Mark 2:21 is About Attitude, Not Obedience

If you are wondering where I have been for the past two weeks, Donna and I were vacationing in Ireland. We had a great time, and later I will post a video of our travels you can watch from my website. You will find it under the Picture Album tab.

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

Before we start, let’s take a look at the passage I am talking about:

No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old coat; if he does, the new patch tears away from the old cloth and leaves a worse hole. And no one puts new wine in old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine is for freshly prepared wineskins.”

I have often heard the Christian interpretation of this passage to indicate that Yeshua was teaching that the Torah was no longer applicable to his disciples or followers, because he was giving them something new.

And, to a degree, they are right: Yeshua was teaching his listeners something new… but it wasn’t a new religion rejecting obedience to Torah, it was a new attitude towards how to obey the Torah!

You see, throughout the Gospels, one recurring theme that Yeshua taught was how the Pharisees only taught the P’shat, i.e., the plain language meaning of the laws in the Torah. Yeshua taught the Remes, the deeper, spiritual meaning of those laws, which is truly what the “new covenant” is all about (read Jeremiah 31:31THAT is the new covenant!)

What Yeshua was talking about was not the Torah, but the attitude we are to have regarding the Torah. We are not just to do it, rote, like some automaton just going through the motions, but we are to live it in our soul, in our heart, in our very essence: we are to BE Torah!

In order for that to happen, the people had to change their understanding of what the Torah really means, and to change their attitude towards God, towards obedience, and especially towards the teachings of the Pharisees.

If they liked what Yeshua taught but continued to live and worship as the Pharisees taught (especially regarding their demands to obey their man-made requirements), then they were like the new patch on old cloth, the new patch being Yeshua’s teachings about the spiritual meaning, but the old cloth being the Pharisaical teachings which left no room for expansion of understanding.

In simpler terms, hearing Yeshua’s deeper understanding of the Torah, but still doing as the Pharisees say will not allow them to expand (stretch) their spiritual being to be more in line with God’s new covenant. That means trying to incorporate Yeshua’s teachings (a new patch) but living the way the Pharisees say to (the old cloth, which can’t stretch), something will have to give. And, sadly, as the parable of the Sower tells us, it will likely be the new teachings.

Therefore, if you have been taught that to follow Yeshua (Jesus) you need to ignore the Torah, you have been taught incorrectly: at least, according to what Yeshua taught.

Salvation is more than just Torah obedience, and it is more than just faith in God and accepting Yeshua as the Messiah- it is loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind (does that sound familiar?); and, when you do that, the Torah will be written on your heart, and you will be a new patch on new cloth, and new wine in new wineskins.

Thank you for being here, and that’s it for this week. Until next time, l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

It’s Independence Day, But Are We Really Independent?

To all Americans reading this I wish you a happy day celebrating the freedom we earned from a despotic government. It would be even better if we didn’t end up trading a despotic government for a corrupted one.

The truth is that no one is ever completely independent; that nice Jewish Pharisee from Tarsus, the one who made tents for a living, wrote to the Jews (and Gentiles) in Rome that we are either a slave to sin or a slave to God, and Yeshua confirmed that by telling us no one can have two masters.

The Revolutionary War wasn’t really what they wanted: they just wanted representation in Parliament. You know, if King George had been more accommodating, we might still be eating bangers and mash for dinner.

But, history lesson aside, my message is that we can be independent of some things that are of the world, but we are never truly independent unless we reject God.

Oh, wait a minute! That isn’t right, because if we reject God, then we will be under Satan’s control. You see, if we aren’t for God, we are against him, and that means we are subject to Satan, whether we realize it or not.

So, I say true independence is not freedom from something, it is freedom to choose something, but either way, we will be dependent on that something. As for me, I choose to be dependent on God.

As for the government we are living under, if we don’t like it we can go somewhere else. Or, in a free country (at least, one that is designed to be that way), we can use our vote to change what we don’t like, although that is always a lengthy process.

I choose to stay in America, despite how much it has spiraled down into a corrupted form of government- and that goes for either party! No one in American politics is completely clean, and that is because you can’t get anything done in politics without getting dirty.

