I Am Not Religious

It may seem silly, my saying that I am not religious, when I read the Bible every day, pray constantly, and especially since I have this ministry.

But, yet, I tell you, here and now and with conviction, that I am not religious.

So, nu, if I’m not religious, then what am I?

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

The way I prefer to identify myself is as a God-fearing man.

I don’t want to say “a worshipful man” because that could be misunderstood, since there are so many wrong things in the world that people worship.

But religious? Nah- not a chance!

Why do I not want to be called religious, when so many people identify “religious” as a person who worships God?

It’s because most every Judeo-Christian religion I have ever encountered worships the religion more than it worships the one that religion was created to worship.

And, as I have said over and over, a million times: God has no religion!

Yeshua chided the Pharisees for creating man-made traditions that took precedence over what God commanded. Now, as I have said many times, this is not a condemnation of all traditions- no! It is condemning only those traditions which are treated as more important than what God said to do.

Religion, whether one of the plethora of Christian religions or one of the six different sects within Judaism, all pay more attention to their traditions, man-made rituals, man-made holidays, etc., than they do to what God said we should do.

Yes, even in Judaism, which is based on God’s Torah, we have many Talmudic traditions and regulations that far exceed what God, himself, said we should do and are considered as important as if God told it to Moses.

(Actually, the Talmud is considered to be the Oral Law, meaning commandments that God gave Moses but he did not write down, instead passing them down throughout the generations orally.)

For example, there is only a certain distance you can walk on the Shabbat.

There are two different sets of dishes, one for dairy and one for meat. And in some houses, there is a third set used solely for Pesach (Passover).

In some of the Orthodoxy, the husband and wife are separated in their bed by a sheet when performing intimate activities.

In Chasidic and Orthodox synagogues, the women sit in an upper chamber and the men in the lower chamber where the Torah is kept, or on different sides of the building, separated by a curtain.

And there are many other traditional requirements and even superstitions that are too many to list here.

Now, as for Christianity, I could on and on about their man-made holidays being celebrated while God-commanded Holy Days are totally ignored, or how the Torah is taught to be outdated, or many other things that are man-made commandments which totally ignore almost all of God’s commandments.

Not to mention there are dozens of Christian religions, all professing to worship the same God, but all with different ways to worship him.

So, am I “religious”, meaning to almost everyone that I follow the regulations and credos of a religion?

NO! I am NOT!

I worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and obey his instructions in the Torah to the best of my abilities. I am a God-fearing Jewish man, who if I have to identify my belief system, would call myself a Messianic Jew, but even within the Messianic Jewish community, there are some 5 different organizations, each with different ideas:

Chosen People Ministries; Messianic Jewish Alliance of America; Jews for Jesus; Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations; and Messianic Jewish Fellowship International.

Personally, I would not include Jews for Jesus because that is not a religious group, so to speak; it is actually a corporation with a corporate mission to introduce Yeshua to Jews.

So, if you believe that religion is more about itself than it is about God, then do as I do and stop saying you are “religious”.

When someone asks you what religion you are, say this:

I am a God-fearing person who worships and obeys the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and believes that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah he promised to send.

Yeah, I know, it’s more of a mouthful than just saying “I’m religious”, but it is accurate and properly identifies who is most important to you.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books and share these messages with everyone you know. Next time you are on Facebook, join my 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 now, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Some Rosh Hashanah Factoids

With the High Holy Days upon us, I thought I would go over some of the Jewish traditions regarding Rosh Hashanah.

Remember, even though Yeshua chided the Pharisees about man-made traditions, he wasn’t against all traditions- only those specific ones that were given precedence over what God said we should do. Not every tradition is bad, only those that men have created which are given more importance than the instructions God gave us.

There won’t be any video today, and I hope that you find this lesson interesting.

(I am getting most of todays information from a great 2-volume set that I recommend for anyone who wants to really get to know what being Jewish is all about, called “The Jewish Book of Why”, written by Alfred J. Kolatch.)

You may notice that I always specify “Holy Day” from “holiday”. This is because I differentiate between celebrations that God commanded from celebrations that are man-made.

The first thing I want to say, which is not from the book I referenced but from the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 23:23-25, is that the Holy Day we now call Rosh Hashanah is actually called Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) and is commanded to be observed by God in this manner (from the CJB):

Adonai said to Moshe,  “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar.  Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to Adonai.’”

