The Apocalypse…God’s Doing or God’s Allowing?

When the Apocalypse comes, when the 7 seals are opened, when the bowls of God’s wrath are spilled on the earth, when the fecal matter hits the air circulation unit, will this be something that God does or something that God allows?

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

When Noah and his family left the ark, Noah sacrificed to God. And this is what happened then (Genesis 8:21 CJB):

 Adonai smelled the sweet aroma, and Adonai said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, since the imaginings of a person’s heart are evil from his youth; nor will I ever again destroy all living things, as I have done.

This is the reason I ask if God will be the one who destroys the earth. If he does, meaning that God, himself, directly performs the curses that come from the opening of the seals and the bowls of wrath, then he is breaking his covenant with Noah, isn’t he?

Yet, if God doesn’t actually do the “bad” things, but the bad things happen because of something God doesn’t do, then is that the same as actually doing something?

I know, I know…it sounds like a convoluted bit of excuse-making, but it is, I believe, important to know whether God actively destroys the world or simply doesn’t prevent it.

Regarding Deuteronomy 28, which is referred to as the Blessings and the Curses Chapter, I have often stated that the blessings we receive are actively given to us by God. He directly causes these good things to occur. However, the curses, which are the exact opposite of the blessings, aren’t actively sent to us by God, but instead are visited on us because God is not actively blessing us.

In other words, the world is already a cursed and fallen place and tsouris is what we should expect when living in a cursed and fallen world. The blessings we receive are God’s kippur, his covering, which protects us from the curses. When we are obedient to the instructions God gave us regarding how to live and worship him, he protects us from the world. That is why blessings are given and curses are sent, although they really aren’t sent because you can’t send what is already here.

I believe that when we read of the destruction of the world in the Book of Revelation that is the same sort of thing. Yes, the bowls are of God’s wrath, and yes, the 7 seals were sealed up by God, but it isn’t God who opens the seals and it isn’t God who pours the wrath upon the earth.

Revelation 6:3 says that the rider on the red horse was to take away the peace of the world and cause people to slaughter themselves; it isn’t the rider or God who is slaughtering the people, they are killing themselves.

In Revelation 7 we are told that God says to the destroying angels to wait until the servants of God have received their seals to protect them; as I said, God will not be causing the destruction to follow but is protecting those who are his own from it.

As for the rule of the Beast, it is allowed to rule. It has always been here, and since it is will be allowed to rule, that means prior to that time it was kept from ruling anything.

The seven bowls of fury are poured out on the earth, but the authorization comes from a voice from the Sanctuary (Rev.16:1) and the bowls were given to the angels by one of the living creatures. The bowls are filled with God’s wrath, which is just and correct because of all the sins of the world, but God is not pouring them out, himself, he is just allowing it to happen.

Do you see the subtle difference I am trying to point out?  God has been protecting us from the consequences of our sins all this time. His wrath and judgment are correct and justified, but he has withheld the punishment we deserve. It won’t be until the end of his patience when he will no longer hold back the judgment we all deserve, and then he will allow the angels, his executioners, to do their job.

From the moment God told Noah he will not destroy life again, he has been actively protecting the world by suspending the execution of his righteous and perfect judgment of the sinners in the world. He is waiting, hoping that he can issue a reprieve from the judgment his holiness demands he makes upon the world. In Ezekiel 18:23 he says that he doesn’t get any pleasure from the death of the sinner but would rather they turn from their sin and live, and since the days of Noah he has been giving everyone as much time as he can to do just that.

God will not destroy the world any more than a judge kills a criminal found guilty of a capital crime. The judge orders the punishment, the executioner performs it, but the one who is really responsible for the death of the guilty person is the person, himself.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with others. I would also ask that you subscribe, check out my books, my entire website and don’t hesitate to comment if you would like to agree or even if you want to argue. Just be nice.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Missionary Work is Selling

For the first half of my life, I thought the last thing I would ever want to do is be a Salesman. I, along with almost everyone I knew who never sold anything, thought that career was slimy and dishonest.

Besides that, who would want a job where you never knew how much money you would make?

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

After surviving a failed business attempt, bankruptcy, and needing cash but also needing to be close to home to help with the high-risk pregnancy my (then) wife had (that was in my previous life), I ended up taking a local sales job selling baby pictures to people in their home. I was able to set my own appointments and work whenever I wanted to, so long as I made a certain quota, and I was paid on commission, only. That means if I don’t sell, I don’t eat.

