I took a leisurely walk today during lunch, enjoying the rare, cool, sunny day, probably our one day of Fall here in Houston. As I walked, I noted the weather, and the lack of much of a crowd walking on this Friday, and some of the old hotels, one of which was just completely refurbished. I am a fan of many of the older style buildings here in the city, such as the old court house. And at least the new one has a throw-back theme. I don’t like but maybe two of the more modern buildings in Downtown Houston. As I turned up Smith street today, one of those hovered over the skyline, and I saw more of it than I usually do, as the east side of Smith street had shorter buildings, so I could almost see the whole building from that approach. It’s the tall one in the picture, hovering over the old Houston Library, which is another of my favorite Houston buildings.
Before I could see the library, I walked while staring up at the modern building behind it. Its top emerges as stone from amidst the modern glass. Nothing is more boring architecturally, to me, than a square, glass building. But, this one changes at the top, and enough so, such that it causes me to really like the design. I mused over it a bit, wondering if the architect had any point he was trying to make: if so, would it be, ‘the old emerging again from the new,’ or, ‘the new swallowing the old’? As a man getting up toward his senior years, I’m ‘cautiously pessimistic’, and first thought it should be the new swallowing the old. But, the old, in this case, is the only beauty the building has to offer, other than the sky and clouds reflected in the glass of the rest of the edifice. So, perhaps it is more about the old retaking a place in our new, ‘flat,’ homogenous society, exerting independence and individuality again. We certainly need it! When I got to the vantage point of this picture, the theme in my head rang true, as the old library is very much pre-modern architecture, and out of it stems the boring, flat part of the building in question, and then, from the top of that an old style bursts out again. It’s encouraging to me, as I must forge the latter half of my career better than the first.
But, the reason I write is not to bore those disinterested in Houston’s or any architecture, but to say that it meshes with the theme I’ve been forced to meditate over for the last week or so. Our society has gone the way as much as these two buildings imply. We are in the middle of a struggle, where the new, ‘homogenous’ generation wishes to blur the lines of distinction between any two paradigms, and create a single, behemoth society that decries any individuality of thought, of politics, of faith, of economy; and it wishes to swallow the old, which, in spite of its issues, does possess much beauty. And, they do it while ‘saying’ that they are championing the individual. The truth is, they champion only those individuals who think as they think. The left is effectively the ‘borg’ of our society, and resistance, in their minds, is futile. But, I resist.
What started my thinking was an ad I saw concerning “LGBT” month. It was posted by someone professing to be a believer in Messiah. It was a subtle push at conformity. “Show them you love them just for being themselves.”
Many times these days, the left makes these ridiculous statements, clothed in flowery words that make them ‘sound’ as if they care. They pre-impugn anyone who would dare to take a differing view. It’s a depth charge; a booby-trap. If anyone takes an opposite view, they are ransacked with judgmental accusations of lack of love and civility, which truly betrays their own lack of such worthy commodities.
LGBT people are victims. They are victims of a society that has abandoned not only ‘norms’, which they decry, but also simple, biological truths. It was not good enough that they be given the ‘right’ to practice sexual depravity. But, they needed to force the rest of us not to think of their behavior as depraved. They needed to force us to accept their very public displays of affection, which go beyond the bounds of affection to near pornographic at times. They needed to force us now to disbelieve simple, biological facts, that there is a boy, and there is a girl, male and female, and they are NOT “equal” physically, but are very different. That wasn’t good enough. They further needed us to be forced to believe that there is no wrong in their actions. While this post I saw tells us to love them, quietly shouting the imperative, it also says that they are just being themselves. No, they are not. And it is not hateful for me to say that. It is not ‘incorrect’ for me to assert that there are wrongs in their behaviors. They are forcing their BEHAVIORS on us, as if they are inherent to who they are. And they use the virtues of ‘love’ and ‘tolerance’ to excuse their hate and intolerance of us! That is the evidence of their sick desire to pervert anything true. They are re-inventing even our vocabulary, in order to incriminate anyone who does not change with them.
LGBT behaviors are learned behaviors. Society teaches them these behaviors, passively and actively, through media, people, our education system, and more. And they succumb. They give in. And in order to make themselves feel good for bending to the temptation, they assert that it is not temptation to wrong, but it is just their ‘being themselves.’ No. They are becoming what they are not.
