Parashah Sh’mot 2021 (The names) Exodus 1 – 6:1

We now come to one of the most well-known biblical tales, known even to those who aren’t of the Judeo-Christian faiths: the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, brought about by God working his miracles through Moses and Aaron against the kingdom and gods of Egypt.

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In this parashah, which is quite a long one, we start with the names of those children of Israel who went into Egypt. Joseph has died and over the next couple of hundred years (remember that in Genesis 15:13 God told Abraham his descendants would be in a foreign land for 400 years) the Israelites blossom from a large family into a nation, and the Pharaoh in power did not remember Joseph. All he saw was a mighty nation living in his land and the potential danger to his rule. So, in order to protect his rulership, he enslaved the people and worked them mercilessly. However, even under the harshness of Egyptian slavery, the population grew, so Pharaoh ordered the Israelite midwives to kill all the male children but leave the females alive. The midwives disobeyed, so Pharaoh then ordered his own people to kill any new-born male Israelite children.

During this time, Moses is born and hidden, and after three months the child couldn’t be hidden anymore, so his mother placed him in a waterproof basket and sent him down the Nile (or up the Nile, as the case may be), leaving his future in God’s hands. The daughter of Pharaoh sees the basket and knows the child is an Israelite but raises him as her own son. Miriam, Moses’s older sister, had followed the basket and was wise enough to offer to have one of the Israelite women nurse the baby, which Pharaoh’s daughter agreed to. Once weaned, which was probably at about 4 years of age, Moses was raised in the household of the Pharaoh, but he knew who he was and who his people were.

One day when Moses was a full-grown man, he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite, and his anger flared up within him. He killed the Egyptian and hid the body, thinking no one would ever know, but the very next day he saw two Israelites fighting and tried to stop them. One of them asked who did Moses think he was judging them, and would he kill one of them as he did the Egyptian?

Realizing that the murder was known, and knowing that sooner or later he would have to be tried and killed for the crime, he fled to Midian.

There he helped the daughters of the Chief, or Priest of Midian when they were accosted at a well, and in return, the chief gave one of his daughters to Moses in marriage. Moses stayed there, as a shepherd, until he was 80 years old, which is when he saw the burning bush.

Of course, we all know the story from here- Moses approaches the bush, God speaks to him and tells him to go to Egypt to free his people. Moses hems and haws until God pretty much says, “Enough!” God sends Aaron to help Moses by acting as his mouthpiece, and when they first approach Pharaoh and ask that he let the people go to worship their God, Pharaoh refuses; as punishment for even asking, he adds to the harshness of their slavery by requiring the same tally of bricks, but doesn’t supply the straw. That meant that the people had to glean straw all night, even though they have worked sunup to sunset.
Moses and Aaron, who were welcomed by the Israelites when they came saying God had sent them to free the people, now are hated and blamed for the additional problems. Moses asks God why he hasn’t done what he said he would do, and free the people, but God says that now Moses will see his wonders at work.

OMG!!! Where do I start? How do I stop?

Let’s do this, first: a point of interest. When we read this, God not only tells Moses he will work wonders but also tells Moses that he will kill the firstborn of the Pharaoh (Exodus 4:23), so Moses knows what the endgame play will be, before the game even starts.

What I want to do today is open a can of worms by discussing the name of God, which we are given, by God, himself, in Exodus 3:14. And I call this a can of worms because of the divisive and eternal argument within the Believing communities as to how to pronounce God’s name, the Tetragrammaton, which is יהוה, the Hebrew letters Y-H-V-H.

In the Torah, God doesn’t answer Moses’ question with the Tetragrammaton but instead says this:

And God said unto Moses: “I am that I am”; and he said, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: I am hath sent you.”

So why, if God’s name is Y-H-V-H, didn’t he tell Moses that was his name?

The answer is what I have been trying to tell people for years, which is the very crux of the problem with the “Holy Namers”: the use of the word “name” in ancient days didn’t just mean what someone was called, but who and what they were.

The Chumash explains it this way (this is from the Soncino 1965 Second Edition, and is not a quote): when Moses asked “מה שמו?” (What name?), it wasn’t an inquiry for knowing what God is called because the people must have already known what God was called. When Moses proclaimed that he was sent by the God of their fathers, it is unthinkable that this would be some unknown God. In those days, “name” meant fame or reputation. And in Exodus 9:16, it is used to indicate that God’s name represents his power.

