Is God Still With the United States?

In the last couple of decades, our government has declared that it supports child sacrifice, which we call abortion, something that God not only says he hates but something that never even entered his mind (Lev. 18:21; Deut. 18:10; Jer. 7:31, just to name a few places where God said that.)

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In the last couple of decades, our government declared that the 10 Commandments have no place in our judicial system.

In the last couple of decades, our government has made it legal and supports the growing homosexual movement, which includes transgender operations. What is worse is that now there are members of the government, including a candidate for the Presidency, who openly state they will support a pre-pubescent child’s desire to have a transgender operation performed!

In the last couple of decades, our government has declared that God has no place in our school system.

Today, some of our state governors are supporting rioting, looting and murder within their cities, even releasing from jail those who have committed these crimes but imprisoning people who are trying to make a living by giving haircuts. And all the while trying to reduce their police force, which can only result in less protection for their citizens, the very people who elected them, trusting that their leaders would protect them.

Currently, using a virus scare as an excuse, we aren’t even allowed to go to our house of worship to honor God.

Homosexuality, child sacrifice, sexual deviancy, and anarchy are not just being condoned, but supported and funded by the government.

We, the United States of America, have removed God from our country.

So the question is: how much longer will God allow this?

We know from reading the Bible that God is a patient and compassionate God, understanding our weaknesses and he is not just willing to forgive, but God desires to do so (Ezekiel 18.) Because of his great compassion, when evil controls his people (as it is doing today) he doesn’t allow it because he can’t do anything about it, he allows it to continue so we have a chance to repent before he does something about it.

He allowed the Northern kingdom (Shomron, also called Israel) to be sinful from the moment it was formed under Yarovam, the son of N’vat, for many generations until he finally had to act.

He allowed the Southern Kingdom, called Judea, to sin until the sins of King Manasseh were too great to ignore anymore, his rulership being so evil and sinful that God could no longer hold back his punishment (2 Kings 21:1-18.)

So, again, I ask (in light of all that America has done in the past 60 years or so): is God still with us? I believe this upcoming election will provide the answer.

I do not like having politics in my messages, as those of you who are followers will attest, but right now it isn’t really politics anymore: for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, we are in the battle between godly and satanic.

We have on one hand a president who has been a friend to Israel, tried to keep God in his speeches, tried to protect his people from foreign influences and attacks, and tried to help his people have a better life by giving them the opportunity to become self-reliant.

On the other hand, we have a political party that has done nothing but tried to stop the president from doing these things; a party that endorses child sacrifice, homosexuality, transgenderism, has removed God from our courts and schools, denies us to right to worship together, and is offering as our leaders, those who represent America, a man who has been in office for 47 years and done nothing, and a woman who has slept her way to power and openly declared that anyone who doesn’t vote for her, when she wins will be punished.

If this ain’t God verse Satan, I don’t know what is.

That is why I believe this election is going to be a watermark in American history. Not just because of the polarization we have within our country, but because it will place in power either a godly agenda, or a satanic agenda.

If the Democrats win, that will be the sign (for me) that this country is in the same place that Judea was after the kingship of Manasseh: there will be no more time for repentance.

You may say “But God never runs out of patience!”, and you’re right, he has unlimited patience, but his patience doesn’t overrule his holiness and his holiness demands that he make good on his promises. And God has promised, first to Abraham, then the other Patriarchs, to David, Solomon, and the rest of the kings he appointed over his people, that if they reject him, he will reject them.

And God always keeps his promises.

The US of A has rejected God for a while now, and this election will show us whether or not we have finally crossed the line and passed the point of no return, which is when repentence is no longer available and all that is left is judgment.

I am voting for what I believe is right in God’s eyes, as I always have. In past elections, where I didn’t see either side as godly, I abstained, which is a vote in and of itself: it is a vote for neither. If you don’t like Trump or Biden, then I would ask you to please abstain. I believe it is better to not vote than to vote for evil, for if you do then you have sinned on two levels: you have supported evil, which is a rejection of God, and if you vote for Biden just to not vote for Trump, you have hated in your heart, which is murder.

