No One Can Be 100% Torah Observant

I have stated this a number of times, and sometimes I get someone who disagrees, stating that there were people in the Bible who are said to be blameless and righteous.
And they’re right, but does that mean they were also 100% Torah observant?

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So, we know Enoch walked with God, and that he was the only person, other than Elijah, who didn’t die. Clearly, he was pretty blameless, but- there was no Torah at that time.

Job is also said to be blameless, but -again!- there was no Torah at that time.

The Torah created sin by defining what it is (that’s what Shaul told the Roman Believers in his letter to them), and sin is anything that is against the Torah, so the question is: Is blameless the same as sinless?

What about King David? The Torah certainly was around then, and God said that David was a man after his own heart. David, himself, says that he is blameless a couple of times in some of his psalms, and yet he also said that he was born in sin from his mother’s womb (Psalm 51).

Noah was said to be blameless, but, oh, yeah, there’s that catch about there being no Torah at that time.

Wait a minute! The New Covenant, which came well after the Torah, said that Zechariah and Elizabeth (the parents of Yochanon, the Immerser) were blameless, but if Zach was so perfect, then why didn’t he believe the angel? That cost him the ability to speak for some 9 months.

Shaul says he was the greatest sinner of all (1 Timothy), and in Ecclesiastes 7:20 we are told that there is no one without sin; and what about Romans 3:23 (Shaul, again), Jeremiah 2:35, and Proverbs 20:9? They all indicate, clearly, that no one is without sin, so that means that no one is 100% Torah observant.

So, nu? If sin is against the Torah, and no one is without sin, then how can anyone be blameless after God gave the Torah to us?

The answer is… they can’t be. I know that the Gospel of Luke says Johnny’s Mom and Dad were blameless, but was he talking literally or figuratively?

Let’s confuse this even more: everyone can be blameless.

It is during that moment just after they ask God for forgiveness of sin, by means of the sacrifice Yeshua made on their part. Once God forgives you, you are, at that instant, blameless and 100% Torah observant.

At least, you are until you get in the car, start to drive home and find yourself cursing at the idiot in front of you who can’t make a left turn unless there isn’t a car visible for miles.

Look, no one can be 100% Torah observant, 100% of the time, and if you aren’t Torah observant 100% of the time, then you aren’t Torah observant.

That is why God gave us the sacrificial system. And that is why, a few millennia later, he sent Yeshua, the Messiah, to do his thing so that by means of the sacrifice he made (for all of us), we could find forgiveness despite the fact that we could no longer do that in accordance with the Torah after 73 A.D., when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.

Let’s end this with one, final, absolutely biblical reference to settle whether someone can be sinless: it’s in 1 John 1:8-10, and it goes like this:

If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us

So, yes, there were people in the Bible who we are told were blameless or righteous in God’s eyes, but that doesn’t mean they were 100% Torah observant. What the Bible tells us is that no one can be sinless and 100% Torah observant 100% of the time; no one, that is, except Yeshua, and he was the only one we needed to be that way.

You know, now that we do have the Torah, if any one of us could be 100% Torah observant, meaning sinless, meaning blameless, which is also righteous, and be that way all the time (as Yeshua was), then there wouldn’t have been a need for Yeshua because if one human being could do it, then all human beings should be able to do it.

And that would result in there being only three people in heaven: God, Yeshua, and that one idiot who ruined it for the rest of us.

Thank you for being here; that’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and let me wish you an early Shabbat Shalom!

Raise a Child Up …

Proverb 22:6 says this:

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The problem I see in the world is that parents don’t want to be parents to their children, they’d rather be friends.

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Today’s parents are so concerned that they will traumatize their child if they should so much as spank them, or even tell them they did something wrong. This is one reason we see so many young people today with a sense of entitlement: whatever they want they think they deserve, and if you so much as say a word they don’t like, they become offended.

When I grew up (yeah, yeah, here it comes- the old “when I was a kid…” line, but it is true) we didn’t have soft rubber matting on the ground under our monkey bars. We didn’t have helmets when riding our bikes, and we played community games like Hide and Seek, Johnny on the Pony, and Red Light: Green Light.

And our parents didn’t hesitate for a moment to discipline us when we did something wrong. There was no consideration for our deep, emotional well-being: their concern was for us to know what was right and what was wrong so that when we grew up, we wouldn’t be in trouble or have difficulty getting along with people. They were more concerned with our future than our feelings, and I believe that was because they loved us enough to want us to be successful in life, even if it meant we may be upset or angry with them.

