They Call Me “Daniel-son”

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I amuse myself.  I always have.  As the youngest of five, I suppose at times I had to, especially when all my siblings entered their ‘teens’ and I was still a single-digit dingo.  I spent a lot of time ‘in my head’ when I was a kid.  I still remember a song I made up in pig-latin, about karate.  Go figure.

Today, my musings are maybe far more sophisticated.  And instead of just being in my head, my heart communes with G-d.  Mostly, it’s me pouring out my supplications, asking Him to help me be more conformed into the image of His Son, without forcing it and being a religious nut that everyone avoids.  That’s difficult, because my walk of faith is so stark compared to most people I am around.  After doing ‘the prayers’, or while I’m taking my daily walks and not being assaulted, I’m doing my best to ‘meditate’ on His Word.  All of this is an effort to make sure that I know and love the Creator.  The closer I get to the Father, because of and through His Son, Yeshua, the more I ‘see’ that most people are really, indeed, in ‘darkness’.

And today, society worldwide basks in that darkness.  They celebrate illicit sex, gender distortion, perversion, filth, greed, meanness, rudeness, selfishness, lying, deceit, subterfuge, and the list goes on and on.  I’ve known this would happen, and even taught my children that it would, but in spite of trusting the Word of G-d and His warning about these things, I never thought I would see it turn SO FAST.  In less than a generation, foul language and sexual innuendo is on broadcast television, even during commercials, as if it does not negatively affect society.  Homosexuality is nearly the norm, and celebrated.  Fornication is the norm, and is actually expected by most who are seeking a spouse, or at least a ‘significant other.’  Manhood or Womanhood is now considered evil.  Hard work is frowned upon, and everyone wants a freebee, thinking society owes them a living.  The people that swore to report to us ‘news’ give us force-fed ‘opinion’, and refuse to believe that we can think for ourselves; and a big swath of society chooses not to think for themselves, even though they have the ability.

People do not read.  As a writer, this really bothers me.  We instead get our ‘information’ from 2 minute videos, sound-bites, bi-lines.  Education is no longer education, but indoctrination into the society of acceptance of everything, accepting all but an opinion different from society.  Like mine.  So, I amuse myself.

Declaring the ‘B’sorah’, the Good News of a body prepared for Messiah, executed in humility, and raised from the dead in the POWER of the Creator, takes a back seat to EVERYTHING.  It used to be people understood the importance of being reminded of this frequently; weekly.  Now, no one even wants to ponder it.  Those English and others who came to this continent originally did so for the express purpose of being able freely to declare and express the foundational truth of the Resurrection of Messiah, and man’s deep and perpetual need of redemption.  They created a society where egregious infractions against “The Ten” were frowned upon, and even illegal.  Now, to even suggest a return to some form of that is just about viewed as criminal.  If things continue, I will probably be jailed for what I believe, express, and teach.  So be it.

But, in my musings, I do not mourn for those who are in that darkness willfully.  I mourn for those who say they believe in the Son of G-d, and yet do not walk in His ‘light.’  They cannot even define it, even though in the “new testament” we are told to walk in it.  People are so uneducated in His Word, they do not know what that light really is.  It is subjective to them.  It is a ‘feeling’.  It has no definition.

Yet, I am excited!  Because this was all spoken of by Yeshua, the Son of G-d.  And, He, and everyone who wrote sacred writ through His Ru’akh [Spirit], told us that there would be very few who find the path that has light on it.

Last night during our study of Torah, we were reminded of the monumental nature of the resurrection of the Messiah Yeshua, the Son of G-d.  Without it, mankind is undone.  With it, the believer has within himself the very power of creation, if he genuinely trusts the Word of G-d, that says very plainly that He was raised from the dead.  THIS is the very source of all LIFE, especially the supernatural ‘life’ of the one who confesses trust in Yeshua.

Why do I use these Hebrew words?  Why do I read in Hebrew?  Why do I pray in Hebrew?  Why do I lace my speech with such ‘foreign’ flavor?  Because the Word of G-d is the only thing in this world that is absolutely pure and absolutely true.  And I simply want to understand it more fully.  I desired to know it without the filter of man and language, but ‘first hand.’  And while there are many that have a kernel of truth, they lack any substantial knowledge of HIM and His Nature.  I did.  I do not pretend to know everything, or to be perfect in any way, except that He has perfected me on the inside, in that intangible to man place called a nefesh and neshama, so that I can then pursue His perfection in this body I live in.  I only hope to help anyone who will ‘hear’ to do the same.

