Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do you practice witchcraft?

Many people agree that witchcraft is evil and dangerous and should never be practiced or even attempted by any believers. But what these people are not as certain about is, “what witchcraft is.” Many believe witchcraft to be things like, casting spells, animal and human sacrifices, wearing evil pendants and talisman, voodoo, speaking to the dead or to spiritual beings etc. Yes these are all forms of witchcraft and are to be avoided at all costs. But there are other forms of witchcraft that seem to be innocent and even not recognizable as witchcraft practices, but are still just as evil as the other forms and is an abomination for the Almighty. Let us have a look at a few examples that Rambam gives on this subject:

a piece of bread dropped out of my mouth, my can fell from my hand, so I will not start out today… Since a fox ran past me on the right, I will not venture outside the door today… If a certain thing happens to me, I will follow this course of action… This house which I built has turned out lucky for me… From the moment I bought this animal I became rich… That is a lucky sign…

He concludes by saying that all these practices are false and deceptive, and that whoever believes in them us nothing but a fool (Yad, Avodah Zarah 11:16).

Yes, Superstitious beliefs and practices, are forms of divination and are wicked to the core. Many may seem to be innocent and even cute, but that is what makes it so deceptive. Witchcraft is condemned in the Torah as an abominable form of idolatry, being steeped in crime, immorality and deception. It is not in accord with Yisra’el’s belief in One Elohim. To think that any instance or event or action is out of the reach of the Almighty, is considered unbelief and a denial of YHWH.

So to all the believers who have a lucky coin or something similar, or scared of breaking a mirror, or worried if a black cat crosses your path, or any other superstitious belief, please consider the following verse found in the Torah:

Do not allow a practiser of witchcraft to live.” (Exo 22:18).

May we all seek the Almighty with all our heart, mind and strength and live by His Torah and leave all worldly beliefs and practices alone.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Circumcision – Outdated Legalism, or Loving Obedience?

The Word of the Almighty (Torah) is such a beautiful creation that is perfect and good in every way. It teaches us how we are to love Him and draw close to Him and also how to love and care for our neighbors too. But there are religions, like Christianity/Messianic, Hebrew Roots and even Islam, who believe and teach that it is old and outdated to some degree or another. Such people see the Torah as a list of do’s and don’ts. These are the people who do not know or understand the heart of the Torah or the Almighty at all.

These people also only see the Scriptures in a very shallow way and cannot see or recognize the true depth, meaning and value of the Scriptures. What that leads to, is simply a lack of understanding of many teachings and, therefore, the belief that many of the ancient customs are outdated and no longer necessary today. But to someone who dedicates his life to the pursuit of truth and understanding and the deeper study of the Torah, this idea of being outdated is absolutely ludicrous. What some might perceive as redundant, to another person it is a great treasure and overwhelming wealth.

Maimonedes (Rambam) explains, so clearly, the differences between the Torah Jews and other religions, that might seem to resemble that of Torah Judaism. It is this that he wrote to the Jews who were living in Yemen, who, at that time, were being persecuted and was facing forced conversion to other religions, in that case it was to Islam. Rambam wrote these letters to support the Jews and encourage them to stay strong in their beliefs. In one of his letters, he wrote the following:

  “Our religion differs as much from other religions as a living person differs from a lifeless statue, which is ever so well carved out of marble, wood, bronze or silver. When an ignorant person sees a statue that superficially resembles man in contour, form, features and color, he thinks that the structure of its parts is similar to that of a human being. But the informed person, who knows the interior of both, is aware of the fact that the internal structure of the statue shows no skillful workmanship at all, whereas the inner parts of man are marvelously made.

So too, a person ignorant of the deep meaning of the Bible, and of the deeper significance of the Torah, would be led to believe that our religion has something in common with another. True, both contain a system of religious observances; but the tenets of other religions, though resembling those of the Bible, are merely superficial imitations. People have modeled their religions after ours in order to glorify themselves

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the Scriptures is that of the circumcision. Many teach that it is

If your argument is, “but I am too old,” Then please spare a thought for Avraham who was 99 years old when he circumcised HIMSELF. He did so because of his love and devotion to the Almighty Creator, without any hesitation at all.

Now, let us look at the different views and understandings of this commandment and see which view is shallow and deceitful and which is the one who knows the deeper rooted understanding of this commandment.

As noted above, Christianity/Messianic believe that it is redundant and not necessary to perform anymore. Some do it because they want to, for health benefits etc, and not because it is a commandment. Some may do it because the Torah teaches so, and often because their friends are doing it too, but they are few and far between. They claim that Sha’ul (Paul) taught that circumcision is not longer necessary and that in Acts 15 it was done away with. We will discuss this case further below.

Now let us see what Judaism teaches on this subject. This section was taken from Jewish commentary of the Torah from the Torah portion mentioned:

”Regarding the commandment of the circumcision (Gen 17:9-14).

From the sequence of this chapter, it is clear that the blessings of the children and possession of the Land depended on circumcision, a connection that is also implied in the second blessing of the Blessing after Meals.

The symbolic significance of this commandment is indicated by the name of the flesh that is removed in performance of the commandment – “orlah,” commonly translated as ‘foreskin,’ but more accurately, as it is used in Scripture, ‘a barrier’ standing in the way of a beneficial result. For example, the sinful habits that predispose a person not to change his lifestyle are called the ‘orlah’ of the heart (Lev26:41; Jer 9:25; Eze 44:7).

Thus, although this concept is beyond human understanding, circumcision is a means to help the Israelite ennoble himself and return to the spiritual state of Adam before his sin. As the Sages teach, Adam was born circumcised, but after his sin his foreskin was extended and covered the organ (Senhedrin 38b), as a symbol that he had created a barrier between himself and set-apartness.