And they also taught us how to be respectful of others, polite to our elders, and how to cook, clean, do the wash, and generally be independent so that we could be good parents when we have kids of our own.

Not so today: these kinds of parents are few and far between.

So, nu? What does this have to do with God? I’ll tell you what it has to do with God- God wants us to be parents, not friends, and he wants us to teach our children how to be god-fearing and do as God wants because when they get older, they will be the role model that their kids fashion themselves after, whether the kids want to or not.

The greatest response any parent can give to their child when the kid is being rebellious is:

“Like it or not, you will grow up to be me!”

I recently came back from Boston, where Donna and I had a really nice long weekend visit, and in the seat behind us on the plane was a child, maybe 3-4 years old. Now, one of the disadvantages of living close to Orlando is that on every, single plane ride home, the plane is filled with young, overly excited kids chomping at the bit to get to Disney World. This child was no exception, and in truth, she was cute, saying “Minnie! Mickey!” over and over.

So, what’s wrong with that? What was wrong was that she was saying it at the top of her voice, and she never stopped talking that loud for the next 2-1/2 hours!

So where are the parents? Why are they allowing this? And to make it worse, there was a lady (not the mom) sitting next to the kid who actually encouraged it!

Now, you may be thinking that the kid is too young to know better, and you’d be right, but the parents should know better, and even if the kid won’t be able to comprehend the lesson of using her “inside voice”, the lesson will stay in her mind. We may not be able to comprehend why when we are too young to really know right from wrong, but our brains will retain the emotion of knowing Daddy or Mommy didn’t like something. It may be in the subconscious, but it will be there.

And when the kid is old enough to know better, that lesson will be brought from the back of the head to the front of it.

Please don’t get me wrong- I am not saying do not allow children to be children, but I am saying that what you allow, or what you don’t allow, whether or not they are old enough to understand why, they will understand Yes and No.

Raise your children up correctly, no matter what their age- if they can understand the language, they will learn what you tell them. There is no waiting until they are old enough to understand because by the time they reach that age, they have already formed behaviors that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

If you are a God-fearing person and have children, you need to ask yourself if you want them to be saved or damned when they die, because that decision is very much in your control. Why do you think God tells us to raise them up correctly? If you do not teach them what they need to know and how to act by providing a good role model for them, the person they become will be very much your fault.

As I conclude today’s message, I will leave you with this other godly wisdom from the Book of Proverbs:, Proverbs 13:24 and 23:14

 13:24- He who fails to use a stick hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
 23:14If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

Thank you for being here; that’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

Rehearsing My Anger….Still

Way back in September of 2020 I wrote a message about rehearsing our anger, and stated that it is something I continually do, but am working at stopping it (click here if you want to read that message).

Guess who hasn’t made one inch of progress?

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When I talk about rehearsing our anger, I am referring to those times when we have an argument with someone, who isn’t there, and may not have even ever said anything to make us mad. It is one of those things we do when we review what has happened or know we will be talking with someone, and we want to prepare ourselves.

The problem is not rehearsing what we want to say, it is when we start to fill-in their side of the discussion, and in order to do that, we have to make-up what we think they might say, which is unfair to them because they may say something totally different than what we think.

When I do this, it is almost always the most negative thing they can say, and this is really wrong of me, because (believe it or not) I am actually a pretty positive person, although I do have that New Yorker cynical viewpoint.

I have discussions with my wife when she is still asleep and I have just woken up; I have discussions with people who tick me off while I am driving, even though I passed their car a mile ago; I have arguments with people who have said nasty and judgmental things to me through this ministry, even after I have blocked them.

This is all stupid! Really- there is no other word that describes wasting the emotional energy it takes to argue with yourself, pretending to be someone else. And you know what is worse? When we do this, our blood pressure reacts just the same as if we were actually doing it for real!

When we rehearse our anger we will have the same physical reaction to the anger stimulus as if it was a real argument, in person, and that is why I say doing this is so stupid, because even though it is all make-believe, the mental images (that may become memory) and physiological responses are real, even though the event is manufactured and pure fiction.

Now here is the sin of it all- when we argue with someone who isn’t there, we have to put words in their mouths to make the argument two-sided, which is the same as bearing false witness. Because when we make up what the other person says, we are saying something that isn’t true, which is, essentially, bearing false witness.