And I wish for people to know that it has all come full circle.  The spiral of time, that seems now to overwhelm us in darkness, is returning to a BEGINNING.  The beginning of the bodily, very PRESENT Reign of the man, Yeshua the Messiah, the SON of G-d, is nearly here.  And He has given us space to turn back to Him, to learn of him, and to be prepared to be received by Him as a Bride by her husband.  We now know Him in part, but then we shall be fully known, face to face.  Who would want to miss that, in order to bask in the darkness that is swallowing everyone, the elite down to the least.

People mock this, because in truth, they no longer believe in His absolute resurrection, and just as the Word says, they would mock even the possibility of His return, just before He comes back.  But, even IF He is not coming back for 100 years, I want to live separately from this corruption that is consuming people.  I want to see as much of a return to kindness, gentility, refinement, education, rightness, purity, and truth as can be mustered, even in a few.  And, the more I find myself becoming ‘differenter’ than I was yesterday, the happier I am, in spite of life’s challenges.  I have a secret, a cure, a treasure, that I can’t even give away! It is so ‘dark’ out there, people cannot ‘see’ it.

Anyway, I hope someone gets something out of these musings.  If only that they look to Yeshua for their SALVATION.  He truly is RAISED FROM THE DEAD and LIVING in heaven as a man once dead.  Everything that opposes that notion is from the deepest and darkest of evil sources, yet shrouded in the veil of ‘intellect’ or ‘logic.’  Arise.  Awake!  And Messiah WILL shine on YOU!

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A Blast of Honey!

rosh_hashanah_symbols

Today is the third day into the season of “Teshuva”, a time of self-examination and turning toward the Creator and His Ways, in preparation for ‘The Judgment of Rosh Hashana’, and the “Terrible Days” leading up to Yom Kippur. This year, we expect the ‘khodesh’ to be sighted on 09/11 before sundown, but it could be blotted out by clouds, so, we may not see the Khodesh and hear the actual subsequent blast of the shofar until the evening of 09/12.

Right now, all the nut-job profits [sic] are quiet, with no flurry of selling books predicting the ‘return of xrist’.  That’s both comforting and curious.

But, regardless of ‘when’ the “Last Shofar” from heaven is actually blown, it is always healthy to become a little introspective regarding our walk with Messiah and the Creator.  Kefa encourages us to do so, as does Sha’ul, and really all the writers of the Brit Khadashah scriptures.  And they record Yeshua’s many, many lessons about checking oneself to ‘see’ if his own ‘Emunah’ is genuine.

I am doing that.  Not because Yeshua ‘might’ send the Malakh to blow the Shofar next month [and He certainly COULD, as the prophecies that precede that event are all complete, imo], but because I want the Presence of the Creator and of His Son to manifest in me.  Whether or not Yeshua fetches His bride on this upcoming ‘Day of Weddings’, it is abundantly clear that people on this earth need all to ‘do teshuva’, or to ‘repent/turn toward G-d.’

I have taken notice of the ever increasing speed at which the world spirals into darkness, blindness, lasciviousness, and complete effrontery against what is RIGHT and TRUE.  And the majority of them think that theirs is a ‘new truth.’  That the idea of faith is a relic of the past, from a time when people were ‘uneducated’, ‘primitive’, etc.  But so many of these people yet believe things that simply are not true, without ever having studied for themselves what reality is.

I spend a big part of my life wooing people to obey G-d.  And admittedly, so very few respond.  So very, very many, most of whom ‘say’ they have a relationship with the Creator, do not actually respond to His Word.  They may have a relationship with His book, or with people who say they read His book, but so few follow “The Great Command” and ‘hear and do’ what His Word says, or trust in the simple fact that G-d is One, and His Name is distinct from that of all other gods: יהוה .

Seventeen years ago, this fall, on the anniversary of my parents’ wedding, and the same day that Yom Teru’ah should start this year, America was sitting in shock.  The night before, on 9/10, a Monday night, I sat my two young children down in our living room.  They were sitting on the floor right in front of me, and I told them I ‘felt’ I needed to read the following to them.

