That Wascawy Wabbit!

Bugs Bunny was always funny; and poor Elmer Fudd could not get anything over on him.  And sometimes, it seems that way in the realm of the Ru’akh [Spirit] in regard to those who are caught up in untruths.  Messianic people always tend to focus on the Gentiles and their turning away from Torah, or not turning back to it in obedience.  But, many, if not most Messianics, have themselves turned from Torah, and they do not realize it.  It doesn’t matter if the turn is ever so slight, or a 180 degree turnaround.  Error is error.

There is NOTHING new under the sun.  What was a problem in the days of the Shlikhim [apostles] is a problem today, including Messianic Jews and other Jews who went into and/or remained in ERROR!  There is a reason the believing community went without Torah for so long!  It started with slight errors that Sha’ul tried to correct by writing most of the Brit Khadashah, and which Yeshua warned the congregations about.  And everyone ignored those warnings, and we had a dark time without The Word.  In spite of the efforts of a small remnant, the believing community is still largely in error.

As a former submariner, and one who drove the submarine for a brief time, I can assure you that even the tiniest error in the course on a ship’s navigation can be extremely dangerous, especially over time.  One degree off the ordered course of ‘true north’ will not matter much in the beginning, but if it goes unnoticed for any significant time, it can lead the ship into dangerous waters.  It is JUST as dangerous, if not more so, than doing a 180.  I was the helmsman [driver] on one of the biggest submarines in the world for a brief time.  We were running at flank speed [“full blast,” as the world is now].  The helmsman has control of both course and depth.  I was concentrating on course, and for a brief second took my eyes off of depth, and within seconds the boat was -400 feet off of ordered depth!  It happened so fast!  Thankfully, no one but the “dive” and I saw it, and I was able to correct it without incident. He gave me ‘grace’ by not reporting my error. That is how many people today are operating in the realm of the spirit these days.  They’re off course and out of their depth, and they don’t even know it.

This has been brewing in my mind for several weeks, if not months, and this week’s portion of reading for the Messianic Community speaks to it in many, many ways.

In our portion [Acts 21-22], a man prophesies concerning Sha’ul that he is going to be persecuted by the Gentiles.  Technically, the prophecy said “Nations,” which would include Yisra’el.  This is also supported in Acts 4, where the believers pray a prayer, to which our congregation has put a melody, and that prayer is an echo of the second Tehillah [Psalm].  “Why do the NATIONS rage, and the people plot in vain?  The kings, and the rulers of the earth have revolted, and have taken counsel together against  יהוה  and against His Messiah?”  After that, they go on and say in their prayer, “For truly, they [Jews] assembled in this very city [Jerusalem], together with both Herodus [1/2 Gentile] and Pilatos [Gentile] and with the Goyim [nations] and with the people of Yisra’el, against your Ben Kadosh [Set-apart Son] Yeshua.”

This is NOT over with!  Our Jewish people are yet in partial blindness until Messiah comes back.  Yet our Messianic Jews like to study more under their tutelage than under Yeshua’s.  They yield themselves to Rabbinic authority, in spite of Yeshua’s warnings against that.  Yeshua did say, “Listen to the P’rushim, for they sit in the seat of Moshe,” and affectively said, ‘do what they SAY, but not what they do.’  The ‘Seat of Moshe’ has been twisted by Messianic ‘rabbis’ to mean RABBINIC AUTHORITY.  But, they know that it was a physical chair in the Synagogue in which the READER OF TORAH sat.  When they are in that seat, that was the ONLY time they spoke truth!  They had veered away from the Torah, even though they SAID they kept it.  The same is true today.

I want to preface the rest of this by expressing Yeshua’s deep affection for His Jewish people.  “O, Yerushalyim!  Yerushalayim!  …..How often I wanted to gather together your children, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” ~Yeshua, Matti 23.  “As He [Yeshua] approached Yerushalayim and saw the city, He wept over it…”  “I have compassion for these people,” ~Yeshua, “He had compassion on them”… etc etc.   I also want to point out that Yeshua did NOT cast off all Jewish tradtions, but made them His own:  “And He went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath, as was HIS custom.”  I now want to echo Yeshua’s compassion for the Jewish people, and say that my affection for the Jewish people is the same.  I love our Jewish people, and have embraced the biblical customs of Moshe, just as did Yeshua, and just as Sha’ul taught to the Gentiles.  I am Jewish.  Like Timothy, my father was not Jewish [although he had a torah-teaching great grandfather, Ya’akov Shuler], but my Mother was Jewish.  I was not raised in the Jewish customs [although some odd family traditions on my Mom’s side were likely Jewish in origin].  But, even before I began living my life in a biblical, Jewish way, I have always had a DEEP AFFECTION for the people of my Savior, the Jewish people.  There is not ONE OUNCE of animosity or bitterness in me toward the Jewish people, my people, and the people of Messiah.  Please bear that in mind, and trust that my love for the Jewish people is very, very real.

In our portion this week [05/20/18], Sha’ul’s being handed over would happen in Yerushalayim as well, and echoes what happened to Kefa in Acts 4, where the Talmidim pray that prayer.

This morning, while reading the passage in Hebrew, I ‘saw’ that the spirit of anti-Messiah works from BOTH COMMUNITIES, the Jewish AND the Gentile community!  That’s why Luka wrote, “AGAINST your Ben Kadosh.”  The prefix in ‘anti-Messiah’ means AGAINST MESSIAH.  HaBen, The Son, is HaMashiakh, The Messiah.

So many Messianic people give the Rabbinic Jewish community a free pass.  Many even submit themselves to the teachings of the “Rabbis,” simply because they are Jewish.  Yes, they have Torah.  Yes, they have some keen observations in Torah, and appear wise; but the SPIRIT they follow is NOT the Ru’akh of Elohim, or they would know Messiah! [Rom 10:4]  “HaSatan comes as a messenger of light [truth].”  For some reason, Messianic Jews today think our Jewish people do not err or cannot err concerning Torah and Halakha.  They seem to think, along with the Rabbis, that the Rabbis have Torah authority that no one else has, and so Messianic Jewish Rabbis need to submit to that authority.  There is a spiritual lure, a demonic presence that draws believers in Messiah away, even if only slightly, from the authority of Yeshua.  Again, slight error is huge over time.  But, this allure is akin to a dog returning to its vomit, since Yeshua came to wrest authority from the Rabbinic community and give it to the pure of heart.  Yokhanan HaMatbil predicted that the axe was laid at the ROOT of the tree, the tree of Yisra’el, and that it would be hewn down; and it WAS.  Yeshua is THE ONLY RABBI to whom we should submit.  Yet many Messianic Jews graft themselves into the DEAD TREE of Rabbinic Judaism.

Sha’ul tells his own story in this story we read this week [if one continues past the appointed portion], and shows that he himself, a Rabbi, WAS BLIND to the Truth of Messiah!  Until Messiah literally blinded him and opened the eyes of his spirit.  Yeshua appeared to him, but did not tell him, “Why are you persecuting christians,” or, “Why are you persecuting Messianic Jews,”, but “Why are you persecuting ME.”  Sha’ul was of the spirit of anti-Messiah at that time.  And when Sha’ul asked who He was, He said, “Yeshua HaNatzri.”  Sha’ul was hurting MESSIAH HIMSELF by opposing His people.  At this point, every single believer was a Jew.  Sha’ul was a Jewish Rabbi who was opposing Messiah Yeshua, because he was persecuting His people.  Is Yeshua an anti-Semite, because He opposed Sha’ul here?  No.  Sha’ul knew Torah and Rabbinic law inside and out, and yet could not see truth.  He was kicking against the goads.  A Jewish Rabbi would immediately think of the goads as THE TORAH, the WORDS of Elohim.  “The words of the wise are like GOADS… given by ONE SHEPHERD…” [Kohelet 12, Eccl] No one who trusts in Messiah and follows HIM should look to ANY OTHER WORDS for how to interpret Torah and follow Messiah.

