People Who are Overly Spiritual are Useless to God

What do I mean by “overly spiritual”?

I am talking about those people who cannot make conversation without speaking in spiritual terms which the average person cannot relate to.

I am talking about those people who cannot talk to you without pronouncing that they love you, even though they have no idea who you are.

I am talking about those people who tell you that Jesus is the way and the truth and the light, when all you did was ask them for directions to someplace.

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Now, I am not trying to insult these people, or deny that they are wonderful examples of how joyful one can be when you have the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), but…if people are so spiritually oriented that they cannot have a “normal” conversation, then they will not be able to do what we are supposed to do, which is effectively spread the word of God.

“But wait a minute, Steve! People who are constantly talking about God are spreading the word, aren’t they? “

Maybe, but there is a difference between spreading the word of God and throwing pearls before swine. And what determines that is how effectively you can get your point across to your audience.

The double-edged sword of spirituality is that on one side, you are able to understand God’s word better; but, the other side is that without the Holy Spirit, people can’t understand God’s word as well, if at all!

Overly spiritual people can speak all they want, but their problem is that they are speaking the way they want to, in a way they are able to understand, and that is NOT how to reach people who are still in the dark.

Let me put it to you this way: if I cannot communicate with my audience in a way that they can understand what I am saying, then I might as well be speaking in a foreign language.

That is why overly spiritual people are useless to God, in that they are not able to help those in the dark to understand what they are talking about.

Shaul (Paul) is a perfect example of “working your audience”, and he tells us that in 1 Corinthians 9:19, where he says he will be all things to all people. He is spreading the word of God in an effective way because he relates to his audience, and makes sure they can relate to him.

Yeshua was the most spiritually filled person that ever existed, yet he was able to get people to understand what he was saying.

Yes, he often talked in parables (which fulfilled the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 6:9), which did confuse many people, but those who had ears to hear, heard; and those who had eyes to see, saw.

That is what we need to do when we are trying to spread the word of God- we need to speak in a way that the person we are talking to can understand.

You don’t need to learn different languages, you need to simply observe the type of person you are talking to and speak in a way they can understand, i.e., using terms and references that they are comfortable with.

When I was a salesman, going to people’s homes and selling them siding, windows, and kitchen replacements, I learned very quickly that I needed to ask them about themselves (people will always be willing to talk about themselves or their children) in order to determine the best way to communicate with them. I found that by using terms and mental images they are comfortable with, that allowed me to bond with them quickly, resulting in both gaining their trust and, even more important, getting them to not just listen but understand me.

When we talk about God to people, those who cannot get their heads out of the clouds make no headway- they are speaking God’s truth to a wall.

That is why no matter how “into” the Lord you are, you need to step it down when speaking to people who are not that way so they can understand and relate to what you are saying.

And NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! tell anyone what they must do or what they must believe- the best way to get people to listen to you is first to ask them what they feel they are missing in their life. Then you can tell them why YOU don’t have those problems because you accepted Yeshua, and then let them decide for themself if they want to be better off, too.

I confess I am somewhat envious of people who are continually happy and spirit-filled, but when it comes down to helping those who are not believers, if they can’t come down out of the clouds and walk the same earth those people do, speak their language and relate to them, then whatever they say or do or teach will be useless to spreading God’s word.

And, in the long run, they are more likely to turn people away from God than turn them to God, and that would be a sin.

Thank you for being here, and please share these messages with everyone you know, subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books and after reading them, leave them in your church or synagogue for others to read, and next time you’re on Facebook, join my group called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you read and agree to the rules, first).

And remember this: I always welcome your comments.

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

Yeshua: Is He Isaac or Absalom?

You may be thinking:

“What does Steve mean? Isaac was the son of Abraham, and Absalom was the son of David, but Yeshua is the son of God, right? So, nu? What’s the story?”

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Here’s the story, and I expect it will have one of three responses:

  1. Some will adamantly reject what I say in defense of their religion;
  2. Some will agree whole-heartedly; and
  3. Most (hopefully) will read this carefully and think it over for themselves, researching the Bible to verify my statements.

So, why am I comparing Yeshua to these two sons of famous Jewish leaders?

