Why I Believe the Gospel of John Isn’t.

Isn’t what? Well, isn’t a Gospel, meaning a truthful description of who Yeshua was and of his ministry. I also don’t believe it was written by a Jew, or, at least, by a Jew who was writing to Jews.

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John has long been recognized as being very different from the other Gospels; Matthew, Mark, and Luke are written as historical narratives that relate to the events in Yeshua’s life. John, on the other hand, while mentioning events in Yeshua’s life, is written as a spiritual revelation, and instead of plain language is full of overly spiritual double-talk:

I am he, and he is me; you see me, you see him, and I know him and he knows me but you don’t know me so you don’t know him, but if you knew him you would know me, yadda-yadda-yadda…

The thing about the Book of John that really gets my goat, and yes- this is a personal peeve– is that it seems to be written by a Gentile, to Gentiles, and has many subtle anti-Semitic undertones. And, frankly, I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Only in the Gospel of John do we hear Yeshua refer to the Torah (when talking to the Pharisees in John 10:34) as “your law”. If Yeshua was the word come to life, then why would he differentiate himself from who and what he is? If Yeshua was a Jew, he would never say “your law” when referring to the Torah; he would say “the law” or “the Torah”, but not talk about it as if he had no relationship to it or that it had no meaning to him.

And in the other three gospels, the term “the Jews” is used about 16 times, total within all three, but in John, that term is used some 67 times! When you are talking about your own people, do you refer to them as “those (whatever) people”? Of course not- if you are Jewish, you say “my people” or “them”; if you are Italian and talking about other Italians, you don’t say “those Italians”, you say “them” or “us” or some other term that recognizes your attachment and solidarity with them. But we don’t see that in John- instead, we see Yeshua talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees about the people as if they are different from him.

In the other gospels, it is clear that the real enemies of Yeshua are the power elite, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but in John, it seems that all the Judeans are against Yeshua.

One really big difference is that in the other three, Yeshua never makes the absolute claim that he is the Messiah, except to his Talmudim (Disciples), whereas in John, he says it outright to the Samaritan woman (John 4:26) and makes claim to being one with God multiple times, and also claims that he is the son of God, whereas in the other gospels he refers to himself as the Son of Man.

In my experience, John is the only gospel that is used when people try to justify that God, Yeshua, and the Ruach HaKodesh are all one-and-the-same entity.

One of the most valuable tools in biblical exegesis is called Hermeneutics, which is the idea that the Bible does not contradict itself. We all have been told, over and over, that God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow and many believe the Bible to be infallible, and the perfect word of God, directly from God.

For the record, I don’t buy that for a moment, but that’s a different message.

So, if the Bible is infallible and God’s word is perfect, then hermeneutically we can prove John’s gospel is not scripture because it is so different, and does contradict what we read in the other gospels. In John, Yeshua claims to be the Messiah to many people but not in any other gospel; in John, Yeshua’s ministry seems to be only one year but the other gospels make it about three years; in John, Yeshua is tried before the Pesach meal but in the other three, it is after; in John, Yeshua claims to be not just the son of God but God, himself, yet in the other gospels he calls himself the Son of Man.

John was most likely written at the end of the First Century when more Gentiles were converting to this new sect of Judaism than Jews who were accepting Yeshua as their Messiah. And when Jews did accept Yeshua as the Messiah, remember that this was not a conversion: there was no conversion of Jews to Christianity: the early “church” was a synagogue, and the Gentiles who accepted Yeshua as Messiah were learning how to live a Jewish lifestyle, just as Yeshua lived. The truth of the beginning of what we call Christianity today is that the only conversion was from paganism to Judaism, or at best, a sect of Judaism. From the turn of the first century until Constantine created modern Christianity (about 325 CE), there were Jews, those Jews and Gentiles who accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, and pagans. The Believing Gentiles were learning about the Torah and how to live as Yeshua did, although the Gentiles that were taking command of the movement began to leave Judaism and form different worship, such as changing the Shabbat to Sunday (Ignatius of Antioch in 98 CE) and misinterpreting the letter sent by the Elders (Acts 15) as meaning Gentile Believers were excluded from following Torah.

John was, in my opinion, either written by a Gentile using John’s name, or if John, a Jewish follower and Disciple of Yeshua, did write it, he wrote it so that Gentile Believers could separate themselves from Torah and worship Yeshua not just as the Messiah, but as God, as well. That opens the question of why a Disciple of Messiah would reject his own religion.

Many Christians I have known feel that John is the best Gospel, and when I was first open to learning about Yeshua, I was told to read John before any other gospel. Now, some 20 plus years after coming to accept Yeshua and knowing the entire Bible very well, I know that the Gospel of John is an anti-Semitic and separatist book designed so that Gentiles can feel comfortable rejecting the Torah and Judaism as separate from Yeshua, what he taught, and to worship Yeshua as God.

