My Problem with the Gospel of John

In case you didn’t get the hint from the title, let me give a caveat to those reading this who are infatuated with the Gospel of John: you ain’t gonna like what I am about to say.

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

Before we begin I want to point out that many scholars doubt the authenticity of the author of pretty much every book in the Bible. From my research, it seems most scholars agree that the Gospels were not written by the ones they are named for, and the true writers of the Epistles in the New Covenant are also subject to doubt. We know for certain that scribes interpreted the Codex’s and letters they had been given when formulating the New Covenant and that men decided which books and letters should be included, and which should be excluded (meaning not a divinely-inspired item), and those men were mainly Gentiles who had accepted Yeshua. I have found anything to indicate that there was a single Jewish person who was part of the group that decided what would be included in the New Covenant.

So is the Bible the exact word of God? Is it God-inspired teaching? Or is it the work of men writing what they think God meant? The answer is this: each of us must choose what we will believe.

Let me tell you a little something about me, so you know where I am coming from.

I was brought up in a Jewish home, am Jewish by descent, and over 20 years ago I accepted Yeshua as the Messiah God promised to send to the Jews, and then to the world.  I have been studying the Bible ever since; I have a Certificate of Messianic Studies and have served in two separate houses of worship (a Messianic synagogue and a Hebraic Roots church) on their Counsel and as one of the leaders of the Shabbat services. I say this to establish that I do believe in Yeshua (Jesus) and have a good, working knowledge and understanding of the entire Bible, which has been independently confirmed to me by more than just a handful of spiritually mature people.

Now, let’s talk a bit about the Bible so we are all on the same page.

The Torah (first 5 books) is more than just a set of laws: it is a historical narrative that tells us how God created everything, made mankind to be a steward of the world he created, and gave us free will so we could choose to love and worship him. He chose a man (Abraham) and told him his descendants would become a nation (“The Jews”) and be a blessing to the world (Genesis 22:18), and God told Moses that the Jews are to be his nation of priests to the world (Ex. 19:6.) For that to happen, God gave Moses the Torah, which is the instructions from God telling us how we are to worship him and how we are to treat each other; Moses was to teach the Torah to the Jewish people so they could teach it to the world.

Before Moses dies he tells us of one who will come to lead the people and will be a prophet like him, and throughout the books of the Prophets we read of God’s continual confirmation of this promise to send us a Messiah, who will gather the Jews back into their nation and, with them, all the Goyim (the other nations) into eternal communion with God.

The Old Covenant, which is misnamed “The Jewish Bible”, ends about 400 years before the coming of Yeshua, with the rebuilding of the Temple and the wall surrounding Jerusalem. The New Covenant is the continuation of this narrative, which begins with the Gospels, telling of the arrival of Yeshua, his ministry, teachings, death and resurrection which (along with the miracles he performed during his ministry) prove that he is the Messiah God promised to send.

The rest of the New Covenant is composed of one book telling of the events that occurred during the early years of the acceptance of Yeshua as the Messiah (Acts), followed by the letters written by Shaul (Paul) to the congregations of Messianic Gentiles he formed throughout Asia and the Middle East, as well as letters which were written by other disciples to both Believing Gentiles and Believing Jews. It ends with (in my opinion) the almost impossible to interpret or understand Book of Revelation, the spiritual vision given to John on Patmos of the End Times, known in Judaism as the Acharit HaYamim.

Now let’s get into the main point of today’s rather long message, and thank you for staying with me this far.

The first three Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are called the Synoptic Gospels because they are fairly straight-forward in their style and writing. Matthew is the most “Jewish” identifying Yeshua as King (some 35 times), Mark identifies him as a servant, and Luke identifies him as the Savior. All three are written in a way that is easy to follow.

Now we come to the Gospel of John, called the Spiritual Gospel. It is anything but easy to follow, using many series of verses that are so circular that by the time one is done reading it one forgets what the point was. Another difference is that the other three show Yeshua to be human endowed with power from God, but in John, we are told that Yeshua and God are one. This is a significant difference between John and the other Gospels and has been misinterpreted (or purposefully misused?) to provide the basis for forming the Doctrine of Trinity.

John isn’t just different from the other three Gospels, it is in opposition to them; let me give you some examples.

In the three, Yeshua does not make public the fact that he is the Messiah.

After cleansing men of their diseases:

Mark 1:43-44Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

Matthew 8:4…Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 

After exorcising demons:

Mark 1:23-25… Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!”

Luke 4:41...Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

After Kefa (Peter) proclaims he is the Messiah:

Matthew 16:20…Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

However, in John Yeshua publically announces he is the Messiah on more than one occasion:

With the woman at the well:

John 4:25-26The woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

In the synagogue:

John 5:46…If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.

At the temple in Jerusalem:

John 7:28-29Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

One exception is in Luke 4 when we read how Yeshua, after reading from the scroll of Isaiah about the Messiah, tells the people there that what he read to them is now fulfilled.

One other major difference between the three and John is that in the three, Yeshua never claimed to be divine, yet in John, he constantly claims to be one with the Father, implying he is the father. In the three, here are examples of where he talks of the father as a separate entity:

Matthew 11:27…All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Matthew 26:39…Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Luke 23:34…Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Matthew 18:14…In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Yet in John, Yeshua constantly claims he is divine and that he the Father are the same:

John 10:30…I and the Father are one.”

John 8:58Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!
                    (In Judaism, God is often referred to as “the great I am!”)

John 1:1…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

I am sure we can find more such examples within the Gospels, but I am not trying to overload people with biblical quotes, only to show the difference in the intent of these Gospels: the first three show Yeshua to be a man empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and who tells no one (except his Disciples) that he is the Messiah, and never claims to be God. Whereas in John’s Gospel, Yeshua constantly makes a public announcement that he is the Messiah and claims to be equal with God.

How much more in opposition can you get?

A more subtle issue I have with John is John 8:17, where Yeshua is arguing with the Pharisees and says, “In your own Law (some versions have Torah) it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.” Now, at the very beginning of this Gospel John tells us that Yeshua is the Torah come to life (John 1:14) so why then does Yeshua say “your law”? Why didn’t he say “in the law”? Or better yet, because he is Jewish, say “in our law”? The way this verse is worded is a subtle implication that separates Yeshua from the Law (Torah), which became one of the foundation stones on which the early “church” built the teaching that Yeshua and Christians are separate from Judaism, altogether.

