Time to Plug My Books

I received an email the other day from someone who wanted to help me sell my books. They “invited” me to do an interview that would be run on YouTube, as well as multiple ads in different media outlets. It wasn’t much of an invitation because they wanted me to pay then about $2500! When I said that was too much, suddenly they are offering me less than half of that, supposedly for the same exposure, but when I checked out their website, the interviews on YouTube had only a handful of views. So, I said “Thanks, but no thanks.”

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

However, it did make me realize that a short “Please buy my books” at the end of my messages didn’t really give these books the respect and indicate the importance I feel they can have in someone’s spiritual growth.

So, today I am going to plug my books the way they should be plugged!

My first book, “Back to Basics: God’s Word vs. Religion” was written over 14 years ago, and it identifies a number of differences between what God says in the Bible and what different religions teach. The book deals with such topics as “Is Celibacy a Commandment?”, “Kosher is Not Just for Jews”, “Holy Day vs. Holiday”, and “Hidden Idolatry”, to name a few. I highly recommend it to those who are questioning what they have been taught all their life.

The next book I wrote is called “Prayer…What It Is and How It Works”. This is a compilation of many of the messages I have written about prayer over the 10 or more years I have had this ministry. Some of the topics discussed deal with “Am I Praying Correctly?”, “Power of Prayer or Power of God?”, “Spiritual Aspirin”, and “Be Careful What You Pray for Because You Might Just Get It.”. This book is designed to help us understand not just how to pray, but what happens when we pray and what to expect from it.

The third book I wrote is called “Parashot Drashim”, which translates roughly to “Discussions about the Torah readings”. This book, like my book about prayer, was sourced from the many times over the many years I have written messages regarding the Torah reading for that week. It is useful in many ways: you can use this as fodder for a sermon, as a commentary, as a source for a Bible study, or just as a way to get to know the Torah better. It is the thickest book I have written, to date, but as with all my books, I believe you will find it to be an “easy read”.

My most recent book is called “The Good News About the Messiah for Jews: Debunking the Traditional Lies About the Jewish Messiah“. I must say, although I am proud of what I have written, this is the book that- for me- ties it all together. The title may say this is for Jews, but it is for Gentiles, as well. I wanted the title to make Jews curious, since my people are immediately turned off by anything having to do with Jesus, which is why I feel they are more in need of understanding the lies that we Jews have been told, by Jews, about Jesus (most Jews don’t even know his real name, “Yeshua”). However, these lies have also misled Christians about what God wants from them. Some of the topics include the lie that Jesus created Christianity, that all sins are automatically forgiven, that believing in Jesus means you have converted to Christianity, and that Jews have the Torah while Gentiles have Grace, as well as other lies that have served to do nothing but mislead both Jews and Christians about who Yeshua is and what he taught.
I do have a professional video ad for this book, and if you want to watch it, click here.

Currently I am working on a fifth book, which I am writing for people who are curious about what the Bible says, but don’t want to have to read the whole thing. I hope to have a working title and publish this book by the end of 2023.

You won’t find a bibliography or footnotes in any of my books. There is no Bibliography because the Bible is my only source document: it contains all I need in order to truthfully and accurately discuss what God says and what Yeshua taught. When referring to something the Bible says, I place the reference right there in the text- I don’t use footnotes because I think it makes reading the book easier.

I have tried my best to write these books in a conversational style, meaning that when you read them you feel like we are sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee or tea, just relaxing and talking. I try to use a little humor, now and then, just to make it more fun. The one thing I can promise you, absolutely, is that these books do NOT read like a textbook.

The pricing is very reasonable, and all my books are available on Amazon (and other sites) in either paperback or Kindle format. The Kindle pricing is just a few bucks, so how bad can that be?

And everyone- all three of them- who have read my books loved them.

I encourage you, if you like anything you read or hear in my messages, to buy my books and share them. I did not write them to become a millionaire and get on the NYT Best Seller List (although that would be OK with me), but rather as a means of sharing what I feel God has shown me through his Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) about him and his Messiah.

As that nice Jewish tent maker from Tarsus told the congregation he formed in Corinth: “Therefore, as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31). I am boasting about these books because I believe when I wrote them, I was being led by God’s Spirit to give you what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about where you will spend eternity.

I ‘d like to know whether or not you agree with me about that, so please read these books and let me know if you do.

Thank you for your continued support by subscribing to my website and YouTube channel, as well as sharing these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. I invite you (at no cost) to join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word”, but please make sure you click that you agree to the rules, or I can’t let you in.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and let me wish you an early Shabbat Shalom!

No Need to Know

When I was a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, I had a Top-Secret Clearance. And when you go to classes regarding clearance levels, you learn there are three essential factors in order to see any classified documents:

  1. You must have the proper clearance level.
  2. You must have access to the material.
  3. You must have a Need to Know.

When it comes to what God does in our lives and why, we have to meet those same conditions.