The lesson we learn from both Yeshua’s teachings and Shaul’s (Paul) letters is that we must obey the government, because no matter how righteous or sinful it is, it is there by God’s allowance. And, being obedient to God, we faithfully suffer through the bad ones, and should give thanks for when we have a good one.

As for this day’s celebration of American freedom to be independent of England, despite how terrible I believe things have become, as a life-long student of American history, I know we have had bad times before and come through. If we can turn back to God, then this country will survive; if we continue on this backsliding, well… if you haven’t gotten right with God, now would be a good time.

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

Are Prayers Sometimes Unanswered or Really Just Unfulfilled?

I believe that God hears every, single prayer sent to him, and that he also has the final word about how he will act regarding that prayer.

God may act immediately, giving you what you ask for, or he may wait until there is a perfect time, and then answer you in a way you never expected.

Or he may just say “No”.

The difference between prayers unanswered and prayers unfulfilled is based on how God answers the prayer. If he does something, whether it is immediate or in the future, then that prayer is answered, but what you asked for may not be what you get; in that case, you might think it was unanswered or unfulfilled.

But all prayers are answered: even the ones you believe to be unfulfilled; they were answered, but not the way you wanted them to be.

You know, there are so many prayers that are just, plain wrong: to pray to God to win the lottery because you want to quit your job and travel, or to pray to God for a victory for your favorite team. Those are not righteous prayers, they are selfish prayers, and even though Yeshua said that when we pray in his name, we will receive what we ask, I don’t think he meant that anything and everything we pray for will be received.

I am pretty sure he was referring to righteous prayer, not selfish desires.

So, pray for what you need, and also for what you want (assuming it is not a selfish, ungodly thing), and God will hear and act. How he acts will be to either fulfill your prayer, in his time and the way he sees best, or he won’t do anything because his answer is “Nope, not this time.

What you may believe is a prayer unheard or unfulfilled may simply be an answer that you don’t want to accept, or refuse to see: when you pray, always look for an answer, and don’t just look for the one you asked for because you may get exactly what you need, but not what you asked for, or when you expected it.

But it will always be just right for you.

Thank you, as always, for being here. That’s it for today so l’hitraot, and Baruch HaShem!

What Did Yeshua Mean When He Said First Will Be Last, and Last Will Be First?

This phase, which Yeshua gave as the lesson at the end of a parable in Matthew 20, has been confusing to many people, including myself. However, just recently I realized that I can now understand this based on combining it with the statement God made in Ezekiel 18:23.

Lets’ look at these two verses:

Matthew 20:16
Thus the last ones will be first and the first last.”

Ezekiel 18:23:
Do I take any pleasure at all in having the wicked person die?” asks Adonai Elohim.

“Wouldn’t I prefer that he turn from his ways and live?

The first verse comes after the parable about the men being hired to work in the field, and each getting paid a denarius, no matter how long they have been working. When the ones there from the morning saw the ones who were hired just an hour or so before the evening get the same pay, they complained. Yeshua said (I’m paraphrasing here) that it was his money, and he could do what he wants with it.

In Ezekiel 18, God tells us that he doesn’t care what you did in the past, whether it was righteous or sinful, but what you do now is the measure by which he will judge you.

So, why do I think these two, seemingly disparate verses, explain what “first is last and last is first” mean?

I’m glad you asked!

Both indicate that God will make his own rules, and that we don’t really have any say in them. But more than that, it means that no matter how you have lived your life, whether it has been one of righteousness or sin, at the end you will be judged on where your heart is and how you are living at that moment.

The workers who had only been there for an hour were rewarded the same as the workers who had been there all day, which shows that even if we wait until our very last breath to do t’shuvah (repent), we can still receive salvation.

This parable confirms what God said many centuries earlier, through Ezekiel, when he said if the righteous person turns to sin, he will be judged on that, but if a sinful person turns from his sin and does what is right, then he will be judged on that.

Simply stated, no matter how you sinful you may have been, if you are truly repentant and turn from your evil ways, doing what is right in God’s eyes (the instructions for that are in the Torah), you will be saved. But, if you have lived a God-fearing life yet backslide into a life of sinfulness, even if it is on the very day you die, you will die in your sin.

