Do You Believe in God or Do You Acknowledge Him?

After reading the title of today’s message, you might be asking, “Hey, I believe in God, so what’s missing?”

What might be missing is the difference between being told “Welcome, good and faithful servant” or “Be gone from me- I never knew you!”

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I’m sure you are all familiar with the old saying, “In one ear and out the other”, right? That’s when we use selective hearing, and even though we heard what was being said, we never really paid enough attention to it to retain or even acknowledge what the other person was saying.

Aha! There’s that word, the very word upon which my entire message is based: acknowledge.

Many people believe in God, but that doesn’t mean you are saved.

Many people take the next step and believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah, but that doesn’t mean you are saved.

After all, every demon in Sheol (hell) not only believes in God and Yeshua, but they’ve seen them! Heck! They used to worship God at his feet.

But they’re not saved, are they?

The difference between believing in God and acknowledging God is how well we obey what God tells us to do. And, considering that God requires obedience (Isaiah 1:11), specifically obedience to his instructions in the Torah (which, for the record, Yeshua never-ever-even-once said could be ignored) means that if someone only believes in God but fails to even try to obey his Torah, then he (or she) doesn’t acknowledge God.

And what we do not acknowledge is, by definition, unimportant to us and we ignore whatever it is.

Do you like the idea that you might be ignoring God?

If someone is talking drek to me, I turn away from them and place my palm towards them and say, “Talk to the hand.” I believe the person is there, I believe the person exists, and I also believe the person is saying something to me that they think is important.

But I refuse to acknowledge them.

During my whole life I have seen people doing this to God, in Christianity, and even to some degree, within Judaism. People say they believe in God but they refuse to acknowledge what he says as important, choosing instead to obey their priests, pastors, ministers, or rabbis.

Christianity has taught that the Mosaic Law is not relevant to Christians, and in fact, some go as far as to say those who are trying to obey God’s Torah show faithlessness and are “under the law”. My experience is that nearly everyone who has ever thrown that in my face had no idea what they were talking about, especially when it came to what Shaul (Paul) meant when he used that term.

The rabbis have created Halacha, which means “the walk”, and it is composed of the rabbinical instructions regarding how to obey the Torah commandments. It is formed from what is in the Talmud (called the Oral Law) and, essentially, creates more work for Jews who are trying to obey God’s word. The ordinances against eating meat and dairy together, the distance one can walk on the Shabbat, the public reading of the Torah on certain weekdays, the lighting of the candles for Hanukkah, and many other requirements for everyday activities are all outlined in Halacha, which has been developed over centuries.

Halacha does acknowledge God, but takes it to a level beyond what God requires, and as such, in my opinion violates the Torah commandment against adding to or taking away from what God told us to do (Deuteronomy 4:2).

Let’s finish today’s message with this:

Do you believe in God?

Do you believe Yeshua is the Messiah?

If you do, either for one or both, here’s one last question:

“Do you acknowledge God?”

If you ignore what God said to do in the Torah then you do not acknowledge God or Yeshua, for that matter, because all Yeshua ever taught was what is in the Torah.

Here is the bottom line, people: if you follow the teachings of your religious leaders instead of what God said to do, then you may believe in God, you may believe Yeshua is the Messiah, but you’re thrusting your hand in God’s face while turning away from him.

That’s a hard word to hear, and I am sure right now there may be some of you thrusting your hand in MY face- refusing to acknowledge what I am saying- and that is your choice. I never tell anyone what they must do, but I will tell you what God says you must do, which he said through Moses and all the Prophets: you must obey God.

Not obey Paul, not obey John, not obey any of the Popes, not obey Martin Luther, not obey Charles Russell, not obey John Calvin, not obey the Rambam (Maimonides), or any of the people who have created their own religion or religious tenets, rites, ceremonies or holidays over the centuries since Yeshua went to sit at God’s right hand.

NO! We are not to obey human beings, we are to obey God, and God, alone. Yeshua taught everyone to obey God, the only difference between what he taught and what the Pharisees taught is that Yeshua taught God’s deeper, spiritual meaning of the Torah.

Those who acknowledge God and have received the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) by asking for it in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua, know what I am talking about.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, or you are currently showing me your palm, then I sincerely pray that you will retract you hand and reconsider your attitude.