Because they both represent a type of son, and Yeshua represents each type, although in the case of Absalom, Christians do not even realize the association that traditional Christian teachings have created, to the detriment of Yeshua’s name.

Let’s start with Isaac.

He wasn’t some pre-teen boy when he followed Abraham to Mount Moriah. In truth, most biblical scholars agree that he was probably in his late 20s to early 30s at that time. And, even though he was full grown and more than capable of defending himself and preventing Abraham from harming him, he was totally obedient to his father’s wishes, yes- even unto death!

There can be no doubt that Isaac already suspected something when he asked Abraham where the sacrificial animal was as they approached the mountain alone, and by the time Abie was bringing the rope over and said something to the effect of, “Please lay down on this rock”, I figure Isaac knew what was what.

Yet, he was the obedient son.

Yeshua was the obedient son, also, even to the point of death. God didn’t tie him to a rock, but when he was approaching Jerusalem, Yeshua knew what was to happen. It is also pretty certain that when he was on the mountain with Moses and Elijah, he was getting a pep talk from the guys, helping him to psyche himself up for what was to come.

OK- that’s simple enough, right? Isaac obeyed his father’s wishes to the point of death, and Yeshua did the same.

Now for Absalom: by the by, if you don’t recall all about Absalom, before you go any further please open your Bible and read 2nd Samuel, Chapters 15 to 20.

Absalom was not an obedient son, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, he was a subversive, traitorous and disobedient son who first tried to undermine his father’s popularity by placing himself in a position where he told the people they would get justice and fair treatment from him, implying they couldn’t count on it from his father.

Then, after forming a rather large number of followers, he then rebelled against his father, the King, and took over the kingdom, causing David to flee for his very life.

So how can I even think Yeshua was anything like Absalom?

Personally, I don’t think Yeshua was anything like Absalom, but Christianity does.

The traditional Christian teaching is that Yeshua did away with the law, i.e. the Torah, which is God’s instructions to ALL people regarding how to worship him and how to treat each other. It is not just for Jews- never was, isn’t now, and God never intended it ever should be.

Actually, the Torah is the ONLY place, throughout the entire Bible, where God, himself, tells us what we must do. He commands that no one should ever add to or take away from any of his instructions to us, and there is not one place, anywhere, throughout all the letters and gospels in the New Covenant where God says anything against his Torah.

In fact, God doesn’t even speak in the New Covenant, except at the transfiguration on the mountain where he tells the two Disciples that Yeshua is his son, and to listen to him.

So, if the law was done away with by Yeshua, that means he rebelled against his father’s laws and undermined the followers of God by turning them to worship him, not God, telling them that all they have to do is believe in him (whatever the heck that means) to be saved.

In other words, Christian doctrine has rebranded Yeshua from the obedient son (Isaac) to the rebellious son (Absalom), who stole his father’s kingdom in order that people would worship him.

Wrong, you say? Yeshua never rebelled? Christianity never said Jesus was a traitor to God?

Let me ask you something…how many people do you know who pray to Jesus? Or, worse yet, to Mary, or Joseph, or any number of saints, instead of praying to God?

And how many people do you know who thank Jesus for the blessings they receive? Isn’t Jesus an Intercessor? Doesn’t that mean he doesn’t answer prayers but, instead, brings them before his father?

Sorry to burst bubbles, but Jesus doesn’t answer prayers or hand out blessings- as the Messiah, he is the one who implores his father to do so.

And now here’s the ultimate rebellion: many, if not most, of the Christian religions say that Jesus IS God, and if that ain’t a case of the son taking over the kingdom of the father, well…I don’t know! What else could it be!

So, there you have it!

Yeshua can’t be both an Isaac and an Absalom, so you need to decide for yourself which he is: is Yeshua the obedient son who does as his father says, or is he the rebellious son who rejects his father’s authority so people will follow him as he takes over the kingdom?

And understand this- whatever you decide, that decision will likely have eternal consequences!

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry grow. Subscribe to my website (while there howzabout buying my books?) and my YouTube channel, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And remember: I always welcome your comments.

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

Let’s Talk Tithe

One of the topics that preachers in all religions seem to bypass more often than any other biblical topic is the requirement to tithe.

