Are Cheeseburgers Kosher?

The answer to the question, “Are cheeseburgers kosher?” is a resounding NO!…and a resounding YES!

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If you ask any “mainstream” Jewish person, their answer will be “No” because their rabbi has taught them that any mixture of dairy and meat consumed within a certain number of hours is a sin (the time between eating one and the other is different depending upon whether you are Sephardic or Ashkenazi Jew.)

If you ask a Christian, born again or not, they will tell you it is a sin but only for the Jews because Christians are under Grace and the need to obey the Mosaic Laws is done away with when you accept Jesus as your Messiah.

Lastly, if you ask me, I will tell you that it is not a sin to have a cheeseburger because all God told us in Leviticus 11 (and a few other places within the Torah) is that we are not to boil a calf in its mother’s milk.

There is nothing, at all, anywhere in the Torah that says you cannot have dairy and meat together: that is strictly a Talmudic requirement.

If you aren’t familiar with the Talmud, it is considered by many Jews, especially within the Orthodox sects, to be as important as the Torah. This is because the Talmud is called the “Oral Law”, which is the many other commandments God gave to Moses that were not written down, but instead passed orally from Moses to Joshua, and so forth down through the centuries until it was finally written down in the Mishna, composed circa 300 CE. Later, the Gemara was added around 500 CE. There are two separate Talmud’s, the Babylonian Talmud and the Palestinian, or Jerusalem Talmud. The Talmud contains Halacha, which means “The Walk” or “The Way to Walk”, which is how Jews are to worship and live their lives. Everything from how far you can walk on Shabbat, to what kinds of dishes to have, to how hot your dishwasher has to be, to what lights to leave on Friday before Shabbat, to what you can wear, to how to groom yourself, to …well, you get the idea.

So if Jews say cheeseburgers aren’t kosher, and Christians say kosher isn’t required for people who believe in Jesus, why do I, a Jew who believes in Jesus, say that cheeseburgers are kosher and the kosher laws are still required?

I’ll tell you why: because God never said don’t mix dairy and meat together in the same meal and Yeshua never said any of the Mosaic laws, which include the kosher laws, are no longer necessary when you follow him.

Let’s get this straight: I do not condone or even suggest that we should change God’s commandments because of the difference between how people lived then and how we live today, but rather that we should know how they lived then and account for how we live today to ensure we follow not just the letter, but the spirit of the law.

God was clear when he spoke through the Prophets that he wants obedience, but obedience from a desire to please him and not as a means of earning salvation.

In other words, just going through the motions (what we call Legalism) is not enough.

I say cheeseburgers are kosher because when we consider what the culture and society were like when God gave that command, we know that back then you most likely owned the cow that gave the milk and birthed the calf, so you knew which calf belonged to which cow and which cow gave what milk. Knowing who belonged to whom, you could easily avoid using the milk that came from that calf’s mother to cook that mother’s calf.

God only knows why he gave this specific commandment, but it seems obvious there is spiritual importance in what God said. To me, this clearly indicates some relationship with child sacrifice, and the hideousness of parents eating their own children, which is often brought up as the epitome of horror resulting from being under siege.

Maybe being “under siege” doesn’t have to relate only to being surrounded by an enemy, but to being surrounded by sin? Such as when we live in a sinful and fallen world?

So, back to cheeseburgers: the meat in the cheeseburger comes from the beef cattle industry and the milk comes from the dairy farm industry: these are two totally different animals (pardon the expression), and in dairy farming the cows aren’t killed until they are no longer able to produce milk. And that isn’t part of the beef industry.

Calves are born in both the beef and dairy industries, but they stay within that industry. To violate the kashrut (kosher) commandment regarding boiling the calf in its mother’s milk, you would have to buy milk from the grocery store that was from the same cow that gave birth to the veal you bought from the grocery store, then boil that veal in that milk.

The milk production from United States dairy farms is about 21 billion gallons a year, and the meat Americans eat is not mainly from America, but the top four producers of meat sold in America are Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Hong Kong. Considering these statistics, it seems pretty safe to say that there is no way in the world that anyone would ever be boiling a calf in its mother’s milk.

Unless you owned the cow and did it all on purpose.

So there you have it: if you want to live “rabbinically” kosher, obeying what men say which overrides what God said, then you will never eat any dairy with any meat product, ever. At least you won’t be sinning.

Or, you can ignore the kosher laws altogether, as Christians have been taught they can do, thereby always sinning: not just by violating the cow/milk/calf thing, but by pigging out on pig and having a shell of a time eating shellfish.

