Why I Do This

In this ministry, I have been posting about 3 times a week for nearly 6 years now. I have added different categories, improved my website, created a Facebook page, purchased a video creation program (so people can either read or watch my messages), and written three books.  I also have started to add personal pictures and videos now and then.

If you prefer to watch a video (which is why I bought the app), click on this link: Watch the video.

I have not made money from any of this. Although the people who have bought and read my books have given me positive feedback, they are not making any professional authors shake in their boots. I doubt Oprah will ever recommend me. I do this because I have the same feeling that Jeremiah had (not that I could ever come close to the class he is in) in that I feel a need to announce to everyone what I believe to be correct information about God and his salvation through the Messiah.

I do not tell anyone what they should believe in or what they should do- that is totally their decision. All I want to do is make sure that whatever decision they make, they make it using good information.

It’s just like when I used to go to people’s homes from telemarketing leads to sell them siding or windows. That type of sale is called a One Call Close, but you actually need to “close” them three times:

  1. your first close is to get the homeowner to buy the idea that they should let you into the house;
  2. the second close is to get them to admit they would like to buy your product; and
  3. the final close is to get them to actually buy it.

When I was working on the first close, I very often was met with the statement,” If you are going to try to sell me something you might as well leave now. No matter what you say I am not buying anything today!” My answer was, “It’s your money- I won’t tell you how to use it. But let me ask you something: when you do buy something, do you buy it without any knowledge of what you are buying, or do you make an informed decision about what you buy?”

The answer was always that they make an informed decision- this is what we call asking a question to which you already know the answer.

So, once they answered me, I would say, “That’s the best way to buy something. All I want to do is give you the information you need to make an informed decision. What you do after that is up to you.”

I am not interested in telling people what to do, only giving them the correct information so they know what they are doing.

When we read the Bible, this is what God has always done. God has never dictated what we must do. What he has done is to tell us IF you do this I will bless you this way, and IF you don’t you will be punished this way. He gives us the information then tells us to choose life or death. He then recommends we choose life, i.e. to obey him.

In Deuteronomy 28, Moses states the blessings God promises for obedience to his instructions, as well as the curses for disobedience, and after telling all these things to the people, in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 Moses says:

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I try to teach the truth about who God is and how “salvation” works. Most religions teach that God loves us and wants to bless us (which is all true) and that when we accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah we are “saved” from hell because he died for our sins. This is all true, but it isn’t the whole truth. They tell you when you faithfully accept Yeshua as your Messiah you are forgiven of your sins, but what they neglect to mention (what Paul Harvey used to call “the rest of the story”) is that without repentance, there cannot be forgiveness. God will not forgive someone who isn’t repentant. They also forget to remind us that the blessings God has for us are dependent upon our obedience-when we reject what God says we should do, we reject the blessings he wants to give us.

Here is what I have found to be a very hard thing for many people to grasp:

we are saved by our faith and not by what we do, but what we do shows how genuine our faith really is.

In other words, you can’t have your cake (constant, unrepentant sin) and eat it, too (still receive forgiveness.)

You can’t be a consistent, unrepentant sinner and receive forgiveness. Unfortunately, this is the message many religions teach.

God has no religion and his commandments, all of them, are for everyone. This is what I announce to the world, in different ways using different stories, so that people have the information they need to make the right decision about where they will spend eternity.

 

Thank you for being here; if you like what you hear please SUBSCRIBE using the button in the right-hand margin, and use the link above to subscribe to my Youtube channel, as well. Share me out, buy my books, help me get the information people need to know out to them.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Why I Post the Things I Post

No video today, but keep watching for my new book to be available soon.  If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so now to be notified of the release of my and to get in on the best deals. 

When I write these messages, which I prefer to the term “posts I try to take the biblical requirements for how we are to worship God and act towards each other and put them in a modern-day light. 

I also try to identify and debunk the wrong teachings that proliferate throughout the Christian world, as well as within Judaism, too. 

The reason for this is because the Bible is about how we should worship God and how we should treat each other. Too often I see people talking about things in the Bible that they take out of context and interpret in a way that works with the lifestyle they want to live. Of course, this has been happening since the first time God told us what he wants of us.