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

When we read the Book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), we see he is a frustrated and disappointed man, who feels that everything we do is just “chasing the wind”. Why does he feel that way? Well, if you ask me (and even if you don’t, I’m gonna tell you) it’s because he wanted to understand why God does what he does. And, since no human can ever fathom the mind of God, he came to the conclusion to just do what you do, eat, drink, and enjoy whatever God gives you while you are alive.

Let’s take a look at the Book of Iyob (Job): he goes through some terrible tsouris (curse, trouble) and he doesn’t understand why. Meanwhile, his friends are telling him it is happening because this is what God does to sinners, essentially speaking as if they knew why God does things. They find out later, when God tells them they are in big trouble speaking as if they knew God’s mind, that they were wrong.

I would love to know why things happen: I have always wanted to know what makes something “tick”, how it works, and why it works that way. I’m a nerd…I really need to know.

But when it comes to God, I don’t have a need to know- I have a need to TRUST!

And pardon me for saying this, but so…do…you!

We human beings will never understand God’s plan, or why he does what he does, if for no other reason than this: God works on an eternal plane, and we are stuck here in this finite existence without the capability to think eternally. Therefore, whatever God does now is part of what he knows will end up having eternal consequences, consequences that we cannot possibly see or even imagine.

Think of it this way: you are on the Long Island Expressway (known as the longest parking lot in the world), driving a compact car. You are next to a tractor trailer, who’s driver is about 10 feet over your car’s roof. Way up there, he can see a long way down the road whereas you can barely see past the car in front of you.

Sitting there going nowhere- slowly- you wonder what the heck is the problem. You want to know why you are going through this tsouris but cannot see the reason because your physical position in the traffic doesn’t allow you to know the answer, which is way down the road. But the tractor trailer driver can see way down the line, and he sees there is an accident holding up the traffic. He has the ability to see father than you can, and this is the same way it is with us and God.

We can barely see past our own noses (now, now- no jokes about Jewish noses), but God sees all the way to the end of time.

Now, through the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) that indwells, we may have the “clearance level” to know what God may know about a specific event, and through the Ruach we can have access to know, but it is up to God whether or not we have the need to know.

As far as I am concerned, we NEVER have a need to know but (as I said before) we have a need to trust.

Believe me, if God wanted any of us to know why he is doing what he is doing, he will make sure we do, so unless you get some divine revelation, just trust that whatever it is you are going through, good or bad, God has a reason and don’t ask why- just ask for help to get through it.

For me, trusting God is much more important, and much more comforting, than needing to know why God does what he does.

Trust and faith are two sides of the same coin, and they have a synergistic relationship: the more you trust, the stronger your faith becomes, and the stronger your faith, the easier it is to trust.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know and invite them to join this ministry. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so now on both my website and YouTube channel. I also have a Facebook group called “Just God’s Word”, but please ensure you click to agree to the rules, or I can’t let you in.

If you like what you get here, then please buy my books because you will like them, too.

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Unity vs. Trinity Is Not a Salvation Issue

Let’s talk about that age-old, never-to-be-settled argument about God and Yeshua being one and the same entity. Even if it starts as a discussion, this always becomes an argument and all it does is to cause consternation and division between Believers.

And when that happens, it doesn’t serve God, but it does work wonders for the Enemy.

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

The bottom line, or at least what should be the bottom line, for any Believer is to be saved- to receive salvation, right?

Well, what the heck is salvation, anyway?

It is having our sins removed from us so that we can be resurrected and enjoy eternity peacefully and joyously in the presence of God and Messiah, Yeshua.

For the record: having your sins removed doesn’t mean you are getting away with anything. In the physical world, you and those you love will ALWAYS suffer the consequences of the sins you commit. Salvation through forgiveness of sins (by means of the sin sacrifice the Messiah made on our behalf) is only available on an eternal plane.

And how to we “rate” this salvation?

The answer to that depends on whether you were raised Jewish or Christian. For Jews, we have always expected the Messiah to come, to bring us back to The Land (Israel), to subdue our enemies, rebuild the temple and reinstitute temple worship, which then makes forgiveness of sins available to us, ruling as our king for all time. The relationship between the people, Messiah, and God is on a national basis.

Now, if you were raised Christian, your salvation will depend on “believing in Jesus” (whatever that is supposed to mean), being a good person (forget any of that Jewish stuff dealing with the Torah), and loving others as yourself. The relationship is on a personal level between you and Messiah.

My answer to how we rate salvation is that we must be “born again”, whether Jewish or Gentile, which is the result of faithfully believing that the person Yeshua (also called Jesus) who we read about in the New Covenant Gospels is the Messiah God promised to send throughout the Tanakh.

We must faithfully accept that he died as a sin sacrifice for us, and that through the blood he shed on the execution stake we can be forgiven of our sins, just the same way the blood of the innocent animal sacrificed on the altar at the temple in Jerusalem was the way we received forgiveness for sin under the sacrificial system God created in the Torah (Leviticus 1-7).

That is all there is to it. There is absolutely no salvation requirement to believe Yeshua and God are the same entity.

