What Happened to the First Commandment?

The 10 Commandments were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, also called Mount Horeb. These commandments, which are often referred to as “The 10 Words” are the keystone for every religion that falls under the general title of Jewish or Christian.

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So, if God gave these 10 commandments to everyone who worships him, why is it that within Christianity, when they list the 10 Commandments, the first commandment that God gave is missing?

“What do you mean, Steve? The first commandment is there, and it says that you shall have no other gods before me.”

You’re right, that is what it says, but that isn’t the first commandment!

I did an Internet search for “What are the 10 Commandments” and this is what I got on the first “hit”, which are the first 2 commandments:

I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. You shall not make to thyself any graven thing; nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. You shall not adore them nor serve them.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

In fact, I went through the first 10 or so results and not even one of them- NOT ONE! – had the first commandment listed.

So, what is this missing, mysterious first commandment? Am I telling you that it isn’t “Thou shall have no other gods before me?”

Yes- that is EXACTLY what I am saying!

Here is the listing of the first commandment, directly from the Torah, which is what God told Moses to write down (Exodus 20):

After searching far and wide on the Internet, I finally found this when asking for the Hebrew commandment from the Torah.

The first commandment that God gave to Moses is NOT about having any other gods before him- that is in the second commandment. The first commandment, the very first thing that God, himself, thought to be the most important thing to learn is that he is the LORD, our God, who brought us out of slavery!

So why is it that Christianity, which is supposed to be worshipping the same God Jews worship, have not just rejected, but totally erased from God’s commandments the first one he gave, and replaced it by splitting the second commandment into two different ones?

The probable answer, if you ask me, is that by the end of the First Century the original Messianic Jews who accepted Yeshua as their Messiah had died off, and the number of Gentiles accepting Yeshua (at that time being called Jesus) overwhelmed the Jews within this movement, which was being transformed into a totally new religion.

You see, because of the political issues the Jewish population was having with Rome, these new Gentile Believers did not want to be associated with the Jews. As Roman citizens (supposedly) worshipping the Roman gods, they were safe; however, worshipping as the Jews did meant they would probably be considered by Rome as Jews, and that put them in a tenuous position.

So, the Gentile leaders of what was now called Christianity started to change their form of worship, beginning with celebrating the Shabbat on Sunday (which was a Roman day of celebration) and rejecting most of the Jewish lifestyle, such as kosher laws and the Holy Days. Later on, by the time Constantine got involved, Christianity became a totally different religion.

Knowing the history, we can understand why these Christians wanted to seem separate from the Jewish population, and the best way to do that was to remove any reference to being God’s chosen people. By removing the first commandment and replacing it with the first part of the second commandment, they completely disassociated themselves from the God of the Jews.

Later, when they decided that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit were really all the same entity, they could justify worshiping Jesus as God without violating their first commandment.

The result is that today, Christians have no relationship at all to the God of the Jews and within most of the different Christian religions, they have replaced Adonai completely with Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but from what I have read in the Gospels about Yeshua (Jesus’ real name) and his devotion to his father, I would guess that what modern Christianity has done probably doesn’t go over very well with Yeshua, and especially not with God.

I can’t speak for either of them, but I am pretty sure that God doesn’t like the idea that men changed his commandments, and I’ll also bet the farm that Yeshua is teed-off that men have replaced worship of his father with worship of him.

I have often seen or heard Christians saying that when a Gentile accepts Jesus as their Messiah, they are now a spiritual son or daughter of Abraham, yet in the very same breath they reject the God of Abraham by rejecting his Torah worshiping Jesus.

Worse than that, if you can get any worse, they profess to follow the 10 Commandments but have deleted the first commandment, which is the one that tells us who is our God!

How can anyone say they worship God by deleting the commandment that tells us who he is?

That’s a question I really can’t answer.

Oh, yes, we know that they didn’t want to be associated with Jews, but that doesn’t excuse removing one of his 10 commandments.

In Matthew 7:21-23, Yeshua says that many who call him “Lord” will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. More than that, Yeshua will say he never knew them! How can that be?

Well, maybe it’s because they erased a commandment God gave, replaced God’s Holy Days with man-made holidays, and worship him instead of his father?

Maybe Yeshua will reject those who are totally obedient to whichever sect of Christianity they follow because by doing so they reject nearly everything God said to do?

Maybe God will reject Jews obedient to the Torah but who have rejected Yeshua as their Messiah?

It’s not my call who God will accept or reject; but, based on what God tells us in the Torah, on what Yeshua taught, on how mainstream Judaism has taught us to reject Yeshua, and how Christianity has rejected God’s commandment and (within many Christian religions) even replaced him with his son, well…I believe it safe to say that those things ain’t gonna please either God or Yeshua.

And when the Acharit HaYamim (the End Days) are upon us and we find ourselves in front of God on his Throne of Judgment, when we say “But, Lord, that is what they told me I should do!”, I believe he will say something to the effect of:

“I understand that is what they told you to do, but it is what I say that counts!”

When we come before God for judgment, and Yeshua is standing to the right of God, he will either say “This one is mine, Father” or “I never knew you.”

So, you can choose to follow the religion of men, or you can choose to obey God, and that decision will determine which one of those statements you will hear.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to my website, my YouTube channel, and on Facebook “Like’ my page and join my discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And while you are on the website, explore the website- there are some nice pictures and teaching series that I am sure you will find interesting. And buy the books I have written- if you like what you get here, you will like my books, as well.