During the next two years, after having several different sales jobs with different products (all commission only), I was much better trained and experienced, and that’s when I realized selling as a career was much more challenging and fun than I ever expected it to be. And I didn’t have to be a slimeball or liar or cheat.

And more than that, you wanna know something? I was making more money, more regularly, than I ever did as a “suit” working on Wall Street!

So, what does this have to do with God or missionary work? Everything.

Whether you like it or not, or whether you think sales is a bad career choice or not, the truth of the matter is that everyone is selling something at all times. If you are in a meeting, you have to sell your ideas. If you have a business you have to sell yourself to potential clients so they use you and not someone else. If you are a parent, you (sometimes) have to sell your children on why they should do the right thing. If you are interviewing for a job, you have to sell yourself as the product the employer wants to have.

One way or another, we are all in Sales, and the one thing I know from my experience is that Sales is not about talking, it is all about listening.

Those people who major in Marketing should change their major to Psychology because that is what Sales really is. It is knowing how to get people to bond with you, to open up to you, and to be able to get them to decide that what you want them to do is what they want to do, even when they don’t know what they want to do. And as an honest salesperson, you teach them what they need to know to make a proper and qualified decision; qualified meaning based on information, and not on their feelings, alone.

The mega-churches know all about how to sell God, but they don’t sell obedience to God. They know that people are self-centered and selfish, so they tell you all about the wonderful blessings God has for you when you do what they say God wants you to do, which is usually nothing more than to be a “good” person because all those hard things to do are just for Jews.

That is the psychology behind selling: find out what the person wants and explain how your product provides that for them. People want the easy way, and telling them that God will bless them if they are a good person sounds easy enough, right? The problem is that it is not selling the truth because it may be an easy way, but it is the wrong way.

In order to be a successful missionary, you have to know how to sell. The product we have to sell is salvation, eternal joy in God’s presence and peace of mind while alive. We are trying to get people to not sell their souls to the world but to devote their lives to God. It is a hard product to sell correctly because it involves self-discipline, sacrifice, and determination.

The proper way to do this is, just as with any sales job, first and foremost you have to know your product. To tell people about God, you have to know God; and you won’t ever get to really know him listening to other people tell you who he is. God has told us everything we need to know about him in the Torah, and that is where you need to start. Whatever God wants you to know about him, he will lead you to see in his Word as you read it more and more.

Now, when I say you need to know about God I don’t mean passages in the Bible about God, but who God is, what he wants from us, and what he is willing to do for us when we obey. Don’t tell people about hell or damnation because frightening people into something never works in the long run. For someone to truly make a decision they will stick with, they have to believe whatever they do is their idea; so, once you know about God, your next step is to ask questions.

Too many people in missionary work talk and talk and talk. They tell people what they are doing wrong, what they should be doing to be right, and flood them with spiritual statements that a non-spiritual person really cannot grasp.

In other words, they talk them to death…literally, because the more they talk, the less the people want to listen, and the attempt to teach them what they need to know to be saved is wasted.

To be able to help someone find God, you first have to find out what they believe they are missing in their life. Do not assume anything about them, and to get them to open up to you, you need to relate to them. People who are not spiritual will not relate to someone who can’t talk in their language or who spiritualizes everything they say.

The best salesman in the Bible was that Jewish tentmaker from Tarsus, Shaul (Paul) because he was willing to relate to everyone on their level:

1 Corinthians 19: 19-23 (CJB) For although I am a free man, not bound to do anyone’s bidding, I have made myself a slave to all in order to win as many people as possible. That is, with Jews, what I did was put myself in the position of a Jew, in order to win Jews. With people in subjection to a legalistic perversion of the Torah, I put myself in the position of someone under such legalism, in order to win those under this legalism, even though I myself am not in subjection to a legalistic perversion of the Torah.  With those who live outside the framework of Torah, I put myself in the position of someone outside the Torah in order to win those outside the Torah — although I myself am not outside the framework of God’s Torah but within the framework of Torah as upheld by the Messiah.  With the “weak” I became “weak,” in order to win the “weak.” With all kinds of people I have become all kinds of things, so that in all kinds of circumstances I might save at least some of them.