We need to believe that God exists (Duh!) and we need to believe that Yeshua is the messiah God promised to send, and we need to believe that after Yeshua was crucified and died, he was resurrected and now sits at God’s right hand, interceding for us.

I don’t know where or when this drek about God and Yeshua having to be the same personage began. I am sure it was part of the early attempts to separate the man-made religion called Christianity from its Jewish roots because it is an anathema to a Jew to believe God is anything but a single and totally unique entity.

The arguments that are constantly made for the unity of God and Yeshua come exclusively from the Gospel of John, which is hermeneutically and, in every other way, totally different from the other Gospels. Considering there are some 66 books in the entire Bible, but the argument for unity can only be justified (with misinterpretation) from just one book should make people wonder about the validity of the argument.

But this message is not a discussion about the validity of unity or trinity: it is about why it shouldn’t be discussed, at all, because it has nothing to do with salvation.

And if you don’t think that attaining, and even more important- maintaining- salvation is the end-all, ultimate, and only really important thing we need to always work for, then I don’t know what to tell you.

So, the next time you find yourself in the middle of a unity or trinity argument, get the heck out of Dodge! What is important is faithfully accepting Yeshua as the Messiah God promised to send, repenting of the sins you have (and will) commit, asking forgiveness by means of the shed blood of Yeshua, and trying to live your life the way God said to live it, not the way some religion tells you to live it.

One last thing I would like to point out about unity vs. trinity: whether or not God and Yeshua are the same entity, the Bible tells us they are separate entities: for any human to change that relationship and make Yeshua God is, essentially, idolatry.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think God or Yeshua would appreciate that.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to this ministry on my website and my YouTube channel, buy my books, share these messages and invite others to subscribe, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (But PLEASE! make sure you click that you agree to the rules, or I can’t let you in).

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

What Yeshua Changed

If you ask almost any Jewish person what Jesus changed, they will tell you he changed the laws of Moses. The reason they will say that is because Jews are taught Jesus was Jewish but rebelled against Judaism and created Christianity.

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

If you are wondering why I didn’t use the name Yeshua, it’s because Jews don’t know that name any more than most Christians do.

So, what did Yeshua change?

He changed our understanding of the Torah, and that is all.

(To better understand the terms I am about to use, please “Google” this word: PaRDeS)

Yeshua taught the Remes, the deeper, spiritual understanding of God’s words and laws. There is no better example of this than his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), where he tells us we have heard the P’shat (plain language understanding), then teaches the Remes.

Here’s two examples: he said we have been told to not murder, but then teaches us that we shouldn’t even hate in our hearts. He also said we have been told not to commit adultery, but then teaches we shouldn’t even lust with our eyes.

You see, the Pharisees had been teaching only the “physical” application of the mitzvot (laws), but Yeshua taught us the underlying meaning of the physical application.

The Pharisees taught the people what not to do, but Yeshua changed that by teaching the people what not to feel.

If you don’t feel hatred, you won’t want to murder; if you don’t feel lust, you won’t commit adultery.

There was never even a hint of Yeshua teaching anything other than what his Father had already told us we should do.

Christianity, as we know it today, has rules for worship, holidays, and the lifestyle people should follow which are the creations of men; men who misinterpreted the letters from Shaul (Paul).

These men misdirected the Gentiles who were being converted to a godly, Torah-observant lifestyle to a man-made, Torah-rejecting religion.

Yeshua lived 100% Torah observant-if he hadn’t, he would not have been an acceptable sacrifice. DUH!

And if he had taught to reject any part of the Torah, he would have been in rebellion against God and, as such, definitely not an acceptable sacrifice.

Do you get it? If Yeshua had done or taught anything other than to live a Torah-observant life, we would have no means of salvation because Yeshua would have been in rebellion against God and as such, could not be the real messiah.

Here’s the way I see it- anyone who teaches to live and worship other than the way God said we should, in the Torah, is working for the Enemy and is an Anti-Christ. Maybe not THE Anti-Christ, but certainly a type of one.

That’s all there is to it, people- Yeshua never taught or said anything against following the Torah, so it’s up to you to decide what you will do: choose to obey God’s mitzvot regarding lifestyle and worship or choose to obey a religion created by men which rejects almost everything God said.

And while you’re thinking it over, you might want to remember that God has said to reject his laws is to reject him, then glance through 1 and 2 Kings to see what God has done to those who have rejected him.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to this ministry on my website and my YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (but PLEASE- make sure you click that you agree to the rules, or I can’t let you in).

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Christian Legalism

Gee, I just realized I haven’t posted anything since 2022! Maybe that’s because today is January 3, 2023?

The letter Shaul (Paul) wrote to the Galatian Believers has brought forth the idea of “Legalism”, which is generally understood by almost every Christian I have met as being “under the law”, meaning that people try to earn salvation through strict adherence to the commandments in the Torah.

However, they never consider that not following the commandments is called lawlessness.

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

The right mix between strict adherence to the Torah and not trying to earn salvation is when we do the best we can to obey God’s instructions in order to please God and as a direct result of our faithful belief that everything God tells us to do is for our benefit.