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

The Difference Between Legalism and Obedience

If someone was to ask me which New Covenant epistle talks about ignoring the Torah, I would have to say the letter to the Galatians.

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The reason I say this is because in that letter, more than any other letter, the main topic is obedience for the sake of obeying, specifically dealing with circumcision. The Believing Jews were trying to get the Believing Gentiles to undergo b’rit milah (ritual circumcision) in order to be considered “righteous” in God’s eyes.

Shaul (Paul) is adamant that undergoing b’rit milah is useless to anyone, and makes it even harder to be righteous, because if you try to do just one thing the Torah requires, you are then expected to do everything the Torah requires, and no one can do everything.

Now, if that doesn’t sound like Shaul saying it is better to ignore the Torah than try to obey it, I don’t know what else it could possibly mean.

BUT…that is not what he meant.

Shaul, in his usual roundabout fashion, was telling the Gentiles that doing what is in the Torah only in order to earn righteousness was impossible.

He said that if anyone gets circumcised just to be obedient to the Torah, by wanting to obey one mitzvot (law) they are required to obey every mitzvot. James confirms this in his letter: James 2:10 says that a person who obeys every law in the Torah, but at some point breaks just one law, becomes guilty of breaking them all.

They are both saying the same thing, but coming at it from different sides. What they are sayin is that the Torah is an All or Nothing thing.

So, what Shaul is saying is that when someone tries to obey every law in the Torah TO EARN SALVATION, they will fail, so it is best for them to not even try.

Does that mean we can ignore the Torah? No way! What it means is that we must be obedient but not in order to earn salvation.

Obedience to the Torah because we faithfully believe God gave us the Torah to help us is different from just going through the motions so we aren’t in trouble.

Legalism is a works-based salvation, and that will never work. Why? Because no one can be totally obedient to the Torah.

But…obeying the Torah as a child obeys- trustingly doing what will please God just as a child wants to please its parents- is the kind of obedience that God wants.

God gave the world the Torah so that his children could save themselves from self-destruction, and even when we continually fail to do what God wants, if we repent from our failure and try again, I believe God is pleased.

God tells us in Ezekiel 18:23 that he wants everyone to be saved, and gets no pleasure from seeing the sinful punished.

Legalism is a perversion of the Torah, teaching that we must perform the actions the Torah requires in order to gain God’s acceptance.

Obedience to the Torah comes from wanting to please God and faithfully trusting that when we do as God says, we will be blessed as he promised (Deuteronomy 28).

The Torah is the ultimate User Manual for salvation. It is what God wants from us with regards to worshiping him and treating each other. Yes, “love thy neighbor as thyself” is the foundation which the Torah is built on, but it doesn’t replace “love the Lord, thy God with all thy strength, heart, and soul.” Yeshua said these two commandments are the most important.

Doing what the Torah requires in order to gain acceptance is legalism; doing what the Torah requires to please God is faithful obedience.

God is clear throughout the Tanakh that going through the motions is not what he wants, and even though he made the rules that say not doing what the Torah says is a sin, he provided us the ultimate “Get Out of Jail” card, which is the Messiah, Yeshua.

Not that we can ignore the Torah because we have Yeshua- that is not why God sent him.

The bottom line is God expects everyone who worships him to obey the Torah- he gave it to the Jews to learn, then as God’s nation of priests (Exodus 19:6) to teach it to the Goyim (nations), so they could learn it.

God knows that as hard as we may try, no one will ever be totally obedient to the Torah, which is why he created the sacrificial system (which he explains in the first 7 chapters of Leviticus) so we could avoid the eternal consequences of our sins.

When Solomon completed building the Temple in Jerusalem, that was the only place we could bring our sacrifices. After the destruction of the Temple, Yeshua became the only means for receiving forgiveness of sin.

That is why he says the only way to the father is through him (John 14:6).

Do you now understand the difference between legalism and obedience?

Legalism is just going through the motions, whereas obedience is the result of faithfully trusting that God gave us these laws for our benefit, and we try to do them as best as we can in order to please God.

God, Yeshua, James, and every original Apostle never ever said that we can disobey the Torah, and even though Shaul seems to say that, he never meant it that way.

I believe if Shaul was alive today, and could see how people have so misinterpreted and misused his letters, he would be furious.

Here’s today’s message in a nutshell: if you know the difference between doing something just to stay out of trouble, and doing something as a labor of love, then you know the difference between legalism and obedience.

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

I welcome your comments, and when you are on the website, please check out and buy the books I have written- if you like what you get in these messages, you will like what is written in my books.

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

Paul, The Patron Saint of Guilt Trips

How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?

“That’s OK, you go and have fun, I’ll be fine sitting here in the dark, all alone with no one around to help me. I don’t mind, so long as you are happy.”

Did you like that joke? It is representative of what we call a Guilt Trip.

Those of you who read my messages know that I have a lot of issues with the Epistles from Shaul (Paul); not so much with what he says, but how what he says has been so badly – I will even go as far as to say sinfully!- misinterpreted and misused in order to turn Gentile Believers away from the Torah.

And this is the first time I will point out another issue I have with Shaul’s letters, but one that helps me to prove, once and for all, that he was Jewish, to a fault.

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Shaul was an expert with regards to laying a guilt trip on his congregations.

