I pose this question to you. If someone lied to you, and I knew about it, would you expect me to tell you? Have you ever been in this position before? You probably have. This type of thing happens all the time at work or school. It puts you in an awkward position. You can either tell the person about the lie or not. If you tell them, in a way you have betrayed the person telling the lie. This person might be a better friend to you, so you feel some loyalty to keep the secret. On the other hand, a good friend shouldn’t expect you to cover up a lie. So you must consider your options. Either way, you are going to betray one or the other. Continue reading “If Someone Lied to You”
The Christian bible teaches that Jesus died as a sin sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. It further teaches that we cannot be forgiven unless we accept Jesus as our lord. Paul taught that if we do sin, we have a mediator to go to God on our behalf. The problem with these claims is that they don’t hold up to scriptural scrutiny. In fact, when one studies scripture they find the exact opposite to be true. We do not need a mediator. We can go to God directly. We do not need to believe in Jesus in order to be forgiven. All that is required is repentance. As for Jesus dying as a sin sacrifice, this is simply not possible. Human sacrifice is forbidden in scripture. One cannot be a Christian and follow the word of God.
“A person should always endeavor to grasp general principles. Each general principle includes numerous individual details. When a person understands one principle he automatically understands a great number of details.” –The Ramchal
This is a basic principle for learning the Bible. It works equally well in all other aspects of our lives too. There is no coincidence in this idea. As we learn the general principles of the Bible, we are also learning the general principles of our lives. The idea that the average person could never really understand the Bible was first put forth by the Catholic Church. In the early years of the church, the general public was forbidden to own or even read the Bible for themselves. This worked well for the church. All they had to do was tell people what it said, according to them, then force everyone to believe it, then collect huge amounts of money for doing so. Those who didn’t believe what they were told were labeled heretics and found themselves in a precarious position. Many were killed. Others were fortunate enough to only suffer having their property seized.
Fast forward to today. We are free to read the Bible whenever we want. regrettably, many people are still stuck in the past. They are afraid to read the Bible for themselves. They are afraid they won’t understand it in the way their priests and pastors have explained it to them. It’s not surprising. For centuries we were told we were either too stupid to understand it, or that G-d only reveals the true meanings to the clergy. We have no business trying to understand such things. It is foolish to think that a loving G-d, who wishes to connect with us, would give us a text we are unable to understand. Moses said, “teach me your ways so that I may know you.”
So, to know G-d, we must learn His ways. His ways are outlined in the Torah. We have to read it in order to understand it. It is not good enough to listen to others once or twice a week. You will never learn it that way. You will only learn what that other person wants you to learn. This gives way to corruption, either intentional or unintentional. That lack of personal understanding forces you to go back week after week in hopes that you will finally understand. It never happens. I know people who have been in church for years and understand very little about the Bible. The realist in me needs to interject here that the church expects you to pay week after week for them to teach you. Therein lies the corruption. It is estimated that, in the US, if churches were to lose their tax-exempt status, it would generate $71 billion in tax revenue per year.* That is only the taxed portion. In Judaism, it is forbidden to charge to teach Torah.
So, how do you know if what you think is the true meaning of the scripture? Go back to the idea of general principles. Learn the simple things first. Much of the Bible contains simple meanings. By learning the simple meanings of several things, you will begin to see for yourself that you already understand the deeper meanings. The simple principles are the foundation. When you look at the foundation of a building, at first it doesn’t look like much. One thing you can see is where the exterior walls will be. Now you have two parts, the foundation, and the walls. You can apply the same principle as when you just had the foundation. Looking at a building with just walls, it becomes easy to see where the door should be. This process can be continued until the full building is complete. So long as you don’t forget the foundation. The simple meanings don’t change and the deeper meanings will never contradict the simple meanings. This is a safeguard built into the Torah. If you start getting into something and you think you understand it, but you aren’t sure, go back to the foundation and see if it will still stand with what you are learning. If you arrive at a conclusion that is contradictory to the simple meanings, you’ve got something wrong somewhere in your thought process. Always go back to the simple meanings. If you are the type of person who can only understand the simple meanings, you still have the complete guide for how to live your life according to G-d’s plan. If you apply His plan to your life you can still connect to Him.
