Why Did Yeshua Call Himself “Son of Man”?

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

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

So, was Ezekiel the Messiah?

I don’t think so.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s sin, isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

It’s sin! Duh!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

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

Forgiveness, Mercy, and Grace are Not the Same Thing

Too often I hear people using these terms interchangeably, but that is not the proper use of them.

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If you don’t mind, I am not going to give Webster’s definitions or go through dozens of biblical verses to justify the statements I am about to make.

Instead, I am going to share with you my personal understanding of these terms, gleaned from some 25 years of studying the Bible, earning a Certificate of Messianic Studies from the Messianic Bible Institute, talking with hundreds of Believers, and (what I hope to be) a spirit-generated wisdom.

That being said, even though forgiveness, mercy, and grace are not the same thing, they are definitely intertwined.

Forgiveness is letting go of the need to retaliate or get revenge on someone for having hurt you, in any way.

We all know not to seek revenge because vengeance belongs to the Lord, but if we’re lucky, sometimes we get to see it happen.

Forgiveness does NOT mean allowing someone back into your life, or trusting them (unless they earn it back), but we should keep an open mind. Forgiveness NEVER means that who we forgive gets away with whatever they did- forgiveness is not absolution, and even when God forgives sins, that is on an eternal and spiritual level.

When you sin, you WILL pay for it on earth, one way or another.

Mercy, like forgiveness, is not allowing someone to get off scot-free when they sin. No; mercy is not escape from punishment, it is the rendering of compassionate punishment.

In the Bible we are told “eye for eye, tooth for tooth”, but that was never meant to be taken literally. God meant that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime.

That means if someone steals, they must return or pay for what they stole (often with an additional fifth), and if someone maims another, they must make a payment equal to the lifelong financial loss of that appendage.

If someone murders someone else, depending on whether it was accidental or premeditated, their punishment will be appropriate.

Mercy is, to some degree, a part of forgiveness- in fact, I would say that forgiveness starts with a merciful attitude.

Now, let’s talk about grace.

Grace is not an action, it is a desire. God tells us in Ezekiel 18:23 (OK, so I’ll use one Bible reference) that he desires all people to live. That is his Grace- the desire to forgive, the desire to punish mercifully, and the desire that everyone, sinner and righteous alike, by able to be in his presence throughout eternity.

So, to bring them all together, here is how I see it working:

Because of God’s Grace, he gave us the Torah so we would know how to live forever with him. But, knowing that we would never be totally Torah observant, because of his Grace, he provided a way we could be forgiven of our sins, which is the sacrificial system. He also decreed a penal system in the Torah, which (by his Grace) defines the types of merciful punishment to be meted out.

His Grace is the reason why he sent the Messiah, knowing that the temple would be destroyed and that we needed another way to be forgiven of our sins.

That’s it- Grace is behind forgiveness and mercy, but forgiveness is not mercy, and mercy is not a “Get Out of Jail for Free” card.

When you sin, by God’s Grace you have a means to be forgiven on a spiritual level, but you will still face punishment for your actions, although that punishment will be tempered with mercy.

That’s how I see it all fitting together. However, if you see it differently, please let me know and share your ideas with all of us.

Thank you for being here- please share these messages, buy my books from my website or Amazon, subscribe to the website and my YouTube channel, and on Facebook “Like” my page and join my discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (please ensure you read and agree to the rules).

And I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today (WOW! Two short messages in the same week!) so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Does the Bible Say to Pray to the Sacrifice?

I know this sounds like a really silly question- everyone knows that you only pray to God, right?

Praying to anyone or anything other than God is idolatry, right?

Then tell me why so many people pray to their sin sacrifice instead of to God?

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OK, so you already are thinking this is going to be a message about trinity verse unity, but it isn’t.

It is a message about the roles each one of us plays in God’s plan of salvation.

God is the creator and ultimate savior because, even though Yeshua did say he was given authority on the earth to forgive sins, that was ONLY while he was on the earth. As the resurrected Messiah, his role in God’s plan of salvation is to be the substitution for the animal sacrifice, whose innocent blood was shed so that we can be forgiven of our sins.

