Did Yeshua Ever Give a Command?

How many times have you heard that a Believer should follow the commands of Yeshua (Jesus)?

My question is this: when did he ever command anyone to do anything?

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

The fact is that Yeshua NEVER commanded anyone to do anything that wasn’t already a commandment from his father, God.

If you search Google for commandments Yeshua made, it will tell you that he made two- to love the Lord and to love each other. Or, you will get a “hit” for when he told his disciples to love one another.

But those were already given by God in the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, respect.).

This is just one example of how Christianity has replaced God with Jesus, making him into an idol who is interfering in our relationship with God instead of interceding for us.

They don’t even refer to him as a messiah but as a savior- just one more way they implicitly identify him as God, which is done in order to separate Jesus from anything Jewish, which only serves to keep Jews from wanting to hear anything about him.

What am I talking about? Don’t Jews view the messiah as a savior?

Not really. We refer to the messiah (as you can see in the Gospel of Matthew more than any other gospel) as king more than as a savior. When you ask a Jew about who his savior is, he (or she) will most likely say God.

Throughout the Tanakh, God is referred to as our savior. Even when Mary prayed (Luke 1:46-49), she referred to God as her savior.

This will help you to understand why we view the messiah as our king and not as our savior: the traditional Jewish expectation of the messiah is that he will rebuild the temple and reinstitute the Levitical service, being both king and Cohen HaGadol (High Priest), and with the temple and Levitical service back in force we will thereby be able to receive forgiveness through the sacrificial system. I have written an entire teaching series about this, and if you want to study it, click here.

Christianity has done everything it can over the millennia to totally separate itself from its Jewish roots, and by referring to Jesus (never using his real name, Yeshua) as their savior instead of God, praying to saints, making graven images all over their churches, saying human beings can forgive sin, and the worst of all is the idea of the Trinity, which makes Jesus equal with God, the very idea of which is an anathema to Jews.

So, nu? No wonder Jews don’t want to hear anything about Jesus: to Jews, he is more of a Gentile idol than as the messiah God promised to send to us.

I am Jewish by blood on both sides for generations- I never converted to Christianity when I accepted Yeshua as my messiah- and to tell you the truth, I am more “Jewish” now than before. Because of this, I can easily see the anti-Jewish messages that Christianity has created in their tenets, dogma, ceremonies, and history (ever hear of the Inquisition? the Crusades?) which most Christians cannot.

And saying to follow the commands of Jesus is just one more example of Christianity trying to keep Jews away from their own messiah.

I usually keep my plugs for my books to the end of these messages, but I really want to tell you that the book I am most proud of is my recent one, and if you want to know more about how Christianity has proliferated lies about the Jewish messiah, click here to get this book.

So, let’s end today’s message with this: next time someone mentions the commands of Jesus, set them straight (nicely, of course) by saying that he never gave a command, he only repeated the ones that God gave in the Torah.

Therefore, if you really, really want to obey Jesus and follow in his footsteps, take a walk through the Torah.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. Subscribe, click for notifications, buy my books (I know I already said that, but it never hurts to say it again) and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please agree to the rules or I can’t let you join).

And I always welcome your comments.

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

Is the Old Covenant God Different From the New Covenant God?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Christians tell me that the God of the Jewish Bible is cruel, punitive, and unforgiving, whereas Jesus is all about love and forgiveness.

Of course, you won’t hear that from Jews because, well, Jews don’t read or even recognize the New Covenant as scripture.

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

If you ask me, saying that God was different before Messiah came is not only wrong on every count, but insulting to God. It can only come from someone who doesn’t know God, or messiah Yeshua (Jesus) at all, and is probably just repeating what they have heard from someone just as ignorant as they are.

Do you think the God we read about in the Old Covenant is cruel? Well, he did allow Job to suffer greatly for a long time, he enslaved his people for 400 years, and he completely destroyed both the Northern and Southern kingdoms, even allowing his house in Jerusalem to be wrecked- twice!

But isn’t this the same God who killed Hananiah and his wife, Shapira, simply for lying about how much they received from the sale of their property (Acts 5)? I mean, really?- loving and compassionate, forgiving and caring but still, if you lie to me you die! That sounds like the same God of the Old Covenant to me.

And what about Yeshua in the temple, when he turned over the money changing tables and wrecked the booths of the people selling animals? If he was truly forgiving, wouldn’t he have nicely asked them to leave the temple? Something like, “C’mon, Guys, you know this is not what God wants from you. Please take your business out of the temple area, OK? Thanks a lot, hey- love ya!”

But who was it that said, in Ezekiel 18:23, that he doesn’t get pleasure from anyone dying, and prefers that they turn from their sin, and live? It was the God of the Old Covenant.

And who regathered his people from exile and protected them as they rebuilt the temple? It was the God of the Old Covenant.

And who gave them a miraculous victory over the Seleucid king who tried to destroy them completely? It was the God of the Old Covenant.

Wow! Ya know sumthun? He ain’t so nasty, after all.

There was a big difference between what God had to do in the Old Covenant and what he was able to do in the New Covenant. Actually, in the New Covenant, God didn’t do much himself, but did things through Yeshua.