Let’s start with Corinthians Chapter 9. He tells about how it is biblically correct for those spreading the good news to receive payment, but not him! He has never received payment and won’t because he wants to do it for free, as the Messiah has told him he should.

Bragging? Not really, it’s more like

Look at me! I am not taking what is owed to me, even though I know you
want to give it to me.

which could easily make the people feel guilty if they don’t do something for him. Subtle, but effective in getting them to perform tzedakah (charity) for others, not so much because they want to, but in order to feel better about themselves because it will make Shaul feel better.

He follows up this guilt trip in his second letter, in Chapter 8, where he tells them about how Macedonia was so poor yet they gave generously, and he is sure that the Corinthians will do even better.

And if that wasn’t enough, he really pours it on in Chapter 9, when he says he hopes that, after telling everyone how wonderful the Corinthians are, that he won’t be embarrassed by them if they don’t give more than the Macedonians did.

Do what you want to do, and don’t worry if you make me look like a liar.

But those Corinthians aren’t the only ones he lays a guilt trip on.

In his letter to the Philippians, the second chapter is about the problems they are having working together in the congregation. So, he tells them how he will feel so much better, and it will bring him such joy, by knowing that what he has taught them will be demonstrated by their getting along with each other.

In other words, if you guys don’t start working together, you’ll make me feel like I failed, and then I’ll feel terrible!

In Chapter 4 of this letter he tells them how wonderful it was that in the past they wanted to help, but poor them- they couldn’t. However, if they could help now (by sending what he needs) that would be a real blessing to him, but it’s OK if they don’t- he can get along alright. He has learned to be happy without food or clothing, or even when in jail…

It’s OK, I’ll just sit here in this cold, damp cell with no clothes or food; I know
you would help if you could.

The really big guilt trip I see in all his letters is the one to Philemon! He tells Philemon how well Phil’s escaped slave, Onesimus, has been to him and that he is now sending him back (which is what the law required), and that he is asking Phil to be nice to Onesimus and accept him back without punishment.

THEN, after asking this “favor” he says that he won’t mention, of course, that Philemon owes him his very life.

You don’t have to do anything I ask of you, but you do owe me your life,
which I won’t mention because I know you will do more than what I ask.

GUILT! GUILT! GUILT!

And in general, throughout his letters, he constantly asks the people to do as he says in order not to embarrass him in front of the other congregations, because he has boasted about them so much.

And he constantly talks of his trials and tribulations, all on their account, which is fine because he does it voluntarily; but, the underlying guilt trip is that he is suffering for them, so they should do as he asks.

He does tell them about the rewards of living righteous lives, but there is always that subtle guilt trip that they should do this also for his sake because of all he has done for them.

Look, there is a lot of good stuff in the Epistles Shaul wrote, but that good stuff has to be filtered out from the guilt trips he lays on them.

So, if there is any meaningful value to my message today, it is this: when reading the Bible, you need to remember that it is written by people, and except for the Torah parts where Moses is writing exactly what God told him to write, or the Prophets prophesizing what God told them to say, everything else was written by human beings who had their own way of saying things and their own personalities which could never be removed completely from their writings.

Just reading the Bible isn’t good enough. Oh, sure, you can always count on the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh, to guide your understanding, but you still need to take some level of control.

Read the Bible with an open mind, learn the cultural and historical usage of the words and phrases in there so you understand what you are reading the same way that the ones who wrote it meant it. Never take any one or two verses by themselves, but always work within Circles of Context: the sentence within the paragraph, the paragraph within the letter, and who wrote the letter, to whom, and why.

Always be critical of what you read: there is no conflict between faithfully believing what is in the Bible is true and testing it. The truth can stand up to critical analysis, and the truth in the Bible will be clear enough, even when you test it.

Being critical and fairly testing what is in the Bible isn’t a bad thing, but always maintain steadfast and unwavering faith that God is God, that Yeshua is the Messiah who was raised from the dead for our sakes, and that the promises of God are absolutely trustworthy.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to both this website ministry and my YouTube channel. Share these messages to help this ministry continue to grow, and buy my books to read and then share with others.

On second thought, just tell others how much you like the books and let them buy their own.

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!

How Do We Reconcile All Who Call Won’t Be Forgiven?

Oy vey! What a terrible way to start a motivational and edifying message. How can I possibly say that all who call on the name of the Lord won’t be saved when the prophet Joel tells us we will be saved (Joel 2:32)?

And if what Joel said isn’t enough, Shaul (Paul) said it, too in Romans 10:13!

Oh, wait a minute… actually, all Shaul was doing was quoting Joel.

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In fact, just about everything Shaul said to his Gentile congregants was not originated by him; he was teaching them what God said through the Prophets and what God commanded in the Torah.

In order to know why I am saying that all who call on God’s name will not be saved, despite what Joel said, we first need to make sure we all understand what was assumed when Joel said that.

That assumption is that the ones calling on God’s name would also be obedient to his Torah.

Joel was speaking to Jews who had turned away from Torah observance, and as such, his message was to return to obedience, and then they would be saved when they called on his name.

(God’s name, of course, not Joel’s.)

The truth is the one thing that separates people from God more than anything else is… religion.

That’s right, I said religion separates us from God. How? By violating one of the most important commandments God gave us in the Torah! In Deuteronomy 4:2, he has Moses tell the people (CJB):


 In order to obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it.