Shaul knew that in order for people to listen to him, they needed to trust what he says as true, and in order to get them to trust what he says, they need to trust him. And that comes from bonding, one person to another. They can have respect for his knowledge or because he was a Pharisee, or even just because he suffered so much for his belief. All of that is helpful, but it won’t get anyone to change their mind.

If you want to help people find God, you first have to let them find you, trust you, and bond with you, and the best way to do that is to ask them about themselves, shut up and listen.

When I taught people how to sell, I told them two things:

1. People don’t mean what they say, they mean what they do; and
2. When you ask the right questions and listen to their answers, they will tell you how to close them.

With regard to missionary work, this means asking them what they feel they are missing in their life, what they want, and how they think they can get it. Then once you know what they think they want, you can begin to show them how, in YOUR life, God has supplied these things for you. And don’t worry if they want something you never did- you can always find a relatable subject because most everyone wants the same basic things: love, appreciation, and security. This is why you need to know psychology because basic wants and needs are part of Maslow’s work about Self-Actualization.

I could give extended teaching on this subject but have done enough for the moment. Maybe too much, since everyone has a limited attention span. You might have noticed that most of my messages run 6-8 minutes, which is because after 10 minutes or so people zone out.

So, if you want to be able to talk about God to anyone, start by asking them questions. You will save more souls with careful listening than you ever will with enthusiastic preaching.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with others, Also don’t forget to subscribe. I also welcome any and all comments.

If anyone would like me to expand on this subject and make it a teaching series, let me know.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

God Denies Original Sin Exists

Before we can start this discussion, we should make sure we all know what the term “Original Sin” means.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video. 

There are many different definitions, and I found that Wikipedia did the best job. Here is what they say:

Original sin, also called ancestral sin, is a Christian belief in a state of sin in which humanity has existed since the fall of man, stemming from Adam and Eve’s rebellion in Eden, namely the sin of disobedience in consuming the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Theologians have characterized this condition in many ways, seeing it as ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred to as a “sin nature”, to something as drastic as total depravity or automatic guilt of all humans through collective guilt.
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon first alluded to the concept of original sin in the 2nd century in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics. Other church fathers such as Augustine (354-430) also shaped and developed the doctrine, seeing it as based on the New Testament teaching of Paul the Apostle (Romans 5:12–21) and 1 Corinthians (15:21-22) and the Old Testament verse of Psalms 51:5.

That’s a mouthful, or for those watching the video, an eyeful, but it is pretty good, overall, in identifying what we all knew already, which is that “Original Sin” is a Christian doctrine.

But wait a minute! Are you saying that Jews do not believe in original sin?  How can that be, if David in Psalm 51 says we are all shaped in iniquity, and that his mother conceived him in sin?

In fact, within Judaism – Talmudic Judaism, that is – there is a condition called the Yetzer Hara, which is an evil inclination and we are all born with it. It drives us to selfishness and material desires, which will (unchecked) lead us to do evil. The Yetzer Hatov, the good inclination, comes to us when we are about 13 years of age and it controls the Yetzer Hara. In Freudian language, the Yetzer Hara is like the Id, and the Yetzer Hatov is like the Ego.

The main difference between the Jewish view and the Christian view is that Judaism says we are born with the potential to become a sinner, and Christianity says we are born sinners, already, because of the “fall”.

Well, what does God say?

It seems that God agrees that the sins which our parents perform will also fall on our children because in Exodus 20:5 God says this:

You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

So it appears, at first glance, that God is going to make the children suffer for the sins of their parents. This fits in with the Christian idea of original sin, but not really with the Jewish Yetzer Hara, so did the Rabbis get it wrong?

But (again) wait a minute!  Look at what God says in Ezekiel 18:1-4:

The Lord’s word came to me:  What do you mean by this proverb of yours about the land of Israel: “When parents eat unripe grapes, the children’s teeth suffer”?  As surely as I live, says the Lord God, no longer will you use this proverb in Israel!  All lives are mine; the life of the parent and the life of the child belong to me. Only the one who sins will die.

So the Rabbis were right when they said we are born with the desire to sin, but not already in sin. But now what happens to original sin? I mean, when God told this to Ezekiel, that was sometime between 590 and 571 BCE. That was something like 800 years before Augustine said we all are born sinners because of the sin of Adam and Eve.

And what about what God says in the Second Commandment?

The main conflict seems to be between what God tells Moses, i.e. that he will cause the children to suffer the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation, and what God tells Ezekiel, which is that the children won’t suffer for the parent’s sins.

