Divinely Inspired is Not Divinely Dictated

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Today I am going to do something totally different- I am going to have a short and to-the-point message.

That message is this: the Bible is a book, written by human beings that were divinely inspired by God’s spirit. The entire book is not dictated by God, and although there are many parts that do state exactly what God said (for example, the 10 Commandments Moses wrote down) the majority of the Bible is what people remembered about a certain event.

Certainly you know that if 5 people see the exact same thing, when you ask them to recall it later you will get 5 different versions. Some parts will be exactly the same, some will be a little different, and some parts will be so outlandishly different you will have to ask yourself, “What was that person looking at?”

The Gospels were written by those who were eyewitnesses to the events. We have many parts that are exactly the same, some parts that are unique to that Gospel, and some parts that retell the same event but differently. Does this mean that the bible contradicts itself, therefore we cannot believe any of it?

Of course not. That is the argument that Atheists and people against the bible use to try to discount everything in the bible.

It is simple: people aren’t perfect, their memory isn’t perfect, and therefore the bible isn’t perfect. I know there are many of you who are defensively thinking you want to strangle me for my blasphemy, but the truth is the bible is the Word of God that was divinely given to imperfect human beings, who wrote using their imperfect understanding and imperfect memory.

But that doesn’t change anything! The bible is valid as a book which tells us what God wants us to know. If there are imperfections within it, due to the imperfections of those that compiled it, we still can trust the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, to give us the understanding that God wants us to have.

The bible is about God and what he wants us to know; it is not God, Himself. It is a book- a darn good book, yes, but in the end it is just a book. A book written by people who received their inspiration from God to write these things down. Some of it is divine dictation, but the vast majority of it is divine inspiration filtered through human recollection.

If you are all up in arms right now, thinking the bible is God’s word and therefore God, you are wrong. Sorry, but that’s how it is: God is not restrained to pages of writing. The bible is the ultimate User’s Manual for gaining understanding, wisdom, and salvation. It isn’t perfect, but God is perfectly able to make each and every one of us understand what he wanted the writers of the bible to convey to us.

So, nu?  What do you do now? You read the bible, and before you start reading ask God to show you what he has in there…for YOU!

Just like 5 people looking at the same event will recall 5 different versions, the bible will have different messages for different people who are reading the same exact passage. And that’s okay- God has different plans for each and every one of us, so the bible has to be flexible enough so that we can can decipher what it is that God wants us to know.

When you read the bible do not trust in what people have written down, but trust instead in the spirit of God to teach you what he wants you to know.

Jesus was ……what?

I mentioned in my last post about Jesus (real name is Yeshua) being a man. I believe that He had to be a flesh-and-blood human being, and I know that many are taught He was God in the flesh, which (by definition) agrees with me about Him being flesh and blood.

But many people state He was and is God. I just can’t accept that, and I thought I should explain why.

To begin with, let me say that I capitalize the “H” when referring to Yeshua in the third party as a form of respect; I capitalize the “G” in God when talking about Elohim, Adonai- the one and only God. If I was talking about any other god, it is (well, as I just did here) with a small “g” instead.

I believe that Yeshua had to be a total human being, but He also had to be of a supernatural birth if, for no other reason, He had to be born outside of the original sin we all carry with us from the womb. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but He came from a human egg, matured in the womb as a human does, was born from a human and grew as a human grows. Isaiah 53 says this about the Messiah (bold added by me):

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,  and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with painLike one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our sufferingyet we considered him punished by Godstricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healedWe all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the livingfor the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaththough he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to sufferand though the Lord makes his life an offering for sinhe will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the greatand he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto deathand was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53 is considered by almost everyone to be purely Messianic. Not about a king, not about a prophet, but about the Messiah. All of the areas where I have bold printed the words indicate, unquestionably, that whomever Isaiah was talking about was human; totally separated from ,and couldn’t possibly be, God. The Messiah was to be crushed and punished by God (how do you punish yourself?), pierced, he had wounds (God is not human so cannot be killed or hurt), the “Lord laid on him”, i.e., there is someone doing something to someone else here. It was the Lord’s will to crush him, the Lord made his life an offering, he poured out his life unto death. This is someone who is not the Lord because the Lord is doing things to him.