The role of the Messiah is to be a sacrifice for humanity, and thereafter as the Intercessor for those who accept his role for themselves.

That’s why I asked if you should pray to the sacrifice, which, of course, you shouldn’t do.

The role of God is no different than it has been since he created us- God is our savior who forgives our sins, only now it is through the sacrifice of Yeshua and not an animal killed in front of the altar at the temple.

Our role is to accept that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised to send, and by doing so we can then ask God for forgiveness and the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, which (before the Messiah) was only lent to people- the Spirit came upon them, but was always lifted off later. Through the Messiah, we can have the Spirit indwell for the rest of our natural lives.

Unless, of course, we screw it up. This is always something we have to be careful of: no one can take away God’s gift of salvation, but we can reject it.

So, nu! Let’s review the roles to be played: God saves us by forgiving our sins; Messiah Yeshua sacrificed himself so we have the means to attain God’s forgiveness; and the role we have play is to accept that Yeshua is the Messiah, repent of our sins, and ask God, by means of the shed blood of the Messiah Yeshua, for forgiveness and to receive the gift of the Ruach.

That’s how it works, so whether or not you believe Yeshua is God doesn’t matter- if you pray to Yeshua you are praying to the wrong person under God’s plan of salvation.

We are NOT to pray to the sacrifice, we are to pray to the one being sacrificed to!

So, let me be frank (even though I am really Steve): with regard to salvation, it doesn’t matter if Yeshua is God or not because the way God set up the plan of salvation (since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem) is that we must accept Yeshua as the sacrifice we would have brought to the temple, and thereby pray to God for forgiveness by means of the shed blood of the Messiah.

So, I suggest you pray in the way God set things up.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website, YouTube channel, and when on Facebook like my Messianic Moment page and join my discussion 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 (this was a short one, wasn’t it?), so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

In Judaism, the Heart is The Mind

In a world where we try to be better at everything, where you can go to almost any media and find someone who will tell you how to be a better person, how to communicate better with others, how to be in better shape, how to…well, how to be better at just about anything.

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Of all the things we are trying to do to better ourselves, having both a healthy mind and a healthy heart is among the most desired conditions.

In Judaism, we believe that the heart and mind are actually one and the same thing.

The Hebrew word for heart is “leb” (לב), but although it is a separate organ from the mind, it is not separate spiritually.

In the prayer called the V’ahavta (You are to love) found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, we are told:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might

Some versions of the Bible say with all thy heart and all thy mind, and in Judaic thought, these are one and the same. We are being told to love God with both our emotions and intellect.

In today’s world, you hear people advising others to make decisions with their mind and not their heart, because the gentile world sees the heart as emotion, and the mind as intellect.

In Jewish thought, the heart is the center of the intellect, directing us to make decisions based on our feelings as well as our sensibility.

In the Book of Proverbs, we read often of the mind and the heart as being the same thing. For instance:

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” (Prov. 16:23)

That indicates that our heart is able to make wise decisions which enable us to better communicate our feelings and thoughts to others.

At the prelude to Proverbs, in Proverbs 2:10-11, the writer states that when Adonai gives wisdom, the wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be enjoyable to you.

The Chasidic Jews believe (at least, those of Chabad) that there is one mind, but two hearts. The outer heart is one that chases the worldly things, and the inner heart is the fire of the soul. The mind is the key to the inner heart, which is the more spiritually guided aspect of our personality.

If this sounds Freudian to you, it certainly does to me, too. The inner heart would be the Ego, the outer heart would be the Id, and the mind would be the Superego.

You know, Freud was Jewish- maybe what we now call modern psychoanalysis is really just what Jews have known about for centuries?

I believe we need to be led by our hearts and guided by our minds. The heart and mind need to work together, the heart allowing us to have an emotional connection to others, feeling compassion and empathy, with the mind reining us in from foolishly allowing others to take advantage of our kindness, or rushing into things that appeal to our desire for worldly things.