There is a third option: you could do as I do and be “biblically” kosher, eating what God said is OK to eat, and not eating what God said is not OK to eat.

This ministry is not here to tell you what you should do but to teach you what you need to know in order to make an informed decision, and now that you have been informed it is up to you to decide what you will do.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry grow. Please subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, and don’t forget to also check out my books and Facebook page.

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Truth or Compassion?

The truth about heaven is that most people you know or have ever known will not be there. Actually, you won’t either: heaven is where God lives, and when the Apocalypse is over, the Enemy and his servants are forever in the Lake of Fire, and Yeshua rules over the new earth, the “saved” will be living on the new earth.

Yet, when someone loses a loved member of their family or friend, they almost always say something like, “Well, they’re in a better place now.”

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How do you know? How can anyone be certain that someone else’s heart was truly for God, that they lived according to God’s ways, and that they had accepted Yeshua/Jesus on their own merit and not just because someone told them they had to?

On the other hand, if we know someone lived a sinful life, rejecting God, Yeshua, and all his instructions, can we really be certain that he or she is in hell? How do we know whether or not in their last moment of clarity they repented of their evil and asked for forgiveness?

We can’t, and we will never know if they made it or not until we are there, too.

My family recently suffered such a loss. A sibling who had been depressed and didn’t take the medications he was supposed to be taking, allowed himself to become so sick that he passed away. We all tried to help him, but what he wanted was not possible from any of us, so here we are, frustrated, upset, angry, and missing him.

But is it right to console ourselves by saying he is in a better place, even if we aren’t certain that he is?

The truth of God’s word is that anyone who lives an unrepentantly sinful life will suffer eternally out of the presence of God, and we know that as much as God loves us all, even those who reject and hate him, he would rather not see anyone die, but turn from their sin and live, eternally, in his presence, joyful throughout time (Ezekiel 18:23).

But, on the other hand, we also know that because God is holy, trustworthy, and said he will not allow the guilty to go unpunished (Exodus 34:7), well…

So what do we say to those grieving the loss of a loved one who we know, absolutely, did not live in accordance with God’s instructions? I mean, not even close! When they say he is better off now, do we deny that and tell them the (probable) truth that he will forever suffer? Or do we go along with their hope (against hope) that he will be happy now that he is in heaven?

For me, I think that truth is paramount, but not always more important than love. Shaul (Paul) once told his congregation in Corinth that without love he is nothing, and if a “nothing” tells you something, then the best value it can have is…nothing! So I believe that loving compassion and understanding trumps truth when it comes to the feelings of someone in emotional pain over the loss of a loved one.

Maybe later, when the initial shock and depression is over, we can approach that person with the truth regarding their own life, never saying their loved one is in trouble but giving a general understanding of how things work with God, and (hopefully) they will figure it out for themselves.

In Catholicism, the living are told to light candles and say prayers for those in Purgatory so that they will be forgiven and allowed to enter heaven. Even though the Roman Catholic Church has admitted there is no biblical justification for the idea of purgatory, which could kill all the money they make from Mass Card sales, yet many “good” Catholics still buy them. And what good can it do?

God gives us our entire life, down to our last breath, to do what is right in his eyes, even if that is just confessing our sin and asking forgiveness through Messiah Yeshua. That is all there is to it; of course, you have to mean it, but I believe anyone on their deathbed or realizing that this is IT will be honest.

Too many times I read in discussion groups or postings between people someone being cruelly straightforward about the word of God and how wrong the other person is.

Even if the one being terse and discompassionate is correct, they won’t make any “points” with anyone else by being so heartless and cold. The truth is that the truth won’t mean anything if someone can’t hear it because they are too emotionally deafened by the other person’s anger, pridefulness, and lack of love in telling that truth.

There is an old saying in the Sales industry: No one cares what you know until they know that you care.

So when you are in a situation where you know someone suffering the loss of a loved one is lying to themself when they say the dead person is better off now, go along with it. Even if you are pretty certain that the one who has passed is most likely not going to go through that narrow gate, let it be for the moment.

Love doesn’t conquer all, as the divorce rate proves, but it is always better than not being loving. Acknowledge their pain, show loving compassion, and let the truth sit on the sidelines for the time being. The truth never changes, so it will be there for them when they are ready to hear it.

God is the epitome of love, and love is better than truth in some cases; so, when you feel you just have to tell the truth to someone, if you can’t tell it with love then you should just keep quiet so that you don’t waste God’s truth by telling it in an ungodly way.