Everything that the Messiah was to go through as God’s sacrificial lamb could not be done to God, and God could not do that to Himself. God cannot suffer sin or be sinful, yet Yeshua had to take on the sin of the world. No one argues that Yeshua took on the sin of the world, so if He did that how could He be God? He couldn’t be- He had to be human.

What did He cry from the execution stake just before He gave up His spirit (oh, wait! If you are God, how can you give up your spirit?): “My God, my God- why have You forsaken me?” Yes, He was quoting the 22 Psalm, which also indicates that there is someone else He was speaking to who had a superior position.

The Messiah is the servant of God, not God. He is of supernatural birth, but human, He performed miracles not from his own power but by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Yeshua didn’t perform any miracles that prophets (no one argues they aren’t human) performed before Him, and nothing that the Talmudim (Apostles) didn’t perform after He ascended.

And since the time that Yeshua ascended, He has been sitting at the right hand of God. OK- so, if He is God, how can He sit at His own right hand? Maybe He can scratch His ear with His elbow, too?

What is the function of God?- to run the universe. What is the function of the Messiah?- to bring people into reconciliation with God and to be our Intercessor, our Cohen HaGadol (High Priest.) These are two separate and unique things, and one of them has to be superior to the other. You can’t be the drone and the Queen Bee at the same time, and even though God is above any laws of physics or science that we understand, still and all, He doesn’t sit on the throne and at His own right hand at the same time. Everything God has had people write about Him in the bible, both Old and New Covenants, indicates absolutely that He and the Messiah are different. God is the CO, and Messiah is the XO.

God can’t die, and if a sacrifice doesn’t die, then it isn’t a sacrifice. So, if Yeshua is God, His sacrificial death didn’t really occur; therefore, we have no absolution from our sins. It comes down to this: if Yeshua is God, we have no hope of salvation through Him.

If Yeshua is God, then why did he tell us to pray to the Father using His name (Yeshua’s name, that is)? When we reference someone, such as “Joe sent me” we are using the credentials and reputation of the one we mention as the means to justify our acceptance. When “Joe sent me” is used, that means since Joe is OK, and he said I was OK, then I am OK. If Yeshua is God, then there is no reason for Him to say to pray to the Father in His name because He is the Father, and we don’t need to mention Yeshua in our prayers because we are praying to Yeshua, right? It just makes no sense , even on a spiritual and ethereal level.

Anyway you look at it, when you read the bible and accept the P’shat (the literal meaning) as valid, the Messiah had to be a human being to be the Messiah. God could not do what the Messiah had to do, namely be completely human to make His sinless life meaningful to all the rest of us humans as an example of how we are to live. I mean, so what if God lives a sinless life? He is sinless; that is not something He manages to do, it is what He is. God could not accept the sin of the world on His shoulders because God cannot associate with sin in any way, whatsoever.

How about this? God cannot die, so if God cannot die, then God cannot be resurrected. But Yeshua was resurrected, so either He wasn’t resurrected (hence: no salvation) or He wasn’t God (hence: we are saved.)

Everything that Messiah had to do, God can’t, so Yeshua (if you believe He is the Messiah) had to be human. And although He is resurrected, He is still not God- He is still the Messiah. The 1,000 year rule has not come, the Tribulation is not over, the enemy still rules the earth (how can anyone argue against that- just read the newspaper!) and the new Jerusalem is still in heaven. And we still need the Messiah.

Let’s finish with this thought: idolatry is placing something in a position of more importance or in place of God. To pray to anyone or anything other than God is idolatry, a violation of the 2nd Commandment. Praying to Yeshua, just like praying to a saint, is idolatry. To claim (and worse, to teach!) that Yeshua, Jesus, is God and that it is all about Jesus, and we should worship and pray to Jesus, is placing Jesus in the position of the Father. This is what we are told the Antichrist is going to do: he (or she, who knows?) will come and present himself as the Messiah, then eventually will take hold of everyone and force them to worship him instead of, or as, God, Himself.  As such, anyone preaching that we should pray to anyone other than God the Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is preaching blasphemy and idolatry, and preparing the way for the enemy of God.