“Know this, that in the Akharit HaYamim [end of the days] disastrous times will come. And men shall be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, proud,  conceited, blasphemers, disobedient to their own people, ungrateful, wicked, false accusers, addicts to lust, brutal, haters of good things, traitors, hasty, boasters, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim; having a shade of the fear of Elohim, but far from the power of Elohim; from such turn away. For of this sort are those who creep into houses and captivate women sunken in sin, led away with diverse lusts, ever striving to learn, and never able to come to the knowledge of HaEmet [Jewish and Biblical synonym for Torah].”  I hope my children remember this night.

It was the next morning, a Tuesday, when, while at work, I heard the news of the destruction of the first tower.  I mumbled, “we are going to war,” and a woman nearby laughed at me haughtily, called me stupid, and said it was an accident.  And then the second plane hit.  Of course, she’s about cleared the cornfield of crows since that snide remark.

Just about every time I watch the news lately, or scroll through fb feeds, I am reminded of this passage.  People get colder and meaner, and more disrespectful every day.  And it is NOT just ‘unbelievers’.  I point out often that most people, say at least 70% of our country, ‘claim’ to believe in G-d, and even in His Son in some form, and yet these are the same people who spew hateful behavior incessantly, on the hiways, in the gyms, [my most frequent haunts], and even in the religious institutions.    A huge percentage of that same 70 support some form of baby murder, just because of the proximity of the baby’s head to the air.  Most of them also overtly support casual relationships versus a committed, covenant relationship before sexual union.  The biggest ‘xtian’ denomination was just defending 300+ pedophile priests who raped and molested too many boys and girls [one is too many, much less 300+], and their ‘sovereign’ excuses them, over and over.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m well aware of my flaws, and that I used to fit into that same category, practicing SOME of the behaviors that are condemned in those verses.  And I know I am still a work in progress, ‘pressing on toward the mark of the high calling of Elohim, which is in Messiah Yeshua.’   And, Abba willing, I will press on.

Seventeen years ago, after I read this passage to my children, I told them, “We are there now, but it is just going to get worse.” And I will never forget my daughter’s question: “What does ‘brutal’ mean?”  And I said, “It means cruel, killing for no reason.”  She was able NOT to fear the next day at school when they heard the news there, but in fact was an encourager to the other fourth-graders.

But, what I take note of this year is that Sha’ul’s letter admonishes Timothy to stay away from people who behave so, yet, the people he is specifying are people who SAY they believe, but do otherwise.  They have a ‘form’ of godliness, but no FEAR of the Creator.

There are so few people today who are actually looking at their own heart, and comparing their lives to the life of Messiah, His ‘walk,’ in order to examine themselves.  That is my encouragement.  Saying you believe is one thing. Doing the hard work of belief is entirely another.

“For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let every man examine his own work, and then may he glory within himself, alone, and not among others. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him who hears HaDavar [Jewish and Biblical synonym for Torah] become a partaker with Him who teaches all good things. Do not be deceived; Elohim is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. He who sows things of the flesh, from the flesh shall reap corruption [death]; he who sows things of HaRu’akh [The Breath/Spirit of G-d], from HaRu’akh shall reap life everlasting. Let us not be weary in good works; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

The Torah shows us how to love G-d, and how to love our neighbor.  Yeshua preached that.  We love G-d by doing the first five of the Ten D’varim, and our neighbor by the last ones.  So many pay so little attention to the first five, and so they fail miserably at the last five.  And Ya’akov tells us that we can’t say we do the first five, if we do not do the last ones!

There is so much that could be said on this topic.  But, I don’t have time.  Galatim 5 tells us what the works of the flesh are, as does this list in 2 Tim above.   Comparing oneself to His Word is the ONLY way properly to do teshuva [turn to G-d and obey Him].  I am encouraging myself and every reader to do just that.  Take a fresh look at the Creator, and at yourself, during these days leading up to the “Last Shofar.”  It may or may not be THE “Last Shofar” this year, but do you want to take that chance?  We have a greeting during this season that replaces just “Shalom”: “L’Shana Tova umetukah” is the short version of it.  “Have a good and sweet year”.  The formal, longer form of it is: L’shanah tovah tikatevu v’tichatemu.”  “Have a good [new] year, and may you be inscribed and sealed” [into the Book of Life].  If it is that Last Shofar this year, we hope for the latter for certain; if not, we hope for both.

Make it that way, by doing teshuva, and turning your whole heart toward the Creator and His Son, יהוה Yeshua HaMashiakh.