Messiah was KILLED by Rabbinic thought!  Here, the ONE Shepherd of Yisra’el is telling Sha’ul, a Rabbi, that he is FIGHTING TORAH.  How?  Because Messiah Yeshua is the goal at which the Torah aims!  [Rom 10:4]  Had he continued on his trajectory, we’d be reading about Sha’ul in the Mishnah, since his teacher, Gamli’el and some of Gamli’el’s other students, classmates of Sha’ul, are themselves quoted in the Mishnah.  But Sha’ul FULLY REJECTED Rabbinic thinking.   So much so, that in our portion we read that they were lying about him, saying that he was leading Jews away from Torah.  These were “Messianic Jews” lying about Sha’ul!  They completely misunderstood his role, and what he was doing and teaching!   I have suffered the accusation of turning people from Torah, because I’m trying to point them to Torah and NOT to the Rabbis!  These accusations come because this spirit is still alive and well in the world.  Anyone who upholds YESHUA as the ONLY ARBITER of truth and as the ONLY TRUE Rabbi is going to get this hatred!  The reason?  Because Rabbinic authority is a demonic spirit, because it usurps the authority of Elohim.  If the monument of this lie about Sha’ul is in our Holy Writ, in the book of Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts], which Sha’ul did NOT write, then we can trust that Sha’ul remained true to the Torah the rest of his life.  Otherwise, the Ru’akh would NOT have memorialized his fidelity IN THIS BOOK.  This book [Acts] covers an extended portion of Sha’ul’s life.  Further, Kefa affirms Sha’ul’s writing as TRUE, and that people even later in that century were TWISTING Sha’ul’s words, to their own destruction.  And, Kefa elevates Sha’ul’s writings to the level of THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, indicating Sha’uls writings, all of them, even the difficult ones, were INSPIRED.  [2 Peter 3:14-18].

In our portion, we read:

“When we arrived at Yerushalayim, the brethren welcomed us gladly. And the next day when all the elders  [Messianic Jewish Elders] were present, we went in with Pavlos to Ya’akov. And when we had saluted them, Pavlos told them in successive order everything that Elohim had done among the Goyim by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified Elohim and said to Pavlos, “Our brother, see how many thousands there are in Y’huda [Jews] who are believers, and they are all zealous for the Torah: but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Y’hudim [Jews] who are among the Goyim to forsake the Torah of Moshe, stating that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to follow after the customs of the Torah. [Things Moshe taught, not written down as yet] Now, therefore, they have heard that you have come here. Do, therefore, what we tell you. We have four men who have vowed to purify themselves; Take them and go purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; then everyone will know that what has been said against you is a LIE, and that you yourself uphold the Torah and obey it. As for the believers amongst the Goyim, we have written that they should abstain from the things sacrificed to idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.” Then Pavlos took the men and on the next day he was purified with them, and he entered into the Heikhal, informing them how to complete the days of purification until the gift of every one of them was offered.”

There are several things that need to be mentioned here.  First, that Sha’ul is Jewish.  Second, that all the Jews who were following Messiah were STILL KEEPING THE TORAH.  Next, that the non-Jewish believers in Messiah received TORAH MANDATES in order to continue worshipping in the Synagogue!  “abstain from things sacrificed to idols [Exodus 34:15], from fornication [Lev 18], from what is strangled [Lev 7, Gen 9], and from blood [Gen9:4, Lev 7:26, 17:14, Deu 12].”  ALL of these are TORAH COMMANDS that many today in the Gentile, believing community ignore.  Next, we see Sha’ul, the one declaring/teaching truth to the Gentiles, was asked to and agreed to keep a very specific set of Torah commands, concerning the Vow of the Nazir [Num 6].  He enters into this biblical, Torah vow with four Jews.  And, he shows himself a Rabbi by teaching them how to FINISH the process of the vow!  So, this passage proves that the JEWISH believers in Messiah were still keeping Torah actively, and Sha’ul did too!  Further study into the later life of Sha’ul confirms that this continued the rest of his life.  He defends himself before courts and kings affirming that he NEVER BROKE TORAH or violated the customs of Israel!  Even though Rabbinic and Messianic Jews THOUGHT he did!

In the next paragraph [Acts 21], the NON-Messianic, “Rabbinic” Jews also falsely accused Sha’ul.  [they may have been the source of the previous accusations as well, admittedly]  They made up another lie that he brought a gentile into the Temple, which TORAH does forbid.  He did not.  Here, OUR JEWISH PEOPLE, Rabbinic Jews, are trying to KILL Sha’ul, a Messianic, TORAH KEEPING JEW.  Why?  Because they are under the spirit of Anti-Messiah.  They are so blinded, they cannot see OBVIOUS TRUTHS.  Why are they so angry?  Is it JUST because he was bringing a gentile into the Temple?  OR, is it also because of the MANMADE, RABBINIC LAW, that says NOT TO GO INTO THE HOME of a gentile, or to even eat with a gentile?  It is because they are guided by a wrong spirit.  Indeed, for them, befriending a gentile ‘breaks torah,’ because THEIR torah includes manmade traditions that go beyond the Word.  They have elevated their customs to be equal with, and at times, supersede the law of Elohim.  This was the teaching of Shammai in that day.  We KNOW this anti-gentile law is Rabbinic, and NOT ‘truth,’ as Kefa is guilty of giving in to this Rabbinic LAW, and Sha’ul chides him for it.  Humbly, Kefa submits to the correction [Gal], and later lauds Sha’uls writings.  Those who doubt that Sha’ul remained in the good graces of the rest of the Messianic Jewish community for the rest of his life do not understand that Kefa’s letter was written AFTER many of Sha’ul’s letters, if not after all of them. Kefa Bet, [2nd Peter] was likely written as late as 67A.D., and shows that Kefa still sees Sha’ul as a teacher in GOOD STANDING.  And in defending Sha’ul, he also asserts HIS OWN, LATE in life adherence to Torah, and warning to GENTILES not to leave the Torah! “You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of those without Torah, and fall from your own steadfastness.”  [by turning away from Torah!]

Back in our portion, Sha’ul addresses his accusing crowd IN HEBREW.  [There are those that assert he only spoke greek, and that Jews in Israel spoke only greek in the 1st century.  LIE] In Sha’ul’s testimony before the Jews, he says that Khanan-Yah [Ananias, the man who healed his eyes] was righteous ACCORDING TO TORAH.  And asserts that all the Yehudim know this.

Everything about Sha’ul’s defense is his proving his fidelity to the Torah and to Yisra’el, and to his Jewish heritage.  Yet, JEWISH people got all the more enraged, and wanted to kill him, still.  In Yisra’el today, that animosity is still there, as Messianic Jews are the ONLY persecuted religious group in Yisra’el.  Even though they want to follow Torah, and some even to be honored by the Rabbis, in many cases.  In SPITE of their adherence to Rabbinic thought on critical doctrine, the Rabbinic community persecutes ONLY Messianic Jews, leaving muslims and Christians alone.  Let that sink in.

As much as we LOVE the Jewish people, we must accept the reality that they are STILL blind, IN PART, for the purposes of Elohim, and that they are NOT our ‘instructors’ in the Torah.  Yeshua Himself said, “Do not be called Rabbi,” the same time he said “Call no man ‘Father.’  Yet many Messianic Jews equivocate, submitting to calling MEN “Rabbi”, both in the Jewish community and in the Messianic community, but disavowing catholics for calling priests ‘father.’  Which statement of Yeshua is true, and which is false?

Observe the whole of scripture.  Something very curious emerges concerning the title “Rabbi.”  It is a term that came to use just before Yeshua visited Yisra’el.  It is from the Hebrew word “rav”, which means “Great.”  Rabbi actually is ‘rav-i’ in Hebrew, meaning “my great one” implying “one who is greater than me.”  A ‘talmid’ would ‘submit’ himself to the teacher, and follow his “Halakha,” or ‘how he walked the Torah.’  This would not be a bad thing, if the Torah-walk were true.  Unfortunately, as Yeshua demonstrates, most of them turned from Torah, and made walking it too difficult for the average person, because they burdened people down with extra-Torah, extra-biblical [outside of the Bible] ‘halakhic rulings’.  This is demonstrated in many places in the gospels.  But, when studying the use of the term “Rabbi” in the Bible, a curious observation can be made by a keen eye.  Only ONE person in ALL of scripture is actually addressed personally as “Rabbi.”  That man is YESHUA.  NO OTHER PERSON in ALL of scripture is directly addressed as “Rabbi.”  Not even Sha’ul!  Who was actually trained in the ‘schools’ the Rabbis referred to when accusing Yeshua of being uneducated!  In fact, one sees that Sha’ul, a Torah-keeping Jew, submitted to Yeshua in NOT ALLOWING HIMSELF to be called Rabbi!  One would think that he would keep the title, and sign his letters, “Rav Sha’ul,” the way so many Rabbinic Messianic Jews and ‘rabbis’ refer to him today!  Yet YESHUA is the ONLY ONE officially named Rabbi in the writings.  That is NOT a coincidence.  Yeshua is the ONLY Rabbi for those who KNOW HIM and LOVE HIM and OBEY HIM.

Rabbinic law is outside the boundaries of scripture, and is rooted in false, usurped authority that is NOT from The Father.  The Father is the progenitor of HaBen, THE Son, and no one is a son of Elohim, unless he is born of Elohim THROUGH HIS Son.   Like it or not, the Rabbis teach from THEIR AUTHORITY, and NOT from Elohim, and THEY THEMSELVES have said so!  This phenomenon began in the days of Mishnah!  And is a theme that runs rampant through the Talmud.  They have said they have authority over The Word, and over Elohim Himself on earth, to make decisions and make new laws.  They started doing so during the time of and at the behest of Mishna era Rabbis, and they have yet to stop.  And, Yeshua’s herald, Yokhanan HaMatbitl [John the immerser] is the FIRST to point it out that they were NOT following G-d!  And Yeshua echoed the sentiment.