You need to understand that God doesn’t work on a finite level, which is the only level we humans can understand. God sees everything on an eternal basis, so when he speaks of life and death, he doesn’t mean breathing or not breathing, he means where you spend eternity.

When God first chose Abraham to be the father of his chosen people, a people chosen to bring God’s salvation to the world, he had to first build up this man into a nation. That is why he told Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years (Genesis 15:13). Now, to those who don’t know how God works, it seems silly that he will make them a nation while they are enslaved. But it isn’t because he was cruel, it’s because he was smart.

The world back then was cruel and dangerous- a king of a town would destroy other towns, left and right, in order to become larger. If a small group of people, such as the 72 or 73 members of Abraham’s family, were to ever grow into a large number of people, they would have to be protected. So, God positioned them inside the strongest nation that existed at that time so they would be protected and given that chance to grow into a nation.

Yeah, OK, so they were enslaved and tortured and lived a horrible life, but that was also part of the plan, which was so God would be able to show them how powerful he was once the people were ready to fulfill God’s plan for them.

And once they were freed, God then had to be very strict with them to get them to leave their comfort zone of paganistic rituals and lifestyle, and take on the mantle of righteousness that they would receive from obedience to the Torah. If you read carefully, and think about it, every punishment that God exacted on the people when they were disobedient may seem cruel, but he was training the Jews to be his nation of priests (Exodus 19:6). When we read of a punishment, we also see that right after the punishment God followed it up with a way to avoid the punishment.

In Numbers 15, when the man was stoned for collecting sticks on the Shabbat, God ordered us to wear tzit-tzit as a reminder not to disobey.

In Numbers 21, when God sent snakes to punish the people, he also had Moses make a bronze serpent so the people could avoid dying.

When Abihu and Nadab were killed for offering strange fire while drunk (Leviticus 10), God ordered that no priest should drink liquor before approaching the sanctuary.

I was in management most of my career, and one of the things I noticed about good managers was that when they first took over, they were very strict. They wouldn’t “loosen the belt” until the people responsible to do the job proved trustworthy to do the work correctly.

This is what we are told in Proverbs 22:6, which says

Train a child in the way he should go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it.”

That has to be coupled with Proverbs 23:13-14, which says:

Don’t withhold discipline from a child — if you beat him with a stick, he won’t die!  If you beat him with a stick, you will save him from Sheol.

We had a lot of hard lessons to learn when God was teaching us how to be his priests to the world, and God had to be hard on us, since we are (as God has often told us) a stiff-necked and rebellious people.

By the time he sent the Messiah, these lessons were all well-known (but still ignored), and at that point God knew punishment was not going to change anything. At that time, as it is today, the punishment of those who are sinful is not so much now while they are living on the earth, but reserved for them in the afterlife.

God never changes, he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so the God of the Old Covenant is the same, exact God of the New Covenant.

What is different is which part of his plan for humanity he is exercising. He did the training, he did the punishment for disobedience, and the ways to remember not to be disobedient. He’s been true to his word with blessings when we obey, and he’s been true to his word with terrible punishment when we disobey.

We are now at the stage in God’s plan where all that we need to know- his Torah, who his Messiah is, and how we can save ourselves from eternal separation from God’s presence- has been given to us. What is left is God’s loving, compassionate, and patient nature causing him to wait until everyone he wants to have this chance to be saved has been given more than enough time to decide to obey or reject him.

If your religion has told you all that “Jewish” stuff in the Old Covenant isn’t for followers of Jesus, you might want to think about this: Jesus followed all that “Jewish” stuff, which is why he was an acceptable sacrifice.

God never changes, but his method for getting his message across does- from using harsh punishment to initially teach his people what he wants them to do, to sending prophets to get them back on track, to exile, to forgiveness and regathering his people from exile, to sending the Messiah, now our only way to receive forgiveness.

What comes next will be worldwide destruction and the creation of a new world for those who listened and obeyed. I don’t know when this will happen. Hey, even the son of God said he wasn’t privy to the date, so my suggestion is that you ignore your religion and start to pay attention to God, because it is what he said in the Torah that will be the plumb line you will be compared to.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know to help this ministry continue to grow. Subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (but please check that you agree to the rules or I cannot allow you to join).

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Tree or Cross?

I have seen many postings, especially at this time of the year, about how the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol and should not be erected. I have read how they misuse Isaiah 44:12-28 and also Jeremiah 10:3-4 to make the tree appear paganistic.

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

Now, I have no problem, myself, with a Christmas tree because I do not bow down to it or pray to it. It is used as decoration and does not fall under the category of a graven image. Neither do I worship it.

And, for the record, the passages I referred to talk about making the tree into a god or goddess, bowing to it, praying to it, and treating it as an object of worship. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen or heard of anybody who has a Christmas tree doing any of that.