There are many out there who will find this message not just disturbing, but maybe even blasphemous, and that is too bad. I doubt many Gentile Believers who were raised Christian (any denomination) can understand how a Jewish person, Believer or not, feels reading this gospel. The other Gospels are fine because they don’t hate Jews, but the Gospel of John is full of subtle, Jew-hating terminology.

If it was up to me, I would throw the Gospel of John, along with nearly all the Epistles of Shaul (Paul) out of the New Covenant. I would keep Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, Romans, Hebrews, James, and Revelation, and deep-six the rest, or have them in a separate volume, like the Apocrypha.

I hope that no one is offended, but I understand there might be a sense of wanting to defend this gospel because, well, you just need to! “Why?” “Because, that’s why!”

If that’s how you feel, maybe you should consider why you feel that way. I mean, really, if the Gospel of John is verifiable and hermeneutically validated as scripture, you wouldn’t need to say “because” as the reason to defend it, because “because” is not a reason. 

That’s my message for today. It is my opinion, you do not have to agree, but if you do agree, I would appreciate you letting me know with a “Like” or something similar, even a comment. And if you think I am out of my mind, please comment as well, but be nice.

In the meantime, thank you for being here; please share these messages (if you dare), and until the next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Hanukkah 2020 Message

חג שמח! Chag Sameach!

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate this joyous holiday.

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The Torah parashah for this Shabbat is called Vayeshev, which relates the story of Joseph. It begins with Israel giving him the coat of many colors, how he tells his brothers of his dreams showing he will rule over them one day which leads, along with other reasons, to his brother’s plot to destroy him, to him being sold into slavery in Egypt. While a slave, he is unjustly accused by his master’s wife, thrown into jail, and while there he interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh’s Baker and Cupbearer. The parashah ends with how the Cupbearer, after being restored to his post as Joseph saw in his dream, forgets to mention Joseph to the Pharaoh.

I think, though, instead of the parashah, I would like to talk with you about Hanukkah. After all, we all know the story of Joseph, but how many really know about Hanukkah?

You won’t find the story anywhere in the Tanakh, and it’s only mentioned, briefly, in the New Covenant. The places you will find the story of Hanukkah, which is told in the Books of the Maccabees (there were originally supposed to be five books, but they have been condensed into two), is in the Talmud, Septuagint, and the Apocrypha, and the only place you will find the Apocrypha included with scripture is in a Catholic Bible.

In the first book of the Maccabees, we are told how Antiochus IV Epiphanes was continuing the program called Hellenization, which was started about 1-1/2 Centuries earlier by Alexander the Great. Hellenization is the replacement of all cultures with that of the Greeks, and so in Judea, under Antiochus, circumcision and any other Jewish ritual or worship was strictly forbidden. He sacrificed pigs on the altar in the Temple of Solomon, which is the abomination that causes desecration Daniel prophesied about.

One of the generals, in a town called Modein, was enforcing these laws and as one of the priests of the town was converting to the Greek religion, the father of the Maccabees, Mattathias, became zealous for God and killed the priest, as well as the soldiers of the king. After this act of rebellion, he and his 5 sons hid in the desert, and as word got around he gained followers who wanted to rid Judea of the Seleucid rule.

Eventually, there was a full-out rebellion, and these Jewish farmers and shepherds, with little more than pitchforks, hoes, and other farming implements, fought against what was probably the best armed and most experienced professional army the world knew at that time. Imagine a man with a sharpened stick going against an elephant wearing armor plating on its body and archers sitting on its back. That would be like you or I standing in the way of an Abrams tank!

And the real miracle of Hanukkah doesn’t have to do with a lamp but is the fact that we won!

The temple was cleansed and ritual purification was to begin, with the relighting of the Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light that was never supposed to be extinguished.

Now, here is where the story is embellished with Jewish mythology from the Babylonian Talmud: there is no mention of oil lasting 8 days anywhere in the books of the Maccabees. According to legend, there was only one day’s worth of ritually purified oil for the Ner Tamid, but it miraculously burned for 8 days, which was just the right amount of time needed to produce more ritually pure oil. This is why we light the Hanukkiah (it is not a menorah) with a new candle every night during the 8 nights of Hanukkah. The ninth candle, which is called the Shamash (leader) is used to light the other candles as we recite the prayer for the Hanukkah candles:

Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi, eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm, ah-sher ki-deh-shah-noo beh-mitz-voh-tahv, veh-tzee-vah-noo, leh-hahd-lik nayr, shel kha-noo-kah
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

The second book of the Maccabees is a continuation of the story and outlines the events after the initial rebellion, the leadership by the oldest Maccabee, Judas, and how he restored Jewish rule and freedom of worship in Judea. It also tells of the eventual plots against the Maccabees, resulting in they’re being deposed by the very people they saved.

There are also a number of atrocities outlined in these books regarding the torture of the Jews who refused to accept the Greek religion. When Antiochus heard of a rebellion, his army slaughtered some 40,000 men, women, and children, and another 40,000 were enslaved.

