Can You Fail If You Never Try?

I was thinking about this while driving my car the other day, specifically regarding people who believe themselves to be Believers but don’t do what God said to do.

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

What I was thinking was that there are just so many people out there who follow their church’s or synagogue’s teachings, rituals, and holidays (or Holy Days, as in the case of the Jewish houses of worship), and think they are fine, spiritually, with God.

But, is that really trying to do as God said to do?

In the case of the synagogues, from Ultra-Orthodox down through Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Messianic (yes, we are a sect of Judaism, whether “mainstream” Jews like it or not) and Secular, there are so many Talmudic rituals, teachings, and requirements (called Halacha) that are not in the Torah, that I have to wonder if any of these are acceptable to God.

I mean, God said in Deuteronomy, more than once, that we are not to add to or take away from anything he said we should do in the Torah.

That seems pretty easy to understand.

Now, as for Christianity ( I don’t have the time or the space in my server to list all the different Christian sects), when it comes to doing what God said to do in the Torah, with all the rituals, teachings, and holidays they have created, well… I don’t have any doubt that these are not acceptable to God because, if for no other reason, Christianity (in general) teaches to reject all of God’s Torah.

I know he doesn’t feel good about that.

All their lives, Jews and Christians have done what men (and now women, also) have told them to do, which is effectively failing to try to do only what the Torah says to do. So, I’m asking will God see that as a sin he should hold against them, even though in their hearts (which God knows) they thought they were doing what God wants?

Whenever I have a question I am not sure of, I go to the Manual- the Bible.

In Leviticus 5:17, God answers this question:

If someone sins by doing something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty, even if he is unaware of it; and he bears the consequences of his wrongdoing.

That goes for women, as well.

So there it is! No matter what our religious leaders tell us is fine with God, as far as God is concerned, the only proper worship of God is what he told us is the proper worship of God, and that is only found in the Torah.

There may be good stuff that qualifies in the Talmud, and maybe there are some things in Christianity that are the same as what God said to do (although, for the life of me, I can’t think of any. If you know of any, please tell me), then performing those things is a good thing.

This is my belief: so long as you are trying to do what God said to do, that is acceptable to God, even though when you fail that is still a sin. And it is because of God’s Grace, his desire that no one has to die (Ezekiel 18:23), that he sent Yeshua, the Messiah, so we can be forgiven of that sin.

Yes, even the sins we don’t know we are committing. That is why every day I pray for God to forgive any and all sins I have or may have committed against him, asking for that forgiveness in Yeshua’s name.

So, my friends, the answer to the question I posed in the title is YES– you can fail even if you aren’t trying, because try or not, God has told us (in the Torah) how he wants us to worship him and treat each other. Whether or not we try to do it the way God said we should (which is usually not the way religion tells us we should), we will always be accountable for what we do, or don’t do, in God’s eyes.

That is why God (mercifully) sent the Messiah, Yeshua, so we could escape the eternal consequences of our failures.

Of course, you really do have to try, and I have to believe that trying and failing will be looked upon more mercifully than not even trying.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to this ministry on both my website and YouTube channel. Share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow, and buy my books. If you like what you get here, you will like my books, as well, and they are available through my website or from Amazon.

And remember that I always welcome your comments- please make them on my Messianic Moment Facebook page or in my Facebook discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (if you aren’t a member, please join- read and agree to the rules, too).

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

No Parashah Message Today

I am taking a drug called Lyrica to relieve the very painful sciatica pain I currently have, which is from a back operation I had to relieve the sciatica pain.

I did a video, also, so click here if you want to see it: Watch the video.

As silly as that sounds, it is true: it seems that after scraping away some of the ligament that was putting pressure on the spinal cord root nerves coming from my spine (called Lumbar Spinal Stenosis), after a week or so (of blessed pain-free life) the body realizes there has been damage to an area and rushes to heal that area, causing inflammation, which ends up putting pressure on the same nerve roots that are supposed to be untouched by anything.

So I am taking the maximum dosage of Lyrica, which does help a lot, but it doesn’t take away all the pain. I am only pain free when I am sitting or lying down.