So, from God’s view, what his name is, as in first or last name, is less important than what his reputation and fame are to those whom he wants to know about him. God is telling Moses, who wants to know what to call him, that what to call him isn’t important. What is important is that he is who he is: this is a statement not of personal identity but of eternal nature and omnipotence.

God wants not just the Israelites, but Pharaoh and the whole world to know that he IS. And you might ask, “‘What is ‘IS“?” It means he is whatever he needs to be, whenever or wherever he needs or wants to be. He is eternal, he is all-powerful, and he is able to do whatever needs to be done.

He is THE God; the only God, the one, true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator, the King, the Father, the Judge, the Executioner, the Savior…you name it, and God IS.

In other words, I am that I am, which is everything to everyone, all the time, forever and ever. Amen!

So, when people argue about how to pronounce the Tetragrammaton and accuse you of praying to Ba’al if you use the word “Lord”, or that you pray to idols when you use the word “God”, you can ignore them. They are too prideful to think they could be wrong and too stubborn to hear the truth. But you never know- you could meet an exception- so I would suggest you test the waters by asking them, “Would you like to know which name God, himself, told us he wants us to know him by?” And if they answer they would, then quote them Exodus 3:14, and hopefully, they will learn something.

The traditional names for God that Jews have used for millennia are God, Lord, Adonai, and HaShem (the Name); these are what we call God and we do not ever try to pronounce the Hebrew word Y-H-V-H simply out of respect for him. Christians do not understand this and misinterpret the use of the term “call on his name” or “the name of the Lord” because they do not know the Torah, so they do not know that God, himself, doesn’t care about the Tetragrammaton. He is more concerned with our knowing who he is than what to call him.

So don’t be like the ignorant who concentrate their time and energy trying to call God by his first name, as it were, because God doesn’t care about that. The Holy Name controversy has done NOTHING to edify or help people come closer to God, but it has been a divisive and hateful point of contention within the body of Believers. It has served no useful purpose with regard to salvation but has been very helpful to the Enemy, in that it divides and separates the people of God.

God tells us what is important to him in the Torah, in Genesis 15:16 where we are told that because Abraham believed him, his faithfulness was credited as righteousness to him. Abraham was faithful and thus righteous, and there is no mention of which name Abraham called God.

We are saved by faith, not by pronunciation, so know who God is, know what God can do, and know what God wants from you: that is all you need to know. That, along with accepting that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised to send and through his sacrifice, our sins can be forgiven. If you know that, you are set.

That’s really all you need to know, but you should continue to study so you and grow in spiritual strength and maturity and can be a good example to the world of God’s peace, the joy you receive through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), God’s overwhelming love, and (of course) his salvation through Messiah Yeshua. Also, we can demonstrate God’s power to change us, for the better.

All the self-help books and seminars in the world don’t really change anyone- almost all of them eventually go back to who they were and what they were doing, which is why that drek keeps selling. It’s like fad diets- they work for a while, then people go back to what they were.

But with God, once changed by his spirit, almost everyone stays changed- that is who HE is! He has the power to make effective and lasting change; in fact, he is the only one who can make an eternal change.

He is that he is, and that is how he wants us to know him.

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

Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

Do You See the End Coming?

I had planned on talking about something totally different, but given the events of yesterday in the United States, I cannot ignore speaking to it. This is not a political ministry, it is a teaching ministry, so let’s analyze what happened from a historical and spiritual viewpoint.

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For those who might not be aware, there was a large gathering of Americans at our nation’s Capitol building yesterday, which was called to support President Trump and require a decision regarding allegations of election fraud. At some point, violence broke out and a handful of people broke windows and stormed into the Capitol building. The police were called in, they shot and killed at least one woman, and other deaths have been reported; eventually, the crowds were told to disperse and they did. There were tens of thousands of people there. No other damages to buildings or looting were done except for the broken windows to the Capitol building.

This country began as a refuge for those who wanted to worship God as they chose. When we felt unfairly controlled by the Crown in England, we rebelled, but at first, it wasn’t to be independent- we only wanted things to go back to how they were. The Boston Tea Party and the rebellion against the Stamp Act- all the people wanted was for those laws to be repealed. It wasn’t until the Declaration of Independence was drafted did anyone really think about breaking from England, altogether.