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What is really interesting is that many Christian religions believe that because Yeshua referred to the tithe regarding the Pharisees and Mosaic Law, now under the “law of Christ” Christians do not have to tithe.

I always wondered what Christ’s law was: after all, isn’t he supposed to be the son of God? Wasn’t he supposed to live a sinless life? And wasn’t the only law when he lived the Mosaic Law?

So, if all those statements are true, then the law of Christ had to be the same Law of Moses, right? I mean, if Christ had done or taught or even implied people should not do what his father said they should, which is the same as teaching to reject God’s commandments, then wouldn’t that mean he sinned? Wouldn’t having those who followed him do differently than what God said to do be rebellion against God?

Well, that’s not really relevant to today’s topic, so let’s get back to tithing.

The Torah has many more forms of tithing than just the 10%, which (for the record) existing long before Moses wrote it down in the Torah. If you recall, Abraham gave a tenth of all he recovered when he saved Lot to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20), and Jacob promised God 10% of all he would give him on his way to Laban’s house (Gen 28:22).

There are, in fact, taxes, redemption fees, and a three-year collection of tithes for the Levite, foreigner, widow, and orphan (Deuteronomy 26:12-13).

In fact, the Torah has many different forms of taxes, tithes, and mandatory contributions, all of which really amount to the same thing- a required return of one’s income to God.

There is a tithe levied to the Levites which can be a 40th, 50th or sixtieth of one’s income, depending on your personal generosity; there is an annual 10% tithe on the produce; there is the requirement to leave gleanings for the poor; and there was a half-shekel tax to the temple for upkeep.

Not to mention there was a 5 shekel tax on the first born male, whether of human or animal, which God required as redemption for all the first-born he killed in Egypt.

In all, the Torah required about 25% of ones total income to be given back to God in any number of ways, such as tithes, temple tax, leaving produce in the fields (not harvesting the outer 10% of the crops and not going back to reap the harvest twice), first fruits, and voluntary offerings.

But Christians are told that because there is no specific requirement in the New Covenant to pay tithes, then Christians don’t have to tithe.

Some of the justifications they give for not having to tithe are as follows:

  • Believers are not under the Mosaic Covenant (the old lie that Jesus did away with the law)
  • What Abraham and Jacob did was not the norm
  • Tithes were for the Levites and priests and there are none of those in the New Covenant (I guess that since Yeshua is our High Priest, he doesn’t need any other priests to help him?)
  • The New Covenant doesn’t mention tithing when talking about giving generously

For the record, the Gospels and the Epistles and all the other stuff in the New Covenant are eye witness accounts written by human beings, not dictation from God. God doesn’t say anything in the New Covenant, except at the transformation on the mountain when he told the three disciples that Yeshua is his son and to listen to him.

The only place where God, himself, tells us what he wants us to do is in the Torah.

There are other excuses for not tithing, but they are just as unfounded as the ones I have listed here.

Why do I say they are unfounded? Simple: Yeshua lived the way God said to live, and so if we are to live as Yeshua lived, then we should also live the way God said to live, and that is in the Torah, and the Torah tells us to tithe.

As I explained above, there is no way that Yeshua could have ever, in any way, told people not to obey the Torah; otherwise, he would have been rejecting God, thereby a sinner, teaching others to sin, and his sacrifice could not be accepted.

Once people agree that some form of a tithe is required by God, then we start to argue is the 10% off the gross, net after taxes (to the government), or from disposable income?

The Torah says every 10th animal under the hook, but it also says to leave the outskirts of your field unharvested and do not gather the gleanings (Leviticus 23:22). So, if I do not gather those amounts, are they my tithe?

But, if I never gather them, then I never gathered that produce, then it was never income I received, so then should I tithe 10% from what I actually harvested and took for myself?

If I do that, then is what I took considered my gross or my net? After all, gross is everything produced, whether I end up with it or not, and net is what I end up with, so which is the one I tithe from: everything in my field, which is my gross, or only what I harvest, which is my net?

Confusing, isn’t it?