Recently, there are many Christians who are beginning to recognize and accept their Jewish roots, and rejecting the anti-Torah teachings that Christianity has been proliferating for millennia. This is a good thing, no doubt, but it is also generating a new type of legalism- not like in Galatians, where the believing Jews were forcing the converting Gentiles to become Jewish overnight, but by Christians who are trying so hard to be obedient to the Torah that they are becoming overly zealous to the point of obsessive with minutia.

They are over-reacting to issues that have nothing to do with salvation, such as the new moon phases, Christian holidays, and the “proper” pronunciation of God’s name; so much so that they have created their own form of legalism.

The pendulum has swung to the opposite side of the spiritual lifestyle, so to speak, and instead of accepting Christian traditional teachings against the Torah, they have become obsessive about obeying the Torah.

Okay, that’s not bad- I mean, wanting to do as God said to do is fine, but so many have become so zealous that they are now doing things just so that they can say they are doing them. They need to remember what Shaul said in Galatians 4:18, which is that zealousness is good, so long as you are zealous for the right thing.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but the fact is doing so that you can say you are doing, is “legalism” in its purest form.

I am not saying that Christians who want to be Torah observant shouldn’t be that way: what I am saying, or trying to say, is that the Torah is our guide, our “How To Be Righteous” manual, but to get so obsessives as to argue about pronunciation, when the new moon really occurs, or which holidays should be celebrated and which are pagan is not edifying- it only causes disruption and dissention within the body of the Messiah.

I also have seen Christians who are “Buffet Believers”- they pick and choose which commandments and observances they like, then make up excuses why it is right to reject the others. This, too, is a form of legalism, and is just not right.

Look- living in complete accordance with the Torah is the epitome of righteousness, and (so far) the only human who was capable of doing that was Yeshua. Truth be told, despite what anyone has told you, if you live in exact and complete accordance with the Torah, it WILL save your soul. That is why God gave it to us, so we would know everything we have to do, and also why Yeshua was accepted as a sacrifice and “saved”- he was righteous in God’s eyes because he was 100% Torah observant.

The problem is, as I said, Yeshua was the only human to ever have done that, and is the only human who ever will. It’s because no human can be 100% Torah observant that God had to send us the Messiah- DUH!

So, if you are a person who was raised Christian, with all the traditional Christian drek about the Torah is only for Jews and all you need to do is believe in Jesus, be a good person, and love others and you will be saved, but have come to realize that it is wrong- good for you! Welcome to Club Torah. But PLEASE! Do not go crazy about calendars or holidays or pronunciation etc., because that will only lead you away from the path to righteousness.

If you do your best to obey what God said to do in the Torah, and make sure that whatever you do- whether it be rooted in Judaism or Christianity, that in your heart and soul and mind you are doing it for the glory of God and his Messiah, then I believe you are going to be fine.

You are doing what should be done, and when you screw it up, as you will (as we all do), be grateful that we have Yeshua.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. Also, please subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just Gods’ Word” (please make sure you agree to the rules or I can’t let you in).

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Did Yeshua Ever Give a Command?

How many times have you heard that a Believer should follow the commands of Yeshua (Jesus)?

My question is this: when did he ever command anyone to do anything?

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

The fact is that Yeshua NEVER commanded anyone to do anything that wasn’t already a commandment from his father, God.

If you search Google for commandments Yeshua made, it will tell you that he made two- to love the Lord and to love each other. Or, you will get a “hit” for when he told his disciples to love one another.

But those were already given by God in the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, respect.).

This is just one example of how Christianity has replaced God with Jesus, making him into an idol who is interfering in our relationship with God instead of interceding for us.

They don’t even refer to him as a messiah but as a savior- just one more way they implicitly identify him as God, which is done in order to separate Jesus from anything Jewish, which only serves to keep Jews from wanting to hear anything about him.

What am I talking about? Don’t Jews view the messiah as a savior?

Not really. We refer to the messiah (as you can see in the Gospel of Matthew more than any other gospel) as king more than as a savior. When you ask a Jew about who his savior is, he (or she) will most likely say God.

Throughout the Tanakh, God is referred to as our savior. Even when Mary prayed (Luke 1:46-49), she referred to God as her savior.

This will help you to understand why we view the messiah as our king and not as our savior: the traditional Jewish expectation of the messiah is that he will rebuild the temple and reinstitute the Levitical service, being both king and Cohen HaGadol (High Priest), and with the temple and Levitical service back in force we will thereby be able to receive forgiveness through the sacrificial system. I have written an entire teaching series about this, and if you want to study it, click here.

Christianity has done everything it can over the millennia to totally separate itself from its Jewish roots, and by referring to Jesus (never using his real name, Yeshua) as their savior instead of God, praying to saints, making graven images all over their churches, saying human beings can forgive sin, and the worst of all is the idea of the Trinity, which makes Jesus equal with God, the very idea of which is an anathema to Jews.