It’s also childishly spiteful and an insult to those who have fought and died so you can choose who to vote for.

I am anxious, in every meaning of that word, to see what happens in the next few weeks, because this election will tell us if we still have a chance for survival, or if we are in the same boat with Manasseh.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages with everyone you know, check out my books, and when you vote, please don’t vote for or against a person but vote for an agenda; hopefully, one that is right in God’s eyes.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Parashah Bereshit 2020 (In the beginning) Genesis 1 – 6:8

Last week we celebrated the end of the annual cycle of High Holy Days with the rolling back of the Torah during Shemini Atzeret, so we get to start reading the Torah, all over again. That is why the holiday is also called Simchat Torah, which means Joy of Torah.

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The first parashah of the Torah takes us from the creation of heaven and earth, through the addition of life on earth, from the sea to the land, ending with the creation of humanity through Adam and Eve.

Then sin steps in. Almost from the very start the Enemy has tried to destroy the good that God creates, and after Eve sins, then causes Adam to sin, God (who must obey his own mitzvot) is forced to eject them from Paradise.

Now we see the introduction of sex into human relationships, and Eve drops her first set of rug-rats, Cain and Abel. We all know what happens then, and as the parashah continues, we are given the succeeding generations up to the time of Noah, when the world has been infected with sin and God is fed up with what has happened to his creation, except for Noah.

Have you ever considered that we don’t really know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden before the fall? The Torah takes us from the creation of Eve and Adam’s (spiritual) joining with her right to the entrance of the serpent. The only thing in-between these two events is a reference to the condition of Adam and Eve, i.e. them being naked and feeling no shame.

This makes me wonder about sexual relations between men and women in the hereafter. We are all looking forward to heaven, and to seeing our loved ones (at least, those that make it there) and in many cases, that means our spouses who have passed on before us. But will it matter, really, who we see there?

After all, I love to be with my wife, Donna, as much as I can be, but if I have a choice between being with Donna throughout eternity or in the presence of the Lord, God, Almighty, well…sorry, Babe, but God outranks us all.

Yeshua tells us when we will be with God that we will be like the angels in heaven (Mark 12:25), there will be no marriage and without marriage, there can be no sexual relations.

Uh, gee…no sex in heaven? Does that mean when we say to our spouse after making love, “Honey- that was heavenly!” it’s actually an insult?

Here’s another thought: what if sex is the first step towards sin?

We are told in this parashah that the sons of God, meaning the angels, took quite a liking to human women and fell from heaven to mate with them, creating the species the Torah refers to as the Nephilim, giants of great strength that lived on the Earth. If we are to be like the angels in heaven, does that mean there is no marriage, no interpersonal, physical relations, but the desire is still there?

Yowsa! What a revelation! There is no sex in heaven but we might still have desire, so how is that good? It sounds more like hell!

But wait a minute! In Genesis 1:28, right after creating man and woman, God tells them to be fruitful and multiply, so how can sex be bad? There is no way that God would ever tell anyone to do anything that would lead to sin, right?

It sounds like there is a really big contradiction here, but I think I know what this means: everything we do we do for a purpose, and the purpose is what defines the act.

It is similar to the old adage “the ends justify the means”, and although there are exceptions to everything, in general, as far as sin is concerned, what we do is less important than why we do it.

For instance, if Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten from the Tree of Good and Evil, they would eventually have figured out where all the parts fit together, and I believe that would end up with sexual relations as a result of caring for each other and not just desire for physical pleasure. If Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned, I believe they’re being fruitful and multiplying would have been a beautiful and compassionate act.

On the other hand, there are sexual desires which are sinful in nature, such as with the angels who fell from heaven to be with the daughters of men; clearly, they were driven by lust, not love. And the result of their sin would, eventually, create a human subspecies that did not survive much past the Israelite entry and conquest of the Promised Land.