No one is born who is forced to practice those behaviors. They may be born with a greater proclivity to succumb to the temptation and the resulting behavior; or, they may be born with that proclivity into circumstances surrounding them that promote and encourage that behavior. But, no one person is born that way. Every baby is born “male” or “female”, and has no reason to overturn that role. Modern psychobabble and a failing ‘church’ has poured gasoline on what was a very small fire of temptation, once held at bay by society clinging to the truth that once was the norm: it is wrong. It is sin. The congregations have failed people with this proclivity, because instead of TRULY loving people who are born with the proclivity to be weak to these temptations, they bend to a society that has accepted psychobabble as truth. Our Society has replaced the Word of G-d with the ramblings of academes who say they know better than G-d. True love for these people would be to tell them that this behavior is a perversion. It is sin. And since it is sin, it CAN be overcome, by the blood of the Lamb, and by their confessing their NEED for Messiah. Other people, ALL other people, have other sins from which they need to be cleansed. They are not better than these. But, for society to tell these people that their sin is normal, and acceptable, is opening pandora’s box for normalizing all OTHER heinous activities. And we are already seeing that happen. Soon, those who have a perversion for mating with animals will be demanding their ‘right’ to have sex with and even marry whatever beast they encounter or choose, due to some perverted affinity they developed. Muslims are already demanding we allow them to marry nine-year-old girls, as did their so-called ‘prophet,’ that liar, Mohammed. Others will come forth with their demands too. And since we have abandoned the foundation of our laws, The Word of G-d, there is nothing that will stop them from twisting the minds of society further. Our land will be uninhabitable, much as Europe is becoming, if it goes unchecked.
Before someone goes off half-cocked, I do NOT give anyone a pass. The reason we are here, and dealing now with THIS sin becoming ‘normal’ and acceptable, is because some time back the notion that adultery and fornication are normal and acceptable became the new rule. We stopped treating the body as a temple. We stopped looking at sexual behaviors outside of marriage as sin. We have become base in our thinking, and driven by our passions instead of by truth. My forefathers left Europe to escape this very kind of thinking. Now, there is nowhere on earth to go in order to escape the open acceptance of sin, not only as ‘not wrong,’ but as a very ‘human right’, and as part and parcel to who we are at birth. So, we, those who say we believe, had better start dealing with the sins in our own houses, and then begin to deal with these further perversions of truth being forced on us. Anything short of that, and G-d will have no choice but to judge this nation as He has others in the past who have turned from truth to the lie, and stopped worshipping the Creator, and instead worshipped the creation.
The other big monster under the bed is abortion. Believers seem so very afraid to confront the abortionist left. Politicians placate the left with laws that permit one of the most BASIC violations of the law of G-d: YOU SHALL NOT MURDER.
It is ludicrous that the so-called ‘elite’ can say with any sincerity that killing a baby just on the other side of the vaginal wall is not murder, no matter at what stage of ‘life’ (!) that baby is. Most do not know that Roe, the person who pushed this issue to the supreme court, was NOT raped as she said, but LIED, in order to cause those justices to make their decision based on EMOTION and not on fact, and on what is RIGHT and MORAL. So very rare it is that a baby needs to die to save a mother’s life. So very rare it is that a victim of rape gets pregnant. Yet we allow promiscuous people to kill 50 million babies, for the POSSIBLITY that some day, some one woman will be raped and conceive. FIFTY MILLION babies died, for a LIE.
These perversions of simple, basic FACT and TRUTH are going to be the death of this country. There is but ONE way to recover from this. TURN from this heinous behavior, and TURN to the WORD of G-d AGAIN, and believe the TRUTH. Common sense is good. A boy is a boy, and a girl is a girl. But TRUTH is unimpeachable. G-d CREATED MAN and WOMAN, MALE AND FEMALE. And G-d HATES MURDER. Those of you who say you believe in G-d, you better start defending these SIMPLE TRUTHS, publicly. You better start voting for people who do so. Or, your children and grandchildren will never have a chance.
“Behold, G-d is my “Yeshua” [Salvation], I will trust and not be terrified. For my strength and my song is Yah, יהוה , and He WILL BECOME FOR ME “Yeshua”. And we will drink water with JOY from the wells of Yeshua.” Yesha-Yahu 12:2-3
And on the day of the “water pouring” of Sukkot, on the Great Day, Yeshua said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. And if anyone trusts in me, as the scriptures say, ‘out of his belly shall flow rivers of Mayim Khayim [living water].” Yokhanan 7:38
Many rejected Him, and the next day they “departed from Him one by one, from the eldest to the youngest.”