Thank you for being here: please subscribe, share these messages to help this ministry grow, and consider buying my books (available on Amazon and through my website.)

And I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

How It All Fits Together

Today we will go over how it all fits together. And if you are wondering just what it is that fits together, I will start by explaining what I mean.

And we will start out with God, which I think is a pretty good starting place.

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When God created everything he knew exactly what he was doing. He created human beings with Free Will and allowed iniquity within our personality so that we could choose to worship him. After all, if he never gave us the opportunity to refuse his instructions, then worshipping him would be an empty and unmotivated act, not much more than simply reacting to a stimulus.

God also knew that because of our iniquity, that is, the innate desire to sin, that we would eventually need some way to lead us into eternal communion with God by providing an invulnerable means of forgiveness, and that way is through his Messiah. This Messiah was promised, first and foremost, to and for the Jewish people but would later provide salvation for the entire world.

That’s what I am talking about when I said we would go over how it all fits together. Now, here we go…

God rid the world of that first group from Adam and Eve, as well as from Cain, and started a new batch of humans through Noah. Noah’s grandson, Abram (not Abraham yet) was the one God selected whose faith was so strong that he was chosen to be the father of many nations (thus renamed “Abraham”), which God promised to him in Genesis 17:4.

The next step in God’s plan was to also tell Abraham that through his descendants the entire world would be blessed (Genesis 22:18).

The next step comes hundreds of years down the road when God told Moses that the nation of Israel, now freed from Egypt and on their way to the Promised Land, will be his nation of priests to the world (Exodus 19:6). After that, God gives Moses the Torah (Exodus 20) which is God’s instructions to the Jewish people regarding how they are to worship him and treat each other.

And here is where Christianity has gotten it all wrong: the Torah is not just for the Jews. Before God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, he anointed them as his nation of priests. What does a priest do? The Priest is the Intercessor between God and the people, serving God by teaching the people about God, which includes the proper way to worship him and how they should live their lives according to God’s way. Well, if the entire Jewish nation is God’s priests, they aren’t “priesting” to themselves, so who are they the priests for? Obviously, they are God’s priests to the world! And since the Torah is the worshiper’s User Manuel, which God gave to the Jews as his priests to teach the nations (i.e., Gentiles), that proves the Torah must be for everyone.

And the last part of this puzzle is Deuteronomy 28, one of the last chapters in the Torah, containing God’s promises of blessings for obedience to the way we are to worship him and treat each other that he instructed us to do, in the Torah.

One other thing to point out: God chose Abraham not just because he was faithful, but because he was also obedient. Yes, obedience was an integral part of Abrahams’ righteousness, and God told that to Isaac in Genesis 26:5.

God promises blessings to those who obey him, and the blessings are to come through Abraham’s seed, the Jewish people, and God gave them his instructions (the Torah) to learn how to receive those blessings. After learning the Torah, as God’s priests to the world, the Jewish people would now teach the rest of the world how to receive those blessings.

The greatest blessing of all to come from the Jewish people is, of course, the Messiah.

He makes it possible for us all to receive forgiveness, which became impossible (in accordance with the Torah) when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Yeshua the Messiah made forgiveness possible because he replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple, which was always part of God’s plan.

One last time for those in the back row who may not have heard it all: God chose Abraham to be the father of a nation that would bring God’s promised blessings to the entire world through their teaching, as priests of God, the instructions God gave in the Torah which tell us how to receive those blessings, the greatest blessing of all being the Messiah.

That’s it- pretty simple when you know how all the pieces fit together, isn’t it?

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And please remember that I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

You Can’t Build Muscle Without Exercising

Have you ever wondered how Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno became so muscular? They worked at it, hours every day, for years. And the way they built their muscles so large was by destroying the existing muscle tissue.

That’s right! The way you build muscle is to first work the existing muscles so hard that you destroy them. When the body rebuilds the damaged cells, it always adds more cells to the repaired ones, and after many years of hard work, you look like Mr. America.

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Our spiritual muscles are no different than our biceps or abs: in order to build spiritual muscle, we need to work hard every day destroying wrongful teachings and lawless beliefs and build new spiritual muscles.

How do we do that? First, by accepting that what God said to us is the primary and unchanging requirement for righteousness; the other writings, interpretations, and teachings of men are nothing more than commentary to be verified and validated against what God said in the Torah.

For example, many churches today are not only condoning homosexual marriage but endorsing and confirming it as godly. But God is clear in his admonishment against such relationships in the Torah, and in the way he punished those societies (such as Sodom and Gomorrah) who practiced that form of sexual orientation.