Let’s look at this idea of why we do being more important than what we do in a different light: if I say something that is hurtful to someone, is it automatically sinful? What if I did it as part of “tough love”, with the intention to help them recover from addiction or find the strength to free themselves from an abusive relationship? How can that be bad? Yet, if I did it out of anger or spite, with the intention to hurt them, well, how can that be good?

It isn’t so much what we do as why we do it. I learned a long time ago that people don’t mean what they say, they mean what they do. That lesson fits right in with today’s message that it is our heart’s intention that defines sinful or godly. We may sin accidentally because we are weak and easily led astray, and we may do good without really intending to- these are the exceptions, not the rule.

Now, I want to be clear that I am not condoning or authorizing people to tell other people exactly whatever they want to, then hiding under the kippur (covering) of saying, “But I am only telling the truth” or “I am only saying it for your own good” because more often than not, their intention is not to help.

I believe there are many people who use those excuses because they are really just prideful. They want to “tell you off” and do so in order to feel that they are superior, even if they don’t always know it, and that is sinful.

Ultimately, the best example is to look at how God acts. He loves us all, even those who reject and curse him, but even though he loves us, he is straightforward and unwavering with us. He makes the rules and he sticks to them, tempering them with mercy and grace, but never allowing the guilty, especially the unrepentant ones, to go unpunished.

God will do whatever he needs to do to achieve his will on earth, and if that means destroying people who are innocent in order to mete out justice, then that is what will happen. However, his intention is always to do good and never to hurt or damage us out of spite or pride.

In this parashah, we read how Cain’s jealousy and anger caused him to sin, even though God warned him that he must master sin. In Ezekiel 18, God tells us each person is accountable for what they do, and what they did won’t count either for them or against them. When we think about both of these things, we realize that what we do is the result of what we feel, and that is what we will be judged on.

If you allow God to come into your heart, which we can do only after we let go of hatred, spite, pridefulness, and anger, then sin will be conquered; when your heart is right with God, you won’t sin.

Of course, it isn’t that easy and there will always be the ability to sin, but when your heart is right with God, you will be able to conquer sin.

All you need to do is have a heart that is right with God. Oy, if only it was that easy.

Thank you for being here, please subscribe, share these messages with others, and I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

How to Argue with an Idiot

First off, the best way to start is to realize that this idiot probably isn’t really an idiot, just someone who has been misinformed or is afraid of hearing the truth.

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How many people have you met in your lifetime who, when you try to inform them of something, scream, “Shields Up, Scotty!!”?

People want to believe what they want to believe, and often that means they have selective hearing or selective memory. No matter what you say, or how you say it (which is a very important part of today’s discussion), they will only remember the bits and pieces they want to, which (most often) allows them to totally twist your meaning to what they want it to be.

What an idiot, right? Not right.

People who don’t agree with you are more than likely misinformed, but then again, there is always the chance we are misinformed and we all must always be open to that possibility.

The best way to argue is to not argue: don’t even try to make them understand your position, but instead, get them to explain to you their position.

That’s right- the best way to get someone to listen to you is to first listen to them.

Let them tell you why they believe what they believe, then ask questions that will force them to re-think their position.

Step 1– The person asking the questions is the person controlling the discussion.

For example, someone says they do not believe in God. Your response is not to explain why you do, but to say something along the lines of, “OK, why is that? ” and then let them tell you their reasons for not believing. After they speak, then you can take each of those reasons and ask deeper questions. Such as if they respond with, “I have never seen any evidence that God exists.” you can respond with, “I understand. If you saw absolute evidence that God existed, would that change your mind?” Of course, the only answer they can give you now is “Yes.”

Step 2– Always ask questions which you already know the answer to.

After they answer yes, then you can say there is plenty of evidence of God’s existence, but people only recognize it as science. Just because we can understand how something works in the natural world, doesn’t mean there isn’t a supernatural explanation for how it started. Even evolution (Ahh!! He used the “E” word!) had to start somewhere, and if we accept that the idea of intelligent design is a possible way of explaining things, then God certainly has demonstrated his existence.