So, I am still trying to stop this, and have begun to incorporate it in my daily prayers, asking God to excise this part of my brain. I know he is willing to help me, but I heard from him, long ago, when I asked him to just take something I hated about my thoughts away, he said it doesn’t work that way- I have to work at it, and he will help me to do that, but he won’t just do it for me. The reason he won’t just take it away is that it won’t teach me about self-discipline, and that is what the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) wants to see when it works within me to make me better than I was.

God has made covenants with us, and a covenant is a “you-and-me” relationship, not a “I’ll do it all for you” type of thing. The Christian world has concentrated on telling people all the things God will do for them, but it rarely teaches that they must FIRST do what God requires.

I will continue to work on this, and I know that when I have conquered it (there’s that positive attitude) my life will be happier, my sleep will be more satisfying, and my relationships will be more loving. The sad truth is that when I argue all the time, I am like Dr. Bruce Banner in the Marvel movie “The Avengers”: in that movie, when they need Dr. Banner to turn into the Hulk, Captain America says it would be a good time to get really mad, Dr. Banner, who says:

“That’s my secret, Cap- I’m always mad.”

I don’t want to be that guy.

Thank you for being here and please don’t forget to subscribe and share these messages.

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

Idolatry is Sin and Sin is Idolatry

I would like to start by announcing that my website, which you may recall had been hacked to non-existence about a month ago, is now back up. Kudos to my Web Master, Travis, for having backups and knowing how to get things restored.

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So, we all know that idolatry is a sin. After all, it is the number two commandment in the Big Ten. And we all know that idolatry is when we worship other gods.

But is that really all it is?

I would like to suggest that idolatry is whenever we allow something to get between us and God.

For instance, do you skip going to Holy Day ceremonies because there is a semi-final game on TV?

Or maybe you eat whatever you like to eat and use the traditional Christian excuse that “Yeshua did away with the law”, even though in your heart you know that he didn’t do away with the law because then there would be no law, at all!

Or maybe you don’t even care to try to forgive someone who has hurt you, in whichever way, because you feel they don’t deserve to receive forgiveness.

Well, let me tell you something: every single one of those reasons is placing your desires before God’s desires, which is a wedge between you and God.

In other words, it is idolatry.

When we allow ourselves to let something we want to take precedence over what God says we should, or shouldn’t, do, we are idolaters. And yes, it is something that we allow! Everything you do is a choice, whether you want to believe that or not. I will tell you now the same thing I tell atheists and agnostics: just because you choose to deny something as real doesn’t mean that something isn’t real.

The point today is whether or not you have been told that all a Christian has to obey are the moral laws, and you agree that idolatry is immoral, then consider this:

God is the epitome of morality, so whatever he says is morally just and true, and that means what he told us to do (and not to do) in the Torah is completely moral. Therefore, if you refuse to obey the Torah, then you are, by definition, rejecting the moral laws, which makes you a sinner and an idolater.

Oy veys mir! No, no- that can’t be true! Oh yes- it IS true! When you refuse, for whatever reason, to do what God said to do, which is found only in the Torah, you are placing a wedge between yourself and God.

Now, you may say that you are only following what your religion says, but God has no religion, so what you are really following is someone’s idea of what (in truth) they want to do, and then teach others who are biblically ignorant, that it is what God wants them to do.

Let’s put it to you like this: when you have to face God, and we all will have to face him, and he reads to you all the times in your life you chose to reject what he said in the Torah, and you reply, “But Lord, I was only doing what they told me I should do.”, I believe God might answer you with something to this effect:

“I understand, my child, that you only did what they told you to do, but it is what I say that counts.”

Thank you for being here; that’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

A Vengeance We Can Take

We all know that the Bible tells us not to take vengeance, which is some form of retribution against someone who has harmed or wronged us in some way. Instead, we are told to wait upon the Lord, because he says that vengeance belongs to him (Deuteronomy 32:35).

But… did you know that there is a form of vengeance, a way to “get back”, that is actually recommended in the Bible?

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In the Book of Proverbs, we are told the following (Proverbs 25:21-22 CJB):

If someone who hates you is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For you will heap fiery coals (of shame) on his head, and Adonai will reward you.