When taking Lyrica , you are relieved of pain but Lyrica also causes some small loss of cognitive ability when taking it. A pharmacist told me that it effects the same brain receptors as alcohol does, so it simulates being “tipsy”.

I can verify that he was correct: I have already had to make about 20+ corrections to my typing.

So, since I don’t want to end up like Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10), I am not even going to try to give a parashah message today. No one should come before the Lord drunk, and even though I am not really drunk, I am close enough and I respect God enough not to try to give a message in this condition.

All I will do is ask you to pray for my body to heal itself quickly so that I can stop taking Lyrica and resume a normal, pain free life.

I’ll try to be with you next week, but if I am not posting it is because of the Lyrica effect on me, so please be patient and keep your settings set to notify you when I post.

L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

I Am Not Your Brother, Really

I want to say, from the start, that this is not something I received from God. This is my personal rant and so if anyone disagrees strongly or feels insulted or put-out, I apologize. I am NOT against anyone calling me “Brother Steve” or using “Brother” or “Sister” with other members in the body of Messiah, or even saying they “love” me if they feel the need to do so. This is simply how I feel about calling each other “brother” or “sister”, or telling people you love them.

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

I agree that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of the Messiah, Yeshua, who is known by many as Jesus Christ because they don’t know his Hebrew name and haven’t learned how the Hebrew name was translated incorrectly to become “Jesus Christ”.

But that’s another issue.

We have a spiritual connection with each other through Messiah, which is separate from our real-world relationship. As such, when I am called “brother”, I accept that and appreciate it, but still I feel uncomfortable (to a small degree) because I am not their brother in real life. I have sisters, and I love people, but when a stranger I am meeting for the first time tells me he or she loves me, well…c’mon, really? You love me? -you don’t even know me!

Even people I meet and talk with, maybe for years, but only at the synagogue don’t really know me.

They see “synagogue Steve”. not “just waking up and grumpy Steve”, not the “mad as all get-out and cursing Steve (and believe me, when I am that mad that I curse, the curses flow like water down a waterfall!)”, or any of the other aspects of my personality that are the total me.

So please- don’t tell me you love me. Love is too important a word to throw around like a hot potato, or use flippantly.

Call me Steve, Steven, Yo!, Hey You, but NEVER “Stevie”: the last person who called me that is recovering very well and should be released from the hospital soon.

I have never called anyone I know from a synagogue or Facebook or any of the Facebook accounts I am associated with “brother” or “sister”, and I have never told anyone I love them, except those who I truly love and have known me, the whole me, for years.

Now, I know that Yeshua said to love each other (John 13:34) and Shaul (Paul) even went as far as to say we should greet each other with a holy kiss (2 Corinthians 13:12). But Yeshua was talking on a spiritual plane; I really don’t think he meant loving each other in a physical way: he said to love us as he did, which means to treat each other with respect and compassion.

I really don’t think Yeshua meant to go around telling everyone in the church or synagogue that “I love you”.

And what about greeting each other with a kiss? I don’t know about you, but I do not want to have anyone to kiss me, especially a stranger. Now, if we have already had a friendship for a long enough time that we both know each other well enough to kiss, that’s OK.

And that kiss better be a peck on the cheek, and nothing more.

I feel the same way about hugging.

So, that’s my rant for today- this is the real me, people, and I am sharing with you my private and true feelings. Not that I pretend to be different when I am with you in these messages or when I am in a house of worship with other congregants: I am just much more careful about what and how I say things, and I try to stay emotionally “disconnected”.

I hope you understand my feelings, and if you feel the same way I do, please let me know.

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

(Hey, in case you didn’t notice, I did not include anything about liking my Facebook Messianic Moment page or joining my “Just Gods’ Word” group, or buying my books or subscribing to my website on this post or …… oh, my! I guess I just did.)

Let’s Know the REAL 10 Commandments

Do you know the 10 Commandments? Most of us can tell you all ten, but the problem is whether or not those are the Real 10 Commandments.

Specifically, it’s the first commandment I am talking about.

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

I have found many different versions of the Big 10, depending on whether you are looking at a Jewish Bible or a Gentile Bible.