Another example is that God said we should NEVER make and bow down to any graven image of anything on the earth, in the sky or under the sea; but walk into most any Christian church (especially a Roman Catholic one) and there are paintings and statues all over the place. And when I asked a Priest why they pray to them, he said they don’t really pray to them, but are simply asking them to intercede with Yeshua to have him intercede with God. Really? You’re bowing down in front of these statues of people and asking them to intercede with Yeshua, even though Yeshua said the only way to the Father is through him. Not through someone through him, but through him, alone!

And Yeshua never said to pray to him but only in his name– praying to anyone or anything other than God is the definition of idolatry!

Another thing the musclemen do to help build muscles is to have a protein-rich diet: muscle fiber is made up of protein chains, so they ingest protein to help fuel these new muscles.

Spiritual muscles need the Word of God to feed upon, so when building your spiritual muscles you must read the Bible on a daily basis.

I have often shared that I keep my Bible in the bathroom because I know I will have (at least) a few minutes of totally uninterrupted time to read a chapter or two. And it works! I have been through the entire Bible (which is the only way to read it), from Genesis straight through to Revelation, so many times over the past 25+ years I have no idea how many times I have done this. And what is great about God’s word is that no matter how many times I have read it, there is always something new for me to see in there, that God (through the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit) shows me that I never saw before.

So nu? If you want to become a spiritual muscleman or musclewoman, then start your workout today. Grab that Bible, put it in your bathroom within easy reach of your throne, and start reading from the very first line of Genesis, reading (at least) one chapter every day.

And remember one last thing: working out causes aches and pains, and in your spiritual workout you may be upset and uncomfortable with learning that what you have been taught is wrong. Let God lead you through his spirit to see the truth, and pray to God (in Yeshua’s name) to show you the truth, because most people don’t know what God said, but have been totally misled by what people have taught them.

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Until next time, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Do Not Pray for These People

In Jeremiah 11:14, God told Jeremiah that he should not pray for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

It seems odd, doesn’t it, that the Lord would tell his own prophet that he shouldn’t pray for the security or peace of God’s children, but there is a reason for it.

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God is a loving and compassionate father. He understands our weaknesses and he is not just able to forgive us when we repent, but he desires to forgive us, as he demonstrates in Ezekiel 18:23 where he says he doesn’t want anyone to die.

But, God is also a fair and just God, holy and not one to change his mind. He says the guilty will not go unpunished, and although salvation is available to everyone, those who refuse to repent and continue to sin will be found guilty and their own deeds will come back on their own heads.

God has more patience than any human ever could have, and often he has waited to judge and punish for centuries, hoping against hope (since he already knows what will happen) that somehow the guilty will repent.

But sooner or later, the hammer has to come down.

What sins were so terrible in Jerusalem that God told his prophet to stop praying for the people? What could they have possibly done to bring God to the point where forgiveness was no longer possible, and judgment (meaning punishment) was the only option left to God?

Well, let’s see: we read about their worship of many of the pagan gods of the Semitic tribes around them, building and worshipping of idols, sacrificing on the high places, burning their children to Molech and K’Mosh in Vadi Kidron, cult prostitution, use of divination and spirit guides (necromancy), as well as many other horrible sins. And despite the good kings that we had along the way, with the sins of King Manasseh the point of no return had been reached.

This all happened circa 600 BC, but I believe we are seeing the same conditions today, here in America, only there is no prophet to warn us.

How does this apply to America, today?

Well, to start with, our government has not only legalized abortion but subsidizes it: I have posted in the past how this is no different than burning children to Molech (Abortion is More Than Just Murder).

We haven’t erected idols to Ba’al or Dagan, but we do hold our celebrities and sports figures in such awe that it is nearly a form of worship.

Every newspaper throughout the country has a section by an Astrologer, which is not much different than worshiping the army of heaven.

And in our society, we honor sinful relationships which include (but aren’t limited to) homosexual marriages, transvestites reading to children, and government removal of prayer from schools and from our courts.

When you take a close look, it really isn’t that different from the way society lived in the days of Manasseh, is it?

That’s why I believe if there was a prophet in America today, as Jerusalem had Jeremiah, he would be told by God something to the effect of:

"Geeze! I thought they would have learned their lesson after what I allowed Nebbie to do to Jerusalem! Oh well, here we go again- don't bother praying for this bunch because they have gone too far."

