No Way Out of This One

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I am hoping that you find this title- No Way Out of This One– interesting because it makes you wonder, “No way out of what?” And, remarkably enough, I have the answer, which is, “No way out of obedience to the Torah!”

You see, Yeshua preached and taught from the Torah, but later the Gentile Christian leadership (most notably Constantine and his cronies) changed the dogma and structure of Christianity.

When Yeshua walked the earth, what he taught was something that those Jews who accepted him as their Messiah already knew, i.e., the Torah. And that was the same thing that the Gentiles who chose to follow Messiah and worship God were being taught, which effectively meant they were converting to Judaism.  But after Constantine took charge of Christianity, he created a totally different religion based on Jesus Christ as the Messiah, rejecting everything Messianic (i.e., Jewish) about him, except for the teaching that through him we can receive forgiveness of sin.

The main difference between modern-day Christianity and its root, Judaism, is the Torah. Christians have been taught that the Torah is for Jews, and they only need the blood of Christ. Obedience to all of God’s instructions has been reduced to simply loving each other and being a “good” person; they have been taught that is all you need because this guy Jesus has got your back, so long as you ask him to forgive you.

In Catholicism you don’t even need to ask Jesus to forgive you- the local Priest can do that!

The reason I say you can’t get out of this one is that the Torah, whether anyone likes it or not, is the direct word of God given to Moses. God gave it to Moses to bring to the entire world. It is not, and never was, intended just for Jews. The Torah is not a set of laws, so much as God’s instruction to everyone about how he wants us to worship him and how he wants us to treat each other.

Let me go off on a bit of a tangent: there are parts within the Torah that are specific to a certain class of people, such as certain requirements for the High Priest and the Levites are different than for everyone else. Also, there are some instructions that apply only to women (for physiological reasons.) However, overall the Torah (which means “instruction”) was given to the Jews to learn so they could live it as an example to the rest of the world to show them how they should live.

Now that we know what God intended the Torah to be, let’s address the wrongful teaching that it is only for Jews. To do this we first have to establish some basic “givens”:

  1. God gave the Torah to the Jewish people;
  2. God has stated throughout the Bible that all who sojourn with the Jewish people (i.e., live with and worships as) are subject to the same treatment as natural-born Jews (Lev. 24:22; Numbers 15:15);
  3. God says eventually the entire world will worship him (Isaiah 60:1-3; Zech. 8: 22-23)
  4. God wants the people to learn Torah from the Jews (Deut. 4: 6-8);
  5. Yeshua’s Disciples preached obedience to the Torah (Luke 24:47; John 14:15; Romans 3:31; John 2:3-6; Rev. 22:14)

All of these statements from the Bible lead us to the same conclusion: the Torah is what God gave to the world so we can live and worship as he wants us to so that we can have eternal life.

And it is most clearly stated in Numbers 15:15 (your bible may have it as 15:14 or 15:16):

As for the congregation, there shall be one statute both for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you, a statute for ever throughout your generations; as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. 

That’s it! If you profess to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which means if you are a Christian you are included in that group, there is no way you can argue that God or Messiah say you are not subject to the same requirements for worship and interpersonal relationships as the Jewish people are.

God said it- one law for Jews and anyone who sojourns with them. And the New Covenant writings also confirm, absolutely, that if you have faith in God and Messiah you are an adopted son or daughter of Abraham- in other words, like it or not, as an adopted child of Abraham you are required to live subject to the same rules as his natural-born children.

Period; end of argument; close the door on your way out.

I know many of you have been taught differently, and you may not only dislike what I am saying but will passionately refute it. Go ahead- try. Look throughout the Bible and find the place where God says his commandments are just for Jews. Find where Yeshua says forget what my Father told you- it isn’t for you. Show us any place in the entire Bible where God or Yeshua or any of the Disciples say Christians don’t have to obey any of the laws or commandments in the Bible.

Obedience to Torah just makes sense, doesn’t it? If you are going to worship God then you should want to do as he says. Abraham did, David did, the Prophets did, the Apostles did, and even that nice Jewish tentmaker from Tarsus did. And the Gentiles that were accepting Yeshua as their Messiah, and worshiping God instead of their pagan deities were converting to Judaism… and THEY also were doing as God said to do in the Torah. Not all at once, but slowly over time they were expected to learn it (Acts 15:21.)

