or sister who is about to “fall off a cliff” and out of YHWH’s grace – don’t be afraid to tell them, or to warn others whenever that particular sinner refuses correction….

You certainly don’t want to be guilty of having “their blood on your hands” come Judgment Day!