One story from 2 Maccabees is about a woman with 7 sons. They were told they had to eat pork but each refused, being tortured to death, one-by-one, with their mother watching. As the last son refused, it is told how the general even begged the mother to tell her son to comply so she wouldn’t have to lose all her children. Instead of telling her son to eat the pork, she told him not to eat the pork so that the death of the other sons was not for nothing.

Other stories of torture include ripping pregnant women apart, sliding men down a ramp with sharp knives along the way, whippings, cutting out of tongues, hands being cut off, and roasting people alive on a metal pan over a burning hot fire.

Ouch!

But, despite the torture, the desire by the populace to do what is right in God’s eyes, even to the point of death, is what the Greeks faced, although there were many who turned from the faith. Eventually, God came to the aid of his people when they rebelled against this evil.

There are some who refuse to celebrate Hanukkah simply because it isn’t commanded in the Tanakh, even though they recognize it is meant to glorify God. That is their choice, and I suspect they don’t celebrate Purim or Simchat Torah, either, since neither of those holidays are commanded. And, again, I don’t want to originate a discussion about whether or not you should celebrate Hanukkah or Purim or Christmas or Easter, or whatever- frankly, if it isn’t commanded to be celebrated, then it is a personal choice.

Today we see a similar sort of evil in America: not that there is a king taking away our ritual worship and torturing people, but there is a growing societal conversion from morality and righteousness to selfishness and the condoning, actually more than that, the enthusiastic supporting of sinfulness.

Have you noticed that in family-oriented commercials now there is almost always a same-sex couple? Have you heard about how already there are some states that don’t just allow abortion, but now they are able to kill the child after it has been born if the abortion failed!

Hello, Molech- welcome back!

The recent pandemic has been turned into a political weapon, and instead of helping people cope with it, many of our country’s leaders are using it to shut down businesses and cause fear, with which they can control the populace.

There is no temple in Jerusalem suffering the abomination that causes desecration, but we can see it in our society! I won’t go off on a rampage here, and I don’t want to initiate any political battles, but it is clear to anyone who knows anything about the Lord, God that our society is not all that far away from what Antiochus was trying to do some 200 or so years before the Messiah came, which was to remove all God-fearing worship and lifestyle from the society.

Hanukkah is a joyous celebration of the miraculous overthrow by God-fearing people of a corrupted and evil government, and I have to wonder: couldn’t we use a Mattathias or a Judas Maccabee, today?

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

Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

Yom Kippur 2020 Message

There is an undeniable relationship between Yom Kippur and Passover, and together they provide total atonement which allows us to have life everlasting.

Yeshua is the Lamb of God, the Pesach Lamb. His death was the atonement for our sins, but it wasn’t just as the Passover lamb that he accomplished this.

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If we read Exodus, Chapter 12 we see that the Passover lamb’s blood was not a sin atonement- it was the identification of and covering (a “Kippur”) to identify us as God’s people and protect us from the Angel of Death.

The blood of the Passover Lamb provided life for the people of God.

Yeshua’s sacrificial death as the atonement for our sins may have occurred at Passover but it was the fulfillment of what the Yom Kippur goats do for us. The Yom Kippur goats (the one killed and the one released) are the blood sacrifices that provide for our atonement (Lev. 16:9-10). The scapegoat had the sins of all the people transferred to it before being released into the desert, or as the Bible tells us, to Azazel.

The Talmud interpreted this word to mean a steep mountain, and for many years the scapegoat was thrown off of a steep mountain in order to fulfill this requirement.

Another interpretation (from the Book of Enoch) is that Azazel is a fallen angel. Of course, it is unthinkable that we would be told by God to sacrifice a goat to a god-like satyr in the desert.

According to Rabbi Hertz, the Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, in his 1965 edition of the Chumash, Azazel is a rare Hebrew noun that means “dismissal”, or “entire removal”. The transference of the sins of Israel by the Cohen HaGadol onto the goat released into the desert symbolized the total removal of sin from us.

Have you ever wondered why we needed two goats? If all the sins were removed by the scapegoat why kill another one? We know sin can only be forgiven by the shedding of blood and that God is the only one who can forgive and remove sin, so if the killed goat is for sin forgiveness, what does the scapegoat represent?

It represents our Teshuvah. It represents our willingness to let go of our sinful desires and remove them totally from our lives. That is why all the people were present when the goat was released. It represented all of us giving up our sinful ways and desires.

Atonement comes from three things:

  1. Recognizing and taking responsibility for our sins;
  2. Our desire and willingness to do Teshuvah and remove sin from our lives; and
  3. The asking of forgiveness from God once we have done the first two things.

When we accept Yeshua as our Messiah, the blood he shed as the Passover Lamb is the thanksgiving sacrifice, bringing us into communion with God. Yeshua’s death also served as the sin sacrifice which, through his shed blood, we can receive atonement for our sins, just as with the Yom Kippur goat which was killed. And, as the Yom Kippur scapegoat, Yeshua took upon himself all our sins carrying them forever to a place we would never see them again- not just into the desert but beyond the grave.