What happened? Did God change his mind?

No, God didn’t change his mind; the conflict isn’t with God, it is within our understanding of what God meant when he gave the second commandment to Moses.

Let’s look closer at what God said about the children suffering: he said that the iniquity (sin) of the fathers will be visited on the children “…of them that hate me.” In other words, if the children follow the parent’s rejection of God, worshipping other gods and disobeying the Torah, then God will visit on them the same punishment that he visited on their parents. The rest of that verse states that God will be merciful to the thousandth generation of them that love him. The real meaning is that those who hate God and teach their children to do so will cause their children to suffer the same punishment they do for 3-4 generations, but those that worship God correctly and teach their children to do so will be rewarded for a thousand generations.

Now we can see that these two verses (Exodus and Ezekiel), which seem to contradict each other, are actually saying the same thing. If you do the bad things your parents did, you will get the same punishment they did, but if you follow righteousness, whether or not your parents were righteous won’t matter because each person will be held accountable only for what they do, themselves.

I think the Rabbis got it right in the Talmud when they say we are all born with the Yetzer Hara, which the Bible calls “iniquity”, which can overcome with the Yetzer Hatov.

As for the Christian belief in original sin, well…God says that doesn’t exist, and if God says it ain’t so, then it ain’t so.

If you have been brought up believing that you are born a sinner and that your infant child has to be baptized because it is already under sin, don’t worry about it. We are all born with the inclination to sin, but we are not born sinners, already. Really, do you think God would send an infant to eternal hell and torture?

I don’t think so.

What we are born with is the desire to sin, but we are not born as a sinner, already. We are not accountable for ourselves until we are old enough to know good from evil, and in both Judaism and Christianity that begins at about 6 years old, when parents (hopefully) start to send their kids to a religious school.

Now that you know the facts about original sin, make sure that you do what is right in God’s eyes, and even more important than that, make sure you teach your children to do what is right, as well.

Children are not held accountable for what their parents do, but if you do not teach your children the right way to live and worship, then you are setting them up to be punished by God.

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

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

 

Too Early to Know

I was reading Dear Abby this morning and a 16-year-old girl wrote in how she and another boy, one year older than her, like each other but the boy wasn’t ready for a relationship. This, of course, is driving the girl crazy.

Here’s what drove me a little crazy about this issue: she says the boy is a transgender boy.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

He is only 17 years old!! She wasn’t female long enough to even know what being a female is all about, and yet the parents, as well as the legal system, has allowed this child to sexually mutilate herself into himself and take mind-altering, as well as physiological altering, drugs just because she “thinks” she should be a he before she or he has even finished puberty!!

Now wait a minute…before anyone who is a member of the LGBTQ community jumps down my throat, this is NOT a judgment on your lifestyle or sexual/gender identification, or your rights.  That is not the issue here.

The issue is that a child of 16 or 17, and certainly one much younger, is not mature enough, either physically, emotionally or socially, to make a life-changing decision such as changing their gender. Even with psychological counseling, they are just too damn young and (life) inexperienced to make such a drastic decision.

We don’t let them drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes until they are 21, and they can’t even vote until they are 18. So if these simple decisions that are reversible during their lifetime are considered too difficult a decision for them to make until they are of legal age, why can pre-pubescent children be allowed to alter their gender?

I believe the parents who allow this should be charged with child abuse and the doctors should have their licenses revoked and charged with malpractice. No child of 16 or 17 is able to make a sound, mature and experienced decision about which gender they identify with.

And anyone who disagrees is, in my opinion, saying that only as a defense mechanism, without a care at all for the child’s welfare. They disagree only because they want to support an agenda that is not really being questioned here.

This country allows drag queens to read to toddlers in public libraries- libraries that receive their funding from the community. These innocent children are too young to even know what morals are, let alone have enough life experience to know what a drag queen really is. To them, these men are no different than a circus clown all dressed up. But there is a BIG difference- those men dressed as women are not clowning around.

I know gay people and have family members who are gay and have never once judged them, even though I know what God says and don’t agree at all with their lifestyle. But right or wrong, sinful or not, a sex change operation is such a drastic event that it must be prohibited until such time as the person requesting it is of legal age and has shown enough life experience and emotional maturity for a panel of experts to determine that this person is making an informed decision.