By removing the superfluous skin covering the organ of continuity, circumcision teaches that man must eliminate the natural barriers blocking his advancement. But circumcision’s capacity to accomplish this is not a logical outcome of the physical act; to the contrary, it is metaphysical. This aspect of circumcision is symbolized by the commandment that it be done on the eighth day of a boy’s life. As Maharal teaches, the natural order of Creation involves cycles of seven, such as the seven days of the week and the seven years of the Shemittah agricultural cycle. The number eight represents the concept that one can rise above limitations of nature. By commanding Israel to circumcise its male children on the eighth day, Elohim taught that the Israelite’s ability to remove the barriers to his spiritual ascent transcends the natural order of life. Nevertheless, Elohim gives man the ability to do it – and since he can, he must.

A commandment consists of two parts: the physical act and its underlying moral or spiritual teaching – and neither is complete without the other. Just as it is not enough to perform the commanded deeds if they are denuded of intellectual and moral content, so it is not enough to philosophize on the commandments and seek moral improvement without actually performing the commandments. Hence, the physical act is the covenant, but it is also a sign of the covenant’s deeper meaning.”

Can you see the difference? The one sees the commandment as a redundant obligation whereas the other sees its true value which is removing the barrier so that we can come closer to the Almighty. The one view is humanistic and the other is recognizing the love for YHWH. Also notice how valuable and important it is to analyze the Hebrew text for the absolute truth. You will not find this information in any English translations at all.

So what about Acts 15… does that not teach that circumcision is not necessary for Gentile believers? Well, lets analyze it a little bit together.

And certain men came down from Yehudah and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the practice of Mosheh, you are unable to be saved.”” (Act 15:1). Here we see that certain Y’hudim were teaching that new believers must submit to all the Torah straight away, including the Circumcision. But this is not possible for new believers as it takes a lot of study to know the whole Torah.

So when Sha’ul and Barnabah had no small dissension and dispute with them, they arranged for Sha’ul and Barnabah and certain others of them to go up to Yerushalayim, to the emissaries and elders, about this question.” (Act 15:2). Sha’ul and Barnabah were not disagreeing with the Y’hudim with regards to the circumcision, but rather when it was to be introduced to the new believers. This is so that the new believers would not be frightened off. So they went and sought counsel.

Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the gentiles who are turning to Elohim, but that we write to them to abstain from the defilements of idols, and from whoring, and from what is strangled, and from blood.” (Act 15:19-20). Here it is clear that only new believers from other nations (non-Jews) who were turning to Elohim (Torah Judaism). They were taught that there are a few things that they have to immediately obey without question. These things are:

1) Abstain from the defilement of idols:
now redundant and that it is not necessary to perform anymore. The reason, so often being, that the men are just too afraid to go and have such a delicate organ operated on. So they simply try to justify their fears by teaching that the Messiah is the new covenant and that we do not need to be circumcised any more and all sorts of non-sense like that. This is a very humanistic point of view where the person stands in the center instead of the Almighty being in the center of one’s belief. Is it not written that the Messiah came to live as an example for us and that we must follow in his footsteps? Was the Messiah not circumcised? (Luke 2:21).

1) Defilement of Idols
a)      Eating meat offered to idols
b)      Speaking in the names of idols (Exodus 23:13)
c)      Having an idols image or statue in your home
d)      Riches and popularity etc.

2) Whoring:
            a) Do not commit adultery
            b) Do not have any sexual relations with anyone other than your husband or wife
            c) Do not follow the teachings of men
            d) Do not turn away from the Word of the Almighty to follow other false teachings

3) What is strangled:
            a) Any meat that comes from an animal that has been strangled, which is a kosher law

4) Blood:
            a) No blood is allowed to be eaten, for the soul is in the blood (Kosher law)
            b) Do not murder
            c) Women’s monthly cycle laws

These things are absolute no-no’s for anyone who turns to the faith of the Messiah, and have to stopped immediately if they are still being performed. But that is not where it ends. The chapter goes on to say:

For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.” (Act 15:21). Here is the key to the entire chapter. Because the new believers do not know the whole Torah, they need to go to the Jewish congregations on every Shabbat to learn Mosheh (Torah) so that they can know how to live their life in righteousness and serve the Almighty in truth.

As one learns the way of righteousness, he is then required to live accordingly. That is why the new believers went to learn Mosheh, so that they can learn righteousness and changed their old practices and habits in favor of the teachings of the Torah. So when it came to the section in the Torah which speaks of the Circumcision, the new believers then, out of their own desire to obey and serve YHWH, became circumcised, because that is what the Torah teaches. In fact, the Torah makes it very clear that no person can partake in the Passover if he is not circumcised in the flesh.

It is very clear that, neither Sha’ul, nor any other disciple ever taught that it was not necessary to be circumcised. Only through the twisting of Scripture and trickery, do the Christian/Messianics teach this false theology.

Let us end with the following Scripture of a prophecy:

‘Thus said the Master יהוה (YHWH), “No son of a foreigner, uncircumcised in heart OR uncircumcised in flesh, comes into My set-apart place, even any son of a foreigner who is among the children of Yisra’ĕl” (Eze 44:9).

Do you want to go into the Set-Apart place of the Almighty, or do you want to be rejected and denied entrance because you did not want to become circumcised, and chose to keep the barrier between yourself and the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Choose Life

This article is being posted in light of the Torah portion that was read this Shabbat that has just past (Nitzavim).

There is a very large and popular church in the city where I live (Pretoria South Africa) which has the name of “Choose Life Church.” Now, we all have to assume that this church was named after a passage from the Bible, as it is a Christian church. In fact, on their website, they admit that this is true. Now, if this is the case, then this church must stand up to the principles taught in the Bible too, or at least in the verse from which it gets its name from. If you do a little research, then you will quickly realize that the term, “choose life” appears only once in the entire Scriptures. It is not found in the “New Testament” but actually only in the Torah.