This is just a single example, and when you gain experience at asking questions you know will elicit a specific response, and a response for which you have an answer, you will find it easier to make people doubt what they have always thought was the truth.

People will not believe what you say is true until they begin to doubt that what they say is true, and the only way they will doubt their own beliefs is when you force them to justify those beliefs. When they begin to hear themselves say things like, “Because that’s how it is” or “That’s what I was taught”, they will realize they really don’t have an answer.

Truism: People believe only 50% of what you say, but 100% of what they say.

And here is the final and probably most important step:

Step 3- Practice explaining your beliefs in a simple manner which anyone can understand.

And that is it. When you have a discussion with someone, no matter what the topic, you must take these steps in this order:

  1. Ask them questions so you know why they think that way;
  2. Using their reasons to believe what they do, ask questions which they can’t answer without causing them to doubt their beliefs;
  3. Only now can you tell them why you believe what you do, and they might be open to accepting what you say.

This takes us back to what I said earlier, how what you say is not as important as how you say it. I learned that lesson myself many years ago, when I couldn’t figure out why at meetings I attended someone else made the same suggestion I did, usually 10 or 15 minutes after I made it, but everyone thought it was the other person’s idea. I was always ahead of the curve, and because I was explaining it in the way I understood it, no one else was catching on, but someone would always figure it out later and rephrase it, and that person made the point better than I did.

You need to know your stuff before you go out there, and you need to discipline yourself to keep quiet when someone else is answering you. People only want to hear themselves talk, and when you find someone is waiting for you to take a breath so they can tell you what they want to, realize that they aren’t listening to what you say, they’re only waiting for a chance to jump in, and when that happens you have lost control.

And if you are trying to teach someone the truth about God, if you lose control you are not the one who loses, they are because you failed to help them come to God. They may win the argument, but they lose the battle that really matters, so please realize your responsibility when talking to people, whether they are non-Believers or Believers, and discipline yourself to do what needs to be done to save their soul. Do NOT allow pridefulness to cause you to forget these important rules of engagement.

Last thing to cover today: as much as I would like to think everyone can be taught, there are idiots out there, and when someone stops discussing and turns to personal attacks, the discussion is over. When that happens, despite how much you want to cut them a new one (as I often want to do), you need to be the “better person” and an example of godliness, and simply say something to the effect of:

“I have learned that when within a discussion, one side resorts to attacking the person instead of their beliefs, it is because they cannot deny the truth of the other person’s beliefs so resort to personal insults. Since that is the point we are at now, there’s no sense to continuing.”

Proverbs tells us not to argue with a fool in the same manner as the fool, and after years in the Sales profession, I have found these simple steps help people to be open to the information I wanted to give them. I never tell anyone what they must or even should believe because I believe God gave us all free will and the right to choose. What most people don’t realize is that whatever they believe, they choose to do so, and they WILL be held accountable for that choice. That is why I have this ministry: it is not to proselytize anyone or convince them to convert or even to get them to accept Yeshua, although it would be great if anything I did led them to that. My purpose is to teach what God says, so that whatever decision someone makes, it is an informed decision.

And if the information I present helps save only one soul during my lifetime, I will have accomplished much more than anything else I have ever done.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages, subscribe, check out my books, and I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

What Does it Mean, Really, to “Call on the Name of the Lord”?

The Bible is rife with passages that state we are to “call on the name of the Lord”, or that we are to “call upon his name.” There are many Believers who understand these terms to mean that we are commanded to use the actual name of God, which is called the Tetragrammaton when we are to call upon his name.

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There is a term for this belief, which includes the many different opinions about how the name is pronounced, a term which is not such a nice term, and we call these people “Holy Namers.” These are the people who insist that we should write, speak, and in every way, whatsoever, use the holy name of the Lord whenever we can. And, I know this sounds wrong to say, but in my experience, nearly every one of these people was raised as a Gentile.

Now, I can understand this, to a degree, because Gentiles are brought up praising and worshiping Jesus, and calling out his name over and over. After all, he did say to pray in his name, didn’t he?