Think about all you have been taught by your religious leaders as to how you worship God, who you to pray to, what you eat, which holidays you celebrate, and then compare that to what God said in his Torah, which is really your Torah, too.

I hope then you will see that throughout the entire Bible, the ONLY place where God instructs us how to worship him and how to treat each is in the Torah.

And throughout the Gospels, which are the only records of what Yeshua taught, Yeshua never said to ignore his father’s commandments.

Finally, after you do this, please ask yourself this important- this eternally important- question:

“If I want to be saved, should I obey people or should I obey God?”

How you answer that question will determine whether you will hear “Welcome, good and faithful servant” or “Be gone from me- I never knew you!”

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 group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Shavuot 2022 Message

This weekend we celebrate Shavuot, which is one of the three pilgrimage Festivals (Pesach/Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot), so I thought we should have a lesson about this Holy Day.

Shavuot is closely associated with Pesach because we are commanded to Count the Omer starting with the first Shabbat after Pesach, that counting (50 days) ends at Shavuot.

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

Shavuot is known by a few different names. It is called The Feast of Weeks (Chag Shavuot), the festival of First Fruits (Chag Habikurim), and the Harvest festival (Chag Hakatzir).

It is even referred to as Atzeret, which means “assembly” and refers to the fact that this is a day when we assemble at the temple in Jerusalem.

(Avengers…Atzeret! Nah, that won’t work.)

Many feel Shavuot is the conclusion of the Passover celebration, which consists of Pesach (evening to midnight of the 14th of Nisan), Chag HaMatzot (Festival of Unleavened Bread, which lasts 7 days), and then Shavuot which occurs 50 days later, when we finish the Counting of the Omer.

The day Jews celebrate Shavuot is also called Pentecost (Greek for “50 days”), which is considered a Christian holiday.

The New Covenant tells us in Acts 2 about how at the Pentecost celebration (unless you are reading a Jewish version of the B’rit Chadasha, in which it will correctly call it during the Festival of Shavuot) the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, occurred.

One of the things the Jewish leaders have done over the years is to change the meaning of a Holy Day. For instance, Rosh Hashanah is considered today to be the Jewish New Year, but in the Torah God calls it a Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets), and it is not at all associated with a new year. In fact, in Exodus 12 God tells us that our year begins on the first day of Aviv (now called Nisan).

The rabbis have changed Shavuot, as well, redesignating it from its Torah definition as a harvest festival (an Omer is a measure of wheat) to associating it with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

They came up with this idea by calculating that after the first Pesach, by the time the Omer counting was over, the Israelites were at the base of Horeb (Sinai), and that is when God gave us the Torah (give or take a month while Moses was on the mountain).

I have done the calculations myself, and it can work either way, with some saying they came to the mountain 90 days later, and others being able to show it was about 50 days.

This significant difference, being calculated from the same source (the Torah) reminds me of something I learned when I worked on Wall Street: figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

In any event, I have come to accept that there is a good lesson for Messianic Jews in seeing both Pentecost and Shavuot as a “giving” event: for one, God gave us the Torah, which Shaul (Paul) says defined sin so that we could know-absolutely- the difference between what pleases God and what doesn’t. And, on this same day, God gave us the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) to be the fulfillment of the New Covenant God made with us in Jeremiah 31:31, which is to write his Torah on our hearts (by means of the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit).

You see, when we read in the Tanakh about the giving of the spirit, God would place his spirit on people, but then that spirit was taken back. The Holy Spirit was a temporary gift that God gave, sparingly, and once the purpose for giving it was accomplished, the spirit was removed.

Not so after Yeshua’s resurrection. Those who accept that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised to send, and who faithfully obey the instructions God gave in the Torah (not what Paul or James or a Pope or a Minister or any human being tells you what to do), we can receive the Holy Spirit and it will not just fall on us to be taken back later, but will remain.

The Torah is a written set of instructions that tells us how God wants us to worship him and treat each other, which has many deep, spiritual lessons for us that one cannot fathom without having spiritual insight. The Ruach HaKodesh, which we receive from God when we ask for it (after having accepting Yeshua as his Messiah) provides that spiritual insight, which allows us to understand God’s word at a level people without the Ruach will never have.