His death shows us that Passover and Yom Kippur, although two separate events in the real world, are spiritually one and the same thing. Redemption saves us from sin and allows us to be with the Lord forever. The Passover blood represents protection from death and the Yom Kippur blood is our forgiveness from sin. Together these two things provide our salvation, both being accomplished by Yeshua.

In the Acharit HaYamim (the End Days), when Yeshua returns and we are all gathered up into the clouds with him, then will the ultimate fulfillment of both of these festivals be realized. Yeshua is the Lamb of God and the Yom Kippur scapegoat for the world.  When he said he was the beginning and the end it represents more than just a timeline; he is the beginning of our eternal life and the end of our sin.

Praise God and praise His son, Yeshua Ha Meshiach, for His goodness, mercy, and ability to save.

Thank you for being here and please share these message, subscribe, and I welcome any comments you may want to add to this message.

Until next time, L’hitraot and may you have an easy fast.

Free Will is a Spiritual Wormhole

In these modern times, when science fiction is almost a prophecy of reality, the Wormhole Theory is still unproven, but so popular with TV shows and movies that most people probably think they do exist.

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A wormhole is a break, so to speak, within the space-time continuum. In other words, it is a connection between two locations that can be crossed without traveling the distance.

Let’s see how this works: Say you are at the beginning of a 100-mile long road. This road has a large hinge in the middle that allows it to fold up, in just one second, so that both ends are touching each other. Now, you are standing at the beginning of the road, and when the road bends in half, with one step you are now at the end of the road, which extends itself to its original position. What has just happened is that you traveled 100 miles with just one step, in a matter of two to three seconds.

So, nu? What does this have to do with God or the Bible? It actually has a lot to do with it, if you will allow me to explain.

We all are given Free Will, the opportunity and right to choose what we will do, say, and who we will be. As God told Cain, sin is always crouching at our door, and it is up to us to conquer it or fall victim to it. Either way, it is our choice no matter why we choose it, and we will be held accountable for the choices we make.

When we are old enough to know right from wrong, we begin walking on a road. We have no choice but to walk this road, but the road extends into infinity, in many directions. The problem is that there is no visible connection or bridge between these roads. However, as you walk along the road there are doors on either side, and they are labeled; some are labeled “To Desires of the Flesh” and others are labeled “To Sacrifice and Self-Discipline.”

It appears to most people that as they walk on their chosen path through life, once they have traveled on that road there is no going back or changing. Along the road, on both sides, is a bottomless chasm. However, the doors are always there, and even though there is nothing on the other side, these doors are spiritual wormholes that can take us to a totally different road.

All we have to do is chose one, walk through it, and in one simple step, we are walking on a totally different road.

That is how Free Will, our gift from God, can save us…or destroy us.

This is really good news if you are living a sinful life because it means no matter how long you have walked this sinful road, you can change the path you are taking to another one. But it is a double-edged sword, for those who are walking the path of righteousness can just as easily lose their way by going through the wrong door. In the end, every road we take leads to the Throne of Judgment.

This is what we are told in Ezekiel 18:21-24:

However, if the wicked person repents of all the sins he committed, keeps my laws and does what is lawful and right; then he will certainly live, he will not die. None of the transgressions he has committed will be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done, he will live. 

“Do I take any pleasure at all in having the wicked person die?” asks Adonai Elohim. “Wouldn’t I prefer that he turn from his ways and live?”

On the other hand, when the righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness by acting in accordance with all the disgusting practices that the wicked person does, will he live? None of the righteous deeds he has done will be remembered; for the trespasses and sins he has committed, he will die.

This is God’s confirmation to us that no matter how many miles we have walked in sin, one step through the door and we are on the path of righteousness- no longer walking to certain death. And the same goes for people who change their route from righteousness to sinfulness.

The doors that we pass during our lifetime are all spiritual wormholes that can transport us from Sheol to heaven or in the other direction; all we have to do is step through them.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But the problem is that it isn’t easy. In fact, it can often be very difficult, and too often simply because people don’t realize the doors are wormholes. They think they are just cosmetic because when we open the door, we can’t see where it leads to.

We have to take a step of faith when we go through one of those doors.

If you are on a pathway that you chose before you knew better and feel that you can’t change your direction, you are most certainly mistaken. You have the opportunity to change lanes, to get off this highway, and to travel to a better destination any time you want to. And if you don’t see any doors right now, ask God to provide one for you. It may happen immediately, or you may have to wait a bit, but look for the door! It will be there.

But be warned- the Enemy of God, HaSatan, also knows how to make a door, so before walking through any door, always read the label.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages to help this ministry grow. I never ask for money, but it would be nice if you bought some of the books I have written. And please subscribe so you will be notified the next time I post a message.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

 

Understanding Galatians 3:24-25

Before we discuss this specific passage, let’s review what Galatians is all about.

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It is a letter written by Shaul (Paul) to a congregation of mostly Gentile Believers in Yeshua as the Messiah, and who were, essentially, converting from their pagan Roman religion to Judaism. These Gentiles were being harassed by Jewish Believers in Messiah who demanded that their conversion process be immediate and complete. Shaul was trying to maintain control of his fledgling congregation by keeping them on track with his slow introduction to the proper worship of God, and understanding of how Messiah Yeshua fit into God’s plan of redemption.