And THAT is my major problem with the Gospel of John – its wording and the constant reference to Yeshua and God as one entity is so far afield of Judaic thought that I cannot believe it was written by a Jewish follower of Yeshua.

We also have to consider that it is the youngest of the four Gospels, written probably at the very end of the First Century, certainly not by the same John that lived with Yeshua, and during a time when the (now called) Christians, composed mainly of Gentiles, began to separate themselves from the mainstream Jewish population. John was written around the same time Ignatius of Antioch proclaimed Sunday as the Sabbath and that Christians and Jews cannot possibly be together.

These were the days when the Gentile Messianic congregations, who were initially converting to Judaism (since there was no other religion except the Roman one) wanted to be seen as separate from the Jews in Judea. They didn’t want Rome to come after them like they were going after the non-believing Jewish population, which was in a political rebellion.

The separation between followers of Yeshua and Judaism was made complete at the Council of Nicene when Emperor Constantine created the dogma, traditions, holidays, and doctrine that is modern Christianity.

My opinion is that the Gospel of John was written by Gentile Believers who wanted to turn followers of Yeshua away from Judaism.

If it was up to me, I would take the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, the Book of Acts and the Book of Revelation, add them to the Tanakh and that would make the Bible complete. It would be a homogeneous narrative of God and his works, from creation through mankind, their failures and their successes, the Messiah coming and the final Judgement.

The letters from Shaul and the other items aren’t really necessary for the completion of the narrative God gave us through Moses and the Prophets.  The letters from the apostles were all written mostly to Gentiles converting to a form of Judaism who were confused and having troubles within their congregations. These letters speak of God and his laws, and of Yeshua and his teachings, but they have nothing “new” in them. And because Gentiles back then didn’t understand the cultural nuances and forms of argumentation that Jews use, and also (as I mentioned earlier) because they wanted to separate themselves from the Jews Rome was persecuting, they misinterpreted these letters and  have taught this wrongful understanding throughout the centuries, so that today Christians believe the Jews have their Torah and Christians have Jesus.

I don’t think the letters of the Apostles are valid as scripture and I would get rid of the Gospel of John, too, which (from my experience) many Christians I have known find to be the “best” Gospel for new Believers to read. And I can see why- it confirms Trinitarianism and separates Jesus from Jews. Add to that the traditional Christian misinterpretations of the Epistles and you come up with the “Jesus nailed the Law to the Cross” and the “Once saved, always saved” lies, leading people away from God’s instructions and into lawlessness.

So there you have it! Label me a heretic!

You have to decide if you think I have a valid point or not, and if you want to discuss it I am open to discussion, but I can tell you right now that you will not change my mind about this. I have prayed an awful lot on it, and if I am doing John, God or Yeshua an injustice, then that will be between them and me.

Today I wanted to share with you my misgivings about the Gospels of John, and that is what I have done.

Thank you for being here and especially for staying through this message, one of the longest I have ever given through this ministry.

If you appreciate what you have read today, please subscribe to this ministry and also use the link above to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!




God is not tolerant

Here comes another “Dear Amy” (you’re off the hook today, Abby) letter that represents how misunderstood God-fearing people are in the world today.

In short, a child of Atheists is upset because her friend, a child of Christians, told her they can’t be friends because the Christian parents believe the Atheist girl will be a bad influence. Amy is very sympathetic to the Atheist child and complimentary to the parents (who wrote the letter) saying this is a great opportunity to teach their daughter about tolerance and intolerance.

And you know what? Amy is right. The Christian’s are intolerant. In fact, God is intolerant. God says so, more than once:

Ezekiel 44:23“They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.”

Leviticus 19:19– “Keep my decrees. “Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”

2 Corinthians 6:14“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

These are repeated, in one way or another, throughout the Tanakh and New Covenant writings. God wants His people to be holy, which means, literally, separated. You can’t be separated from the unholy when you are playing with and living with and (yes, even this) working with the unholy.

When Bilam was unable to curse the Israelites (Numbers, Chapter 22) he got around that by suggesting to the Moabite king to have the women get “friendly” with the Israelite men, and by doing so they will influence them to begin to worship the Semitic gods of the Moabites.

And it worked.

Tolerance in today’s world is more than tolerance- it is passive acceptance. According to (if you want to get a worldly opinion, go to the Internet, right?) tolerance is:

a fair, objective, and permissive (bold added by me) attitude toward those whose opinions,beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry

There is a much more ancient definition, one I found using an historic, out-dated form of research called “looking it up in the Webster’s dictionary”:

to put up with; to recognize and respect the opinions and rights of others; to endure

There is a difference between tolerating something and accepting something as “right.” If someone living next to me is loud and un-neighborly, I think that is a very wrong way to act but I can tolerate them. But, if they are selling drugs I cannot tolerate that and must report them to the police. There is a level where tolerance becomes intolerance, meaning (simply) that I will not accept that behavior and will do what I can to either change it or get away from it.

Intolerance doesn’t mean bigotry, but today these two words are treated as synonyms.

God is intolerant of non-Believers. God says we are to be separated and holy, kept from that which is unclean and sinful. Yet, we are to be a light to the nations and Yeshua says no one lights a lamp and places it under a basket. So what does that mean? Are we to be tolerant? Should we intermix with sinners? Is God saying to stay to ourselves, become communal hermits from the world? If we do that, if we remain separated from the world, how can we be a light to the world?

We must be intermingling with the unholy, we must bring light to the darkness, we must be in the midst of the unclean to bring the cleanliness of God’s deliverance to them.

What we must be careful not to do is become influenced by the world.  We are commanded to be holy, for God is holy, and we are commanded to make Disciples. How can we make Disciples or show our light to the world if we are separated and apart from the world?

It is a conundrum, to be sure.

