Thursday, October 21, 2021

Question about 1 Corinthians 8:6

Someone recently sent a great question to my website, The Refiner’s Fire. They wrote:

“1 Corinthians 8:6 has the Aramaic term Marya, which is what I understood used as a reference to YHVH. If so the verse should read something like: ‘To us there is one (God) Elohim, the Father, from whom comes every thing and by whom we live; and one YHVH Mashiach Yeshua, by whom are all things, and we by him’ So there is one God, the Father, which according to the Bible is YHVH right? And there is one YHVH who is Mashiach Yeshua? How should this verse be read and understood? I'm getting confused.”

RESPONSE:

Here is how it is written in the Aramaic English New Testament.

1 Cor 8: 6. Yet to us, on our part, there is one Elohim, the Father from whom are all things, and we in him; and one Master YHWH,[1] Y’shua the Mashiyach, by whom are all things, and we also by him. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

[1] This is not to be construed that “one Elohim the Father” and “one YHWH, Y’shua the Mashiyach” are separate divine “persons.” Instead, Aramaic references two divine occurrences from the singular divine nature, or qnomeh.* (Singular: qnoma) This concept is directly stated fifteen times, and alluded to at least as much in figurative language (e.g. living water in John 4, leading to a direct reference in John 5:26).

*It is important to recognize that Qnoma can mean “core substance” or “occurrence.” Although Greek reads “self” Aramaic does not; “self” leads to assumptions of “personhood” which breeds idolatry. Put another way, a "nature" is like a body hidden behind a curtain. For those in the audience, nothing of that nature can be seen. Then, all of a sudden, a hand and part of an arm appears through the veil.

While we know there is a body attached to that limb, the limb is all we see. Furthermore, that arm moves with full force, will and agreement of the mind that controls the body. For the viewers, the arm appearing out of the curtain is the qnoma (occurrence) and the hidden mind behind that limb's movement is its kyanna (nature). (Source: Aramaic English New Testament, footnote to 1 Thess. 4:9)

Here's further explanation on this issue:

Ephesians 3: 14. He is himself our peace, who has made the two (become) one, and has demolished the wall[2] which stood in the midst, and the enmity, by his flesh; 15. And in his flesh (the) enmity and regulations of commands (contained) in his commandments are abolished[3] (so) that in himself (an occurrence of the divine nature, or qnoma), [4] he might make the two into one, establishing peace. 16. And has reconciled both with Elohim in one body and has slain the enmity by his stake (of execution). (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[2] Aramaic for wall is syaga. Ironically, this exact term was picked up by the Talmudic rabbis in Pirkei Avot (Sayings of the Fathers) 1:1 that commanded, “make a fence around the Torah.” Y’shua specifically warned against this activity in Matthew 15, rebuking the Pharisees in the process.

Later on, Y’shua said he was the “door/gate” using a synonym for syaga, known as taarea, which is a homonym “torah” and “teachers,” meaning the Pharisees. So while the Pharisees are busy erecting their fence, Y’shua is pulling it down, allowing everyone access!

[3] The grammatical structure here fully guarantees that namusa is referring to “customs” as in the traditions of the Pharisees, not Torah itself. Mashiyach abolishes the “enmity” (hatred or animosity) that has been brought against YHWH by religious tradition and false interpretations of Torah, which was a heavy burden that people could not bear.

Christian theologians, however, twist this verse and teach that it was YHWH’s Torah that brought the hatred and that Mashiyach did away with Torah, which is a very reckless and evil theology. Mashiyach sent the Ruach haKodesh to write YHWH’s Torah upon the hearts of his people, not abolish it.

[4] Qnoma can mean “core substance” or “occurrence.” Although Greek reads “self” Aramaic does not; “self” leads to assumptions of “personhood” which breeds idolatry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A mini-lesson on "spiritual fence straddling

My dearly-departed husband, Bill, and I used to have a sweet little Miniature Schnauzer named Dallas, that left this world a few years ago at the ripe ol’ age of 14.