We read the prayers of Daniel 9:4-19 and Psalm 27 in addition to our other prayers daily during this season.

https://battzion.org/resources/daily-prayers/teshuvah/

For more, read this article, “Is there a Rapture?” again:

https://battzion.org/faith/questions/#toggle-id-12

Turn Around!

The season of Teshuva begins tonight at sundown, if the khodesh is seen.  It is the season of repentance, in preparing for the Judgments of Yom Teru’ah [Rosh Hashanah] and Yom Kippur.

This season also prepares one for the sanctity of those annual days.

As we are indeed in the “Akharit HaYamim,” the Last Days, we need to be reminded of this:

“Now the Ru’akh distinctly says that in the last days some will remove from the faith, and will go after deceiving spirits, and after doctrines of demons.”

We must be careful of new and shiny things in the world of ‘religion.’

Thus says יהוה : stand in the ways and see, and ask for the OLD paths, ‘where is the GOOD way?’ And walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But some said: ‘We will not walk therein.’

One of those is critical, very, to this upcoming season.

There is a trend in some of the ‘two-house’ leaning circles in Messianic “Judaism” that says we should not ‘fast’ on Yom Kippur, because that is what Jews do, and the word in Leviticus 23 does not say ‘fast’, but ‘afflict’, which only means to humble oneself. On the surface, this doctrine sounds lofty, sounds ‘holy’, and sounds like an honest attempt to get to truth. Unfortunately, this is rooted in lack of scholarship, and in anti-Semitism, and the hatred/mistrust of all doctrines of Jews, just because they are “Jewish.” They forget that Yeshua showed up and worked within the framework of 1st Century “Jew”daism during His ministry, and would not violate its ‘customs’ unless those customs violated the Torah. And He shows us clearly the way to decide of a custom violates Torah.  This one certainly does not.  We ARE to fast on Yom Kippur.

Yeshua kept the Jewish customs, the ones that did not contravene Torah. The custom of fasting is less a custom and more a command, though to us who are so far removed from the word ‘afflict’, we do not see that “anah”, conjugated as “anitem et nafshoteikhem”, actually does mean to fast, and scripture proves it. We assume sometimes that “Strong’s Concordance”, a lexicon published in AD 1890 by a Methodist protestant, is the ‘authoritative source’ on Hebrew. That is a DANGEROUS assumption, and discredits mountains of other Hebrew scholarship, and does NOT take into account what ancient JEWS used words for and how THEY understood them, including Yeshua.

Further, Stephen, Shaul, and the rest of the Shlikhim, were FALSELY accused of wanting to do away not only with Moshe [Torah], but with the CUSTOMS established in Yisrael. Pay attention: these were FALSE ACCUSATIONS!

“There they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and against the Torah; for we have heard him say that Yeshua from Natzeret will destroy this place and will change the customs Moshe handed down to us.” Acts 6:13-14

“On hearing it, they praised Elohim; but they also said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the JEWS, and they are all zealots for the Torah. Now what they have been told about you is that you are teaching all the Jews living among the Goyim to apostatize from Moshe, telling them not to have a b’rit-milah [commandment] for their sons and not to follow the CUSTOMS. What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. Take them with you, be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary, you yourself stay in line wtih and keep the Torah.” Acts 21:21-24

We see here, then, that keeping the customs/traditions was part of keeping Torah, in the minds of TENS OF THOUSANDS of JEWS who believed in Yeshua! And Shaul did NOT repudiate them, but agreed with them. He also declared that he kept both the Torah and the CUSTOMS, years later when he was defending himself:

“In reply, Sha’ul said, “I have committed no offense – not against the Torah to which the Jews hold, not against the Temple, and not against the Emperor.”” Acts 25:4

“Sha’ul called a meeting of the local Jewish leaders. When they had gathered, he said to them: “Brothers, although I have done nothing against either our people or the traditions of our fathers, I was made a prisoner in Yerushalayim and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and were ready to release me, because I had done nothing to justify a death sentence. But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to the Emperor – not that I had any charge to make against my own people.” Acts 28:17-19