Look, I am not anti-American: I was an Executive Officer of a Combat Engineer Company in the United States Marine Corps and was willing to give my life to protect and preserve the America I grew up in. That was an America where people said they were Americans first, not something-Americans; that was an America where people had opportunities and weren’t chained to a system of welfare which reduces your chance of being able to pull yourself up out of your current social and economic class.

That was an America where nationalism was the rage, and racism was not used as a political weapon to usurp elected officials.

That was an America where education taught our children proper ethics, didn’t try to change history (although it was somewhat white-washed), and respected all life, in and out of the womb.

And in that America, the government asked for God’s direction and help, instead of rejecting him as unconstitutional!

No, my friends, we are seeing the beginning of the end of the America in which I grew up, the America that was a world leader, not just economically but ethically, and which represented the best opportunity for a person to really make something out of themselves. Sadly, that America is diminished to the point where it can’t come back.

No, my friends, the best we can hope for is that Messiah returns soon, because the ignorance and sinfulness of the youth today, as evidenced in YouTube videos, video games, TV shows, and movies, demonstrates that America’s future looks bleak. Even our professional athletes, heroes of the people who represent the best America has to offer, kneel at our national anthem and turn their back to the flag at Olympic events!

No, my friends, this is the end of the America I knew and the start of a different America, a godless and sinful country with no hope.

Although on the outside we seem to be strong, we have rotted away on the inside, just like a centuries-old Baobab tree, and one day (just like with those trees) we will suddenly collapse, and be no more.

So stop praying for America and start to pray for the return of the Messiah, because America is past help. And don’t tell me that God will forgive anything because he won’t- the Bible is clear on that. Yes, he is able to forgive anything, but he will not forgive an unrepentant sinner and that is what America has become, for more than a few decades now. The time for repentance and forgiveness is passed, and I personally don’t believe there are enough true American’s left in America to save the country.

Sorry for being such a “Debbie Downer” in my message today, but I preach what I believe to be the truth. If I wanted to be popular and go viral, I would do what the mega-churches do and tell you all the wonderful things God has for you and how wonderful everything is going to be.

I would rather be unpopular with people but do what is right in God’s eyes; people can only do so much for me while I am alive, but God can do everything for me throughout eternity.

He can do the same for you if you learn who he is, what he wants from you, and then deliver.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to my YouTube channel and website, share these messages with everyone you know, and if you like what I do here you will like my books, as well. That’s it for today so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Do You Really Know What the Torah Is?

Most of the people I have met over the years, both Jewish and Christian, know of the Torah. They know it is in the Bible (although it is a shame so many don’t know which books), they know it is full of laws and commandments, and most Christians have been taught that it is for Jews and they don’t really need to know it because they are under Grace (that is a whole different topic!).

The truth is that the Torah is more than just laws.

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It is a historical narrative, teaching us about how God created the world, how sin entered into the world, and of the kingdoms that have risen and fallen over the past 5,000 or so years. It tells us of the different relationships within societies, of different religions, and the ways that people lived.

But the Torah is more than just a historical text.

The Torah is a Ketubah (Hebrew: marriage certificate) between a people and their God. The covenants that God made with us, the Jewish people, are no different than the marriage vows between a man and a woman (the only proper form of marriage) in that both promise to cherish and obey each other. Of course, God doesn’t have to obey anyone, but the idea that he will do things for us when we do as he says is similar. God promised fidelity to us (we shall always be his chosen people) and even through sickness and health (our sins and our repentance) he will comfort and stay with us, which he has done. We promised to do the same; sadly, we have way too often broken that vow and been guilty (more than anyone cares to count) of spiritual adultery. However, God is an understanding and loving spouse, and he has always been willing to take us back when we repent.

But the Torah is more than a historical text and a Ketubah.

The Torah is also a national constitution. It outlines and establishes a penal code, defining the laws regarding capital punishment, accidental manslaughter, and giving us the formulas for calculating proper financial compensation with torts. The Torah tells us what kind of people we should appoint as judges, as well as the rules under which they must perform their duties. It describes fair trade regulations (using proper weights and volume measurements), as well as other ethical trade practices.

But the Torah is more than a historical text, a Ketubah, and a constituttion.

The Torah is an instruction manual for the proper way to worship God. It outlines the procedures we need to follow to receive forgiveness of sin, as well as how to be cleansed from any ceremonial uncleanliness we may incur. It tells us what God expects from us and what he will do for us when we obey his instructions, as well as what will happen to us when we disobey. It tells us how wonderful our future can be, and how peaceful our lives will be when we follow the lifestyle that God has described for us.

But the Torah is more than a historical text, a Ketubah, a constitution, and a spiritual manual.