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

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

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

But - had he ever escaped and run up the hill into the woods, he would have run the risk of becoming a meal for any number of predators, including a bear, lynx, or coyote.

If he had decided to run down the hill and across the properties of two of our neighbors, he would have ended up on a fairly busy highway. He would have faced possible danger even if he had simply trotted down our driveway toward road, because many in that particular neighborhood never bothered to follow the 25 mph speed limit....

And I shudder to think what would have happened if Dallas had tried to make it all the way to the freeway which was only a half mile away!

What I’m trying to illustrate is that YHWH gave us HIS Torah (Divine Instructions in Righteousness) to keep US safe in a fallen world. Unfortunately, in a world where most don't want ANY rules, MOST "believers" don't bother to follow those Instructions - because they mistakenly believe that "those Old Testament rules applied only to the Jews. (So, God expects only "the Jews" to be holy?)

Think about it: Adam and Eve were safe in the Garden until they decided to break just one little rule ... and suddenly, they found themselves outside of their safe haven, in a “fallen world” where hard work, pain, sorrow, sickness and death ruled … where jealousy, greed, drunkenness, lewdness, arrogance, fornication and adultery and all manner of vileness lay in wait as the world’s population began to grow ... where most (even many believers) don't seem to know "right from wrong; nor do they care to learn...

In our “fallen world,” we aren’t guaranteed health, wealth, riches or anything else our carnal selves desire. But when we belong to YHWH/Yeshua, we have the guarantee of eternal life, along with true shalom (peace) in knowing that, no matter what else happens, HE is with us, guiding and teaching and allowing us to grow in knowledge of Him so that we CAN PREPARE for that eternal life!

The Divine Instructions serve to not only please ADONAI and place us in a closer relationship with Him; but they also make our entire earthbound existence run more smoothly, because HIS Ways are perfect! The bottom line is, if we choose to IGNORE those rules, we will be considered "lukewarm" - and you know what THAT means! Revelation 3: 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

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.

How did Yeshua walk? By Torah! He didn't make up new rules. He kept Torah and expected US to do the same. It's what sets us APART from the rest of the world! Revelation reveals this:

Revelation 12: 17 "The dragon was infuriated over the woman and went off to fight the rest of her children, those who obey God's commands AND bear witness to Yeshua."

Revelation 14: 12 "This is when perseverance is needed on the part of God's people, those who observe his commands AND exercise Yeshua's faithfulness."

The moral of the story?

If our little Dallas doggie had dared to jump over his “Torah” fence that kept him safe, he most likely would have ended up dead - or at least, seriously hurt.

Same thing applies to YHWH’s people: If they jump their Torah “fence” the world will close in and cause them to lose not only their “way” but very possibly, their eternal life. There will be NO "lukewarm" in Heaven!

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Just some personal observations about the plight of humanity

Just some personal observations:

Remember when the AIDS/HIV epidemic began back in the late Seventies/early Eighties? It was a known fact that this terrible disease was caused by irresponsible sexual behavior; yet, instead of telling people to CHANGE their behavior so that the virus could die out on its own, the “reason for the disease and its spread” was largely overlooked and ignored, and scientists and the medical community catered to “the world” and got to work on a vaccine, because the people demanded it.

Well – here it is, 40 YEARS later, and we STILL don’t have a vaccine for AIDS/HIV! There are medication "cocktails" and various treatments, but there is no vaccine and no end in sight – in large part, because people WON’T change their lascivious sexual behavior! (Casual sex with whomever one pleases has been the norm since the Sixties - and it’s only gotten worse over the years because today, sexuality is “fluid”….)

Today, there are more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. and there are more than 35,000 new infections each year. More than 700,000 people in the U.S., have died from HIV-related illness.

I see the same thing happening with COVID-19 and the Delta Variant … the difference being, we actually HAVE a vaccine - but yet many refuse to take it for whatever reason. What’s more, many on both sides of the fence (both the vaccinated and unvaccinated) won’t even bother to take any kind of precautions, such as following some simple rules (mask wearing, social distancing, avoiding large indoor crowds, regular hand-washing, etc.). I guess, erring on the side of caution simply causes too much “inconvenience”….

