How Do We Show Humility When We Feel Offended?

Recently on my Facebook page (my personal page, not my ministry page), I posted something that while receiving confirmation from some, was offensive to others.

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I never intended to insult or offend anyone, and never even thought that anyone would feel that way since I was talking about how I feel.

Now, having learned something from that experience, I want to make sure I make this disclaimer: to those who may be reading this and recognize themselves, please do not take this as a chiding or insult or even meant to be about you, personally- it was the nature of your response which made me realize something about offending statements and humility, which is the other side of the coin from pridefulness. So, instead of feeling offended, again, please take this message as nothing more than what I think I have learned about myself.

So, what happened? I wrote how I don’t like hearing something that everyone is saying today, which reminds me of the movie “Demolition Man.” If you haven’t seen that movie, it is about a future despotic government run by a megalomaniac who is forcing people to live to his standards of social interaction. One of the things that they do is, upon greeting each other, say “Be well, Steven Bruck” and there is no physical contact allowed.

It is “Be well” saying hello and “Be well” saying goodbye, and so sickeningly sweet it makes you want to puke. What really gets my goat is that in the movie you can see that they say it without genuine feeling but as a conditioned response, which is the result of the government telling them how they should be.

My complaint was that I have been hearing people say “Be safe” whenever someone says they are going somewhere, as well as all over the TV and radio. This is, to me, just like what I see in the movie: we say it because we think we mean it, but in truth, we are being conditioned by the powers-that-be to create an environment where everyone is constantly forced to remember that there is a disease on the loose.

As I said in my post, I do appreciate it when people care about me and stated that I feel the term “Be safe” has become so passé that I prefer “Have a good time” or “Safe travels”, which is general enough to show concern for me without telling me to be safe (as if I wouldn’t be.)

After some of my friends told me they felt insulted or offended and told me they really mean it when they say that, I thought about my response to this greeting. Was I being prideful in saying how much I hated hearing that because I felt insulted and coerced into acting a certain way? Or were they being prideful in reacting insulted and defending the statement, as if this was directed at them, personally? I mean, I was talking about how I feel when people (not anyone in particular) tell me to be safe, so why would they take offense or feel the need to defend the statement?

I think the lesson for all of us here is to be willing to listen to what people say without personalizing it. Of course, the way we relate to the world is to take the words and actions of others and pass them through our own experience, so it is pretty much impossible to not feel something when someone does or says something that “hits home”, so to speak.

And that is where, I believe, we either react with humility or pridefulness. Humility will remind us that it is their issue, their feelings, and their experience that is the subject, and not ours. If someone is speaking in general, yes, what they say may get us a little hot under the collar if they are speaking to something near and dear to our heart, but unless they are looking right at me and/or pointing to me, I have to remain humble and remember that the person is talking about themself, and not about me.

Today, our nation is polarized on almost everything: from politics to history to race to religion to what to have for dinner. Being able to remain humble and overcome our own feelings is so important to remain spiritually pure. It is a sin to be prideful, and that means not just in what we say but also in how we accept what others are saying.

Here is why I believe the world has become too self-centered: everyone wants us to speak to them compassionately and be careful how we say something, but no one is trying to listen compassionately. It is all about how what you say affects me, and no one seems to want to try to slow down when they hear something offensive or insulting, and think “Why would someone say something like that?” Maybe that person is in pain? Maybe that person has been told a lie? Maybe that person is upset about something totally different than what they are saying?

Or maybe that person is a major A-hole? The best way to answer these questions is to remain humble and overcome our initial prideful feelings when something someone says affects us, emotionally.

In the case where we are being insulted, directly, we can still remain humble in simply ignoring that person, which to me is the most insulting thing anyone can do to someone else. Better yet, we should ask them, “Why are you saying this to me?” showing compassionate listening by giving them a chance to explain. It may be a misunderstanding that can be resolved so that the end result isn’t two people angry with each other, but two people coming to an understanding and remaining on good terms with each other.

Doesn’t that sound more like the way Yeshua would act?

So, if anyone is feeling insulted, put upon, offended, or just put out by this message, I do apologize and hope that you will see this isn’t about YOU, but about all of us, me included, and how we should be just as careful listening to someone as when we speak to someone.

Yeshua had the advantage of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) letting him know what people really thought, but we don’t, so please listen with compassion and humility; and when something you hear bothers you, personally, step back a moment and ask yourself, “Is this about me or about them?”

If you can do that, then you are showing true humility, compassion, and love for others. And, if you ask me, that is the best way to be safe.

Thank you for being here. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe here and on my YouTube channel, and check out my books when you are on the website. My newest book is called “The Good News About the Messiah for Jews, Debunking the Traditional Lies About the Jewish Messiah”.

And remember, I always welcome your comments.

So, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

I Never Can Stress Forgiveness Enough

I am going to surprise you today- this is probably going to be one of the shortest and most direct messages I have ever delivered, so hold on to your hats ’cause this ride is going to be fast!

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Forgiveness is something that is absolutely necessary for any Believer to give to anyone who has sinned against them. Period.

If you feel you are “just not ready to forgive them”, then if you die before you do forgive them, don’t be surprised if you are told “I am just not ready to forgive you” because Yeshua warns us in Matthew 6:14:

For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.

That’s not an idle warning, and it isn’t something that you can avoid just because you “believe in Jesus”.

We are not commanded to ask for forgiveness, although we are told that we should do so to anyone we think we have sinned against before leaving our sacrifice or gift at the altar (Matthew 5:24); but, here in Matthew 6:14-15, we are told in no uncertain way that we must forgive if we want to be forgiven.