Yeshua told the Rabbis of His day things that got Him killed!  Why cannot our Messianic Jews today see that?  How is it that there is such a spirit of compromise with the TEACHINGS of the rabbinic community?

“Why do your [Yeshua’s] Talmidim not walk according to the traditions of the elders, but eat bread with their hands unwashed?” He [Yeshua] said to them, “The Navi Yesha-Yahu well prophesied about you, O hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people [Yisra’el] honor me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.  And they worship me in vain when they teach as doctrines the commandments of men.’  For you have ignored the mitzvah of Elohim, and you observe the tradition of men, such as the washing of cups and pots, and a great many other things like these.”  He said to them, “You certainly do injustice to the mitzvah of Elohim so as to sustain your own tradition.  For Moshe said, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’ and, ‘he who curses father or mother, let him die the death.’  But you say a man may say to his father or his mother, ‘What is left over is Karbani;’  [this halakhic ruling is not in Torah!] And yet you do not let him do anything for his father or mother [which is instructed in Torah]. So you dishonor the D’var HaElohim for the sake of the tradition which you have established; and you do a great many other things like these.”

History proves, and the Jewish Rabbis claim, that these P’rushim [Pharisees] are the predecessors of today’s Rabbis.  They say there is an unbroken chain from today, through the P’rushim, to Ezra and the “Great Sanhedrin,” or Great Assembly.  But, they do not realize that during the time between the prophets, from Zekhar-Yah to Yokhanan HaMatbil [Zechariah to John the immerser], the Rabbinic community was created, and began to err.  Specifically, the error came through the House of Shammai, which is the true start of modern Rabbinic teachings, and was the ruling religious class in Yeshua’s day.  Yet Messianic Jews would prefer to follow today’s Rabbis, who rejected, and STILL reject Yeshua, and follow Shammai in the spirit of their interpretation of Torah.  They have set their decision-making power of Halakha ABOVE the Torah, and above G-d Himself, and as such, also above Yeshua.

And today, anyone who tries to point this out to Messianic Rabbis is ridiculed as anti-Torah, and anti-Semitic, JUST LIKE they did to Sha’ul in our portion this week.  Such hateful diatribes have been hurled at me by ‘notable’ Messianic Rabbis, and other believers who follow them and their teachings. Their teachings are mixed with Rabbinic error [see my last paragraphs], and supersede Torah, yet I am the anti-Torah anti-Semite, according to them. The Rabbis lied about Sha’ul, saying he was teaching Jews to leave the customs of MOSHE, and not to circumcise their children.  It was a lie.  Scripture calls it a LIE.  Yet gentiles today still believe it, and some Messianic Jews think so as well, still misinterpreting the teachings of Sha’ul.  Or, they simply turn a blind eye to what Sha’ul, and especially Yeshua, our ONLY Rabbi, teaches.

What neither community recognizes is that the Jewish Rabbis before the 1st century put their CUSTOMS on the SAME LEVEL as Torah!  By the late 1st century, this was the norm, to think of THEIR customs, which go beyond BIBLICAL Jewish customs, on the same level as Torah.  So, when THEY say the word “Torah”, they are predominantly talking about their CUSTOMS and halakhic rulings, including the LATEST Talmudic writings, all by Rabbis who DENY Messiah Yeshua as the Son of G-d!  This is the spirit of Sheker HaMashiakh!

22Who is a liar but he who denies that Yeshua is the Mashi’akh? He is a false Mashi’akh, and whoever denies HaAv, denies HaBen also.  23Whoever denies HaBen,  [The Son] the same does not believe in HaAv.”

Yet so many Messianic people yield themselves to Rabbinic authority.

It is also true today that Jews read the Torah through their Talmud, through the understanding of Rabbis who led them astray.  Today’s Jewish people view the Torah through the coke-bottle-bottom lens of the Talmud.  The House of Shammai started this phenomenon before Yeshua’s arrival.  They were the controlling house, controlling the Temple and the Synagogues.  They are many times called ‘The Yehudim’, “The Jews”, in Brit Khadashah, because they thought themselves the only true Jews, and were the ruling house among the Pharisees [the lesser House being that of Hillel 1].  The House of Shammai was to Yisra’el as Catholicism was to Europe for centuries: the authoritian force establishing and forcing doctrine on the people, and claiming authority from Elohim to do so.  The House of Shammai ruled that gentiles must fully convert, with the final sign of and proof of conversion being circumcision.  This is what the discussion is about in the book of Galatians.  This is the “Synagogue of Satan” Yeshua mentions in the Hitgalut.  “They say they are Jews, but are not, but do LIE.”  Why?  Because a true Jew is one who is circumcised of heart.  A circumcised heart is accomblished by and through Yeshua!  Sumbission only to The Word.  [Rom 2:29]  The House of Hillel, apart from Shammai, did not make such rulings, but in fact ruled much the same way as Ya’akov in Acts 15 concerning gentiles.  But Hillel’s ‘house’ did agree with Shammai on denying Yeshua.  Many of the PEOPLE before Yeshua followed the house of Hillel, whose teachings are indeed similar to Yeshua, and some of the Pharisees did. Gamli’el and Sha’ul were both students of that school.  And some few followed the Sadducees, a smaller sect.  But, on Shavu’ot 2000 years ago, 3500 began to follow Beit Rav Yeshua, The House of Elohim, whose ONLY Rabbi of the Messianic community is Yeshua! Yeshua actually shows us through His life and teachings that ALL THREE sects of Jews had error, and all three had some truth.  But HE is the one to show us THE RIGHT WAY.  And it is indeed very narrow.  And, after 150 AD, BEFORE even the Mishnah was written down, and certainly before Talmud, the whole of the Rabbinic community rejected Messiah outright, telling the Messianic Jews in Israel to leave the synagogues.

Yeshua gets even rougher with the Jewish Rabbis of His day than already mentioned.  This is a hard speech that many in the Messianic community largely ignore or avoid.

“Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim [Scribes and Pharisees, ie “Rabbis”], you hypocrites! For you consume the houses of widows, and with pretense you make long prayers; because of this you shall receive a greater judgment. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you have shut off Malkhut HaShamayim against men; for you do not enter into it yourselves, and do not permit those who would enter. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you traverse sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him the son of Gehinom twice more than yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, for you say, ‘Whoever swears by the Heikhal, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold which is in the Heikhal, he is guilty!’  O you fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold, or the Heikhal that sets apart the gold?  And ‘Whoever swears by the Mizbe’akh, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering that is on it, he is guilty’. O you fools and blind! For which is greater, the offering, or the Mizbe’akh that sets apart the offering? Therefore he who swears by the Mizbe’akh, he swears by it and by everything that is on it. And whoever swears by the Heikhal, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by Heaven swears by the Throne of Elohim, and by Him who sits on it. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you take tithes on mint, dill, and cummin, and you have overlooked the more important matters of the Torah, such as justice, compassion, and absolute trust. These were necessary for you to have done, without having left the others undone. O blind guides, who strain at gnats and swallow camels! Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of extortion and iniquity. Blind P’rushim! Clean first the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that their outside may also be clean. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you are like tombs painted white, which look beautiful from the outside, but inside are full of dead bones and all kinds of corruption. Even so, from the outside you appear to men to be Tzadikim [righteous ones], but from within you are full of iniquity and hypocrisy. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the Nevi’im, and you decorate the graves of HaTzadikim; And you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our forefathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the Nevi’im.’ Now you testify concerning yourselves that you are the children of those who killed the Nevi’im. You also fill up the measure of your fathers. O you serpents, and seed of scorpions! How can you flee from the judgment of Gehinom? Because of this, I am sending to you Nevi’im and wise men and Sofrim; some of them you will kill, and you will execute them on stakes; and some you will scourge in your Beit K’nessets, and pursue them from city to city; So that all the blood of the Tzadikim shed on the ground may come on you, from the blood of Avel HaTzadik down to the blood of Zakhar-Yah Ben Berekh-Yah, whom you killed between the Heikhal and the Mizbe’akh. Truly I say to you, all of these things shall come upon this generation. O Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim, murderess of the Nevi’im, and stoner of those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather together your children, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and yet you would not! Behold, your house will be left to you desolate. For I say to you, from now you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of  יהוה .“

Yeshua was speaking to the Rabbis of his day, the teachers and scholars.  These are indeed the predecessors of the ones who nearly killed Sha’ul, and of the Rabbis of today.  To think otherwise is dishonest.  This does NOT mean that anyone who sees the TEACHINGS of the Rabbis as erroneous is anti-Semitic, any more than Messianic Jews today can accuse Yeshua of being anti-Semitic for his words recorded above.  Sadly, this is usually the ONLY argument one gets when he tries to present the truth of scripture to Messianic “Rabbis” today.  “You’re an Anti-Semite!”  How many times I’ve heard this!  And me,  a Jewish person who loves THE Jew, Yeshua, and only wants to serve Him!  The King of JEWS.  Suddenly, these people, who profess to believe in Messiah, expose deadly, venomous fangs.  Even some close to me have hurled false accusations against me for simply trying to expose the duplicity of Rabbinic thought, the usurpation of the authority of Elohim that governs their thinking.