Starting right now, if you have been living your life separated from God’s instructions, read the Torah. What can it hurt you to learn how God wants you to live? And once you know what is in the Torah, if what some “person” has told you is the way to worship God but it is not confirmed by the Torah, ignore it.

Most people know that if something is really easy to do it probably isn’t all that worthwhile doing, and believe me when I tell you that worshiping God correctly, as he said to do it in the Torah, is not easy. But it is the most worthwhile thing you will ever do.

What Jews and Christians Agree on That is Wrong for Both

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How many of you have heard someone say “Jews have the Torah and Christians have the Blood of Christ” when talking about the commandments in the Torah and who is supposed to obey them? I know I have, and the general understanding is that Jews and Christians are separated by this idea that Jews need to obey the Torah but Christians don’t because Jesus died for their sins.

Both sides seem to agree to this: Jews say the New Covenant is only for Christians and Christians say the Old Covenant is only for Jews.

Jews use only the Tanakh and Christians reference the Tanakh, sometimes, but generally stay only within the New Covenant. In fact, I believe the vast majority of Christians who have been taught from the Gospels and the Epistles don’t even realize that the writers of those books and letters are all quoting from the Tanakh.

So if both Jews and Christians feel “their” Bible is only for them, why is this wrong?

Well, I’ll tell you why- because the Torah is for everyone and Yeshua died for everyone. Yeshua taught the Torah and the Apostles taught the Torah: that was the only “Bible” around. The New Covenant letters and Gospels were being written as early as the middle of the First Century but didn’t come together until around 367 C.E., nearly three centuries later.

What has happened is that the “grafted in” are trying to take over the tree, and the tree is letting them!

The Old and New Covenants are one Bible, one story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It starts with the creation of everything, then God chooses a man (Abraham) to be the father of a nation dedicated to serving God; later, God tells that nation they are to be a nation of priests to the world (Exodus 19:6) and he gives them the Torah, his User Manual (if you will) on how they should live their lives. As priests, of course, they are not only to live their lives in accordance with the Torah but they are to teach the rest of the world how to do that, as well. The story continues as we read how the people of God fail to perform their priestly duties, and after the nation suffers a civil war leaving two nations, Shomron in the North and Judah in the South, their constant sinning forces God to disperse them throughout the world. However, that isn’t the end of the story.

There has, from the beginning, been the promise of a Messiah to come and reconcile the chosen people to God, and then all the world will worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in accordance to God’s commandments (Torah) when God regathers his people into their land, Israel. The promise of a Messiah comes to fruition in the New Covenant, which is the continuation of the Old Covenant. It starts some 400 years or so after the last entries in the Tanakh and it is Yeshua who is the Messiah. As prophesied, he is not accepted by the masses although he was supernaturally born and portrayed God’s power throughout his ministry. The prophecy that all people will come to worship God begins (properly) with the Messianic Jews (early followers of Yeshua) adding to their numbers from the Gentiles who were converting to Judaism. Despite what has been taught, first century Jews that followed Yeshua never converted to Christianity because Yeshua was, is and always will be a Jew teaching the Torah. As his ministry grew in strength and numbers more and more Gentiles were added as fewer and fewer Jews came to accept him as their Messiah. I suppose at some point there had to be a limit, since there were so many more Gentiles than Jews in the world then, just as it is today.

Starting around the end of the first century, the separation of Yeshua’s followers from Judaic worship to what is today Christianity begins to really “take off” and with the Council of Nicene, Christianity is a totally different religion, persecuting the Jews and re-branding Yeshua as Jesus Christ, the blue-eyed, blond-haired Teutonic image that is what people think of today.

The story ends with the regathering of the Jewish people to their homeland and the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) that we read about in Revelation. And, when all is said and done, all people will recognize and proclaim Yeshua as the Messiah and worship God on his Holy Mountain in Jerusalem (the new Jerusalem) as God told us we should, which is found (you guessed it!) in the Torah.

So, nu? What’s my point? My point is this: we need to bridge that gap that people created which God never intended to exist. We need to overcome the bigotry and hatred between Jews and Christians and realize that there is one God who does not have any religion, just laws, commandments, rules, ordinances, and regulations that tell us how we are to worship him and how we are to treat each other.