Wow! If I treat someone who hates me with compassion, that will make them feel ashamed, and in a way, making them feel bad about themselves is a sort of retribution, isn’t it?

There is another example in the Tanakh that shows us how God takes his vengeance, in a nice way, on his chosen people. It is in Ezekiel 16:61-63, where God has been talking about how much Israel and Jerusalem have rejected him and prostituted themselves after the countries surrounding them, yet God will still bring them back to him. Here is what he has Ezekiel tell the people:

 Then you will remember your behavior and be ashamed of it as you receive your older and younger sisters and make them your daughters, even though the covenant with you does not cover that; and I will re-establish my covenant with you. Then you will know that I am Adonai; so that you will remember and be so ashamed that you will never open your mouth again, so ashamed will you be when I have forgiven you all that you have done,’ says Adonai Elohim.

Here we again see that a form of vengeance is to be so kind and loving to those who have done you wrong that they will feel ashamed of themselves.

Now, don’t get me wrong- I am not saying that making someone feel bad is a good thing, and certainly not encouraged by God, but, then again, if we do what is right, and that particular thing makes us feel good that someone who has wronged us is now ashamed of themselves, well… where’s the sin in that? Who knows? Maybe shaming them will result in some repentance, and that is a good thing for them, so we could say making them ashamed might be a sort of vengeance that is actually good for them?

So… today’s message is short and simple (I know- that can’t be from me!), and it is this- if you have been harmed or wronged by someone, and you get the opportunity to do something good for them, do it!

If they are really beyond help, the very least it will do is demonstrate to them (and others) what a truly God-fearing person is like (and probably confuse the heck out of them); and if they have some semblance of morality, they will feel ashamed, which will serve them right!

Either way, you will be doing what is right in God’s eyes, and when we do what pleases God, he blesses us.

I don’t know about you, but if doing good for those who hate us not only can make them feel bad about themselves but will get us points with the Big Guy upstairs, who will bless us, sounds like a real WIN-WIN to me!

Thank you for being here and please remember to share these messages with everyone you know. That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

Wisdom Comes from Knowledge and Bigotry Comes from Ignorance

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Today’s message is simple: the way to learn how to hate someone is to never get to know them, and that is not just relating to a person, but to a people, a religion, a creed, race, or even sexual orientation.

I am not saying that we have to agree with any particular lifestyle choice, or belief system, but we are more likely not to hate or act in a bigoted manner against someone if we get to know them.

The worst thing we can do to our children is to bring them up in an atmosphere of bigotry, and that comes solely from ignorance: not the type of ignorance from not having an education, but the ignorance that comes from refusing to accept that other people can be different than you are.

In Israel, a constant hotspot of hatred, everyone I know who has lived there or even visited, will tell you that life there between the Arabs and the Jews is fine, and not at all like what we are told it is by the Yellow Journalistic Media. The Arabs living in Israel get along perfectly well with the Jewish population. In truth, the Arabs living in Syria, Jordon, or other surrounding countries want to go to Israel because, unlike their own country, in Israel there are jobs and they aren’t persecuted or mistreated. In fact, the Arabs who live and work in Israel are granted the same rights and pay for work that the Israelis get.

Can we here in the United States say the same thing for our (legal) immigrants?

The hatred has to stop with our children: we must not teach them our bigotries, but instead allow them to discover, on their own, what other people are like.

You may say that is a real Pollyanna attitude, since it is the parents who are the cause of the children growing up bigoted, and you are right- I really can’t see this happening.

And, as communistic as this sounds, I think the only way to stop racial hatred and religious bigotry is to get the kids away from the parents before they can be influenced; at least, for one or two generations, and raise them in a kibbutz-like environment where they are cared for by people who are not hateful. They will grow up with other children; black, white, Jewish, Arab. Christian, whatever, without any forced religious upbringing, but allowing them to have access to the religion their parents had while being able to investigate everyone else’s religion.

Yes, I know- how can I, a United States citizen and a (former) Marine Corps officer (to boot) think like a communist? Well, I don’t, not normally, but there is so much racial tension from bigotry in the USA, and so much religious hatred in the Middle East, that there is no way I can see to resolve this without drastic measures being taken.

And I can think of no more a drastic measure than to separate children from their parents, but if that is what it takes to form a society free of bigotry and hatred, well…isn’t it worth it?