Show me a religion, any religion (and that includes Judaism) which hasn’t added to or taken away from the Torah.

So, nu? What have you got for me? Nothing? No religion, anywhere, is exclusively Torah-only? Not even the Chasidic Jews, the most Orthodox of all?

No- they are more observant to the Talmud than the Torah!

What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? They certainly understand not all who call on his name will be saved because they believe there are only 144,000 who are already chosen? But, they also do so many things that are not in the Torah, and don’t do so many things that are in the Torah.

Hozabout the Born-Again Christians? Oh, wait- their religious holidays were created by Constantine and they observe Pauline doctrine (which is based on misunderstanding almost everything he taught), but they don’t celebrate the Holy Days God gave us in the Torah and they don’t observe the rules for eating and worship that God demanded of us.

And some Christians, the Replacement Theologists, believe they are now God’s Chosen people, claiming that he has rejected all the Jews because they rejected Yeshua as their Messiah. They say this, despite God’s constant forgiveness of the Jewish people throughout the Bible and his constant confirmation that the Jewish people will ALWAYS be his chosen people.

Judaism is, undoubtedly, the one religion that is closest to what God has told us to do because our religion is founded in the Torah, but (as I said earlier) within Judaism we have added much to what God told us to do, which is called Halacha (the Walk). Halacha is based on the Torah, but the rules are rabbinic interpretations of how to obey the Torah.

For example, there are the stringent kosher rules, such as different plates for meat and dairy, or rules for observing the Sabbath, such as how far you are allowed to walk on Saturday.

Christianity has, for the most part, done whatever the Pope, or Martin Luther, or the World Council of Churches, or John Knox (Presbyterian), or John Wesley (Methodism), or Richard Allen (African Methodist Episcopal Church), or any other founder of a Christian denomination (of which there are many) has told them to do, all of which have different ways of NOT doing what God said to do in the Torah.

That is why so many people who call on the name of the Lord will not be saved because they aren’t doing what God told them to do.

And Yeshua, himself, confirms what I am saying in Matthew 7:21-23 when he says (CJB):

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants.  On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’  Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness! ‘”

Notice, please, that he says only those who “….do what my Father in heaven wants…” will enter the kingdom of heaven, i.e., be saved.

What Yeshua is saying, quite plainly, is that only those who call on God’s name and obey the Torah will be saved.

Sorry, Christians and Jews who obey people instead of God, but this isn’t my idea- it’s what the Messiah says, and he is just saying what his father, Adonai, already said.

There is one other thing to remember- when you call on the name, it isn’t Yeshua you should be calling to for forgiveness, it is God, the father you need to dial up. Yeshua made forgiveness possible by his sacrificial death, but he isn’t the one forgiving you- he is our Intercessor. An intercessor is not the final decision maker, he is our representative to the final decision maker.

Yeshua sits at the right hand of God, not in place of him.

There you have it! Calling on the name of the Lord is not enough- you need to also be obedient to God. Not to Constantine, not to Paul or John Wesley, or the Pope, or Menachem Schneerson (Chabad), but to G-O-D!

And the only place throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, where God tells you what he wants you to do, is in the Torah.

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

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


The Free Gift of Salvation Isn’t Really Free

Most of the time when I am talking about Yeshua or God or what is in the Bible, I always give you the reference so you can see, for yourself, that it really is in the Bible.

I’m not gonna do that, today; if you don’t believe what I say, or if it sounds familiar but you’re not sure, I challenge you to find it.

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Churches, Messianic Synagogues, and Hebraic Roots houses of worship tell people that the salvation we receive through the sacrificial death of Messiah Yeshua is not able to be purchased and we can never earn it, yet it is priceless beyond compare… and do you know what the best part of it is?

It is FREE!

But is it, really?

Yeshua told his talmudim (Hebrew for students, or in this case, disciples) that they would be tortured and killed for following him. So, in their case, their free gift of salvation will cost them something- their health, their livelihood, even their life!

And it did.

Yeshua also told the man that wanted to follow him that the fox has its hole and the birds have their nest, but the Son of Man doesn’t have a rock on which to lay his head.

Yeshua told the rich man to give away all that he owned, then to come and follow Yeshua.

Hey, I don’t know about you, but this free salvation is starting to sound awfully costly! You may end up losing not just financial assets, but suffering abuse of your body and maybe even the loss of your life.

I know of many people who have paid a very terrible price for receiving this “free” gift, in that they have been ostracized by their family and friends.

Salvation being free doesn’t mean it won’t cost us something, it simply means we cannot buy or earn it.

If you wanted to buy it, does anyone really think God has a bank account somewhere so he can cash the check?

And you cannot earn it; well, wait a minute…that’s not really true.

If anyone, anywhere, could ever live their life completely in accordance with the Torah by never sinning, and die in that condition of perfect obedience to God’s instructions, then they would, literally, earn their salvation because the Torah is what God tells us we need to do in order to be righteous in his eyes. And to obey the Torah completely, you need to have both faith and actions that demonstrate that faith (faith and works, remember?)

God gave the Torah to the Jews to learn and obey, the reason being that once they knew it they would be his nation of priests (yes, there is a Bible verse where God tells Moses that is what we Jews are to be), and as such be an example of righteousness so that they could then teach the rest of the world to follow their example.