Not only does forgiving others ensure our ability to be forgiven, but it is the ONLY way to be rid of the pain we feel when we are harmed, physically or emotionally.

And remember that when we sin, it is always against God (Psalm 51): even when someone does you a terrible injustice, that sin is first and foremost against God- you come next in line. And the forgiveness of that sin against God is always and exclusively between the sinner and God; your forgiveness of the sin has nothing, whatsoever, to do with that person’s relationship with God. They need to make it right with God themself.

The important thing to remember is that your forgiveness of the person who sinned against you has everything to do with YOUR relationship with God. You cannot influence the forgiveness of the sinner with God, but you can ensure your forgiveness from God by forgiving them.

When we forgive others, it doesn’t make them right with God- it makes us right with God!

So forgive others, whether you feel like it or not, and do so genuinely. Yeah, I know it is hard to do, but here are the two things you need to remember that will help you overcome your flesh:
1. If you don’t forgive, you will not be forgiven; and
2. Forgiving others is the only way to be rid of the pain.

Do you get it now? Forgiveness does nothing for the other person, but it does everything that matters for you. In a way, forgiving others is not just godly, it is selfish, so be a little selfish because, in this one situation, it is a good type of selfishness.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages out, subscribe to my webpage, YouTube channel, and join my Facebook discussion group called “Just God’s Word”.

My newest book, “The Good News About the Messiah for Jews, Debunking the Traditional Lies About the Jewish Messiah” is available through my website or Amazon, in paperback and Kindle format.

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

The Three Trinities

Most everyone is familiar with the Christian idea of the Trinity, composed of the Father (God), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.

But there is a trinity within Judaism, as well: the trinity I am thinking of is the relationship between God, Israel, and the Messiah.

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Christianity concentrates on the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the son, with the Holy Spirit being given to each individual who accepts Yeshua as their Messiah so that they can join that relationship. In Judaism, God doesn’t see the individual as much as he sees all individuals, collectively as one nation, Israel. The Messiah’s role in this relationship is as God’s High Priest to the nation, bringing them back into communion with God by re-establishing the kingdom of David, rebuilding the temple and thereby bringing back the sacrificial system so we can be forgiven of our sins, in accordance with the Torah.

The main difference between the Christian trinity and the Jewish trinity is how the relationship with God is formed: Christians see their relationship as a personal one with the Messiah, through whom they have a relationship with God. Judaism sees itself as having a national relationship with God where the Messiah serves everyone as High Priest and King.

The one thing they have in common is that they are both looking at this from a human-to-God order, meaning that even though God sends the Messiah, our relationship is from humans through the Messiah to God.

I see a third trinity, one which is not us to God, but from God’s down to us.

And this trinity doesn’t include the Messiah or the Holy Spirit, but simply God and humanity.

In Genesis 22:18, God told Abraham that the entire world would be blessed by his descendants. A couple of hundred years later (in Exodus 19:6), God gives his Torah to Moses (this is the ONLY place in the entire Bible where God dictates, directly, how he wants us to worship him and how to treat each other) and he tells Moses to teach it to the Israelites because they will be his (God’s) nation of priests.

So far, we have seen two parts of the trinity: God will bless the world through Abraham, and through Moses gives us his instructions on how to act and charges the nation of Israel to learn them and teach them to the world. Now for the third part.

In Deuteronomy 28, God promises the Israelites (and, consequently, the world) all the blessings they will receive when they follow the instructions in the Torah.

So, God chooses a man through whom all the world will be blessed, then gives that man’s descendants (the bringer of the blessings) the instructions for how to receive those blessings, charging them to be priests to the world. Finally, God tells us exactly what those blessings will be when we do as he says.

This, to me, is the ultimate trinity: (1) God’s promise to bless the world, (2) he gives his instructions to his chosen people to bring to the world, and (3) through obedience to those instructions we receive the blessings.

This is a little complicated, so let’s go over it one last time:

Christians see a trinity of God to Messiah to people, with the Holy Spirit acting as a means to communicate what God wants us to do. Jews see God and the nation of Israel, with the Messiah acting as an intermediary to bring that nation back into communion with God.

I see a trinity where God chooses a man whose descendants become a nation of priests to bring God’s instructions to the world in order for everyone who obeys them to be blessed.

The problem with my proposed trinity is that it never worked out that way, which is why God had to send the Messiah. He sent him first to the Jews to get them back on board, then allowed him to go to the rest of the world. After all, Yeshua (Jesus) is a descendant of Abraham and one of the Nation of Israel, which is who God promised would bless the world. Yeshua is the epitome of the Cohen HaGadol, the High Priest, to both Israel and the world; and what better blessings could there ever be than the one God sent with his Messiah- eternal peace and joy?

Three trinities, three different forms of relationship between God and humanity, and none of them able to be accomplished until God sent Messiah Yeshua. But, when all is said and done, all three result in the same end product: communion with God and eternal joy and peace.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel and check out the books I have written (I just finished my 4th book, which debunks the traditional lies about Yeshua) and “Like” my Messianic Moment Facebook page. I also have a Facebook discussion group called Just God’s Word which anyone can join.

And one more thing: I always welcome comments, even if you disagree.

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

My Beef With Christianity

Lately, I have had a few Christian Facebook friends chide me, so to speak (and nicely, too, which I appreciate) about my somewhat bigoted attitude towards Christianity and Christians.

Let me set the record straight- I am not against Christians, I am against Christianity.

It is sort of like the adage “Hate the sin but love the sinner.”