This 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called the Ten Days of Awe, in which we look, introspectively, at ourselves to confess how short we have fallen from the way God wants us to live. It is a time to remember the past year, and prepare ourselves, emotionally ands spiritually, for Yom Kippur.

One of the things we do is to go to everyone who we think we may have transgressed against over the past year, and ask them for forgiveness. This may sound familiar, as Yeshua told us if a brother has anything against us, we should leave our offering at the altar and first go make things right with that person (Matthew 5:23-4).

Another tradition is a ceremony called Tashlich (casting off). This is performed when standing by fresh, running water; we throw a rock, or sometimes people throw bread crumbs, into the water praying that just as the rock sinks or the crumbs are carried away, so should our sins be taken away from us for this new year.

Even though this is considered the new year (Rosh Hashannah means “head of the year”), there are actually other new year days.

The “civil” new year is the first of Nissan, which back then was called Aviv. This is the day that God commanded should be the first day of the calendar (Exodus 12:2). Rosh Hashanah, the first day of Tishri, is considered the “religious” new year. Each of these two celebrations coincide with a harvest.

The Talmud refers to other new years, one for royalty (the first of Nissan); one for agriculture (the first of Tishri); one for the tithing of cattle (the first of Elul); and the fourth as a new year for trees (the first of Shevat).

The Bible calls for just one day of celebrating this Holy Day, but we now celebrate it or two days. The reason is because this is the only Holy Day that falls on a New Moon. The announcement of the new moon was based on three witnesses in Jerusalem seeing the moon, then messengers were sent to light signal fires to let the outer cities in Israel know the new moon has arrived. Sometimes these messengers were late, so it was decided that we would celebrate this day over a 2-day period, but consider it as one, long day.

The Rabbis did this a lot in the Talmud- they kinda made up their own rules.

The shofar is blown some 100 times on Rosh Hashannah. The Talmud gives a rather mystical reason, that by doing so we scare off Satan, so he won’t be able to bring any charges against the Jewish people before God on the Day of Atonement.

The traditional reading on this day is called the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac. This is Genesis, Chapter 22, and is considered to be one of the many messianic passages in the Torah.

Here is something I’m sure you will find interesting: Rosh Hashanah never falls on a Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday. The reason for this is that when the Jewish calendar was issued by Hillel II in 359 C.E., it was arranged so that the Holy Days would not interfere with the Shabbat observance, or vice-versa.

The reason we use a rams horn instead of a cow horn is to honor the ram that Abraham sacrificed on Mount Moriah after the angel stopped him from killing Isaac.

The shofar blasts are composed of three different notes called Tekia, Terua, and Shevarim. The Tekia is a single blast, the Terua is 9 staccato blasts, and the Shevarim (introduced in the Talmud in Rosh Hashanah 33b) is three undulating blasts. There is an additional blast, the Tekia Gedolah, which is a long, suspended note. There is a traditional sequence for sounding them, the entre sequence is done three times after a prayer is recited, and the prayer is recited three times during the service (which can last from a few hours to 7 hours, depending on the sect of Judaism).

The notes are sounded in this order:

tekia-shevarim-terua-tekia;

tekia-shevarim-tekia; and

tekia-terua-tekia.

With the final sequence, in some synagogues, they also sound the tekia gedolah.

The total number of shofar blasts is to be 100.

A white garment called a kittle is worn to represent humility and purity. We also wear this on Yom Kippur.

Some food is also specific to this day. The Challah bread, usually braided, is round to represent eternity, which has no beginning and no end. I t also represents the cyclic nature of life.

We serve carrot tzimmes, a sweet carrot and honey dish to represent the hopes for a sweet new year.

Another food to represent hopes for a sweet new year are apples dipped in honey and the serving of honey cake ( I LOVE honey cake!).

Finally, let’s do one more tradition: many Jews avoid eating nuts on this day. Why? Because of Jewish superstition (yes, there are many superstitions in Judaism). Hebrew letters also have a numerical value, so a Hebrew word can be given a number value, which is similar to Numerology. The Hebrew word for nut is “egoz“, which has the same numerical value as the Hebrew word chet, which is sin. Therefore, we do not want the new year to have any association with sin.

Nutty, isn’t it?

So there you have it! There are even more traditions regarding this Holy Day, but this is enough for now. You can get the book I told you about above and learn all about Jewish thought, superstition, traditions, and beliefs.

The Shabbat begins tonight, so Shabbat Shalom, and come Sunday night I wish you all:

Leshanah tovah tikatevu!