God tests our faith- we see that throughout the Bible. Abraham and Isaac, Jonah, Gideon, Kefa (Peter) walking on the water to Yeshua…all of these are tests of faith that God performed not to find out for Himself but to show us, ourselves, the level of our own faithfulness. Testing of faith is something we do for our benefit and the benefit of those watching us, and don’t think for an instant you aren’t being watched by the non-Believers! They are watching us like a hawk looking for a rabbit, and that predator-prey relationship is exactly what it is like. Non-Believers look for any excuse to show that God-fearing people are intolerant (as the world describes it, meaning bigoted and racist) in order to discredit God.

They do not understand what it means to be holy, and (frankly) they don’t care- they don’t want to be holy, and when you don’t want to be something you make that something look as unwanted and undesirable as you can.

We are to be intolerant of sin, but we are also to love the sinner. Love the sinner, hate the sin, and we can do both. To a Believer, tolerance should be accepting that others are different and they have that God-given right to be. God gave us all free will so we can choose to love Him from our desire to do so. Consequently, we also have the right and freedom to reject Him. That is all part of what God has given each and every one of us, and as people of God we should respect and honor what God has done and not condemn it.

Basically, we are to be holy and show the world what that means. We need to get dirty, we need to soil ourselves with fleshly exposure and we need to walk into the midst of Hell to see what souls we can save: we always have the blood of Messiah to cleanse us. I am not saying we should sin, just that we should allow ourselves to be exposed to the sin of others in order to bring them out of their sin.

Truth is, you can’t work with fish all day and not come home smelling of fish.

If you think that isn’t right, then ask yourself why did Yeshua strip off His righteousness and give up His divine spiritual being to become a flesh and blood human? He took off His divinity and put on the mantle of disgusting, earthly flesh, with all it’s stench and filth, and wore it while acting perfectly holy. His light shone through His flesh and taught us all that it is possible to be light, to be holy and to be God-fearing while in the world.

Both Yochanan and Shaul (John and Paul) tell us that although we are in the world, we are not part of it. We are separated, but we are also present: we are separated from the world spiritually but we are still in the world physically, so we need to show those in the flesh the way to join us in the spirit.

You can’t do that by being physically apart from the others.

I think the Christian family is doing what they think is right, but they are wrong. They should trust in God, and if the faith of their children is strong enough, then the Christian child should be allowed to play with the Atheist child as a means to deliver the light into the darkness.  In fact, the Atheist child should be invited into their home and welcomed to show what the love of God means in the real world.

We are the messengers of God, and the symbols of His kingdom; you can’t deliver a message to someone unless you talk to them.


Fear is Faithlessness

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4)

How many people do you know who live their lives in fear? Now, I’m not talking about running away when they see a spider in the bathroom, or shrieking when a loud noise is made. I’m talking about people who always see the dark side of everything- the party poopers, the Debbie Downers, the ones who will always point out when you plan a picnic that it may rain, and the ants are really a problem there, and there may be poison ivy in the woods.

They always find the down side or the reason not to do something. They won’t travel if there was a plane crash, they won’t plan for a trip too far in advance because something may happen: they always have something bad to look forward to. These people are living in fear- they have no faith, no trust in God that whatever happens, it is for the best, because God is working towards our good.

Bad things happen, all the time, and often bad things happen to good people. But that’s what living in a cursed and fallen world is like.

When you see a beautiful gold bracelet, do you think about how much fire and heat the gold went through, melted and remelted until it was that pure? No, not usually, right? Most of us see the beautiful gold and don’t think about the smelting process it had to go through to become that beautiful.

It’s the same way when we see a godly person- do you really think that saintly person was born that way? We all are sinners- even the Talmud understands and recognizes what the Christian world calls “Original Sin”, only in the Talmud it is called the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination.) This is something that we are all born with, and it’s something we need to overcome. The only way to do that is to face it, to overpower it, and that is what John is talking about, above.

We who are Believers, meaning those who have accepted the Grace of God given through the sacrificial death of Yeshua (Jesus) and who have determined they will do T’Shuvah (turn from sin) are given the power of God to help us overcome ourselves. As Yeshua said of entering the kingdom of God, for men it is impossible but with God, all things are possible.

Part of this is faith- in fact, most of being a Believer is faith. Faith that God exists, that His promises are trustworthy, that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised throughout the Tanakh, and that the world is a really nasty piece of work that we need to live in, but that (once we are “saved”) we no longer really belong to. When we accept God, we reject the world system. When we do what the world system expects of us, we are rejecting God.

It’s that simple. And when we reject the world, the world will work against us. And…here’s the kicker…..the closer we get to God the more Tsouris the enemy will throw at us. We are no threat to “Old Nick” when we do what the world wants, but as we become holier he gets nervous, and tries his best to get us to go back to doing what our nature wants us to do.

Living in fear, always seeing the down side- that serves the enemy of God. That says you do not believe that God is in control, that you don’t trust God to watch out for you, and that you are more concerned about what people can do to you than what God can do for you.  In other words, when you are afraid, you are being faithless.

That’s the hard truth, and if you know you are the one in the crowd who brings up the downside, who looks for reasons things can go wrong, who expects that things will not work out, you need to get your head out of where it is and back on your shoulders! Stop being a faithless coward and start to show people the true power of God, the true strength that you have from the Ruach HaKodesh that you accepted when you accepted Yeshua, and walk bravely into that furnace right along side Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their trust in God was absolute, even though they knew God might not save them! In Daniel 3 when good old Nebbie told them that he would throw them into a furnace if they didn’t bow down to the gold statue he made (i.e., conform to the world system) they answered:

“If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

They faithfully expected God to save them, and knew that He could, yet they also recognized that He might not. That isn’t faithlessness- that is an absolute declaration of the faith and trust that God knows what is best and will do what is best to further His plans. We may have to die in the furnace, but it will eventually serve God, and that is our purpose on Earth- to serve God.

Faith is more than shouting how much you love the Lord at services, or telling others what they should do so they can be saved. It is living your life without fear, of anything, at all times. I am not saying to be stupid- you don’t stick your hand in the fire and hope God will not let you get burned. But, when you go through life, you stop being a stick in the mud and start to be positive, to look forward to things, to be upbeat and joyful.