These two passages from the Bible tell us that, no matter how you have lived your life to this moment, everyone has the same opportunity to be saved and everyone has the same opportunity to throw that salvation away.

On that pleasant thought, let me say thank you for being here: that’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

Is the Third Temple a Physical Temple or a Spiritual One?

One of the traditional Jewish expectations of the Messiah is that upon his arrival, he will rebuild the temple, which is known as the Third Temple. Currently, the Temple Mount is under Arab control, but that will change when Messiah comes to rule.

In the New Covenant writings, we read that Shaul (you know him- that nice Jewish Pharisee from Tarsus who makes tents and is also known by another name, which is Paul) tells the Corinthians that their bodies are a temple of the spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

And the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31) which God made with the Jewish people (sorry, Christians, you came in second) says that the Torah will be written on our hearts, is clearly indicative of a spiritual change.

Now, when we take these two things, which are a third temple being built by the Messiah and the new covenant being a spiritual event, and add to that how Yeshua taught the Remes of the Torah (which means the deeper, spiritual meaning of the commandments; Remes is a term from PaRDeS, an exegesis tool in Judaism), we have to think that maybe, just maybe, this third temple is to be a spiritual one, and not necessarily a physical building on Mount Moriah.

So, nu! here is my point:

1. If the third temple is a spiritual one, and
2. Yeshua taught the spiritual meaning of the law, which
3. According to Shaul makes our bodies a spiritual temple, then
4. Can we say that the fulfillment of the Jewish expectation that the Messiah will build a third temple has already been done through Yeshua’s teachings?

I don’t know. But it does come together nicely, don’t you think?

What is even better is if I can get this to make sense to just one of my Jewish brothers and sisters, then maybe we can get more of God’s chosen to accept that Yeshua is their Messiah?

What do you think?

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

Is Praying to a Saint Idolatry?

I have often considered, and said so, that when someone kneels before a statue of a saint, and prays to it, that it is a form of idolatry, violating the second commandment.

I checked this out on the Internet and found a post from the Diocese of Brooklyn (Yo, Brooklyn- fuhgeddaboudit), which explained that the commandment against graven images was, when taken in proper context, only regarding those specific images that people bow down and worship, such as the animal-like gods of Egypt. He added that God, himself, ordered the creation of graven images, such as the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant, stating that these types of statues are not worshipped, but rather aid in the worship of God.

OK, that makes sense, to a degree, but what about praying to them?

The standard answer to that (again, from the RC’s) is that those people kneel as a sign of respect and are simply asking the saint to intercede for them.

Now I have to step back and say:

“Wait a minute! Why ask a saint to intercede when Yeshua says we should pray to God in his name?”

If Yeshua is at God’s right hand, and he- and he, alone- is the Messiah acting as our Intercessor, then why go to anyone else for help?

I mean, if you were hurt in an accident, and there was a doctor and a nurse both within shouting distance, would you ask the nurse to get the doctor? No, of course not! You would shout to the doctor for help.

I understand, and agree, with the idea that all things must be taken in the proper context when interpreting the Bible, but sometimes we can add a context when there isn’t any needed.

The Oxford Dictionary defines prayer as this:

a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship

Based on this definition, if I am asking help from anyone other than God, then I am praying to it. I am sorry, but if someone kneels before a statue of a saint and asks it to intercede on their behalf, there is no way to call that anything other than praying to that saint, which is, by definition, a form of worship.

And worship of anything other than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is idolatry.

People pray all the time to saints and even to Yeshua, which goes against what Yeshua said to do because he said to pray in his name, not to pray to him! Essentially, praying to anyone or anything other than God is giving glory to that thing instead of to God.

So, Roman Catholic excuses notwithstanding, whereas I must admit that graven images are not all bad, I would say the ones God said are OK are the only ones we should deal with, and anything else is just asking for trouble. Human beings are sinful by nature, and if we have any chance to sin, we will probably take it, that’s why having images of people that we kneel before and pray to may not be meant as an idolatrous action, but it will lead to that, eventually.

