Friday, July 23, 2021

Is it really “a pandemic of the unvaccinated?”

I need to get something off my chest in this lost world where people seem to be getting dumber and more evil by the minute: I HATE that the media is now calling the continuing COVID saga, "the pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Hmm. While that might be so, let's be realistic and consider a few OTHER things, shall we?

It mean - it couldn't possibly be the "the pandemic of the mindless masses who ignored all mask requirements and gathered in large groups all along, BEFORE the pandemic was even remotely under control" ...could it?

And it couldn't possibly be the "the pandemic of the idiots who attended ball games without masks or social distancing, WAY BEFORE the pandemic was under control" … could it?

And surely it couldn't be "the pandemic of the myriad MILLIONS who have chosen to travel across America and to other countries, regardless of the consequences, DURING this raging pandemic" ... could it?

And it certainly couldn't be the "the pandemic of the country that's hosting the Olympics WHILE COVID is running rampant there;" nor "a pandemic of the Olympic participants who have insisted on voluntarily ENTERING a country where COVID is RAMPANT ... where many Olympians are already testing positive before the Olympic games have even begun - because to them the Olympics are WAY more important than their own safety" ... could it?

And, oh my goodness - it certainly couldn't be "a pandemic of the loudmouthed, opinionated armchair experts on social media telling each what to do and how to do it and who to listen to and who to ignore," could it?

And last but not least, it could absolutely NOT be "a pandemic of the 'medical experts' who have been using a LIBERAL agenda-riddled media to spread their own very CONTRADICTORY medical advice about COVID and vaccines" ....

Naaah ... the fault lies SOLELY on the UNVACCINATED ... doesn't it?

2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come:  2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good,  4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim,  5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you.  6. For of them are they who creep into this and that house and captivate the women who are plunged in sins and led away by divers lusts,  7. who are always learning, and can never come to the knowledge of the truth.  (AENT)

Sunday, July 11, 2021

About “honoring” your parents…

Ephesians 6: 1. Children, obey your parents in our Master (Y’shua); for this is right. 2. And the first Commandment with promise is this: Honor your father and your mother; 3. that it may go beautifully for you and that your life may be prolonged on the earth. (AENT)

As I've shared many times, I had a very tumultuous childhood that included incest, rejection and both mental and physical abuse. I pretty much hated them because they made my life a living hell. The only thing I am able to "honor" now about my long-deceased natural parents is that YHWH chose them to give birth to me and I am thankful for that

But for those who have good and loving parents who tried to "raise them right" (despite any human failings they might have) - my advice is to let the verse above sink into your heart, mind and soul, because it is ELOHIM's Truth.

If there is any animosity, let it go and simply honor them because those two parents (regardless of the situation, regardless of their shortcomings, regardless of however "unlovable" they might be) were chosen by God to give YOU life.

If your life has not gone well (or, as the above version says: "beautifully"), perhaps part, or much of the reason is that you've ignored God's command to HONOR your parents.

(NOTE: He didn't say you had to "like" or even "love" your parents; He said you are to HONOR them, if you want things in your own life to "go well"...)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Which one will YOU choose?

Sorry I haven't been posting much over the last month and a half, but the loss of my beloved husband absolutely knocked the proverbial wind out of my sails and basically incapacitated me. However, Abba has been faithful and helped me through the worst of it, and so I'm slowly starting to "come back to life."

Anyway, despite the horrendous grief weighing on me like a ton of bricks, the shocking state of the world hasn't escaped me: There is chaos on EVERY level - exactly as outlined in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. If you have NOT yet realized that, I urge you to start watching and/or reading the daily world news....

For me, one thought comes to mind daily; and it is this: Humanity seems to be hell-bent on annihilating itself. Judging by all the various wars, conflicts, terrorist activities (including the almost daily mass murders in America) we are inching ever closer to Armageddon. (See Matthew 24)

So, what can we do about it? Nothing. Things ARE going to unfold just the way the Bible said they would. They always have!

Hundreds of Bible predictions have already come to pass, and we are now standing at crossroads with only two choices: (1) To believe in, and accept YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (THE Creator of the Universe), and His Divine Messiah; (2) or not. There is no gray area!

If you've never read the Bible, I beg you to do so at your earliest convenience. It WILL mean the difference between YOU receiving eternal life ...or eternal death. God Himself said He wants NO ONE to perish (2 Peter 3:9), but He leaves the choice up to us.

Which one will YOU choose?

Friday, April 30, 2021

Regarding Proverbs 23:13-14 … Are we really supposed to beat our children?

READER QUESTION:

We are having an issue about Proverbs 23:13 and 14 … We can't picture Father YAHWEH or Yeshua using a rod on a child. We checked on Hebrew definitions and word meanings but can't find a way around the word "strike". It means what it means,  

We understand the part that tells us not to withhold discipline from a child, and understand fully the outcome if you don't. We also understand the different meanings for the word "rod" and the uses for it. Are we missing something? 

Can you offer us some context on this issue? Thanks in advance.  May YHWH continue to bless you both along  with your website.

OUR RESPONSE:

That is a great question!  The phrase in Proverb 23:13, “כי-תכנו בשבט“, chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet, translated as “beat [him] with a stick/rod”, is a Hebrew idiom. We will try to explain.

There are many Biblical Hebrew words for “rod/stick” which carry the same meaning of the English word for rod/stick. Example: In Hebrew, the word for a “rod” or “switch” suitable for striking a person or child to inflict pain as punishment is the word “מקל“, maquel, which, depending on the context, means “stick” or “rod” (for striking, walking, guiding) and sometimes the context means it is a “staff”; see Numbers 22:7. Another is “מטה”, mat’teh, also by context carrying the same meaning as maquel; see Isaiah 10:24.

But the Hebrew “שבט“, shebet, which, in context, can also carry the same meaning as the first two examples, generally has a more ominous use and meaning. We find the shebet being used when the context is about a “big stick” intended for beating and winning against a foe. The shebet is for severely punishing, for fighting...to immobilize the opponent. Thus the shebet is usually somewhat larger, heavier, and may have spikes on it. See 1 Chronicles 11:23 for example.

So, we know the phrase chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet, “beat [him] with a stick/rod”, in Proverbs 23:13 is NOT literal, for the message of the Proverb is not to inflict serious pain and suffering on the child, rather, it is to discipline. Thus, the phrase “chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet” is figurative of being strict with the child so he will not LATER die an eternal death for straying from the Torah of YHWH.

The part of the verse “Don’t withhold discipline/correction from the child…” is best explained in the Talmud. It means the punishment should be immediate. "Do not threaten a child that he will be hit later, if you see him doing a wrong deed, strike him immediately or be completely silent" (Kitzur Shulkhan Aruklh 165:7).

Thus, an immediate punishment is clearly linked to the child's misbehavior. The discipline should be followed by a show of love and warmth, enabling the child to understand that the punishment is not directed against him/her but rather at his wrongdoing. Therefore, the phrase chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet, “beat [him] with a stick/rod” is figurative or an idiom for “be the parent, as if you carried a shebet into battle to save the child’s life from a more powerful enemy.”

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Can you find the similarities?

As you can surely tell, our world is totally unstable now – and Scripture reveals that we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!  And it’s all because mankind’s tendency is to be completely ungodly, “worldly” and decadent. That is one thing that we can always count on!

Take a look at what the Prophet Ezekiel in the 6th-century BCE said concerning YHWH’s people Israel. Try to count the many similarities you see today! (And folks, Scripture warns us that it will only get worse before it gets better….)

Ezekiel 22:

1 The word of ADONAI came to me: 2 "Now, human being, are you prepared to judge? Are you prepared to judge the city drenched in blood? Then make her realize how disgusting all her practices are! 3 Say that Adonai ELOHIM says, 'City that sheds blood within yourself, thus speeding your own doom, and that makes idols for yourself that defile you: 4 you are guilty because of the blood you have shed, you are defiled by your idols that you have made. You have shortened your days, you have completed your years; therefore I have made you an object of scorn for the nations and a laughingstock for every country.

5 Those close by and those far off will taunt you, you who have such a defiled reputation and such great disorder. 6 "'The leaders of Isra'el in you all use their power in order to shed blood.

7 In you, they make light of fathers and mothers, they oppress foreigners, they wrong orphans and widows. 8 You treat my holy things with contempt, you profane my shabbats. 9 In you, people gossip to the point of inciting bloodshed; in you are those who go to eat on the mountains; in you, they commit lewd acts; 10 in you, they commit incest; in you, they force themselves on women during their menstrual impurity.