And after the new country of America had been under the Articles of Confederation for 11 years and was dying, economically as well as socially, the Continental Congress was called to revise the Articles. They closed and locked the doors and in secret, illegally revised the Articles of Confederation by deep-sixing them and creating the one thing the first Continental Congress did NOT want: a strong, central government.

And thank God they did! And because this country and its leaders at that time were God-fearing men, they were able to come up with the U.S. Constitution.

And because our government, courts, and society were faithfully adherent to the way God said we should live and treat each other, he blessed this nation with financial and societal strength, making it a place where everyone else in the world wanted to go to live for the opportunities it provided.

In the last couple of decades, we have decided that God has no place in our system of government, or in our courts, schools, or even society. And the leaders of this country, who at the beginning made sure that everything they did was based on what God said, have done a complete “180”: God says there are two genders, today the government says people can be any gender they want to be, even going as far as to support the idea that children who haven’t even gone through puberty yet can decide which gender they want to be.

The murder of children, which is no different than child sacrifice to the pagan gods of the Semitic tribes of ancient days, is now financially supported and guaranteed by the government. It’s called abortion.

Our government leaders, especially the ones who are now coming into nearly complete power, have decided that Israel is not to be allowed to exist. They support verbally and financially the Palestinian people (who never really existed until Yasser Arafat created them as a propaganda campaign), a people who only want to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews they can. They teach their children, as early as kindergarten, that it is a good thing to kill Jews and the more Jews they kill the more reward they will receive in heaven!

Who would have ever thought that America would not just condone, but support both verbally and financially, any country that teaches its children it is a good thing to kill other people?

The Democrats have denounced the violence at the Capital but didn’t say one word about all the BLM and ANTIFA rioting and destruction of property (not to mention the murder of police) in the past except for the fact that these were, in truth, peaceful protests. C’mon, people…really? Yet, there are many people who believed that… and why? Because their hatred is stronger than their love, stronger than their common sense, and stronger than their judgment.

In Matthew 7:2 Yeshua teaches us all about judging others:

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

So all who hate will be treated the same way they treat the ones they hate. And when you ask people why they hate, so often all I hear is “because he or she is (a certain type of person).”

Is this a country or a high school? Are our elected officials, especially the President, qualified by how nice a person they are, or by what plans they have for improving the country and their ability to accomplish those plans? Is the President supposed to be friendly to everyone and smiling all the time, never offending anyone (which means the same as not having any moral compass) or is he supposed to a leader with a specific set of standards?

People, this country is not the America I was willing to fight and die for when I was in the Marine Corps. It is most certainly not the America my father fought for in WWII or my uncle, who was a MASH doctor, risked his life for during the Korean War.

And it is no longer blessed by God because we have rejected him. We have replaced him with sexual perversity, sports figures, fast cars, technology, and financial gain. We don’t have time to pray because we are too busy on Facebook or Twitter, reading and spreading gossip, believing what we are told on the Internet or from the corrupted media.

And when we reject God, God will give us time to repent and come back to him, despite how sinful we may have become. But eventually, even God will have to accept that repentance is not coming, and as such, the only thing left is judgment.

God told Jeremiah not to pray for Judea (Jeremiah 7:16) because the time for judgment had come- it was too late to turn away the fierce anger and just punishment that God now had to deal out on them. And, my brothers and sisters, I am telling you here and now that we in America are in the same spot.

God used the Assyrians to punish Shomron, and he used the Babylonians to punish Judea. Now, he is using our own leaders to destroy us from inside.

Pray if you want to, but don’t pray for these people or this country because our time for repentance has come and gone. Pray for quick relief, pray that you will be able to financially survive the punishment, and pray that God will lift up, in the midst of this tsouris we will be undergoing, a leader who will bring God back into our society and courts, and that this country will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the destroying fire we have brought down on ourselves, and return to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Our God, Father, Lord, Creator, and King, please be merciful in this, your righteous indignation with our country and leaders, and speed an end to the punishment we and our fathers deserve. We have sinned against thee, and have committed grievous abominations, all the while ignoring your good instructions. Forgive our stupidity, pride, and selfishness; remove the stain of our sexual perversity and spiritual misguidance of the people, and bring us back into communion with you through your Messiah, Yeshua.