Yes, God knows the heart, and I dearly hope that (for the sake of millions) he understands and forgives those people praying to images who think they are doing something that is OK; but, in reality, it is a form of worshiping that image and that is directing them away from God.

Prayer should always be directly to God, in the name of Yeshua acting as an Intercessor for our prayers, but NEVER as an Interceptor of them.

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

God’s Grace is Not His Forgiveness

We read and hear about God’s Grace all the time; it may describe an action from God, it can also describe a prayer said before a meal, but it is not forgiveness.

When we read or hear about “God’s Grace”, it is usually associated with forgiveness, which leads to salvation, but the God’s grace is not really a thing, like the Holy Spirit, which we can feel and have living inside of us.

Grace is not God’s forgiveness; it is his willingness to forgive.

I know, I know… what the heck is that supposed to mean?

Alright, you know that when we sin, we separate ourselves from God’s presence. Every sin, no matter what it is or who we sinned against, is – first and foremost- against God. King David knew this when, after sinning against Bat-Sheba, Uriah, and even Yoab, he said his sin was against God, and God alone (Psalm 51).

Now, being separated from God’s presence and deserving of nothing but punishment, as per God’s rules, we need to be forgiven in order to once again be with God. And, for that to happen, God gave us the sacrificial system (Leviticus 1-7), and later (actually, much later) he sent to the world his Messiah, Yeshua, to replace that part of the sacrificial system dependent on the temple in Jerusalem which, after 73 A.D., wasn’t there anymore.

The sacrificial system is the example of God’s grace; without that system, there would be no way for us to be forgiven. Likewise, the sacrifice Yeshua made replaced the need for an animal sacrifice at the temple, which was (at that time) the only place we could make a sin sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12).

We also see an example of God’s grace in Ezekiel 18:23, where he tells us he doesn’t desire anyone to die, but rather that they turn from their sin, and live.

Can you see, now, that God’s grace is not a thing, but his willingness to forgive us? More than his willingness, it is his desire to forgive us, even when we sin against him, so long as we are truly repentant.

Yeah, being truly repentant is a big part of receiving forgiveness. If you aren’t really upset that you sinned against God (remember- every sin is against God), then it isn’t likely that God will forgive you, grace notwithstanding, because God isn’t stupid. If you sin and don’t care that you sinned, you won’t be forgiven.

Get real, people! God wants to forgive us, but he won’t forgive an unrepentant sinner, and you can’t fool God!

So, nu! I hope this message has helped those who have always thought God’s Grace is his forgiveness, to now know better. Forgiveness is based on confession (which means that you recognize you did sin), repentance (feeling remorse for having sinned), and sacrifice (now available through Messiah Yeshua).

God defined the sacrificial system because he knew that we wouldn’t be able to overcome sin on our own, and his grace, which comes from his desire to be in communion with us, is why he created that system of forgiveness.

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

The Sins of the Leaders Fall on the People

Throughout the Bible, we see that the way the kings of Israel and Judea (Northern and Southern kingdoms, respectively) worshipped was forced upon the people, and when the kings did what was right in God’s eyes, they were all blessed; but, when the kings did what was wrong in God’s eyes, everyone suffered- even the people who were not doing evil.

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

In the Northern Kingdom of Israel, also called Shomron, their kings never did anything that was righteous, from the first king, Jeroboam (who was anointed by God!) to the last king, Hoshea, who rebelled against the king of Assyria, resulting in the final destruction of the Northern Kingdom and the distribution of the people into the Diaspora.

In the Southern Kingdom, we had good and bad kings, usually skipping a generation, until the kings got so bad (with Manasseh being the worst) that they, too, were conquered and sent into exile in Babylon.

I believe the term “collateral damage” accurately identifies those righteous people, living under unrighteous leadership, who are forced to suffer because of the sins of their leaders. We see this often throughout the Bible, but more than that, it has been a part of world history, even to this very day.

I do not want to make this ministry a political platform, but when we see the unrighteous and sinful- yes, sinful- ways our leaders are acting and the laws they pass, I can’t help but recall the biblical events that are absolutely the same.