11 In you, one commits an abomination with his neighbor's wife; another commits some lewd act defiling his daughter-in-law; still another humbles his sister, his own father's daughter. 12 In you, people take bribes to shed blood; you demand and accept interest on loans; in greed you make profits off your neighbors by extorting them; and you have forgotten me,' says Adonai ELOHIM. 13 "'Therefore, I am clapping my hands together because of your ill-gotten gains and the blood shed in you.

14 Can your courage last, can your strength continue during the days when I deal with you? I, ADONAI, have spoken it; and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the Goyim and disperse you throughout the countries; thus I will remove your defilement from you, 16 and you will cause yourselves to be profaned in full view of the Goyim. Then you will know that I am ADONAI.'"

17 The word of ADONAI came to me: 18 "Human being, the house of Isra'el has become an alloy of base metals for me; they are all copper, tin, iron and lead mixed together in the crucible, the dross left over from the silver. 19 Therefore Adonai ELOHIM says this: 'Because you have all become dross, I will collect all of you inside Yerushalayim. 20 Then, just as they collect silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a crucible and blow fire on it to melt it down; so likewise I will collect you in my anger and fury, throw you in there, and melt you down. 21 Yes, I will collect you and blow on you with the fire of my rage, and you will be melted down in it. 22 As silver is melted down in a crucible, so will you be melted down in [Yerushalayim]. Then you will know that it is I, ADONAI, who have poured out my fury on you.'"

23 The word of ADONAI came to me: 24 "Human being, tell her this: 'You are a land that is neither cleansed nor rained on in the day of fury. 25 There is a conspiracy of prophets in it like a roaring lion tearing up the prey; they have devoured people, seized wealth and valuables, and widowed many in it. 26 Her cohanim have done violence to my Torah, profaned my holy things, made no difference between the holy and the common, not distinguished between unclean and clean, hidden their eyes from my shabbats, and profaned me among themselves. 27 Her leaders in it are like wolves tearing up the prey to shed blood and destroy people, in order to benefit unjustly.

28 Her prophets have "plastered" for them with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, "Thus says Adonai ELOHIM," when ADONAI has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have extorted, robbed, wronged the poor and needy and unjustly oppressed foreigners. 30 "'I sought for a man among them who could build a barricade or stand in the break to oppose me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I am pouring out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my rage, bringing their own ways on their own heads,' says Adonai ELOHIM." (CJB)

Friday, April 23, 2021

If “love is the fulfillment of Torah,” does that mean Torah has been rendered irrelevant?

It is a huge mistake to belive that Torah is irrelevant simply because we “love one another!” 

Romans 13: 8. And owe nothing to anyone; but to love one another. For he that loves his neighbor, has properly understood Torah.  9. For this likewise, which it says: You will not kill; nor commit adultery; nor steal; nor covet; and if there is any other Commandment, it is completed in this sentence: You will love your neighbor as yourself.[1] 10. Love does no evil to one’s neighbor because love is the fulfillment of Torah.[2] (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

[1] While Paul here is clearly showing that being obedient to the government and not causing chaos in the communities at large is a mitzvah or “good deed” consistent with Torah observance, the other side of the argument concerns what to do when the rules of man attempt to contradict, invalidate, or overturn Torah requirements.

Paul’s answer for that issue is found in 1 Corinthians 10:14-33 which begins with the commandment, “Flee from idolatry” and continues on to admonish people to not participate in pagan festivals.

[2] Paul does not teach that Torah was abolished because we love our neighbor. Greek translations use “pleroma,” which is translated as “fulfilled”. Popular Bible versions like the NIV recognize this thought is revisited in 13:9 which uses “anakephalaiomai,” which means “to accurately sum up or understand” the Torah. This is a type of a synonym for pleroma. If pleroma as translated as "fulfilled," there are numerous potential meanings.

One of these, according to Thayer and Smith's Bible Dictionary is: "to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment.”

This definition mirrors the Aramaic term that is also usually translated as "fulfill," such as the line in Matthew 5:17 that is targummed, "for I have not come to unravel the Torah but to provide proper interpretation of it.”

This is also the true meaning of the Greek where it says "thus was fulfilled according to the prophet"; i.e., this is the intended meaning of the Scripture as applied to the NT.

Finally, one should look carefully at what both Aramaic and Greek use for the term "law". In each case, nomos/namusa allows for the targummming of the Word/Torah concept to mean "torah" with a small "t", or individual instruction from the overall covenant.

That being said, the other possible reading is that the true meaning of the relevant commandment is "fulfilled/understood" by loving one's neighbor and so on, which makes much more sense.

Therefore, if one is to read “fulfilled” here, then it must be understood that the correct interpretation of Torah is given according to what Mashiyach Yeshua elucidated. This can in no way be construed that he brought an end to Torah.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hate posts that proclaim doom on this lost world? Then don’t read this one!

As much as I hate to be a “prophet of doom,” we MUST heed what Scripture says, for we are staring these days in the face!

2 Peter 3: 1. This second letter, my beloved, 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.

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.

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?*

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. (AENT)

*Complement to Matthew 5:17-20; the followers of Yeshua will continue to observe Torah as this great event transpires. No matter what you hear, Torah was NEVER abolished! Why would it have been, when it’s our ONLY blueprint for moral, holy living? Just going to church on Sundays and fellowshipping with other believers doesn’t cut it. YHWH commanded HIS people to follow His Rules:

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

Monday, April 19, 2021

Eternal life … or eternal death? Which are YOU headed for?

The only alternative to eternal life is eternal death - through disobedience! We truly DO reap what we sow, both individually and as a nation!

Read this very carefully:

Leviticus 18: 24 “‘Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. 25 The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants.

26 But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you; 27 for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled.

28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. 29 For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people. 30 So keep my charge not to follow any of these abominable customs that others before you have followed and thus defile yourselves by doing them. I am Adonai your God.’” (CJB)

YHWH specifically said: “You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai. (Leviticus 18:4-5, CJB)

It doesn’t get any plainer than that!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Since when is “abortion” a “right?”

QUESTION for those who believe abortion is "a right" because "it's not human or a baby until it's born" ....

How can a living thing growing in a human body NOT be human? We don't give birth to fish, birds, animals, trees, bushes, flowers or rocks! Humans give birth to HUMANS!

And how could it NOT be a "baby until it's born" when a "baby" is a group of LIVING cells that are, from the moment of conception, designed to IMMEDIATELY begin forming a TINY HUMAN BEING - which is called a "baby?"

Please notice my use of the word "living." DEAD things don't grow; therefore, that TINY BEING IS ALIVE from the moment of conception, with a God-given RIGHT to live! If you choose to 'abort' it for your own selfish reason, that makes YOU a MURDERER of a HUMAN BEING who never gave YOU permission to end his or her life!

People can make all the excuses they wish about abortion, but the bottom line is that ADINAI is the Creator and HE designed human wombs to grow little human beings. (See Genesis 1:27, Exodus 20:13, Numbers 5:27-28, Psalm 127:3-5.) He did NOT give anyone the right to END a life in the womb!

PSALM 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?

Saturday, April 17, 2021

YHWH welcomes ALL people, and they can belong to Him IF they “do what is right"…

Here is something very interesting to note!

In the following passage we have proof that YHWH welcomes ALL people, and that they can belong to Him IF they “do what is right." (How do we know what is "right?" By knowing and obeying His Torah/Divine Instruction in Righteousness" – found in the first five Books of the Bible.)

Acts 10:34 Then Kefa addressed them: “I now understand that God does not play favorites, 35 but that whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what people he belongs to. 36 “Here is the message that he sent to the sons of Isra’el announcing shalom through Yeshua the Messiah, who is Lord of everything. (CJB)

And here we see that YHWH opens the eyes of those HE chooses to be witnesses for Him, and expects those witnesses to “preach and witness!”

Acts 10:37 You know what has been going on throughout Y’hudah, starting from the Galil after the immersion that Yochanan proclaimed; 38 how God anointed Yeshua from Natzeret with the Ruach HaKodesh and with power; how Yeshua went about doing good and healing all the people oppressed by the Adversary, because God was with him.

39 “As for us, we are witnesses of everything he did, both in the Judean countryside and in Yerushalayim. They did away with him by hanging him on a stake; 40 but God raised him up on the third day and let him be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by witnesses God had previously chosen, that is, by us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen again from the dead. (CJB)

NOTE: Notice YHWH raised Yeshua; Yeshua didn’t raise himself. And note also that he was only seen by people His Father chose – the first-hand witnesses with whom the risen Messian ate and drank!