G-d gave us the Torah at Sinai. In Deuteronomy 5:1 we are commanded thus, “And Moses called all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, and learn them, and observe [them] to do them.” Here we are commanded to do three things, to hear, to learn, to observe to do. All three of these are part of studying. G-d did not command us to study Torah and not give us the ability to understand it. Some Torah scholars merit to see the most secret of the secret meanings hidden within the scriptures. Do not be dissuaded because you have not been given this level of understanding. Each one of us is given the level of understanding we need to live our lives. Those with greater understanding are the ones to whom the rest of us should listen. There will always be someone who knows more than you. Learn from them. However, there will also be those who know less than you. Teach them. You must not begrudge the more learned, nor look down on the less learned. We all have our place in this world. This is part of the divine order of things. To begrudge someone of their greater knowledge is to say that G-d made a mistake. The same goes for those with less knowledge. The Torah was not given to angels in heaven. It was given to humans. We make mistakes. We get things completely wrong sometimes. Keep this in mind when dealing with others.
G-d has given us three tools with which to study Torah; wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Blessed is He who bestows knowledge.
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You can see plainly that the things which the church has been teaching for two thousand years do not stand up the Scriptural scrutiny.
If you are a Christian, you have been taught a set of principles by which you live your life. However, there are some very serious problems with those principles. You were taught, maybe from childhood, that Jesus died for your sins. This is wrong. Not only did he not die for your sins, he wasn’t the only son of G-d. He wasn’t the messiah either. There are many proof texts I can cite to prove these points beyond the shadow of a doubt. We’ll get to that later. Many of these can be found in my other blog posts as well. I would like to examine some of these principles for you. These are things you have heard about already but you may not have looked at them in depth.
Have you ever wondered why the church does what Paul says and not what the gospels say? According to the gospels, Jesus said to follow the Law of Moses and to do everything the Pharisees say. Paul says the Law of Moses can’t be followed and it seems, means very little to him in his teachings. The Christian church is essentially the church of Paul and not the church of Jesus.
There are a few phrases that are not found in the New Testament. They include: thus says the L-rd; G-d said; the word of the L-rd came to … These phrases are not found anywhere in the New Testament for a very good reason. It is not from HaShem. There is no true prophecy in any of those books. The books of the prophets are alluded to in many places by the New Testament writers. Most are misquotes, some are not quotes from the prophets at all, the rest are just wrong.
Prophecy is a peculiar and often misunderstood thing. Most people think it is something like fortune-telling, that it is a way of telling the future. We know that during the time of the Bible, there were many prophets. King David had Nathan the Prophet who would come to him and tell him what G-d had said. Such was the job of the prophet, to relay what G-d had said regarding something that had happened, was happening, or was/is going to happen. Out of the thousands of prophets who lived, only a few left any documentation as to what HaShem said to them. The last of the prophets was Malachi, thought by many to have actually been Ezra the Scribe. After the time of the Book of Malachi, there was no more prophecy in the world. The reason so many prophets were left out of the Bible is because what they had to say didn’t pertain to us. It wasn’t necessarily about the future.
The Bible instructs us how to identify a false prophet. Deuteronomy 13 gives plain, easy to follow instructions. Take a moment and read the text for yourself. Know that it is not giving you permission to stone anyone. The death penalty can only be imposed by the Sanhedrin, that is the central rabbinical supreme court of ancient Israel, composed of 71 sages. There are many signs and wonders outlined in the New Testament. But the central theme is that of doing away with the Law of Moses and following the teachings of Paul. This is in direct violation of Deuteronomy 13. The last verse sums it up. 19 For you shall hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you this day, to do that which is proper in the eyes of the Lord, your God. Does this really sound like the words of Paul? If Paul agreed with this scripture, there would be Christians all over the world keeping kosher and observing the Sabbath. Obviously, Paul wanted something different for his church.