God has been removed from our courts and schools and replaced with politically correct sinfulness, moral depreciation, and fear of being labeled as someone not tolerant or compassionate.  I know prayer is a powerful weapon, but even in the Bible we read how both the Northern, and later the Southern Kingdoms had committed such horrible sins, and for so long, that God was past hearing their prayers and was on his throne of judgment.

I believe that America is in the same place that Shomrom was in after King Ahab, which a few hundred years later Judea was in after King Manasseh.

We have been sinning too much and too long for prayer to wash us clean, and the only thing left to us now is judgment.

God made us the way we are and if someone wants to change what God did, then they will have to deal with God on their own. And whether or not you believe in transgender sex operations, no one should be able to do that to themselves until they are at least of legal age, as well as having shown enough maturity, experience, and understanding of the consequences of their actions to demonstrate they really know what they are doing.

And no teenager can do that.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe. I welcome your comments and until next time, L’hitraot, wash your hands,  and Baruch HaShem!

The Sin Yeshua Refused to Forgive

Do you recall the story about the adulteress brought before Yeshua? You can find it in John 8:3-11 (CJB):

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery and made her stand in the center of the group.  Then they said to him, “Rabbi, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in our Torah, Moshe commanded that such a woman be stoned to death. What do you say about it?”  They said this to trap him, so that they might have ground for bringing charges against him; but Yeshua bent down and began writing in the dust with his finger.  When they kept questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “The one of you who is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Then he bent down and wrote in the dust again.  On hearing this, they began to leave, one by one, the older ones first, until he was left alone, with the woman still there.  Standing up, Yeshua said to her, “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, sir.” Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and don’t sin any more.”

When I last read this it occurred to me that there was no forgiveness given for the sin the woman was supposed to have committed. No one should be surprised that this situation was a set-up to disgrace and trap Yeshua; in fact, the Bible story tells us that is exactly what was being done. And the fact that the woman was caught in the act of adultery but the other party to that sin was not there is a clear indication that the whole thing was somewhat shady.

Of course, Yeshua didn’t fall for this trap. We know from what we read in the Gospel accounts that by reason of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) Yeshua knew what people were thinking, and although we will never know what he wrote in the sand, his actions were designed to show the accusers that he knew exactly what was going on.

I believe the woman was actually committing the sin of adultery, if for no other reason than the fact that it was the Pharisees who brought her before Yeshua. You see, to accuse someone of a crime that was not committed is a violation of the 9th Commandment about not bearing false witness. So, even though their intention was to trap Yeshua, I don’t think that a Pharisee would have violated one of the Big Ten just to trap Yeshua.

For the moment, let’s look past the actions of Yeshua and the men who brought her, and look to the woman. When Yeshua asked her who was there to condemn her, she said no one, but nothing else. She did not confess her sin, she did not ask for forgiveness, neither did she say one word about being falsely accused. If I was brought before someone and falsely accused, the first thing I would have said was that this was a frame-up. But this woman said nothing, and I believe her silence spoke volumes.

When Yeshua said he would not condemn her, he was obeying the Torah. In Deuteronomy 19:15 it says this (JPS Tanakh):

A single witness may not validate against a person any guilt for any offense that may be committed; a case can be valid only on the testimony of two witnesses or more.

Once everyone left, and Yeshua was alone with the woman, no accusation could legally be made against her, so Yeshua obeyed the law and told her to go.

But – and here’s the important part- he never said she was forgiven. In fact, he told her not to sin anymore. That statement (to me) clearly shows that she did sin, he knew she sinned, but since she never confessed her sin or asked for forgiveness, he didn’t give it. In my opinion, I think the woman had no intention of stopping her adulteress ways, which is why Yeshua warned her not to sin anymore.

In other words, she got off on a legal technicality and the judge told her she might not be so lucky the next time.

You might be thinking, “OK, so this is interesting, but what does it have to do with me?”

Everything! The lesson we learn from this story is that even though forgiveness is available to us, we must confess our sin and ask for that forgiveness. And if the confession is not a truly repentant one, God will not be fooled because he knows your heart and what is in your mind.

If you have been taught that because Yeshua died for your sins they are automatically forgiven, you have been taught a lie. No sin is automatically forgiven. Ever. We must first and foremost feel repentance: if you really aren’t sorry for the sin you committed, there is no chance of being forgiven. Next, your repentant attitude should cause you to confess your sin before God, which will then put you in a position to ask for forgiveness, which now, since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, can only be given by means of the sacrifice which Yeshua made on our part.