Mind and heart, heart and mind, both are necessary to gain spiritual understanding and wisdom. And if you ask me, I will agree with that Jewish tent maker from Tarsus when, in his first letter to the Kehillah in Corinth, he told them that he might have many gifts, but without love, he is nothing.

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 to read and agree to the rules).

And remember: I always welcome your comments.

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

Just How Many Pilgrim Festivals Are There, Really?

If you were to ask most any American, “What is a pilgrim festival?” I’ll bet their answer will be “Why, that would be Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday of November.”

But that isn’t really a pilgrim festival, is it?

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For us religious types, a pilgrim festival is one where we are required to congregate at our respective house of worship, be that a synagogue, a church, or a mosque.

You know, I have been reading the Bible for over 25 years, nearly every, single day, and have gone through it at least 2 dozen times, and what is wonderful about this book is that even when you have read it as often as I have, not to mention all the studies I have been involved with requiring me to research throughout the Bible, you can still read something you have read over and over, and see a new truth in it.

So, nu? What am I leading to? It’s this: I have always known that there are three pilgrim festivals in Judaism: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

If you do an Internet search for “Jewish pilgrimage festivals” on Google, you will get any number of “hits”, from Britannica’s site to the one called My Jewish Learning to Wikipedia, and so on, and they will all tell you that the Jewish pilgrim festivals are Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Now here’s the thing that hit me just the other day as my daily reading had me in Leviticus, Chapter 23…there are actually 6 pilgrim festivals in Judaism!

That’s right! Not 3 or 4 or even 5, but there are 6 times that God says we are to have a holy convocation, which translates to being physically at the Temple.

That means from the time after we entered the land, which was when the first Shavuot began, people were required to go to the Tent of Meeting (first at Gilgal, then Shiloh, then Jerusalem) until we had Solomon’s Temple. But, after 73 AD, when Roman soldiers destroyed the temple, we had nowhere to go to fulfill the commandments regarding pilgrim festivals.

Here’s an interesting side note: although Pesach (Passover) was celebrated before we entered the Land, Shavuot and Sukkot were not to be celebrated, and Habikurim (First Fruits) also had to wait until we were established in Canaan. God stated, specifically, that these were to be celebrated AFTER we entered the Land (see Leviticus 23:9).

So, this was quite a revelation to me- all these years I was teaching that there are three pilgrim festivals because that is what I was taught, but I was wrong.

Let’s go to the Book of Leviticus (CJB) and see what God says is to be a holy convocation:

Pesach is a pilgrim festival for two reasons: one, because all sacrifices had to be made at the place where God put his name (Deuteronomy 16:6), and secondly because we are to have a holy convocation on the first day of Hag HaMatzot.

It certainly looks to me that God wants us to congregate together on the first day of Hag HaMatzot (Festival of Unleavened Bread), then again on Shavuot, then again on Rosh Hashanah (originally called Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets), then again on Yom Kippur, and finally on the first day and the eighth day of Sukkot, which is called Yom Atzeret, also known as Simchat Torah.

Now, some may say that some of these holy convocations were included with the required presence at the temple, so they don’t really count as a separate pilgrimage. Maybe there’s some truth to that, but God specifies 6 holy convocations, and for me, that means there are 6 separate and unique times we are to be at the temple.

So, this certainly begs the question: How could I have read and studied the Torah for so many years, and never seen, which has always been right in front of my face, that there are really 6 pilgrim festivals, not just three?

My answer is that I have been doing what so many people do, which is reading the Bible but only seeing what I have been told is there.

Most people, if you ask me, are at the height of spiritual ignorance because they don’t read the Bible at all. The next level down is those who hear others tell them what is in the Bible, but don’t bother to verify what they are told.

The level I was on all this time when reading Leviticus 23 and never noticing the true number of holy convocations was the level where I am reading the Bible but only seeing what I already know it says.