Acts 10:42  “Then he commanded us to proclaim and attest to the Jewish people that this man has been appointed by God to judge the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets bear witness to him, that everyone who puts his trust in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (CJB)

A wakeup lesson for America and the rest of the world!

A wakeup lesson for America and the rest of the world:

Part of this week’s Shabbat Torah portion reading was Leviticus 18, which specifically names the types of sexual sins YHWH hates, including homosexuality, bestiality, and intercourse with close relatives. Throughout these narratives we see words such as “abominations”; “disgusting practices”; “unclean” and “defiled”; along with phrases of dire warning for those who commit these sins, i.e., “He will be cut off from his people”; or, “he will bear the consequences of his wrongdoing.” (Those “consequences” include eternal DEATH!)

Please keep reading, because you’ll see that YHWH’s warnings not only outlined what would happen to people who committed these types of sin, but also to their LAND - which is STILL happening in TODAY’S sin-riddled world, as we can see by the fact that the world is experiencing evil of every kind, along with natural disasters of “biblical proportion” … all, while in the grips of a major pandemic!

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

Leviticus 18: 23 “‘You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thus become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion. (CJB)

In Romans 1, we see this:

Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles! 24 This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts' lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other's bodies.

25 They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator - praised be he forever. Amen. 26 This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; 27 and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.

28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things. 29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless.

32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same. (CJB)

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

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

Now take a look at THIS heavy warning:

Leviticus 18: 24 “‘Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. 25 The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants.

26 But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you;  27 for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled.

28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. 29 For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people. 30 So keep my charge not to follow any of these abominable customs that others before you have followed and thus defile yourselves by doing them. I am Adonai your God.’” (CJB)

THAT IS ABSOLUTELY POWERFUL, because it perfectly outlines what is happening in the United States and other parts of the world today! THIS IS EXACTLY WHY the entire earth is suffering in various ways!

If you’re under the erroneous impression that Jesus died to allow people to continue committing sins of ANY kind, I urge you to open your eyes to what is happening, and then read the Bible (really READ – every word!) starting in Genesis, and reading your way through to the end of Revelation! And repeat!

Yeshua died to redeem us by forgiving our PAST sins. But, once we became true believers, we were expected to adhere to His Word, His Torah, because Torah is the ONLY blueprint we have for moral, holy living. We cannot claim to belong to Him, unless we “walk like Yeshua walked.” (1 John 2:3-7)

If you don’t know what Torah is or why you should obey those commands we can still keep today, please feel free to contact us at The Refiner’s Fire (TheRefinersFire.org).

Have you ever encountered someone with a “victim mentality?”

Some people are perpetual "victims" because they have a bottomless need for sympathy. They will do whatever it takes to get their “fix” – even if it means they have to “cause” an event that will kick off their need to be a victim.

For instance, they will often resort to provoking an argument with a friend or relative (or even a total stranger on Facebook) which, later, may or may not lead to a “kiss-and-make-up” session, with both people apologizing.

In the meantime, however, the “victim” (who caused the argument) is busy talking or posting behind that person’s back, whining to anyone who is willing to hear/see it … making sure to leave out the actual TRUTH behind that situation. The “victim” NEVER admits ANY wrongdoing on their part; it’s always “someone else’s fault.”

The sad part is, the “victim” mentality is very adept at hiding their true, lying, manipulative and back-stabbing persona from the public - who only gets to see the constantly smiling “sweet, kind and gentle” person behind a Facebook profile. The public has no clue that this person is a major “user” who says and does whatever it takes to get their way, while pretending to be a good friend.

Nobody is exempt from this type of person - including “good friends,” whom they know will forgive them, over and over again. (That is - until the friend finally recognizes that their “friend” is stuck in a sick, psychological cycle of "break-up-to-make-up" in order to assuage their need for sympathy; as that this is the ONLY way the “victim” can "feel normal" … at which point, the friend either decides to make a clean break from this manipulator; or, to stick around and simply deal with it while constantly being on the lookout for the “next shoe to drop.”)

The bottom line is: Sometimes the ONLY thing you can do when you find yourself in this kind of a relationship, is to keep them in your prayers, but GET OUT while you still have some sanity left!

2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: 2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good, 4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim, 5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you. (AENT)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

What does "the key of knowledge" in Luke 11:52?

READER QUESTION:

I’ve always wondered what does "the key of knowledge" in the following passage refer to? Thanks.

Luke 11:52 "Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge! Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter!” (CJB)

OUR RESPONSE:

The "Torah experts" Yeshua addressed were the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the time. To enhance their high standing in the community, they would make a great mystery of the meaning of Torah. Though Torah is meant for all, their power and standing depended upon giving the impression that it was difficult. Hence they took the Torah into their own special keeping and interpreted it for the people as they pleased thus "taking away the key of knowledge" from the people.

Yeshua also pointed out in the same verse that the Pharisees, while pretending to be experts in the Torah, were not only failing to practice it themselves but were actually committing a second sin by keeping others from it.

So the "key of knowledge" is the Torah itself, which the Torah teachers were keeping to themselves. They failed the people. Jeremiah 3:15 "I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding." They did not feed the people knowledge.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Let’s talk about the various types of “curses” for a moment…

First of all, we must recognize that the spoken word is very powerful and that curses ARE real and they're very serious because they summon demons.

"Spells" in the Bible are always described negatively and are considered "detestable" to YHWH (see Deuteronomy 18:10-11); i.e., child sacrifice, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, or necromancy (consulting with the dead). Micah 5:12 says that God will destroy witchcraft and those who cast spells and Revelation 18 describes spells as part of the deception that will be used by the antichrist and his "great city of Babylon" (v. 21-24).

Believers do not need to worry about anyone casting any sort of pagan spell on them (Romans 8:11). Voodoo, witchcraft, hexes, and curses have no power over us because they come from Satan, and we know that "the one who is in you [Messiah] is greater than the one [Satan] who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

However, on the other hand, curses don't necessarily have to be words uttered by a witch or someone with evil intent. They can also be in the form of words and/or actions, designed to belittle someone and make them feel badly about themselves; or having a habit of lying, cheating, committing adultery, gambling, generally being abusive toward people; or giving in to our desire to do things that can destroy our bodies (i.e., drug or alcohol abuse, etc.)

For instance, when a mother tells her children they are ugly and will never amount to anything, she has, in essence, cursed those children; and, chances are, they won't thrive mentally or emotionally, either during their childhood or when they become adults - because the more we’re told something negative about ourselves, the more we come to believe it!

More often than not, the mother treats her children that way BECAUSE she was treated that way herself - and, eventually, her children will grow up to do the same thing to their own children … because that’s what they were taught to believe, which remains “what they know.” In other words, they’ve been placed in a rut from which there’s seemingly no escape.

It’s a form of emotional and spiritual bondage that can be referred to as a “generational curse” caused by “generational sin” which keeps people from reaching their goals and becoming “all they can be”…

We are who we were made into during our formative years; and if we end up “being bad” in some way, it is a result of “generational curses.” Those can only be broken when we (1) recognize our faults and bad habits, and then (2) repent, turn from our ways, and (3) make up our mind to give ourselves wholly to YHWH, humbly asking HIM to change us into whom HE wants us to be.

Most people don't recognize generational curses (bad habits, carnality, things that are ungodly) and so they keep on doing what their carnal natures tell them to; and in the process they destroy their own lives, and the lives of their family, relatives and even their friends. It is a proven fact that children learn behaviors from their parents/guardians and pass those behaviors on to THEIR children!

We can find out “who we really are” and “who YHWH wants us to be” by reading His Word, from cover to cover, starting with Genesis and finishing with Revelation, as Scripture amply describes how to become a decent, responsible human being who is “set apart” for Him as He commands.

Here’s something to ponder:

Those who “put a curse” on one of YHWH's people (in any of the ways mentioned above), may actually end up having cursed themselves, instead – and they WILL give account of it to YHWH on Judgment Day!

Proverbs 26:2 says: “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will come home to roost.”

The thing is, we can overcome ANY spell or curse with prayer - Halleluyah! Whenever something is "not right" in your life (no matter whether it's a general curse or from some outside source), simply pray for YHWH to take it away and totally give your life to Him. Satan has no power over those who belong to YHWH!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Don’t be like the Pharisees who honor ADONAI with their lips, while their hearts are far away….

Don’t be like the Pharisees who honor ADONAI with their lips, while their hearts are far away….