The verse that this particular church used in reference to their name is Deut 30:19. Let us read it together:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut 30:19 KJV)

It is actually a very nice name that is based on a very lovely and beautiful verse in the Scriptures. The Almighty has set before us life and death and has given us the choice as to which one we want to choose. The church in question (Choose Life Church) has clearly stated which one they claim to have chosen, and which things that they supposedly teach accordingly.

The Scriptures make it very clear what choosing life entails and what we need to do in order to choose this life. It clearly says that the Almighty has set it before us and that the heaven and the earth are witnesses to this. We need to read the entire chapter in order to know what choosing life is all about, according to the Word of the Almighty. For a restriction of space, let us start reading from vs 15:

See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, in that I am commanding you today to love יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess” (Deut 30:15-16).

In the verses above is the formula for choosing life. Choosing life is to love the Almighty, to walk in His ways, and to guard (do) His commands, His Laws, and His right rulings. If you do this, then you are choosing life. This is saying that we need to do all that is written in the Torah.

But what happens when you do not do these things? Well, let us read further to see.

But if your heart turns away, and you do not obey, and shall be drawn away, and shall bow down to other mighty ones and serve them, I have declared to you today that you shall certainly perish, you shall not prolong your days in the land which you are passing over the Yardĕn to enter and possess” (Deut 30:17-18)

The disobedience of the Torah is to turn away your heart from the Almighty. If this happens then you will bow down to other mighty ones and serve them. When this happens, the verse says, “you shall certainly perish”. The disobedience of the Torah is choosing death.

So with this information from the Scriptures, it is safe to assume that any institution who claims to base their faith on the Scriptures and who call themselves by the title of, “Choose Life” should in fact be following and teaching the Torah, just as the Messiah did. If not, then they are liars and teach only lies. “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). One cannot take a title or verse from the Scriptures and use it totally in the wrong context. If one does so, then it is a total deception to all who come into contact with them.

So let us compare the teachings of the church (called, “Choose Life”) with that of the instruction manual of the Almighty, called the Scriptures (The Word of the Almighty Creator).

But before we get started with this list, let us have a look at one of the prerequisites that the Choose Life Church has for becoming a member of their church is. On their website, the second prerequisite for becoming a member is as follows:

”You should be endeavoring to live a life that pleases God. You should not be living in sin.

Now let us go to the Bible and see what it says what sin is:

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV)

So according to the statement of the Choose Life Church, we have to assume that all its members are living according to the Law of the Almighty. If not, then they should not be members (according to the requirements of the Church itself). If the leaders and pastors of the Church also do not live by the Law (which according to the Bible is living in sin) then they are hypocrites and liars. This is according to their own standards.

Sha’ul (Paul) makes a clear statement in 2 Corinthians regarding those who do not keep the Law (Torah), “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14). He makes it very clear that those who do not live by the Law of the Almighty are unbelievers and darkness and the opposite of righteous. And what did the Messiah say about those who are lawless?

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master, shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens.
Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mat 7:21-23).

The Messiah himself proclaims that those who do not submit themselves to being obedient to the Torah of his Father, even though they profess to be believers and do many mighty works, will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. These people who do not live by the Torah are not known to the Messiah and will be rejected at his return.

So now, let us look at a few examples of what the Torah teaches and see if the members of the Choose Life Church lives up to the standards of the Scriptures.

1) The Scriptures teach us that we need to rest and learn Scripture on the Sabbath (the seventh day) and that it is an eternal covenant. The Sabbath is also a sign between the Almighty and the people of the Almighty (Exodus 31:13-16). The Sabbath is also a commandment, the 4th one (Exodus 20:8-11). If we do not keep the Sabbath, then we do not guard the Commandments and deny the creation of the heavens and the earth, and therefore are not choosing life.

Does the Choose Life Church keep the Sabbath? NO… they get together on the first day which was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church to make the statement that the Church is above Scripture (Word of the Almighty) and has the authority to change the Scriptures. Choose Life Church does not choose life by breaking the Sabbath, which is a transgression of the Law, which is living in sin.

2) According to the Scriptures (Lev 11), the eating of any sort of unclean animals (like pork, rabbit, prawns etc) are an abomination to the Almighty. It is still as relevant today as it was in the time of Mosheh (Moses) and is part of the Law.

Does the Choose Life Church keep to and teach the eating of clean animals only, and the abstinence of unclean animals? NO, they do not believe that to be relevant at all anymore, even though they claim that the “Old Testament” is the Word of the Almighty, on their website under “statement of faith”. It is just too convenient to pick and choose which parts of the Law they want to keep.

3) The Scriptures make it very clear that we should not learn the ways of the world (Deut 18:9), and that the friend of the world is an enemy of the Almighty (James 4:4). The celebration of pagan festivals is an abomination in the eyes of the Almighty and is considered as idolatry, which is the transgression of the 2nd commandment.

Does the Choose Life Church abstain from idolatrous celebrations as the Scriptures require? NO, They celebrate Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Gregorian New Year, Sun-day, etc. All these celebrations originate from paganism and are an abomination to the Almighty.

4) The Scriptures make it very clear that in order to belong to Yisra’el (spiritual Yisra’el), all the males have to be circumcised. This is the sign of the covenant (Gen 17:10-14). If any males are not circumcised, then they cannot partake in the Passover (that means no communion) (Exodus 12:43-44) and (Ezekiel 44:9).

Does the Choose Life Church practice and teach the necessity of circumcision? NO, They teach that it is not necessary to be circumcised, which is contrary to what the Scriptures teach.

5) The 3rd Commandment commands us not to bring the Name YHWH to naught (Exodus 20:7). The Torah also commands us not to use the names of other idols, and not to even let it be heard out of our mouths (Exodus 23:13). Substituting the Name of the Almighty, with that of the name of an idol, is forbidden and an abomination to the Almighty. Also, using the names of idols in place of names and other words is also an abomination.