Jews still hold a “legalistic” view of the Torah and have been taught that Jesus started a new religion; Christians (pretty much) have been taught to completely ignore the requirements in the Torah because those are only for Jews. And within both Judaism and Christianity there have, over the centuries, been different sects and religions formed, each of which has their own rules of “this not that, and these not those.” All of these different religions and sects within a religion have the same goal- to act in the way the person who started that sect/religion wants to act. 

GOD HAS NO RELIGION!! He has his rules, laws, and commandments which tell us how to worship him and treat each other which are not just for Jews- they are for everyone. 

God gave the Torah to the Jewish people to bring to the world, which is why he told Moses that they will be a nation of priests for him (Exodus 19:6.)

All these different religions are man-made. As we have been told, “Seek and ye shall find”: when it comes to the Bible, everything we ever need or want is in there, somewhere, and if we look hard enough we can take enough things out of context and put them together to justify the Bible says to do just about anything.

My goal is to let people know what God really wants of them and try to give practical ways to live as God wants us to in our everyday lives. I believe that the Torah is still valid; Yeshua never did away with it. What he did was to teach the deeper, more spiritual meaning behind the laws that are there.  The Torah is the ultimate Catch 22: we can become righteous (saved) by perfect obedience to the Torah, but no one can be perfectly obedient to the Torah. 

So, Nu? Now what? 

Now what we do is to try to do our best, trust in God’s faithfulness to keep his promises (which he has shown throughout the Bible he will do) and ask for the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide us. We must read the Bible every day to learn about God, and to confirm for ourselves that every time our fathers failed to do as God said they should when they were repentant and called upon God for forgiveness, he forgave them.

God will let us fall to learn how to get up, and he is always there to give us a helping hand when we humbly and repentantly ask for it. 

One last thing: you will note that I do not do what the “popular” sites do, which is to preach only about God’s love and forgiveness. Salvation is not really a “come-as-you-are” party and the idea that “Once saved, always saved” is nothing more than Satanic propaganda. People who “want their cake and to eat it, too” are the ones that fall for this. Since most of the world is composed of people who are self-absorbed and hedonistic, these religious organizations and leaders preach to our flesh saying that you are fine as you are; just ask for forgiveness and you are forgiven and set for eternity. They appeal to our basic nature- lazy and selfish.  That is why they are so popular. Just listen to the rhetoric of the “Mega-churches” and you will hear all about the rosy-colored world of God’s love and forgiveness. 
But will they preach about tithing? Will they talk about Yeshua telling us we must lift up our execution stake and carry it if we wish to follow him? Do they tell us that salvation is easily attained but really hard to keep, or even that if we fail to be repentant or obedient we can throw our salvation away? 

Of course not- that would cause them to lose many of their followers. But it would be the truth. What they say about God’s love and forgiveness is true, but it is not the whole truth about God or salvation through Messiah. 

I try to tell it as it is, and I may be wrong. I am only human. But I try to justify whatever I say with showing where it is in the Bible and also ask for confirmation or correction from those reading what I write. I tell you all that you should not take my word for it, but check out everything I say for yourself. After all, I may be wrong! How will you know if you don’t check it out? And if I am, you are obligated to correct me. Proverbs 12:1 and 12:15 both say that a wise man loves correction, and I would certainly want to be wise. 

Just make sure you are nice about it. 

Thank you for visiting my site, reading my work, and especially for subscribing. If you aren’t already a subscriber, please do so if you like what you read. All that happens is that you get a notification of my posts.  And I’ll also ask, again, that if you like what you read here please share me out. 

Blessing to you and yours. 

Baruch HaShem!! 

The Worst Sin of All

What is the worst sin of all of them? The Torah has 613 commandments, regulations and ordinances, so with all of those rules there would be (at least) 613 sins we can commit.

Of course, being the inventive and ambitious species we are, I am certain that humanity has found new and wondrous ways to have violated every single one of those commandments.