Yeshua said those hard words above to Yisra’el’s Rabbis, who had not yet written the Mishnah, much less the TOMES of Talmudic writings that have so muddied the waters today, and that plague the Messianic community with anti-scriptural bias against Yeshua’s Halakha.  Because of that mud, the Messianic community is as divided as every other ‘denomination’ of Judaism and Christianity.  The Body of Messiah must UNITE around the TRUTH of Messiah!  Once the authority of MAN that was wrested from Elohim is quoted by Messianic Rabbis and teachers, and used as a proof for halakha, one LEAVES out from under the leadership, authority, and ANOINTING of Messiah Yeshua. They give themselves over spiritually to the authority of the spirit of Sheker HaMashiakh.  It has been our experience that most who do this eventually go the whole way and deny that Yeshua is Messiah, and this is grievous.  But, even if they do not, they rob themselves, the ones they teach, and the whole Body of Messiah of the UNITY that can ONLY COME when we all follow THE ONE SHEPHERD!  Yes, Elohim is merciful in spite of it, FOR HIS PEOPLE’S SAKE!  But, that does NOT excuse the error, and every person who calls himself a Messianic Rabbi will ANSWER BEFORE HIS THRONE for every lie of man they perpetuated and taught HIS people.  “It would be better for him that a donkey’s millstone were hanged on his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” [ ~ Yeshua, Luka 17:2]  To ‘stumble’ means to err against His Word.  Much of what Messianic “Rabbis” teach does exactly that.    “Whoever therefore tries to loosen even one of these smallest mitzvot, and teaches men so, he shall be regarded as small in Malkhut HaShamayim; but anyone who observes and teaches them, he shall be regarded as great in Malkhut HaShamayim.”          [ ~ Yeshua, Matti 5:19]

It would be impossiple to list here all the teachings that lead people away from truth, but I will enumerate the easiest and most obvious, and arguably the most important ones:

They moved Passover.  Is that a coincidence?  They MISSED the Messiah, who clearly kept the Pesakh the DAY BEFORE THE RABBIS.  Much of Yisra’el also kept it with Messiah, on the same night.  Written history just goes to the ‘victor.’   The Pesakh is the very COMMEMORATION of the BLOOD of our Covenant, and they do not observe it correctly, and have not for several hundred years before Messiah came, whereas the scriptures show ALL Seders to occur on the night of the 14th.  They know they moved it, and they say that they have authority to do it, just like the Popes moved Shabbat and Pesakh and Shavu’ot.  The Jewish Rabbis also moved Shavu’ot.  Yeshua clearly rose as the Bikurim, the firstruits, on late Sat night into Sun morning.  If the ‘rabbinic’ way is correct, Yeshua should have risen as the firstfruits on THURSDAY NIGHT/fri morn.  He did NOT.  This is THE REASON they did not recognize Messiah.  They were not and still do NOT follow Elohim and HIS WORD.   They teach the Jewish people not to Say His Name.  They, as a community, will NOT ‘see’ Yeshua because of these things, until He comes back in His Glory.  “For I say to you, from now you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of  יהוה .”

These are SIMPLE, easy things, and the whole of Judaism, including much of Messianic Judaism, violates Torah to perpetuate MAN’s TRADITION.

We LOVE our Jewish people.  Any notion that asserts that we are Anti-Semitic is born of hatred and ignorance, and a stubborn will not to look into the WORD for His Truth.  The Talmud was written LONG AFTER Yeshua ‘sealed’ the book, and said NOT to add to it nor take away from it.  Our Jewish people put the Talmud on the level of Holy Writ. Messianic teachers who teach the Talmud are the least in His Kingdom, as they teach the commandments of men for their doctrine and halakha.

Blessed are those who do His Mitzvot, that they may have the right to Etz HaKhayim, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

‘Drash’ starts at about the 1:00 mark

 

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Guardian of the Galaxy!

Obeying G-d and reading His Scriptures is not about the minutiae, the tedium of study, or the motive to be ‘right.’

It’s about learning HIS HEART.

HIS DESIRE for us.

What is HE LIKE, so that we can be LIKE HIM. That’s what ‘godly’ means.

The way Sha’ul [Paul] puts it, His heart is His GOOD and PLEASANT and PERFECT will.

We do NOT learn His heart by our ‘feelings,’ by ‘signs,’ by ‘listening to your heart, nor by following religious men.

Every human’s heart is deceitful and wicked.

It is done by looking into the PERFECT TORAH of LIBERTY, just as Yeshua’s own brother told us. {James}

We are looking into His Torah for the purpose of seeing HIS HEART, and comparing ourselves to that image, and NOT that of other human beings.

The Torah [Gen-Deu] is LOADED with mercy, for PEOPLE. For the disadvantaged, the lowly, the victims.  But liars have told the world that the Torah is a ‘heavy,’ impossible book to do, and that the “god of the old testament” was not gracious and merciful.  And that G-d did a ‘new’ thing in Messiah Yeshua.  No.  In Messiah Yeshua, His Son, He FINISHED what He started!

After reading portions of the Torah concerning how we treat people in certain situations, I was thinking about how G-d declared Himself to Moshe, the only man EVER to see Elohim, and to see and hear יהוה ‘face to face.’ יהוה , יהוה , G-d, merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, abundant in compassion and truth. A Guardian [‘branch’] of compassion for thousands; Forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and pardoning.”

Why did He say His Name twice? I’ll get to that.

But look at the first words out of His own mouth about Himself: MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS.

Our Jewish people call this passage “The Thirteen Attributes,” and these verses are considered very, very important in understanding the Creator.

He goes on and calls Himself, SLOW TO ANGER, and ABUNDANT in compassion and TRUTH.

G-d does NOT lie, neither does He equivocate or change his mind on righteousness, salvation, and worship. He is CONSISTENTLY THE SAME.

This passage TRULY is a glimpse into the Heart of the Creator, and of His Son, Messiah Yeshua.

And, it SHOULD be OUR hearts as well.

Trust me, I’m asking Abba to give me this; I’ve looked into the PERFECT TORAH of liberty and seen my reflection; and I pray often that HE ‘transforms’ my mind and heart.

I’ve included the image of those two words, because in a Torah scroll the first letter in verse 7 is an enlarged “Nun;”

notzer

The ‘nun’ itself is a picture of Yeshua, as it is an ‘upright/righteous man;’ the fact that this word is not only ‘notzer,’ or ‘guardian,’ but ALSO ‘netzer,’ or BRANCH, is no coincidence, as Yeshua is the Netzer David [Rev 4-5], the ‘root/branch’ of David/Jesse [Is 11:1-2], but is also a Natzri, a person from the Galilee town of Natzrat. Same word.

Interestingly, this verse, Exodus 34:7, points us to Is 11:1-2, the place where the powers of the Ruakh are clearly elucidated, and also to Rev 4-5, where we are told about these seven ‘rukhot,’ or the seven-fold Ruakh/Spirit of Elohim.

If one pretends to study Torah but is not compassionate and merciful, that one should reflect on himself. If one pretends to possess the Spirit but does not reflect righteousness and mercy, that one should reflect on himself.

The one I want NEVER to doubt is HIM. And He has plainly declared HIS HEART. Which is why He SENT His Son. To offer a ‘branch of compassion’ to those who would grasp it. He extended His arm to rescue us from our SINS.

The word there for ‘forgiving’ actually is also rooted in ‘bearing up;’ “He bore our sins.” Is 53:2-7 ; same exact word. Also expressed in 1 Peter 2:24.

That is why His Name is declared twice. His attributes do not go without showing us our Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua is a perfect manifestation of the HEART of the Creator, who walked before Moshe, picked Him up, and covered Him with His hand, and declared His CHARACTER before Him, to COMFORT HIM and give him faith to know that HE was his GUARDIAN; and He is OUR BRANCH of rescue out of the mire of the wickedness of THIS life.

The ‘christian’ idea that G-d in the “OT” is angry, but in the “NT” is a gracious and loving god, is severe misdirection on the part of anti-semites who distorted His truth for personal gain.