We can see this in all of Shaul’s letters to the different congregations he formed (there were no “churches” in the First Century), each battling with their own problems in keeping on the right track to developing proper worship. There was NEVER any condemnation of Torah or instructions to ignore or abandon Torah- there were slow, step-by-step instructions helping people to make a spiritual paradigm shift in both worship and lifestyle.

Now that we know the context of the letter to the Galatians, remembering that understanding the context is essential in any biblical study, we can take a look at the passage:

Accordingly, the Torah functioned as a guardian until the Messiah came, so that we might be declared righteous on the ground of trusting and being faithful.  But now that the time for this trusting faithfulness has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

We are all children of God, right? And anyone who has ever raised a child knows that the one thing children do, the moment they are able to understand boundaries, is to push the envelope of those boundaries. We, as parents, or should I say guardians, do all we can to allow them to explore their world while keeping them within the very boundaries they want to be free of. And when they cross those boundaries, we bring them back into righteousness through a time out, or grounding them, or sometimes a good slap on the tuchas.

Yet, even when understanding what will happen when they cross the boundary line, why do they continue to push those boundaries? If you’re asking me (and even if you’re not, I’m gonna tell you, anyway) it’s just basic human nature. We are always trying to push beyond whatever boundaries we are given.

We are bound by the sea below and the sky above: we can’t breathe underwater and we can’t fly, yet we pushed against those boundaries and eventually found ways in which we can now do both.

The Torah is a guardian that establishes boundaries; not natural boundaries like water and gravity, but moral ones. The Torah defines these boundaries, and human nature, being what it is, urges us to push those boundaries as far as we can to see where they break. That is who we are. The Torah accounts for this, in that not only does it establish the boundaries for proper living and worship, but as our guardian, it also provides the means for us to be brought back within those boundaries if, and when, we cross over them into sin.

When the Messiah came, he replaced a specific part of the Torah. It wasn’t the part that established the boundaries but the part that brought us back into righteousness when we crossed those boundaries. Yeshua’s sacrifice replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple in Jerusalem, which is the requirement under the Torah in order to be forgiven. The Torah states that we must bring our sacrifice to the location where God places his name in order for the sacrifice to be accepted (Deuteronomy 12:11), so when the temple was destroyed in 73 AD, there was no means of attaining forgiveness of sin.

Now we come to the most misunderstood truth about the Messiah:

The sole purpose of the Messiah is to be the means through which people can be forgiven of their sins.

Yes, Yeshua taught the deeper, spiritual meaning of the Torah (in Jewish exegesis it is called the Remes), but that wasn’t why he came. He performed many miracles, but that wasn’t why he came- that was only to prove who he was. The one and the only reason he came here was to provide the means by which we can be forgiven.

Once we understand this essential truth, then we can understand what Shaul meant when he said with the coming of the Messiah we are no longer under the guardianship of the Torah. He wasn’t talking about the boundaries set by the Torah, he was talking about the means to be brought back within those boundaries.

Let’s get back to kids for a second: as their guardian, we teach them the way to act and we enforce those rules, but when they get old enough to be on their own, they are no longer under our guardianship. That doesn’t mean that what we taught them as their guardian is no longer valid and necessary; it simply means that they are now the ones who are responsible to enforce the rules. The way we do that is through self-discipline and being responsible adults.

Do you now see the logic and relationship between the Torah, Yeshua, and guardianship? A guardian defines our boundaries and is the one who brings us back into righteousness, and the Torah did both of these before Yeshua came; now, after Yeshua, the Torah still establishes the boundaries, Yeshua is the one who brings us back into righteousness, but we are each of us responsible to stay within the boundaries the Torah defines.

The boundaries are still valid, the means to be brought back within the boundaries is through Yeshua, but we are now our own guardians.

Thank you for being here, and please share these messages and subscribe to the website and the YouTube channel. And remember: I always welcome your comments.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

 

Yeshua Certainly Knew the Book of Proverbs

It is truly a shame that too many Christians are being taught mainly from the New Covenant writings while ignoring most everything in the Tanakh. The reason it is a shame is that Yeshua didn’t teach anything from the Epistles, and not just because they hadn’t been written, but because he tells us, over and over throughout all four gospels, that he does and says only what his Father in heaven has told him to do and say. And what God has said is only in the Tanakh.

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I have been reading Proverbs lately, and as I go through them I see so many that I immediately relate to some of the teachings that Yeshua gave. Here are just a few examples:

Proverbs 11:2- First comes pride, then disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Doesn’t Yeshua tell us that the meek will inherit the earth? (Matthew 5:5)

 Proverbs 11:4On the day of wrath, wealth doesn’t help; but righteousness rescues from death.

Doesn’t Yeshua tell us that we are to seek first the kingdom of God? (Matthew 6:33)

Proverbs 24:3By wisdom a house is built, by understanding it is made secure.