And now for the kicker: In Malachi 3:6-10, God says that when we do not bring the tithe to the temple we are stealing from him. And then he says if we do bring it in, he will open the floodgates of heaven and pour more blessings on us than we can imagine.

So, if I am a Christian and I happen to open that Jewish part of the Bible- you know, the part my pastor says I don’t have to worry about, and see that by tithing God will hand out a ton of blessings, since Christians are not subject to that Jewish stuff, does that mean only Jews can be blessed if they tithe?

Look, I won’t tell you what to do. After all, if someone refuses to do as God says they should, why would they listen to me?

Then again, maybe they would, if I told them what they wanted to hear. Isn’t that why so many religions are popular?

So choose the way you will serve God: as God says you should, or as some religion says you should.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to my website and YouTube channel; buy my books and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Is it an Angel, or is it God?

There are any number of examples in the Bible, most of which are found in the Tanakh, where we read of an angel talking to someone, but then it suddenly seems to be God doing the talking.

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For example, in Judges 2:1-4:

“Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you…'”

Here we are told this is an angel, yet he is talking in the first person singular, as if he was God.

In other words, we are told this is an angel, but he is talking as if he were God; I say this because God made the covenant with the people and God brought them out of Egypt, and only God did the other things referenced in that passage.

So, was it really an angel, or was it God?

Often we hear Moses go from “The Lord says…” to “I have told you..”

So, even though we are told it is Moses speaking, is it really God?

And these are just a few examples- there are many others, too numerous to list, where we read that it was an angel speaking, but the angel speaks as if he is God.

So how can that be?

I think the answer is simple: angels are the messengers of God, so when they speak, it is no different than if it was God, himself, because they are repeating what God said they should say.

The prophets are in the same boat: they repeat what God says using the first person, singular, but they (obviously) aren’t God: what they are doing is quoting God.

When I was in the Marine Corps, I served as the Executive Officer for the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion Headquarters and Support Company. I was not the CO, I was the XO- that means I was 2nd in command. As such, when I was performing administrative duties, I often had to sign documents that were supposed to be authorized by the CO.

So, when I did that, I signed my name, and underneath my signature I wrote, “By direction of the Commanding Officer”, or sometimes I just wrote “By Dir”.

That meant that even though I was the one giving the order or signing the document, it was no different than if the CO, himself, did it.

This is, I believe, why we read about angels speaking as if they were God, but all they were doing was using their “By Dir” authority.

So don’t be confused- unless the Bible clearly says it is God (as in Genesis 18), when angels talk as if they are God, it is just an angel speaking “By Dir”.

Thank you for being here, and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website, my YouTube channel, and buy my books- if you like what you get here, you will like my books, too. Guaranteed.

I also have a discussion group on Facebook called “Just God’s Word” that you are invited to join- but please make sure you read and agree to the rules.

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

You Cannot Forgive Without Humility

When we read Matthew 6:14, we are told that if we do not forgive on earth, then our heavenly father will not forgive us.

That means being able to forgive is not just a nice thing to do, but is necessary for eternal life!

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Too many times people say that they just can’t forgive someone for the things they have done, or even worse, they say the person who did those things doesn’t deserve forgiveness.

Well, who the heck are you to say who does or who doesn’t deserve forgiveness? If God is willing- not just willing, but desiring- to forgive everyone (he says so in Ezekiel 18:23), then who are you or I or anyone, for that matter, to say someone doesn’t deserve to be forgiven?

But what about the person who is unrepentant? Certainly, if someone is a sinner, who sins on purpose and enjoys doing so, they don’t deserve to be forgiven, right?

Well, here’s the kicker, Folks- it doesn’t matter, one way or the other, if someone deserves to be forgiven, or wants forgiveness, or even cares about forgiveness, because you shouldn’t be worried about their relationship with God, but with yours!

Forgiveness of sin is between the sinner and God- no one else. Regarding the other side of this, meaning you, being the one who has been sinned against, God is concerned with how you react to that sinner.

Which brings us back to Matthew 6:14.

We are required to forgive; the sinner is not required to ask for forgiveness. Even though God has made forgiveness of sin available to everyone through the Messiah Yeshua, the onus is not on the sinner, but the one who has been sinned against.