Here are some blatant examples of what I mean (Exodus 20):

Complete Jewish Bible (the Hebrew letters stand for “1” and “2”)-

“Then God said all these words:

א  “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.

ב  “You are to have no other gods before me.  You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline….”

The Church of Jesus Christ Internet site

The following review of the Ten Commandments includes brief explanations of how they continue to apply in our lives today:

1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me…”

2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…”

Google search (first hit)-

The 10 Commandments

  • You shall have no other God’s before me.
  • Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images. …”

Do you see what I am talking about?

If you are a Gentile, the 10 Commandments you most likely have been taught (to be fair, not all Gentiles were taught incorrectly) that the first commandment is not to have any other Gods before the true God. It ignores the first commandment from the Torah, which God, himself, dictated to Moses, essentially rejected that he is the God who brought us out of Egypt.

In other words, many Gentiles have never been taught that it is God who is truly our Savior.

Oh yes, it references that God brought us out of Egypt in the regular text, but it is NOT listed as a commandment.

Now, why would a Gentile Bible ignore this commandment?

(I haven’t looked at every different version, but my experience justifies my statements)

Why leave out what God considers to be the very first thing that people who worship him should know and remember?

Well, the answer seems obvious: the Gentiles who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob- the TRUE God- weren’t taken out of Egypt, so they can ignore that first commandment.

Simple. Easy to understand, and quite frankly…it makes sense.

But, as Dick Tracy detectives would say before calling him on their wrist-radio,

HOLD EVERYTHING!”

(If you’re not older than 65 then you probably don’t understand this reference)

If you are a Believer, someone who has accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as your Messiah, then according to the New Covenant writings, you are a member of Israel and an adopted child of Abraham (Ephesians 3:4-6).

In other words, when you accept Yeshua as your Messiah and are “Born Again”, then you are also a member of the tribes that came from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

That means that you, too, were taken out of slavery from Egypt!

Now, maybe the “Egypt” for Gentiles is more spiritual than it was physically for the Jewish people back then; i.e., Egypt representing slavery instead of a country, which is a metaphor often used in the Tanakh.

But the idea that God is the one who saved you from an “Egypt”, which could be either physical slavery to people or spiritual slavery to sin, is just as meaningful and important for Gentiles as it is for Jews!

So, here is my message for today: The first commandment, which identifies the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the one who took us out of slavery is important for Jews and Gentiles: representing to Jews the freedom from slavery to men, and representing to Gentiles their freedom from slavery to sin.

Of course, for all of us now, this is only available through the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, who has also made it possible for Gentiles to become adopted children of Abraham.

The real first commandment identifies God as the one who is our savior from sin.

Gentiles have been taught that Jesus is their Savior, which is true him being the instrument through which we can receive forgiveness of our sins.

BUT…Jesus doesn’t forgive sins now, so he isn’t really the one who saves us: the one, and only one, who forgives our sins, thereby saving us from spending eternity out of the presence of God is…G-O-D!

Yeshua (Jesus) is our Intercessor– he sits at the right hand of God, pleads our case, asks his Father to answer our prayers sent in his name, and tells God that we are one of his flock.

If you pray to Jesus, your aim is off- he never said to pray to him. He is the Intercessor of our prayers, not the Interceptor of them.

So, if you want to learn the real 10 Commandments, remember that the first one is:

God is the one who saved you from slavery by bringing you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Whether that “Egypt” was the country or representative of slavery (as in, to sin) doesn’t matter: what does matter is that you know God is your true Savior.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to this ministry, on both my website and my YouTube channel, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules); please comment on these messages and let’s drash it out, together.

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

Parashah Emor 2022 (Speak) Leviticus 21-24

These chapters begin with rules for the priests regarding not defiling themselves by having any contact with the dead (except for close family members) and marrying only a virgin. The Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) shall not even have contact with family members who die, nor shall he ever mourn (at least, not in public).

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

No priest can offer any sacrifice or perform any priestly duties if they have any sort of deformity or blemish or are in a condition of uncleanliness.