This is probably why so many people who do read the Bible miss so much of what is in there- we have blinders, blinders that were placed on our eyes by religion, which told us what the Bible says, So, even though we are looking right at it, we only see what we have been told is there.

This is why it is so important to pray to God and ask for Holy Spirit guidance each and every time we read the Bible, so that we can be freed of the blinders religion has placed on our eyes.

The scary thing is that now I have to wonder: How many other things in God’s word have I read and not understood properly?

The comforting thing, though, is that now that I know this has happened, I will be doubly careful and much more aware of what I am reading.

The bottom line for all of us is to recognize the potential that no matter how many times we have gone through the Bible, we may still be reading something but not seeing it.

Let me finish with telling you what I will be doing, and suggest you do the same: from this moment on, I am reading with both eyes open, and accept the fact that as well as I know the Bible, I may not know it all correctly.

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 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!

Shavuot 2022 Message

This weekend we celebrate Shavuot, which is one of the three pilgrimage Festivals (Pesach/Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot), so I thought we should have a lesson about this Holy Day.

Shavuot is closely associated with Pesach because we are commanded to Count the Omer starting with the first Shabbat after Pesach, that counting (50 days) ends at Shavuot.

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Shavuot is known by a few different names. It is called The Feast of Weeks (Chag Shavuot), the festival of First Fruits (Chag Habikurim), and the Harvest festival (Chag Hakatzir).

It is even referred to as Atzeret, which means “assembly” and refers to the fact that this is a day when we assemble at the temple in Jerusalem.

(Avengers…Atzeret! Nah, that won’t work.)

Many feel Shavuot is the conclusion of the Passover celebration, which consists of Pesach (evening to midnight of the 14th of Nisan), Chag HaMatzot (Festival of Unleavened Bread, which lasts 7 days), and then Shavuot which occurs 50 days later, when we finish the Counting of the Omer.

The day Jews celebrate Shavuot is also called Pentecost (Greek for “50 days”), which is considered a Christian holiday.

The New Covenant tells us in Acts 2 about how at the Pentecost celebration (unless you are reading a Jewish version of the B’rit Chadasha, in which it will correctly call it during the Festival of Shavuot) the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, occurred.

One of the things the Jewish leaders have done over the years is to change the meaning of a Holy Day. For instance, Rosh Hashanah is considered today to be the Jewish New Year, but in the Torah God calls it a Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets), and it is not at all associated with a new year. In fact, in Exodus 12 God tells us that our year begins on the first day of Aviv (now called Nisan).

The rabbis have changed Shavuot, as well, redesignating it from its Torah definition as a harvest festival (an Omer is a measure of wheat) to associating it with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

They came up with this idea by calculating that after the first Pesach, by the time the Omer counting was over, the Israelites were at the base of Horeb (Sinai), and that is when God gave us the Torah (give or take a month while Moses was on the mountain).

I have done the calculations myself, and it can work either way, with some saying they came to the mountain 90 days later, and others being able to show it was about 50 days.

This significant difference, being calculated from the same source (the Torah) reminds me of something I learned when I worked on Wall Street: figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

In any event, I have come to accept that there is a good lesson for Messianic Jews in seeing both Pentecost and Shavuot as a “giving” event: for one, God gave us the Torah, which Shaul (Paul) says defined sin so that we could know-absolutely- the difference between what pleases God and what doesn’t. And, on this same day, God gave us the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) to be the fulfillment of the New Covenant God made with us in Jeremiah 31:31, which is to write his Torah on our hearts (by means of the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit).

You see, when we read in the Tanakh about the giving of the spirit, God would place his spirit on people, but then that spirit was taken back. The Holy Spirit was a temporary gift that God gave, sparingly, and once the purpose for giving it was accomplished, the spirit was removed.

Not so after Yeshua’s resurrection. Those who accept that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised to send, and who faithfully obey the instructions God gave in the Torah (not what Paul or James or a Pope or a Minister or any human being tells you what to do), we can receive the Holy Spirit and it will not just fall on us to be taken back later, but will remain.