Does the Choose Life Church use the correct names and words as correctly translated from the original text, and do not substitute them with the names of idols? NO, they have chosen to follow the Roman Catholic Church who dictates all the Christian doctrines and totally undermines the authority of the Scriptures. Choose Life Church rather follows after man made doctrines rather than the written Word of the Almighty.

Why do they do so? Because it is far more profitable (in the worlds eyes, money -wise) to follow the corrupt Christian system. If the Church taught Scripture and Scripture alone in the correct context, then they would never be able to function as a business (which they really are) and make a profit by exploiting its members.

Is it not a little fishy to realize that the only form of the Law that the Church keeps is that of the tithes? Even this is twisted so that the people are fooled into giving their hard earned money to the church.

For an organization who claims to follow the Scriptures, the Choose Life Church certainly cannot be more wrong. They even support people who supports absolute transgression of the law. They support a preacher who believes homosexuality is acceptable and that homosexuals will also inherit the kingdom of heaven. They even have a link to this preacher’s website on their website.

Choose Life Church is a business that does not promote Scripture, but rather “good feelings” to its members so that they will always have a constant supply of money. One statement that this church cannot say is that their teachings are based on the Scriptures. If you desire to follow the Teachings of the Almighty, who created heaven and earth and sustains it all by His eternal Word and choose life… then Choose Life Church is certainly not the place to be.

One great problem that arises from such churches and people who follow these churches and teachings is that they are the ones who persecute and abuse the righteous people who are keeping all the commandments of the Almighty and walking a righteous life.

Christianity is a religion of pure hypocrisy saying that their faith is based on the Scriptures and yet, they go and transgress all the commands of the Almighty in everything that they do. 

It is very easy to say that you choose life, but it is another thing to actually choose life by obeying the Word of the Almighty.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Almighty does not accept bribes

I have not posted any articles for a long time now. There are many reasons for this, the biggest reason being that I have been working on writing a book for a while now. There is a lot of research and study that goes into it and it is all very time consuming. Another big reason is that I have been continuing my Hebrew and Torah studies (which is going to be a study until the day I die.)

The reason that I have decided to write an article now is because of what we read in the Torah portion this last Shabbat. The Torah portion that was read is called “Eikev” (Deut 7:12-11:25) and it is so full of information and rich Torah knowledge that I am going to be writing a few articles on this Torah portion.

The verse that stood out, which inspired this article is the following, “For יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim is Elohim of mighty ones and Master of masters, the great Ěl, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe” (Deut 10:17)

There are a few different ways to understand this concept, all of which are perfectly valid and true all at the same time. We are however only going to look at three of these ways below.

Firstly, how many times have you watched a movie, where one of the characters gets into a real tight spot and then cries out to “God” and makes a deal with Him saying that if He gets him out of this tight spot, then he promises to go to church from then on or give money to charity or something like that. Maybe you yourself have made such promises like that as well.

But is that really how the Almighty works? It is true that it is written in the B’rit Chadashah that “For everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה (YHWH) shall be saved.” (Rom 10:13). But does this mean that a sinner who does not follow the instructions of the Almighty, can now just ask the Almighty to get them out of a tight spot with promises that are usually not kept in the end? Well, the Torah (the Word of the Almighty) clearly teaches that this is not the case. The Almighty does not accept bribes in any way or form, especially promises that are empty and ultimately are not kept.

Secondly, as the Jewish commentator “Rashi” puts it, an unrepentant sinner cannot bribe the Almighty by bringing an offering or contribution of charity. Elohim is angered by those who steal or otherwise obtain money dishonestly and then use their ill-gotten profits to bless or serve Him.

As Rashi explains, all your actions and means of funds have to be perfectly legal and moral and done with perfect honesty. Anything not done or acquired so is not at all acceptable and you cannot justify the ends by these means. The Almighty regards this as bribery and does not accept it in any way.

Thirdly, as the Jewish commentator “Ramban” explains, Elohim does not trade off the performance of commandments as a covering for sin (kippur) for transgressions. Rather, He gives reward for the performance of mitzvot and punishment for their transgressions. 

As Ramban explains, the covering of sin is provided for by the Torah and follows a very specific and clear instruction. Just carrying on with performing mitzvot (commandments) without Teshuvah (repentance) and a chatat (sin offering) the keeping of the commandments is then considered a bribe and also trying to save yourself by keeping the law, but to no avail because it is not done out of love for the Almighty. This third way of understanding is much like the first.

So then, what is required from us, well then, the answer is also found in this Torah portion. “And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, to guard the commands of יהוה (YHWH) and His laws which I command you today for your good?” (Deut 10:12-13)

It is inconceivable to think that we can ask the Almighty for any favors unless we are totally committed to loving the Almighty and obeying His Word. The Almighty never changes, and neither does His Word. We are to commit our entire lives to loving the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It is out of love that we keep His Commandments. Anyone who does not keep all the Commandments found in the Torah does not love the Almighty.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Holy Spirit

When it comes to your life and your salvation, I am sure that you will agree that knowing and following the truth instead of a lie is very important. Unfortunately, there are many lies and scams out there that have made it somewhat difficult to find the truth in its completeness without being mixed (perverted) with non-truths. Is it not then the responsibility of each one of us to make sure that what we follow is absolute truth. But how do we do this? Well... we have the written Word of the Almighty (the Hebrew Scriptures of course). The Scriptures are perfect and complete, which means that we do not need any supernatural revelations, especially when it is non-existent in the Scriptures, and especially when it is contradictory to the Scriptures.

But unfortunately this "supernatural revelation" happens all the time in churches and Messianic congregations, in the guise of the "Holy Spirit", to brainwash their followers into believing their own, made up, doctrines which is non-existent in the Scriptures, and make lots of money in the process. If it was written in the Scriptures, then such "Revelation" is certainly NOT necessary. Another thing to ask yourself is, how can it be tested, as the Bereans did with Sha'ul (Paul) (Acts 17:10-12) if it cannot be found in Scripture? If the Bereans could not find what Sha'ul said to them in the Scriptures, then they would not have believed a word he said. Just like the Bereans, we should not believe any "Supernatural revelation" if it cannot be confirmed by the Scriptures (Hebrew Tanakh).