The hardest thing to overcome with bigotry is that the bigots believe the people they hate are the cause of the racial or religious tensions. Whites feel blacks have created their own subculture and don’t want to be part of society, and blacks feel they have been subjugated to the point of losing their ethical and cultural identity, being forced to be absorbed into a white society.

And they’re both right, to a degree- this is a problem that exists in America for all cultures. People some time ago, for some reason, decided they didn’t want to be just plain, old Americans; no, they wanted to be something-American. They were African-American, Italian-American, Chinese-American, European-American, whatever, yet they are living in America! If you live in a country, shouldn’t you be a member of that country, and only that country?

America used to be called the Melting Pot, where all different cultures came to be a collective culture called “Americans”. Not anymore, I am sad to say, and I believe this is part of the reason for the racial and religious tensions in the US.

So, let’s bring this all together: obviously, there will never be a separation of children from parents in a free society, so we need to teach children in the schools and workplaces that everyone is the same under the skin, hoping that this will offset any bigoted attitudes they may have learned from their parents. The history of America and how things are in Israel between the Jews and the Arabs there today proves that different religions and races can work together as a society with the same goals and desires, without having to hate each other or lose their cultural identification.

It is up to each and every one of us to work towards this goal, and especially you parents out there who are hearing this message: teach your children that hatred is wrong, and that if they feel they do not like someone or a group of people, take the time to get to know them, and they will not only become better people, themselves, but will gain knowledge and new friendships.

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

Does Yeshua Hear Your Prayers?

Yeshua told us that when we pray, we are to pray in his name- not to him, but in his name, meaning to use him as a sort of reference when praying (which is assumed to be directly to God) so that God knows we are one of Yeshua’s flock.

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But when we pray in Yeshua’s name, does that mean he hears our prayers?

First off, let’s get something straight, once and for all: the use of the word “name” in the Bible, unless it specifically is used to identify one person from another, refers to the reputation and renown of the one being mentioned. For example, the term “name of the Lord” doesn’t refer to the Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew letters Yud-Heh-Vuv-Heh (יהוה) but rather to God’s reputation and power. Calling on the name of the Lord means to look to God for help, to ask for his power and strength to be given to you. It isn’t calling to him like you would call to a friend (“Yo! Hey, Harry- how ya doin?“), but to ask for intercession.

That being said, the next issue is the idea of Trinitarianism- if God and Yeshua are one and the same entity, then praying to God or to Yeshua is the same thing, so then the answer is “Yes- Yeshua hears our prayers.” OK, but what about the fact that the Bible tells us they are separate beings? Stephen, when getting stoned to death (Acts 7) says he sees Yeshua sitting at the right hand of God. So, nu? If Yeshua is sitting next to God, then they are not one and the same entity- at least, not at the moment.

And what about the fact that praying to anything other than God, the Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is continually considered idolatry throughout the Bible? I have often said that Yeshua is the Intercessor of prayer, not the Interceptor of it, meaning that when we pray in his name, we do not pray to him, we only refer to him, sort of like name-dropping.

Think back to the early 20th Century in the United States, when they passed that crazy legislation called the Prohibition Act, which made public sale of alcohol a federal offence. Many places, called “Speakeasy’s”, were where people could go to get a drink in secret. They used to have a small window in the main entrance which had a sliding panel, so when someone came to get into the building, the panel slid away so the guard inside could see if it was the police. And you would give a password, such as “Joe sent me” to gain entrance.

Well, I see praying in Yeshua’s name as sort of the same thing- Yeshua isn’t there when we come to God in prayer, but we use his name to “gain entrance”. Not that God will refuse a prayer not in Yeshua’s name, but that name has power and authority that other prayers may not have.

Yeshua said the only way to the father is through him (John 14:6), and I believe that he is not talking about prayer, at all, but about being able to be forgiven of our sins, which is really going to help when we come before God at Judgement Day if we want to find ourselves written in the Book of Life.

Yeshua’s substitutionary death was just that- a substitution, which replaced the need to sacrifice an animal at the temple in Jerusalem to receive forgiveness. The Torah states that the only place we can sacrifice to God is where he places his name (Deuteronomy 12:5), which was (of course) the temple Solomon built, but that temple was destroyed in 73 A.D., so …now what?

Yeshua is what- because his sacrificial death replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple, the only way to be forgiven now is through Yeshua’s sacrifice, which can only be valid if and when you accept that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised to send.