The Being that walked before Moshe is MOST COMPASSIONATE.

I have learned so almost daily for myself these past 32 years.

May we all learn His heart, and reflect it, so others may see Him and KNOW that Yeshua is His Messiah.

That buzzard! Hell oh hell!

Ashrei HaIsh

The Man is Happy

Still my theme song.  But today has been a very strange day.

I take a walk at lunch to stretch my legs, going through the streets of downtown Houston.  Today, I was singing Ashrei HaIsh [man I love that song!  That Psalm (1)].  I rounded the corner and headed back toward the office, and I see two men standing there, and one is holding the Bible.  “Uh Oh,” I think.  I’m target number 1 for Bible carriers, because of my tzit-tziyot and kippah.  I hoped for a good conversation and the ability to ‘fellowship,’ to no avail.

Sure enough, they tried to engage me.  But, their version of the ‘gospel’ is so twisted, within a minute they were calling me “Amalek” and the “synagogue of satan.”  Typical anti-Semites.  Next time I see them I’m just going to open by speaking Hebrew, and show them what they do not know.  Their ‘gospel’ is completely a ‘flesh based’ doctrine, and so they are foolish.  Wisdom teaches not to engage a fool.  I moved on.

But, that is not the only encounter with bad doctrine I’ve had this week.  Manmade junk is teeming in the streets, and in the pews, and in the synagogues.  The way is truly narrow, and there really are precious few who find it.  The more I live, the more I see Yeshua knew exactly what He was talking about.

So, I’m still happy!  And that tune is still going through my head, along with His divine words penned by Melekh David.

“The man is HAPPY who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way with sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful; but, in the Torah of יהוה   is his delight, and in His Torah he meditates day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he shall prosper.”  That’s where the Miqedem version ends, and that’s fine.  It truly does ‘lift me up,’ and those words are becoming part of me, and more powerful.  But, this goes back to the ‘meditation’ I’ve been doing this week, when I think of the rest of the words of that song of Melekh David:

“Not so the wicked; but they are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the Tzadikim.  Forיהוה   knows the way of the Tzadikim; but the way of the wicked shall perish.”  And Tehillah 112, which our wives ‘sing’ to us each Erev Shabbat, shows the same theme, and Miqedem made a melody to that, too… now that’ll be stuck in my head the rest of the day!

This stark contrast and promise of the judgment of the damned is the theme I’m encountering this week in all my meditation.

Here is a fb post that started me on this thought process:

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Finished the Hebrew of Yesha-Yahu for the Tanak we are translating…
All the while I was meditating on His Compassion: how much He has been in my life in so obvious ways over the last 42 years, and how, even though He has saved me, I still have need of Him.  In some ways, my need of Him has changed; but, one thing that will NEVER change, is that I need HIS BLOOD, HIs compassion, His forgiveness….
As I’m reading the Hebrew as I go, a few verses LEAPED off the pages, or better, phrases:
לִקְרֹא שְׁנַת רָצוֹן לַיהוה, וְיוֹם נָקָם לֵאלֹהֵינוּ, לְנַחֵם, כָּל אֲבֵלִים.
אֲנִי מְדַבֵּר בִּצְדָקָה, רַב לְהוֹשִׁיעַ. מַדּוּעַ אָדֹם, לִלְבוּשֶׁךָ וּבְגָדֶיךָ, כְּדֹרֵךְ בְּגַת
Likro sh’nat ratzon La יהוה, v’yom nakam L’Eloheinu, l’nakhem kol avelim….
Ani m’daber bitzdakah, rav l’hoshia! Madu’ah adom lilvusheikha, uv’gadeikha k’dorekh b’gat?
The first is the tail end of one of my favorite passages, the one Yeshua read in His own Synagogue to begin His ministry, with the finished sentence, the phrase he did NOT read.
The second is a verse that precedes the fulfilment of that one.
Here they are in English :
“To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of  יהוה , and the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn…”
Yesha-Yahu 61:2
‘I that speak in tzedaka, mighty to save.’  Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like his that treads the wine vat?’
Ch 63
If I left that out of context, one might assume the blood in the second phrase is in reference to His own.
No, it’s not.
It is symbolic of all those who will die in their rebellion.
Even though He is “Mighty to Save!”
Yeshua came to demonstrate the compassion of our G-d, and did so BEYOND MEASURE.  Yet people reject His compassion.
It struck me that “to comfort those who mourn” follows ‘The Day of the Vengeance of Our G-d,’ and then His announcement of being drenched in the blood of wrath follows, “Mighty to Save…”  preceding the fact that The Day of Vengeance is IN HIS HEART.
This will likely be my meditation the rest of the week; carry on…
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I do not relish the thought of the judgment of the damned.  Elohim does not either, but His desire as that all should do Teshuvah [biblical repentance].  It is sad, it is so sad how much the talons of that buzzard, that agent of death, has in the minds of man.  The twisted words that lead people AWAY from the simple truth of His B’sorah down the primrose path of religious pride.  Like the woman, the anti-Semite who confronted me last week.  So many people THINK they are doing G-d a favor by condemning me to hell.  So many people think they are ‘just’ in accusing us of being ‘under the law,’ when they do not even understand what that actually means; so many people are content to live in mixture religion, and even though they KNOW that His Sabbath is the seventh day, and that He was NOT born in December, they are happy to oblige that buzzard and do it his way anyway.  I do not mourn for the totally wicked, for the ‘cold’ of the spiritually dead.  They have chosen not to believe in G-d, in spite of His Glory being seen everywhere and in everything, being utterly obvious, especially in the age in which we live.  I mourn for those who say they believe, the ‘lukewarm’, those who find themselves on a path of self-righteousness, or not on a path at all, wandering out in the bushes of bad doctrine.  I mourn for those who ‘know’ there is something about scripture they do not understand, but refuse to seek Elohim.  Or, they begin to seek, and get caught up in the glitz and glamor of mankind and new, 21st century doctrines of devils.  I’ve seen several ‘silver-tongued’ devils ‘preaching,’ and people I know ‘liking’ their garbage.  They do not clearly declare His Word; they tell fables, they entertain.  They truly scratch itching ears.

But, I REJOICE!  I AM happy!  Because, while I have encountered so much junk, I have also seen a couple hearts turn, ever so slightly, toward the glory of HIS TORAH as it is proclaimed PLAINLY by Messiah.  ONE SOUL is cause enough to REJOICE!  And that doubles my happiness indeed.

About thirty years ago, I lead my marine buddy to Messiah.  I didn’t do it by insulting him or compelling or cajoling him.  I did it by confronting his sin with the truth.  And he CHANGED.  DRAMATICALLY.  The same is true of all those to whom I’ve had the joy of declaring the truth: they had to see their sin, their extreme NEED of Messiah, and the awesome beauty of HIS compassion, to die for them in spite of their sin.  BEFORE they ever gave it a thought as what it is: worthy of death.  The JOY that I experience every time someone ‘turns’ to G-d and begins to OBEY HIM is truly unspeakable and glorious.  The average bear cannot know it.  And that buzzard hates it.  But, the Messengers above SHOUT and SING ALOUD for every SINGLE one that turns to TRUTH.

There are those who profess faith who would shut me down.  Who would stand in the way of my declaring anything about Messiah; again, thinking they do G-d a favor. There’s a heckler on our youtube channel, and one on my blog, that wants so badly to tell the world that we are wrong.  They’d send us to hell themselves, if they could.  They exert so much energy and spend so much time trying to ‘get to us’, trying to impede us.  They are standing in the way of HIS WORK.  “Let them preach”, the word says.   They preach watered down, twisted doctrine all day long, and yet I do not bother them.  Because, in spite of their error and ulterior motives, the B’sorah is POWERFUL.  I came to this truth in the midst of bad doctrine [although not near as bad as some of what is out there].  If someone thinks our doctrine is wrong, pray for us.  But, I dare them to count the lives that have been transformed by our efforts, and dare to see what G-d above sees that His Son is doing in us.  “He shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he shall prosper.”  That, my friend, is a happy man!  Ashrei HaISh.

I am NOT a ‘Step Father!’

I can hear the Creator saying that.  I had the luxury of growing up knowing who both my parents were, having them alive and well through my whole childhood, [and very far into my adult life, though they both left too early], not having been adopted.  But, there was a time when I feared I was.  We were sitting around the table while Mom prepared dinner, and I’m pretty certain we were giving our only sister a hard time when she said, “sometimes I think I was adopted,” when my mother shocked us all and scared the life out of me, saying, “Only one of you is adopted!”  My heart sank.  I’m the youngest of five, and at 12 years old, I had observed many families have several kids and then decide to be charitable and adopt another.  We had been neighbors for two years, in fact, to a family that did exactly that.