One God, one set of laws, one people under God and one Messiah for all. The separation between Jews and Christians serves only to help the enemy of God to be able to take over the world. Anyone, therefore, who promulgates that Jews and Christians should remain separated and that following the Torah is no longer valid or needed is an agent of Satan, whether or not that person realizes it.

If you are Christian, read the whole Bible and you will see there is nothing “new” in the New Covenant. If you are Jewish, rebuke the bigotry and fear that Jews have of the New Covenant. Read a Messianic version of the New Covenant (NOT the King James version, please!) and see that what Yeshua said was not in any way different from what Moses said. Yeshua taught the deeper, spiritual meaning of the Mosaic law by using a Drash to teach the Remes (look up the exegesis system called PaRDes to see what I am talking about) but never, ever taught against the Torah. He couldn’t! He was and still is, the Living Torah.

For Jews that are waiting for Messiah, you must be open to the idea that maybe, just maybe, he already came and he will be coming back. You can still wait, and I pray you accept him when he returns, or you can open your heart and mind and just simply study about Yeshua now. Remember, the Talmud talks about the Messiah as the Son of Joseph and also as the Son of David, indicating two separate Messianic occurrences.

For Christians, you must be open to hearing that the Torah is what Yeshua taught and the Canon of Modern Christianity is not what Yeshua taught but what Constantine created. You need to read the Old Covenant to really be able to understand what Yeshua was teaching and accept that following the Torah isn’t just for Jews.

Yeshua is Messiah to the world: Jews, Gentiles, Buddhist, Muslims ….everyone! God has no religion and when all is said and done, we who will survive through faith will worship God in the way he instructed his chosen nation of priests to teach us.

Where’d we go wrong?

Before we can answer where we went wrong, we need to understand what is wrong.

What is wrong is that Christianity, for the most part, isn’t following Christ. It is following Constantine. The majority of the Christian world knows the Torah saves the Jews and the Blood of Christ saves the Christians. These two are as separate from each other as East is from the West, yet the entire basis of what Jesus taught was wholly and exclusively in the Torah. What Paul wrote in Romans has always been used as a polemic against the Torah, but it is the exact opposite: it is an apologetic for the Torah. Every place that Paul talks about the Torah failing to save people (because of the Rabbinic use of a strictly legalistic interpretation) he asks if that means that the Torah is dead or no longer valid. He answers that question, in every case, with a very enthusiastic, “God forbid!”

Go on- read it for yourself! The Christian world only reads the part where he says Torah fails, it never talks about the rest of that statement where Paul confirms Torah is valid and necessary and what we should observe.

That is what has gone wrong. I liken this to the Looney Tunes cartoon where Elmer chases Bugs into a tree, and Bugs is sitting out on a branch. Elmer takes a saw, and sitting on the junction of the branch to the bole, he saws through the outer part of the branch so that Bugs will fall. However, after he cuts through, the branch miraculously stays up by itself, and the tree holding Elmer falls. This is exactly what the Christian teachings are expecting you to believe- that you can cut yourself off totally from the root of salvation, i.e. Torah, and not be affected by that.

Christianity went wrong in the Third century when Constantine decided Christianity was OK, and as a (now) reformed pagan, he commercialized Jesus (that hasn’t changed much, has it?) by changing all the major pagan holidays into Christian holidays, and by separating Christianity from Judaism, once and for all.

A little history prior to this: Rome expelled Jews for their rebellious attitude after Yeshua’s (Jesus’s real name) resurrection, and later around 132-135 CE under the Bar Kochba rebellion, Rome destroyed the Jews (580,000 dead, 50 fortified towns and 986 villages razed- it was a massive defeat.) They totaled the Temple and even renamed Judea to Philistia (Palestine) as a final insult, sort of like throwing salt in the wound as they were kicking them laying on the ground.

NOTE: Philistia, or Palestine, was the Roman equivalent of Philistine- they renamed the land God gave to His people after the historic enemies of God’s people.