Yet, we still always want to know who is “Number One”, don’t we? Who’s the best boxer? Who is the best pitcher in baseball? Who was the greatest President? So naturally, we would want to know which sin is the greatest; not that any sin is great, but which sin is the worst one anyone can commit?

I am thinking that the worst sin would be the one that violates the most important commandment, leaving us now to wonder which is the most important commandment, right? That is, fortunately for us, easy to answer, since Yeshua Himself told us- it is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and might.

Therefore, since loving God is the most important commandment, the worst sin would be to not love the Lord. But how do we know we don’t love God? So many people shout it out at services, or say they do all the time, but how do we know if we really love the Lord?

Oh, wait- that’s pretty simple, too, because the Big Guy gave us that answer, as well: obey Him. That is in Yochanan (John) 14, when Yeshua said that if His Talmudim (Disciples) love Him, then they will obey His commandments. Now, the trick here is to know that Yeshua never gave them any commandments because there is nothing “New” in the New Covenant writings. Everything Yeshua told His Talmudim they should do came directly from the Torah.

So, what do we have? The answer to the question, “Which is the worst sin of all?” is the sin that violates the most important commandment of all, to love the Lord. And how do we show that we love the Lord? We obey His commandments. All of them, which are the ones Yeshua (Jesus) told us to obey, the ones He taught, which encompass every single one of the 613 commandments found in the Torah.

That’s it. Simple, straight-forward, easy to understand. If you want to commit the worst sin of all, just disobey God. It doesn’t really matter which commandment you disobey, you have 613 to choose from, just don’t make excuses. Don’t try to tell God that you love Him but you reject some of what He says because you don’t agree, because you think they aren’t important, or because your Rabbi, or Priest, or Pastor, or whatever told you that the commandment was done away with. Yeshua says in Matthew 5:17 that He didn’t come to change the law. If anyone tells you that the laws of the Torah have been changed, or aren’t valid anymore (gee, if they aren’t valid doesn’t that mean they’ve changed?) then you are being lied to.

Don’t be left thinking that you don’t really love God because you still sin. All of us sin, and many, many, many do love the Lord. . God understands that, and since He can look into your heart He can see the love that is there but which cannot overcome the Yetzer Hara, the Evil Inclination, which we all have.

That is why He sent Yeshua.

I think the worst sin that anyone can commit is to reject Yeshua, the one who came to overcome the sins we cannot overcome ourselves. There is nothing in the Torah that commands we must accept the Messiah: we are promised a Messiah, we are told what to expect, what He will do and why God is sending Him. But there is nothing that says, “Thou shalt accept my Messiah and follow Him.”  Maybe because accepting the one to save us from ourselves is so basic, so understandable, that it is considered a Prima Facie fact of existence. After all, who wouldn’t want to be saved?

Now that’s a good question for which I have no answer.

Why God Blesses those who reject him

When I was a kid, in my early teens, I would curse God. I was depressed, feeling unloved, always angry…you know, those normal adolescent emotional waves of trauma that we all go through. And like many people who don’t understand God, I blamed Him. I had no idea that all the time I was cursing and blaming God for all the bad things in my life, He was gently leading me to Him, to salvation, and protecting me. Both physically and spiritually.

Eventually (it took nearly another 25 years) I found my way to Him. Now I understand better how the world works and how God works. Please don’t get me wrong- I do not understand all about how God works, I just understand it better than I used to.

And one thing I have learned, and truly believe, is that God’s love is totally absent of ego. Oh, He says He is a jealous God, and He is, but I do not believe it is the jealousy we feel, as humans. As a human, my jealousy is selfish, self-centered and (usually) leads to destructive behaviour, either against myself, the person I am jealous for, or both.

I believe (and I have to say this is not something I can quote from the Bible, so I am sharing just my belief) that God is totally focused on our well being. He cares for us so much that He loves and cares for us even when we reject Him for anything else, such as another god, another person, or Monday Night Football; whatever comes between us and God is an idol that separates us from all that God wants us to have. And that is what gets His goat. He is not jealous that we are not loving or worshipping Him for something else, He is jealous that we are not doing what is best for ourselves.

In other words, He is not selfishly angry that He is left out, He is un-selfishly angry that we are hurting ourselves.

