Messianic! Be Careful!

Yeshua

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.

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Kill The Fatted Calf!

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That sounds like a good idea!  But today, many who are sanctimonious think eating meat is bad, and say that anyone who does it is ‘weak’, or worse, ‘inhumane.’

To the first accusation: it is actually the vegetarian/vegan that scriptures call ‘weak.’

Would Yeshua use the epithet above, “Kill the fatted calf,” in order to express one of the greatest testaments to faith, if eating meat was a weakness?  Was the Father ‘weak’ to celebrate his son’s homecoming by slaughtering a bull, to eat with his guests?  Are we so arrogant to presume this was not the culture of the day, when every parable Yeshua told related to that culture?

“Assist him who is weak in HaEmunah. And do not waver in your reasoning. For one believes that he may eat all things; another who is weak eats [only] vegetables.”

This portion of scripture was written to former pagans.  Most people today do not realize that vegetarianism is a byproduct of paganism.  Many early gentile believers were former pagans, who had certain days they would only eat certain foods.  They worshipped the creation rather than the creator, who made animals FOR FOOD.  This is NOT an issue of salvation, NOR is it an issue of tzedaka, because we are NOT made righteous or unrighteous by what we eat.  However, to raise the status of the animal to that of human, OR to lower the status of human to that of animal, is an affront to the creator.  Much of vegan/vegetarian thinking does exactly that.

It is ELOHIM that created the animal to die as innocent for the sake of mankind.  That is NOT a weakness of man, that is an act of G-d.  Mankind was indeed vegetarian in the garden, and for 1,100 years thereafter, until the flood.  G-d HIMSELF killed an animal on day ten of human history, in order to atone for man’s new nakedness, his fallen estate.  An innocent creature died for the sake of man.

G-d Himself is the one who told No’akh to eat meat, after the flood, putting enmity between man and beast FOR THAT VERY PURPOSE.  We certainly would not call Avraham or the Malakh יהוה weak, even though we see the father of FAITH, who even in the weakest estate of his old body TRUSTED, eating meat together with the Malakh יהוה .  And this was BEFORE the written Torah and the covenant between G-d and Yisra’el through Moshe.  EACH TIME Elohim made the covenant promises to Avraham, animals were slain and eaten by Avraham.  When Avraham offered Yitz’khak on the altar, but Elohim provided a RAM to take his place, the animal died for the sake of the man.  This is a GODLY principle.  This is not a show of weakness.

When the Kohanim were set apart to serve Yisra’el, the whole nation of Yisra’el was to set apart one third of ALL THE CATTLE IN YISRA’EL, so that the Levi’im could EAT.  The tithe was FOOD for the Levites.  Further, EVERY SINGLE TIME any ONE Jew brought an offering to the temple that was a calf, a goat, or a bull, or a ram, the animal’s best part was given to Elohim, and the REST of it given to the Kohen who performed the rite, AND TO HIS FAMILY, who was with him in the Temple!  It was their DAILY FOOD.  They had to eat, and the DIVINE MENU was meat, along with grains, wine, and other produce.  That is not a sign of weakness, and neither is it inhumane.  It is the provision of the Almighty, under HIS DIRECTION.

To say that it is inhumane to kill an animal and eat it is so akin to worshipping the creation that it is disconcerting to hear believers support the notion.  To accuse believers who eat meat of being inhumane is a violation of the principles of scripture, most notably of Romim 14, where this very issue is settled, and where the vegetarian is called the weak one.  And, meat eaters are instructed there to STAY FIRM IN THEIR REASONING.  Even during the Millennium, while the Strong One, Messiah Yeshua, is ruling in Yerushalayim, we will be bringing BULLS up to the Kadosh City in order to offer them up, AND EAT THEM.  The killing of and eating of meat is NOT isolated to Pesakh, but was and will be a DAILY RITE in the Temple, including throughout the Millennium.

Elohim Himself consumed animal sacrifices, in fire.  Does that make the Creator inhumane?  Does that make Him weak?

We are instructed to eat meat in the Torah:  Gen 9 tells No’akh that every living thing that moves on the earth is now food for mankind.  But, at the same time, He tells us that there was already a classification of clean meat and unclean meat.  If Elohim did NOT want us eating meat at all, would HE not have classified it all as NOT FOOD?  He classified clean meat as FOOD, and tells us, IT WILL BE FOOD FOR YOU in VaYikra 11, and in D’varim 14.  Does a command from Elohim necessarily mean that He is feeding a weakness of man?  Again, mankind was weak BEFORE THE FLOOD, and He did not command us to eat meat until after.