That would then fulfill the promise God made to Abraham that his descendants will be a blessing to the Gentiles.

But here’s the catch…no one can live a sinless life.

If someone could, then there would be three people in heaven: God, Yeshua, and that one idiot who ruined it for the rest of us.

And because no one can be totally obedient to the Torah, God sent Yeshua, the Messiah, to make it possible for us to receive the salvation that we could never earn.

So asking for salvation costs nothing, and receiving salvation costs nothing, but living “saved” by obeying God’s word (in the Torah) is very costly.

So why would I accept so much tsouris during my life?

The answer is there are two lives we all have: the first one is here on earth in the flesh, and the second one is a spiritual existence either in God’s presence, joyful and serene throughout eternity, or out of God’s presence, in the dark and cold where people moan and gnash their teeth.

The reason we are in this plane of existence is to choose where we will spend eternity; for me, I choose to accept Yeshua as my Messiah now, with all the suffering that might go with it, in order to have eternal peace and joy in God’s presence later.

You know what? Instead of asking people “What’s in your wallet?”, they should be asking “Where do you want to spend eternity?”

Thank you for being here and please share these messages, subscribe to all my sites (website, YouTube, and Facebook group called “Just God’s Word”), and buy my books. Honest: if you like what you get here, you will like my books.

Oh, yes, one more thing: I always welcome your comments.

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

Why Salvation Has No Value to Most People

For me, the most valuable asset I own is my guaranteed ticket to salvation.

But, for most people, salvation is something they just can’t fathom or understand, and as such it has no real value to them.

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

Now, you may be thinking, “C’mon, Steve- everyone knows about heaven.” and you would be right in saying that, but heaven and salvation are not the same thing.

Heaven for most everyone is a place where everyone is happy, but the truth is that heaven is where God and the angels live- not people. When the Acharit haYamim (End Days) are ended, those who are saved live on the new earth, not in heaven.

Salvation, on the other hand, is not a place- it is a condition. Salvation is that state of being (what we call “saved”) where you have the opportunity to be cleansed of the sins you commit by means of your having accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as the messiah God promised to send, believing that he was raised from the dead as a substitutionary sacrifice for all people, Jew and Gentile, alike.

Salvation has no Hollywood presence, unlike all those movies showing heaven. Salvation has no substance, no visible attributes- you can’t see it, you can’t touch it, you can’t smell it.

Salvation is the promise God gave to his chosen people, a promise to cleanse them of their sins when they sacrifice to him to ask forgiveness of their sins against him, coming before him with a repentant attitude, a broken heart, and a contrite spirit.

And remember: every sin is first and foremost a sin against God; King David knew that, and said so in Psalm 51.

To those who have no faith and reject God, salvation has no value.

And don’t think I am only talking about Atheists or people of religions that are not based on the Judeo-Christian Bible. No! The most pitiful people I know are those who reject God while believing they are worshiping him!

A religion doesn’t teach only God says, it teaches whatever the founder of that religion thinks God says.

Even Judaism- which should be the “purest” of all religions because it is based on what God says in the Torah- is not innocent, either. Halacha rules (Halacha means “the walk”) are all rabbinical regulations, rites, and requirements that are man-made. These include separate plates for meat and dairy, restricting how far one can walk on the Shabbat, searching for hametz (leavened products) in the house the day before the Pesach (Passover) Seder, etc. They are found mostly in the Talmud.

Some of these Halacha rules are the man-made traditions that Yeshua talked about which he said were wrong because they overruled God’s word. Now, it wasn’t every man-made tradition that Yeshua decried, only those that took precedence over God’s laws.

Most Christian religions teach, in one way or another to ignore the Torah. Many teach that Jesus did away with the law, and by doing so set their congregants on the path of destruction because they are rejecting God while thinking they are doing what pleases him!

When we do not do as God says we should, that is not a small thing because we either do as God says, or we don’t, and God is very clear that refusing to do as he says is rejecting him.

Period; shut the door; das ist alles!

Salvation is the most valuable thing that exists. However, for most of the people in the world, it has no value because they do not really think on the spiritual (eternal) level. Even many of those who are “saved” do not understand that the things of this world are not valuable because they do not last.

Value is a fleeting thing: today your stocks are worth a million dollars, then the market crashes and now they are worth nothing. In the 12 years I was on Wall Street, during the 80’s and early 90’s, I knew people with million dollar plus brokerage accounts who, overnight, ended up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and this was AFTER their entire portfolio had been sold to meet margin call when the market crashed.

Value is temporary, value is fleeting, value is based on supply and demand, but salvation is priceless and its value never decreases.

It is a shame that so many people devalue the most valuable thing in the universe- the ability to be forgiven by means of the sacrifice Yeshua made for us. It is especially painful to me when I think of my fellow Jews who have been taught to reject Yeshua.

That’s right- most Jews I have ever known (which used to include me) have no idea of who Yeshua is, what he taught and how he lived. That’s because they have been told by their family, friends, Rabbi, and nearly every other Jew they know that Jesus created Christianity, which hates and kills Jews. And their Gentile friends also think Jesus created Christianity.

Guess what? Yeshua didn’t create Christianity: men and women- mere human beings- created all the different forms of Christian religions that exist today.

I pray that salvation has value to you because you know what God wants from you, which is in the Torah. Don’t be concerned that you have to do everything thing in the Torah perfectly, because you can’t- that’s why we need a Messiah. Duh!