Didn’t Yeshua tell us that rejecting his wisdom is like a house built on sand? (Matthew 7:26)

Proverbs 25: 6,7Don’t put yourself forward in the king’s presence; don’t take a place among the great. For it is better to be told “Come up here,” than be degraded in the presence of a nobleman.

Didn’t Yeshua say that when you sit at a table, take the least important place? (Luke 14:10)

Proverbs 25:21– If someone who hates you is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

Didn’t Yeshua tell us to love our enemies? (Matthew 5:44)

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that what Yeshua taught is from the Tanakh, for that was the only word of God that existed then. The New Covenant hadn’t been written. So if Yeshua taught from the Tanakh, my question is why don’t the Christian churches teach from it, also? Why do they use, almost exclusively, the Gospels and the Epistles? In the Gospels, Yeshua teaches what the Tanakh says, and the Epistles were written by a man to the Gentiles in congregations he started and were not written to teach them anything new, but to remind them of what he already told them. Things that he already taught them that they were having trouble remembering and living by.

You’ve seen those bracelets that have “WWJD” written on them, right? I believe the people who wear them really want to do as Jesus did; the problem is that the Christian church teaches Constantinian doctrine and not what is in the Torah, which is what Jesus followed, so to do what Jesus did means to NOT do what (most of) Christianity teaches.

Jesus did not celebrate the Christian holidays, he celebrated the Holy Days that God commanded we celebrate in Leviticus 23.

Jesus did not eat many of the foods that Christians eat, he ate only what God said we should eat in Leviticus 11.

Jesus did not rest on Sunday, he rested from Friday night to Saturday night.

The point of today’s message is that if you really want to live “as Jesus lived”, you need to worship as he worshiped, eat as he ate, and celebrate as he celebrated.

Doesn’t that make sense?

It is truly a shame that this very sensible argument is lost on so many people; people who probably really want to please God and do as Jesus did, but refuse to because they would rather accept the easy way of life that is Constantinian Christianity.

What a terribly disappointing surprise they will have when they come before the Throne of Judgment.

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

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

 

 

 

Marketing the Mark of the Beast

We all know that the Devil is a liar. In fact, he is the father of all lies, and when he wants to destroy your soul for all eternity, I can guarantee that he will NOT come up to you and say:

 “Hi, there. I’m Satan, nice to meet you. I am here to condemn you to eternal damnation, so just sign here and we can get started.”

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 Nope, it ain’t gonna go that way. What he will do is market himself as someone who is here to help everyone, especially you. He will entice you with health, or wealth, or whatever your heart desires which is tied to earthly things. He doesn’t know our minds, but he does know our iniquities, and what human hearts desire, and that is how he can turn us from godly to satanic, in a heartbeat.

And if you are thinking, “Oh, no. Not me! I will resist the Devil!” you might be one of the first ones to accept that mark.  We have to realize that we aren’t smarter or more cunning than Satan, so we have to always be aware of our weaknesses in order to stay alert. False confidence is a tool for the Devil to use against us.

The concentration camps of the Nazis had a saying over the entry gate which was “Arbeit Macht Frei”, which means “Freedom through work”. The Jews that were selected for the showers thought that they were getting cleaned, which was probably welcomed since the traveling arrangements were disgusting. Yet, what they thought was something being done for them, was actually something being done to them. It was known as The Final Solution.

The Enemy of God will also make us think he is here to help. We are told he is a false prophet, and that he and his minions will have supernatural power which will cause many people to fall away from the faith. And let me tell you this- it will be easy for him (or maybe, her?) to do.

Don’t think so?  Well, just look at how easily people today are being controlled by the media. Look at how easily the anarchy which is growing in America is not only allowed, but encouraged by many of our leaders.  Look at the level of deep-seated resentment there still is between the races. I believe the really racist people, of whatever color, are the minority, but this country has been appeasing the noisy minority for decades now, while the silent majority allows it to go on.

The mark of the beast may not be a physical thing on our foreheads and hands, or it may be, who knows? It doesn’t really matter because the reason we take the mark will have nothing to do with what it is, but with what we are promised. We will be promised peace, racial equality, subsistence payments, free health care, and any number of earthly things that appeal to our financial and emotional senses.

There are some saying wearing a face mask is like accepting the mark of the beast. Well, I think that is a little over the top, but there is something to what they say regarding accepting something we are told to do without taking the time to verify whether or not it is really effective or necessary.

The current pandemic is more dangerous than just catching a sickness: the real danger is how easily people are being frightened and how polarizing the effect has been on the populace. There is no middle ground and no acceptance of individual rights: we are being told to wear a mask to protect others, appealing to our desire to help each other, when it may be that all we are really doing is learning to do what we are told to do. I am not talking about wearing masks being good or bad, I am talking about people being controlled by fear, and falling for the line that “Do this to show you care.”