If you pray to God, and invoke the name of Yeshua the Messiah, you are honoring them both. If you pray to Yeshua in lieu of God, then you are dishonoring them both and doing Satan’s work.

That leaves just one question: Who’s your Daddy?

Christ isn’t a Christian

I know that sounds blasphemous to some, but it is the truth. Well, actually, Christ isn’t even a name (https://messianicmoment.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/whats-in-a-name-2/) so I would be more accurate to title this, “Yeshua isn’t a Christian.” At least, not the way Christianity is today.

Today Christianity, for the most part, teaches that Christ is the Messiah (OK- that’s true), but from there it goes off on it’s own, ignoring Torah (Jews have Torah and Christians have the Blood of Christ) and teaching that as long as you are a good person you go to heaven because Jesus died for your sins, implying that you are now essentially sinless because you are immediately and constantly forgiven.

That is not at all what Yeshua taught. He never even thought such a thing- Torah not important? No way! Some rules for Jews and others for Christians? Ridiculous- God’s laws are paramount, eternal and for everyone!

God gave the Torah to His chosen people, who were not chosen to be the only ones saved from sin, but chosen to be the ones to save everyone else from their sins by teaching them how to obey the Torah! Yeshua taught us that the letter of the Torah is important, but the spirit of the law is even more important. He did this best when He preached the Beatitudes in the Gospels. That is where we hear the real A-B-C’s of Yeshua’s teachings, and none of it is against the Torah. In fact, it is all about the Torah: Yeshua tells us how the Torah says we should act, then not only endorses that but takes it to the next level by telling us it isn’t enough to act in accordance with Torah, but we must think and feel in accordance with Torah, too!

The basis of Yeshua’s teachings is this: it isn’t enough to just do what Torah says, you need to be what Torah is. Yeshua showed us that throughout His life and ministry in that He was the Living Torah. The prophets tell us (Jeremiah, for one, and Joel for another) that in the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) all will all know the Lord, we will prophesy, and we will have the Torah written on our hearts.

Christianity is very, very different from the laws and regulations God gave to us in the Torah. That’s because Christianity was not created by God, or by Yeshua. It was Constantine who planted the seeds of modern Christianity, which was then expanded and perverted by Luthor, Smith, and the other founders of all the separate sects of Christianity we have today.

God has no religion. His rules and laws and regulations are for anyone and everyone who professes to worship Him. Torah is as valid today as the day He gave it to Moshe (Moses) and it’s laws and regulations are still 100% necessary for all people to follow. Kosher is still required by God, the Sabbath is on the 7th day (Friday night to Saturday night), homosexuality is still forbidden, the penal code in the Torah is still to be observed, and we are all still sinners who have to ask forgiveness of our sins to have them forgiven.

Being forgiven is NOT a given- you have to ask. Yes, the sacrificial system is no longer being practiced, but not because Yeshua did away with it: it is not done because the sacrifices had to be made at the Temple in Jerusalem, and that was destroyed. We don’t sacrifice because we can’t do it in accordance with how God said it should be done. There are 5 different types of sacrifice, and only one of those is the sin sacrifice that was the one made by Yeshua. His sacrificial death will cleanse us of our sins when we ask for forgiveness in His name.  Just because Yeshua died so we can have forgiveness doesn’t mean it is automatic. You can’t go out and live like you want to, sinning left and right, and think that you are right with God because “Jesus died for you.”

What Jesus/Yeshua taught was that God sees our heart and knows our motivation (which is what the prophets had been saying for centuries) and therefore the spirit of the law has to be observed as well as the letter of the law. Maybe that’s why before Yeshua the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) would fall on people, but always be lifted up again? It didn’t stay and indwell because the teaching that Yeshua gave hadn’t been taught yet. Once Yeshua told us, and showed us, how to be living temples of God’s spirit; after His resurrection when we could accept the grace of God through that sacrificial death; after demonstrating our faithfulness by asking for forgiveness in Yeshua’s name; and after we truly do T’Shuvah (turn from sin in our hearts), only then are we able to accept and have the Ruach HaKodesh indwell. It falls on us, and stays with us, for the rest of our life- so long as we hold on to it.