Of course he did, BUT…what does that mean?

So, here we are, back to the original question: what does it mean, really, to call on the name of the Lord?

It means to pray to him and not to some other god. It has nothing to do with his name, and everything to do with who he is.

When we first see this term, it is in Genesis 4, where we are told that after Enoch was born men began to call on the name of the Lord.

Does that mean the people all called him by his holy name? According to the Jewish commentary in my Chumash, it meant that people began to call God by Adonai. The Tetragrammaton was used in the Tanakh before we see it used in Exodus when God told Moses his name, so maybe people not only knew but used the holy name from the very beginning. When Moses asked God what name he should use to tell the Israelites who sent him, God uses the holy name, which (at least, to me) implies that someone must have known that name so when Moses used it, they recognized it.

I believe the holy name, the Y-H-V-H was not only known, but the actual pronunciation was known (which we really don’t know today), so you might ask why not use it?

The reason is simple (at least, if you’re Jewish it is): we don’t use God’s actual, holy name in order to show our respect for him.

And, when the Bible tells us to call upon his name, the cultural use of that terminology was (and still is) to pray to him. Not to call out his name like you were screaming out the front door to your children (“Steven! If you don’t get in this door right now, you will be grounded for a week!”)

No, we shouldn’t use God’s holy name like we were calling a friend on the phone or shouting hello to someone.

The other cultural use of calling on God’s name means to represent God’s renown, reputation, and refer to his holiness and power.

For instance, in 1 Chronicles 22:8-10 God tells David that David’s son, Solomon, will build the temple David wanted to build, so let’s see what God says (I added the bold print):

But a message from ADONAI came to me, ‘You have shed much blood and fought great wars. You are not to build a house for my name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth in my sight.  But you will have a son who will be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his enemies that surround him; for his name is to be Shlomo, and during his reign I will give peace [Hebrew: shalom] and quiet to Isra’el. It is he who will build a house for my name. 

God stated what Solomon’s name is to be, indicating the actual name. But, when using the term “for my name” he clearly doesn’t mean his actual name but is referring to his reputation and his renown. That is the proper way any term referring to “the name of the Lord” is to be used.

I wanted to list the many times in the Bible this term is used, but there were just too many times, And picking one or two examples isn’t going to make any more difference to those who will reject what I am saying here than if I found one or two hundred examples.

The holy name of the Lord, יהוה, is, for simplicity, the first name of God. When you meet someone who you respect, such as a leader of the country, or an important person in your company, a Minister or a Rabbi, do you just automatically call him or her by their first name? I hope not! That is disrespectful, and if we pay that modicum of respect to a human being, doesn’t the creator of the universe, the Lord God, Almighty, deserve at least that much respect?

If none of this makes sense to you, then I guess you will continue to use the Tetragrammaton whenever you feel like it, and I don’t think that it is a sin to do that. I do think, probably because I am Jewish, that you are being somewhat too friendly with God. Yes, we can march boldly to God’s throne (Hebrews 4:16) but that doesn’t mean we can walk up to God, slap him on the back, and say, “Yo, Y-H-V-H, how’s it hanging?”

Would you do that to a king or queen, or a president? If not, then what makes you think it is OK to do that with God?

Here’s it is, in simple English: to call upon the name of the Lord has always meant to pray to him. It never meant to use his holy name, and when we read a reference to or statement about “the name of the Lord”, it doesn’t mean the Tetragrammaton, it means God’s renown and reputation.

Yes, there are some rare exceptions, but they aren’t the rule.

God used these terms throughout the Tanakh to refer to his renown and reputation and holiness, and that is how Yeshua and every single one of his Talmudim (Disciples) understood and used them.

As I said earlier, if you want to use God’s holy name with no more respect for him than if he was one of your drinking buddies, I don’t think it is a sin, I believe it is disrespectful but, then again, I also believe God will understand this is what you were taught to do.

That doesn’t mean you can’t change.