The Torah also promises the appearance of a Messiah, a man who will be able to bring us out from our sinful existence and receive forgiveness from God. The Torah promises that the Messiah will re-establish God’s kingship over the earth through the Messiah and allow us to have eternal communion with God. The Torah leads us to the pathway of eternal joy.

But the Torah is more than just a historical text, a Ketubah, a constitution, a spiritual manual, and a promise of the Messiah.

The Torah instructs us in the proper way to treat each other within the society. It tells us to love each other and be respectful of each other’s rights and possessions.

So, nu? Can you see now that the Torah is so much more than just a set of laws?

And there is one final thing I want you to know about the Torah.

The Torah is the ONLY place in the entire Bible where God dictates exactly how we are to act. There is nowhere else in the Bible where we read:

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

True, the prophets received direct instructions from God on what to tell the people in order to bring them back into proper worship, but there was nothing new or different from what he had already dictated to Moses. The (Hebrew) Torah is the direct, unadulterated, and most dependably accurate word of God anywhere in the Bible.

If you knew how many checks and balances there are to ensure that every single Torah scroll is exactly the same as every other Torah scroll, you would know why the Torah is so dependable as the exact word of God, handed down exactly throughout the years. The Dead Sea Scrolls are also evidence of the accuracy of the Hebrew written Torah, as well as the other books within the Tanakh.

This cannot be said for any of the translated Bibles you will find, anywhere. There are so many different translations and each one, whether from Hebrew or from Greek, will always be “polluted” by the translator no matter how accurate they try to be.

Now that you have a better idea of all the wonderful things the Torah contains, and that it is the purest and most dependable record of what God said he wants from all of us, the only question you should be asking yourself now is, “Why does Christianity teach to reject it?”

Let me give you a hint: the answer has nothing to do with Yeshua (Jesus) because he never did or said to do anything other than what is in the Torah.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to both my YouTube channel and website, and share these messages with everyone you know.

If you don’t already know this, I have written three books (available on Amazon; the links are on my website) and am working on a fourth, which is to debunk many of the traditional lies Christians and Jews have been told about Yeshua. Look for it to be available sometime near the end of this year.

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

Let’s Talk About the Red Heifer

I was having a discussion with one of my Facebook friends, a sister in the Lord (Yes, Sarah- I am talking about you) about the red heifer, and I said something that I think is worth sharing. I doubt it will be of any great significance or a wonderful revelation to anyone, but still and all, this is my ministry and so I will talk about it.

Seriously, I think it might be of interest to some.

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The red heifer is an important animal in Judaism. It is a rather rare birth, and when born the cow is to be sacrificed and its ashes used to cleanse those who have become ceremonially unclean when touching a dead body. You can read about the red heifer in Numbers 19:1-10. One of the interesting aspects of the process of preparing the ashes that purify and cleanse people is that for every step in that process, the one performing it is made unclean and must wash their clothes and their body in water, remaining unclean until the evening (i.e., the next day.)

I have read the red heifer is considered a foreshadowing of Yeshua, in that the death of the heifer cleansed people, just as did Yeshua’s death. Personally, I don’t really think that is such a good comparison.

True, the red heifer was killed outside the camp, and Yeshua was killed outside Jerusalem; and true, the death of the red heifer led to a process by which people could be made clean, and the death of Yeshua cleanses us of our sin.

But there are significant differences that I believe make this comparison weak, if not invalid.

For one thing, no one became unclean associating with Yeshua, but the person who burned the heifer, the one who watched it (the Cohen), and the one who collected the ashes all became unclean by their association. The ones who were around and in close proximity to Yeshua not only were not made unclean but instead received the Ruach HaKodesh!

The ashes of the red heifer were used to remove only the uncleanliness that one receives from being in contact with a dead body. There’s no sin in being exposed to or touching a dead body, only ceremonial uncleanliness. The ashes make you clean, ceremonially, but they do not remove sin.

That is a significant difference: the ashes of the red heifer are useful only to remove ceremonial uncleanliness, but they do not remove sin because being unclean is not a sin. God never says, anywhere, that if you are unclean you are in sin. You are not allowed in the sanctuary when unclean, and if you go to the sanctuary when you are unclean or participate in any service (such as a Seder), THAT would be a sin and the ashes of the red heifer would be useless to you. You will need to go through one of the sacrifices outlined in Leviticus 1-7 to remove that sin, and the red heifer ashes are not part of any of those sacrifices.

On the other hand, Yeshua’s sacrifice and the blood he shed cleanses from us our morally wrong sins.