The Pharisees were at that time teaching about “Mayim Khayim”, or “Living Water”. All of Yisra’el would have fresh in their mind this verse on that next day, when they challenged Him in the Torah:
“You, the hope of Yisra’el, יהוה ! All that forsake You shall be ashamed; they that depart from You shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken יהוה , the fountain of Mayim Khayim.” Jer 17:13
Isn’t it interesting that Yeshua was writing in the earth when they turned away from Him “one by one”.
“Every knee shall bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Yeshua HaMashiakh is יהוה , to the glory of Elohim, His Father.” Phil 2:10-11
It’s best to do it now…. know Him.
What does being “Messianic” mean?
Many people simply have never heard of us!
And they mistake us for other groups, which are occult groups. WE ARE NOT!
We are “OF MESSIAH”, Messiah meaning ‘Anointed One,’ and in our case, the Anointed One of G-d, Yeshua the Natzri, the Son of G-d.
First of all, names and classifications of people-groups are irrelevant to G-d in His Kingdom. On earth, they serve a purpose of identity, however, and can be useful. But, they can also be harmful by segregating people, creating confusion, and engendering pride. This is not an attempt to do that, but to explain why we ‘identify’ with a wider group of people worldwide who are called “Messianic”.
It has recently come to my attention that some folks do not understand what it means when a person says he is “Messianic”.
I guess one technical definition would be “of or pertaining to Messiah”.
For those of us who say we follow “Messianic Judaism”, however, it is even more narrow than that.
First, being Messianic means that we follow the Messiah of the Jews. In our case, we believe that Messiah to be Yeshua of Nazareth. Are we “christian”? That depends on one’s understanding of what ‘christian’ means. The word “christian” is similar to the word “messianic”; it means “little christ”, in the sense of one who follows ‘christ’, just as “Messianic” means one who follows “Messiah”. Messiah means “anointed one”, and the greek word ‘christ’ is very similar. But, we who are “Messianic” are not ‘christian’ in the WAY we follow the Jewish Messiah, distinct from the way some say they follow ‘christ’, who is a very ‘greek’ person devoid of all things Jewish, including his name.
Christianity today has evolved from what the original followers of Messiah believed and practiced. The twelve apostles were all Jewish, and they continued in the instructions of the Jews for the rest of their lives, teaching Gentiles to follow the customs of the Jews. [I Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6, Matt 5:19] And they called themselves followers of “The Way”, “HaDerekh”, a Hebrew synonym for “Torah”. [Acts 19:23, 21:5, 24:22] They did not consider themselves to be outside the auspices of Jewish life, then, and defended that fact in court and before kings. It was the greeks who first called them “christians”, [acts 11:26]. But the apostles did not call themselves that until much later, and then only once [I Peter 4:16], and there is no evidence they called themselves that very often at all, since they suffered at the hands of greeks as ‘christians’. It was a derogatory term, an insulting pejorative. The Jews called the believers in Messiah “Nazarenes”, since they followed “The Way” of Yeshua the Nazarene. [Acts 24:5] Historically, LATER ‘christians’ called Jews who followed Yeshua “Nazarenes” as well.
So, we who call ourselves “Messianic” follow the Messiah, the word that would be translated as ‘christ’. But, we do not follow a greek ‘messiah’, or ‘christ’, or one who is divorced from the Torah of Israel. We follow the Messiah, Yeshua, the one who was executed as “King of the JEWS”. We follow Him the way He said to: “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.
Briefly, we believe that Yeshua of Nazareth was born miraculously, and is the Son of G-d, and that the final proof of that fact is that G-d raised Him from the dead. He died to atone for our sins, or to forgive us of all our violations of the Torah, freeing us from our guilt and from fear of punishment for it. But, where we differ from much of modern ‘christianity’ is that we believe He did not free us to go on living in those violations, but that we should strive to be like Him. He kept the Torah perfectly.
This means that He believed יהוה was the only G-d, and only ONE. [Mark 12:29, Deut 6:4] So do we. This means He went to the synagogue on Shabbat, the SEVENTH day. [Mat 12:9, Mark 1:21, Luke 4:16] So do we. This means He ate kosher according to Leviticus 11 and other Torah texts. So do we. This means He wore a four-cornered garment with “tzit-tziyot” as reminders of the Sabbath and all other commands. [Numbers 15, Matt 9:20, 14:36] So do we. This means He kept all the feasts of G-d, along with the Sabbath. [Lev 23, Matt 26:18, Mark 14:1, John 7, 8] So do we. This means that He prayed often. [Luke 5:16, 22:32] So do we.