It is not bad logic, but strong reasoning, to infer that man NEEDED meat after the flood.  When we consider that before the flood there was no rain, and that the flood was caused by the water that was between the firmaments falling to earth, we can see that that water probably served as a radiation barrier, protecting mankind from the harmful rays of the sun, and thus causing mankind to live up to 1100 years+.  After the flood, the lifespan of man quickly diminishes, and scriptures now say that a man is considered blessed just to live 80 years.  Rarely does one make it to 100+ any more.  This is certainly more sound reasoning than the notion that anyone who eats meat is weak in faith, especially since scripture plainly states that it is the vegetarians who are weak.

It is absurd to think that now, after 6,000 years, it is suddenly wrong to eat meat.  The Nation of Yisra’el is shown throughout history to be consumers of LOTS of meat, not only religiously, but in their daily lives.  It is the spirit of paganism consuming believers and dividing the Body of Messiah over the pettiest of doctrines, where vegans/vegetarians start hurling accusations of unrighteousness at meat eaters.  I have always said, choose not to eat meat for your own reasons.  But, do not try to foist the reason for it on other believers, especially since SO MANY ANIMALS died for the sake of mankind in scripture, as a DIVINE PRINCIPLE.   And also, since Sha’ul addressed this very issue clearly in scripture, telling both groups NOT to judge the other.  The difference today is that now, it is NOT FORMER pagans who are vegetarians, struggling with the notion of eating meat, but it is believers who grew up confidently eating meat, who now adopt the pagan idea that this is inhumane.  They seem to be turning, if ever so slightly, to worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, who gave us meat, FOR FOOD.

I SEE CHEESES!

I’ve actually heard it that way, even when I still did not know His Hebrew Name.  But, that is NOT what this is about, so chill!

There is a word, “eisegesis”, and THAT is the phenomenon I am pondering today.  And that sounds very much like my title here.  I see cheeses/eisegesis.  Hear it? Exegesis is good; eisegesis, not so much.

Eisegesis, you may have by now inferred, means ‘reading something into a text.’  It happens ALL the time.  It happens to me a lot, and I’m sure to most people, at some point or another.  There are whole sitcoms loosely based on the concept of misunderstanding or ‘reading into’ something that simply is not there.

I heard a story once, where an author audited a college class incognito that was teaching his book.  He disagreed with the teacher as to the conclusion on what the author was trying to communicate, and since he was the author, he was right.  But the teacher surmised that the author did not know what the teacher knew.  As a writer, I have had people misinterpret not only any symbolism I may use, but also very direct statements I have made.  That is indeed human nature, so, not everyone who does it should be excoriated for it.  But, we should be teaching readers not to read into a text nonetheless, or at least to be very cautious about it.

Watching facebook, I see this happen all the time.  It just did today, and that is what prompted my train of thought.  And I’m reminded, I used to have to moderate meetings at a company I worked for, because we were multinational, and too many times people did not understand each other.  I have an ability at times to be able to interpret or re-state such that the hearer actually hears what the speaker says.

People read ‘into’ scripture, however, what is not there, ad nauseum.  They sometimes do not realize this is what they are doing, because they have preconceptions about what they believe, and so when they read a scripture, they assume the interpretation before they read, and read into the text what is not there.  This is exacerbated by bad translations that have also written words into the texts that are not in the originals, which, oddly enough, creates further eisegesis.

One of the most egregious violations of proper interpretation is in the book of Hebrews.  People have understood chapter 8 to say that there is a new covenant, when in fact that passage, and the whole of the book of Hebrews, is to say that there is a new MINISTRY, a new PRIESTHOOD, in a different Temple.  They seem to ignore verse six, “But now Yeshua HaMashiakh has received a MINISTRY which is higher than that [the Levitical priesthood].”  The previous paragraph about the Levitical priesthood makes this abundantly clear.  So, the covenant was ‘renewed’, under the second MINISTRY (verse 7), with Yeshua as the Kohen HaGadol of a second priesthood, which actually preceded the Levitical priesthood.

And then there’s this whole “godhead” thing.  That word is not even in the original texts, greek nor Aramaic.  What is in the text is “Elohim” [God].  “In Him, [Messiah Yeshua] all the fulness of God dwells.”  That is all it says.  [Col 2:9] Sha’ul expresses hope that each of us have this same thing, the ‘fulness of God’ dwelling inside of us.  [Eph 3:19]  I have been ridiculed simply for not passing the litmus test by saying “Jesus is God.”  I won’t say it, because it is not written.  He is divine [which is one of the words that gets translated into English as ‘godhead’, btw], and preceded the creation, and is the power of the creation, because He is the Word of G-d, and came out of G-d, and is the perfect image of His Father.  And I say every bit of that, with fervor and conviction, repeatedly, but I am still not ‘heard,’ for doctrine.  But, He, the man Yeshua, the Word, is NOT “G-d” BY HIMSELF.  So-called scholars commit eisegesis on me, telling me what they think I said, when in fact I simply will not submit and say something their way.