And the most important thing we need to have in order to forgive someone is…humility.

It is hard for us to forgive others because we, ourselves, are sinful, selfish, and self-centered animals. We don’t want to see that person who has hurt us get off- we want to see them suffer as we have- maybe even more than we have- and the only way we can get over that feeling is to be humble enough to care for that hurtful sinner more than we care for ourselves.

So now we have to leave Matthew and Ezekiel behind, and go to Leviticus; specifically, Leviticus 19:18 where you are told to love your neighbor as yourself.

Love should be selfless; as Shaul said it should be. You remember Shaul, right? That nice Pharisee tent-maker from Tarsus? He told the kehillah he formed in Corinth, in his first letter, that without love we are nothing. No matter how many gifts God has given us, without love we will never measure up.

And with love comes humility- the ability to put someone else’s needs and desires ahead of our own.

What? You think humility is just being meek or unpretentious?

Moses was said to be the most humble of men, yet he was certainly not weak. He stood up to Pharaoh, he stood up to the 250 men under the influence (or should I say, rebelliousness) of Korach, and he was emotionally strong enough to judge the people for 40 years.

Humility is not weakness, it is strength. Believe me, it takes a lot more strength- spiritual and emotional- to be humble than to be vengeful.

In order to forgive someone who has hurt you takes a deep, spiritual understanding of the relationship between you and God.

It doesn’t matter if the sinner wants forgiveness or cares about you, or God, or anything- that is between that person and God.

Between you and God, God wants you to forgive that person, which means you have to put your feelings behind you and think of that person’s eternal condition.

It is hard to forgive; to really forgive, like God forgives, like as far as the east is from west forgive, is almost impossible for most humans. I know, because I can’t do it any better than anyone else can. There are things from my past that I still feel the need for closure, and that (to me) means letting them know what they did, and getting my own two shekels in.

But that isn’t forgiveness, and despite what some psycho-babbler might say about releasing the anger to help heal, releasing that anger is nothing more than just “getting back” at them.

I can tell you, absolutely, from personal experience (both giving and receiving), that getting it “off your chest” isn’t releasing anything, or healing anything: it is actually just throwing fuel on the fire.

Humility allows you to let go of the hurt and the anger, and I have found the best way to do that is think about what that person will have to deal with when they face God.

And we all WILL face God, eventually.

What someone does to you during this lifetime will not matter to you at all in the eternal hereafter, but it will determine their fate, and if you think of the eternal suffering that person will have to endure, well, if you have any sense of love for anyone, you will have to feel bad for them.

Realize that someone who hurts others is in more pain than any pain they can dish out, and that has to create some sense of compassion for them; even though what they did hurts- maybe hurts a lot- they are ignorant of the eternal suffering what they do will cause them.

If you find it very hard to forgive someone, even when you want to, then here is a trick: pray for them. I have found that when I pray for someone who has hurt me, my anger fades away and my compassion for their soul grows.

It also helps me to not feel anger: I may still want some sense of closure, to have my side heard, but I have learned (through the love God has shown for us) to be humble enough to not be angry about it, anymore.

And that is, at least, a good start.

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

And remember this: I always welcome your comments.

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


Is Anyone Really Waiting for Us in Heaven?

Just about all religions have painted heaven as a wonderful place in the clouds, with winged angels and everyone you have every known and loved waiting, with open arms, to welcome you there when you die.

But is that really what awaits us?

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Yeshua tells us that there is no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:30), so even if our dead spouses are there, the relationship we had when alive doesn’t exist anymore.

At the end of the Book of Revelation, the most definitive Bible book about the Acharit haYamim (End Days), we are told there will be a new earth and a new heaven, and that all things will be created, anew.

So, if earth and heaven are to be created new, not to mention that in 2 Corinthians Shaul says that we are a new creation in Messiah, as well, then it seems likely that all the earthly relationships will also be created new.

The Tanakh (Old Covenant) also has references to heaven, in the Psalms and some of the prophets, such as Daniel and Isaiah, although those references do not specify anything about meeting loved ones, or being in the clouds, or every time a bell rings someone in heaven gets their wings (good for you, Clarence!)

No.