We know from church history that the gospel writers are unknown. The names were assigned many years later. Searching the Catholic Church’s online encyclopedia proves this. (I do not link to their site because their policies don’t allow it). We know from reading the gospels that they are not attributed in any way to being divinely inspired. They are riddled with inconsistencies from one to the other. These are not prophetic works. That is to say, they are not the word of G-d. In fact, G-d is barely mentioned in the New Testament, other than to say that He sent Jesus. Isaiah 42: 6-10 tell us that HaShem will not share is glory with another. The church would have you believe He shares His glory with both Jesus and the holy spirit. That is a complete contradiction. 6 I am the Lord; I called you with righteousness and I will strengthen your hand; and I formed you, and I made you for a people’s covenant, for a light to nations. 7 To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon, those who sit in darkness out of a prison. 8 I am the Lord, that is My Name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to the graven images. 9 The former things, behold they have come to pass, and the new things I tell; before they sprout I will let you hear. 10 Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, those who go down to the sea and those therein, the islands and their inhabitants. Notice verse 9. “the new things I tell; before they sprout I will let you hear.” If the New Testament was actually from HaShem, He would have let us hear about it. How does HaShem let us hear? Through prophecy. This never happened.
Isaiah 42 poses a huge problem for the church. There are only two ways to interpret this problem. Either Isaiah is lying or the church is lying. If we say that Isaiah is lying, then everything else in the Book of Isaiah is suspect. Since the church uses Isaiah to justify itself, if he is lying, the church ceases to exist. If we say that the church is lying, then everything else it says is suspect. To rectify this question we will look at Isaiah 1. In the beginning of the book, he identifies himself as well as his father and the reigns of the kings during which he prophesied. This lends credence to what he is saying. The gospel writers don’t do this. We have no idea who is writing or even when. All we have is what the church tells us. So without knowing the authors, all four gospels become suspect. They have no validity. Their authors won’t even put their own names to what they are writing.
Paul, on the other hand, has no problem identifying himself in his books. Have you ever wondered why the church does what Paul says and not what the gospels say? According to the gospels, Jesus said to follow the Law of Moses and to do everything the Pharisees say. Paul says the Law of Moses can’t be followed and it seems, means very little to him in his teachings. The Christian church is essentially the church of Paul and not the church of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus in the gospels mean absolutely nothing to Paul or the church. I will prove it to you. If you are still a Christian and part of a church, go to your pastor or a teacher, or an elder and ask them this question. “Why don’t we follow the Law of Moses as Jesus instructs us in Matthew 5:17-19?” See if they don’t refer you to something Paul said. This is one of the issues I had with the church. The church claims that Jesus died for us. Doesn’t it stand to reason that they should be following his teachings? But they don’t. They follow only Paul. It is his church.
If you are a Christian I urge you to ask that question. If you are not Christian but know someone who is, please get them this information. There is truth to be found in the Holy Scriptures, the Tanakh. The inconsistent ramblings of the gospel writers combined with inconsistent ramblings of Paul can never contain truth. They contradict each other. You know there is no truth in contradictions.
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There is plenty of talk about all of the evil in the world today. Murder, rape, violent crime, and terrorism are just a few examples. When we take a deeper look at the evil in the world, we find domestic violence, child abuse, robbery, corruption, even animal abuse. All of these are good examples of some of the evils in the world today. As a society, we like to think that our generation faces more evils than the world has ever seen. If we look at the Bible we find this to be false. Genesis 6: 5-6 tell us that there was so much evil in the world before the flood that HaShem regretted having created us. 5 And the Lord saw that the evil of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of his heart was only evil all the time.6 And the Lord regretted that He had made man upon the earth, and He became grieved in His heart. It says that every imagination of his [man’s] heart was only evil. That’s a lot of evil. It is foolish to think that the evil we face today is any worse than the evil they faced in those days. Ecclesiastes 1:9 teaches us that 9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
What do we know about evil? One of the major breakthroughs of the information age is research. There have been countless studies into what makes people commit evil acts. Any of us can go online and look up these studies and learn for ourselves what science tells us are the reasons for these acts. What science cannot tell us is the source of evil in the world. Again, I turn to the Bible for the answer. Isaiah 45:6-8 tells us the source. 6 In order that they know from the shining of the sun and from the west that there is no one besides Me; I am the Lord and there is no other. 7 Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates evil; I am the Lord, Who makes all these. 8 Cause the heavens above to drip, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, and let salvation and righteousness be fruitful; let it cause them to sprout together; I, the Lord, have created it. Also in Amos 3:6 Will a shophar be sounded in the city and the people not quake? Will there be evil in the city if the Lord has not done it? Yes, you read that correctly. Evil comes from the Lord. In Deuteronomy 30: 15-16 it says, 15 Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, 16 inasmuch as I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land to which you are coming to take possession of it. Why has HaShem put evil in the world? The reason is very simple. It is in order to give us the ability to choose Him. Without giving us this choice, we don’t have free will. Without evil, we could not know hatred. Without hatred, we could not know love. Can you imagine the world without love?