It is a very common misconception that many Christians and Messianics have, that the "Holy Spirit" only came into existence after the Messiah ascended into the heavens. There are also many twisted beliefs and ideas that exist because of this misunderstanding. If we want to stick only to what the Scriptures teach, then we need to read the entire Scriptures and then analyze it as a whole.

One of the biggest problems that arises from this misconception is that religious leaders make big claims and create many doctrines that are non-existent in the Scriptures at all. They then claim it to be true because, "the 'Holy Spirit' revealed it to them." This creates a huge problem. People make up whatever doctrines they feel like and require their followers to accept these doctrines under the authority of them "being filled with the 'Holy Spirit". These doctrines are usually non-existent in the Scriptures.

There are just too many false doctrines going around to cover all of them. I am only going to write about two major topics concerning the "Holy Spirit." Let us get into the first topic.

Who is the "Holy Spirit" and when did he appear onto the scene?

As mentioned above, Many people believe that the "Holy Spirit" only appeared after the ascension of the Messiah. But is this true? If not, then when do we first read of him? We have to go to the very first place that he is mentioned and then study who he is from that point on to understand who/what he is.

We first see the Spirit of the Almighty in Genesis 1:2 which is in the very beginning of the Scriptures and before the creation started and everything was still formless and empty. We read of the Spirit of the Almighty throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) long before any "New Testament" ever existed.

We also find MANY places where people become filled with the Spirit in order to achieve certain tasks. But in EVERY instance, they are guided by the Spirit in the instruction of what is already written. There is nothing ever revealed to them through the Spirit that is not found in Scripture and certainly nothing that ever contradicts the written Word of the Almighty. This is because the Spirit of the Almighty can NEVER teach anything contrary to His written Word. In fact, the Spirit of the Almighty is mentioned many more times in the Tanakh (Known as the Old Testament by the Catholics) than in the B'rit Chadashah (known as the New Testament by the Catholics)

One thing that we always need to keep in mind is the fact that the Almighty is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Spirit is an 'extension' of the Almighty (but not part of any Trinity) and too is the same yesterday, today and forever. Neither the Almighty, His Word or His Spirit can ever change or contradict the other.

So if some Pastor or religious leader ever creates a doctrine of some sorts that is non-existent in the Scriptures and claims that the Spirit revealed it to them, then you can be sure that the Spirit that they are referring to is a demonic spirit and NOT the Spirit of the Almighty.

Let us now look at the title, "Holy Spirit"

The title, "Holy Spirit," is it really the correct translation from the original text? The Hebrew word from which it is translated is, "Ruach haKodesh" which is literally translated as, "the Set Apart Spirit/wind/breath"

The problem comes in with the translation of the Hebrew word, "Kodesh" which is usually translated as "holy" in the English bibles. This translation is absolutely incorrect and does not hold the same meaning at all. The word "holy" does not come from, or mean, "Kodesh" or "Set Apart" at all. The word holy comes from the Greek word, "helios" which means, "Sun's glow". Another word coming from the same source and which is related to the word, "holy" is "halo" which is a Sun disk around the head's of saints in the Catholic religion. The word "holy" is directly related to Sun-worship.

How can it ever be acceptable to use idolatrous terms and names to refer to the Almighty? Do you think that He approves of this idolatry, especially when referring to Him? I do not think so because of what He says about idolatry and how much He hates it and how He told us not to learn the ways of the other nations (religions) and use that to worship Him. He calls it an abomination.

So if you want to follow the truth and only the truth, then you will have to start learning Scriptural Hebrew and then test everything by what is written in the Hebrew Tanakh which is the Word of the Almighty. Anything that does not fall in line with what is written in the Hebrew Tanakh is simply falsehood and should be thrown out the window immediately.

May we all be filled with the Ruach haKodesh which guides us in the Words of the Torah.

Shalom Aleichem

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

So you say you follow the Torah

There has been a growth in the amount of people who claim to be Torah followers among the gentile nations lately. Many groups and organizations, like Hebrew Roots and Messianics etc, all claim to be turning back to the Torah and its ways. But is this what is really happening? One passage in the Scriptures comes to mind when I think about this, “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name? And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mat 7:22-23)

The Messiah was speaking of those who call him Master and even do many things in his name. So it is clear that he is not speaking of the worldly people and those from other religions, but rather of those who profess his name. This idea should get everyone who does profess his name to evaluate themselves and make sure that they do not fall under this category of lawlessness who the Messiah will say, “depart from me” in the end of days, which is a very scary idea.

Every single one of us, who profess to follow the Torah, has the duty to ourselves to test and make sure that we really are following the Torah. Many people claim to do so, but there actions make it very clear that they do not.

The message of the Torah is a life of selflessness and loving the Almighty and one another. Every single command in the Torah teaches us how to love. We cannot rely on our own understanding of love, but must do as the Torah teaches us, which is the instruction for true love. The Torah teaches us not to murder, steal, commit adultery, curse or harm our parents etc which are all destructive and it also teaches us to respect our fellow humans. But do we really do this? Or do we only do this when it suites us to do it? The Torah requires it all the time.

Being a Torah follower, we are supposed to be a light to the world and live by example. If we do not, then how can the non-believers ever see anything good that might convince them to seek something better? If we look like and do what the world does and looks like, then there is no difference and there cannot be any good in the world, and as such, we are not following the instructions of the Almighty.

Let us look at a few examples of things that are not always thought of as transgressions of the Torah, but are clear transgressions.

Do not steal, which is one of the Ten Commandments, but do you really keep this commandment? Now we really have to start being honest with ourselves as we are not going to answer to one another, but rather to the Almighty who knows what you have done or not.