But if you do not try to do what God said you should do, well…that’s different, and I’d be concerned if I were you.

Yeshua taught us to obey the Torah, not just to perform the literal meaning of the laws but to understand the deeper, spiritual meaning. When we do that we will have the Torah written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), and that is when salvation will have its full, never-decreasing value to you.

We have a choice to either value or devalue salvation, so nu? What’s its value to you?

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

And I always welcome your comments, which you can make here or on my Facebook discussion group called “Just God’s Word”.

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

When We Trust in the Lord, What are We Trusting?

Should I show every biblical reference to “Trust in the Lord?” If I did, it would take you longer to read them all then to read the rest of this message! So trust me when I say, there are a lot of references in the Bible telling us to trust in the Lord.

But what, exactly, are we trusting?

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

Do we trust that God is God?

Do we trust that God will keep his word?

Do we trust that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah?

Do we trust there is a Devil?

Do we trust all of the above, and more?

And what if I say I believe in the Lord? Does that mean I trust him, also?

Mr. Webster says that to believe means to accept as true or real, and he goes on to tell us that trust means to have confidence or faith in a person or thing.

This means I can believe that God exists but I don’t have to trust him, as in trust him to punish me if I don’t do as he says, or trust him to forgive me when I ask him to do so.

So, which is more important? To believe in God or to trust him?

Well, you can’t trust something that you don’t even accept as being real, so believing in God is the very first step to trusting him. It seems this isn’t a “One or the other“, but more of a “Once I do, then what?” thing, doesn’t it?

When we are told we should trust in the Lord, for me, that means that I have to accept that whatever God says is true and I should obey him. And when it comes down to Yeshua being the Messiah, or not, it is something I should first believe. If I don’t believe Yeshua is the Messiah, then trust isn’t a factor.

The issue now is if I believe in God, and trust him to do as he says, he did say he would send a Messiah, so trusting him means that Yeshua could be that Messiah.

It comes down to choosing to believe. If I choose to believe Yeshua is the Messiah, for whatever reason, the next step is do I trust in him to… what?

Yeshua said that whatever we ask for in his name, he will do for us (John 16:23), and also that he is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Those are the two things that I recall being the most important things to trust Yeshua for; other than those two, out trust is first and foremost in the Lord, God.

Hmm… now what? If I trust in God that he means what he says, he told us that we cannot sacrifice (to be forgiven) anywhere but where he places his name (Deuteronomy 12:11), which was the temple that King Solomon built in Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:3). But that temple was destroyed in 73 AD, so what do I do now?

Does that mean no temple, no sacrifice, therefore no forgiveness?

Yes, it does, for those who don’t believe that Yeshua is the Messiah.

Yeshua said that through his sacrifice we can be forgiven, which means I can still trust that God will forgive me if I believe that Yeshua is who he said he is.

Wow, that’s confusing, isn’t it? I don’t know now whether I am trusting or believing, or both? And in whom?

Let’s try to bring this into focus: first, you must believe that God exists. Next, you must trust that he will do as he says he will do; for me, that trust has been earned because I have read (and believe) the narratives in the Tanakh showing how God always came to the rescue of his people, Israel, when they did as he commanded.

The next step is to chose to believe what we read in the Gospels about Yeshua, and when we do that we then trust that through his sacrifice we can be forgiven, because his sacrifice replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple.

In other words, Yeshua is now where God has placed his name, and through Yeshua we can find forgiveness when we are repentant.

Believe in God, believe Yeshua is the Messiah, trust that God will forgive you when you repent and sacrifice, and trust that as the Messiah, Yeshua is the now both where God has placed his name and the substitutionary sacrifice for sin, through which everyone, everywhere, can now find forgiveness and, consequently, salvation.

The temple in Jerusalem used to be the only place we could attain forgiveness from sin, but now that place is the Messiah, Yeshua!

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

And share these messages with everyone! If you care to make a comment, I welcome it.

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

We Have a Spirit of Victory… But Victory Over What?

Before I start, let me wish Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday) to all those celebrating the very happy holiday of Purim today.

Remember what the Rabbis have said…we should celebrate so much that we get so drunk we can’t tell Mordechai from Haman!

And for all my Irish friends out there, Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

AND…to all my United States Marine Corps Combat Engineer Battalion brothers and sisters, enjoy celebrating this day for St. Paddy is the patron saint of the Combat Engineers!

Okay, enough of that, let’s get down to today’s message.

The other day I posted about faith being able to help us conquer fear, and throughout the Bible we are encouraged to be victorious because God is with us.

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

Here are some references to verses that encourage us to be strong and victorious:

1 Corinthians15:57; Deuteronomy 20:4; Romans 8:31; Isaiah 55:11; 2 Tim 1:7

And we can be encouraged to be certain of victory not just by these passages, but by everything in the Bible, from Noah’s victory over evil, to Abraham’s victory over the 5 kings that abducted Lot, to Moses’ victory over Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian army, to Samson over the Phillistines, to…well, you get the picture.

I could go on for a LONG time talking about how we can have a spirit of victory when we are obedient to God.

But these victories were against other people. Isn’t there something more essential and more important than a victory over someone else?

Doesn’t Yeshua warn us not to be concerned about those who can harm the body, but rather against him who can destroy our soul? (Matthew 10:28)

So, what is the one thing we should try to have victory over more than anything else?