But there are many Christians who have a cross on their wall over every bed in their house, and nailed onto that cross is a graven image of Jesus. They also have statues of saints in their gardens or pictures of Jesus hanging on the walls of their house. They go to church and bow down and pray to a statue of Mary or Joseph.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

You shall not make for yourself any graven image, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

If it sounds familiar, it is the 2nd Commandment God gave to the world. He was serious when he said not to make an image of any kind, which includes paintings and statues, of anything, of anyone, anywhere, anytime, ever.

Period.

The truth is that the Christmas tree has ornaments that remind us of our past more than anything else- I mean, really! Who doesn’t have ornaments from their childhood? Who doesn’t recall all the past times they have spent with family or experiences that an ornament represents?

I am Jewish and have never had a tree until I married Donna, and during my lifetime I have been in many Christian homes and seen many, many Christmas trees, but never, ever have I seen or even heard of anyone thinking that the tree is a god or a goddess, bowed down to it, or made drink and grain offerings to it.

BUT, I have been in many Christian homes with crosses, images of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, or a statue of a saint in their garden.

If you ask me, I would much prefer that they get rid of their blatant violations of the 2nd Commandment and keep the Christmas tree.

And for those of you who are against the tree, well, that’s fine with me- I have no problem with that. But, if you have crosses with Jesus nailed to them, images or pictures of Jesus hanging around, statues in your garden, etc., then you are a hypocrite!

Think about that for a while, and especially before you chide anyone for having a Christmas tree.

Thank you for being here, and share these messages with everyone you know. Even if you disagree, they may not, so give them a chance.

Join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please agree to the rules so I can let you join), subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, and buy my books.

And I always welcome your comments- c’mon, let’s drash it out!

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

In One Gate And Out the Other

In Ezekiel 46 we are told about the third temple. One of the interesting things about the temple is that when someone enters the North Gate they are to go out the South Gate, and if they come in the South Gate they must exit via the North Gate.

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

Now, as for the prince who enters the East Gate, which no one else may use and is closed except on Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon celebration, literally “Head of the Month”), he is to go out that same gate.

The prince, we assume, is the Messiah, so I was wondering why this command? What is it about the Messiah that he gets to use the same gate, or what is it about the people that they have to use a different gate? And not just a different gate, but the one opposite the one they came in through.

Well, I don’t have an absolute answer. It has been said that this is to establish an orderly flow of people, with the Messiah watching from his gate; basically, a means of traffic control.

I think the reason may be more of a spiritual nature, and I have seen this idea in other opinions and commentaries, as well, so please don’t think I am spouting some unique, divinely-inspired revelation.

I believe the order to come in one door and leave through another is to represent that as we come to know God and worship him, we will not be the same. The person who came in the temple will be a little bit different when that person leaves the temple, having been introduced and effected (hopefully) by their worship of God and exposure to his word.

It is a pity, really, that so many people come in and go out the same gate.

They come to attend the Sabbath services, and whether it be the Saturday or Sunday Shabbat, when they leave they go home and just keep doing what they had been doing before they left their house. Maybe they learned something new, maybe they had an enjoyable time in fellowship, or maybe they just did what they were supposed to do and now feel relieved that they don’t have to do it for another week.

I used to feel better that I attended Shabbat services when I was a kid, but I also went in and out the same gate. I felt that I had done my duty, but I had no real joy or love for worship, it was something I did because I knew I was supposed to do it.

I believe that is how many people- way too many people- feel about going to church or synagogue; they do it because they get a sense of relief that they did what they were supposed to do.

It isn’t much different than how the prophets told the people God rejects their sacrifices and offerings because their heart isn’t really in it.

I have to say that I am confident, although I can’t speak for the Big Guy, that any prayer or offering to God that is not done with a heartfelt desire to do so will not please God.

In other words, going through the motions won’t get you anywhere.

So, next time you go to worship at whichever house of worship you choose to use, you may not have the opportunity to use two separate doors (you would think a really good house of worship would know this commandment and provide two ways to get in and out, right?), but you can spiritually come in one door and go out another.

Listen, remember, but do not accept anything you are told as truth until you go home and verify it for yourself in the Bible. I am not saying that your rabbi or priest or minister (whatever) is purposefully misleading you, but they are probably just telling you what they have been told.

Let God tell you what he wants you to see in his word, and the best way that will happen is for you to sit and read the Bible, praying for divine guidance and understanding given through the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit).

Of course, this really only works if you have already accepted Yeshua as your Messiah and asked for the Holy Spirit to indwell. God may still show you something to get you on the right track, so even if you haven’t asked for the Holy Spirit, don’t let that stop you. It didn’t stop me and now, 25 years later, I am so thankful that I had enough seykhl (Yiddish for common sense) to pray and act like I believed until something happened. And that something did happen months later when I fully accepted Yeshua as my Messiah, and that is when I felt the Ruach HaKodesh enter my body.

But, that’s another story, and if you want to hear it go to the bottom of the “About Steven” tab on my website.

Oh, yeah- hey! What about the Messiah using the same gate? Why is that?

Well, if you ask me (which someone just did) my answer is that he is already as worshipful and knowledgeable about God as anyone can ever be, and as holy as anyone can ever be, so he doesn’t need to use a different gate.