Even though Yeshua did forgive some people’s sins when he was performing his ministry, he is the Messiah, the Intercessor for all of us, and after his sacrifice, it is now only God who can forgive sin. Yeshua provided the means for forgiveness, but he is not the one who forgives anymore. Only after we accept Yeshua as our Messiah, repent, confess and ask God for forgiveness in Yeshua’s name, will we be able to receive forgiveness of sin.

And we need to repent, confess and ask forgiveness for each and every time we sin.

The “Once saved, always saved” policy is something some person created, and it is not a policy that God recognizes.

Thank you for being here and please don’t forget to subscribe. Share this ministry with others and I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot, Baruch HaShem…and don’t forget to wash your hands!

Changed My Mind

I just spent about an hour writing a message about fear and how it can be used to control us.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

When I couldn’t think of how to conclude the message I realized that I couldn’t stop writing because all I was doing was rambling on and on and on.

So here I am starting over, and trying to stay on topic, which is about the fear currently controlling the world, a fear which I haven’t seen this bad since McCarthyism, the A-Bomb Scare, or Legionnaire’s Disease.

(OK, I wasn’t old enough to go through the McCarthy era, but I certainly remember the others.)

I’m not going to discuss my feelings about the coronavirus phobia, which is what happened in my first draft and why I had to delete it, but will simply state that fear will abide and grow where there is no faith in God.

What I think is really terrible (maybe you agree?) is that now even houses of worship are closing their doors to their own congregants!

When there is a worldwide panic, as we are seeing today, the one place you would expect people to go is to their house of worship, where they can collectively pray for God’s help and protection. Yet, what are these houses of God doing?

They are shutting the people out!

Now, you tell me…is this something that serves God or helps the Devil?

Ah, now you see where I am going with this message: worldwide fear is a tool of the enemy of God, and the more we allow it to propagate, the more people will be controlled by Satan.

That may sound a bit far-fetched, but I do not believe so. Satan will not walk up to you and say, “Yo! Satan’s the name, and eternal damnation is my game. Ya wanna play?”

No, that won’t be the way he does it. What Satan will do is generate distrust and fear among the people, then present himself as a savior, overcoming the problem that caused the fear.

As an example, let’s use the current phobia over coronavirus: maybe someone will come up with a cure and in order to receive it free, you have to qualify, and when you do you will receive a chip in your hand you can use at a clinic to receive the shot.

Or maybe it will be a financial crisis, or maybe it will be some other world-shattering event. No one can know for sure what it will be, but I am certain that this is the process he will use.

So stop being afraid of the virus; after all, the medical fact is that it isn’t very deadly, and almost 99% of the people infected recover within a few days, I’ll bet many have already had it and thought it was just the flu. But do be aware of the effect that this event is having on the world’s population, which has already reached the point where countries are shutting themselves off from the world.

Do you remember what Yeshua said when he was accused of working for Satan? He said a house divided against itself cannot stand, and what do we see in the world today? Countries separating themselves from the world, events banning people from attending, schools closing and churches and synagogues refusing to open their doors.

We are being torn apart from the inside, and if you don’t think that is something that Satan can use to gain power, then you are blind.

Wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Really- we should all do that anyway. Didn’t your Mommy teach you that when you were a child? And shake hands with people, hug them and go through life as you always have, just be more aware of touching your face or wiping your nose. Keep one of those hand sanitizing spray bottles in your pocket- that’s fine. Being concerned and careful is not wrong, but being frightened to the point where you shut yourself off from others is wrong.

One last point…remember that Yeshua said whenever two or three are gathered in his name, there he will be; that can’t happen if no one is getting together with anyone else.

Thank you for being here, and please subscribe. Whether you agree or disagree with what I write, I welcome your comments.

Until next time, don’t be afraid, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

 

Do Miracles Still Exist?

Do you know how a car engine works?

Can you explain how television works?

What about being able to teach someone about how water on the earth becomes rain from the sky?

I’ll bet almost everyone reading this message, right now, can do all of these things.

But, although you can explain how it works, can you make it work?

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

I looked up the definition of a miracle, and (as expected) there are a few different versions, but the main idea is that it is something inexplicable, whose cause cannot be explained by scientific or other means of proof, and thereby considered to be an act of God.