Salvation is a free gift from God, and it is irrevocable, which means God will not take it back. But… we can throw it away. The Spirit will stay with us only as long as we ask it to remain.

God did not create Christianity- people did. God gave His rules and commandments to us all in the Torah. The Jewish people were chosen to be custodians of the Torah, teachers of the Torah, and a nation of priests to the world so that all who have sinned can be saved. Where we can’t do what we should according to Torah, we are saved by Yeshua’s sacrifice. Yeshua’s sacrifice doesn’t overrule Torah- it supplements it!

You can verify what I am saying through research, but the best way (especially if you are Jewish and don’t believe in Yeshua at all) is to simply read the Gospels. Read Matthew for a start, and only Matthew- that is most “Jewish” of the Gospels. Read it and realize that Yeshua taught from the Torah only- there is nothing “new” in the New Covenant writings. Nothing new, nothing different from traditional Judaism (which has also been perverted over the millennia by people) and nothing at all against the Torah.

If you are a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an observant Episcopalian, a pure Protestant- whichever Christian religion you practice, if you are being taught that Jesus is the creator of Christianity and that the Torah is just for the Jews, then you are being led down a path that doesn’t lead to salvation. At least, not the one Jesus taught.

Wake up! Arise, for your light has come! (Isaiah 60:1)  Isaiah knew what he was talking about- do you?

You need to read and know the Old Covenant before you can even start to understand the New Covenant. Here is a hard truth to accept: if your religious leaders don’t acknowledge the validity of the Torah, then they are not teaching what Yeshua taught: they are teaching what people created out of their own desires and needs.

God has told us what He wants from us- you can find it in Micah 6:8.

Why We Need to Know Why

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is “How It’s Made.” This is on the Discovery channel and, if you’re not familiar with it, shows how things are made- everything from cars, to ceramic figurines, to pools, to pool cues, to whatever. It gives you about 7 minutes of a quick, this-is-how-it’s-done review for each thing. You need to watch some of them two or three times to really understand what is happening, like when they show and explain how a clutch is made.

I think we, as a people, like to know how things work. I think this is because it gives us a sense of control; if I know what makes this work, then I can control it, I can make it do what I want, or I can stop it from doing something. It all comes down to who is in control, and we want to be in control of our selves and our lives.

That’s not how it works with God, though, is it? God is in control, and the best we can hope for is that when we pray He will answer as we wish, doing what we ask Him to do for us. That usually isn’t what happens, since what we want is usually bad for us and what God wants for us is always what is best for us. Personally, even though I want to know how everything in the world works, I have learned to allow God to work his own way and I don’t really need to know what He has planned. I trust Him to do what is best for me.

Solomon tells us, in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) that the man who tried to know everything, who wanted to understand about all the ways of God, found himself frustrated and doing nothing more than “chasing the wind.” That’s why he says everything is useless. Here is the whole point of Kohelet: it’s not the things that we do or achieve that are useless, it’s trying to understand why God does what He does that is useless. Why? Because we can’t understand God. He is too high above us, too wonderful, and certainly a lot holier than we are, or ever can be, and we cannot fathom His thoughts.

I like knowing about the world and even the universe; how it works, how chemicals interact to form things, how we are able to construct buildings or make engines, design machinery and how foods are mass-produced. I love that stuff and I will watch the Discovery channel to learn how the world works because I am still, despite the general opinion, human. And I do feel some level of comfort knowing what to expect because I understanding how things work, and thereby I have some level of control. Knowledge of the world gives us a sense of comfort, but the truth is that God is in control, and we need to accept that. Trying to understand Him is fruitless and frustrating. We need to trust, to obey, and to faithfully expect that whatever he does in your life is for your good. That’s walking in faith with the Lord.

As I said, knowing how everything works is what I love. But with respect to how God works, why He does what he does, and what He will do next, well, that is off-limits to me. I am happy to leave all that in His hands. That is my way of showing Him the respect, trust and confidence I have in His promises and His judgement, and one way I demonstrate my worship of Him. Maybe you should consider that as a good way you can worship Him, too.