So when we look at these two events: the giving of the written law and the giving of the means to understand the spiritual meaning of that written law, we can see how Shavuot and Pentecost are really two sides of the same coin.

I feel that even though the rabbis changed what God said Shavuot is to be, and Christian leaders have removed the “Jewishness” of what happened at Pentecost, when we look at this from a Messianic Jewish perspective, it all works to the good.

There are many other Jewish traditions associated with Shavuot, such as the reading of the Book of Ruth, staying up the entire night before Shavuot studying the Talmud, Torah, and even the Zohar (this tradition was introduced by the Kabbalists), and there are some other things, none of which I will go into today.

If you are interested in these traditions, as well as many other items of interest regarding Jewish tradition and Jews, in general, I suggest you get both volumes of “The Jewish Book of Why”.

Shavuot 2022 will begin on the evening of June 4th; it is a very joyous day and so you should drink, eat, and be merry.

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

That’s it for this week, so I wish you both Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

Let’s Talk About Omnipresence, Trinity, and Unity

Here is the first thing you need to know, and if this isn’t going to work for you, then please go to another post because this is the rule for today:

I am NOT arguing for or against either side of Trinitarianism or Unitarianism, and I do not want to see any comments or arguments for either.

This is strictly a discussion of how Omnipresence, God, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and Yeshua (Jesus) all work together for our salvation.

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

Now that I have established the rule, let me really shake people up with the following statement (and I will show why soon):

With regard to one’s salvation, it doesn’t matter if God, Yeshua, and the Ruach are one and the same, or totally separate and unique entities.

(Anyone still with me?)

Here is one thing I am certain we all agree on: God is Omnipresent, which means he is everywhere, at the same time, all the time.

That being accepted as an a priori truth, then whether or not God is a single entity appearing as multiple identities, or God, Yeshua, and the Ruach are totally separate and unique entities, God will always be everywhere he wants to be, in whatever form he wants to appear in; Yeshua is always sitting at God’s right hand on his throne interceding for us; and the Ruach can indwell in any number of people at the same time.

God, Yeshua, and the Ruach HaKodesh can be anywhere from three to hundreds, or even millions of separate places, all at the same time. Whether or not they are one entity or three.

Can you see my point?

Whether we have a single God in three identities, or three separate and unique entities, with regards to salvation, we need to have three identities: God the Father, Yeshua the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit, simultaneously available to us all the time.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We seek forgiveness of sin from God, for that is his role in his plan of salvation.

2. We faithfully accept Yeshua as our Messiah, whose sacrifice made it possible for God to forgive us our sins because the Messiah’s blood fulfills the requirement for the shedding of innocent blood for the forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22).

3. We ask for the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh to help us see the deeper, spiritual meaning in God’s word and to guide us in our daily trials and tribulations to be more of what God wants us to be.

As far as how salvation works, we need God as God, Yeshua as the Messiah, and the Ruach HaKodesh as our guide.

So, whether or not they are actually one and the same, or totally separate, it doesn’t matter for you to be saved- what DOES matter is that we have God, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit available to us which makes salvation possible.

The argument about Trinity vs. Unity is not from God, or from faithful believers, but directly from the Enemy of God, HaSatan, because all the argument does is provide a means for Satan to separate the members of the body of Messiah from working together to conquer sin.

Yeshua told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25), and when we all believe in God, and all believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, and all believe that the Holy Spirit is given to us to indwell and guide us in being faithful and understanding God’s word, when we argue about Trinity or Unity we become divided against ourselves.

And Satan scores a touchdown.

Since I am on a roll, and fairly certain I must be shaking things up for a lot of people, let me go one step further: when people pray to a saint or to Yeshua instead of praying to God… Satan scores the extra point.

We need to be together to fight Satan and overcome sin, and if we argue between ourselves, we are weakening our position. And what is worse is that this Trinity or Unity argument is, as I believe I have shown, irrelevant as far as salvation s concerned.

And the ultimate goal of life is to be “saved”- nothing else is anywhere near as important as that.

Here’s my view of this: whether or not we are talking about three in one, or three as three, all I care about is being saved, and the only relationship I see as important to my salvation is that God, Yeshua, and the Ruach work together as the means by which I can be forgiven of my sins so I can come before God on the Day of Judgement and have Yeshua as my Intercessor, claiming me as his own, thereby allowing me to be in God’s presence throughout eternity.