No one really cares or they would have been wearing masks long before Covid-19. Any flu or even a common cold is potentially deadly to the high-risk group that today everyone is concerned about. And what will happen after there is a vaccine? We know from experience that vaccines do not eliminate a virus, so even after there is a vaccine will we wear masks to keep someone from getting sick? If there’s a vaccine, is it then OK to take off the mask and let them get sick? What if they can’t get to the vaccine? What if they can’t afford it? What if they are asymptomatic but sick, and by the time they show symptoms it will be too late?

All of these questions are valid, so why don’t we just decide to wear the mask from now on? Anyone who currently wears a mask to prevent others from getting sick, if you ever take it off then you must not really care but are doing it because you have been told you have to.

And that is how it will be with the mark of the beast. People will be suckered into a false sense of doing good for others, and that is when they will accept the mark, whatever it is.

You have to think about what you do, and not trust anything you hear from any media, whether news or social. People are liars when they know they are lying, and even worse liars when they think they are telling the truth.

Here’s the message for you today: always use discernment and seek the truth. NEVER accept anything you hear from anyone, and I mean A-N-Y-O-N-E! Not from friends, not from family members, not from your doctor, not what the politicians say (oy, never from politicians!), and not from your Pastor, Priest, or Rabbi.  Don’t believe anything from anyone until you have verified it for yourself, or you may just find yourself wearing a mark you never knew you accepted.

Remember: the devil won’t tell you that you are taking the mark of the beast; he will lie through his teeth in order to get you to accept whatever it is that he is offering which he tells you is to help you.

If you disagree with anything or everything I have said here today, please consider this one last thing: the Enemy of God will make you fall from Grace by convincing you that what you are doing is the right thing.

Thank you for being here, and please don’t believe anything I have said until you verify for yourself that it makes sense according to what you read in the Bible.

Please share these messages with others, subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, and remember that I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Are Christians Better than Jews?

I know you’re thinking, “What a silly question! What Christian would consider themselves better than a Jewish person?”

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And you would be right in thinking that, but as a Jewish man who is also a Messianic Jew, I have been exposed to both Jews and Christians my entire life, and have experienced from both sides subtle, and not so subtle, prejudice.

To a “mainstream” Jew, I have to be a Christian because I “believe in Jesus Christ” and to many Christians, because I never rejected Judaism, I am not really “saved” because I still do all that Jewish stuff that Jesus did away with; they say because I try to obey the Torah, I am under the law and not under Grace.

The truth is that Jews have no idea who the real Messiah is because they only know the Constantinian form of Christianity which was supposedly created by that blonde-haired, blue-eyed European called Jesus. And the Christians? Most of them have no idea who Yeshua is or how their “Savior” really lived and worshiped, knowing (just as the Jews) nothing more than the Constantinian form of Christianity.

And what is one of the foundational teachings of Constantinian Christianity? It is that the Jews rejected Jesus and so those Gentiles who accepted him are not just saved, but because they recognized and accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, they are better than the Jews. Some take that to an extreme, which is called Replacement Theology. Replacement Theology states that the Jews, having rejected Jesus, are now rejected by God and that Christians are now God’s chosen people.  Yeah, right. There will be a big surprise (and it won’t be pleasant) when they come before God and try to tell him they are his chosen people.

If you were brought up in one of those rare, yes rare, Christian churches that understand who Yeshua was and is, and do not accept that the Torah and all that “Jewish stuff” was done away with, then you probably will find what I am saying either hard to believe or maybe even a little insulting. If you are one of these (please believe me when I say) rare Christians, this next statement and the object of this message is not about you.

For the rest of the Christians, those who have been taught and believe that the Torah doesn’t apply to you and that Jesus did away with the law, let me remind you of what Shaul (Paul) said to the newly “saved” Gentiles in Romans 11:17-21 (CJB):

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you — a wild olive — were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree, then don’t boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you.  So you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  True, but so what? They were broken off because of their lack of trust. However, you keep your place only because of your trust. So don’t be arrogant; on the contrary, be terrified!  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly won’t spare you!

Too often Christians have been taught that they are better than the Jews because they accepted Jesus. Maybe not in those words, but in their attitude towards the Torah and Jews, in general. That is why, I believe, they have no problem rejecting God’s word in the Torah- it’s because that “better than thou” attitude has been conditioned through the subtle prejudice and anti-semitic teachings that have infiltrated Christianity since the first century.  How else could one justify the historic hatred Christianity has shown towards the Jews?

What hatred, you ask? Ever hear of the Crusades? What about the Inquisition? Heck, even the Nazi’s had “Gott mit uns” (God is with us) imprinted on their belt buckles. And if you want to excuse them as not really Christians, to a Jew any non-Jew is a Gentile (the Hebrew word Goyim means “nations”, i.e. everyone else) and Gentiles have always killed Jews.

The sad truth is that Christians feel, whether they recognize it or not, that they are better than Jews, and even those that I deal with daily through discussion groups have demonstrated this by insisting on rejecting, and even decrying, traditional Judaic thought and actions, even when they are not in any way in opposition to God’s word. Things such as rejecting the standard Jewish calendar, or insisting on constantly using God’s Holy Name, even though Jews don’t use it simply out of respect. Too many Christians, mostly the “Holy Namers”, not only insist on pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, but insult and deride anyone who doesn’t. They say substituting “Adonai” (Lord) or “HaShem” (the name) for the Holy name (Y-H-V-H) is tantamount to praying to Ba’al! Ridiculous!