Mom then explained that for us it was our oldest brother who had been adopted.  But he was our brother, even though mom explained that he was actually our Dad’s half-brother from his mother’s second marriage.  Our grandmother, whom we had never met, could not raise him, so my Dad, who was married and in the Navy, and had a stable life, adopted him at four years old, before any of us were born.  That brother was now grown and off on his own, and he had been told five years before that he was adopted, and why.  The judge had instructed our parents not to tell us until the youngest would understand.  Mom chose that moment to do so.  We started telling our friends, and they already knew!

My parents successfully raised us without treating James any differently than any of the rest.  I was the youngest, and a keen observer of all of my older siblings, and never ONCE did I have cause to suspect that he was any different than the rest of us.  He was my father’s little half-brother, so I’m certain Daddy had a natural affection for him anyway.  But, he was no kin to my mother, except that he was Dad’s half-brother.  Even though my mom and her mother-in-law were not the best of friends, Mom never allowed any discomfort to be reflected on her son.  Instead, even when he became an adult, my mother loved him as her own children.  He had gotten out of the Navy and my mother hand sewed a beautiful wedding dress for his British bride. He then found himself in need of an automobile.  Mom had been working since I turned about 10, and she bought herself a Cadillac Fleetwood, her ‘dream car’.  She’d only had it for a couple of years, but gave it to our oldest brother, to meet his need and help him to get on his feet.

So, when I finally earnestly prayed for a wife, having been single for longer than all my siblings, I met the woman of my dreams, one I had written about in a poem three years before, one who fit the Proverbs 31:10-31 “Eshet Khayil” for which I had prayed, and she had a 10-month old little baby girl when we met, but I did not even blink for that reason in considering whether or not I should marry her.  And this child’s natural father was not the most pleasant person on the face of the earth, and basically promised seventeen years of war if I married her.  He showed up the day we met and circled the Dairy Queen like a vulture, where we sat to further introduce ourselves after having met in church that day.  He ‘lurked’ in our lives for 17 years, and gave me every reason to resent his offspring.  He threatened to kill us, to burn down our house, to abscond with our daughter; he assaulted my wife in my home while I was out of town, in front of his daughter, seeming to attempt to make good on his threats.  He told our daughter, probably every time she had to visit him, that I would hurt her and her mother and leave them.

So, how in the wide world was I able still to love her as my OWN daughter, even though she even looked much like him?  Not only did I have the best earthly example of the ‘spirit of adoption,’ as I’ve already explained, but also because Abba ADOPTED me.  And He treats ME as HIS OWN, even though I ACT LIKE my former ‘father’ [the darkness of this world] MANY TIMES, while living in His house.

Sometimes, my daughter would act like her former father.  But Abba’s love and forgiveness and grace for me COMPELLED me NEVER to look at her because of who she WAS, but for who she IS: MY DAUGHTER.  Even though I was never permitted actually to legally adopt her, I was bound to her mother as ‘Basar Ekhad,’ and this little life issued from her womb.  How could I look at her any other way, but that she was my own flesh and blood?  Similarly, Yeshua ‘gave birth’ to me, and His Father looks at me as if I were His own.  How arrogant and ungrateful it would be for me to treat any child any differently than He treats me, much less the flesh and blood of my beloved wife.

I guess I was reminded of all of this as we literally basked in the sun yesterday as a family, with my daughter’s son, our grandson, frolicking in the pool with us, while we adults celebrated the mother of our family in joy and shalom.  I lay there quietly for a bit, while my son pushed his sister into the pool, twice, and we all laughed heartily; while our grandson bobbed through the pool with such excitement, able now to move himself through the waters, while my wife, on ‘her day’, still tended and fetched for everyone.  I quietly thanked MY FATHER for giving us the power of His Life to hold our family together, when there have been so many people, ideas, and entities to stand against us.  There have been so many who HOPED for our demise as a family, even so-called ‘believers’ who would curse us with their sanctimonious wishes against us that they call ‘prayers,’ while in their own minds thinking themselves just.  Yet OUR FATHER has protected us.  He has proven Himself faithful to US, teaching us to love each other THROUGH the tough times, through our own offenses against each other, and IN SPITE of those who would have had joy in our demise.  And there are still such ‘enemies’ standing against us, some while hypocritically pretending to be our ‘friends’.  But our compassionate Father has sustained us and brought us through.  ‘Many are the tribulations of the Tzadikim, but יהוה delivers them from them all!’ יהוה is the ETERNAL FATHER.  And His compassion for us is in spite of who we were, and who we sometimes still resemble.  He looks upon us through the lens of His Son and the blood He shed for us. In a similar fashion, which I am sure is no coincidence, a woman sheds blood giving birth to her child.  This is how we should view our children, whether sprung from our own loins or not.

Fathers, I guess I write this to you.  If you have a child that is not from your own loins, but from someone else’s, it behooves you to look at that child differently than the world looks at your relationship.  In Torah, the ‘spirit of adoption’ is such that when one adopts a child, that child cannot be disinherited.  And, the other vision of adoption in the scriptures is that of Mefi-Boshet.  Yehonatan, the beloved friend of David, had a crippled son.  When he died, David adopted Mefi-Boshet, and TREATED HIM AS HIS OWN SON, in spite of the fact that he was lame, and incapable of contributing to the household.  The name Mefi-Boshet comes from two Hebrew words, ‘scattering shame.’  There should be NO SHAME on an adopted child, and it is the Father of the house who is to make certain that happens.  I happen to know that my children do not call themselves ‘half brother’ and ‘half sister.’  In the Kingdom of Elohim, there is NO SUCH THING.  And there is nO SUCH THING, certainly, as ‘step son.’  Check the family of Ya’akov, or any other family in Yisra’el.  “Ekhad” is the theme of our Father.  And His adoption is sure.  So should ours be.

“He speak with fork-ed tongue”

In my Hebrew reading yesterday and this morning in Brit Khadashah, I was in Efisim, and then Tesalonikim, respectively.  I just read the whole books again, because they are so rich in wisdom and revelation.  I also saw in this reading another proof that Aramaic was the original language of the Brit Khadashah [NT], and that the greek redactors had an anti-Torah bias in their translating from Aramaic.

The part that really stood out to me yesterday, in Efisim, was this:

“Children, obey your parents in Adoneinu, for this is right. This is the first MITZVAH with promise: “Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.” And parents, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline of Adoneinu, and in His TORAH. “

There are those who teach that Sha’ul not only turned from the Torah, but taught others to do so as well, and that he never taught Torah precepts to gentiles.  This is one of those phenomenal lies that took root, and now a majority believe it.  It was a lie about Yeshua, about Stephen, about Paul, and about Peter.  It is still a lie, and many honest, good, believing people grew up to and still believe it.

This letter is to those in Efesus.  They were a congregation made up of Jews and Gentiles.  He focused his letter to the congregation, however, on the Gentiles, telling them that they were NO LONGER strangers to the customs of Yisra’el, but now were adopted into the JEWISH family of Messiah, and brought into the covenants, and are now partakers WITH Jews of the blessings of Yisra’el [ch 2].  And here, a mere four chapters later, he uses a very express Torah command, quoting it almost verbatim, and expounding it and others, to teach these Gentiles.  This, from a man purported to spurn the Torah of the Jewish people; his own people, and the people of Messiah Yeshua.

I was reading it in Hebrew, and when I got to the end of the third verse, I saw very clearly Sha’ul’s admonition to raise children IN THE TORAH.  Most people who say they believe in Messiah agree that the Ten D’varim, the Ten Words, which the GENTILE community ironically calls the “Ten COMMANDMENTS,” are GOOD for instruction in righteousness.  But, out of the same mouth, they misread Sha’ul and SAY that to follow the Torah is to be ‘under the law’.  As if somehow doing those GOOD THINGS in the Ten Words is bad for you.  This double-speak never ceases to amaze me.

This verse very clearly says to raise children in THE TORAH.  Notice that he did not limit that to the ‘Ten D’varim,’ but used the word “Torah”.  The greek version says ‘exhortation/admonition’.  This is what I mean that it is another proof that Aramaic came first, and that there is anti-Torah bias in later redactors.  The Aramaic Peshitta community, IF they translated the verses from greek, as the catholic world would have us believe when they engage in translation discussions [though in other contexts they then admit that Aramaic came first], then these Semitic peoples would NEVER have translated nouthesia to TORAH.  Whereas, it is easy to see that greek-minded redactors would be motivated to change TORAH to ‘exhortation.’  It may have been at this very moment where the Ten Commandments became the Ten Suggestions!