If you haven’t guessed by now, my answer to my own question whether or not Yeshua hears our prayers is that he probably doesn’t, but to be honest, I don’t know for sure. The Bible doesn’t give us even a hint about this. He does sit at God’s right hand, and he does intercede for us, although I believe that his intercession, as I already pointed out, is not related to our prayer but to our salvation.

In either case, whether he hears prayers or not and whether he is God or not (which is NOT a topic for this discussion), the best thing to do is always pray directly to God, for he is the ultimate power and the only one who can forgive sins, despite what the Roman Catholic church says (I am sorry, but some human being wearing a silly collar cannot forgive your sins, and why pray to some saint when Yeshua says we can pray directly to God?)

What do you think?

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

Is It Biblically Correct to Not Report a Crime?

Recently a friend of mine, who is a long-time Believer, had a crime committed against him. He had something valuable stolen, something that the crook might resell or just keep for him/herself. When I asked if the crime was reported, my friend said that he didn’t report it, but has prayed for this person and hopes that if they keep the item that they get joy from having it, and that the item is a reminder, so to speak, of the crime and will lead that person to repentance.

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My position is that the crime should be reported, if for no other reason, that the crook might be caught, preventing anyone else from having to be a victim. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I will go as far as to say if someone is a victim of a crime- any crime, from petty theft to sexual attack- and they fail to report it, then they are an accomplice before the fact to any crimes committed by that person from that point forward!

Now, there is nothing wrong, whatsoever, with praying for the criminal, as my friend has done. We are not asked to forgive: the fact is that we are required to forgive.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray that we are forgiven as we forgive others, so if you think, for even a second, that your lack of forgiveness on earth will not come back on your own head at Judgement Day, then you have a really bad surprise coming to you.

But is praying enough? Doesn’t God say to be holy as he is holy? So, if we are to emulate God, we should do as he does, so does God allow those who sin to go unpunished?

Forgiveness is not a Get Out of Jail Free card- forgiveness is not something that will affect us on earth, at least, not from God’s perspective. God’s forgiveness doesn’t save us from suffering the consequences of our sins while we are alive-NO! It saves us from eternal damnation.

Look to the Torah- God has set up a penal system where he gives us appropriate punishment for a crime, indicating absolutely that criminals should not go unpunished. We are told not to take vengeance, or to return evil for evil, yes, but that doesn’t mean to not report a crime. To try to stop someone from doing evil is not vengeance, it is being a responsible citizen.

One of the Big Ten is not to bear false witness, well…have you considered that failing to report a true witness is no different than reporting a false witness? Either way, a sin that has been committed goes unpunished.

Of course, no sin goes unnoticed by God, and the ones who sin against others without repenting will have to face the consequences of that sin on an eternal plane, but in the meantime, while praying that the sinner repents is a righteous thing to do, not taking action to prevent that sin from reoccurring is wrong.

What do you think?

If someone stole something from you, would you pray for that person and leave it at that, hoping that God will intercede some way or that the person will come to repentance one day? Or will you pray for the person (which is always right to do), but at the same time report the crime and do what you can to prevent that person from getting away with their sin, hopefully preventing them from doing the same to someone else?

As for me and my house, we will report the crime and do everything we can to put that sucker behind bars.

Thank you for being here and please don’t hesitate to comment, and share this message with everyone you know.

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

Thank God for God

This may sound redundant, but really- thank God for God! If not for him, what would we have to look forward to?

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There would be no afterlife, unless you were a believer in reincarnation, and the way that works it takes many lifetimes until you get to be a Braham, and even once you make it to that level, which is one step below Nirvana, you can still screw it up and come back as a snake, or a cockroach, or something.

Then you have to start all over again.

At least with God, we have our entire lifetime to accept the truth that God is God, Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah he promised to send, and through faithful obedience to God’s commandments (not what some religion says you must or don’t have to do) we only have to wait until this life is over to be in a state of joy and peace for all eternity.

Besides the afterlife, we have this lifetime to enjoy, and when we do as God says, he promises to bless us (Deuteronomy 28), and he never runs out of blessings.

God also helps us get past the tough times, the times in our lives where tsouris (troubles) cannot be avoided, like the death of loved ones, social issues with co-workers or family, etc. By trusting in him we receive all good things (James 1:17) and we can always find peace, even in the worst of times.