There is a lot to see in these two passages. First, that he did nothing against the “Temple”; the temples embodied many ‘customs’ that were not explicit in Torah, but that went hand in hand with Torah commands. You will see, one of these was fasting on Yom Kippur. Next, we see that, again, Shaul declares that he himself did nothing against the ‘traditions’/customs of ‘our fathers’, the JEWS. He is defending his obedience to JEWISH CUSTOM, even AFTER he became a believer in Messiah Yeshua. Check the book of Acts from about chapter 13 through the end, and you will see Shaul keeping customs. One of them was Synagogue attendance on Shabbat. There is no direct command to go to a Synagogue. Why, then, do we see Yeshua, Kefa and the 11, Shaul, and many tens of thousands of Messianic Jews doing so? We can also see that in the Jewish mind, the death penalty was justified for breaking CUSTOMS. Not just commands; why? Because in their minds, the customs were ‘how’ to keep the commands. They were not separate. Again, the ones Yeshua opposed were the ones that replaced or prevented actually keeping the commands. The ones that supported the commands, He upheld, as did Shaul and all the Talmidim of Yeshua.

Now, to fasting on Yom Kippur itself, the command reads this way:

“Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement [Yom HaKippurim]; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and you shall afflict your souls [anitem et nafshoteikhem]; and you shall bring an offering made by fire unto Yahu’ah.”

Those teaching that this does not mean fast assert that since a Methodist preacher decided it only means “afflict”, they can discard the rest of scripture concerning the Hebrew use of this word and ignore the “custom” of fasting on Yom Kippur. That is a DANGEROUS day to tinker with!
Ezra shows us how this word means to fast.

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before Eloheinu, to seek of Him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” Ezra 8:21

The word for ‘fast’ here is “tzom”, which is the root word for ‘abstaining from food’, lest there be any doubt about what Ezra is recording. It is followed by the phrase, “L’hitanot lifnei Eloheinu”, or “afflict ourselves before Eloheinu”. So, the fasting was done for the purpose of ‘afflicting’. Indeed, Biblical ‘affliction’ is ‘hunger’, and this is seen in many hundreds of uses of the word in the Tanak.

Let’s make sure this holds up with more than one witness, however:

“But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” Psalm 35:13

“And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noonday..” YeshaYahu 58:10

“In those days I Daniel was mourning three whole weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled…. Then said he unto me: ‘Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand and to afflict yourself before Eloheikha, your words were heard…’” Daniel 10:2-3, 12

“Blow the shofar in Tzion, sanctify the fast, call a solemn assembly…” Yoel 2:15

So, we now have four scriptural witnesses that clearly show us that in many cases the word ‘anah’ is used to indicate that FASTING is the “how” we do the ‘afflicting/humbling’. In Yoel, this is the second shofar of the fall season, and the ‘fast’ is accompanied with the assembly of weeping and supplication, and this has long been seen by Jews as Yom Kippur, the Great Shofar. This was NOT a later “Jewish” concept, but a deeply rooted Torah concept. Moshe taught the Jews this, that ‘afflict’ in the context of Yom Kippur meant ‘fast’, and the prophets echoed it. It is not a “Jewish”, Talmudic custom, as many in so-called “Messianic” circles are now teaching.

This is further born out in the Mishnah, a document that was compiled in the late 2nd/early 3rd century. The Mishnah is the writing down of the orally taught ‘customs’ that were used in the Temple during the Second Temple period. Messiah Yeshua went to that Temple to observe the customs, and to show how those customs pointed to Himself. The customs of our Jewish people are very, very important. The Mishnah is NOT the Talmud. These were the students of people like Gamliel in the Brit Khadasha, who wrote down their teachings about Temple service one generation after they passed. It is the closest we can get to understanding ‘how’ they did things.

In the Mishnah, in Tractate Yoma, which explains how Yom Kippur was conducted in the Temple by the priesthood, we see very clearly that the 1st century JEWS observed a FAST in order to AFFLICT their souls before Elohim as commanded. [Yisrael was made up primarily of the tribes of Jewdah, Benjamin, and Levi, but small remnants of all the other tribes as well, and they were all called JEWS/YISRAELIS interchangeably. Two-housers can’t wrap their head around that, and it thwarts their doctrine]

In “Perek 4” of the Yoma Tractate, we read:

“But this day he scooped them out with a gold one [and was not required to empty one to the other] and with it he would bring it in [and offer it, thus conserving energy for the High Priest on this fast day]. On all other days he would….”

Here, we learn that on Yom Kippur, the High Priest is fasting, and his duty with the ashes is modified to accommodate his fast. This is the first mention in this tractate of the fast. In other words, there must have been a common understanding in Yisra’el that they fasted, that the Mishnah did not need to explain what “anitem nafshoteikhem”/afflict your souls meant! It was simply stated as a matter of fact that the High Priest was fasting that day!