Throughout the Bible, we find stories where G-d turns something evil into something good. Joseph was sold into slavery, spent years in an Egyptian prison, and later became second only Pharoh. Within this same story, we find that G-d sent a famine into the land of Cannan where Jacob and his family lived. They were forced to go to Egypt looking for food and as a result, Jacob was reunited with the son he thought was dead. There are many stories just like this. All of these stories have an underlying theme. G-d can take something which we perceive as evil and make it good. Not only does He make it good. He makes it extremely good; so much so that it could only be His will that makes it happen. Could the children of Israel have simply walked away from over two hundred years of bondage without divine intervention? Could Abraham have survived when Nimrod had him thrown into a furnace? Likewise with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? Daniel was thrown into a den of lions, survived without a scratch and was made Viceroy. Moses fled Egypt, running for his life and later returned as the greatest prophet of all time. Elijah fled for his life. David fled for his life. Jacob fled for his life. In all of these stories, they faced an evil which HaShem used to perform miracles.
After the times of the Bible, Israel would face some of the most evil times in its history. The Romans devastated the people. They flayed the flesh from the great Rabbi Akiva for the crime of teaching Torah. The Roman Empire would later spilt, with the remnants becoming the Roman Catholic Church. These later Romans spent centuries killing Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. They were forced out of Spain at the hands of the Inquisition. Many submitted to conversion. Others fled to Portugal. Part of the deal made with Queen Isabella to finance the journeys of Columbus included running the Jews out of Portugal. Many Jews from this period were received by the Muslim-controlled Ottoman Empire where they were allowed to live freely. Antisemitism later reached a climax in twentieth century Germany where at least six million Jews were savagely murdered. Some estimates put that number at close to nine million Jews whose only crime was being Jewish. Civilized people of today don’t understand how this could have happened. Many are now denying that it did happen. This is a foolish claim since much of it was filmed at the time. After two thousand years of hatred, forced conversions, killings, and varying degrees of rampant antisemitism, we were blessed with the reformation of the state of Israel in 1948.
The title of this article is “Turning Evil into Good: the Conclusion”. I chose this title because we are approaching the conclusion of this age. The biggest evil in the world which the Jewish people have faced since the time of the Bible has been Christianity. While it is true that the Holocaust saw the murder of the largest number of Jews in recorded history, it too had its roots in Christianity. Hitler was a fan of Martin Luther who also supported, even called for the mass killing of the Jewish people. It is no doubt that Christianity has been the leading cause of death among Jewish people since the time of Jesus, who ironically, was a Jew.
Christianity, of course, has its roots in Judaism. The early Christians were Jews who were misled by a false prophet. By the end of the first century, however, Christianity was its own entity. It was no longer made up of Jews. It was made up of Romans and Greeks, both of whom hated the Jews. What happened all those years ago set the stage for the final and biggest example of HaShem turning something evil into something amazing for the Jewish people; the Messianic Age. Isaiah 53 explains that the Jewish people, after having been despised and rejected (vs 3-4), will be used by G-d to vindicate the just (v11). You see, G-d has always used the little guy to further His purpose. Look back at the stories we discussed earlier. Joseph, Jacob, Moses, David, Daniel, and Elijah were all the little guy. G-d uses the small and weak to show His glory to the big and the strong. This is exactly what will happen in the final story.
