F F F foolin’ yourself

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It never ceases to amaze me how deceitful people are. But, I’m not talking about overt liars, but about people who lie to themselves, deceive themselves.
I am starting to see that this is very close to the root of all sin and all conflict!
Mind you, I came from a very similar background as most people who would read this. I was deceived also, and I continued to deceive MYSELF, for quite some time, even after having read the SIMPLE truth in His Word. Over and over. And over. In truth, I am still prone to deceiving myself, but I am beginning to pray earnestly that this not be the case any longer, ever again. Several times Yeshua said, “Do not be deceived,” and I’m certain He had in mind even self-deceit.
One of the things I love about Messianic Judaism is that we go through the whole Torah and much of the Prophets and the Brit Khadashah every year. We ‘hear’ His Word regularly, over and over. And by that, we are supposed to be CHANGED. But, it is when we DECEIVE ourselves that we do NOT change:
“Be DOERs of The Word, and NOT hearers only, deceiving yourselves!” And, “But whoever looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and ABIDES in it is not merely a hearer of The Word, which can be forgotten, but a doer of THE WORK, and this man shall be blessed in his labor.” Ya’akov [James] 1:22,25
The biggest deceit and double-speak is that people reject The Word, which is a biblical title for The Torah, which is Yeshua manifesting in a human body. Ya’akov makes that abundantly clear in that one verse above, verse 25. Ya’akov was Jewish, and The Word was/is known to Jews as The Torah. He used both interchangeably in that verse. Do you see it? Or are you deceiving yourself about that, or being deceived by a previous ‘doctrine?’
But, self-deceit does not stop here. It’s only the beginning.
“The heart is DECEITFUL above ALL things!” Jer 17:9
One of the biggest lies perpetrated even on believers is “follow your heart.”
Poppycock! Follow His WORD.
But, read His Word with HONEST EYES. Dare to read it without religious preconceptions, without the pretext of deceitful doctrine, and WITH the pretext of HIS WORD [Torah].
Looking back on my walk of faith, I remember the first LIE I had to overturn in my mind was the compromise I had made with evolution. I was a very good student of science [biology] in school, and was later a reader of several science periodicals, when Messiah gently brought me back into His Word. I remember thinking, ‘surely all these very intellectual scientists can’t be completely wrong on the age of the earth and its origins.’ And something within me told me just to ‘read’ the text, forgetting all I had learned. Read it for what it says.
At the time, I did not read Hebrew at all. But, I was and always have been a very good reader of English. I was reading from the KJV and NIV [I had a parallel edition]. No matter how I read it, how I studied it, I could NOT stuff billions of years into that text! Or even thousands! I saw plainly that He specified that He created the earth in six twenty-four hour earth-time periods, what we call ‘days.’ [I later learned that the Hebrew makes this obvious, and abundantly explicit.] Further, I saw that the sun, the moon, and the stars were not added to this universe until the FOURTH 24-hour period, while the plants and trees had all been there on day 3, fully grown and with fruit in them; immediately I could see, following the rules of evidence and science, that they would NEVER survive 1 year, 1000 years, much less a billion years, in utter darkness! I had deceived myself.
And that made me question EVERYTHING I had been taught, as it had been ‘well-meaning’ pastors and teachers who’d put the deceit of that religion [evolution is the religion of humanism, which requires MORE faith than belief in G-d] in my mind. I still believed in G-d, but I had been mixing doctrines of humanism with the truth of His Word, watering down His Word, and detracting from HIS POWER and HIS TRUTH. Who did I think I was to say He ‘could not’ have done it in 6 Days, especially when HE said that’s what He did? [I happen to believe that Elohim [G-d] wrote the WHOLE Word.] Who was I? I dared to editorialize His word and ADD interpretation to it to fit MY ‘understanding,’ to appease those who taught me ‘science?’ It was in that study where the ‘question’ of the Sabbath came into my mind, because G-d clearly rested on DAY SEVEN, and BLESSED THAT DAY, before giving any command.
The lies go on and on, I found. My next big encounter was the ‘trinity’ doctrine. I remember people calling ‘Jesus’ ‘god,’ and it concerned me a little. But when I began to investigate the ‘doctrine,’ I began to see that there were some serious, serious infractions against the PLAIN meaning of the text.
The ‘official’ doctrine of ‘trinity’ states that the son and the father share the same ‘substance,’ make-up, body. “Glory to the three in ONE,’ suddenly differed from my take on it.
Let me set what was in my mind before I encountered this doctrine. Even though I grew up in a Baptist environment and sang the doxology every week, I never believed that the Son of God was not still a man. I understood that He came down from heaven out of His Father, as I understood that I came out of my father. As a child, I did not need to know ‘how’ I came out of my father, but I knew I did. The same applied to G-d. I understood that Yeshua was human just like me, because He was tempted, and He died. I understood that His Father, G-d, did not die, but raised Him from the dead. I had no issue believing He was divine, but I did not think for a moment that He WAS His Father. That never, ever crossed my mind, even when I heard and read Him say, “I and My Father are One.” I knew that did not mean ‘of the same substance,’ but ‘one’ as in UNIFIED, perfectly agreeing in everything, Yeshua being perfectly obedient to His Father, because He had His Father’s NATURE in Him, and not that of man.
So, when I heard people say, ‘Jesus is god,’ I was actually shocked. And I learned that though many people say it, there were almost as many explanations for it as there were people who said it! And NO ONE was confident in their interpretation, except dogmatic Catholics, who invented the doctrine.
When I read the actual doctrine, I was shocked. Homoousios? Why do I need that word? “Of the same substance, consubstantial.” It was not in the scriptures! The word had to be invented in order to define this ‘trinity,’ which is a word that means ‘three.’ I must have had the Shema imbedded in my Jewish DNA, because even at that time I knew “The LORD our God is ONE LORD,” [though at the time I did not know His Name was in that command.] And if they are indeed the same ‘substance,’ then where is Yeshua’s BODY? Because as a child I had learned that the most important EVIDENCE of His Resurrection, and therefore our faith, was HIS BODY. Is He no longer FLESH? [“Touch me, and see, that I am FLESH AND BONE, JUST AS YOU ARE.”] And if He is FLESH, is the Father no longer ‘Ruakh?’ [spirit]. I had always understood that Yeshua was a manifestation of His Father, the perfect ‘representation’ of His Father, the ‘express image,’ but NEVER had it occurred to me the contradictory phrase I kept hearing over and over, ‘They are ‘one in the same,’’ [homoousios] yet I was temporarily known to say it, while sorting this thing out in my mind, for fear of not being ‘orthodox.’
THAT’S NOT WHAT HE SAID! “I proceeded forth and CAME OUT OF MY FATHER.” Why was that so hard? Why do we need a ‘pope’ or any human authority to tell us who He is, when we have the plain meaning of His Word? We are not supposed to test our brothers’ faith by their adherence to a creed, but by their FRUIT. Yes, we are supposed to test spirits. And let’s look at how!
“Any spirit that does not say that Yeshua HaMashiakh is come IN THE FLESH is NOT from Elohim!”