The Torah is a written set of instructions that tells us how God wants us to worship him and treat each other, which has many deep, spiritual lessons for us that one cannot fathom without having spiritual insight. The Ruach HaKodesh, which we receive from God when we ask for it (after having accepting Yeshua as his Messiah) provides that spiritual insight, which allows us to understand God’s word at a level people without the Ruach will never have.

So when we look at these two events: the giving of the written law and the giving of the means to understand the spiritual meaning of that written law, we can see how Shavuot and Pentecost are really two sides of the same coin.

I feel that even though the rabbis changed what God said Shavuot is to be, and Christian leaders have removed the “Jewishness” of what happened at Pentecost, when we look at this from a Messianic Jewish perspective, it all works to the good.

There are many other Jewish traditions associated with Shavuot, such as the reading of the Book of Ruth, staying up the entire night before Shavuot studying the Talmud, Torah, and even the Zohar (this tradition was introduced by the Kabbalists), and there are some other things, none of which I will go into today.

If you are interested in these traditions, as well as many other items of interest regarding Jewish tradition and Jews, in general, I suggest you get both volumes of “The Jewish Book of Why”.

Shavuot 2022 will begin on the evening of June 4th; it is a very joyous day and so you should drink, eat, and be merry.

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

That’s it for this week, so I wish you both Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

Let’s Talk About Omnipresence, Trinity, and Unity

Here is the first thing you need to know, and if this isn’t going to work for you, then please go to another post because this is the rule for today:

I am NOT arguing for or against either side of Trinitarianism or Unitarianism, and I do not want to see any comments or arguments for either.

This is strictly a discussion of how Omnipresence, God, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and Yeshua (Jesus) all work together for our salvation.

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

Now that I have established the rule, let me really shake people up with the following statement (and I will show why soon):

With regard to one’s salvation, it doesn’t matter if God, Yeshua, and the Ruach are one and the same, or totally separate and unique entities.

(Anyone still with me?)

Here is one thing I am certain we all agree on: God is Omnipresent, which means he is everywhere, at the same time, all the time.

That being accepted as an a priori truth, then whether or not God is a single entity appearing as multiple identities, or God, Yeshua, and the Ruach are totally separate and unique entities, God will always be everywhere he wants to be, in whatever form he wants to appear in; Yeshua is always sitting at God’s right hand on his throne interceding for us; and the Ruach can indwell in any number of people at the same time.

God, Yeshua, and the Ruach HaKodesh can be anywhere from three to hundreds, or even millions of separate places, all at the same time. Whether or not they are one entity or three.

Can you see my point?

Whether we have a single God in three identities, or three separate and unique entities, with regards to salvation, we need to have three identities: God the Father, Yeshua the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit, simultaneously available to us all the time.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We seek forgiveness of sin from God, for that is his role in his plan of salvation.

2. We faithfully accept Yeshua as our Messiah, whose sacrifice made it possible for God to forgive us our sins because the Messiah’s blood fulfills the requirement for the shedding of innocent blood for the forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22).

3. We ask for the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh to help us see the deeper, spiritual meaning in God’s word and to guide us in our daily trials and tribulations to be more of what God wants us to be.

As far as how salvation works, we need God as God, Yeshua as the Messiah, and the Ruach HaKodesh as our guide.

So, whether or not they are actually one and the same, or totally separate, it doesn’t matter for you to be saved- what DOES matter is that we have God, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit available to us which makes salvation possible.

The argument about Trinity vs. Unity is not from God, or from faithful believers, but directly from the Enemy of God, HaSatan, because all the argument does is provide a means for Satan to separate the members of the body of Messiah from working together to conquer sin.

Yeshua told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25), and when we all believe in God, and all believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, and all believe that the Holy Spirit is given to us to indwell and guide us in being faithful and understanding God’s word, when we argue about Trinity or Unity we become divided against ourselves.

And Satan scores a touchdown.