That’s it for now, so thank you for being here and please subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, share these messages to help this ministry grow (invite all your friends to join), and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please click that you agree to the rules).

Don’t forget-I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Just Who is the Messiah?

Is Yeshua the Messiah? Is Jesus the Messiah? Is either one of them God?

Or are we still looking for the Messiah, the one God promised to send throughout the Tanakh?

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The answer will change, depending on how you were raised, or which religion you listen to, or what you choose to believe despite how you were raised or which religion you listen to.

Me? I was raised as a Reform Jew, and like almost every Jew being raised by Jews (although, to be honest, my parents were not very “religious”, at all), I was taught that Jesus (growing up Jewish, I never heard the name “Yeshua” used, ever) was born a Jew but created a new religion called Christianity which hates Jews, so he was a traitor to his religion and his people. And he was definitely NOT the Messiah- we are still waiting.

Thank God that even though it took 40 years, I was introduced to Christians who did not ignore my Jewish beliefs, and showed me who Yeshua was, and is- the Jewish Messiah sent to the Jewish people, through whom all people can be saved.

Since then, I have learned that the early Jewish Believers did as always, but as more and more Gentiles were recruited, so to speak, by Shaul (Paul) and other missionaries, the Jewishness of the movement, as well as that of Yeshua, himself, was swiftly removed. By the 2nd century CE, instead of these believers following the Jewish way of life, as Yeshua did, they had a new guy, somebody named Jesus Christ, who was their Savior. The religion named after him, Christianity, is based almost totally on the letters that Shaul wrote, a Pharisee who accepted Yeshua as the Messiah God promised, but who has been completely rebranded as someone who converted to Christianity when he had a vision of Jesus.

Since that time, his letters have been misused, misinterpreted, and mutated into polemics against people following the lifestyle and form of worship that Yeshua did all his life, and they have become the foundation for most of the tenets of modern Christianity.

So, who is Yeshua? He is the Jewish Messiah.

Who is Jesus Christ? He is the blond-haired, blue-eyed Christian savior who has sent his people to convert everyone they meet to Christianity. And as for Jews, the ones who killed Jesus, well- if they won’t renounce their religion and accept Jesus, then they should be killed.

Of course, you can torture them for a while; you know, just to give them a chance to change their mind.

How can I say such a terrible thing? I say it based on history- the Crusades, the Inquisition, Martin Luther, even the Nazi’s, whose belt buckles said “Gott mit uns”, which means “God is with us”.

Now, let’s talk about whether or not either Yeshua or Jesus is God.

Actually, let’s not- it doesn’t really matter as far as salvation through the Messiah is concerned, so choose what you want to believe. However, let me mention this: if you choose to believe that either Yeshua or Jesus is also God, himself, and you also believe (as most Christian religions teach) that Jesus did away with the Torah, then you will need to decide on one or the other of the following:

  • If Jesus is God and he did away with the Torah, that means he changes his mind about how to worship him, so he could also change his mind about how to be saved, and if so, then how can you trust his promise of salvation?
  • If Jesus is God and, as we have been told, he never changes his mind or goes back on his word, then if you have been ignoring the commandments regarding lifestyle and worship (which includes holidays) he gave in the Torah, you have not been following God, but men, and you have been sinning.

Not very pleasant alternatives, are they?

What to do? If I may suggest, you can re-evaluate your belief system by comparing it to what God says in the Torah, read the rest of the Tanakh, AND the entire New Covenant. And when you read the letters from Paul, do so fresh- as if you do not know what they mean. Compare them to what Paul learned about the Torah as a Pharisee, how he lived his life (sorry, but he never converted to anything- he was a Jewish Pharisee his entire life), and why he wrote those letters.

If you do that, I believe you might come to see that he was not writing the words he heard from God, but giving managerial directives to the congregations (there were no “churches” during Paul’s lifetime) he formed who were having either interpersonal issues or problems with maintaining faithfulness.

Let’s finish up with my answers to my own questions:

Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah God promised to send (please-don’t be childishly prideful about the correct pronunciation of his name- we are saved by faith in who he is, not by how we pronounce his name).

Jesus, as portrayed by Christianity, is not the one God sent. In fact, the name “Jesus Christ” a Latin translation of a Greek transliteration of the name “Yeshua” with the title “haMaschiach”.

(If you want the whole story about how that came to be, you can find it in the Introduction to “The Complete Jewish Bible”.)

The Messiah may be God, he may not be God- for me, it doesn’t matter: he didn’t come to the world in order to replace God but to be God’s messenger, and to sacrifice his life so that many can be saved. That is what we know from the Bible, and anything else is conjecture. Period.

One last answer- are we still looking for the Messiah, the one God promised to send? Well, yes…and no.

My Jewish brethren, for the most part, are still waiting because they reject Jesus as the Messiah and have never even learned about Yeshua. They don’t know the Messiah God sent, and they really don’t know why to reject Yeshua- they do so because they have been told to do so.

Christians, who believe Jesus is their Savior, aren’t waiting, but they believe only because they have been told to believe. In truth, they do not know the real Messiah God sent, either.