Think of someone you love who constantly does things that are bad for him or her: drinking too much, using other drugs that are harmful, maybe never seeing a doctor, never exercising, eating too much, dating total jerks and users…whatever. It is harmful to them, and because you love them it burns you inside that they do this to themselves. And there’s usually little or nothing we can do about it.

It’s like the joke: “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?    Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

When people don’t want to be better to themselves, we who love them have to sit on the sidelines and try to help when we can, suffering for them and with them, all the time feeling helpless and forlorn. That’s sort of how God feels when we reject Him.

In the real world, we can’t do anything to change a person’s behaviour if they don’t want to change. The best we can do is be a light for them, an example of what they can feel or be if they do change. And during this process of watching them destroy themselves, we will try to be supportive, try to direct them to the right path, then inevitably (often for our own protection) leave them to their own devices. Or vices, as the case may be.

That’s what God does. He will bless those who curse Him, He will protect them even when they tell Him to leave them alone. God loves us that much. Eventually, though, if someone totally rejects God, and does so long enough, God may just leave them alone. After all, His love is so great that He will do what we ask, even if it may hurt us. Being omniscient, maybe He knows when to leave us alone so that the world will beat us up so much we might finally look to Him for salvation instead of ourselves, or some other god or drug or social fad?  Maybe, maybe not.

I read how someone asked Billy Graham’s daughter how a good God could allow such evil in the world (I think this was after the Columbine murders) and she said, in brief, that we have asked God to leave our lives, to leave our government, and to leave our schools (thank you very much, Brown vs. the Board.) And, being the gentleman He is, He has. That’s why there is so much violence and evil in these places today.

I don’t need to go on about how God has helped, guided, protected and blessed me even as I was rejecting and cursing Him. I am certain that most of you can look back in your lives and remember a time when this was true for you, too. That’s why I don’t need to go into detail anymore than what I have already said.

The point is this: God’s love is so holy, so unselfish, so far beyond any love any human can generate, that He is happy to bless us when we reject Him, when we ignore His Torah, when we teach others to ignore His Torah, and even when we fervently deny the very truth of His existence. In the Manual the Lord says He will have mercy on those He will have mercy on , and not on those He will not. It also says He rains on the just and unjust, alike. God loves us all, and it doesn’t matter if we love Him back or not.

I remember hearing a story in Jewish lore, maybe it’s in the Talmud, but it goes this way:

After the Jewish people crossed the Red Sea, and as the waters were crushing in on the Egyptian soldiers, destroying the army of the Pharaoh, the angels in heaven wanted to sing for joy at the salvation of the Jewish people. But God said not to sing, and when they asked why not, His reply was, “Because my children are dying.” That’s how much He loves everyone.

Unrequited love is hard to live with- I am certain that all of you reading this have had to live through it at one time or another in your life.  I know, absolutely, that every parent has had to live through a time when their own children hated them. I myself have two children whom I  love and miss terribly. They have used me, taken me on an emotional roller-coaster ride and as each one reached maturity (legal maturity, not emotional) and received the inheritance from my parents they were due, they rejected me. It wasn’t even that much money, and they squandered it before it got warm in their hands. They were raised by their mother and it’s a long story; I think I can safely assume that I am not the only one who has such a story to tell. Yet, if they wanted to reconcile (which is my daily prayer) I would do so in a heartbeat, because my heart still beats for both of them. That will never change. And that’s why I think I can understand, to some degree, how God feels and why He still blesses those that hate Him.

That’s just how love works.

 

Why Me?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Why me?

When something bad happens to us, don’t we ask, “Why me?”  And, if something bad happens to someone else, we might ask ourselves, “Why them?” Like in war, when a buddy is killed by a random bullet right next to you and you have to ask yourself, “Why him? Why did I survive?”

Or maybe when something really good happens to us, we wonder if someone “up there” likes us and ask, “Why me? What did I do that was so wonderful I got this?”

Or the selfish side of that, when something wonderful happens to someone else and you ask,”Why them? Why not me?”

I think the answer, and probably the answer that is best most of the time, is simply, “Because.” Because you were where you were, because you weren’t where that other person was, because you did something nice, because you did something not so nice, because it just happened that way.