Isaiah 29:13 Then Adonai said: “Because these people approach me with empty words, and the honor they bestow on me is mere lip-service; while in fact they have distanced their hearts from me, and their ‘fear of me’ is just a mitzvah of human origin — 14 therefore, I will have to keep shocking these people with astounding and amazing things, until the ‘wisdom’ of their ‘wise ones’ vanishes, and the ‘discernment’ of their ‘discerning ones’ is hidden away.” (CJB)

Matthew 15: … 6 then he is rid of his duty to honor his father or mother.’ Thus by your tradition you make null and void the word of God! 7 You hypocrites! Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you, 8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. 9 Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’” (CJB)

Mark 7: 5 The P’rushim and the Torah-teachers asked him, “Why don’t your talmidim live in accordance with the Tradition of the Elders, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?” 6 Yeshua answered them, “Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites — as it is written, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. 7 Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’ 8 “You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition. 9 Indeed,” he said to them, “you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition!  (CJB)

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Yes, “God accepts us as we are, and loves us unconditionally,” but He also expects us to repent and turn from our sinful ways….

My husband and I watched an interview with country singer, Carrie Underwood, on today's "Sunday Morning" show, Carrie is a Christian and her basic Easter message, via a discussion about her song, "Just as I Am" was that God accepts us as we are, and loves us unconditionally, despite all our faults and shortcomings, etc.

While that is a true statement, ELOHIM's message throughout the entire Bible is that, once we accept Him, we are expected to repent and turn from our ways ... to stop the sinning and begin living according to HIS Divine Instructions (found in the first five Books of the Bible which is called "Torah"). YHWH (יהוה) is all about "shema" (as in the command, “Shema Yisrael!” which means…"Israel, hear AND do!").

Once we accept YHWH as our God, and His Divine Messiah as our Redeemer, we are "spiritual Israel," expected to walk as Yeshua (Jesus) walked - in total obedience.

1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in him. 6 He who says he abides in him ought himself also to walk just as he walked. (CJB)

Yeshua said, "Go and make disciples" not, "go and make believers." Disciples need instruction, and the instructions that YHWH laid down, and Yeshua later taught were from the Torah - our blueprint for moral, holy living!

Matthew 28:19-20: "Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim (disciples), immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." (CJB)

Here we see the Apostle James reiterating the need for obedience:

James 1:19. And you all be, my beloved Brothers, quick to hear and slow to speak, and slow to anger: 20. for the anger of man does not result in the righteousness of Elohim. 21. And so, throw all that is defiled and the myriads of evil things far away from yourselves and with meekness, receive the Word that is implanted in our nature which is able to resurrect your souls.

22. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only; and do not deceive yourselves. 23. For if any man will be a hearer of the Word and not a doer of it, he will be like one who sees his face in a mirror: 24. for he sees himself and passes on and forgets what a man he was. 25. But everyone that looks upon the perfect Torah of liberty and lives fully in it, is not a hearer of something to be forgotten, but a doer of the things; and he will be blessed in his work.

26. And if anyone thinks that he worships Elohim and does not subdue his tongue, but his heart deceives him; his worship is desolate. 27. For the worship that is pure and Set Apart before Elohim the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction; and: that one keep himself without blemish from the world. (AENT)

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Biden’s new policy will permit transgender types to “serve under their self-identified gender”….

Well, today I am left wondering if our world can get any weirder! Biden admin scrapped Trump's restrictions on transgender troops - which I guess is fine. HOWEVER: "The new policy will permit transgender people to serve openly under their self-identified gender and prohibit discrimination."

THREE THINGS HERE:

(1) They can serve "under their self-identified gender and prohibit discrimination"???? Soooo, barracks life will be "co-ed" and men and women who live in barracks situations and "identify as" the opposite sex" but haven't actually yet had their genitalia changed, will be showering and peeing right next to each other in the same bathrooms....

(2) Once you're in the military, you're entitled to free medical care, which means, in order to keep troops IN the military *as people aren't exactly flocking to join the military), they will offer these "gender reassignment surgeries" for free.....

(3) BOTTOM LINE: Guess who foots the bill for the American military forces? Yep, that's right: YOU DO! And that's fine, because we NEED military forces. But now, because some people are "confused" or "unhappy" with their birth gender, the military (supported by YOU) will be paying for "gender reassignment" surgeries!

Stop the world and let me off....

It was tough enough to live in Army barracks (back when I was a young soldier and HAD to live in the barracks) and deal with certain room mates' and their idiosyncrasies and "lifestyle choices" (which included dealing with their constant sharing of their sexual exploits, and their drunken binges and cleaning up their vomit, etc.).

But at least women lived in women's barracks and men lived in men's barracks, and you didn't have to worry about "being ogled" or raped, or made to "feel uncomfortable" whenever you went to the community bathroom on your floor.

But, what the heck ever happened to the RIGHTS of those of us who "identify" as one of the two genders God created; and to NOT BE FORCED to LIVE with a room mate(s), whose "gender identity choice" impacts us on a daily basis (i.e., using the "common area" showers and toilets)?

While I can kind of understand someone's desire to "be the opposite gender," it is a real conundrum for most of us who live in a "normal" male-female world, to suddenly find ourselves FORCED into "their" world! I know from experience with past "gay" Army room mates, that they will inevitably talk about their lifestyle and pain and anguish, etc., and constantly draw you into their world, in one way or another.

It was especially bad for me, decades ago, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico - which is in the middle of nowhere; whose nearest city is Las Cruces, which is approximately 25 miles away. That is where I encountered my first "gay" room mate, Lorraine, who was more masculine than most men I'd ever known.

Anyway, I was 19, and had no money to buy a car, and was stuck "bumming rides" or waiting on a bus, if I wanted to get off post.

On one hand, I found myself feeling sorry for Lorraine (and others I knew over the years); and on the other, I felt trapped and FORCED into living with, and endlessly commiserating and consoling, someone who had "identity" issues. Sometimes, it got to the point where I didn't want to go "home" after work in the evenings, because I knew the moment I stepped through that door, I would be transported onto another plane...

It got really, really, REALLY tiring trying to "be there" for Lorraine all the time. The only way to get away from "her lifestyle" web, was to go to the Army post's bowling alley or NCO club, or whatever ... ANYTHING to get away from "home" where I could "feel normal" in a male-female environment. (And yes, she did come onto me many times, trying to "guilt me" into how lonely she was, etc.)

She eventually got kicked out of the Army, and I got a new room mate, which made life a little more bearable for me. But there were a few more over the years like Lorraine, and I learned to "just deal with it." Luckily, I was good at my job and was promoted quickly, and so my "barracks experience" only lasted maybe three years total. After that, I always lived off post.

What galls me is that, somehow, today, WE (who simply accept the fact that we're either male or female and are good with that) are somehow "wrong" - people to be "schooled in tolerance"; shunned and degraded for OUR "normal"... the "normal" that has been viewed as NORMAL since the beginning of time....

The world has gone completely NUTS!

Here are some pertinent scripture passages to help illustrate why these things are happening:

2 Thessalonians 2:9 When this man who avoids Torah comes, the Adversary will give him the power to work all kinds of false miracles, signs and wonders. 10 He will enable him to deceive, in all kinds of wicked ways, those who are headed for destruction because they would not receive the love of the truth that could have saved them. 11 This is why God is causing them to go astray, so that they will believe the Lie. 12 The result will be that all who have not believed the truth, but have taken their pleasure in wickedness, will be condemned. (CJB)

2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: 2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good, 4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim, 5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you. 6. For of them are they who creep into this and that house and captivate the women who are plunged in sins and led away by divers lusts, 7. who are always learning, and can never come to the knowledge of the truth. (AENT)

2 Timothy 4:1. I charge you before Elohim and our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach who is to judge the living and the dead at the manifestation of his Kingdom 2. Proclaim the Word and persist (in it) with diligence, in time and out of time; admonish and rebuke with all patience and instructiveness. 3. For the time will come when they will not give ear to sound teaching; but, according to their lusts, will multiply to themselves teachers in the itching of their hearing; 4. and will turn away their ears from the truth, and incline after fables. 5. But be vigilant in all things; and endure evils and do the work of a proclaimer of the Good News, and fulfill your ministry. (AENT)

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Introducing – Satan shoes!


 

Introducing – Satan shoes!  Yep, the shoes, which contain a drop of human blood in the sole, went on sale Monday for $1,018 per pair. They are decorated with a pentagram and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan's fall from heaven. Only 666 pairs were made available, and all were sold out shortly after going on sale.  

Here are a couple of links for you to check out.

Satan shoes: What's the big deal?  