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The one thing that has kept both Jews and Gentiles from knowing God and his Messiah, and has led millions wishing to worship God correctly down the path of destruction, has been Christianity.

The Jewish people have always tried to follow the Torah, which is the ONLY place throughout the entire Bible (that means Genesis through Revelation) where God, himself, tells us exactly what he wants us to do.

The Pharisees in the First Century taught the literal meaning, called the P’shat, and never went beyond that, using their influence and political power to rule over the Jews and creating many man-made rituals and rules (known today as Halacha) which have added much to the Torah’s requirements. In truth, this was a sinful thing to do because God told us, no less than twice, not to add or take away from anything in the Torah (Deut. 4:2 and 12:32).

Yeshua taught us the same things that the Pharisees did, but he deepened our knowledge of the laws by teaching the spiritual meaning, the Remes, through the use of Drashim (parables, or stories that have a moral lesson).

But that wasn’t the worse thing the Pharisees did: what was really terrible was the way they used their influence to steer people away from accepting Yeshua as the Messiah; they did this because as the Messiah, Yeshua would have replaced them as the social authority.

The letters Shaul (Paul) wrote only added to the confusion, and what happened was that by the end of the First Century, Yeshua was rebranded as a Gentile Savior, with many rules and rituals that had been created by men, such as changing the Sabbath day and rejecting much of what the Torah said.

By the time Constantine added his two shekels, what Yeshua taught was totally lost and a new religion, Christianity, was established.

But that isn’t the reason that Jews still reject him, today. Jews have, throughout the past two millennia, rejected Jesus as the Messiah because we have been taught that he created Christianity, and Christianity rejects the Torah and most everything that is Jewish.

And that has not just kept God’s chosen people, the ones the Messiah came for, from being able to know their Messiah but also millions upon millions of Gentiles who have been taught all the wrong things about the Jewish Messiah, now having been transformed (or should I say mutated) into a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryian godhead who forces people to convert to worshiping him (not God) and even proclaims itself as the only “true” religion.

There are even some sects of Christianity that proclaim the Jews have been rejected by God and that they, the Born Again Christians, are now the chosen people of God (this is called Replacement Theology).

Modern Christianity is not what Yeshua taught, and it is the major reason that Jews cannot be expected to accept their own Messiah, and Gentiles are rejecting God’s instructions.

This is my beef with Christianity.

I have nothing against Christians, and I know that all Christians are not the same, just as all Jews are not the same. I am Jewish, always have been and never will be anything else, but unlike most Jews, I know that Yeshua is the Messiah and I still live a Jewish life and worship as a Jew, in accordance with the way God said to in the Torah. I am the exception within Judaism.

I know many Christians who are the exception within Christianity; they know their Jewish Messiah and do not reject the Torah. Many live a Jewish lifestyle, many still observe the Christian holidays, and many demonstrate a sort of blending of the two.

My beef is with Christianity and the false teachings that it has promulgated over the centuries, which really has very little, if anything, to do with what Messiah Yeshua taught, and which, consequently, has prevented both Jews and Gentiles from knowing the real Messiah.

And if you profess to believe in God and that Yeshua (Jesus) is his Messiah, frankly speaking, you should have the same beef!

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know, subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel, and please remember that I always welcome your comments.

And check out my newest book, The Good News About the Messiah for Jews, Debunking the Traditional Lies About the Jewish Messiah. It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format, and you can get it easily by using the link on my website.

I’m done for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Are You Only Preaching to the Choir?

Before we start, I wanted to let you know I have published my 4th book, “The Good News About the Messiah for Jews”, Debunking the Traditional Lies About the Jewish Messiah. It is not just for Jews, of course, but for both Jews and Christians who have been told many wrong things about Yeshua (Jesus) over the millennia, and this book will speak to who he really is and what he really taught. I like all the books I have written, of course, but I think this one is my best work. It is available in paperback and Kindle format, and you can order it through Amazon or use the link on my website.

OK, let’s get to today’s message…

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Over the years I have had this ministry, which is going on 8 years now, I have very often heard feedback from people that when I talk about being called “Christ killer” they say they have been raised Christian and never heard anyone say that. I have also had Born Again Christians tell me things that I knew were subtly anti-Semitic, but they believed they were telling me just what Jesus had preached.

My wife was raised Catholic (I won’t even start on the historic treatment of Jews by Catholicism) and when I asked her if she knew anyone who called her Jewish friends “Christ killer”, she said she never heard them do that. My next question was whether or not, having spent 12 years going to Catholic school, she even knew any Jews growing up, and she said she didn’t. So, naturally, she never knew Gentiles used that derogatory accusation.

She, along with many other Gentiles I have known over my lifetime, has always been cocooned within her own religion. She hung around with Catholics and when she started working, she was with mostly Gentiles. I was one of the very first Jews she actually got to know well, so I tell her she has always had a heart for the Jewish people because the first Jew she really got to know, she married.

If you have not been exposed to the bigotry of the Christian world against Jews, or for that matter, the bigotry of Judaism against Christianity, consider yourself blessed, but at the same time somewhat naive or cocooned. Many Christians I know who do accept that the Torah is still valid and want to be closer to their Jewish roots are oblivious to the way Christianity has treated Jews, not just with physical atrocities such as the Crusades and the Inquisition but through misinterpretations of the Gospels and (especially) the letters Shaul (Paul) wrote.

I have been accused, nicely, of having the “wrong spirit” and thinking that all Christians follow the pagan influences still found within many Christian religions. And who do I get this from? The ones who have been taught the correct worship of God and have been raised in (for lack of a better term) a pro-Torah environment.