I wrote a drash called SWISHSo What, I‘m Saved, Hallelujah! We need to remember that, every moment of every day. I’m not so good at it, either, and I have to learn to do what I preach. I believe that what I preach is justified and confirmed by God’s word (and PLEASE- if you ever think I am wrong PLEASE let me know. I never want my feelings to override what God says) so I preach it faithfully and with confidence. But because I preach His word doesn’t mean I am any better at living it than you are: I still get upset, I still get angry, I still use words that I shouldn’t even know, but I am becoming more holy, despite myself, because I do read and try to live in accordance to His word.

That is what being faithful is about- being brave enough to grow holier in a world that wants you to be more sinful. And not being afraid shows others that there is a better way to live, without fear, without worry, and full of hope. That’s what “walking the walk” is all about.

Don’t let fear overrule your faith. Henry Ford is known to have said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Walk faithfully, believe you can, if for no other reason believe you can because you know that God can! Remember that with God all things are possible!

Don’t be afraid- you don’t need to be, you don’t have to be, and in truth, you shouldn’t be. If you know the Lord, you have nothing to fear from anyone or anything. And if you don’t know the Lord, maybe you should stop being afraid of what you might lose by accepting Him as your King and Saviour, and think about all you have now without God: fear, no hope, no future, nobody you can really trust to have your back, and no chance of overcoming anything.

Without the Lord we have no hope for anything to ever really work out well, and with the Lord we have the secure knowledge that we will have eternal peace, eternal joy and the greatest, most powerful entity in the Universe on our side.

I can’t believe people still haven’t figured that out!


Jesus Did Not Take Away the Sins of the World

Whoa!! Slow down there, son! Of course Jesus took away the sins of the world- why, that’s what John the Baptist told us about him in John 1:29; he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”

Not. If Yeshua took away the sins of the world, why is there still so much sin left?

I know, it’s really a metaphor, but it is important, is it not, to know that what Yeshua did was to provide a means for each of us to be saved? I think it is more important for us to realize this is a personal thing, not a corporate thing.

When one is part of a crowd the individual disappears and becomes a part of the corporate identity. This is something that is both valuable and dangerous. Think of the term “Mob Mentality”, and how easy it was for the Nazi’s to do such horrible things, and Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and the other atrocoties done by people when they were part of a group.

The good side is that in Yeshua we are one, however, we are also separate in that each has been given different gifts to use for the glory of God. We aren’t stripped of our individuality, it is actually enhanced in that we become more of what we were, the good parts, and the bad parts are lessened.

I am still a sinner and I am still me, it’s just that since I was saved I have sinned less and I am a “better” me (I still have a long way to go, though.)

Yeshua didn’t take away the sins of the world- they are still here because so long as sinful people live, so will sin. What Yeshua did, what Yochanan was talking about, was the fact that Yeshua’s sacrifice would provide the opportunity for anyone and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, to be saved. Yeshua did not take away the sins of the world, He took away the Rabbinical legalistic requirement to be “Torah-perfect” in order to earn salvation.

The Torah’s meaning had been perverted to a system of legalistic actions, in that between the 613 commandments in Torah and the additional requirements that the Rabbis put on people, it is impossible to meet the requirement that anyone (born of human parents, that is) live in total accordance with Torah. What was supposed to be the road map to salvation became a maze of turns and corners that led to nowhere. The rules that Moses said were not too high or far, but right in front of us, became unreachable. That was the argument Yeshua had against the Pharisees, in that they  made what was supposed to lead us to God into something that kept us from approaching Him.

Torah is valid, Torah is right, and Torah is still something that everyone who worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob needs to know and obey, as best they can. Yeshua followed and taught the Torah, the Disciples followed and taught the Torah, and Shaul (Paul) also followed and taught the Torah. The entire book of Romans is all about how Torah is still valid, and because it is in the process of being replaced, as Shaul tells us, that doesn’t mean it is already done away with. Remember that Yeshua said nothing in Torah will change until all things have come to pass (Matthew 5:17), so unless you can show me the new Temple in the new Jerusalem, with a new Earth and new heavens, well…better stick with Torah.

Yeshua did not take away the sins of the world, He made it possible for us to be saved from our own sin. In that way, John was right: Yeshua made it possible to overcome our inability, individually, to live a Torah-observant life. Yeshua reminded us that Torah is a means to improve and become more holy, which was it’s original intent.

Religion is what changed the Torah from a rope that will help us climb up from humanity to a chain holding us back from salvation. It’s not the Torah that’s the problem, it’s religion. Judaism has, through Rabbinical Halakah, made living up to the Torah a burden that no one can carry, and Christianity, which originally was Judaism, rejected Torah for another religious set of rules, in many ways even more onerous than Torah!

It comes down to this: each of us must make up our own mind about salvation and Torah, and whether or not we do, we will all be held personally accountable for our actions, no matter who told us to do them.

Yeshua didn’t take away the sins of the world, but He did make it possible to take away my sins when I give them to him.

The reason I am stressing the individual’s part is because being part of a crowd doesn’t allow us to “own” our individuality, and what we don’t own we can’t give away. Therefore, if you want to give your sins to Yeshua, then you need to own (up to) them. Not as part of the world, or a church, or a synagogue, but as you, and you, alone.

Salvation is an individual thing, not a group activity. You need to first, and foremost, be saved from your own sins. Then, you will become a part of the group of Believers that are saved. Make sure you join the right group, the ones that understand Torah is still valid and worthy of obedience. Shaul told us that we are all one in Messiah, and he also pointed out that although we are one body, it is made up of separate parts, each doing what they were designed to do to keep the entire body healthy.

When we understand that each of us is responsible for our actions, then we can truly realize the impact that Yeshua’s sacrificial death has made: every single person on Earth can be saved.

Peace in the Midst of Turmoil

I am attending a Bible study on the Prophets and prophecy. It is a short study, just during the summer, and already I am learning new things.

One of the things I enjoy about this class is how it brings out that the prophets always left us with God’s promise of the regathering of Israel and the coming of the New Creation. However, there is a lot of Tsouris before that happens and none of it is very enjoyable. Death, famine, mutilation, sexual abuses, murdering babies…sounds more like some video game than real life.