In fact, there is no reference anywhere in the entire bible that tells us we will be floating in the clouds, or have halo’s, or playing harps, or for that matter being angels.

The angels are not human beings that go to heaven, the angels are created spiritual beings who are God’s messengers. Actually, we are a little lower than the angels; at least, according to David (Psalm 8:6), so if we are lower than the angels, where did people get the idea that we become angels?

And if the Bible doesn’t support any of the rose-colored glasses view of heaven that almost every Western religion has created, then why have the leaders of those religions told us this is what happens when we die?

Time Out: all religions are man-made because God never had, doesn’t have, and never wanted to have a “religion”. When God writes the Torah on our hearts, as he promises in the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), then we will not be practicing a form of worship- we will be a living worship!)

My answer to why religious leaders have created the heaven we all hear about is the same reason they preach about all the wonderful things God will do for you: it is designed to get you to join their religion.

If you do as my religion says to do, and you love each other, and you are a good person, then you get to go to heaven, where all your loved ones are waiting for you with open arms and you will be happy, forever after.

Well, who wouldn’t want that?

Of course, if you actually read the Bible, you might recall Yeshua telling us about how many people get into heaven in Matthew 7:13-14, where he says the gate to destruction is wide and easy to enter, but the gate to salvation is narrow and the way is hard, and only a few will ever find it.

The truth, as uncomfortable as it may seem, is that when you get to heaven, assuming you make it, it is unlikely that many, if any, of the ones you have loved will be there.

Your religion has probably told you more lies about the afterlife than truth.

Wait a minute! How can that be? I trust my Rabbi/Pastor/Priest/Minister- they would never lie to me or mislead me!

True- they can be trusted to tell you what they have been taught, by those who were taught by those who were taught- all the same drek since Christ was Corporal (that’s a military saying for something that’s been around for a long time).

Very few religious leaders will tell you anything other than what they were taught when they were getting their certification.

The sad truth is that religion is a business, and to survive they need customers- people who buy their product, so the product has to be desirable.

Telling people that they have to give up worldly pleasure and follow the rules that God gave to us in the Torah, such as restricting our diet, taking one day a week to rest and not just go to shul or church in the morning, to treat others with kindness, and study God’s word is not very attractive to most people.

And, of course, to accept that Yeshua is the Messiah God sent is even harder to accept, especially for my Jewish brothers and sister because religions has corrupted who the Jewish Messiah is.

(Get my latest book, “The Good News About the Messiah For Jews- Debunking the Traditional Lies About the Jewish Messiah” to really understand why accepting Yeshua as the Messiah is so hard for Jews to do.)

Why do we have to accept Yeshua? Because every sin is a sin against God (Psalm 51) and must be repented, and in order to receive forgiveness we must present a sacrifice. That sacrifice can only be made where God places his name (Deuteronomy 12:11), which since the time of Solomon, has been the temple in Jerusalem. Well, ever since 174 CE there has been no temple to bring a sacrifice to, and the only way to be forgiven now is to accept Yeshua as your Messiah so that by means of his sacrifice you can receive forgiveness.

Look, here’s the bad news: because religions have so lied and misled people, causing them to reject God instead of embrace him, the hard truth is that most everyone you know and love will most likely NOT be waiting for you in the afterlife.

The good news is that because all things will be new, the way we now feel about people and things will be very different.

I believe it is more likely than not the way we feel now, as corporeal beings, will not exist anymore. We will be emotionally evolved beyond what we can feel now, overcoming the emotional limitations to love we are restricted to as fleshly beings.

So look forward to salvation, and work at it because it is NOT religion’s “come as you are” party: it is God’s “come as I say you must” party.

Most people you have ever known will not be invited, but if you are there, you will be so full of joy reveling in God’s presence, you won’t even miss them.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. Subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules), and remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Smell the Roses, But Don’t Get Stuck by the Thorns

Often I see someone posting something to the effect of enjoy the journey, take time to smell the roses, or whatever other saying that indicates we should not just go from A to B, but check out all that we pass along the way.

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And you know what? I don’t necessarily disagree.

However, when it comes to a spiritual journey, specifically one going from worldly desires to a godlier lifestyle, you might find that when you stop to smell the roses you end up getting pricked by its thorns.