The last one I’ll mention, though certainly the list is much longer, is the whole ‘day’ that is inserted in Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 20.

Most good translations read this way in 20:7, a verse most use to continue to justify the papal, sunday-sabbath: “And upon the first day of the week….”  A really good translation has ‘day’ italicized, as it is in the version from which I extracted it [KJV].  Some don’t.  The italics tell the reader that the word ‘day’ is NOT in the Greek.  But most readers are not diligent enough to look that up at the front of the book.

A better translation reads:

“And at the beginning of the week, when we assembled to break bread, Pavlos declared to them, and because he was going to leave the next day, he prolonged his speech until midnight. Now there was a great glow of light from the lapidot in the upper chamber where we were gathered together.”

This actually changes the interpretation of this drastically, especially if we understand biblical Jewish culture.  The beginning of the week is Saturday night, and follows “Motza’ei Shabbat”, the departure of the Sabbath, and a ceremony called Havdallah.  All biblical days begin at night.  This ceremony ends the Sabbath, and is the ‘signal’ that we can begin our own work.  The ‘lapidot’ mentioned are the Havdallah candles, where today a single Havdallah candle could be called a “Lapidot” because it has multiple wicks.  This was a Saturday night, in-home fellowship in order to eat dinner, at night, and NOT a called-out assembly of the brethren.  And, it did NOT happen on Sunday, which did not start for another three hours [at midnight on Roman day-reckoning].  This is the beginning of the biblical first day, and of the week.

Yet icey-cheeses [eisegesis] has the world thinking they gathered on Sunday, and from this one, thin reference, the whole world demolishes the Sabbath of the Creator, completely ignoring His obvious affection for the day [Is 56], and Yeshua’s own observance of it.  They have written into their texts what is NOT there, and for some reason, cannot let go of their intellect long enough simply to see “IT IS WRITTEN.”  “It is written” is how we fight off HaSatan.  He changed the Sabbath.  Not Kefa [Peter], not Sha’ul [Paul] and certainly not Yeshua.

 

 

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.

The GREAT Command and the GREAT Commission

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יהוה  אֶחָד . וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יהוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ

לְכוּ וַעֲשׂוּ אֶת כָּל הַגּוֹיִים לְתַלְמִידִים, וְהַטְבִּילוּ אוֹתָם בְּשֵׁם הָאָב וְהַבֵּן וְרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְלַמְּדוּ אוֹתָם לִשְׁמֹר אֶת כָּל מַה שֶּׁצִּוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם. וְהִנֵּה אֲנִי עִתָּכֶם כָּל הַיָּמִים, עַד לְקֵץ הָעוֹלָם

These two scriptures are both foundational.  They are D’varim 6:4-5, and Matti 28:19-20.

To the Jew, the first is the “Great Command,” meaning we understand that there is only ONE Elohim, and that His Name is יהוה .

To the Christian, the “Great Commission” is the task at hand to go out and make ‘converts’, depending on one’s theological perspective.  But, generally speaking, it is to make adherents to one’s form of Christian belief.

The observation that is posed today, however, is how very intertwined these two “GREAT” scriptures should be.

Yeshua Himself supported the Jewish customary understanding of what the greatest Mitzvah [Commandment from G-d] is.  He was asked the very direct question [Mark 12], and gave the very direct answer, saying that the greatest of all Mitzvot is, “Shema, Yisra’el,  יהוה  is our Elohim, יהוה  is ONE.”  And continued saying the rest of it, that we should love this יהוה with every facet of our being.

And Yeshua is the one who said, “Go, therefore, and make talmidim of all nations, and immerse them in the Name of HaAv and HaBen and Ru’akh HaKodesh; and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you every day, to the end of the age.”

Now, we must all trust that this is exactly what those 12 men did; and also we must trust that Sha’ul, a ‘sent one’ who was born ‘out of season,’ did the very same thing: Make disciples and immerse them into a Name.

The issue is that now there are many variations of what ‘making a disciple’ is, and also of how and into what Name to immerse those ‘talmidim’.

The passage Yeshua quoted did not come to be called “The Great Commission” for many, many years after Yeshua gave that mandate.  But, the Shema has been called “The Greatest Mitzvah” for thousands of years.  It would seem that Yeshua, who also asserted that this is the greatest Mitzvah, would support teaching that very idea?  Does the Great Commission actually do that?

“Immersing them into the NAME of HaAv, and HaBen, and Ru’akh HaKodesh.”