We await your just punishment and ask, in Yeshua’s name, that you mercifully protect those who still honor and worship you, and when the sword strikes, please get it over with quickly.

Amen.

Are You Used to Your Salvation?

David wrote this heartfelt prayer in Psalm 51 (CJB):

Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit. Don’t thrust me away from your presence, don’t take your Ruach Kodesh away from me. Restore my joy in your salvation, and let a willing spirit uphold me.

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I confess that I pray this on a regular basis, for myself, and not because it is a beautiful passage (which it is) and not because it tells of my love for God (which it does), but because I have become inured to having received the Grace of God and the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

I have been “saved” for nearly a quarter of a century, and didn’t come to know my Messiah until I was in my 40’s; when I decided to accept Yeshua, I still had to wait nearly three months before I received the gift of the Ruach.

And looking back, I remember the many times I would be in prayer or singing to the Lord and felt his touch, you know- that tingling sensation you get all over-and I knew it wasn’t just a chill or something earthly: I knew it was God.

I can’t remember the last time I felt that. And I know it isn’t because God has abandoned me, or withdrawn his Ruach because of all the wonderful blessings I receive from him and also because of these messages I am given, so to speak, to share with you. I can tell you right now that when I do something that is edifying, which I am happy to say I receive confirmation from people regularly that this is what I am doing, then I know that it is from God ’cause it ain’t from me, I can tell you that right now!

Trust me on this: if something good comes from me, it ain’t me. So when I get a positive reply to a Facebook posting or from one of these messages on my ministry, I accept that as confirmation that the Ruach is still at work in me.

But still, I miss that touch. I know it is my fault I don’t feel it; it is not that I have rejected God, but I have become too used to my salvation. I have worked within it for so long that I don’t really appreciate it as much as I first did. I know that is wrong, but I also know it is part of human nature to become adjusted to almost any condition we are in, once we have been there long enough (I wouldn’t want to use the word “bored”, but that is almost what it is like.)

Now don’t get me wrong: I am not saying I am bored with God- heaven forbid! I appreciate everything he does for me and my wife, and I thank him every day. I read his word daily and pray to him always, but it is that peace of mind, that wonder, that overwhelming sense of joy that I recall when I was first saved that I miss. That zealousness, that strong desire to do absolutely everything in the Torah perfectly…where did it go? Am I the victim of that old adage, “Familiarity breeds contempt?”

Again, not that I hate God- heaven forbid! (I sound like Shaul writing to the Romans, don’t I?) But there is something too familiar with my relationship with the Spirit and to God and Messiah Yeshua. It is like a life-long friendship where two people have formed such a close relationship that they don’t feel it as much consciously, but subconsciously they know they are as one.

So, nu? What do I do about this?

You know what? I don’t know. Maybe someone out there has an answer, maybe someone out there feels they are in the same boat as I am, and maybe the answer will come to me when God is ready to slap me upside my head and say, “Get back with the program!”

I trust that God is still with me, I know that he is waiting for me to come closer, his hand out there, in anticipation that sooner or later I will figure it out. It is undoubtedly some level of pridefulness on my part that is acting as a wedge between me and God, keeping me from getting closer to him.

I don’t know: I just…don’t…know.

So what I will do is continue to study his word, continue to pray, continue to do my best to live more in accordance with the instructions God gave us, and continue to trust that God will, one way or another, in his perfect timing show me what I need to do in order to come closer to him.

And, now that I think about it, that sounds like a good plan for anyone.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe and share these messages to help this ministry grow. I never ask for money because this is a teaching ministry and not a money-grabbing business (although it wouldn’t hurt if you bought some of my books.) I will never tell anyone what they must believe, only what I believe God is saying to us. All I want to do is give people what they need in order to make an informed decision about where they will spend eternity.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

PS: I was making the video for this and as I was reviewing the video, I felt God’s touch! So it seems the answer is as David said elsewhere- a broken heart and a contrite spirit, God will not turn away.

Praise God, now and always, for his love endures forever!

Parashah Vayyechi 2021 (And he lived) Genesis 48:28 – 50:26

In these final chapters to the Book of Genesis, Jacob dies at a ripe old age of 147. But before dying, he blesses the children of Joseph, placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim, the younger of the two, and telling Joseph that he is doing this on purpose, because the younger will be greater than the older.