The unrighteous leaders would remove any altars to the one, true God and erect altars of the pagan gods in their place, forcing the people to worship them.

Here in America, today, we have removed any reference to God from our schools and replaced it with drag queens read stories to kindergarten children.

We have honored and encouraged homosexuality by assigning a special day to celebrate it, and now even passing laws that allow children to choose a different gender, even when they haven’t yet reached puberty, which they need to go through to know what it is like to be the gender they were born with.

The government financially supports abortions, making murder legal (so long as the living being is still in the womb). Have you ever asked yourself, how long will it be before they allow the next step, which would be to immediately euthanize a baby the parents decided wasn’t as healthy, or the right gender, or whatever they want it to be?

America’s leadership is helping to financially and militarily support, through the gifts of millions of dollars and billions of dollars of top secret, military equipment, the enemies of Israel. What did God say about that? Wasn’t it something to the effect of “Treat my chosen people well and I’ll bless you, but screw with them and I will mess you up… bad!”? (Genesis 12:3, and yes, God said it differently than my paraphrasing.)

Our economy is worsening at a frightening rate, and there is no confidence in our leadership to control it; the crime rate in many of our major cities is climbing, yet the government of those cities, which is mostly of the current political party in the White House, is allowing those criminals to go free.

And what about the invasion of our country by anarchists, who are here to destroy the morale and safety of American citizens? They are being housed and given health care by the government, while veterans who have risked their lives to protect Americans, live on the streets!

America is, I believe, in the same situation where Judea was after Manasseh was king, when God told the people, through Jeremiah, that the end was coming, and their best bet was to work within the punishment they deserve.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Sadly, I don’t believe that as bad as things are today, which isn’t really that much worse than they have been in America’s past, that we will ever see a revolution here in America. And as far as a civil war, well, I don’t see a military civil war happening here, but we are in a sort of social civil war; it appears to me that we are politically at polar opposition with each other, but what is really sad is that it is not based on political views, per se’, but on how people feel about Donald Trump!

How did we digress so far as to have the country so emotionally at odds with each other, divided because of one man’s personality?

You know, it isn’t really about that man; it is because we have become a godless and sinful country where people are more interested in the personality of their leaders than their abilities and competence in caring for and protecting American citizens.

We aren’t voting for someone, we are voting against someone, and when the choice of leadership for a country comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils, that country is in big trouble!

My political platforming is over, and the message is this: when your leaders are sinful, God will punish everyone under that leadership. The obvious answer is for the righteous people to get together and remove those leaders, and in America the only way to do that is through the elective process, which is also corrupted. And, as a life-long student of American history, you can believe me when I tell you that this isn’t a recent thing, either.

So, what do we do? My suggestion is one of two things: leave the country or, what I would rather suggest, make sure that you are right with God because that is the only way you can be sure that after the tsouris is over, whether or not you survive it alive, you will be with God when you die.

I know that isn’t very comforting, but how can I give you a pleasant future when history shows us that all who have done as our leaders are doing, have suffered greatly?

Bad news, but necessary to hear, so please share this message! Otherwise, while we are still doing OK, let me say that’s it for this week, l’hitraot, and as much as possible, please have a pleasant and restful Shabbat this weekend.

Is Christianity Wrong?

Before we can determine if Christianity is wrong, we should identify what the words “Christianity” and “wrong” represent.

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I looked at a few definitions of Christianity on the Internet, and this one seems to be the most relevant and most often used:
Christianity is a religion based on the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

As for the word, “wrong”, again going to the Internet I found this definition on the Mirriam-Webster site:

The state of being mistaken or incorrect or not according to truth or facts. 

Now that we have identified what these terms mean, let’s state that, for the purpose of our discussion, Christianity is the religion based on the teachings and life of Christ, who we will call Yeshua (since that is his real name), and being wrong means not being in accordance or agreement with the facts.

So, let’s take a look at what Yeshua taught, since that is what Christianity is supposed to be based on.

The best place to get a good idea of what Yeshua taught is found in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He taught the people from the Torah but didn’t teach how the Pharisees had been teaching; rather, he taught us the Remes of the laws God gave through Moses.

