Teshuvah is translated as repentance. What it means is to turn, as in turn away from sin and return to HaShem. Many of you have heard this before. But how does it work? Can I do it right now? How long does it take? What’s the deal with Teshuvah? Continue reading “How Do You Do Teshuvah”
Growing up in a Christian home, we had a lot of Bibles around. We each had our own and there were others as well. I come from one of those families that only read the King James version. It was the only Bible I’d ever read until I was an adult. It wasn’t like we had discussions about other versions. We weren’t told to not read them. It was just what we had and what we read. Little did I know that what I was reading was not real scripture. It had been changed centuries earlier just so the church could make certain claims about jesus. Continue reading “What if the Bible Was Changed”
How much impact do your feelings have on your beliefs? That is, do you believe a certain way because of how it makes you feel? This is not as simple a question as it seems. Many people find themselves in a certain belief system only because of some initial emotional response they encountered. Continue reading “Do You Feel Saved?”
There are numerous places in the Bible where it speaks of forgiveness. Many believe that forgiveness can only come from the shedding of innocent blood. This is not a Biblical concept. But many people believe it to be so. Where do they get this idea? Throughout history, many religions have adopted this concept. These ideas come from the ancient pagan religions which were deemed idolatrous. So then, the shedding of innocent blood for the forgiveness of sins comes from idolatry. Many of you will argue, the Israelites used animal sacrifices for forgiveness. This is a misconception. The sin sacrifice was to make atonement for unintentional sins. Atonement and forgiveness are two different things. Atonement is what we do once we have asked for forgiveness. The Hebrew word for atonement is kaparah which literally means wiping up. This word is derived from the word kofer (ransom). With the sin sacrifice, the priest actually made the atonement for the person who had sinned. A modern term which I think fits is restitution. You see, the sin is forgiven by G-d, not by or through the blood. Think of it like this. If I break something of yours, I will ask for forgiveness and tell you I’m sorry. Even if you forgive me, the item is still broken. If I buy you a new one, I have atoned for what I did. It is the same when we break a commandment. It remains broken even after we have been forgiven. The blood is for the atonement and not for forgiveness.
Now that you know what atonement is and more importantly, is not, we can look at forgiveness. When HaShem forgives us, the slate is wiped clean. Here is a good definition from the Tanach. Ezekiel 18:21 And if the wicked man repent of all his sins that he has committed and keeps all My laws and executes justice and righteousness, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he has committed shall not be remembered regarding him: through his righteousness that he has done he shall live. This is forgiveness without a blood sacrifice. This is the forgiveness for the intentional sins committed by the wicked man. I would say that what this man offers as his atonement is his turning away from his wickedness. It really is that simple. And why shouldn’t it be? What do you think is more important to G-d, a blood sacrifice or a repentant sinner? Hosea 6:6 says. For I desire loving-kindness, and not sacrifices, and knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Isaiah 1:11-12 says 11 Of what use are your many sacrifices to Me? says the Lord. I am sated with the burnt-offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle; and the blood of bulls and sheep and hegoats I do not want. 12 When you come to appear before Me, who requested this of you, to trample My courts? It is plain to see that He desires repentance.
You may have been told, as I was, that there is no forgiveness without a blood sacrifice. This is the very foundation of the church. As you can see from scripture, this is a false doctrine. The sacrificial system outlined in the Torah is very different from the sacrificial system of the church. The former system was not only for atonement. There are many different sacrifices, all of which are very specific and require certain animals. The church’s idea is that of human sacrifice. They will tell you that Jesus died as a sin sacrifice. They will also tell you that he was the sacrificial lamb or Passover offering. These are two very different things. Nowhere in the Torah does it describe a single sacrifice for two different purposes. The church is rooted in pagan idolatry and has nothing in common with Judaism. While it is true that Christianity had its beginnings among the Jews of Galilee, those same Jews forsook their beliefs and turned to idolatry.
If you truly want to be forgiven for the sins you have committed, you must repent. Repent means to turn away from those things. It means to make a definite change in how you live your life. The sin of idolatry is one of the worst things you can do. When you worship an idol, such as Jesus, you are insulting the creator of the universe. The church has many idols which they worship; the cross, Mary, Paul, the blood of Jesus. They incorporate these things into their worship. They pray to saints. They place the devil on the same level as G-d. They say he is G-d’s adversary. To be an adversary, one must be on the same level or else they could not be an adversary at all. They call him the god of this world.
Below are some passages from the Hebrew Bible that deal with forgiveness. If you’ve never read these before, please do so. Forgiveness is a wonderful gift which HaShem wants to give to everyone.
Psalm 25:7. Do not recall the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; remember me in accordance with Your kindness, because of Your goodness, O Lord. 8. Good and upright is the Lord, therefore He directs sinners along the way. 9. He guides the humble with justice, and teaches the humble His way. 10. All the paths of the Lord are kindness and truth for those who observe His covenant and testimonies. 11. For the sake of Your Name, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. 12. Whoever is a God-fearing man, him will He teach the path that he should choose. 13. His soul will abide in well-being, and his descendants will inherit the earth.
Psalm 32:3 When I was silent, my bones decayed with my moaning all day long. 4 For [both] day and night Your hand is heavy upon me; my freshness was transformed as in the droughts of summer, forever. 5 I would inform You of my sin, and I did not conceal my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin forever. 6 For this let every pious man pray to You at the time that You are found, only about a flood of vast waters [that] should not reach him.
Ezekiel 33:8 When I say of a wicked man, Wicked one, you shall surely die! and you did not speak to warn the wicked man from his way-he is wicked and for his iniquity he will die, but his blood I shall require of your hand. 9 But you-if you warned a wicked man from his way, to repent thereof, and he did not repent of his way-he will die for his iniquity, and you have saved your soul. 10 Now you, son of man, say to the house of Israel; So have you spoken, saying: For our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and because of them we are melting away, so how can we live? 11 Say to them: As I live, says the Lord God, I do not wish for the death of the wicked, but for the wicked to repent of his way so that he may live. Repent, repent of your evil ways, for why should you die, O house of Israel!12 And you, son of man, say to the members of your people: The righteousness of the righteous will not save him on the day of his transgression, and the wickedness of the wicked-he will not stumble upon it on the day of his repentance of his wickedness, and a righteous man cannot live with it on the day of his sinning.
Joel 2: 12 And even now, says the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping and with lamentation. 13 And rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil. 14 Whoever knows shall repent and regret, and it shall leave after it a blessing, a meal offering and a libation to the Lord your God.
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