Does not then the spirit behind this doctrine violate this, by saying that the son is the same ‘substance’ as the father? Meaning He is NOT a man, flesh and bone as are we? Test a catholic theologian on it, as I have, and you’ll find that this is EXACTLY what they are saying! And because far too many protestants want to remain within the circle of ‘christian orthodoxy,’ they say the SAME thing, or at least will not defy this spirit and call it what it is!
How did it get so confusing? Yeshua is not God His Father, but He came OUT of His Father, G-d, and has His divine NATURE in Him, making Him distinct from every man, but yet He is a man, STILL, with scars in His hands, feet and side, forever, to prove it. He stands at His Father’s right hand! Next to the throne of Majesty, but His Father sits on the Throne. TzefanYah [Stephen] saw Him there, Yokhanan [John] saw Him there. [Acts 7, Rev 4-5] “If you have not the Son, you have NOT the Father; if you have NOT the Father, you have NOT the Son.” Too many people have tossed the Father aside, or tossed Yeshua aside, depending on which way they view this DOCTRINE that MEN made up!
What other lies am I being told?
After seeing that the feasts of G-d in Leviticus 23 are a perfect and beautiful picture of the ministry of Messiah, both at His first and second comings, I HAD to go back to this Sabbath thing, because when He named HIS Feasts, He named HIS Sabbath first!
“Remember the SABBATH DAY, to keep it holy.” I learned that the word ‘Sabbath’ in Hebrew is actually the SAME as the number SEVEN.
As a fledgling historian, I wanted to know when it changed, because in my mind, it had to change in order to justify my having been worshipping Him on the 1st day of the week. Again, I was SHOCKED.
The only historical evidence of it officially changing was when Constantine declared himself the “Holy Roman Emperor,” the lord of the realm of ‘christianity.’ “Let us NO LONGER have anything to do with that odious people, the Jews, but let us now worship on that day of the GLORIOUS SUN” [Sol Invictus, his sun-god, whom he worshipped the rest of his life.] Never having been catholic, I did not see this Constantine as a ‘poppa,’ a ‘father,’ a ‘pope.’ I saw him as a man who goes to the toilet just like me. And now I saw him as an anti-Semite. My Messiah is Jewish. If you call one Jew odious [disgusting] because he is Jewish, then you’ve called Yeshua the Messiah odious. So, I looked further into SCRIPTURE and found that there was NOT ONE PLACE where the Jewish people of the 1st century, NOR the gentiles who trusted in Messiah, had turned from His Sabbath.
They ALL continued to worship on the 7th day of the week. The lie is that there are two places where they ‘met’ on the 1st day of the week. But, being a man of context, I saw very clearly that this was not ‘assembly for worship,’ but a fellowship, ON SATRDAY NIGHT. I learned that Jews still reckoned days just as Elohim did in Genesis, ‘evening to morning,’ and that it is customary for Jews to gather at the BEGINNING of the 1st day when the 7th day is ending, to close out the Sabbath ceremonially, and to take up collections for the needy. That is the context of BOTH places where the ‘first day of the week’ is mentioned in the Brit Khadashah [NT]. And, only ONE of those places is a record of an actual fellowship, the other is a directive to do so for the purpose of taking up gifts for the JEWS who believed! Neither of these were settings of worship or weekly sacred assembly.
The other ‘argument’ to support the 1st day meeting was ‘The Lord’s Day’ argument, which comes from Revelation, where Yokhanan is ‘in the spirit on the Lord’s day.’ By now, I’m an avid reader of the whole Tanakh [-Bible], and I know that this is the “Day of יהוה ,” Yom Kippur. And, Yokhanan was ALONE on that day, in a prison cell, on the HIGHEST day of the Jewish year….of COURSE he’s in the Ruakh, it is the DAY OF JUDGMENT, and all Jews are reflective about themselves and their place with Elohim [if they believe], afflicting their souls with fasting, just as instructed in Lev 23. These proponents argue that this is ‘sundy,’ and eisegete INTO the text that this is ‘sundy’, because the ‘lord’s day is the day He rose from the dead.’ No, that is also the lie they told themselves, to justify the change, and then Constantine made it official. [He rose on SATRDAY NIGHT, when it had gotten dark, at “Motzaei Shabbat,” the ‘departure of the Sabbath’; greek translators were not familiar with this Hebrew phrase and custom; it is also called “Havdallah,” the ceremony of ‘distinction.’] I could find NOT ONE PLACE where ANYONE in scripture EVER ‘assembled’ for worship on the 1st day of the week! Jews AND Gentiles ALL assembled in the synagogues, in MANY scriptures in the ‘NEW TESTAMENT,’ not the least of whom was Messiah Yeshua Himself, whose ‘custom’ was to attend the synagogue on Shabbat. [Luka 4]
And here is about where I just finish my biblical studies degree as a formality, just to hold a degree, seeing the intellectual deceit that ALL my ‘professors’ practiced, on themselves, and on their students. It truly is mind-boggling.
“Therefore the children of Yisra’el shall protect the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath as a PERPETUAL covenant throughout their generations; it is a SIGN between me and the Children of Yisra’el FOREVER, that in SIX DAYS  יהוה  made the heavens and the earth, and on the SEVENTH DAY he ceased from work, and rested.”
“At that time you [gentiles] were without Mashiakh, being aliens to the customs of Yisra’el, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now, through Yeshua HaMashiakh, you who at one time were far off are brought near by the blood of Mashiakh…Thus from henceforth you are neither strangers nor foreigners, but fellow citizens [of Yisra’el] with the k’doshim [set apart ones], and children of the household of Elohim.” Eph 2:12,19
So, I’ve spent 30 some-odd years undoing the lies which well –meaning people have told me, and that I continued to tell myself. But now I see that ALL of us deceive ourselves in SO many ways. The heart REALLY is desperately deceitful and sick [the other word in that verse to describe the human condition.] They go on ad-nauseum, on both a religious and a personal level. “Do not be deceived, Elohim is NOT mocked! Whatever you sow, that also shall you reap.” If we sow seeds of deceit in our souls, we will reap from that. But TRUTH is a blessing of the abundance that matters, that of the outpouring of His Ru’akh.
Abba does NOT pour out His Ru’akh amidst LIES. His Ru’akh is NOT ’emotion’ and ‘feeling,’ it is TRUTH. [Rom 7:14] The Ru’akh expresses His Torah plainly, just as Yeshua did [Matt 5-7, Yeshua plainly taught Torah.] The reason the community of Faith in the Son of G-d is so splintered and divided, with as many denominations as there are congregants, is because the Truth of His Salvation has been mixed in and watered down with so many lies.
The reason many of His People are so discontented is because we lie to ourselves, far too often, about doctrine, about our behaviors [justifying in our own hearts doing what He says not to do, and justifying why we do NOT do what HE says to do, ie, keep the Sabbath and rest on it, like He did, and like His Son did, love the brethren like He did, etc.] Yeshua said, “You shall KNOW the Truth, [Torah], and [then] the TRUTH [Torah] shall SET YOU FREE.” “I will RUN in the path of your commandments, for you have set my heart FREE!” Ps 119.32 “In my inner man I will REJOICE in the Torah of Elohim!” Rom 7:22
My hope is that SOMEONE reading this will stop, consider HIS WORD, and look for the continuity in it, and NOT the disjointed, convoluted, human logic that has plagued His people with discontent, selfishness, greed, confusion, and division. We will not truly unify as a people, until we unify in Him, in His Word.