These God-fearing Gentiles who worship God more in line with the way he said to instead of what traditional Christianity has taught, accuse me of bigotry against Christians, which isn’t far from the truth.

I confess that I do not like Christianity, but that doesn’t mean I hate Christians. I hate sin but love the sinner, so in the same way, I understand most- actually the vast majority- of Christians have no idea at all about what is in the Bible or what Yeshua taught. All they know is what they were told.

And I feel the same way about Judaism: the Reform Jews reject much of what the Torah says, the Conservative Jews have Kosher homes but eat out at Bob Evans Restaurants, and the Orthodox treat the Talmud as scripture!

The main thing that Judaism and Christianity have in common, besides a belief in God, is that they both lie about who Jesus is and what he taught.

If you think what I have been saying is a bunch of fertilizer, then you must be one of those cocooned types, who has never really been exposed to the true darkness in the world and seen the animosity between Christians and Jews. Please believe me- it IS there!

And so what do we do about it? Well, for me, this ministry is what I am doing about it. I am trying to get the truth about who Yeshua was and what he taught. Most of all, I would love to be able to get Jews to know that modern Christianity has almost nothing to do with what Yeshua taught or what Shaul (Paul) meant when he wrote his letters. This ministry is devoted to giving all people the data they need to be able to make an informed decision about where they will spend eternity: the way we live now will decide where we go then.

That is why I almost never quote from an extra-biblical source, always using the Bible as my justification. And I do not take things out of context but do my best to be hermeneutically correct and biblically sound in my opinions. I trust the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) that I felt going into my body all those years ago to guide me.

And I am still wrong sometimes, so when I ask people for feedback I really mean it. I will always keep an open mind, but never change my faithful understanding or reject my desire to do as God said we should do, and the only place he did that was in the Torah.

God has no religion, just his instructions to all of us on how to worship him and treat each other. The Jewish people received these instructions first, but not exclusively: God told Moses to teach the people the Torah and that the Israelites will be his (God’s) nation of priests to the world (Exodus 19:6). Obviously, that means God intended the Jews to teach everyone else the Torah so that we could all do as God says.

Religion has rejected God’s ways and created its own ways- and I include Judaism- which is why there are so many different ways to worship God, so many different rituals and rites, and so many different rules about diet, holidays, and lifestyle.

It’s up to you to find out what the real world is like, how Judaism and Christianity have treated each other over the millennia, and take off the rose-colored glasses. The real world is an ignorant and evil place, and there are so many lies that have been floating around for millennia that we, those who know God, Yeshua, and recognize the validity of God’s instructions in the Torah, must be able to deal with this and teach these poor ignorant souls the truth so they have a chance for redemption.

Remember this: God told his prophets that if they did not tell the people what God says, then the people’s blood is on the prophet’s head. However, if he tells them what God says and they still reject him, then their blood is on their own head and the prophet is guiltless. I don’t know about you, but given the choice of being popular and guilty, or unpopular and guiltless, I choose unpopular.

One last thing: telling people the truth does NOT mean insulting them! When you tell the truth, you do not have the right to accuse anyone of being spiritually weak, evil, paganistic, or any other sort of attack against them as a person- that is wrong and a sin! You can attack their beliefs, you can attack their misunderstanding, but you can never attack them.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry grow. Subscribe here and on my YouTube channel, as well, and please let me know if you like or dislike what I say. Hey, if you feel I am wrong don’t hesitate to tell me why. It’s always nice to know someone takes the time to respond.

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

Will God Supersede Free Will?

I have always thought that God gave us free will and would never do anything to abrogate our right to make our own decisions. But, reading through the Tanakh- especially the books of the prophets- I wonder if I am wrong about that.

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For instance, in Joel 3 God says that in the End Days he will pour out his Spirit on all people, even their slaves.

In Numbers 11, when Moses appoints the 70 Elders to help him in judging for the people, God pours his Spirit on the Elders.

When God chose Shaul as king, he poured his Spirit on him; not just once, but twice during his kingship (hence the old saying, “Is Shaul a prophet, too?”)

In Ezekiel 36, God says he will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh.

I am sure there are other passages we could review, but these are enough to make me wonder if God will supersede the right to make our own decisions, which he gave us in the first place?

We are told that God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and that because he is the holiest of holies he will never go against his word or change his mind about what is right or wrong. So, if that is true, can we trust him to stay the course with regards to free will after he tells us that there will be times he will overrule our own choices?

You know, I don’t really have an answer for that. I am not so sure now. I mean, I trust God to always know and do what is best for me, so if he does force me to think or act a certain way, which pouring out his Spirit or changing my heart will do, is that OK?

I can’t answer for anyone else, but my feeling is that whatever God wants to do for me or to me is OK with me. I trust that whatever he does it is always for my good because he tells me that he wants me to live (Ezekiel 18:23), so even if he seems to abrogate my right to make my own choices, it is for my own good.

This is weird for me. I have always said free will is for us to have and God will not change it, and that is my strongest argument against Predestination. And now, well…I still do not believe that everyone is predestined to heaven or hell, but if God says he is going to give us a new heart, that’s hard to believe without also accepting this is predetermined.

So, how can this be reconciled? How can we have free will and still be given a new heart, with God’s Spirit being forced upon us?

Give me a sec, here….hmmm….maybe, yes, you sure? Hmm…yes, I think that’s good. OK, here we go!

The one thing I was missing in this argument was that what God gives to us, we can refuse to keep. It’s called Apostasy. God can replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, but we can always plaster over it. God can pour his Spirit on us, but we can always refuse to listen to it.