But it is going to be real life. It may happen during our lifetime, it may happen to our children, but whenever it happens, it is not going to be spiritualized or quick. It will be devastating to people, animals and the Earth, itself.

The upside to this is that for those who accept Messiah Yeshua as God’s Messiah, and are working to be more of what God requires of us, we can find peace in the midst of this turmoil.

We have armor that God has provided to us to wear and protect us during the battle (see Ephesians 6) and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), which Yeshua called “the Comforter” (John 14 – 16) to guide and help us in times of trial and need to find that peace that comes with knowing Yeshua.

If I was to try to define what it was that I saw in Believers, before I was one, that attracted me to them it wasn’t the promise of heaven, nor the threat of hell, but the peace that they found even when they had the same troubles and situations I had. I was frantic, angry and frustrated, striking out against anyone and everyone, using cruelly cynical and “dirty” humor and really bad language. Since I have accepted Yeshua, and was given the Ruach, I have calmed down tremendously. Except, maybe, for my language when I am trying to get something down and these stupid, slow and uncooperative computers that I am working with just don’t want to do what I want them to do when I want them to do it so I start to get crazy and then I have to let it all out and say, “$^&&^$##@#&^(**&^$$$#%^^$##%%!!!!!!

Um…where was I?  Oh, yes…peace in the midst of turmoil….

The Ruach helps us to stay in touch, spiritually and, yes, even physically, with God. Haven’t you ever felt the calming touch of the Lord? I miss it so much, so often, and realize it’s because I am not reaching out. So at Shabbat services, I will now and then cover my head with my Tallit, and sit during worship music under my own Kippur and pray to God for His touch. I try to open my heart and my emotions; I try not to think of anything else except asking Him to touch me. That’s all, just touch me. And when I am open, when my spirit is broken, my heart is appealing and my request is genuinely, humbly presented….He responds. I feel that tingling, that sudden emotional “rush” that feels like the waters of life have washed over me, leaving me sparkling clean. I feel the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders, and I have to cry tears of joy and peace.

Yes, the big, tough Marine cries. Heck, I cry if the TV commercial has a happy ending. I can’t cry at real life, but I can cry over a movie or a stupid TV show. One day I’ll have to figure out why that is.

Have you felt God’s presence? Do you know His touch? If you do, then you can understand, and I’ll bet as you are reading this you are feeling exactly as I feel writing it, thinking just how nice it would be to feel that way right now! But if you don’t know what I am talking about, you need to ask God for His intervention in your spiritual growth; ask God to send the Ruach and have an open heart and mind to accept it. Also ask the Ruach, itself, to let you know it is there. I remember reading somewhere that we can ask the Ruach, the Holy Spirit, to come to us. It is a sort of self-help, with the Ruach’s help: you stop what you are doing, you close your eyes (obviously you don’t want to do this while driving or operating heavy equipment) and you ask the Ruach to give you peace, to help you overcome the moment. Breathe deeply and slowly, relax, prepare yourself for whatever the Ruach is going to do, and faithfully expect that your prayer will be answered. I really believe, from my own experience, that if you genuinely ask and trust in the Spirit, the Spirit will answer you with a sense of peace and relaxation. Maybe even joy, in the midst of your Tsouris.

That’s what we can look forward to; in the middle of the destruction, we will be at peace. God gives us a spirit not of fear but of victory. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will have no fear, for Thou are with me.

Those are very powerful words, and they should be a reminder to us that the power of God is living within us, and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

When the world starts to fall apart, which it is already doing, don’t look to yourself for the strength to survive: ask the Ruach for help.

For any human to find peace during the Tribulation times, it is impossible, but with God, well…you know how that one ends, don’t you?


We Aims to Please

Do we, really? In a retail environment, the salesperson certainly wants to please the customer.  In work, we want to please our Boss. At home, pleasing the spouse isn’t even a choice- you’d better!

But what about pleasing God? Do we put as much effort into pleasing God as we do to please people more “directly” influencing our lives? Maybe I should say more “visibly” influencing our lives, since God is in charge of everything and influences our lives from before we are even born, but He is invisible and people are visible; they are tangible and always in sight. Not in spiritual sight, but in physical sight; God is in the heavens but people are where we are.

In my experience I have seen people who do almost anything for someone that they believe can help them attain what they want in the world, but they are pretty much cavalier about pleasing God. Don’t they realize that what they have in the world, no matter how much of it they own, will be someone else’s when they die? That point is well made in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes.)  Then they will only have the treasure they have already stored in heaven to spend eternity with. Think about it: would you rather live in a mansion for 30 years and a shack forever, or would you rather have a humble home for 30 years and a mansion forever?


I would like to offer an excerpt from my book (to buy the book, hardcover or downloadable, see the right margin) that briefly discusses how to please God. If you find this interesting or useful to you, please consider buying the book.

“Then tell me how to please the Lord”, you may ask. Sorry, but I will not tell you what to do, or (for that matter) what not to do. That would make me just like a religion. What I will tell you is what the Lord tells us. And the Lord tells us that to please Him we must obey His commandments. I will give you 2 places where He does this, although He tells and shows us this throughout the entire Bible. The places I will mention are in the Tanakh and in the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant).

   In the Tanakh go to Deuteronomy 28. This is the chapter where God gives us the listing of His blessings for obedience. You can see He blesses us going in and out, home and away, pretty much 24/7/365. Clearly, obedience pleases Him. The other place is in the Gospels where Yeshua (Jesus) tells us that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. Everyone is pleased by having people they love show that love back to them, and Yeshua is telling us that showing our love for Him (which must please Him) is through obedience.

   Yeshua makes it even easier to demonstrate obedience. He tells us that the two most important commandments are to love the Lord and to love our neighbor. If we simply do this than everything else falls into place.

For the record, this isn’t a new idea. Yeshua was quoting Tanakh; in fact, there is nothing “new” in the “New Covenant”.  It is all strictly and completely from Torah and the other Old Covenant writings. Every single reference Shaul makes, as well as John and James (Ya’akov), is from the only scripture that existed at that time, which is the Tanakh.