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Careful! You’ll fall!

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Balance: that’s what “justice” is. That’s why scales are used to represent the ‘justice system’ in many countries.

scales

In the Kingdom of G-d, it is no different.

One side of the scale is for mercy, the other side is for judgment.

Being a Messianic Jew, we have found that many of those who claim to trust in Messiah for salvation actually do trust in their own “tzedaka”, or “righteousness.”

Tzedaka is a judicial term, meaning “justified.”

Most people confuse this term with salvation. It is not salvation. It affects salvation, as long as one remains true to the faith of Messiah Yeshua.

Being “justified” is to have the scales of justice balanced.

On the one side of the scale is our sin, which deserves judgment. And it is there the moment we are born, because we all inherit Adam’s sin, our innate iniquity, and we continue to add ‘weight’ to that side of the scales as we live our lives.

On the other side is nothing, until we come to trust Messiah. Every man is destined to endure just punishment for His sins. The only remedy is the one the Creator offered. The B’sorah [Good News] of the Son of G-d, Yeshua the Nazarene, is this: that He was sent here by G-d to become a sin offering, died as that sin offering being executed on a tree, and was raised from the dead by His Father, יהוה, and is now seated at His right hand. He did this because everyone sins. If we ‘trust’ in that good news, believing that it is sent from G-d, and we act on it, and ‘turn’ from sin [the things the TORAH says are wrong behaviors], THEN we are ‘justified,’ HE puts HIS RAKHAMIM, His MERCY on the empty side of the scale, according to how much ‘sin’ is on the other side. People who have erred more trust more and love more! Because they do experience more of HIS mercy, because they need it. His ‘Khesed”, or “loving compassion” is all the SAME toward every one of us. He loves none of His children any less than the greatest of us.

And, AFTER He has shown us MERCY in place of ‘judgment’, then He goes further: HE GIVES us ‘KHEN’, or “Grace”, by giving us His Ruakh! “LIFE”, the very power that raised Yeshua from the dead, and that is a life that is eternal, which actually begins to work in our physical bodies too! If we have actually trusted these simple truths, turned from our own ways and moved toward Him in obedience, then He promises us that HE will raise us from the dead too!