Free will still exists within us; even though God can cause his Spirit to indwell and change our heart, we can still refuse to work with what he gives us.

Look at Adam and Eve- there was no sin in them, but when given the chance, they took to sin like a duck to water. If they could do that, so can we. We are all born with iniquity (the desire to sin) in our very DNA. God said he would give us a new spirit and a new heart, but the DNA is not changing. Iniquity was found even in the most perfect of angels, Beelzebub, and if he could turn to sin, so can we.

And in 1 Samuel, after Shmuel anointed Shaul we are told that God gave him a new heart then and there! Yet, later we see how Shaul rejected God’s instructions and ended up sinning against God. So Shaul’s new heart and spirit didn’t last. How can that be? It must be that Shaul was still able to make his own decisions!

God will do whatever he thinks is best for you; even his punishments are delivered with mercy, designed not to be punitive but to bring you back onto the path of righteousness. It is up to you, up to me, up to each and every one of us to decide if we will do what is right.

When we do wrong, God will try to gently lead us with his staff; and if that doesn’t work, he will take the rod to our heads. And if that still doesn’t work, we will be on our own. The decision to remain faithful or to sin has, is, and always will be our own choice!

In Joel 3-4, God’s pouring of his Spirit will happen before the great Day of Adonai. So, he will do this to all humanity and THEN judge, telling us that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved, so it must be that God will do these things without taking away our right to choose.

God will make himself known through this pouring out of his Spirit and changing of our hearts, but it will not supersede free will. It will be his last-ditch effort to help us save ourselves. Because God says that after he pours out his Spirit all who call on his name will be saved, we can imply there is the opportunity to not call on his name. If we didn’t have a choice, no one would have to call on his name, right? But, since we are given the chance to call on his name, we still have a choice.

Well, I am glad that I figured this one out because, I have to tell you, I was a little worried there when I started this message.

In case I lost you, sooner or later God will pour out his Spirit on everyone and give us a heart of flesh to replace the stony one that is there, but even after that, we will still have the chance to choose to call on his name or not.

We all have the right to decide whether to reject or accept God, and because he wants everyone to choose life, he will go as far as to give a new heart and pour out his Spirit on each and every one of us, but that will NOT supersede our free-will ability to refuse him.

No one knows when the Day of Adonai will come and the Bible tells us we can expect to see a worldwide spiritual awakening before it comes, but why wait? I think the best thing to do if you haven’t done it yet, is to accept God and his Messiah, Yeshua, and do it now!

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know, subscribe on my website and my Youtube channel, buy my books, and let me know what you think of these messages. I really appreciate feedback, even if you disagree. Hey! You might be right, and if you can help me better understand God we will both be blessed.

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

2021 Simchat Torah Message

Here we are, again, at the end of a Torah cycle.

Time to march the Torah around the neighborhood, with singing and shofar blowing. Then, after returning to the synagogue, we read the last lines of Deuteronomy and while the congregation sings and dances we roll back the Torah to the beginning and read the first lines of Genesis.

(Rolling the Torah back gives you forearms that look like Popeye’s!)

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“Simchat Torah” means the Joy of Torah: the joyful part being the fact that we get to read it, all over again. The Torah is split into 54 separate readings, each reading is called a “parashah” and the weekly parashah is read at the Saturday morning Shabbat service. This is what we have done every Shabbat for millennia, even from before the time Yeshua walked the earth. These parashot (plural) are designed for an annual cycle, although in some synagogues they use a three-year cycle instead of the one-year cycle.

After the parashah is read, we read the Haftorah portion, which is from the other parts of the Tanakh and is relatable to the Torah portion. This is how it works: we read the Torah, which is the direct word of God telling us how we should live, worship, and treat each other, and then we read the Haftorah to see the practical application (or failure, thereof) of the Torah portion we just read which occurred during our history.

For example, Parashah Naso (Numbers 4:21 to the end of Chapter 7) includes the laws regarding the vow of the Nazirite. The Haftorah portion is from the Book of Judges 8:2-25, which is the story of the birth of Shimshon (Samson), who was to be a Nazirite from birth.

In some cases, there is a double parashot reading which is done to make sure the final reading comes out on the 8th day of Sukkot.

Yes, I know Sukkot is only 7 days, but the story goes that God so loved to be with his children that he extended it an extra day, which is called Shemini Atzeret (this is also Simchat Torah.)

It is very sad that so many Christians pretty much ignore the Torah. Not only is this sad because they can never really understand who Yeshua (Jesus) is if they don’t know his people’s history (he is, after all, Jewish) and they also can’t really fathom the depth of the lessons in Shaul’s (Paul) letters if they don’t know where he is “coming from”, meaning the mindset and beliefs of the Jewish people, which is given in the writings of the Torah.

They miss learning the wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs, and let’s not forget experiencing the beauty of the poetry in the Psalms; even though many churches do take from the Psalms, now and then. However, the full impact cannot be felt without knowing the history that motivated those songs.

And the worst part of all when Christians ignore reading the Torah is that they do not know what God said we should do, and no matter what their Priest, Minister, Pastor or whatever tells them Paul said, or John said, or even James said- it is what God said that counts!

Yeshua never taught anything different than what is in the Torah. Why people said he talked as no man has talked before is because he taught the spiritual understanding of God’s commandments. The Pharisees only taught the literal meaning, what we call the P’shat, but Yeshua went deeper than that and taught the Remes, the underlying spiritual meaning.