So, nu? No wonder Jews don’t want to hear anything about Jesus: to Jews, he is more of a Gentile idol than as the messiah God promised to send to us.

I am Jewish by blood on both sides for generations- I never converted to Christianity when I accepted Yeshua as my messiah- and to tell you the truth, I am more “Jewish” now than before. Because of this, I can easily see the anti-Jewish messages that Christianity has created in their tenets, dogma, ceremonies, and history (ever hear of the Inquisition? the Crusades?) which most Christians cannot.

And saying to follow the commands of Jesus is just one more example of Christianity trying to keep Jews away from their own messiah.

I usually keep my plugs for my books to the end of these messages, but I really want to tell you that the book I am most proud of is my recent one, and if you want to know more about how Christianity has proliferated lies about the Jewish messiah, click here to get this book.

So, let’s end today’s message with this: next time someone mentions the commands of Jesus, set them straight (nicely, of course) by saying that he never gave a command, he only repeated the ones that God gave in the Torah.

Therefore, if you really, really want to obey Jesus and follow in his footsteps, take a walk through the Torah.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. Subscribe, click for notifications, buy my books (I know I already said that, but it never hurts to say it again) and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please agree to the rules or I can’t let you join).

And I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

Is the Old Covenant God Different From the New Covenant God?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Christians tell me that the God of the Jewish Bible is cruel, punitive, and unforgiving, whereas Jesus is all about love and forgiveness.

Of course, you won’t hear that from Jews because, well, Jews don’t read or even recognize the New Covenant as scripture.

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

If you ask me, saying that God was different before Messiah came is not only wrong on every count, but insulting to God. It can only come from someone who doesn’t know God, or messiah Yeshua (Jesus) at all, and is probably just repeating what they have heard from someone just as ignorant as they are.

Do you think the God we read about in the Old Covenant is cruel? Well, he did allow Job to suffer greatly for a long time, he enslaved his people for 400 years, and he completely destroyed both the Northern and Southern kingdoms, even allowing his house in Jerusalem to be wrecked- twice!

But isn’t this the same God who killed Hananiah and his wife, Shapira, simply for lying about how much they received from the sale of their property (Acts 5)? I mean, really?- loving and compassionate, forgiving and caring but still, if you lie to me you die! That sounds like the same God of the Old Covenant to me.

And what about Yeshua in the temple, when he turned over the money changing tables and wrecked the booths of the people selling animals? If he was truly forgiving, wouldn’t he have nicely asked them to leave the temple? Something like, “C’mon, Guys, you know this is not what God wants from you. Please take your business out of the temple area, OK? Thanks a lot, hey- love ya!”

But who was it that said, in Ezekiel 18:23, that he doesn’t get pleasure from anyone dying, and prefers that they turn from their sin, and live? It was the God of the Old Covenant.

And who regathered his people from exile and protected them as they rebuilt the temple? It was the God of the Old Covenant.

And who gave them a miraculous victory over the Seleucid king who tried to destroy them completely? It was the God of the Old Covenant.

Wow! Ya know sumthun? He ain’t so nasty, after all.

There was a big difference between what God had to do in the Old Covenant and what he was able to do in the New Covenant. Actually, in the New Covenant, God didn’t do much himself, but did things through Yeshua.

You need to understand that God doesn’t work on a finite level, which is the only level we humans can understand. God sees everything on an eternal basis, so when he speaks of life and death, he doesn’t mean breathing or not breathing, he means where you spend eternity.

When God first chose Abraham to be the father of his chosen people, a people chosen to bring God’s salvation to the world, he had to first build up this man into a nation. That is why he told Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years (Genesis 15:13). Now, to those who don’t know how God works, it seems silly that he will make them a nation while they are enslaved. But it isn’t because he was cruel, it’s because he was smart.

The world back then was cruel and dangerous- a king of a town would destroy other towns, left and right, in order to become larger. If a small group of people, such as the 72 or 73 members of Abraham’s family, were to ever grow into a large number of people, they would have to be protected. So, God positioned them inside the strongest nation that existed at that time so they would be protected and given that chance to grow into a nation.

Yeah, OK, so they were enslaved and tortured and lived a horrible life, but that was also part of the plan, which was so God would be able to show them how powerful he was once the people were ready to fulfill God’s plan for them.

And once they were freed, God then had to be very strict with them to get them to leave their comfort zone of paganistic rituals and lifestyle, and take on the mantle of righteousness that they would receive from obedience to the Torah. If you read carefully, and think about it, every punishment that God exacted on the people when they were disobedient may seem cruel, but he was training the Jews to be his nation of priests (Exodus 19:6). When we read of a punishment, we also see that right after the punishment God followed it up with a way to avoid the punishment.

In Numbers 15, when the man was stoned for collecting sticks on the Shabbat, God ordered us to wear tzit-tzit as a reminder not to disobey.

In Numbers 21, when God sent snakes to punish the people, he also had Moses make a bronze serpent so the people could avoid dying.