I read once any god that can be understood by the mind of Man is not worthy of the worship of Man. I think that is very wise, and I agree. I don’t try to understand God, and think it is disrespectful to even want to. God is too much: too much higher in thought, too much higher in holiness, too much greater in wisdom, and way, way too much more powerful than me. Why would I not trust Him? And, frankly, He’s gonna do what He wants to do whether I trust Him or not! He is going to do what He wants to do no matter what I think, or what you think; He is no respecter of people. But He is a loving, compassionate, merciful and just God who will do what is right. Always.

If that isn’t enough for you, I’m sorry to say, I believe you are setting yourself up to be very frustrated in your life and in your worship. And it will be all your own fault. Sorry, but that’s how it is. Life is a game of poker- it’s not Stud poker: you can trade in some of the cards you are dealt, and there are some you just need to work with. You must decide for yourself which cards you hold and which cards you change; however, you still have no control over which cards you are dealt. The good news is that in this particular game, the dealer can deal you what He wants to, and He wants you  to win.

Trust the dealer to send you the right cards and be satisfied to work with them. Use them wisely, and you will end up winning the pot.

Does God Laugh?

What do you think?

This isn’t really a midrash, maybe more of a discussion. I read an article this morning about a comedy show that portrays Jesus as a black man that smokes weed, hangs with gangsters, curses, etc. Pretty much representative of the general disrespect that TV has for God and anything religious. I stopped watching History channel shows about the Bible years ago because they only want to prove that God doesn’t exist. Have you noticed how they have half a dozen experts that show how everything from God can be explained (which today means it isn’t God) and then maybe one poor schmo who believes in God, and he or she is made to look like an innocently mindless person. The one voice in the desert calling out is always going to be seen as not-fitting-in.

So what happens in the heavens when God sees this junk. Does He shrug it off? Does he laugh about it? Or does He get angry?

We know He has emotions; after all, He is a jealous God. He is a loving God, He is compassionate, slow to anger and quick to forgive. These are all very strong emotions. How can He not have a sense of humor?

I read once where it said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” That’s funny.

So, nu? Does God laugh? Personally, I think He does. I also think He sees us as we see our children when they do something foolish. We have to shrug it off and say to ourselves, “Well, they’ll have to deal with that one day.”

Why do we do that? Maybe because we can’t do anything else. God gave us free will, with which we can love and obey Him, or reject Him. And once we reject Him, then the gloves are off and we can satirize Him, insult Him, and generally make anyone who is a Believer look like a fool.

How can a true worshipper of God allow this? I think we have no choice. God gave them the right to choose, so who are we to tell them what or what not to do? Proverbs tells us that we are not to return evil for evil, but wait upon the Lord.  The Bible also tells us not to judge others, because God will judge. I am not saying we shouldn’t speak up against this blasphemy, but we shouldn’t do anything more than demonstrate God’s compassion and understanding.  After all, think of what it will be like for them when they come before Him and realize, all too late, how wrong they were. And when we are before Him, believe me, it will be too late. No ,”Gee, you are real. Well, then, I take it all back.” Uh-uh. Not buying it. Off to the hot tub for you.

Should this show be taken off the air? I would like to see that, but it opens a very dangerous can of worms. Namely, who determines what is acceptable under “free speech”. There are organizations for rating shows, but today even pornography is allowable, so long as you air it on special pay-for-view channels. We can’t stop people from speaking their minds, we just have to learn not to listen and to give a real-life example of what God does for us, how His Ruach (Spirit) allows us to get past these horrible shows and demonstrations of God-hating in the world.

I believe God does laugh. Sometimes because we are just so funny. I laugh at a lot of the things I have done that are just so stupid, I mean, really stupid. Of course, it may take a while after doing them when I am able to laugh, but I do. Mostly. Well, for some things. Kinda.

Where was I? Oh, yeah- so, I believe God laughs. I also believe God cries, especially when He sees His children so lost and without hope that they mock and ridicule Him just to try to get others to like them. To fit into the world. The world is a cursed place, so loving God and acting in ways God wants is not doing what the world does. That’s why Yeshua said we need to be prepared to carry our own execution stake if we want to follow Him.

It ain’t easy being Godly.