Do you have DVD’s that are not originals, or movies that have been downloaded or copied but have copyright protection? If so, then you are a thief and have transgressed the Torah.

Do you have music that you have not bought, including MP3’s and copies that are protected by copyright laws etc? And do you freely share any copyrighted music with your friends? If so, then you are a thief. (this does not include any freeware music which is perfectly fine to give out).

Do you have any software (which is not freeware) installed on your computer that you use that has not been bought, or for which you do not have a working license for? If so, then you are stealing.

One might justify that the authors and owners of the software, music and movies are all rich and that the few things that you have does not make any difference to these people, or some other similar excuse. But is that what you are going to say to the Almighty when you stand in front of Him and He asks you why you broke the Commandment of, “do not steal?” Will your excuse be acceptable to the Almighty?

If we do such things, then we are supporting theft and are not living as an example to the nations. If we support criminal activities, then we are no different to the world and, in fact, contribute to the destruction that is caused by stealing.

This is a very wide field and can be applied in all situations of our lives. I am going to use a few examples that should stimulate your thought process and understanding in other situations too.

Do you obey the rules of the road as set by your local government? If not, then you are transgressing the Torah. Let me explain further. The rules of the road were set in place to protect the people and keep them as safe as possible. If everyone on the roads kept to all the rules of the road, then it would almost totally prevent any deaths and losses on the roads, but this is unfortunately not the case and many thousands of lives are lost annually because of people not obeying the rules of the road. Are you contributing to this destruction or are you being an example of righteousness?

Do you keep to the speed limits of the roads? If not, then you do not respect any of the other people around you as you are creating a dangerous situation for them that could result in damages and even loss of life.

Do you quickly speed around another car that is keeping to the speed limit just to gain one cars position and get to your destination a fraction quicker? If so, then you are stealing… you are breaking the law and causing the person who you pushed in front of to lose money in the form of using more petrol, waiting for you, and also wear and tear such as break pads from having to break harder for you. It is a very selfish and destructive action. You are supposed to be an example to the world and keep to the laws of the land.

Do you stop at a stop street and at the traffic light as required (even if there are no other cars around), or do you just slow down at the stop street or quickly jump over a traffic light that has just turned red when you could have stopped? If so, then you are transgressing the Torah and putting lives in danger and even stealing from others. I have found that the person who does not intend to stop at a stop sign but rather just slow down, approaches it at a high speed usually jumps in front of the law abiding citizen who does stop and causes loss of petrol, and might even cause an accident in the process, just so that you can jump in front of one car and be king of the road. This is a clear violation of the Torah.

Here are some other examples of ways people transgress the Torah.

Do you smoke? If so, then you are transgressing the Torah. I am speaking more along the lines of smoking in public or around other people, but not limited to that alone. All people are allergic to smoke as it always has a negative effect on your body. Second hand smoke is destructive and is known to kill non-smokers too. If you smoke in front of anyone else, you are causing harm to that person and could even contribute to the death of that person and even yourself.

Are you honest concerning paying your taxes? If not, then you are transgressing the Torah by lying and stealing.

Do you pay your employees of time? If not, then you are transgressing the Torah.

I could mention many more things, but think that you get the idea and can reason within yourself what other activities are not acceptable to the Almighty.

We are to be a light to the world and live by example in righteousness. We are to love one another and not take away from each other. We are to put others before ourselves and not be selfish.

If we cannot submit to local authorities, whom the Almighty has put above us, then how can we submit to the ultimate authority who is YHWH the Almighty.

So are you one of those who do many mighty works in the name of the Messiah, but yet live a lawless life by transgressing the Torah? This is something you need to ask yourself and be honest about too.

May we all submit to the Torah and all that it commands so that we all learn to love each other with the love of the Almighty.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nehemia Gordon and the Name of Yehovah

We are living in the information age, with the internet giving the opportunity to anyone and everyone who desires, to post whatever information they want to, whether it be written articles, audio teachings or even video teachings. The problem that arises, is that many people post so many 'things' on the internet that are not factual,things which are even downright lies and falsehood. There is not really any control over this, this situation is beyond control. Also, many people, who call themselves scholars, have the opportunity to teach their own personal doctrines, topics and opinions,as if the absolute truth, and that without any restraint at all. Two such people who have taken advantage of the wide audience of the internet is Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson who claim to teach the only correct pronunciation of the Name of the Almighty, even make lots of money by doing so.

This article has been written to test the so called “proofs” of Nehemia and Keith, and see if it is in fact true or not (factual or opinionated). This article is in no way an attack on Nehemia or Keith and I certainly do not want to speak any bad things about them. It is written purely to bring the truth to the light and to hopefully encourage others to test everything that they hear, no matter who they hear it from. This article is also not intended to diminish anyone’s faith and I am certainly not trying to make anyone believe what they do not wish to believe. Everyone has a right to do and believe whatever they want to. All I will be doing is to provide evidence and facts on this topic, and then it is up to the reader to do with it whatever they like.

The topic of this article is to see whether the pronunciation of the Name of the Almighty is “Yehovah,” as Nehemia and Keith proclaim it is, or not. Keith Johnson has written a book trying to “prove” or justify this pronunciation and the book is endorsed by Nehemia who taught Keith that the Name if pronounced is “Yehovah.” Both Keith and Nehemia influence thousands of people by touring the world and speaking, through their books and even through internet radio and other forms of communication, and try to convince them all that this is the only correct pronunciation and that the other people are all wrong. They do this, all while making a lot of money in the process. That is why I am writing this article, to give an objective look at their theory for other people to see the whole truth and not just a snippet taken out of context, which Nehemia has done as we will see below.