So, what should you do? I never tell anyone what to believe or what to do, but if I may make a suggestion? Read the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, and look for what is said in the New Covenant that matches what is said in the Old Covenant, because God really doesn’t change: he doesn’t go back on his word and he has never said his Torah is invalid, and- just for the record- neither did the guy we read about in the Gospels. And when you read the Epistles, as I said earlier, try to do so without already knowing what they mean.

If you can do that, honestly and with a truly open mind, using Circles of Context and Hermeneutics (if you aren’t familiar with those terms, you can learn about them here: Interpreting the Bible), I believe you will be surprised at how you have been spiritually misled by those who you have trusted.

They didn’t do it on purpose, though, so don’t be mad at them- they were just teaching what they were taught.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages, buy my books, especially my newest book (click here for a trailer), subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you read and click that you agree to the rules).

And remember- I always welcome your comments.

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

Oh- and an early Hanukkah Sameach, too!

Does God Know the Future or Create It?

This might be one of the shortest messages I have ever done, and it isn’t so much as a revelation, as a “Duh!” statement.

If you prefer to watch a video, short as it may be, I will make one for you, so click on this link: Watch the (short) video.

So, how often do we read or hear that God knows what will happen in the future? After all, aren’t there (at least) 12 prophets in the Bible who tell us all that will happen, not just in the immediate future, but in the distant future, as well?

And hasn’t every, single thing that God has told the prophets to warn the people about come to be?

So, is this because the future is something that God can see, so he tells us what will happen?

Or, is it simply because God is both eternal and omnipotent, so whatever he says will happen does happen because he makes it happen?

If you ask me, it’s because he makes the future happen the way he wants it to happen

(Everyone together go: “Duh!“)

God doesn’t have to see the future: God has a plan and he makes whatever he wants to happen happen because, well, because he can.

However, I believe there is a level of flexibility: when he chooses someone to do something, because he gave us all Free Will, we can refuse to do as God has asked of us.

Think of Yonah, who first tried to escape God’s calling for him to go to Nineveh. Now, in this case, God was pretty adamant that it be Yonah, but how many others has God called that have not heeded his calling? We will never know because they never made it into the Bible, and we won’t hear about them on CNN or Fox news, either.

God will allow us to make our own way in the world, and he can do whatever he wants to do, in order to get us to go the way he wants us to go. But, still and all, I do not believe God will actually force us to do his will-we have to accept it.

If Yonah had not been responsible enough to tell the men to throw him overboard, maybe God would have let them all live, or had them all shipwrecked…who knows? I believe that if Yonah had continued to refuse to obey God, then God would have just sent someone else. God’s plan, which is the future to us, will always be accomplished, and that is simply because God makes the future happen the way he wants it to.

So, if someone asks me can God see the future, I will say “No. He doesn’t see the future, he makes it, which is why he knows what will happen.”

It’s that simple.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages, subscribe to both my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook page called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you agree to the rules).

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

Maybe Learning Visually is the Problem

Would you believe me if I told you that when I was working as a salesman, one of the most important training lessons I ever had was about how people learn?

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

It’s true! People learn in one of three ways: through seeing (visual), through hearing (aural), and through touching (tactile). The percentage of people who learn these ways is as follows:

Visual learners – 65%
Aural earners- 30%
Tactile learners- 5%

I was (if I do say so myself) a very good salesman, closing in one call 35-40% of the time, and one of the reasons for that success was that I would discover by talking with the people which way they learned, and then take that approach with them when going through my “pitch”.

For example, since most people learn visually, I used what we call the “Talking Pad”. This simply means that whatever I said I also wrote down on a writing tablet for them to see. I became so good at writing upside-down, my penmanship was actually better that way!

If I found that they were better at listening, I would talk a little slower, and if they seemed to be that rare type who learned best by touching, I would use samples a lot and allow them to hold the material.

I also used terminology that fit their learning system: for visual, I would use terms such as “Can you see what I mean”; for aural, “Can you hear what I am saying”; and for tactile “Doesn’t this have a good feel to you?”

Yes, sales is all about psychology: one saying in sales is that you don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.

So, nu? What does this have to do with God, or religion or spiritual things?

Everything!

Everything you know about God and messiah and the Bible has to be told to people, and whether they believe you or not, it is something you need to present to them in a way that they can understand you. Missionary work is sales- like it or not, that is what it is.

Shaul, that nice tent-making Pharisee from Tarsus, was an excellent salesman. He gave his customers what they wanted to hear, in a way they could accept it.

And what is really incongruent about missionary work is that we are selling something that everyone wants (eternal peace and joy), and we tell them it is absolutely free, yet so few are interested in getting it.

The problem with most people being visual learners is that it is so easy to paint a picture that they love, and they won’t go beyond learning what they see.

Pictures of people in heaven, pictures all over social media of Yeshua holding his arms open to you when you die, angels with wings protecting children, and so many other goody-goody, rose-colored glasses sort of pictorials of heaven and eternity.

YUCK! It is all wrong- we don’t go to heaven, our loved ones do not come to meet us when we die, and Yeshua is not standing at the pearly gates waiting to welcome you with open arms.