Look at the Jewish people. Compared to other religions of the world they are the smallest. Christianity is the biggest by far. Christianity is the Goliath that will be destroyed by a son of David. Like Egypt, Christianity has been allowed to become grand. In their grandiosity, they have oppressed the Jewish people. They are like Esau, who could have supported his brother Jacob, but decided to stand aside and let His brother be destroyed (Obadiah 1). They are the fourth kingdom of Daniel chapter 2 that will be destroyed when G-d sets up the kingdom that will not be destroyed. The question is, on which side do you want to be?
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The world in which we live is currently going through its biggest change since the flood and it’s happening right under the noses of those whom we thought should be expecting it. It’s called the Redemption or Geulah. I heard Rabbi Tovia Singer speaking about the Redemption. He said that it will happen in stages, similar to the redemption from Egypt. There were ten plagues which, according to Rabbi Singer, spanned a period of eleven months. Today The Redemption is happening in stages in order to give the greatest number of people the opportunity to return to HaShem. Which stage we are in right now is hard to say. I am of the opinion that the stages have been going on throughout history.
It could have started in 1948 when Israel became a country again. That would be a good starting point. But it could have also started in 70 CE with the fall of Israel. This could also be a good place to start seeing the beginnings of the Redemption. The final Redemption could also have started at Mount Sinai with G-d revealing Himself to the children of Israel. This is a really good place to start in that G-d, at that time, created the Nation of Israel to be a light to the nations. That light can be seen as the trigger mechanism to the final Redemption. Wherever you look to find the beginning is less relevant than when it will be completed. That completion and ultimate Redemption of the world is getting very close. The end of this age is drawing near.
In a recent episode of Beyond the Matrix (Israel NewsTalk Radio), host Ira Michaelson is heard to say that there are thousands upon thousands of people leaving other religions and turning to the truth of Torah.[Paraphrased] This is an astounding estimate. We are seeing the Redemption happening now. At no other time in history have so many turned to the Jewish People to find truth. In fact, quite the opposite has been true since the time of Solomon. The prophet Zechariah said in chapter 8: 23 So said the Lord of Hosts: In those days, when ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” This is exactly what we are seeing. I would go as far as to say that the reason it has been the way it has been for so many centuries (antisemitism) is so that when we see this happening now, we can know for certain the Redemption is upon us.
Ezekiel 36 gives us some insight into the final Redemption. 36: 34 …And they shall say: This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. 36Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD have builded the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate; I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.37 Thus saith the Lord GOD: I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. 38 As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed seasons, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am the LORD . These things are happening now. The land of Israel was a desolate wasteland not so many years ago. If you seek proof, you have but to do an internet search for old photos of the land of Israel. Once you get a feel for the barrenness. look up some current photos of Israel. The once deserted areas are awash with green. In verse 37 it says “I will increase them with men like a flock.” In other words, there will be a great inpouring into the House of Israel as we are seeing today.
Most of these people are coming out of Christianity, with the largest portion, like myself, coming from the Baptist denomination according to Rabbi Zalman Weiss, author of Adon Olam: A Search for Meaning. The Christian bible contains what they call the old testament. It is an adulterated version of the Hebrew Tanakh. Even with all of the changes put in place by early church fathers, there is still enough evidence that Christianity is a false religion. I like to equate Christianity to the story of the golden calf in Exodus. In the story, the Israelites attempt to worship HaShem through the golden calf; in a way which He forbids. Christians also attempt to worship HaShem through Jesus. This is the reason why Jews consider Christianity a form of idolatry.
The Final Redemption is happening now. Yes, it is coming in stages, but we don’t know when it will be complete. The prophets only give a small amount of information concerning this and yet there have been volumes written about it. For at least two millennia, the Jewish sages and scholars have studied it. People have hoped and prayed to be fortunate enough to witness it. Countless millions have wanted to be a part of it and prayed these words, “I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait every day for him to come.” (Ani Maamin) Every day for thousands of years people have waited to see what you are seeing right now.
But know this, there is no place for idolators in the world to come. Fortunately for you, there is still time. The true religion, Judaism, is the only religion that does not require you to join it in order to be a part of the Redemption. That’s right. Righteous Gentiles will have a place in the world to come. You must only adhere to the seven laws of Noah. Follow the link for more information or visit Netiv,net for in-depth Torah learning on the subject. I can only hope and pray that you make the right decision.
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