Since I am on a roll, and fairly certain I must be shaking things up for a lot of people, let me go one step further: when people pray to a saint or to Yeshua instead of praying to God… Satan scores the extra point.

We need to be together to fight Satan and overcome sin, and if we argue between ourselves, we are weakening our position. And what is worse is that this Trinity or Unity argument is, as I believe I have shown, irrelevant as far as salvation s concerned.

And the ultimate goal of life is to be “saved”- nothing else is anywhere near as important as that.

Here’s my view of this: whether or not we are talking about three in one, or three as three, all I care about is being saved, and the only relationship I see as important to my salvation is that God, Yeshua, and the Ruach work together as the means by which I can be forgiven of my sins so I can come before God on the Day of Judgement and have Yeshua as my Intercessor, claiming me as his own, thereby allowing me to be in God’s presence throughout eternity.

And you know what? When the new Earth is here, the new Jerusalem has been dropped from heaven and the third temple is in existence with Yeshua ruling from his throne over all the earth, that is when we will all know the truth about Trinity or Unity.

And one thing more: when that time comes, when we will all know, absolutely, the truth about Trinity or Unity, I guarantee that not one person there will care which is which.

Why?

Because it won’t matter then; just as it doesn’t really matter now.

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 share them out (after you’ve read them, of course), and on Facebook join my discussion group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And remember that I always welcome your comments (remember today’s rule).

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

God Destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem Because He Loves Us

Without doubt, one of the most horrendous acts against the Jewish people was the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 73 AD.

You see, God commanded that no sacrifice can be made except where he places his name (Deuteronomy 12:10-14). At first, that was the Tent of Meeting Moses built in the desert, then it was at Gilgal, then Shiloh, and finally the temple Solomon built in Jerusalem.

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Without the temple, there could be no sacrifice, which meant there could be no forgiveness of sin.

Oy gevalt! Now what?

How could God have been so cruel, to allow the Romans to destroy the very place he put his name, the only place his chosen people could find forgiveness of sin? It was like God not only punished the Jews, but condemned them to hell!

It was spiritual genocide!

Or…was it?

Did you know that one of the traditional Yom Kippur activities was to tie a scarlet ribbon on the head of the goat chosen to be the sin sacrifice, and that ribbon would miraculously turn white to show that God accepted the sacrifice and forgave us our sins?

In the Talmud, Tractate Yoma 39b, it tells us that 40 years before the destruction of the temple, the ribbon no longer turned white, indicating that the sacrifice would not be accepted.

We who are believers in Yeshua (Jesus) find this to be clear evidence of God’s verification that Yeshua, who was crucified and resurrected about 40 years before the destruction of the temple, was, indeed, the Messiah God promised to send.

However, “mainstream” Judaism refutes this as indicating that Yeshua was the final atonement for sin; instead, they present the argument that it was the sinfulness of the First Century Jews that prevented God from accepting their sacrifice, which was the result of centuries of spiritual decline, starting from the death of the High Priest Shimon ha Tzadik (Simeon the Just, who lived during the Second Temple period).

Frankly, whether or not the ribbon thing was gradual and haphazard over centuries, as is argued by non-believing Jews, or all at once, it doesn’t really matter to me because I have stated, many times, that faith is not something that needs proof; in fact, proof is the antithesis of faith.

That being said, the destruction of the temple is certainly indisputable evidence to the fact that God allowed something to prevent people from atoning for their sins, and since God tells us (in Ezekiel 18:23) that he takes no pleasure in anyone dying because of their sins, the question remains:

If God doesn’t want anyone to die in their sins, then why allow the only place we can be forgiven to be destroyed?

My answer is that God allowed the destruction of his temple because he loves us, and that love was so great he gave his only begotten son to allow us to be forgiven of our sins without the need to bring an animal to the temple in Jerusalem.

Back then, the Middle East was where the Jewish people lived. No one was more than a few days travel to the temple, but by the middle of the First Century the world had gotten much bigger, and today Jews are widespread across the globe. For us to make the trip to Jerusalem every time we need to sacrifice would be tremendously difficult.