But 65% of the people seeing these pictures accept them as they are, and they do not go any further than that.

What we need to do to help people come to know God and accept Yeshua is to be able to teach using the way people learn, which means, first and foremost, asking questions. Too many people sell the steak, in other words, they talk on and on about what they know and how important this is for you to believe, otherwise you go to hell.

Sorry, but that won’t help anyone. All it will do is get those who are weak and easily scared to agree with you. But those types will accept what you say, then as soon as you leave, they will accept what the next fear-monger sells them.

The thing for believers who want to help people know God and messiah to do is to learn how the person you are talking to learns, and then approach them that way. It is always good to have some tracts with you, since most of the people will learn by reading, and also a prepared “spiel” that gives them the very basics for those who learn by listening.

When approaching those who learn by touch, well, that is a hard thing to overcome when talking about a spirit, so use terms that appeal to tactile things, like how it feels when you are touched by God, how being saved is like being hugged, and how knowing God is like having a warm blanket around you on a cold night.

We must overcome the pretty pictures all over the world in order for people to know the truth about God, messiah Yeshua, and salvation.

In fact, that is why I write a message then make a video, so that between the reading , watching, and hearing, I hit 95% of the people where they learn.

Maybe that’s why God said not to make any images of anything in the sky, on the earth, or in the water: he knew how easy it is for people to be taught lies and to twist his truth with pretty pictures that mislead people.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages to help this ministry grow. Subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (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!

Sometimes We Could Use Some Spiritual Remodeling

My house was built in 1989, and Donna and I have been here for almost 10 years. The master bathroom has a walk-in shower, and we recently noted that the back wall is a little bit wobbly.

Oy! That’s not good.

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

Consequently, we are getting an entirely new shower. The Demo Team was in here yesterday, and when they took off the tiles and wall we found not just a little water damage, but a lot of water damage, as well as some mold (not the bad kind).

So, nu? What does this have to do with God, the Messiah, or anything spiritual?

I’m glad you asked.

I have had some experience with home remodeling, from both the sales and construction end, and have found that when people remodel their homes they often find things they never knew were there because they were hidden behind something we believed was correct.

On a spiritual level, when we test our beliefs against the Bible, often people find that what they thought was a belief system built upon a strong biblical foundation isn’t always as well-founded as they thought.

I have many congregants in this ministry who were brought up with traditional Christian teachings who, at some point in their life, decided to test those beliefs because they were exposed to a different way of looking at them.

After verifying what they had been told their whole life against the Bible, they tore down the wall, exposed the foundation, and found that they needed some serious remodeling done.

I often say that it is necessary to read the Bible, especially the Epistles in the New Covenant, with a open mind; what I mean by that is to read those passages as if you never read or heard them before.

When you read the Bible without already knowing what it is about, you will be surprised how much mold and water damage you may find hidden behind your current understanding.

You see, when we are brought up being taught this letter means this, and that verse means that, we become conditioned, and eventually we think what we have been taught is the truth. We believe it, not because we came to that conclusion on our own, but because we have been TOLD to believe it by people we trust!

What I am talking about is religion.

God has no religion; God has rules for how to worship him and treat each other. Men created religion so that they can have power over other men.

So, I challenge you all to remodel your belief system: test it out against the Bible by reading the Bible. Find your favorite verses in the Bible and read everything that comes before them, and after them, to see if what you have been told they mean works when taken (correctly) in context with the entire thought, and the entire chapter, and the entire book.

If you are interested, I have written an entire teaching series on how to properly interpret the Bible, so click here and you can go through it.

There are a couple of books about Jewish people coming to accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah, which goes against everything that Jews (such as I) are brought up believing. In these books, the one who didn’t want to believe was challenged to use the Bible to prove that Yeshua was NOT the Messiah.

Guess what happened?

That’s right! When using the Bible to show Yeshua was not the Messiah, that person actually got to know what the Bible said and came to the conclusion that Yeshua is the Messiah.

So, here’s what I want you to do: IF you have been taught that the Mosaic law is just for Jews, or that Jesus did away with the law, or that as a Christian all you have to do is be a good person (I’ll give you a hint for this- check out Mark 10:18) and love each other and you get to go to heaven, or that you get to go to heaven, at all, or anything that indicates the Torah is not valid for you as a Christian…then I challenge you to prove any of that to be true by finding where that is said in the Bible.

But, you have to use the entire Bible- from Genesis through Revelation- or you are cheating.

This ministry is never, ever going to tell you what you have to believe, but only what I believe and why; it is your responsibility to choose what you will believe.

My responsibility is to make sure that you have what you need to make an informed decision about where you will spend eternity, because that is the bottom line, my friend.

Let me end with why this is so very, very important a challenge for you to take: if what you know is God’s truth, then it will stand up to any test, but if not, you had better make sure that what you think you know is what God says it is.

I can’t speak for the Big Guy in the Sky, but I believe that when you come before God, which we all will have to do, and tell him that you did what you did because that is what they told you to do, he might say something like this:

I understand, my child, you did what they told you to do, but it’s what I say that counts.