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Jacob also gives a specific blessing to each of his children, renouncing Reuben for having slept with his father’s concubine, telling Levi and Simeon that their anger and violence was a sin (when they slew all the men of Shechem), telling Judah that he would be prince among the tribes and rule over them until the coming of Shiloh, which is generally considered to mean the Messiah (not all Jewish commentators agree that this is a messianic prophecy), and establishing what will become the identifying traits of the other sons.

He makes them swear to bury him in the cave at Machpelah, where his father and grandfather are buried, along with their wives. He then dies, is embalmed, and carried to the cave along with a giant retinue, and the whole country mourns for him.

When all are back in Goshen, the brothers of Joseph are concerned that now, with his father dead, Joseph might take revenge on them and they approach him promising to be his slaves, but he tells them that what they intended for evil, God turned to good so that many lives could be saved. Joseph promises his brothers to take care of them and their little ones. He tells them that one day God will bring them all back to their homeland, the land God gave to Abraham and makes them swear that when that day comes, they will carry his bones out of Egypt.

The book ends with the death of Joseph at 110 years of age.

חזק חזק ונית חזק!

(Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!)

For me, one of the most meaningful messages for us from the story of Joseph is how God has a plan, for every one of us, but we never really know what it is until it happens.

I am pretty sure that when Joseph was thrown in the pit by his brothers, he wasn’t looking forward to the future, but was wondering if he would even have a future! Yet, he managed to end up as the second most powerful man in the known world and in a position to save God’s chosen people from extinction.

I find it interesting (because I don’t really believe in coincidence) that we are coming to the end of this story just as we are entering a new year. For just as Joseph didn’t know what plan God had for him until it happened, coming through this past year we all are somewhat concerned about what the future holds. Normally, we look forward to the new year, but right now I think most people aren’t looking forward to the new year as much as they are looking forward to ending the one we just came through!

So what does Joseph’s story have for us today? Simply this: we don’t know what God is planning for us, and we don’t know when it will come about, and we don’t even know if it will be easier or if we still have more fire to pass through. But, what we do know, what we can learn from Joseph, is that so long as we maintain our faith in God, which we demonstrate through obedience to his instructions, and trust that he is working all things for our good, eventually, then we will come out of this tsouris better than when we went into it.

Personally, I believe this horrible year is just the start. We have, as a country, kicked God out of nearly everything important, from our system of justice, to our schools, and even from society, in general. We are more concerned about offending sinful people and those who want to kill us than we are about offending God! And sooner or later, as we see throughout the Tanakh, when we reject God he will reject us. And for those who are still righteously faithful and God-fearing, we also see throughout the Tanakh how the innocent become collateral damage when the sinful leaders must be punished.

So, let us hope I am wrong and that we are coming out of the fire, cleansed of dross and purer than when this year started.

As we leave 2020 behind, pray that the light at the end of the tunnel is, in fact, the opening to a new and better place, and not actually an express train barreling down on us.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages to help this ministry grow, subscribe here and on my YouTube channel (use the link above), and remember that I always welcome your comments.

For those who celebrate the New Year, may it bring you joy and blessings.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

How Can Sinners be Allowed in Heaven?

During the Sermon on the Mount, as recalled in the Gospel of Matthew, (5:19) Yeshua says this (CJB):

So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Some versions of the Bible say the Kingdom of God, but the terms “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” are considered to be the same thing, which is where those who are saved by the Messiah will be when the Tribulation is over and the new earth and new heaven are formed.

In other words, eternity.

When I read this, I have to ask myself, how can someone who not only sins but teaches others to sin be called the least in heaven? I mean, if you are a sinner teaching others to sin, how can you even be allowed into God’s presence?

As far as I can see, this is the only place where Yeshua makes this statement in all of the Gospels.

So what does it mean? As with any interpretation, we can’t just look at the sentence, but at how that sentence fits into the general lesson or thought. Just before this, Yeshua talks about how he did not come to change the law and that not one of the even smallest elements of the law, i.e. commandments in the Torah, will be changed. Later, he warns everyone that if they aren’t more righteous than the Pharisees they will never enter the kingdom of heaven. We also have to take into account the constant complaint Yeshua had about the Pharisees, which was that they taught their own man-made traditions and laws superseded the mitzvot (laws) of God, as God gave them to us in the Torah.