When Abihu and Nadab were killed for offering strange fire while drunk (Leviticus 10), God ordered that no priest should drink liquor before approaching the sanctuary.

I was in management most of my career, and one of the things I noticed about good managers was that when they first took over, they were very strict. They wouldn’t “loosen the belt” until the people responsible to do the job proved trustworthy to do the work correctly.

This is what we are told in Proverbs 22:6, which says

Train a child in the way he should go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it.”

That has to be coupled with Proverbs 23:13-14, which says:

Don’t withhold discipline from a child — if you beat him with a stick, he won’t die!  If you beat him with a stick, you will save him from Sheol.

We had a lot of hard lessons to learn when God was teaching us how to be his priests to the world, and God had to be hard on us, since we are (as God has often told us) a stiff-necked and rebellious people.

By the time he sent the Messiah, these lessons were all well-known (but still ignored), and at that point God knew punishment was not going to change anything. At that time, as it is today, the punishment of those who are sinful is not so much now while they are living on the earth, but reserved for them in the afterlife.

God never changes, he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so the God of the Old Covenant is the same, exact God of the New Covenant.

What is different is which part of his plan for humanity he is exercising. He did the training, he did the punishment for disobedience, and the ways to remember not to be disobedient. He’s been true to his word with blessings when we obey, and he’s been true to his word with terrible punishment when we disobey.

We are now at the stage in God’s plan where all that we need to know- his Torah, who his Messiah is, and how we can save ourselves from eternal separation from God’s presence- has been given to us. What is left is God’s loving, compassionate, and patient nature causing him to wait until everyone he wants to have this chance to be saved has been given more than enough time to decide to obey or reject him.

If your religion has told you all that “Jewish” stuff in the Old Covenant isn’t for followers of Jesus, you might want to think about this: Jesus followed all that “Jewish” stuff, which is why he was an acceptable sacrifice.

God never changes, but his method for getting his message across does- from using harsh punishment to initially teach his people what he wants them to do, to sending prophets to get them back on track, to exile, to forgiveness and regathering his people from exile, to sending the Messiah, now our only way to receive forgiveness.

What comes next will be worldwide destruction and the creation of a new world for those who listened and obeyed. I don’t know when this will happen. Hey, even the son of God said he wasn’t privy to the date, so my suggestion is that you ignore your religion and start to pay attention to God, because it is what he said in the Torah that will be the plumb line you will be compared to.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. Subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (but please check that you agree to the rules or I cannot allow you to join).

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Tree or Cross?

I have seen many postings, especially at this time of the year, about how the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol and should not be erected. I have read how they misuse Isaiah 44:12-28 and also Jeremiah 10:3-4 to make the tree appear paganistic.

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Now, I have no problem, myself, with a Christmas tree because I do not bow down to it or pray to it. It is used as decoration and does not fall under the category of a graven image. Neither do I worship it.

And, for the record, the passages I referred to talk about making the tree into a god or goddess, bowing to it, praying to it, and treating it as an object of worship. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen or heard of anybody who has a Christmas tree doing any of that.

But there are many Christians who have a cross on their wall over every bed in their house, and nailed onto that cross is a graven image of Jesus. They also have statues of saints in their gardens or pictures of Jesus hanging on the walls of their house. They go to church and bow down and pray to a statue of Mary or Joseph.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

You shall not make for yourself any graven image, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

If it sounds familiar, it is the 2nd Commandment God gave to the world. He was serious when he said not to make an image of any kind, which includes paintings and statues, of anything, of anyone, anywhere, anytime, ever.

Period.

The truth is that the Christmas tree has ornaments that remind us of our past more than anything else- I mean, really! Who doesn’t have ornaments from their childhood? Who doesn’t recall all the past times they have spent with family or experiences that an ornament represents?

I am Jewish and have never had a tree until I married Donna, and during my lifetime I have been in many Christian homes and seen many, many Christmas trees, but never, ever have I seen or even heard of anyone thinking that the tree is a god or a goddess, bowed down to it, or made drink and grain offerings to it.

BUT, I have been in many Christian homes with crosses, images of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, or a statue of a saint in their garden.

If you ask me, I would much prefer that they get rid of their blatant violations of the 2nd Commandment and keep the Christmas tree.

And for those of you who are against the tree, well, that’s fine with me- I have no problem with that. But, if you have crosses with Jesus nailed to them, images or pictures of Jesus hanging around, statues in your garden, etc., then you are a hypocrite!

Think about that for a while, and especially before you chide anyone for having a Christmas tree.

Thank you for being here, and share these messages with everyone you know. Even if you disagree, they may not, so give them a chance.

Join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please agree to the rules so I can let you join), subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, and buy my books.

And I always welcome your comments- c’mon, let’s drash it out!

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and an early Shabbat Shalom!

Just Who is the Messiah?

Is Yeshua the Messiah? Is Jesus the Messiah? Is either one of them God?

Or are we still looking for the Messiah, the one God promised to send throughout the Tanakh?