We demonstrate the reality of this by loving Him. Yeshua tells us that loving Him means doing the mitzvot [commandments] of G-d. And this is where so much confusion has come into the congregation of G-d. This is where things get all ‘out of balance’ again, because of men! Men go monkeying with the scales of justice!

On the one side, there are those who take away the justice altogether, saying that since they have been shown mercy, there is no fear of judgment. This is true, but ONLY if we ‘continue in Him’, and OBEY HIM.

Then, on the other side, and this is where many Messianic folks get confused, and so there is much distortion these days in the Messianic community, there are those who think that the MERCY of Abba is NOT ENOUGH to justify them! Oy!

That thinking is INDEED “falling away from Khen/Grace!” If we put ANY measure of trust in OUR OWN WORKS, then we are considering the blood of Yeshua NOT powerful enough to justify us. Period.

This is the galatian error, and the synagogue of Satan.

Where is the ‘balance’ then? Ya’akov [James], the brother of Yeshua, says it best. “For as the body without the Ru’akh is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” Yeshua clearly taught that those who did not trust are ‘dead in their sins.’ The ‘scales’ are still tipped against them, and they do not have the Ru’akh of Elohim. That is death. So, if one genuinely puts TRUST completely in the ‘khatat’ or sin offering that Messiah Yeshua became for all mankind, it WILL be accompanied by works.

But, anyone who trusts in the WORKS to ANY DEGREE is FALLEN FROM GRACE. All that Ya’akov said was “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” He did NOT put any weight on the works for ‘justification!’  The ‘works’ of the Torah, then, are the evidence of the trust that the heart has received and the mouth has confessed.

“You have ceased to adhere to Mashiakh [Messiah], you who seek JUSTIFICATION by the Torah [works]; you are FALLEN FROM GRACE. For we through the Ru’akh wait for the hope of tzedaka [righteousness/justification] by TRUST.”

So, we are indeed supposed to begin to seek G-d and ‘do the works that are fitting for repentance’:

“I did not disobey the heavenly vision; but I preached first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the villages of Judah, and then to the GENTILES, that THEY might REPENT and turn to Elohim and DO WORKS WORTHY OF REPENTANCE.”

That is the balance. We need both to understand and appreciate with abundant gratitude His Mercy toward us, AND, to FEAR His judgment [hebrews 10:24-31], love Him, and do the works that make our repentance ‘worthy’, WITHOUT trusting in those works, even for a moment.

Shalom. Relax. “Go and sin no more.”

Life’s Happy Door – Part 1

“I will open a door for you that no man can shut.”  The title is not going to appear to match the content of this article, but the NEXT article will complete the sequence, and you’ll understand why.  The below is actually a post on fb that was presented as a memory today.  And it goes hand in hand with the next article I started, due to post this week, having been compelled by my recent study of scripture, and mild frustration with the modern idea of today’s ‘grace without works’ mentality, where teachers do not compel the students of Messiah to obey HIM.

Since the scriptures are to be our source for all understanding, and the Ru’akh uses the scriptures to teach us, this article will discuss the twisting of the scriptures that was already present in the times of the Shlikhim [apostles].  See Kefa Bet [2 Peter] 3:14-18.  If the origin of scripture is debated, then the twisting Kefa warned us of MUST be considered.  Is it at all possible that many do not have the best texts in front of them?

First, I am a historian by education.  And I do not subscribe to ‘revisionist history,’ nor want to re-write all history.  But, I am also keenly aware that certain men who write history do so as the victor, and at the peril of the truth concerning the vanquished.  A true historian, then, is one who is willing to cede that SOME of what has been considered as conclusive is indeed tainted by the world view of the writer of the history.

Such is the case in regard to the Brit Khadashah [NT] scriptures.  We have been told by the catholic authorities that these scriptures were written in Greek first.  All of them.  When their own sources record for us emphatically that Matti [Matthew] was indeed written in Hebrew.  What most Bible readers are not aware of, however, is that there has existed a ‘Messianic’ community of believers for 2,000 years that have had the texts of the Shlikhim in the Aramaic language from their inception.  These are the believers in the areas of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and even parts of Israel, who read the Aramaic “Peshitta” texts, and have for 2,000 years, NEVER having had a ‘greek-sourced’ Bible.  These are the direct recipients of ALL of Sha’ul’s [Paul] letters in the original hand!  It is important to understand that these believing congregations existed LONG before the Roman ‘church,’ long before the B’sorah [gospel] even made it to Rome, and nearly 300 years before Constantine, a GREEK ruler of the Roman Empire, and a life-long pagan, forced the congregations of the west to unite under a new ‘papacy’ and earthly governmental dictatorship.

This community is known as the “Peshitta” community.  This word comes from the Aramaic/Hebrew word ‘pashat’, which means ‘simple.’  This moniker was given to this community because they would NOT unite with the new “Roman Catholic” [universal] theocratic dictatorship, because of the re-defined nature of their ‘christ’.  They said that what the council put down concerning Messiah was beyond the ‘plain meaning of the text’.  It was beyond the “Peshat” level of the text.  This is a Hebrew mind-set, that there are indeed many levels in which to study the scriptures, but that NO deeper level may violate what the PLAIN, colloquial meaning of the text says.  In other words, ‘simple’ people should be able to understand it.  “Peshitta” people.