Ourselves.

The real victory isn’t over men or women or corporations or even over the Enemy (for the record, he has already lost), but over our own nature, our own iniquity (desire to sin), and of our own fear.

Victory over anything must start with victory over ourselves.

As I discussed the other day (“Fear of Loss Ruins Joy of Having“), faith is what gives us the strength we need to overcome our weaknesses. The real victory we can achieve through God is to stop sinning.

Now, that is so much easier to say than to do, and we will never stop sinning, completely. To strive to be a perfect person is an unreasonable expectation, and can only result in one thing…apostasy.

That’s right. When we try to be something we cannot, eventually we become so frustrated and depressed that we decide the entire activity is useless. It is a bit of a paradox: the closer we try to come to perfection, the further away from it we go.

I have constantly said (maybe some of you will recognize this) that we can never be sinless, but we can always sin less.

That is my goal, which is still pretty difficult to attain, but it is attainable.

I still sin, mostly not because I want to but because I am human and weak. And thanks be to God that he sent Yeshua, my Messiah, to make forgiveness of my sins possible through the sacrificial death Yeshua suffered on my behalf.

None of us will ever be sinless, but with faith and prayer and listening to the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), we can find victory over ourselves.

I have known many people over the years who have made a complete “180”, a spiritual U-Turn, and become loving, compassionate, and faithful followers of God’s instructions to us about how to worship him and how to treat each other (you can find these only in the Torah).

I can truly hold myself up as one of these people. Not that I am compassionate enough, or loving enough, or even patient enough to be satisfied with my spiritual maturity, but if you knew me before! Oy!

It’s like when I was a kid and people would comment about my sense of humor: I would introduce them to my father (God rest his soul) and then they would say, “Oh, well, you’re not so bad, after all.”

We have the opportunity to develop a spirit of victory, and it can be over the tsouris we have to suffer living in a cursed and fallen world, but the real victory isn’t over our environment, it is over ourselves.

Therefore, work on yourself, read the Bible every day to be encouraged, to know better how others have been victorious with God’s help, and seek him out for your own victory.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel, and on Facebook join my group called “Just God’s Word”.

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Fear of Loss Ruins Joy of Having

Shaul (Paul) wrote a couple of letters to a young and relatively inexperienced Messianic Kehillot leader called Timothy. The intent of these letters was to encourage and support Timothy in leading men that were older and somewhat uncomfortable to being managed, so to speak, by someone much younger than they were.

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

In the second letter, Shaul told Timothy this:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

In other words, stand your ground and don’t allow yourself to be pushed around, but at the same time, be loving, gentle, and humble. And most of all, trust in God and have faith that he will make things work out in the long run.

I have been around the block more than once, and have known many people whose weak faith, or lack thereof, makes them afraid of many things, especially of the loss of people they care for.

This fear of loss controls them, and they become afraid to get close, either in friendly or intimate relationships, because they have lost loved ones in the past.

When we lose someone we love, we never get “over” it, we just get “passed” it. We learn to live with the loss and continue with our lives.

That is what we are supposed to do, but many whom I have known have not been able to work through their loss, and what they end up doing is not getting as close to someone they love as they could. This isn’t because they really don’t like them, but quite the opposite: their love for them makes them fear losing them one day.

They figure like this: if I don’t get so close to this person, then it won’t hurt as bad when they die.

Well, there seems to be some logic to that, but in reality what that attitude results in is that they have already lost that person.

The fear of losing them has reduced the ability to get the most joy out of being with them!

If you ask me, that’s just meshuggah!

Everyone dies, we all suffer the loss of loved ones, and the only thing that remains are the memories we have of the times we were with them. If you ask me, the best way to make losing someone easier to handle is to know, absolutely, that I got the most out of being with them while I could.

The more memories we have, the better it will be, and when someone refuses to regularly get together with friends, or to reduce the level of intimacy with a spouse or partner, or some other form of physical and emotional “cocooning”, that fear of loss is making them lose out right now.

I believe the reason there is so much fear in people, especially the fear of loss, is that they don’t have anything else to fall back on. Not that anyone or anything can replace someone we love, but if we have a deep and abiding faith in God, and trust that he is in charge, we can be comforted and not so fearful because we know he is doing what is best for those who are faithful to him.

But what about those we love who have a weak faith? Or maybe aren’t saved? Or maybe don’t even want to be saved? What about them? If I know that God will not accept into his presence someone who has not atoned for their sins, through Messiah Yeshua, then how can I not feel terrible about their passing?

You will feel terrible for those who you care for and know are not saved, but that is part of living. My parents were never religious, and I know that my father would have refused, had he been conscious, to accept Yeshua on his deathbed. So while he lay comatose, I prayed for him, trying to intercede, but I have to say I am not sure what the result of that will be. So what do I do? I trust in God, and accept that not everyone I care about will be saved. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. After all, when Yeshua said it was the road less traveled and the narrow gate, he wasn’t kidding.

Many people, and maybe even many of the people we care about, will not be in God’s presence throughout eternity, and that is a fact of life (or should I say a fact of afterlife?) that we must accept.

So what do I do? I try to make the most of what ever relationships I have now, so that later I can look back without regret, knowing that I was able to get the most out of my friendships, my family, and especially my marriage.