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The answer will change, depending on how you were raised, or which religion you listen to, or what you choose to believe despite how you were raised or which religion you listen to.

Me? I was raised as a Reform Jew, and like almost every Jew being raised by Jews (although, to be honest, my parents were not very “religious”, at all), I was taught that Jesus (growing up Jewish, I never heard the name “Yeshua” used, ever) was born a Jew but created a new religion called Christianity which hates Jews, so he was a traitor to his religion and his people. And he was definitely NOT the Messiah- we are still waiting.

Thank God that even though it took 40 years, I was introduced to Christians who did not ignore my Jewish beliefs, and showed me who Yeshua was, and is- the Jewish Messiah sent to the Jewish people, through whom all people can be saved.

Since then, I have learned that the early Jewish Believers did as always, but as more and more Gentiles were recruited, so to speak, by Shaul (Paul) and other missionaries, the Jewishness of the movement, as well as that of Yeshua, himself, was swiftly removed. By the 2nd century CE, instead of these believers following the Jewish way of life, as Yeshua did, they had a new guy, somebody named Jesus Christ, who was their Savior. The religion named after him, Christianity, is based almost totally on the letters that Shaul wrote, a Pharisee who accepted Yeshua as the Messiah God promised, but who has been completely rebranded as someone who converted to Christianity when he had a vision of Jesus.

Since that time, his letters have been misused, misinterpreted, and mutated into polemics against people following the lifestyle and form of worship that Yeshua did all his life, and they have become the foundation for most of the tenets of modern Christianity.

So, who is Yeshua? He is the Jewish Messiah.

Who is Jesus Christ? He is the blond-haired, blue-eyed Christian savior who has sent his people to convert everyone they meet to Christianity. And as for Jews, the ones who killed Jesus, well- if they won’t renounce their religion and accept Jesus, then they should be killed.

Of course, you can torture them for a while; you know, just to give them a chance to change their mind.

How can I say such a terrible thing? I say it based on history- the Crusades, the Inquisition, Martin Luther, even the Nazi’s, whose belt buckles said “Gott mit uns”, which means “God is with us”.

Now, let’s talk about whether or not either Yeshua or Jesus is God.

Actually, let’s not- it doesn’t really matter as far as salvation through the Messiah is concerned, so choose what you want to believe. However, let me mention this: if you choose to believe that either Yeshua or Jesus is also God, himself, and you also believe (as most Christian religions teach) that Jesus did away with the Torah, then you will need to decide on one or the other of the following:

  • If Jesus is God and he did away with the Torah, that means he changes his mind about how to worship him, so he could also change his mind about how to be saved, and if so, then how can you trust his promise of salvation?
  • If Jesus is God and, as we have been told, he never changes his mind or goes back on his word, then if you have been ignoring the commandments regarding lifestyle and worship (which includes holidays) he gave in the Torah, you have not been following God, but men, and you have been sinning.

Not very pleasant alternatives, are they?

What to do? If I may suggest, you can re-evaluate your belief system by comparing it to what God says in the Torah, read the rest of the Tanakh, AND the entire New Covenant. And when you read the letters from Paul, do so fresh- as if you do not know what they mean. Compare them to what Paul learned about the Torah as a Pharisee, how he lived his life (sorry, but he never converted to anything- he was a Jewish Pharisee his entire life), and why he wrote those letters.

If you do that, I believe you might come to see that he was not writing the words he heard from God, but giving managerial directives to the congregations (there were no “churches” during Paul’s lifetime) he formed who were having either interpersonal issues or problems with maintaining faithfulness.

Let’s finish up with my answers to my own questions:

Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah God promised to send (please-don’t be childishly prideful about the correct pronunciation of his name- we are saved by faith in who he is, not by how we pronounce his name).

Jesus, as portrayed by Christianity, is not the one God sent. In fact, the name “Jesus Christ” a Latin translation of a Greek transliteration of the name “Yeshua” with the title “haMaschiach”.

(If you want the whole story about how that came to be, you can find it in the Introduction to “The Complete Jewish Bible”.)

The Messiah may be God, he may not be God- for me, it doesn’t matter: he didn’t come to the world in order to replace God but to be God’s messenger, and to sacrifice his life so that many can be saved. That is what we know from the Bible, and anything else is conjecture. Period.

One last answer- are we still looking for the Messiah, the one God promised to send? Well, yes…and no.

My Jewish brethren, for the most part, are still waiting because they reject Jesus as the Messiah and have never even learned about Yeshua. They don’t know the Messiah God sent, and they really don’t know why to reject Yeshua- they do so because they have been told to do so.

Christians, who believe Jesus is their Savior, aren’t waiting, but they believe only because they have been told to believe. In truth, they do not know the real Messiah God sent, either.

So, what should you do? I never tell anyone what to believe or what to do, but if I may make a suggestion? Read the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, and look for what is said in the New Covenant that matches what is said in the Old Covenant, because God really doesn’t change: he doesn’t go back on his word and he has never said his Torah is invalid, and- just for the record- neither did the guy we read about in the Gospels. And when you read the Epistles, as I said earlier, try to do so without already knowing what they mean.