We also see Him as a Jew, and not just a ‘guy’. This means He called Himself Yeshua, and Messiah. So do we. This means that He knew that the name of His Father, G-d, was יהוה , and He called Him that. [Mark 12:29, Matt 4:7, Matt 22:44] So do we. This means that He prayed with his head covered, and wore a head-covering everywhere. [Exodus (28:4, 37, 40)] So do we. This means that He did not eat the meat of the inner thigh. [Genesis 32.32] Neither do we. This means He honored Khanukah. [John 10] So do we.
So, while we agree that we are not to commit adultery, nor to steal, nor to kill, nor to lie, nor to covet, nor to worship idols, we as Messianics also believe the fourth command is still just as binding as the other nine. And, we see that all the feasts will be kept in the Millennial Reign [Zekh 14, Isaiah], so we also keep them now, as did Yeshua. Further, we see that the first commandment tells us explicitly that our G-d is יהוה , and not just any “concept” of god which man might contrive, and NOT a ‘god’ that goes by any other name, ie, Allah, Buddah, etc….
In short, we follow HIM, and not men. We are instructed to see HIM as our example, and not anyone else. “ANYONE who SAYS he abides in Him ought himself also to walk HIS halakha”. I John 2:6
[Halakha is a Jewish word meaning “how one walks the Torah”. Yeshua walked it in a “pure” way, not adding to it nor taking away from it. That is what He came to Israel to correct: adding to and taking away from the commands of G-d. See Mark 7:1-11]
This means that NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE says, or how lofty the argument, nor how passionately we are opposed, no one can show us in scripture that He worshipped on ‘sun-day’, or ate pork or catfish, or dressed like a Babylonian, or neglected prayer, or studied any other sacred writ than Torah and Nevi’im. He did not add to the commands, and neither did He take away. Christians teach that He took them ALL away! “I did NOT come to abolish the Torah”. “Whoever shall DO and TEACH the commandments, that one shall be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Matt 5:17,19]
It truly is that simple. And, this applies to Jew and Gentile, as “anyone” is all-encompassing.
So, being Messianic means following the “way” of the quintessential Jew: Yeshua of Nazareth. Is it “christian” to do so? Well, if one goes back to the origin of that word ‘christian’, then YES, as we are “little messiahs”, or little ones who are anointed with His anointing. If one asks whether we are ‘christian’ in the sense of other doctrines that paint a confusing picture about the Jewish Savior who died on a tree [not a ‘cross’, a word that is not even in the texts], then, no, we are not ‘modern-day christians’. We do not see three “people” stuffed into one “body” as Constantine insisted, we do not worship on the day of the Sun as Constantine commanded; we do not keep Easter as Constantine commanded, we do not keep ‘christmas’ as was imposed on christianity in early antiquity, and we do not recklessly eat anything we want; not because we are forbidden, but because we love our G-d, and choose to follow His instructions [Torah], which are good for us. [Psalm 119] We choose to follow the only example that is SURE! One cannot go wrong by imitating the Messiah Yeshua! [Phil 3:12, 1 Cor 11:1] That is what being Messianic is; it is being a Jew INWARDLY , [Rom 2:29] and that inward ‘circumcision’ being expressed in the whole life of the follower of Yeshua of Nazareth, and His Way.
Our Congregation could further define itself as a “Messianic Jewish Peshitta” community, as we also believe the Brit Khadashah was written in Aramaic first, and is best preserved in the Peshitta community’s Aramaic scriptures. Further, the above description is basically defined as “Peshitta”, meaning we follow the PLAIN MEANING of the texts. The Ancient Aramaic community of faith REJECTED the Constantinian takeover of the community of faith, and were dubbed “Peshitta” by Rome, meaning “simple”, because they rejected the new ‘trinity’ doctrine, standing firm on what the ‘plain meaning’ of the text says. In Judaism, there are four levels of studying scripture: Peshat, Remez, D’resh, and Sod. The Peshat level is the ‘plain meaning,’ and NO other means of interpreting scripture can violate the PLAIN MEANING. Example: “יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.” This is very, very plain. So, when we then understand that HE MANIFESTS in His Son and in His Ru’akh, we cannot then say that He is THREE…..this is a violation of the plain meaning of the text.
Yeshua was born on 1 Sukkot, the 15th day of the 7th month. He had His Brit Milah [circumcision] on the eighth day of His life, the 22nd day of the 7th month:
“And when eight days were fulfilled to circumcise the child, His name was called Yeshua; for He was named by the Messenger before He was conceived in the womb.” [Luke 2:21]
Yosef and Miriam fulfilled the command to Avraham [Gen 17:12], and to all Yisra’el [Lev 12:3], by having Yeshua’s Brit Milah on this day.