Here’s proof, which we get directly from Matthew 5 when we read the Sermon on the Mount: the Pharisees taught “Do not kill” but Yeshua said not to even so much as hate in our hearts; the Pharisees said “Do not commit adultery” but Yeshua said that wasn’t enough- you must not even lust with your eyes. Yeshua taught what God wanted us to know, which is not just the letter of the law but the very spirit of it.

If you aren’t that familiar with the Torah, please take it out and read it. Make it part of your daily reading. I keep my Bible in the bathroom because I know that every day I will have (at least) enough time alone and undisturbed to read a chapter or two. You will be surprised how quickly you get through the entire Bible that way. I start at Genesis and go all the way through to Revelation, then start all over again.

Of course, since I am reading much more than the Torah, alone, it takes me more than a year to go through the entire Bible, but doing it this way I have read the whole Bible many times over the past 25 or so years, and each time I get to start it over I am excited to do so.

Reading only the New Covenant is like building a house starting with the second floor. You may end up with something, but it will never be complete.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. The more people who hear these lessons, the more people who will know what God really says. The whole purpose of this ministry is to grow and teach people what they need to know so they can make an informed decision about where they want to spend eternity.

Also please subscribe here and only my YouTube channel as well (use the link above), and remember that I always welcome your comments; you can make them here or on my Facebook discussion group called Just God’s Word.

PS: I have finished the draft of my latest book, which is debunking the different lies that have been traditionally handed down, in both Christianity and Judaism, about Messiah Yeshua. I hope to have it self-published and available for purchase within the next month or so and will announce it on my website when it is ready.

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

Ezekiel 36 Today

Ezekiel was a prophet who certainly had a rough time of it. He was tied with ropes and forced to lie on his side, being fed just bread and water for years, some years on his left side and some on his right side. He was made mute, God had Ezekiel’s wife die suddenly, and Ezekiel was made to do other things that were uncomfortable and even torturous, all to be a demonstration to the people of Israel what would happen to them if they continued disobeying the Lord.

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

God also told him to prophecy to the Israeli people, and to their mountains, animals, and also to the foreign nations surrounding Israel. In Chapter 36, God tells Ezekiel to prophesy that the land which has been taken over by the nations surrounding Israel, naming Edom as one, will be returned to them. He tells how after God dispersed his people, the surrounding nations all came in and took possession of the land, angering God because they bragged about their ownership.

Isn’t this what has happened in modern times? During the 18th and 19th Centuries, Israel was barren land, untilled, unformed, and essentially uninhabited except for nomadic peoples, mostly Jordanians and Syrians, using the land for grazing their herds. They would come in, graze the land until it was denuded, and then move back to their own country.

That is how it was until Israel was declared a state and the Jewish people were being regathered, as God promised, back into their land. Now, all of a sudden, these nomads who were never interested in true ownership, are crying that they have been ejected from their land!

Yasser Arafat was a very influential and wise leader, creating one of the most enduring propaganda lies ever formed, which he called the Palestinian People. The only real Palestinian people were the Jews living there when Israel was renamed Palestina by the Romans, after their defeat of the Bar Kokhba rebellion in 132-135 AD. This was not just to eradicate any relation of the land to the Jews, since the Romans now wanted to make it a Roman city, but it was also an insult to the Jewish people because Palestina was the Roman form of the name of their ancient enemies, the Philistines.

Just look at any pictures of the land of Israel, or to be historically accurate, Palestine during the 19th and early 20th Centuries; all you will see is desert. No olive trees (millions have been planted on the West Bank by the so-called Palestinian people as a way to lay claim to the land), no buildings, no cities, no development, no agriculture…nothing!

But look at the pictures of Israel in the 21st Century and you will see a garden where there was a desert; you will see cities, communities with homes, houses of worship, and recreational buildings. Israel developed a strong economy, science and agricultural advancements, and a growing population composed of both Jews and Arabs, who (for the most part) get along fine in Israel.

The truth of the matter is not that Israel is apartheid (as the United Nations accuses them of being) or that they are evicting people and destroying their homes (as the Media would make you think), but they are developing the land and sharing it with whoever wishes to live there in peace. Arabs have the same rights as Israelis, and the fact remains that the Palestinian people are nothing more than terrorists who want the destruction of Israel, while the peace-loving Arabs living in Syria and Jordan wish they could live in Israel because it is better than where they live.

The ones that are the real threat to the lives and families of the surrounding Arab peoples are not the Israelis, but the Arabs! Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, and Egypt are all economically devastated by their own poor leadership. Their people are tortured, taken prisoner, and their homes destroyed more by Jihad, ISIS, and the other terrorist groups than the Israelis have ever done. Israel has given land rightfully belonging to them to the Palestinians in order to make peace, but that has never worked out: not because of anything Israel did, but because the Palestinians aren’t really interested in peace.

God said that the surrounding nations who took over the land after he dispersed the Israelis would be shamed, and we see that happening in our times. Despite the overwhelming odds against Israel, being surrounded by nations that outnumber them and only want their total destruction, Israel has kicked their butts every time they tried to attack. That’s because what the Arabs don’t understand is that God is still protecting his people, as he has done for millennia, and he will keep his word that once he has regathered his people, which is still being done, he will never again allow them to be dispersed.

Assyria destroyed the Northern Kingdom and dispersed them; Babylon destroyed the Southern Kingdom and dispersed them; Alexander, through his program of Hellenism, almost totally obliterated the Jewish religion; Rome destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, killed tens of thousands of Jews and routed almost all the rest from their homeland; England killed thousands of Jews during the Crusades; Spain killed thousands upon thousands of Jews during the Inquisition; Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews… but we’re still here and stronger than ever!