(May you be inscribed for a good year)

Let’s Talk About the Name of the Lord

We’ve been over this, again and again, so let’s go over it one more time.

The Tetragrammaton, the four-letter word that God told Moses, is God’s Holy Name, and how it is used in speech and prayer should honor God.

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

Yet, there are some who use his Holy Name as if it was just any ordinary name, like Tom or Dick or even Steve. They also condemn anyone who doesn’t use it.

They are called (and it probably isn’t the nicest appellation) “Holy Namers”, and that is because they constantly use the Hebrew name of God, those 4 Hebrew letters called the Tetragrammaton. That name is composed of the letters Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh (יהוה), and has been pronounced in any number of different ways.

And their justification for this is when the Bible uses the term “Call on the Name” or “The name of the Lord”, they take that out of context, both written and cultural, to mean using the Tetragrammaton.

Now, as a Jewish man I never even try to pronounce that name because it is God’s Holy Name, and Jews don’t pronounce it out of respect for God.

Many Christians, especially the Holy Namers, must think that they are on a first-name basis with the Lord, God, Almighty; addressing him as if he was one of their human friends.

If you met a world leader, would you call that person by their first name?

If you met the CEO of the company you work for, would you call him or her by their first name?

If you met a teacher that you highly respected from your past, would you call that person by their first name?

I hope not- that would be disrespectful, wouldn’t it?

So what makes anyone think they are on such a high, spiritual level that they can address God by his first name?

This is the very reason why Jews do not pronounce God’s name, but instead substitute Adonai (which means “Lord”), or HaShem (which means “the name), or Elohim or Shaddai (both different names for God, but not his actual name) whenever we come across the Tetragrammaton in the Tanakh.

We also feel that using God’s Holy Name is a violation of the 3rd Commandment.

Yet, despite these highly logical and respectful reasons for not pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, Holy Namers accuse us of being wrong by not pronouncing the name of God!

I think, and this is my own idea, that because Christians are brought up saying Jesus’s name all the time that they think it is also OK to use God’s Holy Name just as easily.

But, as for the term “the name of the Lord”, when used in the Bible almost always has nothing, whatsoever, to do with the Tetragrammaton.

The phrase “name of the Lord” refers to God’s reputation and his greatness. It represents his power, his goodness, his mercy, and everything else about God- everything, that is, but his actual name.

There are times when we do see his actual name being used, such as when Moses needed to use it to convince the people in Egypt that he was sent by God, but the need to pronounce the Tetragrammaton is rarely found in the Tanakh.

In the New Covenant it is almost completely missing, and the name that is referred to mostly is “Yeshua”. But even in the case where Yeshua says “in my name”, that doesn’t mean that we are to say “Yeshua”, or “Jesus” (which isn’t his name, to begin with) but to refer to his role as the Messiah.

So, look- if you want to call out the Holy Name of God, I won’t tell you it is wrong, and I never tell anyone what they should think, but I would ask you to consider what I have said about respecting God.

It isn’t a sin to respect God by referring to him as Lord or Sir (another usage of Adonai) or Elohim or Shaddai; but, it just may be disrespectful to address God as you would your drinking buddies.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages, 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!

Do We Really Have to Pray Everything in Yeshua’s Name?

In the Gospel of John, specifically John 14:13, Yeshua tells his disciples that whatever they ask for, when they ask it in his name, he will do. He said this is the way he will glorify his Father.

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

But does that mean every time we pray, no matter what the prayer, we have to do it in “the name of Yeshua”?

What about when we give thanks to God? Praying a thanksgiving prayer isn’t asking for anything, so I don’t reference Yeshua at all when I thank God for whatever I am being thankful for.

And that is usually everything- my marriage with Donna, my salvation through Messiah, the good health that Donna and I still have, financial comfort, a home, etc., ad infinitum.

And when I do ask for something important, such as forgiveness (which I do every day, whether I know I sinned or not, because I know I probably did sin, sometime), I ask by the blood of the Messiah, which is the means by which we receive forgiveness.

And if I am just talking with God (99.9% of the time I talk and he listens, but every now and then, I do get a message or an answer from him, which is always a quiet, still voice in the back of my head) I find no need to end it by referencing Yeshua.

And I do not pray to Yeshua. Even for those who believe he is also God, he is at this time sitting at God’s right hand and his role, in God’s own plan of salvation, is that of our Messiah. To pray to him is to ignore God, sitting to his left, and is, in truth, a form of idolatry.