Nike sues over 'Satan Shoes' with human blood


MY RESPONSETO THIS SILLY NONSENSE:

We’re in the end times, people, and there is clearly a HUGE fight going on behind the scenes in the spiritual world.  Satan KNOWS how The Book ends … which is why he is coming on so hard. Unfortunately, most of the world seems to be flocking to him.  Matthew 7:13-14 confirms that truth.

Anyway, the "rapper" who created these shoes, clearly doesn't know how THE BOOK ends. (That's because he, like most of the world, hasn't read the Bible from cover to cover!) His "god" does NOT win! His "god" is a mere CREATED being - someone who used to be the "head angel" .... the most beautiful angel in heaven.

Luke 10:16. And whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you, he rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects Him who sent me. 17. And those seventy whom he had sent out returned with great joy and said to him, “Our Master, even demons were subject to us by Your name!” 18. And He said to them, I did see Satan falling like lightning from heaven. 19. Behold I give authority to you to tread on snakes and scorpions and all the power of the enemy, and nothing will harm you. 20. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this that demons are subject to you, rather be glad that your names are written in heaven.  (AENT)

(NOTE: Y’shua has authority in and by his Father’s Name YHWH.  This, then, does not refer to his name according to his humanity, but the power of the promise in his name (YHWH is salvation), the same name as the Father’s (John 17:11).)

I don't know why that "rapper" is so thrilled about Luke 10:18, because that whole passage, in CONTEXT, reveals that anyone who is NOT bound for heaven, has NO CLUE what they are in for!

Satanists and other unbelievers, let's examine that passage, shall we?

"And whoever rejects me rejects Him who sent me." The "Him" who sent Messiah Yeshua is the SAME "Him" who created the smart alecky Lucifer, who got too big for his britches and was kicked OUT of heaven for trying to usurp YHWH's power!

“Our Master, even demons were subject to us by Your name!” The demons need to pay VERY close attention to that, because EVERY KNEE will bow when he returns! (Philippians 2:10-11) Do you realize the implication of that? Just in case you don't, let's read the following passage together:

Matthew 8:28 When Yeshua arrived at the other side of the lake, in the Gadarenes’ territory, there came out of the burial caves two men controlled by demons, so violent that no one dared travel on that road. 29 They screamed, “What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” 30 Now some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 

31 The demons begged him, “If you are going to drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” he told them. So they came out and went into the pigs, whereupon the entire herd rushed down the hillside into the lake and drowned. 33 The swineherds fled, went off to the town and told the whole story, including what had happened to the demonized men. 34 At this, the whole town came out to meet Yeshua. When they saw him, they begged him to leave their district. (CJB)

You don't mess with Yeshua, buddy!

Back to Luke 10 - and pay really close attention here, because the hidden message for the lost and those who worship YHWH's Adversary is that they will undergo pain and terror like they've never imagined.

20. "Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this that demons are subject to you, rather be glad that your names are written in heaven. "

Well, that's an easy one:  Take on YHWH and GUESS WHO WINS!

ADDENDUM:

In response, this sick "rapper" (calling himself Lil Nas X) made a video that LOOKS like he's going to make an apology for this shoe - but a few seconds into it, he can be seen giving a LAP DANCE to satan. I kid you not! All one can do about disgusting kooks like this is to turn them over to YHWH. Not even Yeshua himself tried to fight demons like this. He simply quoted Torah and Psalms....

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (ESV)

Psalm 64:1-10 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy. Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the throng of evildoers, who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear. They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, “Who can see them?” ... (ESV)

Psalm 34:16 The face of YHWH is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Sending this out to the world today, on Nisan 14, the day Yeshua died….


 

DID YOU KNOW THAT YESHUA DIED TODAY (Nisan 14 on the Hebrew calendar), some two thousand years ago?

I get a little melancholy every year at the advent of Passover, meditating all day on how Yeshua suffered and finally died at 3 p.m. (the ninth hour, approximately the same time the lambs were slain, Matthew 27:46-50); and was buried later that same afternoon (John 19:31). This happened on THIS very day, so long ago…

Oh, the dread he must have felt as the time inched closer for the impending doom of his arrest, torture and ultimate death! How relieved he must have been to draw his final breath as he exited this earthly life, knowing his job in this “fallen world” had finally come to an end.

Scripture reveals how terrified he was in the hours preceding his arrest:

Luke 22:42. And he said, Father if you desire you let this cup pass over me, but not my will, rather let yours be done. 43. Then a Messenger appeared to him from Heaven to strengthen him. 44. And while being in fear, he was praying earnestly and his sweat became like drops of blood. And he fell upon the ground. (AENT)

The truth is, Yeshua knew who he was and what he had to do, and he went along willingly to martyr himself on our behalf, thus becoming our Divine Redeemer:

Matthew 27:45 And from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? (MKJV). ** (See also Mark 15:33-34 and Luke 23:44)

NOTE: While the scripture from the MKJV states "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?", such interpretation has led to the false teaching that Yeshua was quoting Psalm 22:1 and that YHWH somehow abandoned Yeshua and left Him on His own. But where Matthew 27:46 in Greek is transliterated "Eli, Eli lama sabachthani", the Peshitta (Aramaic) reads: Eli, Eli lama azbatani - "My God! My God! Why have you spared me?"

There is a very clear difference between "forsaken" and "spared" given the Messiah's situation - hanging from the stake, suffering, ready to die. He was not "deserted" or "forsaken"; rather, He was simply ready to conclude the ordeal and was only questioning why it could not end. Indeed, moments later, Yeshua's body died.

(Please click on this link for an indepth study on What day was Messiah Yeshua resurrected?)

So, wherever you live, celebrate this Feast every year on Nisan 14-15, and remember the sequence of events:

Our sinless Messiah, Yeshua died on Passover, in late afternoon of Nisan 14. He was buried just before sunset, when God’s “day” turned to Nisan 15 – kicking off the week-long Feast of “Unleavened Bread.” (By that time, we must have rid our homes of anything containing leaven, as leaven represents SIN. Yeshua was without sin.)

And most importantly, remember that exactly three days later, YHWH resurrected His Divine Messiah on Nisan 17, as the FIRST of the generations to enter the Kingdom under Yeshua’s redemption - thus fulfilling Firstfruits.

On the day of Passover, remember what our awesome Messiah did, how he suffered and died in horrific ways we can only imagine – a monumental selfless act we could never repay...

Thank You, YHWH, for sending us your Divine Messiah who was the Word (John 1:1, 14) and the Arm (Isaiah 53:1), who is now in Your Presence “sitting at your right hand” (Psalm 110:1, Luke 22:69, Colossians 3:1).

And thank YOU Yeshua, our awesome Redeemer, for your willing sacrifice. We will forever, throughout Eternity, humbly bow down before you with immeasurable love and gratitude. Amen. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A simple explanation of “Counting the Omer” toward the Feast of Shavuot

NEXT UP: THE COUNTING OF THE OMER, where we physically count the 49 days (right after Passover) to the Feast of Shavuot, beginning after sunset this year (2021) on Sunday, March 28. (See Leviticus 23:15-16.)

“WHAT?” you say.

Well, yes, it’s going to sound a bit confusing and even stressful, as we have many things to do for the next 50 days. But just keep in mind that all of the Shabbats (the weekly, seventh day Sabbath AND all of His seven Feasts) are our “dates” with God! Once you get used to them, you’ll begin to wonder why you never knew this before!

Anyway, here’s a simple explanation of what will happen once the Passover holidays begin and we start looking forward to the very important Feast of Shavuot:

As we explained before, Passover starts on the afternoon of next Saturday (Nisan 14/March 27). Then, right after sunset on that same day (which kicks off the Hebrew calendar date of Nisan 15), we begin to celebrate the High Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Hag HaMatzot, which marks the beginning of a seven day period of eating some UNLEAVENED bread daily (with at least one meal), as the leaven is a symbol of “sin” during that time – see I Cor. 5:6-8). (This is why we rid our homes of ANY leaven for this particular Feast.)

Messiah Yeshua fulfilled this Feast when he was buried and became our righteousness (Rom. 6:4, II Cor. 5:21). See also Exodus 23:14-16.

Now, pay close attention because this important:

On 15 Nisan at after SUNSET next Sunday (March 28) – which will be at the END of the FIRST day of Unleavened Bread, you are to start counting the days to Shavuot. This is called “counting the omer” … and you start each night by saying “This is the first day of omer…" (and so on, incrementing the count for the next 49 days, along with some pertinent short scripture passage reading each night, which you can find here: https://therefinersfire.org/Omer_Schedule-2021.pdf.)