The Shema, according to Yeshua Himself, [Mark 12] is the greatest commandment.  It is actually D’varim [Deut] 6:4-9, and in that passage, which we Jews pray three times daily, we are instructed, “V’Shinantam l’vaneikha,” “And you shall teach them [HaD’varim, THE WORDS, which I commanded you, do you see that?] to your children.  But the word ‘shinantam’ is ‘you shall IMPRESS/EMBED them….’   This is why some translations read ‘teach them diligently.’  Teach what?  The book of Ephesians?  NO!  [not that you should not teach them that, but the context is to teach them something that preceded Ephesians].  Sha’ul clearly said to TEACH THEM THE TORAH just shortly after.  This is supported by the verse that starts the chapter [Eph 6], where Sha’ul says, “This is the first MITZVAH,” which he himself had just directed at the children!  ““Children, obey your parents in Adoneinu, for this is right. This is the first MITZVAH [commandment] with promise: “Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.”  Would an anti-Torah Jew quote the Torah in order to give people a NEW body of ‘laws’ that are outside of the Torah, as the whole of Christendom teaches today?

What do I mean?  You’ve heard it before.  Yeshua did not mean ‘the Torah’ when He said, “If you love me, keep my Mitzvot” [commandments; even the greek redactors left that one intact].  Theologians and religious leaders teach that He ‘MEANT’ the NEW commandments, NEW words that came out of Yeshua’s mouth; that He brought the “Law of Christ” to take the place of the Torah.  WHAT A DISGUSTING LIE.  Not to mention that it betrays another hypocrisy as well.  They go around saying that He is ‘very god,’ but then insist that when He said “My Mitzvot” that He was talking about a different set of commands than the Ten from the “OT GOD”!  This is the forked tongue of HaSatan, and most GOOD people just accept the ‘logic.’

That is where the verse from Tesalonikim struck me this morning.  In 2 Tes 4, Sha’ul says,  “For you know what MITZVOT we gave you by Adoneinu Yeshua. For this is the will of Elohim, even your k’dushah, that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in k’dushah and honor, and not through the passion of lust, even as the rest of the GOYIM who know NOT Elohim.”  The phrase “by Adoneinu” is their excuse to ‘separate’ these into a different set of commands.  This is an instance where the Greek redactors got it wrong, but English redactors coming from greek got it right!  It says ‘commandments’ in English.  Whereas the Aramaic remains consistent.  What ‘scriptures’ or ‘body of instruction’ do we think Sha’ul taught any of the congregations he established?  Matthew-Revelation did not exist when he began to go about and ‘teach’ and establish congregations!  And the book of Acts makes CLEAR that he taught the Jewish scriptures.  And in Efisim 6, he QUOTES the Ten D’varim, WORD FOR WORD.  And then tells people to raise their children in the Torah.

Notice also that in the passage from 1 Tes that he contrasted the “GOYIM” who did not know G-d against the Jews who did know G-d?  It is the Torah that teaches ‘k’dushah,’ or ‘being set apart,’ being different from the rest of the nations [gentiles, who did not have Torah].  Just because many of our Jewish people rejected Messiah, does not mean that everything they had was ‘wrong,’ as the world teaches.  The commandments themselves are true.  The Jews have turned from them to Rabbinic theology, yes.  And they have suffered for 2000 years as a result.  And they persist in their stubbornness.  And this is by design!  For the sake of the GENTILES, that they SHOULD come to Torah, to provoke the Jewish people back to the purity and honesty and GLORY of it.  When Gentiles who believe in Messiah Yeshua begin to keep the Torah as they were originally taught by 13+ JEWS, then the rest of the Jewish people will come to believe in the Jewish Messiah of Yisra’el.  And THEN the resurrection of the dead can happen. [Rom 11]

Nothing could be more honorable than believing in and practicing Torah, and raising one’s children in the Torah.  Yeshua’s own words in Matti 5:17-19 say so. And Sha’ul, “Paul”, clearly ‘suggested’ that we all should, as he was writing to GENTILES when he taught this.

Yes, many Christians teach their children the EIGHT COMMANDMENTS.  I cannot wait until ALL who TRULY follow Yeshua teach their children ALL TEN.  I dare you, ask me about the missing two.

Can I have your undivided attention? ~ Yeshua

  • Havdalah: BREAKING BREAD TOGETHER

    It was NOT on ‘Sunday’, and it was NOT ‘new’.  And it was NOT the beginning of ‘house churches’ and the replacement of public assembly, since the word ‘church’ didn’t even exist back then.  The noun ‘church’ replaced the idea of ‘congregation.’  A congregation must ‘assemble’ at the appointed times [Heb 4, 10].  People today are ‘forsaking the assembling together’ both in form and in function.

    The Talmidim and ALL the first believers worshipped in the Temple [Acts 2:46], because they were Jewish, and still lived and walked as TORAH OBSERVANT Jews.  [Acts 21:20]

    Those who were not in Yerushalayim met in the city’s Synagogue on Shabbat, with Jews who did not as yet believe, and then ‘gathered to break bread’ on what is called “Motza’ei Shabbat,” the ‘departure of the Sabbath’, to have a ceremony called Havdalah, the lighting of lamps/torches to acknowledge the end of Shabbat and to begin the week [on Saturday night, the BIBLICAL start of the week.]

    Acts 20:7

    “And at the beginning of the week, when we gathered to BREAK BREAD, Pavlos declared to them, and because he was going to leave the next day, he prolonged his speech until midnight. Now there was a great glow of light from the lapidot [lamps, Havdalah ‘torches’] in the upper chamber where we were gathered together ”

    This was NOT a ‘new’ practice among Jews.  This was and is still the Jewish way of ending the Sabbath.  It was time to pray, sing, and carry the joy of Shabbat into the coming week.  The custom is/was also to begin to take care of the physical/earthly needs of the congregation.  We see all of this in Acts 2:46, 20:1-8, and even in 1 Cor 16:2.

    Meeting in the Synagogue or Temple and then breaking bread at home at the end of Sabbath went on in Israel well into the second century.  The Messianic Jews did NOT divide from the unbelieving Jews.  In Israel, it was after the Bar-Kokhba rebellion [@150AD] that unbelieving Jews resented Messianic Jews and Gentiles worshipping in their midst, because they would not accept Bar Khokhba as Messiah because Yeshua is Messiah.  It was THEN that they pushed the Messianic community out, in Israel, and wrote into the 18 benedictions number 12, and forced them to worship elsewhere [12 was the actual 19th benediction to condemn Messianic people, the Rabbis using sleight of hand and cunning to make people, even today, think it was part of the original 18 by putting it in spot 12].  But, in the rest of the known world, TRUE believers did NOT divide from standard Judaism, even up until AFTER Constantine forced the division himself with the spirit of Anti Messiah, forcing Jews out of the NEW ‘church’, the institutionalized government agency, moving the Passover and the Sabbath, and abrogating the Torah.  History shows us that even after this, the REAL believers, Jews AND Gentiles, continued to worship on the Sabbath, to keep Pesakh, and the rest of the feasts, WITH JEWS, and to reject the new three-headed god of modern Christianity, even choosing to die for their conviction to be faithful to the ORIGINAL form of worship.

    Today there is a false move, even among “Messianics,” and I loathe that they use that moniker, to create ‘home churches,’ thinking that corporate worship is a relic.  Did fourth century believers have to hide and meet in homes and other edifices?  Yes.  Did SOME earlier ‘believers’ forsake the Sabbath for ‘sun-day,’ and turn from Jewish forms of worship?  Yes.  [They’re famous, and honored today as ‘founders,’ but not by me].  Did that surprise Elohim?  NO!  Was it the will of G-d that they do these things, as most today think/teach, going against the very plain and simple meaning of His Torah, His Word, just because the majority of people eventually did it?  NO!  No more than it was the will of G-d that all of “Christian” Germany and Europe assist Hitler in attempting to wipe out our Jewish people.  “Do NOT follow a multitude into SIN.”

    It is indeed sin to break the Sabbath, even IF the reason one does it is because they think they are doing ‘divine obedience’ on a different day or in a ‘new’ way, “god is doing a new thing.”  Baloney.  Yeshua is the same, YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER.  Sometimes it is not possible and or it is impractical for a believing community to ‘have a building’, and so, for a season, they must meet in a home or other venue.  But this should NOT be at the expense of the Sabbath and His appointed times, and it should NOT be a dismissal of the system G-D HIMSELF put in place!

    Yisra’el had synagogues, ‘houses of assembly,’ going way back, long before Yeshua showed up.  They would meet there on Shabbat.  They would have weddings there.  They used the ‘edifice’ also as a “Yeshiva,” a place where students learned to read and write FROM TORAH.  They had ‘town hall’ meetings there.  They all went to Jerusalem for the appointed feasts.  But the “Beit K’nesset”, the house of assembly, or ‘synagogue,’ was central to the town/village community.  Jewish people even built these in gentile cities, as soon as there were enough Jews in their city to support it; as soon as they out-grew their homes as an assembly.