Faith is the way we explain the unexplainable. Shaul said that faith is believing in things unseen and unproven, although there is plenty of proof that God exists and is working in the lives of people. All people, not just Believers. Now that my eyes are open, I can see God’s hand and help in many, many areas of my life long before I knew Him as I do now.

In fact, even when I was rejecting Him, He was not rejecting me.

This is a simple Drash, an easy to grasp but hard to live by idealism- don’t think about why. Just keep going. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy.

Ask Kohelet, the writer of the book by the same name. Or maybe you know it as Ecclesiastes. The reason he is so upset and fed up with everything (as he says, it is all just “chasing the wind” and useless) is because he was trying to understand life from God’s perspective. He was trying to know why, he wanted to understand the “Why me?” from God’s level of understanding, which is (of course) impossible for any human to achieve. So, what was he left with? Not knowing the “why me”, and only seeing that everything done under the sun was useless because money you save gets spent by others when you die, the things you build when you are alive don’t last, the work you do and leave behind gets changed by those who are now doing it. Nothing stays the same, nothing is dependable, nothing lasts…nothing except God. God is the only thing that doesn’t change, and He provides for us. He gives us the fruits of our labor, so we should just enjoy them. He provides for us, so we should just accept what He gives and enjoy it. He is all that matters, and fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That’s the conclusion of the book, and that is what most people find to be “the” lesson. I disagree; I think the real lesson from Kohelet is that we need to stop asking “why” and just accept that God is in charge. We can’t understand, and the truth is, we don’t have the need to know. It’s not our place to question God, although He is big enough to handle it, and loving enough to let us, now and then. He may even answer you, if it is something He feels like doing.

Stop asking, “Why me?” Oh, yes…and stop asking, “Why not me?” , too. That’s right- you can’t ask, “Why them”, either. Just stop asking “why”, altogether.  Do what God put you here to do, which is to worship Him, use the gifts He has given you to bring glory to His name: make Disciples, teach, intercede, pastor, whatever talents and gifts He has given you with which you can proclaim His goodness, love, mercy and glory, use them. When things happen in your life, don’t start whining that God is punishing you, or feel guilty that you are so blessed while others aren’t (remember that Yeshua said you will always have the poor amongst you.) Just do what God says to do, and keep on doing it through all the good and all the bad times.

We live in a cursed world, and if you feel that you are really being attacked, don’t ask ,”Why me?” but ask if you have wandered away from God. God provides His kippur, His covering (blessings, if you will) to protect us from the cursed world we live in. He does this when we are walking alongside Him, when we are living in His will. God has His path to walk, and when we wander off He will not wander off with us, so we find ourselves outside the kippur of His goodness and mercy. That’s when we should be asking ourselves something, but not, “Why me?” We need to ask, “Where did I get off track?” And, “How do I get back on track?” Those are the questions we need to constantly ask; we need to always question our motives, our desires, our actions, and understand that God is always there, He is always the same, and when things happen that we feel are not what we expected, it isn’t about God changing- it’s about us changing.

Starting today, ask “What am I doing?” instead of “Why me?” If things go wrong, ask ,”What did I do that may have caused this?”  If things are going great, ask yourself, “What am I doing that must be good in God’s eyes?”

God is in charge, but we have the freedom to do what we please. That often means we will go in the wrong direction, or we will actually do something really worthy of blessing. I like to say when I have done something really well, it is God doing it through me and He deserves the glory. When I screw-up royally, then I can take full credit. But I don’t ask, “Why me?”

Frankly, I don’t care why me or why not me, or why them…I only care about staying in God’s will and doing what pleases Him. I don’t ask “why”, I ask “what”, as in,”What did I do to get off track?” and then”What must I do to get back on track?” Sometimes I can ask the best question of all, “What am I doing that is so wonderful in God’s eyes, and how do I keep on doing it?”

“What” is the question that helps; “Why me?” is self-defeating and leads to inaction, guilt, and sadness whereas”What should I do?” encourages us to take action, improve and work towards demonstrating God’s glory.