The last thing I want to feel when I think about someone I cared for who has passed on is regret that I didn’t tell them how I felt about them, or spent as much time with them as could have, or (worse than anything else) not been as intimate and loving to them as I could have been.

So have faith in God that everything will be okay, and with that faith take hold of your relationships today and make the most you can out of them, because when they are gone, they are gone, forever.

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

If you use Facebook, “Like” my Messianic Moment page and also join my discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (and please make sure you read and agree to the rules).

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

Believing Doesn’t Save Anyone

Do you believe in God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

Do you believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah?

Do you think that is enough for you to be saved?

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

Well, let me tell you something- just believing God exists and that Yeshua is the Messiah won’t get you anywhere, except maybe started on the proper path to salvation.

Do you know who else believes in God and Yeshua? Satan. And not just Satan, but every demon in Hell. Do you think that is going to save them?

It takes a LOT more than just saying “I believe in Jesus!” to be saved.

In truth, I don’t think most of the people who use the term “Believe in Jesus” have the slightest idea what that actually means, and not an inkling of what it entails.

If you want to be saved from your sins, you need to do more than accept that God exists and that Yeshua is the Messiah. And Unitarian vs. Trinitarian has no effect at all on your salvation.

And, for the record, pronunciation of whichever name (or names) you use for God and his Messiah have no effect on your salvation.

Now, that being said, of course you DO need to believe that God exists- even more than that, you need to believe he is the only God.

And you DO need to accept that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised to send and that he did die, was resurrected, and as such has proven to be accepted by God as the substitutionary sacrifice through whom we can be forgiven of sin.

But, people, that’s just the start.

What really saves us is being forgiven of sin, and that requires more than asking- first and foremost, you need to repent. Honestly, sincerely, contritely, and humbly repent of the sins you commit.

And that means first acknowledging that you do sin.

We all sin- I sin, you sin, everyone sins because we are all, well… sinners. Born with iniquity, living in a world that is full of sin all around us, tempting us every single moment of every single day we are alive. It’s really impossible for anyone to live a sinless life.

And that’s good news, because if anyone could live a sinless life, then it is possible for us to do and we wouldn’t need a Messiah. So, in the end, there would be three people in Heaven: God, Yeshua, and that one idiot who ruined it for the rest of us.

Joel 2:32 tells us that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (where do you think Shaul got it from when he repeated it in Romans 10:13?), and that is true, of course, but it takes more than just calling on God’s name.

It takes more than just accepting Yeshua is your Messiah and asking forgiveness in his name.

It takes dedication and obedience to God’s commandments. Not the instructions Shaul gave to Gentile Believers who were first learning about obedience to God’s commandments.

Not to celebrate the holidays Constantine created.

Not to obey the Pope, the Pastor, Minister, or even the Rabbi instructing you in Halacha.

It takes obedience to GOD!

And where does God tell us what he wants us to do? Where does God tells us how to worship him? What days does God say we are to celebrate as a festival to him? What ways does God want us to treat each other? How does God say we should conduct business? What does God tell us with regards to punishing people for crimes they commit?

Where is all this?

I’ll bet you know…yes! It’s in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, that “Jewish” Bible most Christians are told they don’t need to know or follow.

There’s no place anywhere in the New Covenant where God tells anyone how to worship or act, or what days to celebrate. Why? Because he already told us everything we need to know in the Torah.

Yeshua didn’t change any of that (Matthew 5:17), except for one part- instead of bringing an animal to the temple in Jerusalem as a sacrifice for sin, Yeshua’s sacrifice replaced that step in the process of forgiveness.

And good thing, too, because after 73 BCE there was no temple to go to!

That is why Jews were so devastated by the destruction of the temple- according to the Torah, the only place you can present your sin sacrifice is where God places his name (Deuteronomy 16:16), which was the temple Solomon built. When the temple was destroyed, so was any hope of being forgiven.

The Wailing Wall (also known as the Western Wall) is not part of the temple- it was part of a wall surrounding the temple area that Herod built.

That is why I am so glad I have found my Messiah, Yeshua, and pray constantly that my Jewish brothers and sisters will eventually come on board the salvation train to take this ride to eternal joy in God’s presence, with me.

I know that you hear us Messianics’ always talking about how the Torah is still necessary, but this isn’t legalism (when people say that it’s really nothing more than a cop-out), it is faithful obedience that comes from loving God and wanting to do what pleases him.

Faith is necessary but faith without works is dead (James 2:14), meaning simply enough that if you have real faith, and really love the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:5) you will want to do as he tells you to do, if for no other reason than to please him.

Remember that he tell us in Ezekiel 18:23 he doesn’t get any pleasure from seeing sinners die, so to not sin we must obey the rules and instructions in the Torah: both Shaul and James confirm this in their writings!

So, if you really love the Lord, and really accept Yeshua as your Messiah, then your faith will demand that you learn what God wants from you and do it, to the best of your ability. Not to be saved, and not to earn anything, but simply out of love for God and the faithful desire to please him.

One last thing: selfless and humble obedience to God is the result of true faithfulness, which is an emotionally fulfilling thing, but there is another nice perk to obedience: read Deuteronomy, Chapter 28 to see all the wonderful blessings you receive here on earth when you obey God.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know; like my Facebook page, join my Facebook group “Just God’s Word”, buy my books and subscribe to both my YouTube channel and website.

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