Mar-Yah (mem-resh-yod-alef), is the emphatic form used for the sacred Name of Elohim in Aramaic.  Most scholars agree that this word, Mar-Yah, is used EXLUSIVELY to represent the Name of Elohim [G-d the Creator] : יהוה

One of the main reasons that we are convinced that the Aramaic preceded the Greek texts is this word above.

Aramaic is the language closest to Hebrew, and part of the Semitic family of languages. Part of the Tanak [Old Testament] was written in Aramaic, especially Daniel 2-7. Aramaic was actually the “lingua franca” of the Mesopotamian area from the time of Daniel all the way through the time of Messiah and the Apostles. Jews avoided greek; Josefus tells us that he learned greek, but had a hard time of it.  He was a Jewish priest who grew up in Israel, and had to learn greek after the Roman Empire conquered Israel, of which he was an eye-witness. Josefus had been conquered, and seems to have somewhat capitulated to Rome after Jerusalem was conquered, probably in self-preservation.

Historically, the B’sorah [Gospel] of Matti [Matthew] is known to have been written in Hebrew for the Jewish Believers in Yehuda [Judah/Israel], as already stated. That is a well established fact confessed even by the catholic church, the first official purveyors of anti-Semitism, after Haman and Egypt. It is very, very possible that the other gospels were written in Hebrew as well, though greek sympathizers have a hard time admitting even the slightest possibility of it.

Many believe that all the Brit Khadasha [New Testament] was written in Aramaic. That is more likely than its having been written in greek. But, my personal hunch is that more of it was written in Hebrew, and the rest in Aramaic.

One of the reasons I believe this to be true is this word at the top of this post: “Mar-Yah”, or “Master יהוה “. Constructed this way, the usual word for “lord” in Aramaic, ‘Maran” is changed to indicate in Holy Writ the Holy Name of יהוה , the name that has been given to Messiah Yeshua.

If the Brit Khadasha was written in greek first, and this conjugation of ‘maran’ to ‘Mar-Yah’ means nothing distinct, WHY, please deduce, WHY did the whole Aramaic community use it in their ancient texts, and HOW did they know which places to translate KURIOS to Mar-Yah? [Kurios is the greek word for “lord/master” only, and NOT an equivalent to יהוה .]

Analyzing the Aramaic texts over the past ten years, we see that מָּריא is used in some very critical places in the Brit Khadasha:

Kefa, a Jew, quoting scripture [Tehillah 110 [psalm]], says this, according to the Aramaic Peshitta, which would perfectly match Tehillah 110:1:

“Mar-Yah said to marai [my lord], sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

In Hebrew, then, in ACTS 2:35 it reads:

יהוה  said to Adoni [my master], sit at my right hand…”

And Yeshua used this verse to teach concerning His identity as well, in Yokhanan Markos 12:36.

In the greek, both of these read, ‘Kurios said to my kurios’, which does nothing for the distinction between the Father and the Son here.

In Aramaic, Acts 2:36 reads this way,

“Elohim [G-d] has made this Yeshua BOTH  יהוה / Mar-Yah AND Mashiakh”

Greek reads, “Theos has made this Iesous both kurious and kristos”; a little less impactful on His identity.

The Aramaic, therefore, explains the Name of the FATHER being given to the Son, according to Yeshua’s own words:

“Now I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to you. Av Kadosh [Holy Father]: guard them by the power of YOUR NAME, which You have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are.” John 17:11

Considering Hebrews 1:4, “The Name Elohim has given Him is superior to theirs”, we have to ask, is He talking about “Yeshua” here? Given that Yeshua [Joshua] is a common name among Jewish men, especially at the time Hebrews was written, it cannot be!

Abba gave the NAME, יהוה, to Yeshua, His Son; just as I gave my name to my son.

Phillipians 2:9-11 has much more impact, and is more easily understood, under the light of the Aramaic texts:

“Therefore Elohim raised Him [Yeshua] to the highest place and gave Him the Name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow – in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Yeshua the Messiah is Mar-Yah/ יהוה , to the glory of Elohim, His Father.”

If greek came first, this would read the way it does in English: “every tongue will confess that Iesous Kristos is lord.” Not near the impact.

Would the Aramaic community really have been so careless with the Name, if they were indeed translating from greek, arbitrarily picking these particular places to distinguish between kurios and יהוה ?

I do not think so.  This is ‘surgical’, precise use of יהוה in these verses, and many, many others.  This shows us the direction of translation: from Aramaic TO Greek, and NOT the other way around.

This, along with many other proofs, gives me absolute confidence that the Aramaic texts came before the Greek texts.

Now, before anyone goes off like a wing nut, I came to Messianic faith nearly 30 years ago by reading the KING JAMES bible and studying the GREEK TEXTS!

They were very skillfully translated. FROM HEBREW AND ARAMAIC. EVERY person who wrote in the Brit Khadasha was a JEW. The WHOLE BIBLE is a JEWISH BOOK. And those early redactors did a fantastic job of taking Hebrew and Aramaic texts and putting them into Greek. BUT, the Latin and ENGLISH redactors did NOT do so fantastic a job! THEY wrote DOCTRINE into their translated texts!

I am merely pointing out that some of the issues with greek are resolved and clarified by the Aramaic, which the catholic church insists came second to greek. NO. CONSTANTINE forced that lie on the ‘church’ when he purged ‘christianity’ of all things Jewish, including the JEWISH LEADERSHIP. Constantine was a greek. This is why LATIN did not become the ‘lingua franca’ of Western Christianity for many years! He ruled ROME, which spoke Latin! But, HE had the scriptures translated to GREEK, because HE WAS GREEK. Latin did not come into the western church ‘officially’ for another sixty years, and it still took some time to make it defacto.