Our salvation is not through Yeshua, but by means of the sacrifice he made: he is our Intercessor of prayer, not the Interceptor of it.

If you believe Yeshua, God, and the Holy Spirit are one-and-the-same entity, that doesn’t change the fact that Yeshua came to earth to be the Messiah- a separate being, and as such, to ignore his choice to be separate at this time is to ignore his sacrifice and, essentially, reject what he suffered through for you as Yeshua, the Messiah.

Think about that.

So, when you pray for something- and I don’t mean for nice weather or a new car, which is generally OK to pray for- and you want to pray “in Yeshua’s name” (which doesn’t mean to him, but to reference his sacrifice which made your salvation through forgiveness possible), then do so.

But if you are just thanking God, or talking with God, or having a drash with God over some biblical passage you can’t understand, don’t waste the power that Yeshua’s name has by using it when you don’t need to.

Use the power that Yeshua’s name gives you in prayer sparingly, respectfully, and effectively.

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

And one last thing: remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Is the Akedah About Abrahams Faith or Isaac’s Obedience

We all know the story in Genesis 22, which we call the Akedah (binding), where Abraham obeys God’s demand that he sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah.

We also all know that this is all about testing Abraham’s faith.

Or, is it?

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

I had recently posted a message regarding the way Christianity has misrepresented Yeshua (Jesus) as more of an Absalom, a son who defied his father’s authority and rebelled to have people follow him, than an Isaac who obeyed his father’s wishes, even unto death.

That is when it “hit” me: yes, the Akedah is certainly a story about the faith of Abraham, but isn’t it also a story about the obedience of Isaac?

It is considered a messianic passage by almost everyone, and as such, it isn’t just about the father willing to sacrifice his only son, but it is about the son, willing to be obedient to his father at all costs.

Just as Yeshua, the Messiah, was so obedient to his father, God, as to allow himself to be sacrificed.

It was, to me, a realization of a different aspect of the Akedah that, to my knowledge and from my experience, has not been addressed.

So, what do you think? I think there are two very important lessons from the Akedah:

  1. The standard lesson that Abraham’s faith was strong enough to let him sacrifice his son, just as God’s love for us was strong enough for him to sacrifice his son; and
  2. That Isaac’s obedience to his father was strong enough to allow him to let himself be sacrificed, and although he wasn’t, in Yeshua’s case he was.

That’s all I wanted to say (I know- who woddah ‘tought I could write such a short message?)

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

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

Salvation Can Be Earned

I know, I know…you have always been taught that salvation is a free gift from God and cannot be bought or earned.

Now, the part about salvation being a free gift from God and impossible to be purchased is true; however, according to what God tells us, salvation can be earned!

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

How can I say salvation can be earned when all our religious leaders tell us it can’t? And even more than that, what justification do I have to claim that God, himself, tells us we can earn salvation?

I’m glad you asked.

God gave us the Torah, which tells us, in simple to understand language, what he wants us to do. And, if we do what he wants us to do, then we are righteous in his eyes. And, if we are righteous in his eyes, then we will be saved, i.e., we will not face the second death but instead be in God’s presence for all eternity.

I believe that is what we refer to as “salvation”, is it not?

And, if you need more proof, then I present to you the Messiah, Yeshua.

Here is a man, 100% human, who lived his entire life in perfect accordance with the Torah. And, after he died, he was resurrected and allowed into the presence of the Lord. In fact, more than just allowed to be there- he sits at God’s right hand!

For those of you who are members of this ministry, you will no doubt recall that when I refer to the Torah I rarely refer to it as commandments or law, but more often than not as God’s instructions.

The Torah was given to us by God (and I do not mean just us Jews, but to US: everyone throughout the world) so that we would know exactly how to worship him, how to treat each other, how to conduct business, how to punish those who do wrong, and how to conduct our interpersonal (intimate) relationships.

And in Deuteronomy 28, he tells us that when we do what he says, he will bless us; but, if we refuse to do as he says, we will suffer curses galore.

God also tells us, more than once, that we must not add to or take away from any of the instructions he gave us.

It is obvious that God gave us the Torah so we could know what he wants us to do in order to receive salvation.

So, nu? If this is true, then why have religious leaders told us for generations on end that no one can earn salvation?

I’m glad you asked.

The answer is simple: except for Yeshua, no one has been able to follow every instruction in the Torah because (as the Bible tells us, many, many times) we are all born sinners: we have, we do, and we always will sin.