Now when Constantine “converted”, being Christian went from meaning “lion’s diet” to “government approved”, but Judaism was still on the “Least Wanted List” to Rome, so as more and more Gentiles accepted Yeshua (now being called Jesus more often than His given Hebrew name, Yeshua) and being recognized as “Christians” instead of as converted pagans (converted to Judaism), Judaism was becoming something that you did not want to be associated with. So, when Constantine and the Council of Nicene (of course there wasn’t one Jew on the Council) created what is the foundation of today’s ecumenical laws and church canon, the total schism of Jews and Christians was completed.

The Council of Nicene is, to me, the “where” of where we went wrong.

So, the question now is, what do we do about it?

For the majority of the Christian world, the answer is: nothing. Why change it?

I can understand their desire to leave it as it is; after all, most people don’t like change, and especially when change means accepting that the teachings you have had, from people you trust and admire and (even) love, have been sending you father away from God than closer to Him. And, like it or not, that is what any teaching which identifies the Torah as not valid does- the Torah is God’s word to mankind. It isn’t just for Jews: it was given to the Jews to bring to everyone else.

That is what being the “Chosen” people means- chosen to bring Torah to the world.

My answer to what do we do now is what I am doing- getting the truth about Torah, about Christianity, about Judaism, and about God to you, to the person next to you, to everyone and anyone who will listen, and yes- especially to those who don’t want to hear about it! Like that nice Jewish boy from Tarsus- you know, the one who makes those beautiful tents- said: those who know Messiah have the smell of death to those who don’t accept Him.

The church I worship at is not a Messianic synagogue, it is a Hebraic roots church, For my money, these are two different terms for the same thing. We represent the “One Man” ideal- Jew and Gentile together worshiping God as He said we should, honoring Torah and knowing that what Torah cannot do for us (only because of our nature preventing us from living Torah perfectly), Yeshua has covered through His blood sacrifice.

The Christian world teaches that because Yeshua died you can be saved, and that is correct, but they teach it in a way that doesn’t give freedom from sin but gives license to sin! They teach that you are OK, that Yeshua made it all OK, and you can live your life pretty much anyway you want to, so long as you don’t murder or steal, because Jesus has got your back. They say Torah is no longer valid if you accept Jesus (which is the exact opposite of what Jesus and all His disciples taught) and what is even crazier is that, back then, if you were Gentile and accepted Yeshua, you were converting to Judaism because that’s all there was then-pagan or Jew. Today, if a Jewish person wants to accept Jesus, they are told they have to reject Judaism and convert to Christianity.  If Jesus was here in the flesh, I can only imagine what He would be telling the Popes and the Bishops and the Pastors and the A of G and WCC and all the other “Christian” organizations about what they are teaching.

And I am sure He would have a few choice words for the Jewish equivalents of those organizations,too.

What went wrong was separating Jesus from Torah, and where we went wrong was the Council of Nicene. The path to true worship of God is through obedience to the Torah and acceptance of Yeshua ha Maschiach as the Messiah.

In a nutshell: God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel and assigned them the job of Levite to the world. They were to show everyone else how to live within the laws and guidelines of Torah. Because mankind is sinful by nature, the Torah, in and of itself, was too much for us to obey perfectly, so God provided for us a second option: Yeshua the Messiah. His death was the ultimate sacrifice for sin and His resurrection the proof that His sacrifice was accepted. When we accept that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah God promised to send, and by accepting Him we worship God in accordance with God’s instruction in the Torah (to the best of our ability), we have Yeshua’s sacrifice to “fill in” where we fail to meet Torah’s guidelines.

The truth is that Yeshua’s sacrifice was not a replacement of Torah but only an addendum to it. The “New Covenant” (found in Jeremiah 31:31) did not replace the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law); it simply added to it. The covenants from God have never been exclusive of each other- they are inclusive and each new covenant from God is built on the prior covenant, confirming and expanding it. From Noah to Abraham to Moses to David to final fulfillment in Yeshua- every new covenant has been built upon and contains all the prior covenants.

Yeshua is the word of God in the flesh, and the word of God is the Torah. How could Yeshua, in any way at all, preach against Himself?

You need to decide, for yourself, what is the right path for you. I hope you see the truth in what I am saying here, which is only what God, Jesus and all His Disciples (the ones that were with Him) have said- obey Torah, worship God and accept the truth that Yeshua is the Messiah.