Two other examples of Aramaic primacy are:

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

We’ve all heard this, and preachers have invented some crazy explanations of this verse. They are all bunk!

In Aramaic, it reads “It is easier for a ROPE to go through the eye of a needle.”

The word is gamal, and is a homonym to Aramic ‘gamal’ meaning ‘camel’….hence, the greek redactors messed up, and translated it to ‘camel’ and not rope.

A rope, made up of multiple threads, CAN go through the eye of a needle, if it is ‘broken down’, which is EXACTLY the lesson Yeshua was trying to teach!

Another example:

Romans 5:7

“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.”

Seems a mite redundant?

Here’s why. Aramaic reads this way:

“For almost NEVER would someone die for a WICKED MAN, but, for an UPRIGHT MAN some might die.”

The greek redactors confused an Aramaic letter in the word WICKED, and translated it WRONG as RIGHTEOUS. WHAT?

So, for myself, there is abundant, internal, BIBLICAL proof that the Aramaic preceded the greek and latin texts.

My intent is not to argue over it, but to declare that men confuse things, distort things, and hide things from the pure, the ‘simple’ “Peshitta” people, who want truth. Truth is clarified better through the Aramaic texts. But, AGAIN, that does NOT mean the greek texts are bad. I still sometimes consult my King James bible and the greek texts. But, for study and reading, give me the Semitic languages any day, the ROOT language of Messiah Yeshua, the quintessential Semite.  A JEWISH RABBI.

I have a String Theory too!

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“Thus says יהוה Tzeva’ot, ‘In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the kanaf of him that is a Yehudi, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you.'”

What is a Yehudi?  Well, the simple, quickest, linguistic answer is “A Jew.”  BUT, the BIBLICAL answer is more precise.  “For it is not the one who is outwardly a Yehudi who is the real Yehudi; neither is circumcision that which is seen in the flesh. But a real Yehudi is one who is inwardly so, and circumcision is of the heart, spiritually and not literally; whose praise is not from men but from Elohim.”  Bear in mind that Sha’ul’s audience in that letter was Jewish AND Gentile.  He was writing to a single congregation made up of both peoples.  This definition does not rob the natural Jews of their earthly identity.  But, it identifies the people of His Kingdom as inwardly ‘circumcised of heart,’ the teaching of the Torah in D’varim Chapter 10 and other places, which is there defined as obedience to the Torah.  Since most people read this letter [and all of Sha’ul’s writings] with preconceptions, they cannot see that this is actually what Sha’ul is trying to get across to them all, delicately and precisely.  But, I digress.

So, the prophecy in Zekhar-Yah chapter 8, above, concerning the 10:1 ratio of gentiles to Jews, how does it apply?  How is it fulfilled?  Was Elohim speaking only ‘genetically?’  Yes AND no!

Most people do not realize that when one truly confesses Messiah Yeshua, an inner change occurs…an organic event.  One is ‘transformed’ from ‘death’ to ‘life.’  One is ‘born’ into the family of the Creator.  That family is JEWISH.  Yeshua is the ULTIMATE KING of the JEWS!  When one does teshuvah [returns to Torah through faith in Messiah, ‘repents’] something very powerful and very ‘spirit’ happens: NEW LIFE.  This is elsewhere referred to as “adoption” AND as ‘grafted in’.  Both of those are ‘unions’, where a vessel leaves its ‘natural’ estate and joins a new and different estate.  The wild olive branch becomes unified with the cultivated olive tree of ISRAEL.  The orphaned, ‘lost’ child becomes a TRUE SON of the King of ISRAEL: YESHUA the Messiah:  whose Jewish pedigree is MORE DOCUMENTED THAN ANY OTHER JEW!  [See Matti 1 and Luka 2, Yokhanan 19:19]

It is about being IN the Kingdom of Messiah.  That “kingdom” is “Yehudah,” known in Messiah’s day as “Judea”.  That is where we get our word for “Jew.”  But, as a historian, I inform the uninformed, or worse, misled reader that the “Judea” of the first century was made up of ALL TWELVE TRIBES!  There is NO SUCH THING as a SECOND “house” in HIS KINGDOM.  “Is Messiah DIVIDED?”  The peshat, obvious answer is: NO!  The scriptures show us that after the northern ‘kingdom’ was scattered and destroyed, the REMNANT was called to Join JUDEA, and THEY DID.  This is why we see OTHER TRIBES named among the Jews in the Brit Khadashah: Naftali, Binyamin, Asher…. and this is why both Kefa and Ya’akov write to ALL TWELVE TRIBES, when writing to the congregations.  They were not lying dormant as Brits and Danes, to be ‘revealed’ today.  That is a LIE.  THERE IS ONE KINGDOM, and ONE HOUSE.  And it is JEWISH.

A true Yehudi is one who has a heart like the quintessential KING of Yisra’el: David.  David, of course, is a foreshadowing of Messiah Yeshua, who was perfect in all His ways, meaning He was perfectly Torah observant.  The KINGDOM of Yisra’el was UNDIVIDED during David’s tenure.  And it is UNDIVIDED NOW.

So, who is the “Yehudi” whose ‘kanaf’ ten ‘gentiles’ will grasp?  And what does that mean?