The 50th day is the High Holy Day called, Shavuot, which marks both the giving of the Torah AND later in history, the giving of the Holy Spirit (Exodus 34:22). See also our in-depth articles: Counting of the Omer and Shavuot).

The bottom line is, the counting of the days and weeks convey the anticipation of and desire for the Giving of the Torah. In other words, at Passover, the Israelites were freed from their lives of slavery in Egypt; and 50 days later on Shavuot they accepted YHWH's Torah which made them a nation that was set-apart and committed to serving God.

Shavuot was fulfilled by the coming of the promised Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) on the disciples of Yeshua when they were gathered. It represents the beginning of the body of Messiah on Earth, in which ALL believers, redeemed through the blood of Messiah, are lifted up before ADONAI and set apart as holy (Acts 2, John 14:15-18, Ephesians 2:11-22 and the Book of Ruth).

(By the way, the Shavua means “week “in Hebrew, and Shavu'ot is plural, meaning “weeks.” YHWH's people have been, for centuries, counting exactly seven weeks from Passover; 50 days. The number 50 is the number for the Holy Spirit. Yeshua said He would send the Holy Spirit, and He did it on the 50th day after His resurrection. During this time we generally eat dairy products and favorite dishes are cheesecakes and cheese pancakes. In Israel, Shavuot is a state holiday, and a time for pilgrimage to Jerusalem.)

As an aside, the theme of accepting Torah is mirrored by the Book of Ruth, which is to be read on Shavuot. Ruth (King David's great-grandmother and ancestor of Yeshua) is born a Moabite, and becomes the first known convert to Judaism. When her husband dies, she tells her Mother-in-Law Naomi that she will go with her, and accept her people. Ruth says the words, "Your people are my people, and your God is my God." During Shavuot we read Exodus 19:1 thru 20:23; Numbers 28:26-31; Ezekiel 1:1-28, 3:12.



Monday, March 22, 2021

Some important passages to ponder, as they pertain directly to our world today

Not wishing to sound like “prophets of doom” but here are some things we really need to pay attention to:

Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles! 24 This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts' lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other's bodies. 25 They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator - praised be he for ever. Amen.

26 This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; 27 and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion. 28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.

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

More passages to ponder....

Matthew 24: 3. And while Y'shua was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples drew near and were saying among themselves and to him, "Tell us when these things will be and what is the sign of your coming and the end of the world."

4. Y'shua answered and said to them, Beware, let no man deceive you. 5. For many will come in my name and will say that "I am the Mashiyach." And many they will deceive. 6. For you are bound to hear of revolutions and rumor of wars. Watch out and do not be disturbed, for it is necessary that all these things happen, but it is not yet the end.

7. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and plagues and earthquakes in different places. 8. But all these things are only the beginning of sorrows. 9. Then they will deliver to afflictions and they will kill you and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10. Then many will stumble and will hate one another and will betray one another.

11. And many false prophets will arise and deceive many. 12. And because of the growth of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold. 13. But whoever has patience until the end, he will have life. 14. And this Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.... (AENT)

And take a look at this:

Zechariah 13: 7 I will turn my hand against the young ones. 8 In time, throughout that land,” says ADONAI, “two-thirds of those in it will be destroyed — they will die, but one-third will remain. 9 That third part I will bring through the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined, I will test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is my people’ and they will say, ‘ADONAI is my God.’” (CJB)

(In the above passage in Zechariah, the word for “fire” in Hebrew is “ba’esh” and means “burning, fiery, fire, flaming, hot.”)

2 Peter 3 says, in part: 3 First, understand this: during the Last Days, scoffers will come, following their own desires 4 and asking, “Where is this promised ‘coming’ of his? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation.”

5 But, wanting so much to be right about this, they overlook the fact that it was by God’s Word that long ago there were heavens, and there was land which arose out of water and existed between the waters, 6 and that by means of these things the world of that time was flooded with water and destroyed. 7 It is by that same Word that the present heavens and earth, having been preserved, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. (CJB)

And let's not forget THIS warning:

Revelation 6: 12. And I looked when he had opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black, like sackcloth of hair; and the whole moon became like blood. 13. And the stars of heaven fell on the earth as a fig-tree casts its unripe figs, when it is shaken by a strong wind. 14. And the heavens separated, as a scroll is rolled up: and all mountains and islands were removed out of their places.

15. And the kings of the earth, and the nobles, and the captains of thousands, and the rich men, and the men of valor, and every servant and free man hid themselves in caves, and in the clefts of the mountains; 16. and they said to the mountains and to the clefts, Fall over us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17. For the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand? (AENT)

Revelation 16: 8. And the fourth poured his cup upon the sun: and it was permitted him to scorch men with fire. 9. And men were scorched with great heat; and men blasphemed the name of Elohim who has authority over these plagues; and they did not repent, to give glory to Him. 10. And the fifth poured his cup on the throne of the beast of prey; and his kingdom became darkness; and they gnawed their tongues from pain; 11. and they blasphemed the Elohim of heaven on account of their pains and their ulcers, and did not repent of their deeds. (AENT)

(See also Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 3:15; Matthew 24; Mark 13:24; and Revelation 8:12.)

Now, most are probably sitting in the comfort of their own homes right now, thinking these things won’t happen in their lifetime. But here’s the thing: Read Matthew 24 and the Books of Daniel and Revelation with an open mind and allow the prophesies to sink in.

Have we not been experiencing all kinds of horrific natural disasters bombarding us, one after the other – fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. - all getting ever worse?

Have we not been witnessing mankind, as a whole, becoming more and more evil, decadent and unruly? Have we not been witnessing Muslims “beheading the infidels” (anyone who doesn’t believe their god, Allah)?

These things are ALL outlined in Scripture, which tells us that the end times will be “as in the days of Noah” when YHWH destroyed the earth by water!

Take a look:

Matthew 24: 27 For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. 38 Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark; 39 and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes. (CJB)

(For those of you wondering about verse 34 that says: "Truly I say to you, that this tribe will not pass until all these things happen," please go to our website's search engine and type in "Matthew 24 and the interpretation of 'this generation'"...)

Matthew 24: 27. For as the sunshine comes out from the East and is seen even in the West, thus will be the coming of the Son of man. 28. Wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles gather. 29. And immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not shine its light. And the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 30. And then will be seen the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land mourn, when they will see the Son of man who comes upon the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.

31. And he will send his Messengers with a large trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other. 32. Now from the fig tree learn a parable. As soon as its branches become tender and bring forth its leaves, you know that summer has arrived.

33. Thus also when you have seen all these things, know that it has arrived at the door. 34. Truly I say to you, that this tribe will not pass until all these things happen. 35. Heaven and earth may pass, but my word will not pass. 36. About the day and about the hour no man knows, not even the Messengers of heaven, but the Father alone

Saturday, March 20, 2021

An explanation of "Fragrant Aroma"

In the Torah reading, Leviticus 1:1-6:1, we read often of the burnt sacrifices as providing a “fragrant aroma” for Adonai (Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17, 2:2, 9, 12, etc.). Some versions instead read: sweet savor, sweet odor, pleasing aroma, soothing fragrance, etc. No matter the version, the implication is clearly that of a burnt offering providing a pleasant smell to YHWH!

Can this understanding be correct that “fragrant aroma” simply means “pleasant smell” the same as it would to a human grilling a steak? (Oh, how I can relate!) The aroma from a steak on a fire is decidedly pleasant; but why would YHWH need to “smell” anything – especially a sacrificed animal, the purpose of which is solemn, to redeem a human sinner, not to “smell good” to anyone - including YHWH?

I’ve long thought that the words we read, “fragrant aroma,” cannot be right and I decided to study it. It turns out that what we read as “fragrant aroma” is actually a Hebrew idiom “re’ach n’yoh’o’ah”; and to understand it, requires a bit of work.

By digging deeper, we discover that the idiom in our Bibles is translated via the most elementary meanings of the two words! A quick check in the concordance on Leviticus 1:9, for example, leads incorrectly to the phrase: “a fragrant aroma for YHWH.”

ריח-ניהוה 

or “re’ach n’yoh’o’ah” or: “pleasant savor” or “sweet smell”.

But the problem is the CONTEXT is missing in the words alone! The context is not simply the burning of meat producing a pleasant smell; it is the death of an innocent animal, giving its life for a sinful human! So, what is the true meaning of “ריח-ניהוה”?