We see this same defacto understanding in Perek 6, where we read:

“At each booth they would say to him, here is food and water, not that it ever happened that one needed to break his fast, rather, it was a comfort for the person to know that it was there, if needed.”

This is describing the journey of the escort for Azazel, the ‘goat for Azazel’ [known incorrectly as the “scapegoat”]. This escort was offered food, but no escort EVER took it! This is on Yom Kippur, when he is escorting Azazel to the cliff. This also shows us that there was a ‘defacto’ understanding that everyone fasted on Yom Kippur, not just the High Priest.

Then, in Perek 8 we read:

“since the Torah states regarding Yom Kippur, “You must afflict yourselves”, one consuming less than the bulk of a large date including its pit does not alleviate the affliction of fasting…”

Here, we are reading how fasting applies to ALL YISRAEL, and how it is EQUATED with ‘anah’, or “affliction”/”humbling” oneself. Again, the fact that one fasted is never mentioned, but it is treated as if everyone in Yisrael understood it this way, and it is showing some mercy on the part of Elohim and Moshe, saying that food the size of a date’s bulk is permitted in emergencies!

Again, Yeshua adhered to these customs, all the Shlikhim did, suffering and dying in never ‘admitting’ to the lies that they violated Torah AND Customs, and the biblical proof that ‘anitem et nafshoteikhem’ actually means ‘fast’ is more than sufficient. There are many, many other scriptures where ‘anah’/afflict’ is used in the context of HUNGER. Those teaching that Yom Kippur is NOT a fast are in serious error. It is NO SURPRISE to us that this doctrine is coming from TWO HOUSERS.

Our congregational Halakha on Yom Kippur is that WE FAST IN HUMILITY on that day. “How can two [or more] walk [share halakha, halakha meaning ‘your walk’ ] TOGETHER, unless they are in agreement?” If you’re ‘walking’ with those who teach this and other doctrines, please prayerfully consider the wisdom of the Prophets instead.

Life’s Happy Door – Part 2

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Many will not appreciate what I am about to write.  But, there is encoded into the Hebrew scriptures multiple layers of interpretation.  Many do not accept that, errantly thinking that everything the Jewish people believe is wrong.  Yeshua told a young Jewish Rabbi, “You are not far from the Kingdom of Elohim,” when he had a conversation with him about the two greatest commands.  Even a Jewish Rabbi, who was already in error because of manmade doctrine, yet had SOME truth.  When it comes to the pure word of Elohim, our Jewish people do understand some things the rest of the world does not, because of the rest of the [theological] world swinging the pendulum too far away from the Jewish nature of Yeshua.  He IS a Rabbi: the Rabbi of those who walk HIS ‘halakha’ [how He walks THE TORAH, I Jo 2:6].

So, what do I mean by this title, “Life’s Happy Door”?

Let me give you the ‘back story’ first.  We have studied the Aramaic Peshitta Brit Khadashah [NT] scriptures for the last 10 years.  Having become fluent in Hebrew, it is relatively easy to read the Aramaic texts, since these are sister languages.  These texts have existed since the earliest days, and after having studied them for 10 years, we are convinced they preceded the Greek texts, and the internal evidence of that continues to mount as we study.  One of the biggest evidences of that is the use of the Name, יהוה , in the Aramaic texts.  Had these texts been translated FROM Greek to Aramaic, there would not be such ‘surgical’ variation in the use of MarYah versus Maran in the place of Greek’s ‘kurios’.

Another such internal proof is the use of the word “Khesed” versus “Khen.”

The greek translators seemed to have changed the word ‘khesed’ to ‘karis’ almost every time.  It’s simply not the best translation of this word.  This seems to play into the idea that ‘grace’ is a license to sin [go against the Torah, 1 Jo 3:4] even though Sha’ul specifically said it is not a license to sin [Rom 6:15].  They are replacing ‘compassion’ with ‘grace’, many times over.  The ‘khesed’, or ‘compassion’ of Elohim is the source of His ‘khen’, or ‘unmerited gift of favor’.  This seems to be left out, virtually, of the greek texts, and hence every English translation rendered from them, and so there is an overuse and abuse of His free gift.  Indeed, many trample on the blood of His Sacrfice by continuing in all manner of sin, not the least of which is forgetting His Sabbath and not keeping it set-apart, thinking that ‘grace’ frees them from the goodness of keeping His Mitzvot.