So, when we look at all sides of this, we can see Yeshua wasn’t saying that anyone is able to enter heaven if they sin and teach others to sin, but that those who obey and teach that man-made regulations are more important than the law, while not directly breaking that law, are going to be least in the kingdom of heaven.

Placing the importance of a man-made tradition or ritual in lieu of what God said is a form of disobedience that isn’t, by definition, a sin because you aren’t really breaking the law, you are just obeying it in a different way than God said you should.

Okay, what the heck does that mean? Let’s look at the example Yeshua gave in Matthew 15:3-6 when he replied to the Pharisees accusing him of breaking the tradition of N’tilat Yadayim (handwashing before eating):

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?  For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father and mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition

The Pharisees said Yeshua was teaching his people to break the traditions, and by doing so were, in essence, accusing him of breaking the law. His reply indicated that they were the ones breaking the law, and not the law of men but the law of God, by teaching that the law of men was more important than the law of God.

Let’s try this again: a korban is something devoted or offered to God, such as one of the sacrifices in Leviticus 1-7, but in this case, Yeshua wasn’t talking about something that was associated with sin or guilt. And although there is no specific Torah statement that to not offer a korban is a sin, still and all, you don’t renege on that offer. For instance, Hannah prayed for a child and offered the child as a Nazir to God; after Samuel was born, if she hadn’t delivered Samuel to Eli, the Cohen HaGadol, that would have been a sin. But, if she had only asked for a child and never devoted it to God, raising Samuel herself would not have been a sin.

Now, the Pharisees taught that once you offered a korban to God you couldn’t then give it to your parents, even if they desperately needed it because that would be a sin. And what Yeshua said was if they refuse to give to their needy parents that which they offered as a korban to God, then they were violating the 5th commandment.

How can these completely opposite opinions be reconciled? I believe the korban in this example that is being offered was not already offered but was intended to be offered. I justify this interpretation because most of the offerings made were of an animal or grain, so once given it was sacrificed, burnt upon the altar, and there was no way it could be retrieved; but, if someone tells their parents they can’t have something they need because it is devoted to God (or, more accurately, because I intend to devote it to God), that is where Yeshua said they break the law.

It is not a sin to intend to devote something to God, then change your mind because there is a greater need for it elsewhere. For instance, your parents.

So, what we have here is that this passage doesn’t imply when we sin and teach others to sin, we can still get into heaven. If someone does and teaches others that you can commit adultery, fornicate to your heart’s desire, totally disregard the Shabbat, or any such obvious disobedience to the laws God gave us in the Torah, they are not going to get a free pass to eternity in God’s presence. However, if someone is trying to obey and teach others to obey the law, but they are confused and teaching traditions of men instead of God’s way, which is what God-loving Christians have been doing for millennia, then they may still get into heaven, but they won’t be given front-row seats. Instead of a mansion, they may get a shack.

That reminds me of a story….

A Catholic Cardinal dies and goes to heaven. He is told he will be led to the place reserved for him, and as he is walking he sees beautiful mansions, and in one of them was someone he knew had been a New York City taxi driver.

As he is led, the mansions become houses, the houses become condos, and he is finally told, “This is for you.” In front of him is a small shack.

He asks the angel, “Are you sure? I devoted my life to God and was a Cardinal, so why am I in a shack and some hack from the Big Apple in a mansion?”

The angel said, “When you preached, people slept, but when he drove, people prayed.”

We should do what God said we should do, the way God said we should do it, and always teach others to obey what God says in the Torah. The New Covenant writings are not commandments from God, they are commentary by human beings, referencing what God said in the Torah. What Yeshua was warning the people about in Matthew 5:19 is that you can disobey a commandment by God by following a man-made tradition that is actually designed to fulfill a commandment.

And, for the record, Yeshua never said all man-made traditions are bad- only those that are given precedence over God’s commandments.

So, nu? How can I know which is the right one to obey? The answer is you need to know which commandments are from God, and which are man-made, and the only way you will know that, for certain, is to read the Torah.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know, subscribe to this ministry here and also on my YouTube channel (use the link above), and remember that I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!