A ‘kanaf’ is a wing, a hem, or a ‘corner.’  We are told to fasten a ‘fringe’/’bloom’ on the corner/wing/hem of our garment, on the four ‘corners’/wings/hems of our garments, so that we will REMEMBER the “Mitzvot יהוה “, the One who is speaking in our focal verses at the top of this post, Zekh 8:23.  This is also the ‘wing’ in the verses, ‘But unto you that fear My Name shall Shemesh Tzedaka [a Sun of Righteousness] arise with healing in his k’naf [wing/hem/corner]; and you shall go forth, and gambol as calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I do make, says יהוה Tzeva’ot.” Remember the Torah of Moshe My servant, which I commanded unto him in Khorev for all Yisra’el, even statutes and ordinances. Behold, I will send you Eli- Yahu HaNavi, before the coming of Yom יהוה HaGadol V’HaNorah. [The Great and Dreaded Day of יהוה ] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction.”

I wish I had time to expound all of this, how the ‘kanaf’ is linked to obedience, and how in the ‘end times’, which we have lived in for 2000 years, the true people of Elohim, regardless of DNA, are made up of Jews AND Gentiles, and UNIFIED in the very CORE of their being.  So, people from every language today, in a bout a 10:1 ratio, are indeed taking hold of the kanaf of a Yehudi, and saying, ‘we will go with you.’  I had that happen very literally one time, when a man grabbed my tzit-tzit and said, “What is this?”  And I was able to tell him about the Kingdom.

What set me on course to write this was that I was reminded this week of those who ridicule Messianic believers, and they are usually people who say they believe in the Messiah of Israel, but MOCK us who simply ACTUALLY follow the mantra, “WHAT WOULD YESHUA DO?”  Yeshua kept the Sabbath and the feasts, as is abundantly clear in all the gospels.  Yet most people ‘say’ they follow Him, but ‘do’ otherwise.  And, they mock us who do what He did.  I ‘heard’ such mocking this week.  And it reminded me of one time our congregation was ‘challenged’ by a self-proclaimed ‘minister,’ saying, “How many ‘real Jews’ are in your congregation?”  As if to say we are a bunch of pretenders.  I wish now that I had responded, “EVERY LAST ONE OF US!  ACCORDING TO ROMANS 2:29”  What does it matter what our DNA is? [The fact is, we actually have about a 10:1 ratio of Jews to Gentiles!]  Also, this week we were ‘rated’ by a former congregant who has blasphemed the blood of Yeshua and put false accusations against us.  It is no surprise, that’s what people do when they do not ‘know’ the Body of Messiah.

Our congregation is starting to ‘see’ this phenomenon of the Kanaf lived out, where gentiles AND Jews are coming up to us, unsolicited, and saying, ‘what is this, where are you guys?’  Abba is ‘connecting’ us to people of ALL ‘languages’.  Last night, I spoke in Hebrew in our Torah study, and several people, who do not yet speak Hebrew, ‘heard’ and interpreted the verse I spoke!  This week alone, several congregants have been approached because of their Tzit-Tziyot [the ‘blossom’ on their ‘kanaf’] and/or Sabbath observance. [Abba said the Sabbath would be a SIGN forever!]  And that is becoming the primary way our congregation is ‘growing.’  BLOSSOMING.  All of our congregants who are walking out their Emunah [firm trust/faith] in the Footsteps of Messiah [1 Jo 2:6] will have many people come to them to learn of Elohim!  To learn to FEAR His Name!  To live out the WAY He said to live, the way HE lived.  NO ONE is more Jewish than a person who LIVES AS YESHUA LIVED, in spite of the fact that the religious [Jews and Gentiles, and certainly false ‘jews’] will persecute and mock him.

Go ahead!  ASK me about my Tzit-Tzit!

 

My Rabbi is better than yours!

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Our portion this week in the B’sorah [gospel] is Yokhanan 13.  This begins the telling of the Pesakh Seder, the last one before Yeshua was executed.  This morning, I am conveying something that I’ve always known, but that I saw more vividly this morning in reading.  I’m wondering who else has had a “Selah” moment about this, and I hope it registers with someone whose faith might be ‘challenged’ of late.

The chapter begins with “Now before Khag Pesakh…”  and tells us that Yeshua understood, before that night, that this year was going to be His last Pesakh [Passover].  We should all understand that He knew this, because He ‘proceeded forth and came out of His Father,’ and that His Father commanded Him to do this very thing.  It was for the purpose of dying in our place that He came.  Matti explains that He knew this a full two days before Pesakh [Matti 26:1] He further explains that Yehudah went to the Kohanim to sell Yeshua out during the four days before Pesakh.  Yokhanan Markos reports the same, saying that Yehudah acted after Yeshua was anointed by the woman, before Pesakh.  Luka also reports that Yehudah acted before the feast.  Yokhanan simply compresses those four days into this one phrase.  But, the very NEXT sentence is what struck me: ‘When supper ended, HaSatan put into the heart of Yehudah to betray Him.’  We all know that.  Yokhanan, however, goes deeper into the details of the Pesakh, and shows us that Yeshua disrobed, put on a towel, and washed the feet of His Talmidim right after supper.   [Talmidim = Torah Students/Disciples.  ‘Disciples’ was NOT a new, greek idea; All Rabbis had Torah Students, or Talmidim. Pay attention to what Yeshua says in this conversation]  The statement by Yokhanan, ‘after supper’, is very, very important.  Here, Yokhanan is summarizing the customs, whereas the other three give more details on the customs, and leave out the details of the conversations, summarizing what Yokhanan fully elucidates.