That is a fine definition, don’t you think? My problem with it is that by crediting only the unexplained to God it implies that what we can explain is not by God. Therefore, humans believe that simply because they can explain how something happens that disqualifies it as being a miracle.

I can explain digestion: I eat something, it is transferred to my stomach by my esophagus, then the digestive juices in my stomach dissolve the food into its components, which are then absorbed through my intestines and transferred to the various organs in my body by means of the blood pumped by my heart.

Simple, easy to understand, all scientifically explainable.  Therefore, it isn’t really a miracle, right?

WRONG!!

The entire process is miraculous, and just because I understand how it happens, that doesn’t make it any less a miracle.

Can you create a digestive system?

The Red Sea split open to allow the Israelites to pass through. Now we all recognize that as a miracle, specifically an act of God. The Nile turning to blood, the frogs, lice, boils, etc… every plague God sent upon Egypt were all miracles.

But what about the first couple of miracles? Doesn’t the Bible tell us the magicians of Egypt were able to turn their staffs into snakes? And they also turned the water to blood, so those events couldn’t have been miracles.

Here is a cute drash I read a long time ago:

Many of the best-known scientists in the world gathered to congratulate themselves on being able to read and manipulate the entire human genome. Upon discussion, they came to the conclusion that knowing the genes that cause diseases and other health problems, soon they will no longer need God because they can control disease, and even heal genetic mutations. God asks them, “Can you make a human being out of a lump of clay?” The scientists discuss it and agree that they can. God says, “So, nu -show me.”  They go outside and collect some clay, and as they are heading back to the laboratory God says, “Hold it right there! That’s my clay…you have to use your own clay.”

The things the magicians did to match what God did are miracles because they were the result of a miracle: who created the tree from which they got their staff? Who created snakes, which is what they turned their staff into?

Whose clay is it?

Do you see my point?

People think the Age of Miracles is over because they do not recognize that everything in the world is a miracle. Everything they see, touch, smell and hear is a miracle. No matter what mankind creates, the materials that he uses are already here. The earth, the wood, the water, the elements…everything we have ever created has been made possible because God first miraculously created all the materials.

Every machine humans have created,  every species hybrid we have created, every medicine we have formulated, every everything…all miracles because God miraculously provided the materials we needed to make these things.

So the next time you see a flower bloom, or you hear a child laugh, or you see a building being built, recognize that it is the result of a miracle.

There are miracles happening everywhere, every day and the problem is that we take them for granted; just because we can explain how they happen doesn’t make them any less of a miracle.

And since all miracles come from God, that means God is in everything, everywhere, and we need to remember and appreciate that.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe and share these messages out with everyone you know. I am not in this ministry to make money but to prevent what Hosea said about my people being destroyed for lack of knowledge. This ministry is devoted to helping people get the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about God and how they should live their lives.

So, until next time L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Again, Be Careful What You Ask For

How often do you pray? Me? I pray daily, usually (from a habit of doing so when I was still working) every time I get in my car or ride my bike. And when I pray, as I suspect you all do, I ask God to do things for me.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

I ask to be forgiven of the sins I have committed and to strengthen me to avoid them in the future. I lift up those I love and care about, and then I get into the other things.  You know, things like protection or help in remembering the Hebrew I am teaching myself.

On Monday and Wednesday, as I am driving to meet my friends for our golf game, I also pray for God to help me maintain my composure and not get so angry when I duff a shot.

You see, as I have mentioned before, the one thing that gets my goat faster than anything else is when I screw up a golf shot. I know the Pro’s do it, and often, and that it is only a game, and that most of the reason I get angry is because of my own pride. But, still and all, knowing why something happens doesn’t always help to control what we do when it happens.

Besides, I don’t like doing anything half-donkey and that is not a bad trait; but, when it gets out of control, that is not a good thing.

So, yesterday I prayed for better control and to have the peace that the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) gives if and when I mess up some golf shots.

I prayed, and that was that. I know God hears our prayers, and that he will answer. Sometimes it’s “Yes”, sometimes its “No”, sometimes it’s “OK, but not yet”, and most of the time it is not what we expect or when, but it is always exactly what we need.