Yes, when in sin we are “unclean”, but not in the same way as when touching a dead body. There is a BIG difference between being unclean because we touched someone’s dead body and being unclean because we killed that person; the former is a ceremonial condition and the latter is a mortal sin.

Now, let’s talk about something I do find to be a valid comparison between the red heifer and Yeshua.

As mentioned above, everyone involved with preparing the red heifer becomes unclean, and what I find interesting is that when we are first introduced to the Torah, the closer we come to the Torah, the more we become aware of our own moral uncleanliness.

In the letter he wrote to the Roman Believers, Shaul mentioned how the Torah created sin because before we were given the law, there was no way to identify sin. As we become more knowledgeable, or better yet let’s say “in contact”, with the Torah, we become more aware of our own sinfulness (uncleanliness) before God.

With Yeshua’s sacrifice, we can be cleansed of our uncleanliness (from sin) just as those who had the ashes of the red heifer sprinkled on them became cleansed of their (ceremonial) uncleanliness.

The red heifer made people unclean and clean, first in contact with it and later after it had been properly prepared for them.

Yeshua, the Living Torah, makes us unclean by identifying that which we do as a sin, and he also makes us clean through his sacrifice, i.e. after he had been “properly prepared” (by means of his crucifixion and resurrection.)

The red heifer and Yeshua initially make us unclean (through touch and learning about sin, respec.), and both have the power to make us clean after they have been “prepared”.

Interesting? I thought so, and I hope you found this little conversation to be interesting, as well.

That’s it for today. I thank you for being here and if you haven’t already subscribed, please do so on my website and on my YouTube channel as well, because they are different lists and I don’t always do a video.

You might also consider buying one or more of my books, and with that I will say l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Judging or Judgmental?

How many times has someone called you “judgmental” because of something you said or wrote regarding an article or a person’s opinion? Me? More times than I care to remember.

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

But aren’t we to judge the world? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3) And didn’t God tell Moses that he will take some of the Holy Spirit he placed on Moses and place it on others so that they can share in judging the people? (Numbers 11:16-30) Heck, even God thinks we should be able to judge others.

So why is it that when someone comments regarding an opinion or a statement, they are called judgmental, indicating that it is wrong to judge anyone?

If you ask me- and even if you don’t I will tell you, anyway (after all, it is my ministry, right?)- the difference between judging and being judgmental is not so much in what we say, but how we say it.

Once I was given (what we call) a back-handed compliment: My Boss told me that when we are in meetings what I say is usually correct, but because of the way I say it no one listens.

In other words, I judged correctly, but the way I expressed myself caused people to ignore my comment.

So, nu? How can we judge without being judgmental?

Here’s what I think the difference is: when we judge, we are looking at both sides of a situation and fairly and unemotionally making a statement regarding that situation. The focus is on the event and not the people involved with the event. When we go past the event and begin to make comments about the people involved, specifically their ability, their knowledge, or their emotional and spiritual state of mind that is when judging crosses over into being judgmental.

We can tell the difference between these two words simply from their proper grammatical usage: we can judge, but we are judgmental. “Judging” is something we do, but “judgmental” is something we are.

Of course, whenever someone judges they are, by definition, being judgmental, so where does it turn sour? It turns sour when we stop talking about the issue and turn it onto the person.

Here’s what I mean:

Judging: I understand what you said but when I look at the Bible references you quoted, there is more to them than what you gave us, and in their proper context the meaning you gave is not biblically sound.

Judgmental: I understand what you said but when I look at the Bible references you quoted, there is more to them than what you gave us, and if you were more spiritually mature you would have known that.

The difference is pretty obvious, isn’t it? Both times the comment is being judged, but in one case it is just the comment and in the other case, it is not the comment, alone, but the person, as well.

No one can tell what someone else’s spiritual state is. We can get an idea from what they say and write, and we can usually have a pretty good understanding of whether they know what they are saying or not, but even when we are positive, in our own mind, that the person is an idiot, it is not for us to say.

God is the only one who truly knows the heart, and even when we are absolutely certain someone is way off base, God knows if that is because they are really an idiot, or maybe a truly repentant and God-centered person who has been taught all the wrong things and speaks with concern but from ignorance.

I have never seen anyone who is in agreement with someone else be called judgmental; I assume that is because when someone says something we agree with, well, then, they are a genius! It seems we pull out the “You’re so judgmental!” card only when someone disagrees with us. Whether or not they really were judgmental, if I don’t have an answer to their comment I can always pull the judgmental excuse to redirect the issue.