So, as usual, Americans as a whole, INSIST on pretending everything is normal and they aren’t about to cooperate with ANYTHING that might get in the way of their lifestyles. They gather in large crowds on beaches, in bars and restaurants and at concerts and ballgames, etc. – most not even bothering to wear a mask, let alone stay “socially distanced.” (They even have the audacity to label this irresponsible behavior as their “right”….)

The bottom line of our world’s problems today is that MOST have been, and still are, ignoring YHWH’s Torah - the Word of ELOHIM; His Divine Instructions! If the world were Torah observant, we wouldn’t have any of these problems, because Torah commands that we DO NOT tolerate bad behavior. God’s people are commanded to “rid evil from among you! (See Deuteronomy 17:6-7 and 22:21; Leviticus 24:14; etc. - which is reiterated in the New Testament in places like 1 Corinthians 5:13.)

Not only is the world, in general, disobeying GOD, but most refuse ANY instructions from ANYONE - such as simple common-sense rules designed to keep everyone safe. (Example: speed limits mean NOTHING to do those who want to speed; and those who want to commit adultery, simply DO it without giving it a second thought; and the same goes for those with a grudge who are bent on exterminating a room full of people, just because they’re angry or depressed….)

The sad truth is – “the world” has been slowly indoctrinated to become disobedient and unruly (thanks, in large part, to liberal Hollywood which promotes all manner of decadence and weirdness). People have been steadily becoming ever-more desensitized. Everything YHWH considers BAD is now considered GOOD by the world – and everything He considers GOOD, is considered BAD by the world.

Simply put, the world, as a whole, is out completely of control. ONLY Yeshua will be able to put and end to the nonsense.

In the meantime – my prediction is, COVID-19 and all its variants are here to stay…

HERE ARE SOME PERTINENT SCRIPTURE PASSAGES to show that NOTHING has changed since the “fall from grace” in Genesis – and that we are NOW “as in the days of Noah”:

Isaiah 24:5: The earth is defiled by its people; they have transgressed the laws; they have overstepped the decrees and broken the everlasting covenant.

Isaiah 28:15: For you said, "We have made a covenant with death; we have fashioned an agreement with Sheol. When the overwhelming scourge passes through it will not touch us, because we have made lies our refuge and falsehood our hiding place."
Isaiah 30:1: "Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, "to those who carry out a plan that is not Mine, who form an alliance, but against My will, heaping up sin upon sin

Isaiah 39:8Go now, write it on a tablet in their presence and inscribe it on a scroll; it will be for the days to come, a witness forever and ever. 9 These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to obey the LORD’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “Stop seeing visions!” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us the truth! Speak to us pleasant words; prophesy illusions.Even the following passage pertains to ALL humanity today:

Titus 1: 10 For there are many, especially from the Circumcision faction, who are rebellious, who delude people’s minds with their worthless and misleading talk. 11 They must be silenced; because they are upsetting entire households by teaching what they have no business teaching, and doing it for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of the Cretans’ own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons” — 13 and it’s true! For this reason, you must be severe when you rebuke those who have followed this false teaching, so that they will come to be sound in their trust 14 and no longer pay attention to Judaistic myths or to the commands of people who reject the truth.

15 To all who are themselves pure, everything is pure. But to those who are defiled and without trust, nothing is pure — even their minds and consciences have been defiled. 16 They claim to know God, but with their actions they deny him. They are detestable and disobedient; they have proved themselves unfit to do anything good.

I urge you to read all of the great instructions in Romans 13, which ends with these words:

11 Besides all this, you know at what point of history we stand; so it is high time for you to rouse yourselves from sleep; for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust. 12 The night is almost over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and arm ourselves with the weapons of light. 13 Let us live properly, as people do in the daytime — not partying and getting drunk, not engaging in sexual immorality and other excesses, not quarrelling and being jealous. 14 Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; and don’t waste your time thinking about how to provide for the sinful desires of your old nature. (CJB)