You know, I could even make an argument that for God to force us to travel to Jerusalem today to be forgiven of sin would be more than unusually difficult, it would be downright unjust.

That is why I believe God allowed the temple to be destroyed, so that we Jews would have no option for salvation other than to reconsider the truth about who and what Yeshua is.

Accepting Yeshua as the Messiah means being able to be forgiven of sin, anywhere and anytime, while rejecting him means being in a canoe in the rapids heading towards a waterfall without a paddle.

And not just that, but there is a big hole in the canoe, as well.

Can you now see why I say God allowed the temple to be destroyed because he loves us? God destroyed the temple so that we would have no choice but to accept his Messiah, Yeshua, and thereby be saved from ourselves.

What a shame that so many of my Jewish brothers and sisters are still stubbornly refusing to do that.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel; buy the books I have written and then share them with people you know who have been lied to about God by their respective religion.

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!

I Am Not Your Brother, Really

I want to say, from the start, that this is not something I received from God. This is my personal rant and so if anyone disagrees strongly or feels insulted or put-out, I apologize. I am NOT against anyone calling me “Brother Steve” or using “Brother” or “Sister” with other members in the body of Messiah, or even saying they “love” me if they feel the need to do so. This is simply how I feel about calling each other “brother” or “sister”, or telling people you love them.

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

I agree that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of the Messiah, Yeshua, who is known by many as Jesus Christ because they don’t know his Hebrew name and haven’t learned how the Hebrew name was translated incorrectly to become “Jesus Christ”.

But that’s another issue.

We have a spiritual connection with each other through Messiah, which is separate from our real-world relationship. As such, when I am called “brother”, I accept that and appreciate it, but still I feel uncomfortable (to a small degree) because I am not their brother in real life. I have sisters, and I love people, but when a stranger I am meeting for the first time tells me he or she loves me, well…c’mon, really? You love me? -you don’t even know me!

Even people I meet and talk with, maybe for years, but only at the synagogue don’t really know me.

They see “synagogue Steve”. not “just waking up and grumpy Steve”, not the “mad as all get-out and cursing Steve (and believe me, when I am that mad that I curse, the curses flow like water down a waterfall!)”, or any of the other aspects of my personality that are the total me.

So please- don’t tell me you love me. Love is too important a word to throw around like a hot potato, or use flippantly.

Call me Steve, Steven, Yo!, Hey You, but NEVER “Stevie”: the last person who called me that is recovering very well and should be released from the hospital soon.

I have never called anyone I know from a synagogue or Facebook or any of the Facebook accounts I am associated with “brother” or “sister”, and I have never told anyone I love them, except those who I truly love and have known me, the whole me, for years.

Now, I know that Yeshua said to love each other (John 13:34) and Shaul (Paul) even went as far as to say we should greet each other with a holy kiss (2 Corinthians 13:12). But Yeshua was talking on a spiritual plane; I really don’t think he meant loving each other in a physical way: he said to love us as he did, which means to treat each other with respect and compassion.

I really don’t think Yeshua meant to go around telling everyone in the church or synagogue that “I love you”.

And what about greeting each other with a kiss? I don’t know about you, but I do not want to have anyone to kiss me, especially a stranger. Now, if we have already had a friendship for a long enough time that we both know each other well enough to kiss, that’s OK.

And that kiss better be a peck on the cheek, and nothing more.

I feel the same way about hugging.

So, that’s my rant for today- this is the real me, people, and I am sharing with you my private and true feelings. Not that I pretend to be different when I am with you in these messages or when I am in a house of worship with other congregants: I am just much more careful about what and how I say things, and I try to stay emotionally “disconnected”.

I hope you understand my feelings, and if you feel the same way I do, please let me know.

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

(Hey, in case you didn’t notice, I did not include anything about liking my Facebook Messianic Moment page or joining my “Just Gods’ Word” group, or buying my books or subscribing to my website on this post or …… oh, my! I guess I just did.)