In my experience, when someone accuses someone else of being judgmental it is little more than a defense mechanism designed to take the focus off the person accused of being wrong and placing it on the other person. It is nothing more than “smoke and mirrors”, and even when it is justified, it shouldn’t be used.

“Wait a minute, Steve! Why shouldn’t I call someone out when they are being judgmental?”

I’ll tell you why, and this is (of course) just my opinion: it won’t help. Even if you put that person in their place, so to speak, how will that help edify anyone? Sure, after you tell that person off they may open their eyes to what they were doing, but now the focus is totally off what you originally wanted to say and on this argument between the two of you. What you said in order to help people know God better, or edify them, or help console them, is now lost in the smokescreen that this name-calling has created.

If you find yourself being called judgmental, don’t reply and don’t just shrug it off: be humble enough to review what you said and if you think, even just think “maybe” you were judgmental, apologize.

And if you just have to let them know why you are right, you are no longer talking about God but just feeding your own pride.

Better that you should show humility and compassion for the feelings of others than to be correct because (just as I had to learn) being correct won’t be of any use if you are correct the wrong way.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, buy my books, and share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry grow.

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

Without Law, There Is No Grace

I haven’t been posting for almost an entire week, and later I will tell you why.

When Shaul, that nice Jewish tentmaker from Tarsus, wrote to the Believers in Rome, he talked about Grace and obedience.

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

Now, for most Christians, they have been (mis)taught this letter confirms that because Grace overcomes sin we are no longer under the law. Even though in Chapters 5 and 6 he specifically states that Grace doesn’t allow anyone to continue to sin, Christianity has taught that the law is irrelevant because we are under Grace.

Well, here’s the kicker, Folks: without the law, there is no Grace!

Shaul also tells us in this letter that the Torah created sin (Romans 5:13), in that if there is nothing officially stating what is right or wrong (so to speak), then there may be a cultural (de facto) understanding of what is okay and what isn’t, but there is no authoritative (de jure) way to enforce that understanding.

Many people have been (mis)informed through their Pastors, Ministers, or Priests that Yeshua did away with the law because we are now under Grace, but without the law, there is only lawlessness. That is an a priori fact of life: if there is no law, there is only lawlessness. There is no middle of the road here, no gray matter, no subtle hues of color. It’s black or white, right or wrong, truth or lies: Grace doesn’t exist if there is nothing to receive Grace from.

If you believe that you are under Grace, then you must also be under obedience to God. Shaul tells us this when he said in Romans 5 and 6 that you were slaves to sin, but now are slaves to righteousness. In other words, where Torah couldn’t save you, through Yeshua you can receive Grace, which does save you; but, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the law. Or, as Shaul puts it, continue to sin.

Look, it’s as simple as this: The Torah can’t save us, but not because following the Torah doesn’t make us righteous. The Torah can’t save us because we can’t follow it correctly- the fault doesn’t lie within the Torah, it lies within us, and it is called iniquity. And because God wants everyone to have eternal life (Ezekiel 18:23), he sent the Messiah to provide a way for us to overcome our iniquity: that doesn’t mean the Torah is done away with, but simply that where we fail to obey the Torah, Grace is provided through Messiah to allow us to be forgiven of that failure to obey.

God’s Grace only counts on the spiritual plane; in the real world, there are always consequences of sin. When someone breaks the law, the judge has the authority to deal out punishment as he or she sees fit, which is a form of Grace. As such, you may be given Community Service instead of jail time, but you will have to pay, one way or another.

However, just because the human legal system allows the judge to show leniency, that doesn’t mean that you can break the law, and it’s the same way with God’s Grace and Torah obedience.

God gave his instructions for worshiping him and treating each other to Moses to teach the Jewish people, who God says is his nation of priests (Exodus 19:6) and as such, they will teach the world how God wants us ALL to live. Yeshua did nothing to change that other than to teach us the deeper, spiritual meaning of the Torah commandments.

Grace is a wonderful thing but it isn’t the whole enchilada: when we faithfully do what we can to obey and please the Lord, as he said we should in the Torah, God promises we will receive blessings (Deuteronomy 28); and, thanks to Yeshua, when we fail to obey we can receive forgiveness, which is what we call Grace.

Thank you for being here and please like the Facebook page, share the messages and subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel so that you are contacted next time I post.

I didn’t post anything last week because my older sister was visiting from Austin, Texas for my birthday and we were busy every day. It was a great visit and we had a lot of fun.

Until next time, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!