Now I start to play. The first hole starts off OK, a nice drive, a good second shot, and then the game goes down the tubes. Instead of getting bogies or pars, as I usually do (I tend to score in the high 80s or low to mid-90s), I was getting double and triple bogies. I couldn’t sink a putt if I was aiming for the Grand Canyon, and my wedge, which is usually my best iron, was on strike.

It took me, and I say this to my credit, only until the 4th hole when I realized that God was answering my prayer from that morning: he was teaching me how to not get mad by giving me every opportunity to practice not getting mad.

As I said, the answer to prayer is not often what you expect it to be. I was hoping for a supernatural calmness that was from the indwelling Spirit, but instead, I was thrown into a lousy game and told, “Sink or swim”; or, in this case, smile or scream.

Through these lessons, I am learning how God works. For me, and maybe this is what happens to you, too, God will answer my request to be better by creating the environment where I need to be better, then throwing me head-first into it! He will not miraculously change my attitude or my personality, or even my thinking: no, he will create the opportunity for me to learn to do what I want to, and sit back and watch how well I do. It is up to me to become better, and he always has my back, meaning that if I fail he will take me out of the test.

At one point yesterday after my drive sliced into the next fairway, I dubbed the next shot into a strand of trees, then hit a tree, I screamed, “Alright already- I am failing the test!” (It wasn’t loud enough for anyone else to hear.)

Then I asked God to forget what I said, and confessed I am still in need of help. I gave in to the fact that this was going to be a bad day, and I should just play and enjoy the company of my friends. After all, no one can be good all the time.

I guess that confession was a passing grade because then I calmed down and my game improved.

I was also thankful to God for answering my prayer. I didn’t necessarily like the way he did it, but I was thankful.

In case you’re interested, I shot a 51 on the front nine, but a 42 on the back nine, so I ended up playing my usual game. However, more important than learning a lesson about self-control, I received an answer to prayer, which is always a blessing and more important than any score could ever be.

Today’s message is this: remember my experience and review, in your own life, how many times you have been answered by God but maybe didn’t realize it at the time. And, as I said in my message from the other day (Always Be Listening), when you pray, remember that you will receive an answer, so stay alert.

God will not change you but he will give you the opportunity and the tools to change yourself. He will place you in the fire, which is the only way the dross can be burned away, and when the fire gets too hot, he will pull you back out again. The best part is that the more often you are placed in the fire, the more heat you will be able to take, and the more purified you will become.

Thank you for being here; please subscribe and share this ministry with others. If you have had a similar experience, I would love to have you share it with me and my subscribers.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Always Be Paying Attention

I was going to do a message this morning about the truth and how we can’t always trust what is truth and what is not, and I didn’t really feel happy with it. I thought the title was worthwhile but as I wrote, it just didn’t “feel” right.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

After spending a few hours on it, writing and editing it a few times, I recorded it for my video. When I went to review the video, there was a place in it where the video slowed down for no reason and the voice track and visual tracking were separated. The voice slowed down and the visual sped up.

I tried to repair it and re-record a section but that didn’t work out, either. And after getting that done somewhat, all of a sudden another part messed up.

I tried to record all over and kept messing up, and suddenly I thought that maybe this message isn’t a good message.

You see, I often pray to Adonai that everything I write and post is good in his eyes and that he shows me when something is wrong. It occurred to me, finally (just as it took Eli three times to realize God was calling to Samuel) that maybe this message is wrong.

I threw the fleece out and told God I would try it one more time, and if it didn’t work again I would not do it, at all. I went through the entire recording of the message which went smoothly, but when I went to review the message, which should have been about 8 minutes long, after only three minutes the recording suddenly stopped!

OK…I hear ya! This is NOT a message that God approves of.

The message that I now think God wants me to share is that we must always remain alert to be aware when God is telling us something and once we hear what he is saying, to do it.

God clearly did not like the message that I created, and frankly, I wasn’t too happy with it, either, but because of my stubbornness, I was going to make it, anyway.  Fortunately, God decided that I wasn’t going to deliver that message, and I am so grateful to him for preventing it from happening.

I am also grateful that he answered my prayer about this ministry, keeping me in line with what he sees as good and not accidentally doing anything that doesn’t give him the glory and the honor he deserves.

So what was wrong is now right: always be alert for God’s intervention in your life. Always ask him to show you what is right in his eyes, and he will help you, guide you, and as he did for me today, prevent you from sticking your foot in your mouth.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe and share this ministry with others. I welcome your comments and until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!