Let’s Know the REAL 10 Commandments

Do you know the 10 Commandments? Most of us can tell you all ten, but the problem is whether or not those are the Real 10 Commandments.

Specifically, it’s the first commandment I am talking about.

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

I have found many different versions of the Big 10, depending on whether you are looking at a Jewish Bible or a Gentile Bible.

Here are some blatant examples of what I mean (Exodus 20):

Complete Jewish Bible (the Hebrew letters stand for “1” and “2”)-

“Then God said all these words:

א  “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.

ב  “You are to have no other gods before me.  You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline….”

The Church of Jesus Christ Internet site

The following review of the Ten Commandments includes brief explanations of how they continue to apply in our lives today:

1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me…”

2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…”

Google search (first hit)-

The 10 Commandments

  • You shall have no other God’s before me.
  • Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images. …”

Do you see what I am talking about?

If you are a Gentile, the 10 Commandments you most likely have been taught (to be fair, not all Gentiles were taught incorrectly) that the first commandment is not to have any other Gods before the true God. It ignores the first commandment from the Torah, which God, himself, dictated to Moses, essentially rejected that he is the God who brought us out of Egypt.

In other words, many Gentiles have never been taught that it is God who is truly our Savior.

Oh yes, it references that God brought us out of Egypt in the regular text, but it is NOT listed as a commandment.

Now, why would a Gentile Bible ignore this commandment?

(I haven’t looked at every different version, but my experience justifies my statements)

Why leave out what God considers to be the very first thing that people who worship him should know and remember?

Well, the answer seems obvious: the Gentiles who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob- the TRUE God- weren’t taken out of Egypt, so they can ignore that first commandment.

Simple. Easy to understand, and quite frankly…it makes sense.

But, as Dick Tracy detectives would say before calling him on their wrist-radio,

HOLD EVERYTHING!”

(If you’re not older than 65 then you probably don’t understand this reference)

If you are a Believer, someone who has accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as your Messiah, then according to the New Covenant writings, you are a member of Israel and an adopted child of Abraham (Ephesians 3:4-6).

In other words, when you accept Yeshua as your Messiah and are “Born Again”, then you are also a member of the tribes that came from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

That means that you, too, were taken out of slavery from Egypt!

Now, maybe the “Egypt” for Gentiles is more spiritual than it was physically for the Jewish people back then; i.e., Egypt representing slavery instead of a country, which is a metaphor often used in the Tanakh.

But the idea that God is the one who saved you from an “Egypt”, which could be either physical slavery to people or spiritual slavery to sin, is just as meaningful and important for Gentiles as it is for Jews!

So, here is my message for today: The first commandment, which identifies the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the one who took us out of slavery is important for Jews and Gentiles: representing to Jews the freedom from slavery to men, and representing to Gentiles their freedom from slavery to sin.

Of course, for all of us now, this is only available through the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, who has also made it possible for Gentiles to become adopted children of Abraham.

The real first commandment identifies God as the one who is our savior from sin.

Gentiles have been taught that Jesus is their Savior, which is true him being the instrument through which we can receive forgiveness of our sins.

BUT…Jesus doesn’t forgive sins now, so he isn’t really the one who saves us: the one, and only one, who forgives our sins, thereby saving us from spending eternity out of the presence of God is…G-O-D!

Yeshua (Jesus) is our Intercessor– he sits at the right hand of God, pleads our case, asks his Father to answer our prayers sent in his name, and tells God that we are one of his flock.

If you pray to Jesus, your aim is off- he never said to pray to him. He is the Intercessor of our prayers, not the Interceptor of them.

So, if you want to learn the real 10 Commandments, remember that the first one is:

God is the one who saved you from slavery by bringing you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Whether that “Egypt” was the country or representative of slavery (as in, to sin) doesn’t matter: what does matter is that you know God is your true Savior.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe to this ministry, on both my website and my YouTube channel, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules); please comment on these messages and let’s drash it out, together.

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