Chapter 23 is where God instructs us about the 7 Holy Days, which are not to be confused with holidays, those being man-made. God’s required celebrations are the Shabbat, Passover, Hag HaMatzot (Passover is only the late afternoon until midnight, with the 7 days of unleavened bread being a separate festival), Counting of the Omer (not a Holy Day but important because it brings us to the next one), Shavuot, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

God instructed Moses about the show bread and the Ner Tamid (Eternal Flame).

We are told of an incident where an Israelite man (Israelite mother and Egyptian father) blasphemed God’s name and cursed, and his punishment was to have all the people who heard him lay their hands on his head, then the entire congregation was to stone him to death. We are told that any punishment must be equal to the crime, which was described by God as “breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.”

(I can make an entire message on the way this one statement has been misunderstood.)

Probably one of the most important instructions, and the final one for this parashah, is the commandment that there shall be only one law for both the natural Jew and the Gentile.

Okay, then…not much to analyze or look for deeper, meanings here. This is all pretty straight-forward.

But what does it mean to us? What do I have to worry about if I am not a descendant of Aaron, or a Levite?

Well, if you are a member of the body of the Messiah, or any sect of Judaism (even if you haven’t accepted Yeshua as your Messiah), then you are a priest.

YIKES! You mean to tell me that even as a Gentile Christian I am considered to be a priest?

I believe the answer is….YES!

Why? Because any one who sojourns with Israel, i.e., joins the chosen people of God, is considered to be an adopted son of Abraham (Galatians 3:29), and, as a member of God’s chosen people, you are also one of God’s priests to the world( Exodus 19:6).

Not what they told you in church, huh?

Did they also fail to tell you that as a adopted child of Abraham, that because God said there is to be one law for both the stranger (i.e., Gentile joined to the people) and the Jew, that means you are also required to obey his law (that means the Torah, people)?

Now that’s quite a kick in the pants, right?

Here’s how it works, folks: when you accept Yeshua (Jesus) as your Messiah, you are a spiritual sojourner with Israel and an adopted child of Abraham. This does NOT mean you are a Jew- that has to be by blood, not by choice (except maybe in the case of total conversion). But, as a member of Israel you are a priest for God, which requires you to obey the priestly requirements in this parashah, and throughout the Torah.

And as a natural-born Jewish person, you are already a priest, Believer or not, like it or not.

This is how I see it, based on how I interpret the Torah and some of what Shaul (Paul) wrote.

I understand that this does open a can of worms, as they say, because now we have to ask if your marriage is acceptable (if you didn’t marry a virgin); are you allowed to visit the graves of your loved ones; can you come into church (or synagogue) if you had sex recently and didn’t shower afterwards?

And these are just the easy questions!

If you expect me to answer them, I am sorry but I won’t go there. I think we all have to read the Torah and come up with the answers for ourselves, asking God to have the Ruach HaKadosh (Holy Spirit) guide us in our decision. I know this sounds like a cop-out, but I am not sure of the answers, myself.

I do know one thing- thanks to Yeshua, if I do sin accidentally by not properly observing the rules for a priest, then I can receive forgiveness through him.

Here’s an interesting thing I would like to share with you: when I worked at a Jewish cemetery, if the people looking to buy a burial plot had a last name that was Cohen or Levy, or anything similar, they had to buy a plot directly off the road because as a Levite, they couldn’t even stand on the ground without (ceremonially) becoming unclean. For me, as a salesman, that meant more money because those are the most expensive areas in any cemetery.

I have been told that my DNA analysis (my older sister, Wendy is our genealogist) shows I have the genetic marker of a Levite, so I know I have to be careful in how I live my life. My current marriage is a second marriage for both my wife and myself, so that would disqualify me, but these things happened before I became a Believer, so I hope that they are not counted.

After all, we are born a new creation every day (2 Corinthians, 5:17) so I am trying, each day for the rest of my life, to qualify for God’s requirements as one of his priests.

What about you? Do you feel “priestly”? You are, you know, whether or not you want to be, so if you like being blessed by God and want to act in accordance with what God says (not what some man-made religion says), then I suggest read this parashah for yourself and get with the program.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And I always welcome any comments you may have: feedback lets me know someone is listening, so please (at least) send me a “Good Job”, or “You’re crazy!”, and let’s drash it out, together.

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