Life in the world is one which we must travel. Shaul, that nice Jewish tent maker from Tarsus, once wrote to the people in his kehillah in Corinth, telling them that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize, so they should run in such a way that they may obtain it (1 Corinthians 9:24).

In other words, know where you are going and make sure that is the goal you seek. Do not be turned away by worldly desires and attractions.

The rose is a beautiful flower, with a lovely aroma, but grabbing it will result in pain if you aren’t very careful.

Seeking God takes discipline- not just to reject worldly and hedonistic temptations, but to study God’s word, to reject sin and seek righteousness, and to follow what God says and not what some human being tells you God says, which is what religions do.

Remember: God has no religion!

God gave instructions telling us how to worship him and how to treat each other: he gave them to the Israelites through Moses, and told Moses that the Jewish people are to be God’s own nation of priests (Exodus 19:5-6), meaning they must learn God’s instructions and then teach them to the world.

That’s what priests do- they teach the people how to live in accordance with the way God wants us to live.

Way before God gave us the Torah, he told Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing to the world (Genesis 22:18) and in Deuteronomy 28, God promises that when we do as he says, we will receive blessings.

Nu? Can you now see how it all fits together?

The descendants of Abraham (the Jewish people) are God’s priests who received the Torah to teach everyone how to worship and live so that God can bless them.

So smell the roses, since we can’t help but live in a world that has roses, but always remember that the roses are not the destination, and grabbing hold of them will result in pain.

When it comes down to it, the destination, which is eternal joy in God’s presence, is so much better than any old rose.

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

Next time you are on Facebook, join my discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules.)

And I always welcome your comments.

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

It’s Been 8 Years Already!

Eight years ago, on July 14, 2014 (to be precise) I posted my first message on this website, and began my on-line ministry.

It occurred to me the other day that I should share with you how this ministry has been doing over these 8 years.

Before I created this on-line ministry (with help, of course from a website provider), I had already written my first book, “Back to Basics: God’s Word vs. Religion” and was living in Melbourne, Florida working as a Systems Support person (i.e., Help Desk) for an IT services provider.

Back then, I would post a couple of times a month. After I retired and had more time, I began posting my messages every Tuesday and Thursday, and on Friday I posted a message for that Shabbat’s Torah reading.

As for my books, well…it’s a niche market, for sure. They have been available on Amazon Books and through my website for years, and yet I have barely sold more than 20 or so in all these years, and that is combining sales for all 4 books.

And that is a shame, because they are really quite good, which isn’t just my opinion but the feedback I have gotten from everyone who has read them.

Everyone, that is, but one Messianic Rabbi, whose sole comment after I gave him a copy of “Back to Basics” was “You’re no James Mitchener.”

So, here are the stats for this Messianic Ministry, as of this morning:

  • My website (messianicmoment.com) has a total of 78 subscribers.
  • My YouTube channel has an audience of 174 Subscribers (and there are 608 videos I have available for viewing)
  • My Facebook discussion group, “Just God’s Word“, has 87 members and my Facebook page for Messianic Moment has 160 “Likes”.

Overall, when you consider that these sites and videos are available throughout the world, the numbers seem small.

I should mention that I have subscribers all over the world, from Japan to India to Africa, as well as the UK and (of course) America.

On the other hand, the Messianic synagogue I attended in Northeast Philadelphia never had more than 100 or so people show up for services, and the Hebraic Roots Church I attended here in Melbourne, Florida never had much more than 45 or so people at services, so when you consider those numbers, I am not doing too badly.

But it isn’t really the numbers that matter as much as what is being produced, and that can’t be measured with statistics.

I do not know, and probably never will know, what effect I have had on anyone’s life, especially their eternal life. And that’s OK with me, so long as I always put out the truth, according to God and not what some religion says.

I am not a missionary, and this ministry will never be a “mega-church”. It is simply a learning ministry. As such, I will never tell anyone what they have to believe, only what I believe and why.

God gave us all Free Will to decide how we will live our lives. He certainly desires that we live it according to the way he told us to live it, which is not in the Gospels, or any of the Epistles, but exclusively in the Torah.