    So there it is. How do we please our God? Simple- follow His commandments. That’s it. He doesn’t say to follow all the regulations and traditions that the religion to which we belong adds or takes from His word. He simply says do as He says. He even tells us that what we should do is not so hard to do. It is not so far away that we need someone to bring it to us, or so deep we can’t see it, or so high we can’t reach it. He says it is right in front of us, within our grasp. True, we can’t do everything as He wants us to do it; we are sinners and we are sinful, and our very nature makes living a perfect life impossible. That’s why He promised a Messiah. But Hey!, that’s no reason not to try!

Brothers and Sisters, please hear me now: God has no religion. His Word, His commandments, His Blessings, His House of Worship, His Messiah and His Salvation is for ALL people! Just as His judgment will be on ALL people.

I think it is important to remember, especially, that last sentence: His judgement will be on ALL people! And that judgement will be based on our heart and our actions, but it will not be based on what others tell us is right or wrong.

You need to understand (and I believe the Bible supports me in this) that God will judge fairly and rightly, but what He judges us on will be what we did and not on what others told us to do. That means if the Rabbi, Priest, Pastor, or whomever leads your religious organization tells you to do something that is contrary to God’s command, you will be responsible for your actions. And using that old, “I was just following orders” excuse won’t carry water with the Lord. He told us how he wants us to worship Him, how we should treat each other, what is important and what isn’t. And if you aren’t sure how to tell what is important and what isn’t, I will make it easy for you: if it is in the Bible, it is important. And, if it is important you had better know about it, right? So read the book! Don’t be a dope and just believe what anyone tells you the book says- read it for yourself. Read it for yourself because you will be held accountable for what is in it!

Think about that: in fact, don’t waste time thinking, just do. Read the Bible, start today. Only a chapter a day: do it at lunch, do it when you get home, do it before you get ready for work. Or do what I do- keep your Bible in the bathroom. No one bothers me there, and I have a guaranteed 10 minutes or so of quiet.

Please please God first, then people, if you must, but not at the expense of pleasing God. I think you wil lfind that if you concentrate on pleasing the Lord you will be surprised at how much more you will be pleasing to people.

Parashah B’Har (On Mount) Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2

God instructs us to be fair to each other in our economic dealings, to use a pro-rata system of valuation when we are exchanging  and redeeming property, and that slavery is an acceptable form of servitude, except that other Israelites were to be treated with more respect and allowed to go free in the Jubilee Year (Yovel) whereas slaves which had been purchased were slaves forever, and property that could be transferred in one’s estate to one’s heirs.

I am not sure what happens if you are a foreigner who is a slave, then you convert, i.e. become a fellow believer, and the Yovel year comes. There isn’t anything I saw that covered that, but I wonder because in all other areas, one who sojourns with the people and worships as they do is to be considered as one of them, and equal in the eyes of the law.

Anyone got an opinion?

This book is all about the everyday relationship between people and God, and between people and people. We are told about cleanliness, personal hygiene, the festivals, the sacrifices, the selling of property and the methodology of evaluation when redeeming that property. We are also told that all property belongs to God and we are just temporary residents. This goes well with the prior statements God made, and ones He will make later in the Torah, regarding how the land vomited out the prior residents because of their sinful ways, and will do the same to this people if they follow that example.

We are reminded about the Shabbats, rest for the people and now, too, rest for the land. And the wonderful law of the Jubilee Year, the Yovel, where all the followers of God are brought back to their land, a year of rest for the land and the people. Since this happens every half-century, given the normal lifespan of a person, everyone would most likely get to enjoy a Yovel, at least once, during their lifetime.

What I see in this parashah is a legal description of what Yeshua brings to us spiritually: redemption. The main difference being that in the physical world, when someone is redeeming their land, there is a pro-rata evaluation of the worth of the land. When Yeshua redeems us spiritually, there is no valuation: we are redeemed, totally, and forever. No matter whether our sins outweighed our righteousness, or vice-versa, this redemption is complete and once-and-for-all.

Just as God told the people (this comes later in the book) that so long as they do as they should their lands will be productive, we who are redeemed by Yeshua’s sacrificial death are to do T’Shuvah, to turn, and live our lives as representatives of God. Our redemption is immediate, and just as the people had to obey God and follow His laws for the land to be productive,  we are to do the same with our spiritual lives in order to produce “fruit.” We are to obey God’s commandments, the ones in the Torah (there is nothing ‘New’ in the New Covenant- everything Yeshua taught and said we should do is from Torah. Same for Paul, John, and all the other writers of the B’rit Chadasha) and when we do so, we will be blessed. If we reject God, even after He has redeemed us from our sin, we apostatize and throw away our redemption.

That is what I said: I have said it before and will continue to say it because it is so very, very important to understand: salvation is irrevocable, but that only means God will not take it back. It doesn’t mean we can’t throw it away, and if you want Biblical evidence that what I say is true, go to Hebrews 6:4-6; John 15:6; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 2 Peter 2:20-21. There are many other verses demonstrating clearly that salvation gained can be rejected, how in the End Days many will turn away from and betray Yeshua, and Revelations tells us that most will be turned from the true faith. Believe it- salvation is guaranteed to be given, but it can (and by most, will) be easily lost.

Redemption is the underlying theme of the entire Word of God, and we see here one aspect of it- the one that is in the physical world. Both the redemption of property and of self; God-granted freedom from slavery. Even freedom from work during the seventh year Shabbat for the land (Shmita) and the Yovel.

Redemption of your life and property in this world, and redemption of your soul in the next. This is what the Bible is all about, this is the plan God has for all of us.

Redemption: easy to get and hard to keep.

Why Do You Love God?

Maybe we should ask, “Why do we love, at all?”

What is it that can create both a strong attraction, and then an equally strong revulsion, often at the same time, and with the same person?

Before we can answer why we love God, we first need to know why we love.

I guess that’s it for today, then…I have no idea how to explain, define or even make a guess at why we love.

Let’s try this from a different angle: let’s ask , “How should we love the Lord?”

I think I can do this one, especially because God tells us exactly how to love Him: we love the Lord by obeying Him. In Yochanan (John) 14:15 through to 14:26 Yeshua tells His Talmudim (Disciples) that if they love Him they will obey Him. He further says (I paraphrase here) that the love they show Him will be shown to them by God, and they will all be together. Also they will receive the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as a comforter.