This is also known as The Eighth Day: Lev 23:39, and, Simkhat Torah, the Day of Rejoicing in the Torah. It is the last “Moed” [appointed time] and the last “Mikra Kodesh” [called-out assembly] of the sacred year. It is the day that the last scripture in the Torah is read [Deu 33-34], and then the FIRST scripture [Gen 1-2:3] is read, showing the continuation of ‘life,’ the eternal nature of creation, and the ETERNAL NATURE OF HIS TORAH.
As seen in the Luke passage referenced above, a Jewish boy receives his name on the Eighth Day.
We will ALL receive this ceremony in the future! On the EIGHTH DAY of Mankind, at the end of the 7th millenium and the beginning of the 8th:
“He who has ears, let him hear what HaRuakh says to the congregations: To him who overcomes, I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a NEW name written, which no man knows except he who receives it.” Hitgalut 2:17 (Rev),
The Eighth Day is a picture of the eighth millennium, when the new heavens and the new earth appear. Life continues again with CREATION, the Creator Himself ‘renewing’ the heavens and the earth. Hitgalut 21:1-8
This is the ultimate goal of our faith, and, as I expounded yesterday, is reserved for those that overcome, through the blood of the Lamb and THE WORD….
Simkhat Torah is a GREAT day of REJOICING! After SEVEN days of dwelling in the Sukka, waving the lulav, remembering our wanderings and the temporary nature of our lives here, and looking forward to our eventual permanent home, we then rejoice in His Torah. The Torah is a ‘photograph’ of the soul of Messiah Yeshua and His purity and perfection.
Simkhat Torah hearkens to the time when Elohim Himself will do away with all sin, sorrow, pain, strife, disease, and suffering, and we will see the POWER of the creator when He alters the universe for us, and shows us things even the ‘brightest minds’ of man CANNOT imagine. We read the first chapter of B’reshit [Genesis], to remind us of His creative power by HIS WORD, and we look forward to the new creation when He renews ALL THINGS.
Circumcision itself is a picture of ‘renewal,’ and the ‘cycle’ of life. It is the hope that the child will have the more important circumcision, that of the HEART. This is the hope in TORAH. Shaul [Paul] did not invent the concept! Deu 10:16 “Circumcise, therefore, the foreskin of your HEART, and no longer be stiff-necked.” It is a picture of doing away with ‘rebellion’.
We all are undergoing that process now, but on The Eight Day, we will finally be there! We will be done with this painful process, and finally be in His Presence!
Yeshua IS the Torah. The first seven words in this greatest book show us a picture of this whole thing, and of Messiah’s first and second visitations:
You will notice that the bet, the very first letter of Torah, is ‘supsended,’ or ‘lowered.’ It is ‘coming down out of heaven.’ The ‘bet,’ the SECOND Hebrew letter, is a ‘HOUSE,’ a ‘Temple’, and it is seen in the very first verse as ‘coming down out of heaven.’ The VERY FIRST LETTER of scripture points to the book of Revelation’s LAST story!
“I am Alef and Tav, the beginning and the end,” Elohim tells us, when He tells us that the ‘House’ will come down out of heaven!
Then, the next red word in the picture is ET, the Alef and the Tav!
This word has no ‘definition,’ but only ‘function.’ It points to the recipient of the action of the verb that precedes it. This is a picture of Yeshua! Notice that it is the FOURTH word. Yeshua showed up on the FOURTH ‘day’ of creation: at the end of the 4th millennium; [also notice that on the fourth day in Genesis the sun, the moon, and the stars were created…. ] His earthly ministry ended and ours began on the 5th ‘day.’ This את precedes ‘Shamayim,’ or ‘the heavens,’ as did Yeshua!
The SIXTH word is ALSO the ‘alef and tav.’ It precedes ‘earth,’ as did Yeshua. The verb associated with both these pointing words is ‘CREATED.’ Yeshua created heaven and earth!
Yeshua will return at the end of the 6th millennium [which is very fast approaching!] The letter in front of this את is a ‘vav,’ a ‘hook/nail/fastener,’ Yeshua will bring the BET [House/Temple] to earth!
THIS is why I rejoice in the Torah, every day, but most especially on the GREAT DAY of rejoicing, Sh’mini Atzeret, Simkhat Torah!
I always get so ‘excited’ about doing this, and there is always something NEW to see in the Torah when the WHOLE THING is opened up to us at once!
The Song of Moshe and Yehoshua