Something very important to note here is that He said “NAME”, and not “NAMES”.

Is it at all possible that Yeshua was implying that the three identities He mentioned all shared a single NAME, and thereby the same NATURE? [Name is indeed ‘character’ or ‘nature’ in Hebrew, rooted in the thought of ‘reputation.’]

If you look in the greatest of the Mitzvot, we see the Name,  יהוה  , three times: Twice in the first statement, and once in the mandate to LOVE HIM with all of the being. 

Here, Yeshua is stating three TITLES, and NOT ‘names,’ having said to immerse into a single NAME.

It would seem that Kefa, Yokhanan, and all the others, who stood there in awe of their resurrected Messiah, would understand just precisely WHAT HE meant, and HOW to do what He was telling them to do?  I would think so.  So, it would seem to us that doing what those men did would be the best practice, since Yeshua did not stick around to show us how.

Kefa was the very first person ever to take the mantle on himself actually to do what Yeshua said to do in Matti chapter 28.  In Ma’asei HaShlikhim, he preaches the ‘B’sorah’, the Good News, for the first time.  So, it would seem that in order to make a Talmid, one must in some way ‘preach.’  That word has a stigma with it these days, so, lets limit it to what ‘b’sorah’ actually means: DECLARE.

Kefa DECLARED by the Tanakh [OT scriptures] that Yeshua is the Messiah, sent to redeem sinful man; that he was executed by man, that Elohim raised Him from the dead.  And that Israel needed to ‘do teshuvah’, or ‘repent’, which means, to Jewish people, to return to doing the commands; the Shema being the greatest of them.  And then he told them, “Be immersed in the NAME of….”

Are you ready?  Did he say “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” “Patri, Fili , et Spiritu Sancti?”  NO!

In the Name [still singular] of יהוה Yeshua!

Wait one.  Is that REALLY what Kefa said?  Do we trust scripture?  Then we must surrender to the fact that this is what Kefa said.  And if it is what he said, we must trust that it is also what he DID, having stood there to hear Yeshua tell them to do this very thing!

Now, some might say, but it only says, ‘Lord’ there.  And yes, in your greek-sourced, English bibles, that is what it says.  But, in the Aramaic, there is a direct equivalent to The Name, יהוה , and that is in fact what we read right here.

For brevity’s sake, I’m going to just state that EVERY OTHER immersion in the Brit Khadashah [NT scriptures] has ONLY the attestation that in the Name of Yeshua, in the Name of יהוה  Yeshua, or in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiakh, is anyone immersed.  NEVER ONCE is anyone immersed into the three titles, ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ NOT ONE TIME.

We, as believers, wonder why we cannot unify, and we’ve taken the very Creator and DIVIDED Him into three separate beings, when HE emphatically tells us that HE IS ONE.  And, we’ve taken the mode of immersion, which helps to affect making someone a Talmid [Student] of Rabbi Yeshua, and divided that mode up into three separate titles, not speaking a NAME at all!  So, we have so many “Messianic” people, including Jews who theoretically understand the GREATEST Mitzvah, following the Rabbis of those who reject Messiah in all kinds of doctrine, including NOT SAYING HIS NAME AT ALL, much less immersing HIS Talmidim into it!  Teachers are denying the Students of Rabbi Yeshua the very mechanism that IMMERSES THEM INTO HIM.  And Christian teachers are immersing their adherents into three separate titles as well, and then leaving off creating ‘talmidim’, or disciplined Torah STUDENTS. Many times, they immerse someone, and NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN.  The whole believing community KNOWS that there is a lack of power and evidence of the B’sorah.  They KNOW that they are floundering to MAKE DISCIPLES [even the greek for disciple implies something more than one who ‘just’ believes, rooted in the word ‘discipline’.] Even Yokhanan the Immerser’s Talmidim understood, when hearing their immersion was not sufficient, that they needed to re-immerse into the Name of יהוה  Yeshua! [Ma’asei 19:5] in order to receive the Ru’akh HaKodesh.

The Shema speaks the Name  יהוה  three times, in urging us to understand who our G-d is, that He has a SINGLE NATURE, and that HE is to be loved above all else.  Yeshua tells His Talmidim to immerse into a NAME, and they follow suit and immerse into the Name  יהוה  Yeshua HaMashiakh.  But our Jewish people will not speak the Name at all, and our Christian people will not let go of thinking there are three gods, three separate natures that are a consortium of deities that share a body.

When the followers of Messiah TRULY understand WHO HE IS, THEN will we UNIFY in TRUTH, and THEN we will see TRUE TALMIDIM, who have but ONE RABBI: יהוה Yeshua HaMashiakh, Ben HaElohim.