The true meaning, I believe, is found in the root words of the phrase “ריח-ניהוה” (re’ach n’yoh’o’ah) and these are:

רוח

(ruach), which means “to blow” or “breathe”, from which we get “Ruach” or spirit, and

נוח 

(nuach), which means “to rest” or “settle”. 

Thus, the idiom re’ach n’yoh’o’ah, so often mistranslated as “fragrant aroma” is, in fact, closer to: “to transport to rest” or, adding more context: “to transport [the blood offering/the life] to rest [with YHWH].”

When we read in these verses, in English, “a fragrant aroma for YHWH”, we should understand it as “a transport of the life to rest with YHWH.” 

Consequently, the act of burning the sacrifice “transports” the life of the animal into the presence of YHWH and thus, substitutes its life for that of the unclean, sinful human! The sinful human is thus “redeemed”. A “Fragrant aroma” has nothing whatsoever to do with a “pleasant smell.” The actions of a sacrifice are to “transport” the life to YHWH! In this case, the poor, innocent animal’s life had to substitute for the human. 

(In Leviticus 2:2 & 9, the idiom is applied to a grain offering with a caveat. That caveat is that the grain offering is a “אזכרה”, atz’char’ah, or “remembrance or memorial” offering.  So while a grain offering clearly does not transport a life to YHWH, the act of burning the grain offering on the same fire invokes the solemn meaning of the ceremony to remind the offeror that this act is an important part of of one’s life as a child of YHWH.)

The idiom re’ach n’yoh’o’ah is even used in Ephesians 5:2, about the Messiah giving up his life “as a slaughtered sacrifice”.  Clearly, Yeshua was obviously not burned on the altar but the idiom applies nevertheless – his “life” was transported to YHWH as Yeshua was “taken up”. 

Isn’t that amazing?

Sadly, when we read the Bible in our respective languages, we only see words translated by complete strangers – people we don’t know - and we are seldom provided with other possible meanings. When learned rabbis read the scriptures, they look at all possible meanings, and then rule out the ones that don’t make sense. We don’t have that luxury, as most of us don’t know, and aren’t familiar with the Hebrew language, and so, we usually get only the meaning the translator chose – usually in English. This is we are so adamant about begging you to THINK and study, study, study.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Reiterating the seriousness of intentional sinning

Did you know that the committing of deliberate sins disqualifies pastors/leaders …no matter how sorry they are, or how much we have forgiven them?

We've all heard of some congregation leaders who have committed sins of some kind; and, in nearly every case, people were quick to jump on the "it was a mistake and we have forgiven him because we can't judge anyone" bandwagon.

But did you know that is NOT biblical?

First of all, YHWH is the Judge, and His Torah reveals exactly what constitutes sin - which is “transgression of the Torah" (Romans 4:15; 1 John 3:3-6).  YHWH always has, and STILL expects His people to adhere to His Divine Standards for moral, holy living!  There is no "gray area."

Secondly, the "death of Jesus" did NOT absolve us of continued, deliberate sinning.  His death did not give anyone "carte blanche" to do whatever they want and simply expect "the blood of Jesus" to keep covering them AFTER they have accepted YHWH as their ELOHIM, and His Divine Messiah as their Redeemer.

Let's take a look:

Paul was a criminal BEFORE Yeshua opened his spiritual eyes … which is why Paul was forgiven.
Note, I said BEFORE his spiritual eyes were opened ... which means, Paul was forgiven through the blood of Yeshua who died to absolve us of our PAST sins (NOT deliberate, ongoing sins).

Once Paul's eyes were opened, he repented and turned from his previous life of sin.  YHWH knew that, and that is why He caused Paul to become an Apostle.

Now – had Paul become/continued to be an evil murderous lunatic AFTER he was given the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit), that would have been a different story. Instead of being exonerated for his sins, he would then have had to give up his “Apostle” title, because he would no longer have qualified to be any kind of an “Elder” or leader. (Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim. 3:1-7, 1 Peter 5:1-4).

Truth is, since Yeshua died to forgive our PAST sins (Colossians 2:13-14; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 10:26, etc.),  then Paul’s intentional PRESENT sins would NOT be covered by “the blood of the Lamb” (because there is no sin sacrifice for continued, deliberate, intentional sins by Believers (Hebrews 10:26).

You see - to take away any of Paul’s PRESENT sins, Yeshua would have to come back and die AGAIN!

It is imperative to remember (because it cannot be reiterated enough) that, unlike the animal sin sacrifices seen in Leviticus which had to be done over and over again - specifically on(Yom Kippur, Yeshua martyred himself once and for all, for our PAST sins. Like those animal sacrifices,  Yeshua’s blood only atoned for what we have done in our PAST, to enable us to be clean enough to enter into YHWH’s Presence in the Holy of Holies, to pledge ourselves to Him.

That is why – when the head of a congregation (i.e., pastors and rabbis) or any of his Elders today (all of whom, as leaders, should KNOW what constitutes sin!) commit deliberate sins (i.e., adultery, intentional murder, stealing, defrauding, etc.), they MUST relinquish their titles …. because they NO LONGER qualify to be “Elders” or “teachers of the Word”...

No matter how wonderful their sermons or teachings are, and no matter how much people have “forgiven” the one who sinned - if they are guilty of, and tainted by, DELIBERATE sin after receiving the Ruach, according to Scripture, they are NO longer qualified to shepherd others, and MUST step down from their posts.

Nowhere in Torah do we see anyone who committed deliberate sins AFTER having been a Torah observant believer in YHWH, being leaders of any kind. YHWH has always expected HIS leaders to be spotless.

Unintentional transgressions – yes - they can be forgiven (i.e., those that Moshe committed, for instance, by hitting the rock instead of talking to it, as instructed (Numbers 20:2-11) ). But NOT those which are devious and intentional after one has accepted the redemptive gift of the Messiah Yeshua.

The importance of keeping YHWH’s Shabbats

Obeying the "Shabbat" REST fulfills the Fourth Commandment (of the Aseret HaDibrot - Ten Words/Commandments) that YHWH spoke to Israel.
Shabbat is a "door" into the Kingdom of Elohim (Matthew 16:19, Isaiah 66:2, Ezekiel 44:24, Zechariah 14:16, etc.).

The Fourth Commandment makes me think of the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet "DALET" - which reminds me of  "Delet" (or "Dehlet"), the word for "door" ... which reminds me of Y'shua, the Word of the Living Elohim, who is ALSO the "Door" or the "Gate" (John 10:9-16).  NOBODY comes to the Father except through THAT Door! (John 14:6)

Please remember that Shabbat is "eternal" and not for "the Jews only,” but for ALL Believers (see Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:13-16, Isaiah 56:6, Galatians 3:28 and Romans 10:12-13)   All true disciples of Y’shua are able to enter into YHWH’s Shabbat as the “Bride” of Mashiyach (Messiah) from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset, according to Revelation 21:9; Hosea 2; Jeremiah 17; Isaiah 56; 58; 62; 66; Ezekiel 46; Psalm 92.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Ever thought about how quickly seemingly innocent song lyrics and can lead you astray?

Ever thought about how quickly seemingly innocent song lyrics and can lead you astray?

I had one of those “eye-opening” moments happen to me recently, when I found myself humming the “catchy little tune” to "Dominique" - a 1963 French language song, written and performed by the Belgian female singer Jeannine Deckers, better known as “The Singing Nun.”  (Click here to listen to the song Dominique.)  

The song (also recorded in English, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese) is about Saint Dominic, a Castilian Catholic priest and founder of the Dominican Order and patron saint of astronomers.

Being a lover of foreign languages, I had actually memorized some of this popular French language song – but I had always had a “funny feeling” about it, even back then. I now know that the “funny feeling” was the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) warning me to be careful about what I was singing, because that song (while sung by a well-meaning nun who truly believed the lies she had learned at the convent) does NOT reflect God or His Messiah!  As a matter of fact, it takes glory away from both YHWH and Yeshua…

So, when this song, after many decades, recently came to mind, I decided to Google it – and I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the song lyrics in English for the first time in my life.

Here is the English version of “Dominique” (lyrics translated and written by Noël Regney).  Take a really good, hard look at the words, to see how cleverly they mirror the life of Yeshua, without ever mentioning him; and transfer all the credit and glory to this mere, human priest who, at the end of the song, is even being prayed to!

(I have made a few notes on some of the most disturbing passages.)

Dominique, nique, nique, over the land he plods
And sings a little song
Never asking for reward
He just talks about the Lord
He just talks about the Lord

NOTE:  Okay – so far, so good.