No other civilization has been so decimated, so often, and not just survived but is flourishing. Today, Israel is a world leader in science, technology, and agriculture. How is this possible? It’s possible because as Yeshua said in Matthew 19:26:

“Humanly, this is impossible; but with God everything is possible.”

We are living in prophetic times, my friends, and we are seeing prophesy come to fruition. It is at once wonderful and terrible because as Israel grows stronger and more Jews return to their homeland (this is called “making Aliya”), we come closer to the Acharit HaYamim, the End Days when all the nations of the world will turn against Jerusalem.

We are seeing this already: the United Nations has taken a position against Israel, the Arab nations are (as always) attacking innocent Israeli civilians while accusing Israel of attacking them, and now even the one most trustworthy friend of Israel, the United States, is turning against them with the Democratic Party accusing Israel of human-rights infractions, sending billions of dollars to the enemies of Israel (this happened under Obama), and recently leaving billions of dollars of American top-secret arms and weapons to Afghanistan terrorists while simultaneously cutting billions of dollars of funding for the Iron Dome program.

As bad as things are, they will get worse, but what we know- and history has proven- is that God will no longer abandon his people. We may be in for rough times ahead, but in the end, Israel will emerge triumphantly with Messiah Yeshua ruling the world and God’s promises of eternal peace and joy finally being fulfilled.

Thank you for being here. Please share this message with everyone you know, and subscribe here and on my website, as well.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

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

2021 Sukkot Message

Here we are at Sukkot, again, which this year happens exactly on the first day of Fall.

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

Sukkot is, traditionally, believed to be the time when Messiah Yeshua was born, and this is verified by the timeline in the Gospel of Luke, with regards to when Zachariah (Yochanon the Immerser’s father) served in the temple, saw the angel, Miryam visited Elizabeth, etc.

The Torah commands us to live in Sukkot, which are tabernacles, or tents, with an open-top. The Sukkot are decorated with fruits and branches, which would be consistent with what materials would have been available to the Jews living in the desert. The commandment is also to live in the Sukkah (singular form) for 7 days, as a memorial to how the Israelites lived for 40 years.

In modern days, we build a Sukkah but for most people, it is in the backyard (if they have the space) and maybe the kids sleep in it, but for the most part, they will have dinner in it but sleep in the house.

When I was attending a Messianic synagogue back in Northeast Philadelphia, I built a Sukkah using PVC pipes so that it could be used, then reused, over and over again. It lasted for many years. We performed the shaking of the Lulav with the 4 Species in it, and it was fun to erect, decorate and then tear it all down when the week of Sukkot was over.

The message I have for us today is this tabernacle represents how God cared for his people, and whether or not you build a physical Sukkah, the tabernacle I believe God desires to share with us, more than anything else, is the tabernacle of our hearts.

When we read about God and his relationship with his people, we are told that he knows the mind. We read in the Gospels that Yeshua (through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit) knew men’s minds. But we do not read about God seeking our mind: what we do read is that God seeks our heart.

When I like to check traditional Jewish thoughts, I go to one of two sources, neither of which has ever let me down: one is the book called “The Jewish Book of Why” (there are two volumes) and the other is the Chabad website. In this case, to share with you the Judaic belief about the relationship between the mind and the heart, I am paraphrasing what I saw on the Chabad website.

According to Chabad, there are two hearts and one mind. There is an outer and an inner heart; the outer heart reacts to the world, what we would call the “flesh” and the inner heart is purer and what we would call our spiritual side. The mind is the pathway to the inner heart, being able to overcome the fleshly desires of the outer heart and direct us to what is good and holy.

When I read this I thought immediately of Freudian analysis, the Id, Ego, and Super-ego.

Monsters from the Id! Monsters from the Id! Morbius didn’t think about the monsters from the Id!
(If you don’t recognize this reference, watch “Forbidden Planet”)

Freudian psychoanalysis identifies the Id as the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience, and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego. I am sure you can now see the clear relationship of the Id (outer heart), the Super-ego (the inner heart), and the Ego (the mind). I wouldn’t be surprised if Freud, being Jewish, knew about the two hearts and the mind and used that as the basis for his system.

In any event, God seeks the heart, which is clearly the inner heart, and through prayer, we can have a sort of Sukkot every day of the year.

And unlike this week, the weather has no influence on our ability to tabernacle with God through prayer.

So enjoy this most festive Holy Day, which is really a Holy Week, and look forward to Shemini Atzeret, also called Simchat Torah (the Joy of Torah) which starts next Monday night The traditional thought is that even though the Torah says Sukkot is 7 days, God so enjoyed being with us in the tabernacles that he extended it for an extra day. On Simchat Torah, we turn the Torah back to the very beginning to start the annual reading cycle all over again, which is the joyful part.

(If I may, I will take this time to plug my book, "Parashot Drashim" which is a commentary/Bible study of each of the 54 Torah readings (called Parashah).  I believe you will find it very useful to see Yeshua in the Torah, as well as better understanding the Jewish mindset. It is available in paperback and Kindle; there are links to it on my website and it is available directly on Amazon.)

Sukkot is a time of celebration that, unlike most Holy Days, allows us to get closer to God not just spiritually, but physically, and I will finish today’s message with this one thought: God is never any further away than the length of our arms, yet no matter how close we get to him we can always get closer.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages with everyone you know, and I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for now, so l’hitraot and Chag Sameach!

2021 Yom Kippur Message

First off, I want to say to everyone the traditional Jewish greeting we pass to each other on Yom Kippur, which is:
May you have an easy fast.