And you know what? When the new Earth is here, the new Jerusalem has been dropped from heaven and the third temple is in existence with Yeshua ruling from his throne over all the earth, that is when we will all know the truth about Trinity or Unity.

And one thing more: when that time comes, when we will all know, absolutely, the truth about Trinity or Unity, I guarantee that not one person there will care which is which.

Why?

Because it won’t matter then; just as it doesn’t really matter now.

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 share them out (after you’ve read them, of course), and on Facebook join my discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And remember that I always welcome your comments (remember today’s rule).

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

God Destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem Because He Loves Us

Without doubt, one of the most horrendous acts against the Jewish people was the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 73 AD.

You see, God commanded that no sacrifice can be made except where he places his name (Deuteronomy 12:10-14). At first, that was the Tent of Meeting Moses built in the desert, then it was at Gilgal, then Shiloh, and finally the temple Solomon built in Jerusalem.

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Without the temple, there could be no sacrifice, which meant there could be no forgiveness of sin.

Oy gevalt! Now what?

How could God have been so cruel, to allow the Romans to destroy the very place he put his name, the only place his chosen people could find forgiveness of sin? It was like God not only punished the Jews, but condemned them to hell!

It was spiritual genocide!

Or…was it?

Did you know that one of the traditional Yom Kippur activities was to tie a scarlet ribbon on the head of the goat chosen to be the sin sacrifice, and that ribbon would miraculously turn white to show that God accepted the sacrifice and forgave us our sins?

In the Talmud, Tractate Yoma 39b, it tells us that 40 years before the destruction of the temple, the ribbon no longer turned white, indicating that the sacrifice would not be accepted.

We who are believers in Yeshua (Jesus) find this to be clear evidence of God’s verification that Yeshua, who was crucified and resurrected about 40 years before the destruction of the temple, was, indeed, the Messiah God promised to send.

However, “mainstream” Judaism refutes this as indicating that Yeshua was the final atonement for sin; instead, they present the argument that it was the sinfulness of the First Century Jews that prevented God from accepting their sacrifice, which was the result of centuries of spiritual decline, starting from the death of the High Priest Shimon ha Tzadik (Simeon the Just, who lived during the Second Temple period).

Frankly, whether or not the ribbon thing was gradual and haphazard over centuries, as is argued by non-believing Jews, or all at once, it doesn’t really matter to me because I have stated, many times, that faith is not something that needs proof; in fact, proof is the antithesis of faith.

That being said, the destruction of the temple is certainly indisputable evidence to the fact that God allowed something to prevent people from atoning for their sins, and since God tells us (in Ezekiel 18:23) that he takes no pleasure in anyone dying because of their sins, the question remains:

If God doesn’t want anyone to die in their sins, then why allow the only place we can be forgiven to be destroyed?

My answer is that God allowed the destruction of his temple because he loves us, and that love was so great he gave his only begotten son to allow us to be forgiven of our sins without the need to bring an animal to the temple in Jerusalem.

Back then, the Middle East was where the Jewish people lived. No one was more than a few days travel to the temple, but by the middle of the First Century the world had gotten much bigger, and today Jews are widespread across the globe. For us to make the trip to Jerusalem every time we need to sacrifice would be tremendously difficult.

You know, I could even make an argument that for God to force us to travel to Jerusalem today to be forgiven of sin would be more than unusually difficult, it would be downright unjust.

That is why I believe God allowed the temple to be destroyed, so that we Jews would have no option for salvation other than to reconsider the truth about who and what Yeshua is.

Accepting Yeshua as the Messiah means being able to be forgiven of sin, anywhere and anytime, while rejecting him means being in a canoe in the rapids heading towards a waterfall without a paddle.

And not just that, but there is a big hole in the canoe, as well.

Can you now see why I say God allowed the temple to be destroyed because he loves us? God destroyed the temple so that we would have no choice but to accept his Messiah, Yeshua, and thereby be saved from ourselves.

What a shame that so many of my Jewish brothers and sisters are still stubbornly refusing to do that.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel; buy the books I have written and then share them with people you know who have been lied to about God by their respective religion.

Join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules) and remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

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!