If you can do that, honestly and with a truly open mind, using Circles of Context and Hermeneutics (if you aren’t familiar with those terms, you can learn about them here: Interpreting the Bible), I believe you will be surprised at how you have been spiritually misled by those who you have trusted.

They didn’t do it on purpose, though, so don’t be mad at them- they were just teaching what they were taught.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages, buy my books, especially my newest book (click here for a trailer), subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you read and click that you agree to the rules).

And remember- I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and an early Shabbat Shalom!

Oh- and an early Hanukkah Sameach, too!

When the Covenants End

There have been many times I have heard people tell me that because of Yeshua, the covenants God made with Israel do not apply to those who believe in Yeshua and follow him. Some even go as far as to say that Yeshua did away with the “law”.

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I have also heard many Christians tell me they were told that the only requirements for a believer in Christ to follow are the 4 commands from the Elders that they sent in a letter to the churches throughout the Middle East (Acts 15:23-30).

Before we go any further, let’s get something straight right off the bat: there were no churches in the First Century. There were congregations, called Kihilot, composed of believing Jews and gentiles, and many of those congregations were mostly, if not completely, made up only of gentiles who had been practicing pagan religions but were being taught how to convert to the proper worship of Adonai, the God of the Jews.

God made a total of 5 covenants, and the newer covenant included and built upon the prior one. These covenants are known as:

  1. The Noahdic Covenant
  2. The Abrahamic Covenant
  3. The Mosaic Covenant (this is generally referred to as the Torah, or the Mosaic Law)
  4. The Davidic Covenant
  5. The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31)

Each covenant was made between God and mankind.

You may be thinking that these covenants, because they are all in the Tanakh (the “Jewish Bible”) are only between God and the Jews because God made these with the Jewish people.

BUT…God decreed the Jewish people were to be his nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), and as priests they would not be administering to themselves, but to the goyim (nations), i.e. the world.

The Jews are God’s chosen people- chosen to be his priests to the world to teach everyone how to attain eternal life through obedience to God’s instructions. When the world, starting with us Jews, continually failed to do as God said, he sent the Messiah- again, through the Jews to the world- so that when they did t’shuvah (repentance), through Messiah Yeshua’s sacrifice they could find forgiveness.

So, let’s forget about Christian teachings that the covenants are at an end, and see what God says about that.

In Jeremiah 33:17-22, God tells us exactly when his covenant with the Jewish people (which, as I have already shown, is his covenant with the world) will end (CJB):

For this is what Adonai says: “There will never be cut off from David a man to occupy the throne of the house of Isra’el. Nor will there ever be cut off from the cohanim who are L’vi’im a man before me to offer burnt offerings, burn grain offerings and offer sacrifices every day.” This word of Adonai came to Yirmeyahu:  “Here is what Adonai says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that daytime and nighttime no longer come when they are supposed to, then my covenant with my servant David also can be broken, so that he will not have a descendant to reign from his throne or L’vi’im who are cohanim to minister to me. To the degree that the armies of heaven are past counting and the sand by the sea past measuring,
I will increase the descendants of my servant David and the L’vi’im ministering to me.’”

And Yeshua tells us, in Matthew 5:18 the following about the laws he followed and taught:

 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened.

And there is one more place, in Revelation 21:5, where we are told exactly when the covenants end.

In the vision of the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) that was given to John while exiled on the island of Patmos, God reveals that after he has destroyed nearly the entire earth, the Enemy has been conquered and all those sentenced to suffer the second death have been sent there, this is what will happen:

 Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” ”

So, you can choose to believe what religion tells you about God and his promises, the covenants, etc. being done away with, although, God tells us when that will happen and, for the record, it hasn’t happened yet.

You can accept that Christianity is telling you to worship Jesus instead of God and pray to graven images of human beings that are dead, and that’s all OK to do because it isn’t idolatry, despite what God says in the 2nd Commandment and in the Torah that Necromancy (talking with the dead) is a sin.

You can buy into Replacement Theology, which says God has rejected the Jews, and is calling God a liar because in the Bible, many, many times God says he will never reject the Jewish people.

Yeah, he has punished us, and he has destroyed many, but he always promises to leave a remnant and to return us to the land, where we will live in peace, forever.

If you want to, you can ignore every law and commandment God ever gave and think if you are just a good person, believe in Jesus, and love others you will go to heaven. But, consider this: In Mark 10:18, Yeshua said no one is good except God, every demon in hell believes in Jesus, and every demon in hell loves each other, so do you think they go to heaven? Besides that, the Bible never says any of us go to heaven.

Think about what your religion has told you, and compare it to what God says in the Bible, then choose who to believe.

As for me and my house, we choose to follow the Lord.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to this ministry on both my website and YouTube channel, buy my books and share them with others, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please be sure to read the rules and click on the “I Agree” button).

And remember- I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so Happy Thanksgiving to you all, l’hitraot and Baruch Ha Shem!