Ask for the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide you to know the truth and use the gifts God gave you to glorify Him in all that you say and do. I pray for you all, that God will open your eyes to what He has for you, and what He asks of you.


Beware of Advice

Some days I wonder what I will write about. This was one of those mornings. I am doing the crosswords and word jumbles (can’t start the day without waking up the brain with coffee and puzzles) and wondering what I should write about, and hoping that either Dear Abby or Ask Amy might provide some kindling for the fire.

Well, thank you Ask Amy! There was a letter from a teenage girl asking about how to handle her lesbian dreams while she is in a heterosexual relationship. She loves her boyfriend but dreams about girls, and is confused. Amy’s answer is so politically correct I could hurl: she says that the girl is normal, because whether bi, hetero, gay, whatever, any sexual orientation is normal because there is no one way to be.

HUH? Where does she get this stuff from? Men have certain parts, women have certain parts, and they are designed to go together in a certain way. When Amy was a toddler was she one of those kids that forced the round peg in the square hole?

This is why we need to be so careful when reading advice or even asking it of trusted friends. For the most part, I think Amy is OK. Same for Abby (or whomever is being ‘Abby’). Overall, their advice is close enough, and they do have the nerve to tell people off, now and then. However, when it comes to sensitive topics, such as sexual orientation, they clearly don’t give a hoot about what the Bible says and go with the political “flow.”

Amy goes further to say that if something feels right it is OK. Oh, well then, that’s good advice to give a teenager. Smoking dope feels alright to me, so it must be OK. Oh, yeah, a drink and some fornication, that really feels right to me. Yes, yes…I like this advice!

I have read these columns for years (like I said above, they provide good fodder) and cannot, in all fairness, ever remember once that they gave biblical advice. Occasionally they suggest asking a clergyperson for advice, along with parents, teachers, etc., but I can’t remember ever reading where they say to see what God has to say about it. And never have I read that they even hint at the fact that hetero-sexual relationships are the ones we are designed for, and the ones that God says are not just normal, but the only correct way to be.

I have known many people who are gay, and I have family members and friends who are gay; I accept them and love them for who they are. That doesn’t mean I have to agree that what they do is right. Yet, I am a “gay-basher” for even suggesting that their way of life is not normal and correct. It’s funny: people who live outside the realm of “normal” always argue that they are abused and persecuted and all they want is the right to live their life as they choose. But, say even a word against their choice and you are abusive, bigoted, and have no right to say what you say or think what you think.

In other words, I have a right to reject your idea of normality but you have no right to reject mine. Hypocrites!

I will agree that homosexuality is normal, not as an acceptable lifestyle, but normal as a part of humanity that has been around as long as we know. It is rife throughout the Bible, and it is “normally” found in society. That doesn’t make it right or good. In the same light, crime is also normal. As is sickness and hatred and disease and marriage and love and everything else that is “human.” Being human means being sinful, and therefore, even sin is ‘normal.’

In fact, it is more “normal” to be sinful than it is to be holy. Big surprise there, right?

So, keep giving advice Amy, go for it, Abby! Just YOU, the reader, keep in mind that the advice you read is tainted with human sinfulness and political correctness, and if you want to know what God says, you won’t find it in the newspaper (well, maybe the article Billy Graham writes.)

There is one place you can go to get good advice, and that is (of course) the Bible. Let the Ruach (Spirit) be your guide when you interpret when your read (go to the Search button at the bottom of the page and search for ‘bible interpretation’ to see some blogs on proper bible interpretation.)

The Bible is the only advice you can trust.

Trust in God, do as He says as best you can, and always always always remember this one absolute fact: we are all sinful by nature, so if you are doing something that seems right to you, you should probably stop and think about it. I know that sounds very dogmatic, but it is (I think) a good self-check. Just because something feels “good” or “right” doesn’t make it right, or bad, for that matter. It just means we should remember we are sinful and therefore everything that we do needs to be tested against the Bible. If it passes the Bible test, then go for it. Of course, remember what Shaul (Paul) said- everything in moderation.

So take everything you hear with a “grain of salt” and test it against the Bible. This is not what society tells you to do, but it is what God tells us all to do. And when it comes down to it, God will be the final judge, so why would you not want to make sure He is okay with what you do.

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Him! 

Now that’s good advice you can trust.  🙂