When we are humble enough to realize that whatever good things we have, be it financial, physical, mental, or social all are because God has provided it for us, we can find peace and solace even in the worst of times because whatever God gave, he can take away, and whatever God takes away, he can renew.

That is another reason to thank God for God.

So, next time you think to yourself how happy or comfortable you are, take another moment to thank God that he exists and is so very, very willing to provide for you.

I feel sorry for the atheists and agnostics because what have they to look forward to, except the luck of the draw? No one can help them but themselves: it will always be them against the world because you can never trust a human being.

But I feel even worse for the “godly” people who are misled by their religion instead of being properly led by the Torah, which is the only place in the entire Bible where God tells us what he wants us to do.

Thank you for being here, and please share these messages. Don’t forget to click on the notification bell so you will know the next time I post.

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

How Do We Know Who is Right?

I am writing my fifth book, which is a book about the Bible for people who want to know what the Bible says, but don’t want to have to read the whole thing. And in the introduction, I review how the Bible was put together. And when I did that, I began to wonder how we can know if what the scholars decided was “biblically valid” really is.

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The Tanakh was (supposedly) put together by Yeshua ben Sira (cir.180 BCE), and we also have the Septuagint (called the LXX, because there were 70 scholars who translated the Torah into Greek) which dates to sometime between the 2nd and 3rd Centuries, BCE in Alexandria, Egypt.

Some of the requirements were that the writing had to be in Hebrew, except for some Aramaic exceptions, it had to be sanctioned by usage in the Jewish community (such as the Megillah of Hadassah being accepted because it was read every Purim), the writing had to contain one of the great themes of Judaism, and to be in the Tanakh it had to be done before the time of Ezra because it was widely believed that after Ezra, there was no further spiritual inspiration coming from God.

The ones who created Christianity also had rules for what they found acceptable. To be included in the B’rit Chadasha (Good News, also used for the New Covenant), the writing had to be written by a prophet of God (interesting, since Judaism believed after Ezra there were no longer any prophets), the writer had to be authenticated by miracles, the book had to tell the truth about God without falsehood, it had to be able to transform lives, and it had to be accepted as God’s word by the ones who first heard it.

All of these requirements seem to be rather subjective, if you ask me.

Who is to know what these people talked about, what they looked at, what they knew or what socio-political pressures they were under when they decided, “OK- this is in, this is out.”?

Look at the Talmud- it is considered scripture by some factions within Judaism, but it is really full of mythology and superstitious drek. It has a lot of good things, such as commentary on the Torah, but in the end, it is a bunch of rabbis and scholars arguing about what God really meant, and how we should obey him.

And as for the New Covenant, 2/3 of it are letters from Shaul that aren’t really God-breathed or prophetic, but rather managerial instructions to the congregations he started who were having problems with maintaining their faith.

I did an entire study on the Epistles of Paul- here is a link to that study:
The Pauline Epistles: What They Really Are

The only scripture in the entire New Covenant is what the writers referenced from the Tanakh and except for the time Yeshua was transformed on the mountain, God doesn’t say a single word in the entire New Covenant. Every original writing in there comes from a human being.

So, again I ask you: who is to say who is right?

My answer is that the only totally verifiable word of God in the entire Bible is found in the Hebrew language Torah, and I justify that statement by the simple fact that each Torah is copied exactly from another Torah, even to the point of counting every letter on every scroll page, and that Moses didn’t write from a prophetic vision but took dictation directly from God. The Torah is the only place in the entire Bible where you will find the ultimate qualifier, which is:

And God said to Moses, Tell the children of Israel that the Lord says….”

The next best thing is when a prophet tells us what he saw in a vision or what God said to him to relate to the people, but that might be somewhat in his own words. We can’t be sure.

For myself, when we know the entire Bible, and what we read in one part of the Bible can be validated by the same thing being said in another part of the Bible (this is called Hermeneutics), then I feel confident that it is something that is correctly teaching me about God or Messiah.

To finish this diatribe of mine, I do not want to dissuade anyone from believing what they read in the Bible, but to question it, to test it, and to pray for God to give you discernment and understanding through the Ruach HaKodesh, which is the Holy Spirit. Never be afraid to test what you believe in, because the truth will always win out.

Oh, I should mention that you will not be able to utilize the Ruach unless you have accepted Yeshua as the Messiah God promised to send and asked for the indwelling of God’s spirit.

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