Let’s not get confused here, with regards to chronology: God loved us first and foremost.  Yeshua said that when we love Him we show our love to God, which makes sense since He also said, throughout the Brit Chadashah (Gospels, or Good News) that when we look at Him we see the Father, and to know Him is to know the Father. Loving Yeshua is loving God, but it was, always has been, and forever shall be that God, who forms us and knows us while we are still in the womb, loves us before we are even born.

God gives us Grace, forgiveness, and the rules telling us how to live and treat each other: these rules aren’t given so God can control us, they are given so we can become more holy and, thereby, be with God for all eternity. His laws and commandments aren’t really restrictions; in fact, they are the path to freedom and joyfulness. God blesses us when we obey (check Deuteronomy 28)  and His blessings are never ending. Maybe one of the reasons we love God is because of all the love He shows us. It is hard to dislike someone who constantly does good for you and shows you love and compassion.

However, since He is also the righteous Judge, when He disciplines His children (as all loving parents should do) we often turn against Him, reject and even curse Him.

I know when I was growing up my parents did the best they could for me- they had their own “demons” to overcome from their parents, and as I grew up I was very difficult, rebellious, extremely disrespectful and I did not feel love for them in any way, shape or form. It took quite a while, but when I was old enough and mature enough to understand them and where they were “coming from”, it made forgiving and appreciating them much, much easier. And I felt better about my relationship with them, too, because it had been reconciled. They are both gone now, but for years before they died they knew, and heard me say, I loved them. And for that I also love God, because He was a big part in my spiritual growth and maturity, and He showed me how to love. My love for the Lord is based on who He is and what He has done for me.

Loving God is not (and I think should not) be a romantic love- that’s just weird. As I said, I can’t define absolutely why we love someone or something, but I do believe the love we feel for God should be ‘above’ human love. It should be with respect and awe (doesn’t the one you truly love often inspire you, and sometimes just make you feel so proud to be loved by him or her?) and appreciation for all that He has done. We also need, as I did, to mature, emotionally and spiritually, so that we can begin to glean a little of the reasoning behind why God allows bad things to happen in the world, and bad things to happen to good people. It takes a very high level of spiritual maturity to accept that the gold must be refined through fire. Even though going through the fire is just a little less enjoyable than root canal without the benefit of anesthesia, those who love God with a mature, unselfish and spiritual love understand that the suffering and pain can be overcome by maintaining their loving trust in Him, which comes from the faithful understanding and acceptance that God only wants the best for us. It is that faithful trust and the love we feel for Him that strengthens us and enables us  to endure.

Why do you love God? If you haven’t asked yourself that question, you should. Is it only because of what He does for you? Do you feel love, or thankfulness? Do you accept God’s judgements, do you allow Him to make judgements and wait upon the Lord (as Proverbs says we should do?) or do you cry out for justice? Is it justice or revenge?

Or, would you rather be able to forgive as God does? As God commands we should?

Do you love God or do you just love what you want from Him?

The way God will know how much you love Him is to count how often you obey His commandments (He is talking about the ones in the Torah.) If you are obeying more than rejecting, then you are loving God. If you reject more than you obey, well….time to reflect on how much you want to love the Lord.

How many people scream out, “I love you, Jesus! Oh Lord! My God! How I love you!”, then they go home and do whatever they feel like doing, eat what they want to eat, and rationalize their sins.

I used to be a sinner who rationalized my sins; now I am a sinner who regrets my sins. It is that regret, my personal T’Shuvah, that enables me to obey God, and it is my obedience that demonstrates my love for the Lord. And it was His love for me that I (finally) came to recognize and accept, that made me want to love Him back.

Do you love the Lord? If you say, “Yes”, the next question you need to ask yourself is: “Does my obedience to the Lord show it?”

Who or What; Was or Is; Which is Right?

Yeshua, called Jesus by most of the world, is recognized pretty much as the Messiah by the Christian world, although He is also called the Lord, to the exclusion of THE Lord, and God in the Flesh, although there is only one God, and the son of God, which He can’t really be if He is God, can He?

Here is an excerpt from my book, “Back to Basics: God’s Word vs. Religion” regarding who or what Yeshua is or was:

Let’s not overlook the fact that He was in existence from the Beginning- He may have been born of a virgin, as the prophecy states, but He certainly wasn’t born as a human is born. He was fully human, but He was not of human origin. He was subject to human frailty and temptation but He was also so completely filled with the Ruach HaKodesh He was, as no other person ever has or will be, able to overcome His humanity.

I know, I know…this sort of “He was – He wasn’t” back-and-forth can give you a headache! Was He human? Yes. Was He God? Yes. Did He die? Yes. Well, if He was God how could He be human, and if He was God how could He have died, and if He was human how could he be God, and if He was Human how could He do those miracles, and if and if…. YIKES!! That’s why it is just so much easier to just take things on faith. Although, being faithful doesn’t mean accepting ignorance. We still need to know what the truth is, and the only way is to hear it from His own mouth. The way He allows us to hear Him is that He gave us The Bible, The Manual. Reading that, and asking Him to guide our understanding by the Spirit, is the best and most productive way to know His word. Since Yochanan (John) tells us in his Gospel at first that there was the Word and the Word became flesh, if we know His Word then we know Him.

Some things we know, historically, about Yeshua was that, first and foremost, His was born into a Jewish family and His name was never ‘Jesus’- that is a translation of a transliteration. For the etymology of the name Jesus do a search on “what’s in a name” in the Search window at the bottom right of this page. We also know His mother and father, what the family business was, that He was circumcised, had been to Yerushalayim at least once (and was left behind there for a week alone), He was baptised by Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), had a wandering ministry, healed many people of different diseases, taught 12 Disciples who lived and travelled with Him for about 3 years, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. We also are told by the same dependable writers and witnesses that He was resurrected and wandered among the people for about 40 days (40- another well used number in the Bible) until He rose into heaven.