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

So often over the years, I have heard Christians tell me that because we are saved by faith in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), we do not have to fast on Yom Kippur, or even obey any of the Moedim (Holy Days) that God gave to the Jews, all of which are specified in Leviticus 23.

My response is to ask if they understand what Yom Kippur is about. They say it is the Day of Atonement when we ask forgiveness of all our sins. For those who really know Judaism, they add that we do this by afflicting ourselves (the traditional method is fasting) and pray that God will move from his Throne of Judgment to his Throne of Forgiveness, and inscribe us in his Book of Life.

So, I ask you: if Yom Kippur is how God said to ask him to forgive you of your sins, who doesn’t have sin?

If you are sinless, then you don’t need to ask forgiveness, right? But, then again, refusing to afflict yourself on Yom Kippur, in whichever way you feel afflicted, is rejecting a commandment from God, which is a sin. Yeshua never said to reject any of God’s Holy Days, and even Shaul (Paul) never said to reject any of God’s Holy Days. So, by saying we have forgiveness through Yeshua so we don’t have to fast or observe Yom Kippur is, by definition, a sin.

And that means you need to ask forgiveness on Yom Kippur.

Here are my two reasons for Christians to observe Yom Kippur:

  1. It is a commandment from God; and
  2. No one is without sin, so why not ask for forgiveness?

Christianity has been professing that Yeshua did away with the law, but if he did, then that means there is no law. If there is no law, then we have no need for a Messiah, right? I mean, the law is what defines sin, so if there is no law there is no sin, and if there is no sin, there is no need for forgiveness, so we don’t need to practice any religion.

The conundrum Christianity has created is that believing Yeshua, who obeyed every law in the Torah, is the Messiah God sent to bring us into communion with him makes you a Christian, and Christians don’t have to obey God’s laws in the Torah, which means they obey man-made laws that reject God, which is the opposite of what Yeshua came to do!

God gave us laws, credos, doctrines, Holy Days, etc., but if Yeshua set us free from the Torah, then shouldn’t we also be free from the man-made traditions, holidays, and commandments that are in Christianity? Doesn’t it make sense that if we can reject what God said we must do, then whatever men say is even less important? Isn’t God more powerful than humans? So, if what God said doesn’t count, then certainly a human-originated commandment or law has no power or value, at all.

I am Jewish: I was born Jewish from Jewish parents of Jewish parents, and I even have the Levitical DNA marker in my genes. When I accepted Yeshua as the Messiah God promised, I was reborn- not as a Christian but as a renewed Jew. My faith was stronger than it had ever been, my life became more in alignment with the Jewish lifestyle that Yeshua lived, and I have been blessed beyond belief since doing this.

Yeshua celebrated every single Holy Day that God commanded us to obey, and even though he was given the authority to forgive sins on earth, he still fasted on Yom Kippur.

Hold it a minute! There is not one mention in the New Covenant Gospels about Yeshua observing any Jewish Holy Day or holiday (the former being God-ordained, the latter being man-made) other than Hanukkah and Passover. So how do I know he celebrated Yom Kippur? Because he was resurrected, which proved his sacrifice was accepted by God. And if his sacrifice was accepted, that means he died sinless, a spiritual condition which could only have existed if he observed every commandment God gave in the Torah.

The only difference between the sacrificial system for the forgiveness of sin God created in the Torah and the current means of forgiveness of sin through Yeshua is that Yeshua replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple in Jerusalem, the only place where God said we could make a sacrifice. Other than that, we still need to confess our sins (a part of the Yom Kippur service called the Ashamnoo prayer), repent of them and ask for forgiveness from God, which we do during the Yom Kippur service when reciting the Al Het (All sins) prayer.

Yom Kippur is not just something that we can throw behind us because we can receive forgiveness through Yeshua anytime we ask for it. The Sabbath, Passover, Shavuot, Yom Teruah (now called Rosh HaShanah), Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are Holy Days that God commanded us to observe as part of the way we worship him. Throwing them behind our back is a direct rejection of God. Period.

Unless you can find someplace where Yeshua said once we accept him as the Messiah it was OK to reject everything that his father said, then you had better reconsider rejecting the observance of God’s Holy Days. And I am not talking about what Shaul said, or more accurately, what people over the millennia have misinterpreted what Shaul said because God is more important than people. Yes, even more important than that nice Jewish tentmaker from Tarsus.

Too many Christians I have met don’t realize that they are not obeying God but instead a bunch of ex-Pagans who made up a religion of their own, with their own rules and holidays to replace the ones God gave, justifying this new, man-made religion by misinterpreting what Shaul said in his letters to ex-pagans learning how to be Jewish.

Think about it: God gave instructions on how to worship him and treat each other, as well as many other regulations regarding civil and criminal law, business ethics, and appropriate interpersonal relationships in order to teach us how to live righteous and holy lives. He did this in the Torah, so nu? Does that sound like something you should ignore?

Look…if you still aren’t sure if Yom Kippur is something you should celebrate as God commanded, I will leave you with one last question: do you really think that the Messiah, sent to bring us back into communion with God, would do so by telling us to reject everything God said?

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages with everyone you know, and check out my books, as well. Please remember that I always welcome your comments, so don’t be shy about letting me know what you think, even if you disagree. Hey, I’m not always right and I do respectfully listen to what people tell me they believe. All I ask is that you be respectful of me, as well.

That’s it for today, and remember that it is easier on you if you do NOT eat a big meal tomorrow night before sunset.

L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!