That is the ONLY place in the entire Bible where God dictates his rules for worshiping him, and his rules for how we are to treat each other.

The O-N-L-Y place!

So, I continue to do what I hope and pray to be a godly work, honoring both God and Yeshua, designed to free people from the constricting blinders that religion places on them, and to see clearly what God says he wants from us.

And that is why this ministry will never be very large- people don’t want to know what God wants from them, only what God will give to them. That is why large churches and synagogues always preach how wonderful God’s love is, how Jesus saves them from sin, and everything else that makes salvation seem like a “come as you are” party.

But as the song goes…”It ain’t necessarily so!”

Thank you for being here and, if you aren’t a subscriber, please do so. There is a SUBSCRIBE button in the right-hand margin on this website, and also go to my YouTube channel and subscribe there, as well.

On Facebook, “Like” my Messianic Moment page and join the group “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

Finally, buy my books and share them with everyone you care about.

Please help this ministry continue to grow and share the truth about who God is, who Yeshua is, and what God wants from each of us.

God promised that when we do as HE says, we will be blessed, so let’s receive and spread God’s blessings to everyone.

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

Why Did Yeshua Call Himself “Son of Man”?

From what I have researched, Yeshua called himself “Son of Man” some 78 times throughout the Gospels. It is supposedly a term reserved for the Messiah from the Book of Daniel, in that the son of man would inherit God’s everlasting kingdom.

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

But wasn’t Ezekiel also called “Son of Man”? Didn’t God, himself, call Ezekiel the son of man?

So, was Ezekiel the Messiah?

I don’t think so.

In Judaism, the term “son of Man” generally refers to mankind, to the mortal state of humanity as compared to the immortal and spiritual condition of the deity.

In some circles, it is believed that Yeshua used this term for himself to represent that he was the Messiah. However, most likely only those who were biblically knowledgeable would have known this usage, certainly not his Disciples, who were Am haAretz (literally, “people of the land”, i.e., commoners, generally considered to be uneducated).

It is also thought that he used this term to identify himself as human and suffering all human weaknesses (Isaiah 53 does say that the Messiah will be no stranger to illness and suffering).

But I think there might be one more reason for Yeshua referring to himself in this way.

What is the one, most obvious, blaring, and definitive difference between mankind and God?

It’s sin, isn’t it?

Throw out the spiritual vs. physical, throw out the created vs. eternal, and throw out the earthly vs. heavenly, and what do we have left?

People sin but God never does, never has, and never will.

We may be made in the image of God (whatever that really means), but it is sin that definitively separates us from God.

And guess what is the one thing which is the inheritance of all human beings?

It’s sin! Duh!

Original sin the one thing that we have to overcome, first and foremost, in order to be one with God.

And if you think Original Sin is a uniquely Christian thing, think again.

In Judaism, the Talmud tells us of the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) and the Yetzer Tov (good inclination), and of these two, guess which one we are born with?

That’s right- we are born with the Yetzer Hara, the evil inclination, which (of course) translates to being sinful from birth. Just like King David said in Psalm 51.

Let’s also recall that Shaul (in Romans 5:12) said that sin was introduced into the world through one man (Adam, of course), and that through the Messiah we would be able to overcome that.

Adam, representing mankind, introduced sin into the world (we’re letting Eve off the hook, for the moment), so what mankind inherits from Adam, the father of all people, is sin.

But Yeshua wasn’t born from Adam, so the title he gave to himself- Son of Man- doesn’t really make sense, does it?

Yet, I think it does for this reason- he came to take on all our sins, and as such, he then would become a son of man.

I believe Yeshua called himself the son of Man because he would inherit, not by lineage but by choice, the sins of mankind. He wasn’t a natural son of man, as we all are, but – in a way- an adopted son of man, in that he voluntarily took on our sins to allow himself to be our scapegoat.

So, even though Yeshua was not born a son of Adam, he accepted the position as a son of Adam.

And by doing that, by rejecting his spiritual birthright to accept a physical inheritance, he made it possible for all of us to be saved from our sins.

Thank you, Yeshua, for what you did for us, and thank you, God, for sending him.

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

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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