Now, to get to the explanations…

While listening to a recording that Nehemia and Keith did on an internet radio station, called Truth2u with Jono Vandor, about the Torah portion, “Beshalach – Exodus 13:17-17:16”. Nehemia explained in short why he teaches that the Name is to be pronounced as “Yehovah.” His explanation might sound clever and impressive to anyone who does not know any Hebrew grammar rules. But to anyone who has a good understanding of the Hebrew grammar rules, will see that Nehemia contradicted himself and actually rendered his theory to be false, as will be explained in detail below.

I am attaching a short MP3 file of Nehemia explaining it, for you to listen to it and analyze it for yourself. (It is attached below). I will be analyzing what Nehemia says and compare it according to the facts and grammar rules to see if he is telling the truth or not. I suggest that you listen to the audio MP3 (less than 3 min) before you carry on reading this article. Then after reading the rest of this article, you can listen to it as many times as you want and compare it to the facts for yourself.

(Listen to audio below before you carry on reading).

In order to download the MP3, right click the play button and then choose the first option, "download document".

Okay, now let us break it down and tackle what Nehemia said piece by piece. I have transcribed the audio to text and will now analize it piece by piece. I am also going to color code it for ease of reading and understanding. Keith’s words will be the color of  green, Nehemia’s words will be in the color of blue and the reply will be in the color of red.

Keith: The second issue I want to bring up, is for all of my brothers and sisters out there that say, “well now Keith, you should change your pronunciation. Here it clearly says, Nehemia Gordon, the great Hebrew scholar, just said, the way you pronounce this two letter name, is what Nehemia… how do you pronounce it?

Reply: Here Keith admits that many people have challenged him about the Name of the Almighty. He also sees Nehemia Gordon as “Great” Hebrew scholar. The fact of the matter is that Nehemia is more than competent in the Hebrew language, but there are many people who are far more advanced in the knowledge of the Hebrew language than Nehemia is.

Nehemia: Yah

Reply: Regarding the name, “Yah” one does not need a Hebrew expert to know that it is written and spelled as Yah and cannot be anything else. There is absolutely no dispute about this word at all.

Keith: Yah, so that’s why we should call Him Yahweh. And I am not going to move from this until you can help us understand, Nehemia, What is this YAH…

Nehemia: … Well, I mean, so look, the poetic form, if you can call it that, of the name Jacob in some languages is James. Does that mean…..

Reply: I do not want to argue this statement too much, but James is not a poetic form of Jacob. It is merely a result of the confusion of a language (English) which is made up of mixed multitude of other languages. This often results in many words, often totally different from one another, having the same or similar meaning. This is what has happened with James and Jacob… the one is not a poetic form of the other.

Nehemia: Lets take the example of Michael (which in Hebrew is Micha’el, where the English name is Michael), but what’s the nickname for Michael, Its Mickey. Does that mean that really… lets say that I didn’t have the vowels of the word Michael but I knew it was Mickey, would I then call him Michal? I guess I would call him Michal, Michi’el.

Reply: Here Nehemia did not say anything that has anything to do with his case. Theoretically, the statement he just made is more proof of the opposite of what he is trying to teach. But this is not where the problem is. We will see, when we get to the Hebrew grammar, where Nehemia makes his errors.

Nehemia: So that’s the type of logic that they’re implying when they say that YAH as the poetic form, therefore, it means that the full form is Yahweh, um, I mean there’s absolutely no connection there.

Reply: Firstly, I am not saying that the pronunciation of, “Yahweh” is perfectly correct. This article is about testing the pronunciation of Yehovah. So I am not going to get into why Yahweh is not perfectly correct.

To say that “Yah” has absolutely no connection to the pronunciation of the Name of the Almighty is not true at all. We will see this below when we get into the grammar rules.

Nehemia: Its, uh, you know, YAH… and actually the significance of YAH is that it almost always appears at the end of a word, like HalleluYAH. That’s the form you will normally find.

And even in Ex 15:2 (
g¡I Z¡X¥N¦F¥E I¦i¡R – Ozi v’zimrat Yah) and that word Yah is attached toward zimrat which is called smuchut, or the construct case. Its attached to the previous word.

Reply: The question is, is the short form of the Name of the Almighty, “Yah” (spelled yud hey) ever pronounced differently when it is not attached to another word? No it is not, it does not ever have to be attached toward another word for it to be pronounced as Yah. (Ex 15:2; 17:16; Ps 68:4 & 18; 76:11; 89:8;)

Nehemia: And that’s very similar to what we would find when we have, “Yud hey vav”, the three letters of the full name in a larger name, as a compound name, for example, Isaiah, is YeshaYAHU, Elijah is, EliYAHU. So we always have YAHU, which is exactly what we find with YAH, the poetic form.

Reply: The Hebrew grammar rule teaches us that, in a “compound” word (as Nehemia calls it) the suffix (end part of the word) ALWAYS keeps its original form and pronunciation of the word it is using as the suffix, where the prefix (beginning of the word) ALWAYS shortens its syllables whenever possible. Nehemia and Keith so conveniently “forget” to quote the whole grammar rule and only part of it to try and justify their theories.
Nehemia: Now here’s the thing, whenever Yud Hey Vav appears at the beginning of a word its never YAHU, or YAH, its always Yeho, Yehoshua, Yehonatan, Yehonadav.

Reply: Remember that what the Hebrew grammar rule says, the prefix (beginning) always shortens its original syllables whenever possible. Let us look at a simple example. (Please note that this is also true according to ALL Hebrew grammar books. You can look it up for yourself)

Lets use the “Compound” name of Yehonatan (which is Jonathan in the English). It is constructed by joining two words together. The two words are Yahu (from the Name of the Almighty) + natan (give)

Yahu + natan = Yehonathan

Now lets join these two words together but in the opposite order, namely, natan + Yahu. If we do so, then we get the following:

Natan + Yahu = Netanyahu (Nethaniah in the KJV)
Notice how 'natan' shortened its 'vowels' and became 'netan' when used as a prefix.