    They did NOT, however, forsake breaking bread together at home!  And neither does a true “Messianic.”  We just had a Havdalah extraordinaire!  We had a HUGE ‘Tex-Mex’ feast, singing, FELLOWSHIP, Torah discussion, JOY, and then the Havdalah ceremony, to mark the end of Shabbat and begin the week, and finally, prayer for our community and it’s known spiritual and physical needs.  And the ‘teaching,’ even though done informally, continued past midnight, just like Acts 20.  Were it not for coffee, I probably would have been the one to fall out the window, except we were in the Yard.

    People with seemingly good intentions, who may actually understand who Messiah is, read into the scriptures what they want to read, many times.  And today’s average believer simply accepts what they were born into, or what they are taught by people who were born into error.  Sha’ul clearly gave the Gentile community JEWISH TRADITIONS.  [1 Cor 11:2,   2 Thess 2:15, 3:6 ]  He taught them THE TORAH.  [Acts 19:10]  Even if one does not want the Hebrew language or ‘feel’ because there are no Jews in their congregation, that does not mean they should cast off the seventh day, His Sabbath, altogether.  These same people will ‘say’ that they believe the whole Bible, but cannot ‘hear’ G-d, when HE says this:

    “Thus says יהוה , ‘Keep justice, and do tzedaka; for My Salvation [Yeshua] is near to come, and My favor to be revealed.  Happy is the man that does this, and the son of man that holds fast by it: that keeps Shabbat, by not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the foreigner that has joined himself to יהוה speak, saying, ‘ יהוה will surely separate me from His people’…..

    The word there for ‘separate me’ is ‘yavdilani’.  When the whole community is SUPPOSED to be dividing light from darkness with Havdalah [the same word as ‘yavdilani,’ meaning to ‘separate,’ to ‘make a distinction’] people are instead DIVIDING from the Jewish root of the faith, Messiah Yeshua and His followers, who observed this very important custom that teaches us the difference between ‘set apart’ and ‘blended in’.

    There is to be NO DISTINCTION between Jews and Gentiles who believe in Messiah Yeshua, and the Gentile is to understand that the Jewish ROOT of the faith is what supports him!  NOT the other way around.   “And if SOME of the branches were cut off, and you, who are a branch of a wild olive tree, have been grafted in THEIR place, and you have become a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree [Jews], do NOT boast over the branches [Jews]. For if you boast, it is not you who sustains the root, but the root sustains you.” Rom 11

    In these last days, Elohim truly is calling HIS PEOPLE out of false doctrine.  But, don’t jump out of one and into another.  Search the SCRIPTURES and understand HIS HEART.  Elohim is ONE, and Yisra’el is ONE.

Gold Digger

  • Get Ready!

    Messiah’s words about the world’s behavior and condition before He comes are being fulfilled before our very eyes.

    Before Yeshua “revealed” the “things that will be”, the last thing He said, to BELIEVERS, was: “I counsel you to buy from ME gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; white clothing, that you may be clothed, and your shameful nakedness will not be seen; and salve for your eyes, that you may SEE.” Rev 3:18

    What “gold” is He speaking about?

    Ps 19:

    “The Torah of יהוה is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of יהוה is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of יהוה are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of יהוה is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of יהוה is clean, enduring FOREVER; the ordinances of יהוה are TRUE, they are righteous altogether; More to be DESIRED are they than GOLD, YES, than much REFINED GOLD; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is Your servant WARNED; in keeping of them there is great reward.”

    Yeshua speaks of that reward in Rev 3:21

    And then He says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Ruakh says to the Assemblies.” Please ‘hear’ these words.

    What is the white clothing? Revelation 19 is one place that tells us: “she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen IS the RIGHTEOUS DEEDS of the set apart ones.”

    It is the spiritual “apparel” of those who trust in the Blood of Messiah Yeshua to cleanse them of sin, by “performing” repentance, turning back to the Torah and it’s guidance for life and behavior, both religious [toward G-d] and interpersonal [toward man]. It is obedience to the commands in both “directions.”

    The two are not separate. Yeshua taught this, saying what the two greatest commands were, ” The greatest of the COMMANDMENTS is, Shema! [HEAR!] Israel, יהוה is your G-d, יהוה is ONE, and you shall love יהוה your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and your mind, and all your might; and the second one is like it! You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    This is all of the TORAH, summarized. The Torah teaches us how to love G-d: we start by keeping His Appointments! [Lev 23] We meet with Him when He says to. We do not meet with other gods, nor at other times, especially at times OTHER GODS meet with people! It teaches us how to love our neighbor, by not doing the things that offend and hurt them, and by making restitution when we do. [Lev 19] There are other expressions of love to G-d and to man expressed in the Torah also. It is indeed a ‘sweet’ book! [Psalm 19, 119].

    So, Yeshua is telling us to buy this gold, to dress in white, and to put ‘something’ on our eyes that we may see, and all of these ‘things’ are the SAME THING:

    TRUTH!

    “YOUR TORAH IS TRUTH.” Psalm 119:142, Yeshua, John 17:17

    “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living the life of trust. Test yourselves. Don’t you realize that Yeshua the Messiah is in you? – And if He is not, then you are despised, and against the Torah! And I trust that you know we are NOT BREAKERS OF THE TORAH! I BEG G-d that there may be no evil in you! so that our proof may appear, though we may “appear” as breakers of Torah. For we can do nothing against the truth, only for the truth [Torah!]. 2 Cor 13:5-8

    Yeshua sent the ‘WARNING’ [Psalm 19:12, Rev 3:18] 2000 years ago! Ought we not “examine ourselves” NOW?

    It is only those who have their lamps trimmed that actually get to go to the wedding. “For the commandment is a LAMP; and the TORAH is a LIGHT; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Prov 6:23

    Understanding that Yeshua teaches us the Torah, how to keep it with a pure heart, using it to examine ourselves, that is what makes us His servants. I condemn NO ONE! But, just as Sha’ul encouraged the believers to examine themselves, I warn myself! And I “BEG G-D that there be no evil in you!” [or me!]

    Knowing that Yeshua is the Messiah is not enough. Kefa [Peter] made that confession long before the resurrection; he abandoned Messiah when Messiah came under the condemnation of the authorities. It was not until he ‘saw’ the resurrected Messiah, and the Messiah breathed on him and gave him the Ruakh that Kefa actually was given “life.” He was later also given “Koakh”, POWER, so that he could become a Son of Elohim [John 1:12]. We have been counting the days since the Resurrection now for 26 days. We are going to commemorate/remember the giving of the Ruakh, the “Koakh”, the “G’vorah” of Elohim in 24 more days. “STIR UP the gift that was put in you….”.

    It is the Ruakh that leads us and guides us in all the Torah. Messiah very clearly taught this:

    “So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot [torah commandments] and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Sofrim and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”

    The Sofrim [Scribes] and P’rushim [Pharisees] had CHANGED the dates of Passover, and had made the customs of MEN more important than the commandments of G-d. That is their sin, their ‘leaven’. See Mark 7:9 It is also the sin of Constantine and the theologians who twist His Word to their own destruction. [2 Peter 3:15-18]

    “BEWARE the leaven of the Pharisees.”

    “Buy from ME [Yeshua] GOLD REFINED IN FIRE [TORAH].”

    Today is the fifth day of the week.  In the Temple times, Tehillah 81 was the song sung on this day.

    The following verses are from this ‘psalm’, or better, PRAISE SONG:

    תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר;    בַּכֵּסֶה, לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ

    כִּי חֹק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא;    מִשְׁפָּט, לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב

    “Blow the Shofar at the Khodesh, and at the full moon of our khag; for it is a ‘khok for Yisra’el, an ordinance for the Elohim of Ya’akov.”

    A ‘khok’ is a peculiar statute of Elohim that comes with no explanation, no apparent reason.  It is a bit of a mystery.

    Sha’ul reveals this mystery in Kor Alef 15 and Tes Bet 4, where he names the “Last Shofar,” and the “Shofar of Elohim” as the herald of the resurrection.  This is the next day on the prophetic calendar of Elohim.

    We are studying this “Day”, this “Khok,” beginning tonight.  I’d be happy if you would join us!  In person preferably, or online if you are distant from The Woodlands, Texas.

    The purpose of this study is not only theoretical and educational, but practical and preparatory, in hopes to get people READY to meet Messiah in the air. He is VERY CLEAR that NOT all who call on Him will meet Him there!

    Be a GOLD DIGGER, and BE THERE!

    “It is the GLORY of Elohim to conceal a matter; it is the glory of Melakhim [rulers] to seek a matter out!”

    http://www.battzion.org

    https://www.youtube.com/user/congregationbattzion

    Shalom in Messiah Yeshua!