As for me, I would much rather pray to God in a respectful and grateful way than to assume it is OK for me to use his holy name, even though he did tell us what it is.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share, and comment if you feel you have something to add. I am not afraid of a drash, so long as we are respectful and courteous to each other.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Sukkot 2020 Message

Tonight begins Sukkot, the third pilgrimage festival and the last High Holy Day for this year.

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The traditional reading on the first day of Sukkot is Zachariah 14:1-21. This passage talks of a terrible future, when the whole world comes against Jerusalem. Even Judah will fight against the Holy City! At that time there won’t be night or day, and there will be a terrible plague sent by God against all those who come against Jerusalem. At the end of it all, whoever survives will go to Jerusalem for the festival of Sukkot, and anyone refusing to come will not receive rain.

Wow! Talk about your scary End Times prophecy!

We could say that much of what is supposed to happen is already happening. The whole world, pretty much, is against Israel, even within the United States, despite the current administration’s support. And what about that prophecy of Judah coming against Jerusalem? How could anyone think that a tribe of Israel would fight against their own Holy City?

Yet that is happening, today. There are many Jewish members of the Democratic Party who support their party, which has constantly come out against Jerusalem and Israel. There are Congress members, such as Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and even Bernie Sanders (a JEW!) who have been very vocal about their hatred of Israel and Jews.

These people also support abortion up to the 9th month, which should be, in anyone’s book, murder. Remember what God said about child sacrifice? Think about it!

Sukkot is a joyous festival, memorializing how God took care of his people while they traveled in the desert for some 40 years, which is why we build and (should) live in a Sukkah for the entire week. Most people today who do build a Sukkah will eat one or more meals in it and often allow the children to sleep in it.

On the 8th day, the day after Sukkot is over, we celebrate Simchat Torah (Joy of Torah), also called Shemini Atzeret (the 8th Day) which is the end of the annual reading cycle of the Torah. During the service, we read the last few lines of Deuteronomy, then as the people dance and sing, the Torah is (carefully) rolled back to the very beginning, and we read the first line or two of Genesis. This is also a joyful celebration because we get to read the Torah, all over again.

And let me tell you, if you want to get forearms that look like Popeye’s, you can by rolling back a Torah scroll!

God has always taken care of those who fear (meaning worship) him. Even when we fail to do as God wants, which the Israelites did SO many times, he is not just willing to forgive us, but actually desires to do so. God wants so much to do good for us that he is just waiting for us to ask for forgiveness so he can be in communion with us, and we with him. And he wants us all to have eternal life, which he tells us in Ezekiel 18:23.

But there is still this prophecy from Zachariah. We are in for some pretty terrible times ahead. Maybe we are already in it, maybe we are just starting to get into it, or maybe what is happening today is just more of the same and we are nowhere near it. It doesn’t really matter because you need to be ready for it, NOW. I mean you need to know God and his Messiah, Yeshua. I mean you need to get your spiritual life in order and make sure that in the physical world you do, and support those who do, godly things and not those who work against God’s commandments.

I almost never talk politics in my messages, but this upcoming election is more than just politics. In my opinion, as a life-long student of history, it is as important as the 1864 election, and America is just as polarized as the people were back then. We aren’t just voting for a person, we are voting for a set of morals, an agenda of protecting Americans against invaders, or protecting the invaders. We are choosing an administration that wants to help Americans pull themselves up, even though it means taking away certain government support, or an administration that wants to give Americans everything they need and, thereby, subjugate them to a form of financial slavery by enabling them to stay on welfare instead of becoming financially self-supporting. It means choosing an administration that is supporting Israel or one that hates Israel.

It means the difference between an administration that wants to protect children or one that supports sacrificing children to Molech.

You must decide for yourselves, and I only ask that whichever decision you make, whether it be about a President or about God, please don’t make your decision based solely on your emotions. Research both sides of the story, listen to people, and read the Bible to see what is right and what is wrong, then you can make a decision based on information, not on emotion.

Please decide as if your life will depend on it, because in both this world and the world to come, it will!

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, check out my books and share these messages with everyone you know, even people you don’t like.

Until next time, Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!