(found in 2 Kings 25:23, 2 Kings 25:25, 1 Chr 25:2, 1 Chr 25:12, 2 Chr 17:8, Jer 36:14, Jer 40:8, Jer 40:14-15 (2), Jer 41:1-2 (2), Jer 41:6-7 (2), Jer 41:9-12 (4), Jer 41:15-16 (2), Jer 41:18)

As you can see, according to the Hebrew grammar rule, the suffix (end of the compound word) always keeps its original form and pronunciation of the word used for the prefix and that the prefix (beginning part) always shortens its syllables whenever possible.

Let us look at another example quick:

Yasha (to save, be saved, be delivered) + Yahu (from the Name of the Almighty) = Yeshayahu (Isaiah in the KJV)

Notice once again that the prefix shortened its syllable and that the suffix keeps its original pronunciation.

So if the prefix shortens and the suffix keeps its original form and pronunciation, then …yahu at the end of a word is the original form and pronunciation of the Name of the Almighty.

Nehemia: Now here’s the question you have to ask, In the Father’s Name (yud hey vav hey) are those three letters at the beginning of the Name, like in Yehoshua, Yehonatan, Yehonadav, Yehochanan, etc. Or are they at the end of the Name, like in, YeshaYAHU, EliYAHU etc. Obviously they’re at the beginning of the Name.

Reply: This is Nehemia’s explanation on why the Name must be “Yehovah”. As you can see by the above Hebrew grammar rules concerning “compound” words (two words joined to create one word/name), that the Name of the Almighty cannot be Yehovah as Nehemia professes to be true (the Almighty's Name is not a compound word). Now ask yourself, is Nehemia ignorant concerning Hebrew grammar, or is he purposely hiding this rule from you in order to promote his theory (which would be an outright lie)? (Remember that the Almighty's Name is not a compound word).

Once again, the Hebrew grammar rule proves that the original form of yud hey vav, the three letters of the Name of the Almighty, is Yahu and NOT Yeho

But it does not end here, there are a couple more problems with the pronunciation of Yehovah and also with what Nehemia said about it. He really does like to contradict himself a lot, which is the result of not standing by the truth.

Now, Nehemiah said above, that because the three letters, yud hey vav, are at the beginning of the Name, like that of Yehoshua, Yehonatan, Yehonadav etc. proves that it must be pronounced as Yehovah. But there is a very obvious problem with his statement. All the other names that Nehemia compared it to are all “compound names” (as Nehemia called them). The question you need to ask is, is Yud hey vav hey (the full Name of the Almighty) a “compound word”? And if it is, then from what word does the final “hey” come from and what is its meaning?

The fact of the matter is that the Name of the Almighty is NOT a “compound” word comprised of two or more words (as I mentioned above). Therefore, the grammar rule that Nehemia twists to try justify his pronunciation does not and cannot apply to the Name of the Almighty.

Now let us look at another Hebrew grammar rule that does not apply to “compound” words. In Hebrew, the general rule is that the accent falls on the final syllable. The syllable that is accented always keeps its original form and so does the syllable that directly precedes the accented syllable. So, the general rule is that the last two syllables of a word keep their original form (when the accent falls on the final syllable).

In Nehemia’s pronunciation of Yehovah, the accent falls on the final syllable. That means that the last two syllables must keep its original form. This is NOT the case in the pronunciation of Yehovah. Once again, it has failed to meet the Hebrew grammar rules.

Let us look at such an example of a similar type of word and see what the result is.

The Name Y’hudah is a “compound” word which is a combination of the two words, Yahu and yadah. Leah named her son Y’hudah because she, “gratefully praised YHVH” (Gen 29:35).

The accent falls on the last syllable of the name of Y’hudah. That means that the final syllable retains its original form and so does the syllable directly before it. That is why the name is Y’hUdah and not Y’hodah.

Now we have to apply this grammar rule to the Name of the Almighty too. If the accent falls on the final syllable, then the syllable directly before it has to keep its original form as it does in Y’hudah. Therefore, if Nehemia is correct, then the Name should be Yehuvah and cannot be Yehovah.

So once again we have proved the pronunciation of Yehovah to be false.
But we can even go a step further. And this is a clincher.

Nehemia outrightly admitted that the first three letters of the Name of the Almighty, when in the beginning of a word, is “Yeho...” Now if this is the case, all we are left with is the single letter, “hey”. Now the question that you have to ask yourself, once again, is, “is it ever possible to get the pronunciation of “…vah” from a single hey?”

The fact of the matter is that it is never possible and that what Nehemia teaches is false and has been proven to be a lie.

We once again need to ask ourselves the question, is Nehemia Gordon ignorant of these Hebrew grammar rules? Or is he outrightly lying to thousands, if not millions, of people? If he is lying, what is his reason for doing so?

The problem that Nehemia has gotten himself into is that his only audience, and the only people who buy his books and support him are the Christians and Messy-anics. Nehemia does not have any Hebrew following at all. For that reason, he is seen as a leader and makes a very pretty penny on the book sales and support from such people.

After realizing how Nehemia so blatantly lies about such an important topic, how then can he be trusted with anything else? Yes, many of the things that Nehemia teaches is truth, but the problem is that he mixes a lot of falsehood in-between. Everyone has the duty to test everything that they hear.

Every time that I have asked Nehemia about all this, He simply ignores me and has even deleted me as a friend on Facebook. If someone makes such a declaration, like he does, then is it not fair to give explanations and answer questions? Maybe he is unable to answer them without contradicting himself?

I posted a comment on the website where this teaching of Nehemia comes from. Jono Vandor, the owner of the website, has still not moderated my comment for others to see. It seems as if Jono is very biased and does not like anyone to speak against the doctrines of Nehemia, even if he speaks falsehood.

The comment I left was on 27 Jan 2012 and Jono has still not approved it as a comment.

I will post that comment in the comments section below for you to read for yourself.

May the Almighty open all our eyes to the truth of His Word.