Most people who genuinely believe have a ‘sense’ about the bowels of His compassion, how passionately the Creator loves us; but they don’t really grow to understand the depth of His forgiveness for our opposition to Torah and the free gift of His favor, or they would grow in their understanding of His Unity with us, and be compelled to do the things HE said to do, and ONLY those things.  Yeshua, the perfectly expressed image of the Creator, said it: “If you love me, you will keep MY Mitzvot.”  Instead, they use ‘grace’ as an excuse to impose Socratic logic on the texts, relegate these words of Yeshua down to a mamby-pamby excuse that He was not speaking of Torah, but instead, of His own two ‘special’ and ‘new’ commands, and they dismiss HIS SABBATH, and dismiss HIS WAY, in order to keep Yeshua the Messiah locked in a greek-thinking world, imprisoning themselves to a shallow faith riddled with pagan myth and vain philosophy in a ‘christology’ that is extra-biblical.  That faith may indeed ‘save’ them from the destruction to come, because the Khesed of Elohim is indeed bigger than the whims and error of men, for those who do know that it is the revealed Son of Elohim and His blood that cleanses, and trust in His resurrection that saves.  But, it is His KHESED that compels us to believe in the first place, and also to OBEY HIM FULLY.  To ‘attach’ to HIM, and desire to BE LIKE HIM, and TRULY walk HIS HALAKHA, or ‘how HE walked THE TORAH’; again, He IS a Rabbi.  The ONLY Rabbi.

The word KHESED is indeed RIFE with layers of meaning.

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Each Hebrew letter, by itself, has layers of ‘meaning.’  Each letter is a symbol of a concept.  And each three-letter root is also a symbol of a verbal root concept, out of which derives all the meanings of the words that come from that root.  This word, ‘Khesed”, which gets translated by most as either kindness or ‘mercy’, is a root word.  A better understanding of the word is the KJV “lovingkindness”, but, like other translators, they were not completely consistent in rendering it that way.  We contend that ‘compassion’ is the best English rendering of “Khesed,” and hope to give our reasons why.

The first letter is the letter ‘khet,’ and it is the eighth letter in the Hebrew ‘alef-bet’.  It is, therefore, the symbol for ‘infinity’, much like our number 8 is when turned on its side.  This is because the number seven in Hebrew means ‘completion of time.’  This letter’s name, ‘khet’, is rooted in ‘khai’, which means ‘life.’  It is made up of two other symbols/letters, the ‘resh’ and the ‘vav’, which are a ‘head’ and a ‘nail’ or a ‘ruler’ and a ‘righteous man’. So, the first letter in our root has in it the symbol for ‘eternal life of a righteous ruler’.  The next letter is the ‘samekh’, and its name is from ‘samakh’ which means ‘firmly support,’ ‘lean against,’ where we get our phrase ‘lay hands on’.  It is almost a homonym to ‘same’akh’, which means ‘happy’.  The symbol is representative of a spiral.  The samekh carries the value of sixty, and the dalet, the last letter in khesed, a value of four, and the resulting 64 is a multiple of 8, or infinity x infinity, hence an extension of infinity, if that is at all possible.

Since the ‘samekh’ is a spiral, we can see a picture here of a righteous, eternal being bringing life ‘down’, and he is a ‘door.’  There are many, many ways to ‘see’ this word in these deeper levels, and this does NOT violate the ‘plain’ meaning of it: ‘compassionate kindness’, or simply, compassion.

This root word is also the root for the ‘fuller’ word ‘khasid’, which means ‘devout one’, or one devoted passionately to something; in the biblical context, it is passionate devotion to  יהוה .  Many translations render this word as ‘saint,’ which is entirely wrong linguistically.  The word ‘khasid’ adds a yod after the samekh, which would give us, ‘a righteous, eternal one’ [his] hand [on the] [is the] door of life’.  OR, “Eternal life is established through a door.”

All of this is very, very interesting, and just enhances the meaning of the word, “compassion, ‘loving kindness’.  It is clearly a picture of ‘salavation’, or eternal life free of sin through the door, Messiah Yeshua.  Changing it for the greek for ‘karis’ seems suspect, at this point, their having done it so many times.    The translators from Aramaic to Greek seemed to have all but wiped out this word from the text.  That is troubling.