So, where’s that leave us, with regards to the title of this blog? Is Yeshua a “who”, meaning a human being, or a “what”, as in a proper noun such as Messiah? We know He existed and was killed, so do we refer to Him in the past tense as with a dead person? If so, when He was resurrected He became alive, again, and He is forever alive so shouldn’t we say He “is”, as we do when referring to a living person? He was the Messiah for those people, but, then again, He is our Messiah today. He was God’s son and God in the flesh- didn’t He say if you see me you see the Father? To know Him is to know the Father? If so, that fits in with the old Jewish adage that the Torah is to be a mirror so that when we look into it we see ourselves. John says that Yeshua was the Living Torah, that the Word became flesh. Since Torah is still valid and the Word of God, and Yeshua is the living Torah, then Yeshua is alive, so we should say He “is” and not that He “was”, anything. As a living entity, He is a “who” and not a “what”, wouldn’t you agree?

Who He was is why He was able to do what He did, and what He is is why He is able to do what He does. (say that three times fast!)

It’s all a bunch of literary hoopla. It doesn’t really matter who, what, was, is… whatever! Yeshua was the Messiah, He is the Messiah, and there is only one true Messiah; even after all is done and Yeshua takes on whatever mantle of leadership or divinity that He will wear at that time forevermore, who or what He was or is will not change.

God is eternal, Yeshua is eternal ( Yeshua said, “…before Abraham was, I am.”), and past and present are irrelevant when discussing the eternal.

What is important from this discussion is to understand and accept that Yeshua always has been and, until the end of this existence will continue to be, the only hope we have for salvation.

I have collected this laundry list of questions, and I figure when I see Yeshua’s face I can ask Him because He will know the answers. But you wanna know something? When I do see His face, I don’t think any of those answers will have any meaning for me.

Once I see His face, all that is important to me now won’t matter anymore.

Empowered or Enabled?

Although the definition of these words is very similar, meaning to give someone the ability to do something, the connotation (general usage) is that to empower is to help someone do something beneficial for themselves, and to enable is when we allow someone or support them in doing things harmful to themselves. For instance, we empower people to feel good about their job by paying them a fair wage, and we enable people to hurt themselves when we give money to a homeless person (unfortunately, the money usually goes to drugs or booze- that’s why I don’t give money to beggars but I do offer to buy them food. It takes more of my time to get them something, and it costs more than just giving them change, but it helps them more, and I feel much better. Try it.)

Therefore, if you allow me these usages (’empowering’ is good for you and ‘enabling’ is bad for you), the question today is, “What is your religious leader doing for you spiritually? Are you being empowered to do as the Lord asks, or are you being enabled to do what is easy and comfortable for you by being given ‘excuses’ for ignoring God’s commands?”

Another way to look at this is to start by remembering that God has told us, over and over, how He will bless us when we do as he commands, but when we refuse (i.e., reject Him) we will be cursed and will not receive those blessings (check out the beginning of Vayikra and D’varim, Chapter 28, as well as N’Varim, the writings of the Prophets.) If you are being taught that the Torah is still valid and that Yeshua (Jesus) observed Torah and taught others to do the same, and that Shaul (Paul) did not say ignore Torah but only was talking about how Torah will not be needed AFTER Yeshua returns and is still necessary and should be observed, then you are being empowered to receive all of God’s blessings.

On the other hand, if you are being taught Replacement Theology (the Jews are no longer the Chosen people) and that Yeshua did away with “the Law” so that all you need to do to be saved is ask God for forgiveness and you can pretty much go on living as you have, you are being enabled to sin. And if you lead a sinful life, without any concern for God’s commandments or ordinances, you will not receive His blessings (other than the ones He will probably still give you, now and then, only because He is a loving and compassionate God) and you may find yourself being told by Yeshua that He does not know you.

Don’t forget those parables about the maidens who were left out of the wedding, even though they were invited, because they came up short-handed at the time the groom arrived; and that Yeshua told us there are many who will call Him Lord but at the Judgement He will reject them because they did not follow Him. Check it out in Luke 6 (“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?), and it’s also in Matthew. Didn’t Yeshua say that if we love Him we will do as He commands? And what did he command us to do? To follow Him, and He followed Torah, so we need to follow Torah, too.

Yeshua did as His father told Him to do, which is what God tells us all to do, which is found in the Torah. God has no religion, only Torah. Yeshua is the living Torah, so to ignore the Torah is, literally, to ignore Yeshua. And if you ignore Yeshua you will not be on the path to salvation, you will be traveling the Highway to Hell.

I am not saying you will absolutely go to hell if you don’t completely follow Torah, because just trying to observe Torah will not save you. Faith will save you, but if you CAN follow Torah…if you can live every stroke of the pen in Torah as Yeshua did, then you don’t need Yeshua to be your sin sacrifice. Of course, if any human being could follow Torah exactly and completely, then that person would screw up the curve and Yeshua wouldn’t be needed. That means there would be three people in heaven: God, Yeshua and that one creep who ruined it for the rest of us!

It comes down to this: we are saved by faith. Faithfully believing in the existence of God, faithfully believing that Yeshua is the Messiah who sacrificed His life as a sin sacrifice for all of us, AND faithfully doing T’Shuvah, which is demonstrated and proven by spending the rest of our lives sinning less by obeying God more. That means that following the Torah will not necessarily get you into heaven, and not following it will not necessarily keep you out, but the more you follow it the more blessings you will receive on Earth (as God promises), the more fruit you will produce to bring before the Lord at Judgement Day, and the closer you will be to Yeshua.

If you are being told that you need to obey God, which means all that God says we should do to worship Him as He commands us to do in the Torah and as Yeshua confirms we should do, then your religious leaders are empowering you to receive God’s blessings and helping you to be the greatest in the Kingdom of God.

If you are being told by your religious leaders that the Torah is dead, all you need to do is accept Jesus as your Saviour, ask for forgiveness and (pretty much) that’s all it takes- it is set, it can’t be taken away and your are guaranteed to go to heaven so long as you are a “good” person, then you are being enabled to sin and they are separating you from God, preventing you from receiving all His blessings, and possibly giving you a ticket straight to Sheol.

It’s up to you to decide what you will do, not anyone else, because God will hold you totally accountable for what you do.