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

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

When the Covenants End

There have been many times I have heard people tell me that because of Yeshua, the covenants God made with Israel do not apply to those who believe in Yeshua and follow him. Some even go as far as to say that Yeshua did away with the “law”.

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

I have also heard many Christians tell me they were told that the only requirements for a believer in Christ to follow are the 4 commands from the Elders that they sent in a letter to the churches throughout the Middle East (Acts 15:23-30).

Before we go any further, let’s get something straight right off the bat: there were no churches in the First Century. There were congregations, called Kihilot, composed of believing Jews and gentiles, and many of those congregations were mostly, if not completely, made up only of gentiles who had been practicing pagan religions but were being taught how to convert to the proper worship of Adonai, the God of the Jews.

God made a total of 5 covenants, and the newer covenant included and built upon the prior one. These covenants are known as:

  1. The Noahdic Covenant
  2. The Abrahamic Covenant
  3. The Mosaic Covenant (this is generally referred to as the Torah, or the Mosaic Law)
  4. The Davidic Covenant
  5. The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31)

Each covenant was made between God and mankind.

You may be thinking that these covenants, because they are all in the Tanakh (the “Jewish Bible”) are only between God and the Jews because God made these with the Jewish people.

BUT…God decreed the Jewish people were to be his nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), and as priests they would not be administering to themselves, but to the goyim (nations), i.e. the world.

The Jews are God’s chosen people- chosen to be his priests to the world to teach everyone how to attain eternal life through obedience to God’s instructions. When the world, starting with us Jews, continually failed to do as God said, he sent the Messiah- again, through the Jews to the world- so that when they did t’shuvah (repentance), through Messiah Yeshua’s sacrifice they could find forgiveness.

So, let’s forget about Christian teachings that the covenants are at an end, and see what God says about that.

In Jeremiah 33:17-22, God tells us exactly when his covenant with the Jewish people (which, as I have already shown, is his covenant with the world) will end (CJB):

For this is what Adonai says: “There will never be cut off from David a man to occupy the throne of the house of Isra’el. Nor will there ever be cut off from the cohanim who are L’vi’im a man before me to offer burnt offerings, burn grain offerings and offer sacrifices every day.” This word of Adonai came to Yirmeyahu:  “Here is what Adonai says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that daytime and nighttime no longer come when they are supposed to, then my covenant with my servant David also can be broken, so that he will not have a descendant to reign from his throne or L’vi’im who are cohanim to minister to me. To the degree that the armies of heaven are past counting and the sand by the sea past measuring,
I will increase the descendants of my servant David and the L’vi’im ministering to me.’”

And Yeshua tells us, in Matthew 5:18 the following about the laws he followed and taught:

 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened.

And there is one more place, in Revelation 21:5, where we are told exactly when the covenants end.

In the vision of the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) that was given to John while exiled on the island of Patmos, God reveals that after he has destroyed nearly the entire earth, the Enemy has been conquered and all those sentenced to suffer the second death have been sent there, this is what will happen:

 Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” ”

So, you can choose to believe what religion tells you about God and his promises, the covenants, etc. being done away with, although, God tells us when that will happen and, for the record, it hasn’t happened yet.

You can accept that Christianity is telling you to worship Jesus instead of God and pray to graven images of human beings that are dead, and that’s all OK to do because it isn’t idolatry, despite what God says in the 2nd Commandment and in the Torah that Necromancy (talking with the dead) is a sin.

You can buy into Replacement Theology, which says God has rejected the Jews, and is calling God a liar because in the Bible, many, many times God says he will never reject the Jewish people.

Yeah, he has punished us, and he has destroyed many, but he always promises to leave a remnant and to return us to the land, where we will live in peace, forever.

If you want to, you can ignore every law and commandment God ever gave and think if you are just a good person, believe in Jesus, and love others you will go to heaven. But, consider this: In Mark 10:18, Yeshua said no one is good except God, every demon in hell believes in Jesus, and every demon in hell loves each other, so do you think they go to heaven? Besides that, the Bible never says any of us go to heaven.

Think about what your religion has told you, and compare it to what God says in the Bible, then choose who to believe.

As for me and my house, we choose to follow the Lord.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to this ministry on both my website and YouTube channel, buy my books and share them with others, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please be sure to read the rules and click on the “I Agree” button).

And remember- I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for this week, so Happy Thanksgiving to you all, l’hitraot and Baruch Ha Shem!

The “Old” Heroes are Fallible but the “New” Heroes are Perfect.

What am I talking about when I say the “old” and the “new”?

I am talking about the Old Covenant, that “Jewish” Bible, and the New Covenant, the “Christian” Bible.

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

For those of you who know me and are members of this ministry (thank you for subscribing and sharing), you know that I consider both of these to be one book, one Bible talking about one God who sent one Messiah. From Genesis through Revelation, it is all the same.

Except it isn’t, really, when we consider how the heroes in these different sections of the Bible are treated.

One thing I have seen repeated often in my studies (over the past 25 or more years) is that scholars state one way we can be certain of the truth of the Tanakh is that its heroes are not perfect.