In Judaism, we use an exegesis tool, called PaRDeS, to properly interpret and understand God’s word. The P stands for P’shat, or plain language meaning, such as “Thou shalt not kill”. The R stands for Remes, which is a deeper, more spiritual understanding of the P’shat, such as if we so much as hate in our heart, we have killed. The D stands for Drash, which is a story with a moral ending, such as the many parables Yeshua gave, and the S stands for Sud, which is a sort of deep, mystical understanding of the word.

Yeshua often used a drash (parable) to teach the Remes of the laws God gave us in the Torah. He never taught to ignore any of his father’s commandments; in fact, in Matthew 22: 37-40, Yeshua stated that to love God and to love each other are the two most important commandments, and then he added that all the law and what the prophets taught are based on those two commandments. He never said these were the ONLY laws: just that they were the ones that all the rest were based on, indicating clearly that all the laws in the Torah are important and necessary, and these two were the foundation for the rest. He also stated in Matthew 5:17 that he did not come to change anything, specifically stating that not even a stroke from the Torah will be changed until all things have come to pass, meaning (obviously) not his death, but the Acharit HaYamim (End Days), also known as Judgement Day.

Yeshua never taught anything other than what his father said to do in the Torah.

But what does Christianity teach? One lesson from Christianity is that they are not under the Laws of Moses (which are really God’s laws, not Moses’) but they are only under the Law of Christ. Well, as we see, the “law of Christ” is the law of Moses, so that teaching is not in accordance with the facts; as such, based on the definition of “wrong”, Christianity is wrong.

This isn’t the only wrong, anti-Torah teaching or practice of Christianity. They bury their dead under the altar or on the church property, which (according to God) makes their church unclean and thereby unacceptable as a place to commune with him; they have rejected the Holy Days God said to celebrate, instead making up their own; instead of loving their neighbors, they have practiced torturing and/or killing Jews by the millions over the past two millennia to force them to reject the way God said to live, and there are many other Christian practices and teachings that go totally against what God said he wanted us to do.

And, as we’ve shown above, the things that Christianity has rejected are the very same things Yeshua taught.

I am sorry to be so straight-forward about this, but when we look at how God said he wants us to worship him and treat each other, what Holy Days he demands we observe, his rules on what is clean and unclean (not just physically, like food, but within interpersonal relationships, as well), and that Yeshua taught us the deeper, spiritual meaning of these laws while telling us he was not here to change any of them, the only conclusion any fair-minded and informed person can come to is that Christianity is wrong.

God has no religion: not Judaism, not Catholicism, not Episcopalian, Protestant, Baptist, etc., etc., etc. But, if we go by what God said he wants us to do, we have to conclude that Judaism is the closest to what God wants, even though Judaism isn’t exactly correct, either, what with so many different sects within it, and the different rules and requirements that are not in the Torah called Halacha.

The only “right” religion is no religion, and the only “right” way to worship God and treat each other is the way that God said, which he outlined clearly for all people in those first 5 books.

The truth is the only place in the entire Bible where God, himself, tells us how to live and worship is in those first 5 books: everything after Deuteronomy is just commentary. And, as far as the New Covenant is concerned, the only useable parts of that are the Gospels (but not John’s Gospel), Acts, and Revelation. Nearly two-thirds of the New Covenant are the Epistles, and they are not scripture (but they do quote from scripture), and they are not God-ordained or God-breathed (there is nothing in any of them that says “God told me to say…”), but in truth, they are nothing more than managerial directives to the (mostly) Gentile, neophyte believers throughout the Middle East and Asia who were losing their faith and being misdirected from the path of salvation.

Christianity is a man-made religion based on man-made rules and, for the most part, rejects almost everything God said to do; it couldn’t be more wrong.

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

Do You Tithe?

According to the Tanakh, every tenth animal under the hook is to be holy for Adonai (Lev. 27:30), yet many Christian religions say that tithing is not required anymore.