There is only one word that describes that attitude: disrespect. And disrespect is a form of boasting because you don’t disrespect those who you don’t feel superior to.

The really silly thing is that not only is this feeling within Christianity that they are better than the Jews, but within Christianity, they feel superior to each other, as well! Imagine: I am a grafted in branch, and I am better than those other grafted in branches who are newer to the tree than I am. Not only that, but now that I am grafted onto the tree, the tree now lives off of me.

Traditional Christianity teaches that the branch has replaced the root.

No one is any better than anyone else in God’s eyes, except maybe those who live their lives trying to please God by doing what he said we should. I am not proclaiming that strict adherence to the Torah is the only way to be saved, but I am saying that trying to do as God said is what God expects of us, and those who do more of what God says will receive more of God’s blessings. He told us that’s how it works in Deuteronomy 28.

Yeshua said a house built on sand will fall and one built on a rock will stand. The foundational tenets of Judaism are what our rock, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Y-H-V-H, gave us through Moses. That is the foundation God said to build upon. Modern Christianity has rejected, for the most part, what God said and instead built their house on sand, the sand that Constantine gave them in the third century, and the sand that the early Christian fathers taught by misinterpreting what Shaul wrote.

How can anyone obey what men say over what God says and think they are right?

Most Jews did reject Yeshua, and they still do, for the same stupid reason that so many Christians think they are better than Jews: ignorance. Both Judaism and Christianity have, for centuries, been based on the idea they are superior because that is what religion is: a system designed to give some people power over other people.  God’s instructions are not a religion, they are a way of life designed not to make anyone superior to anyone else, but simply to please God and, thereby, receive blessings and eternal life.

Religion teaches us that some are superior to others, and God teaches us that the proud will fall and the humble will be raised up, so you need to decide which you would rather be: superior in your own mind or raised up by God?

Thank you for being here. Please subscribe to this ministry and share these messages with others. And remember that I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

 

Religion is the True Parochet

The parochet, for those who aren’t familiar with the Hebrew word, is the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Tent of Meeting Moses had built in the desert, in accordance with the instructions God gave him.

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According to the Talmud, it is a sign of respect for the Torah scrolls kept inside the aron kodesh, the holy ark.

In the Tanakh (Exodus 40) we are told that after placing the tablets God gave Moses into the Ark, the curtain was placed between the Ark and the rest of the area.

In essence, the parochet is a type of barrier between God and the people.

When Yeshua gave up his spirit, which was the means for us to receive forgiveness of sins and, thereby, come closer to God, the parochet in Solomon’s temple was torn, from top to bottom, representing that now there was no barrier between us and God.

When the parochet was torn after Yeshua’s death, the Cohanim replaced it, but not too long after that a new parochet was created. This wasn’t one with blue and purple yarn, and it wasn’t one we could see or feel or smell, but it became a barrier between the people and God that is more difficult to pass through than any cloth curtain ever was.

This newer parochet, this invisible and impassable parochet, this impenetrable barrier between God and people is called…religion.

As I have said over and over, God has no religion. God gave instructions to Moses that were to be passed along and taught to the world. These instructions teach us how to worship God as he wants us to worship Him, and also how to treat each other as God wants us to treat each other. They are found in the Torah and we were specifically told that they are to be valid throughout our generations.

That means forever.

Religion, on the other hand, is the creation of mankind and its sole purpose is for people to have power over other people.

Every Judeo-Christian religious sect or denomination professes to worship the one, true God, whose name is spelled Y-H-V-H. And all these different religions agree that he is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow, never changing.

Yet, they all have different ways to worship him and different ways of following his instructions.

The one thing that all religions have in common is that they have developed their own rules, doctrines, laws, traditions, and rituals, most of which have no basis or requirement by God in his Torah, and many of which actually ignore God’s instructions in the Torah.

And what justification do they give for ignoring what God said to do? They blame it all on his son, the Messiah, who they claim told them they don’t have to obey God anymore.

This same son whose testimony throughout his ministry on earth was that he does only what his father in heaven tells him to do!

The Cohanim replaced the torn cloth parochet, but later men like Ignatius and Constantine, followed in turn by the Popes and organizers of new religions like Luther, Young, et.al. , created their own religions, which acts as a parochet separating those who followed them from God by replacing God’s instructions with their own.

So, what are we to do?

My suggestion is that you find out what God said you should do and compare it with what your religion tells you to do, then choose who you want to obey: God or men?

I might add one last thing: before you choose who to follow, you might want to consider that at the final judgment it won’t be the originator of your religion who will be sitting on the Throne of Judgment, it will be God, and he might be a little perturbed with anyone who chose to ignore his instructions.

Just a little something to think about while you still have the time.

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

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!