At a time when Johnny Lackland
Over England was the King
Dominique was in the backland
Fighting sin like anything

NOTE: According to Wikipedia, “Johnny Lackland” refers to John, King of England from 1199-1216. He lost the Duchy of Normandy and most of his other French lands to King Philip II of France, resulting in the collapse of the Angevin Empire and contributing to the subsequent growth in power of the French Capetian dynasty during the 13th century.

Now a heretic, one day
Among the thorns forced him to crawl
Dominique with just one prayer
Made him hear the good Lord's call

Without horse or fancy wagon
He crossed Europe up and down
Poverty was his companion
As he walked from town to town

To bring back the straying liars
And the lost sheep to the fold
He brought forth the Preaching Friars
Heaven's soldiers, brave and bold

NOTE:  Do the last three stanzas sound familiar?  Do you remember any Apostles or Disciples by the name of “Dominique”?  Yeshua brought “the lost sheep back to the fold” by preaching YHWH’s Torah – as did his Apostles and Disciples with, and after him. Unless Dominique and those “Preaching Friars” taught TORAH, they weren’t true servants of God! YHWH's people don't pray to Mary or any "saints"...

One day, in the budding Order
There was nothing left to eat
Suddenly two angels walked in
With a loaf of bread and meat

Dominique once, in his slumber
Saw the Virgin's coat unfurled
Over Friars without number
Preaching all around the world

NOTE:  Okay, this stanza is downright blasphemous!  First of all, YESHUA was the Messiah; not his human mother!  Secondly, the “Virgin” had other children after Yeshua, and so she did NOT die as a “virgin”; not to mention, since she was ALIVE the day her son was crucified (John 19:26, Matthew 27: 50-53) and there has been no other “rapture” (Matthew 27:50-54). This means Miriam (Mary), is STILL in her grave, and her soul won’t be raised until Yeshua returns! (1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

(According to Revelation 20:11-15, the final "rapture" of mankind will happen at the end of Yeshua's thousand year reign when we will ALL stand before God on Judgment Day.) Please also read our article, "Why the "Virgin Mary" can't possibly be our intercessor

Grant us now, oh Dominique
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly life and truth on earth.

NOTE:  A nice prayer, but more blasphemy!  Dominique was just a mere MAN – someone who died, with no power to “grant you anything!  YHWH does all the granting … and He does it on HIS terms!

Folks the above is a perfect example of why Yeshua tells us to “take every thought captive.” (Psalm 141:3, Proverbs 21:23, 2 Corinthians 10:5, etc.)  We must be VERY careful what we think, believe, say, sing, or do, because Scripture commands it.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Reader requests we provide the scripture reference for the “civil new year”….

READER COMMENT:

Where is the scripture reference for the civil new year in your article entitled, Why are there two Jewish New Years?  I don’t base my obedience on what sages say or church doctrine but scripture. Scripture has ONE new year and that is the month of the Aviv - when it’s Passover.

OUR RESPONSE:

Well, actually scripture has ONE new year and it is in Tishri!

Look at it this way: When the exodus began, it was ALREADY the month of the Aviv, (Exodus 12:2), clearly defined by the calendar that already existed (Deuteronomy 16:1) at the time of the exodus. YHWH did not say "change the calendar to this month", instead He said "You are to begin *your* calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you". In Hebrew, this is even clearer as it literally reads: "This new moon is for you the head of the new moons, [it] is the first *for you* for the new moons of the year." The instruction was for the Hebrews to count the years of their freedom from the month of the Aviv, not to CHANGE the calendar which was, and always will be determined by the sun.

We learn later in the Torah that the calendar did not change because what is the year of the shemitah (7th year land sabbath)? It is first mentioned in Exodus 23:10-11 "For six years, you are to sow your land with seed and gather in its harvest. 11 But the seventh year, you are to let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people can eat; and what they leave, the wild animals in the countryside can eat. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove." This is a strong hint that the "year" changes with the agricultural season which end in the Fall and begins in the Fall.

Next, we read that the shemitah year is determined from the month of Tishri for the 50th year, the Yovel or "Jubilee" year is announced on the 10th day of the 7th month of the 50th agricultural year. (Leviticus 25:1-13, specifically verse 9.) The "year" cannot be consecrated in Tishri, if the "year" began way back in the month of the Aviv!

So in these verses we know that 1) the Hebrews were to count months from the month of the Aviv to commemorate their freedom from slavery and 2) that the calendar itself did not change and that year were and still counted from Tishri, the month of the end and beginning of the agricultural year.

So, back to Exodus 12:2. It reads (from the Hebrew): "This new moon is for you the head of the new moons, [it] is the first for you for the new moons of the year." "This new moon" was the new moon of the Aviv, (the "month of Spring") and that month had ALREADY been established as the Month of the Aviv" by the calendar which, for the year, had begun some months earlier.

Since we cannot possibly "declare" a 7th year land Sabbath in the month of the Aviv, when the crops were only just then beginning to sprout, the "year" had to have been established at some other month. I have tried to demonstrate that that month for the "change" of the year was the month of Tishri.

Thus there is in Judaism, "2 new years". The annual "increment" of the year always was and remains in Tishri, but the "years" of the freedom of slavery is counted from the month of the Aviv (modern Nisan). Thus, Tishri is known as the 7th month and Nisan is the 1st month, but the calendar year always increments at the end/beginning of the agricultural season by the sun.

As a side note, it is important to understand that the only thing that changed in Exodus is that YHWH anchored the time or Passover to the time of the year in which the one-and-only exodus began. As I said, it was ALREADY the month of the Aviv, so what YHWH told Moshe was to make sure that Spring happens and then the annual celebration of Passover is done. (Spring, then and now, is the day of the equinox). That ensures that Passover is remembered forever at the right time (Deuteronomy 16:1).

"Anchoring" Passover so Spring comes first simply means that it is the new moon of Nisan that forces the entire calendar to be "fixed", thus, the new moon of Tishri (which remains the month in which the calendar year changes) is simply the 7th new moon from the "month of the Aviv" and is not the "1st month" any more. Nevertheless, I hope it is clear that the calendar year did and still does change at Tishri - the end and renewal of the agricultural season.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

What in the world is a "mezuzah?"



Those who have been Torah observant for a while, know what a "mezuzah" is, and probably have one on their door. But for those who don't, you'll find this very interesting:

A mezuzah is a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses comprise the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", beginning with the phrase: "Hear, O Israel, ADONAI our God, ADONAI is One."

Here is the origin of the mezuzah:

Deuteronomy 6: 4 "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, 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.(CJB)

Deuteronomy 11: 18 Therefore, you are to store up these words of mine in your heart and in all your being; tie them on your hand as a sign; put them at the front of a headband around your forehead; 19 teach them carefully to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up; 20 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.... (CJB)

To help remind Believers that YHWH is always with them, they affix a mezuzah to the door frame of their homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the doorposts of your house" (Deuteronomy 6:9). In that passage, YHWH commands His people to keep His words constantly in our minds and in our hearts by (among other things) writing them on the doorposts of our house.

The case containing the scroll is nailed or affixed usually (but not necessarily!) to the door frame about one third from the top of the door jamb with the top of the Mezuzah at an angle (facing toward the center of the room one is entering.) The reason many affix it at an angle is because the Rabbis couldn't decide whether to attach it horizontally or vertically. No Mezuzah is affixed at the entrance to bathrooms and toilets, for obvious reasons.

When affixing a Mezuzah to your door one recites the prayer:

Hebrew: "Baruch attah YHWH eloheynu melekh ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu likboa m'zuzah"

English: Blessed art Thou, O YHWH our Elohim, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to affix a Mezuzah.

Every time you pass through a door with a Mezuzah on it, you touch the mezuzah. This merely shows your love and respect for YHWH and His Word, and indicates that you have opened the doors of your heart to Him.

Revelation 3: 20 "Behold I have been standing at the door, and I will knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door. I will come in to him, and will dine with him and he with Me."

It is proper to remove a Mezuzah when you move, and in fact, it is usually recommended. If you leave it in place, the subsequent owner may treat it with disrespect.

The Mezuzah is significant for Believers because when we place it on our doorpost it is symbolic of us having Torah written upon our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 3:1,3; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26. 27; Romans 2:14, 15; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:8-12; Hebrews 10:16).

In 2 Corinthians 3:3 Rav Shaul (Rabbi Paul) references Jeremiah 31:33 indicating YHWH has written Torah upon our hearts - therefore we are a spiritual Mezuzah since we become "containers" of YHWH's Torah!

The Mezuzah on the doorpost of our homes displays a powerful message that our household honors YHWH and that it is dedicated to His Torah!