It is this inability of humans to not sin that keeps us from being in accordance with the Torah, and as such, makes it impossible for us to earn the salvation that the Torah provides.

Maybe what they should be teaching is that salvation is possible if we live every day, for our entire lives, in perfect accord with the instructions God gave in the Torah, but so far (except for one, and we know who he is) no one has ever been able to do that because of our inescapable iniquity (the desire to sin).

God gave us his instructions on how we can earn salvation through sinless living, but he also knew that we wouldn’t be able to do that, so he took a lesson from school teachers…when a teacher has a course that is a very difficult subject to learn, but there has to be a test on it, the teacher will grade the test on a “curve”, which is sort of like a handicap in golf.

God gave us a difficult task, which is to obey his instructions, and he knew that it would be nearly impossible, so he grades us on a curve- that curve is the Messiah. By accepting Yeshua as your Messiah, STILL trying to live as God said to live, when you fail, the Messiah is your handicap, bringing you back to “par” with God.

BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO TRY TO LIVE AS GOD SAID YOU SHOULD!

Following standard Christian teaching that Yeshua did away with God’s instructions will not help at all, and the test paper you turn in will come back with a big, fat “F” on it!

And for us Jews, when we follow Talmudic Halacha as more important than God’s instructions (which is one of the things Yeshua chided the Pharisees about), we are adding to what he said, which is (by definition) a sin.

Accept Yeshua (Jesus) as your Messiah, then read what God says you should do- not what some human created religion tells you to do!

And you know what? You don’t even have to read the entire Torah: just read Leviticus and Deuteronomy and you will know all you need to know to take that salvation test and pass.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to this ministry on both my website and YouTube channels. Also join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word”, but please make sure you read and agree to the rules.

And if you like what you get here, you will like my books, as well, which are available in both paperback and digital formats: you can buy them through my website or go to Amazon books.

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

Discuss, Debate, Disagree, Demean

I’ve been on a three day high school reunion- our 50th, but now I am back and ready to preach!

We all know the Bible…well, actually, we all THINK we know the Bible.

We think we know what God wants, but in reality most people only know what they have been told God wants.

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

I am not going to discuss what God wants, but rather what happens when people start to talk to each other about what God wants.

My experience, after some 25 plus years of being a Believer, is that people start out easily talking about God, and soon they find there are some things in which they have a slightly different understanding.

This then becomes a discussion that turns into a bit of a debate, in that each side wants to explain their side and challenge the other side to disprove them.

And this is the place where one of two things happen: the two people respectfully agree to disagree, or the conversation takes a nosedive from nice to nasty, and I have identified this change from edifying each other to demeaning each other happening in four, distinct stages.

Stage 1: we start by talking about God and begin to discuss a specific topic about God, or what God wants.

Stage 2: as we continue with the discussion, a different understanding of that topic emerges, and now we debate what God really said or what he really meant.

Stage 3: we realize that we actually disagree.

Stage 4: one or both stop attacking the argument and begin to attack the person.

This is not the result of a godly call to help someone know God better: it is nothing more than pridefulness rearing itself up and changing the dynamic from trying to determine God’s truth to working for the Enemy of God to cause dissension.

If the people involved are spiritually and/or emotionally mature, they can respect each other’s right to their opinion and agree to disagree.

However, way too often, one or more of those involved begin demeaning the other because they will not change their mind.

There is no reason or justification, EVER, for demeaning or insulting anyone just because they disagree with you.

When you find yourself in a discussion that has turned the corner from mature argumentation to personal insult, you have only one option: get out of it.

No matter how passionate you may be about helping someone to know God better, when the talk has gone from explaining to insulting, it is time to go home.

They say the three topics you should never bring up in a conversation are family, politics, and religion. I think there is a lot of truth to that, but it should not stop you from trying.

The trick is knowing when to stop; it is as simple as that, and that is all I wanted to talk about today.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel as well. By the way, when you are on the website, please buy my books- if you like what you get here, you will like my books.

And join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word”- please make sure you read and agree to the rules.

So, until next time, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

People Who are Overly Spiritual are Useless to God

What do I mean by “overly spiritual”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And remember this: I always welcome your comments.

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

Yeshua: Is He Isaac or Absalom?

You may be thinking:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s start with Isaac.

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

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

Yet, he was the obedient son.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, there you have it!

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

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

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

And remember: I always welcome your comments.

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

Let’s Talk Tithe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confusing, isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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