There are many, many verses where the Peshitta and the Greek ‘disagree’ on this word, and it does somewhat affect the thinking.  Many times ‘khesed’ is rendered in the greek as ‘karis’, and so the reader gets too broad a use of ‘grace’ from the context.  Is it possible this is why the ‘grace’ of so many seems to ‘set them free’ from obedience to the simple instructions of the texts?

Some critical verses where karis was used and not a better word for “khesed” are:

Romim 5:15 and Romim 5:20-21

We will render them as they should be:

“If therefore, because of the fall of one [Adam], many died, how much more will the compassion and gift of Elohim, because of one man, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, be increased for many?”

The compassion is the reason, the cause for the gift.  The gift itself is defined a few verses later as the ‘forgiveness of sins,’ which is ‘grace.’

“The introduction of the Torah caused sin to increase, and when sin had increased, compassion became abundant. Just as sin had reigned through death, so compassion shall reign through tzedaka to eternal life by Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh.”

Grace, ‘the gift’ of the forgiveness of sins did not “abound,” COMPASSION did.  What is the difference?  EVERYONE is under His compassion right now, otherwise He’d have already judged the world.  But NOT everyone has reacted to the compassion of His offering Messiah, to receive the free gift of grace, the forgiveness of sins.

So many people operate under the notion that grace is the gift of never having to face the consequences of sin, ever again, and that it does not matter what one does, because G-d has lavished the free gift of his grace on the whole world.  No.  He has bountifully poured out His compassion, which causes Him to wait patiently, hoping that everyone comes to do teshuvah, or ‘repentance,’ and thereby then receive the gift of His Grace: the forgiveness of sin, and the gift of a clean record before the Creator at the judgment.

The modern teaching on ‘grace’ is so fraught with misunderstanding that many people think that Elohim never showed/demonstrated the gift of ‘grace’ before Messiah Yeshua appeared.  They think that the verse in Yokhanan 1 was a monumental shift in G-d, where we read in most translations, ‘For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by….’  There is a lot wrong with this little verse in this rendering, and in the application of it by most.  First, most people do not realize this is a very ‘Jewish’ verse, referencing another very important scripture in the Torah:  the “thirteen attributes” of G-d.  When Moshe desired to know who it was that G-d would send with him, He visited him, picked him up, put him in the cleft of the rock [an allusion to Yeshua], and said, “ יהוה , יהוה  , El, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in compassion [our word ‘khesed’] and truth; keeping compassion unto the thousandth generation; forgiving iniquity and transgression, and sin, and pardoning.”  Reader, please understand, this is the Creator describing HIS OWN HEART.  Doing so 2,000 years before Messiah came.  “I am  יהוה , I do not change!”  So, Yokhanan is not saying that suddenly G-d is going to dole out grace to anyone who winks at Him.  He is saying that the deep, affectionate love of the Creator is best demonstrated in His sending His Son.  English translators go so far as to add the word ‘but’ to further skew the reader’s mind, to put grace and truth in contrast to the Torah of Moshe, when NOTHING could be futher from the truth.  And that is exactly how most perceive things, especially given their faulty interpretation of the Book of Romans.  Most good translations of Yokhanan at least show the reader through italics that ‘but’ was inserted, ‘for clarity’ they say, though more for inserting doctrine, since ‘but’ is not in the original text.  But few readers care to look at the meaning without the inserted word.  Fewer still care to check and see if ‘karis’ is really the proper word here, or to acknowledge that this is a Torah reference in the first place.  And many will not admit that in those 13 Attributes, He is seen as both GRACIOUS [full of grace] and COMPASSIONATE [full of compassion].  In fact, He is seen as the ‘guardian of compassion’.  “Notzer Khesed.”  This, too, is an allusion to Yeshua, since ‘notzer’ is the SAME root as “Natzri”, meaning, ‘from Nazareth.’

It is the overuse and subsequent cheapening of His Grace that has caused mankind not to understand His KHESED, His deep, unfathomable lovingkindness that is expressed in His giving us His Son through death and resurrection.  When one comes to understand even just a little how much the Creator loves them, because He expresses that LOVE and DEVOTION in His son, then one truly receives His ‘khen,’ BECAUSE of His KHESED.

Khesed, then, is truly the door of the establishment/happiness of life eternal.  When we perceive that, khesed is then stirred in us, and we want to thank Him for it.  We want to show others that door.  We ourselves yearn to give it away, just as He did.

 

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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.

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.