What they mean is that if we really wanted to “sell” people on how wonderful it is when you worship God, then everyone would be like Superman- always truthful, always dependable, fighting for truth, justice, and God’s way.

But let’s look closer:

  • Adam and Eve both disobeyed God
  • Cain killed his brother
  • Noah got drunk and exposed himself
  • Abraham pimped his wife- twice! (Genesis 12 and 20)
  • Isaac pimped his wife once (Genesis 26)
  • Jacob took advantage of his brother to get his birthright
  • Jacob lied to his father, and it was his mother’s idea
  • The patriarchs of 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel tried to kill their brother
  • Moses tried to weasel out of accepting God’s calling
  • Jonah tried to avoid saving Nineveh
  • Esther didn’t want to approach the king for fear of her life (it wasn’t until Mordecai told her she wouldn’t escape the slaughter that she finally said she would approach the king)
  • David murdered his friend in order to steal his wife

And that’s just off the top of my head!

But, when we look in the New Covenant, we read that the Apostles are oh-so-perfect!

Well, OK, Judas Ischariot was the bad guy, but that’s it.

The other Apostles are treated like saints (pun intended). No one ever does anything wrong, no one ever makes a mistake, they are perfect in every way.

And when it comes to Shaul, gee…he starts off as a bad guy, then he does t’shuvah (turning from sin) and saves thousands of people by converting nearly all of the Middle East. What a man!

We know that each and every book in the Bible has been written by men and translated into hundreds of languages by men. If you ask me, of all the books in the Bible, the Torah (the first 5 books) is the most dependable of all as far as being close to what God actually said. In fact, this is the only place throughout the entire Bible where we are told that God told someone to tell the people what they must do.

But you might say “Wait a minute! He also did that with the Prophets.” And I would agree he did talk directly to the prophets, but he only told them to tell the people to return to doing what he already told us to do in the Torah. There were no new commandments or laws ever given to a Prophet.

My point in all this is to say that if the scholars are right (and I agree with them) in saying that one proof of the validity of the stories we read in the Bible is that the people we read about have human frailties and human desires, then there has to be some question as to the divine influence of the New Covenant writings. The only “bad” people in there are the ones who were against Yeshua or his disciples and followers. But everyone who believed in Yeshua was good, never sinning or making mistakes or even saying anything wrong.

Yeah, OK, except Judas- we already covered that.

I see the same thing in so many Christian churches, preaching about all God will do for you, and never talking about what you have to do for God. It’s a sugar-coated salvation, making it seem that heaven is a “Come-As-You-Are” party for anyone who believes in Jesus, is a “good” person (remember that Yeshua said the only one who is good is God-Mark 10:8), and who loves others as themselves.

Sorry, but that isn’t how it works.

Yes, salvation is free; and yes, salvation can’t be taken away from you (but you can throw it away); and yes, God loves you and is not just willing, but desires to forgive you (Ezekiel 18:23).

BUT– and this is a truth that you rarely hear from any church- salvation is hard to keep.

So, what am I saying about the New Covenant? I am saying that because there are no imperfect heroes that I believe it is not all divinely influenced.

I do accept that the New Covenant is a trustworthy narrative of the life of Yeshua, and that the letters written by the Apostles and the Book of Acts is also trustworthy as a historical record, and I believe the New Covenant (at least, parts of it) should be included in the Bible.

But it isn’t God’s direct word, dictated to a prophet or intermediary, changing anything he already said in the Tanakh. In fact, the only place we are told God speaks in the New Covenant is Matthew 17:5, the transformation on the mountain where all God said was “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”.

There are no new commandments, and the ones we already have are still valid for everyone who accepts Yeshua as their Messiah and, as such, becomes grafted onto the Tree of Life and an adopted child of Abraham.

My opinion is that the majority of the New Covenant, because it was put together between 200 AD and sometime in the 5th Century, long after the gentile leadership had separated themselves from the Jewish forms of worship that Yeshua, his disciples, and the original Jewish and gentile believers in the First Century practiced, should be considered as one of the “writings” (Ketuvim in Hebrew), such as Esther, Psalms, Proverbs, Kings, Chronicles, and the other books of the Tanakh that are not directly the result of what God told someone to say.

I am probably pushing a lot of defensive buttons with this message, and I pray that it shocks some of you into thinking that maybe, just maybe, you should read the New Covenant (especially the Epistles) anew, with an open mind, not already knowing what they mean, to see if you might agree (at least, a little) with what I am saying.

I am not saying the New Covenant is untrustworthy or that is shouldn’t be part of the Bible, only that it should be read and understood for what it is- the writings of men relating the early history of the Messiah and the accomplishments of his Disciples.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to this ministry on both my website and YouTube channel and join my discussion group on Facebook called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you read and click that you accept the rules).

If you want to know more about how Christianity has changed who the Messiah is, read my latest book, “The Good News of the Messiah for Jews: Debunking the Traditional Lies about the Jewish Messiah“. It’s available on Amazon and through my website.

And remember, I always welcome your comments.

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