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But if tithing isn’t required, how do we explain what God told the people through the prophet Malachi (Malachi 3:8), when he said:

Can a person rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tenths and voluntary contributions. A curse is on you, on your whole nation, because you rob me.  Bring the whole tenth into the storehouse, so that there will be food in my house, and put me to the test,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot.
“See if I won’t open for you the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs.

Do you recall that we are told we should not test, the Lord, our God? God told us this in Deuteronomy 6:16, and Yeshua quoted it to Satan in Luke 4:12. But now, here is the Lord, himself, saying in this case it is acceptable to test him! The only way we are allowed to test God is to tithe, which will result in receiving even more blessings than ever has before.

So, I ask you: Why would anyone NOT tithe when it results in multiple blessings? Do you really think that the Lord can’t give you back much more than the equivalent of a measly 10% of what you earn?

I don’t attend any specific house of worship, so I could, if I wanted to, simply excuse myself from tithing… but that would be a cop-out. Yet, I don’t have any synagogue or church to financially support, so what can I do?

What I do is give to organizations that do God’s work, such as Ezra International, Bridges for peace, Lwatama Messianic Synagogue (they’re in Uganda), I support a Christian student in Sierra Leone, I have MRI’s in my car and give them to the homeless people on the street corners when I am stopped at a red light, and I give of my time to do this ministry, for which I do not ever ask for, or accept, monies.

Am I giving 10%, or less, or more? I don’t know, but it’s probably a little less than 10% of my total income, or should the tithing come out of our net income, or maybe not until after bills are paid, or just whatever disposable income we have?

That has been a conundrum for many. After all, we are told not to harvest the edges of our fields or go back and re-harvest the vines or trees, so that the poor can glean (Lev. 23:22). If we don’t harvest those foods, are they part of our produce? I mean, we grew them, but we never had them for ourselves. In modern times, we get paid a gross salary, but before we ever touch the money at least 10% is already taken out (often more than that) for FICA and state and local taxes, which we do not get back, totally. So, if we never receive the money, is that subject to the tithe?

I have no answer for you- you have to decide what you will tithe and from which income. Or you may decide to accept the Christian teaching that many Christian religions give, which is that tithing is no longer necessary. Their reasoning? Tithing is in the Torah, and Christians do not have to obey the Torah because Christians are not under the law of Moses, they are under the law of Christ.

That statement confuses the heck out of me! Yeshua (Jesus) was a Jewish man, and he was the Messiah who lived a sinless life, which means- undeniably- that he was Torah observant his entire lifetime. So, if Christians say they only have to live the same way Yeshua did, who lived in total accordance with the Torah, how can they, in the same breath, say they don’t have to live in accordance with the Torah?

Get real, people! You can’t say you follow Yeshua when you live and worship in a manner that he never lived, and would never allow any of his followers to live?

I am sorry to destroy your fantasy, but nowhere in the New Covenant does Yeshua, or any of his disciples, say that the law of Moses is done away with. The ones who created that lie were the Gentile leaders of this previously Jewish movement who, by the end of the First Century, decided to separate themselves from their Jewish roots to avoid trouble with the Romans.

The lies that have been promulgated throughout the past two millennia are now so ingrained into Christianity, that only a few Christians are beginning to wake up to the fact that Yeshua was a Jew, lived as a Jew, and taught us to follow his father’s laws. The term “law of Moses” is misleading because Moses never made any laws- he took dictation directly from God.

Look- if the CEO’s secretary takes dictation, in which the CEO makes up new requirements for the employees, when the letter is distributed do the employees say that it’s the secretary’s idea?

Whether or not you tithe, and in whichever way you decide to tithe, it is always going to be between you and God. In truth, everything we all do is always between us and God, no matter what your religious leaders tell you. Even when King David committed horrible sins against both Bat-Sheba and her hubby, Uriah, he knew that his sin was against God, and God, alone (Psalm 51).

So, nu! You and God talk it over, and decide if, and/or how, you will tithe. But let me give you this one piece of advice- I don’t recommend telling God that his laws are not relevant to you because some human beings a few thousand years ago decided that Gentiles do not have to worship God the way God said to.

I just can’t see that going over very well with the Almighty.

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