After supper, but before the Seder ended, Yeshua said something while washing the feet of His Talmidim: “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me “Rabbeinu” and “Adoneinu”; and what you say is well, for I am. If I then, your Adon and your Rabbi, have washed your feet, how much more should you wash one another’s feet? For I have given you this as an example, so that just as I have done to you, you should also do.”   This was unheard of, for a Rabbi to wash the feet of his Talmidim.  For a Rabbi to disrobe completely in front of men, and dress as a servant, and ‘lower’ himself, was a violation of protocol.  “Rabbi” means ‘my great one,’ and they were given an abundance of respect.  This was a departure from the norm, when Yeshua demonstrates what true service to Elohim is: love and humility before all, no matter one’s station.  This is what makes Yeshua our ONLY Rabbi!  He’s the ONLY one who deserves the title, because He is the only Rabbi EVER to die for his Talmidim!  The attitude of accepting His own death for others was already in Him, seen in the first verses of this passage.

Looking further into the book of Yokhanan, we get to the part that really sunk in for me this morning.  ‘After supper’ is a Pesakh detail: the ‘third cup’ is the “Cup After Supper’ in a Jewish Pesakh Seder.  Clearly, it was the ‘Cup After Supper’ that Yeshua offered as the symbol of His blood, the renewal of the Brit [covenant] according to Yirme-Yahu 31:31-33.  Luka actually names this cup as the moment Yeshua shared the cup ‘In His Blood.’  It was AFTER this cup that Yehudah left the Pesakh Seder to go get the men who had paid him 30 pieces of silver for Yeshua’s life.  The other accounts do not even report Yehudah’s departure! Have you ever noticed that?  Only Yokhanan does.  But, Yokhanan gives a detail the others do not.  There is a part of the meal which has come to be called the “Affikomen”.  This is the bread that is dipped AFTER the third cup!  So, supper comes first, with two cups of wine being blessed during the supper.  After supper, a third cup is blessed and partaken of, and then the Affikomen is blessed and dipped, and everyone partakes of it.  It is seen as the last piece of Matzah, a ‘dessert’, to be long enjoyed, meditated on, to ruminate over the whole meal in an effort to remember it, almost stretching out the meal with it.  Later, Jews decided to wrap this piece of Matzah in a cloth, hide it, and have the kids search for it together. The child that finds it receives a small token of a promise for a large gift at a later date.  The Affikomen is a CLEAR picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua, complete with being searched for and found, and giving a deposit of the Ru’akh and the promise of resurrection at a later date!  And it is AFTER THIS that Yehudah leaves the Seder!

The point of all of this is that Yeshua wittingly washed Yehudah’s feet, even though HE KNEW he had ALREADY sold Him out!  Could you do that?  Could you so lovingly take into your hands the soiled feet of the person who turned you over to death, and wash his feet, while you are dressed as a servant, humbled before him?  Could you do such a kindness to such a one?  Does this not prove that Yeshua lived out what He taught: “Love your enemies.”

He washed Yehudah, in spite of the fact that Yehudah’s heart had already betrayed him, which would allow HaSatan to ‘enter him’ AFTER he ate the Affikomen with Yeshua.  He washed him, NOT as an attempt to change his mind.  But, He washed him as an expression of His love for even those who would not accept Him as the Messiah, the Son of G-d.  “He died not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world.”  Yeshua died for even the worst of betrayers!  He washes them!  But, they TURN FROM HIM anyway, forsaking the unleavened bread that He shares with them intimately!  Everyone is offered being made clean by Messiah, but not everyone’s heart will accept that act of love.

Yehudah’s name has come to mean “Jew.”  NOT because of who he is, but because the Jewish people are descended from and part of the kingdom of Yehudah, the progenitor of that tribe and kingdom.  This is Yeshua’s tribe.  Among the Talmidim, Yehudah was the closest kin to Him, since Yeshua is also from the tribe of Yehudah!  Yeshua washed the quintessential Jew, at Pesakh, who would betray His Rabbi from Heaven, the only person deserving of that title, “My Great One,” to the world’s Rabbis, who would have Him executed.  Would it not behoove believers, then, to offer the SAME love to our Jewish people?

I am Jewish.  It was unknown to most for the first half of my life, but now it is known.  And I ‘look’ Jewish, in the sense that I wear a Kippah and Tzit-tziyot every day.  And, for that reason, I suffer persecution.  From so-called ‘Christians,’ who profess to believe in the Rabbi Yeshua, and to be His ‘talmid’.  Our car was keyed a few weeks ago, and my suspicion is that it is because someone saw us get out of it at a restaurant.  My wife and I chose to ‘wash’ whoever did it, by forgiving the infraction, even though we did not see it happen nor know who did it.  We cannot affirm it was anti-Semitism that motivated them, but it is likely.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are some believers who truly do show us kindness, as Jews, even though they do not know we believe in Messiah.  But, so many turn away from us, snarl at us, hurl expletives at us, simply because we are Jewish.  Many of my Christian ‘friends and brothers’ turned their backs on me as a friend, some of them whom I knew for nearly 20 years, simply because I put on a Magen David, and because I observe His Sabbath.  Is that how Yeshua would treat me, were He walking this earth?  Is that how He would treat His Jewish people?  No.

Yeshua washed the feet of a typical “Jew”, the feet of the very Jew who would betray Him to the tree of shame.  And those Rabbis who stood at the base of that tree and mocked Him, He forgave, in their hearing.  THAT is the man I follow.  THAT is MY RABBI!  MY GREAT ONE!  The One whose love is bigger than all hate.  The One who lives what He says He lives.  The GREATEST example of a teacher the world has ever seen.