Sunday, July 17, 2011

Whats New With Our Family

I haven't written in a REALLY long time and I apologize for that. Life has just been so busy. I dealt with about sixteen weeks of nausea and now that has finally subsided and only occurs once in awhile. We found out last week that we are expecting a little girl. Nathan is SO excited to be getting a sister. He said he prayed for one :) My little guy is happy about it being a girl to and of course mommy and daddy are thrilled as well. We continue to pray for her health and well-being until delivery and for my health and well being until then as well. Having had two previous csections causes me to pray even more often and more diligently for my uterus to become stronger and hold up well during labor and delivery as well as my scar, etc. I am traveling over an hour away to a see a group of midwives (and their Dr) who are willing to let me try for a VBAC. If I need to have a csection then I am willing to do that but if I can try for a VBAC I would prefer that as each major surgery does not come without risks. My due date is December 12, so we shall see when this little girl arrives.

In the meantime my hubby has enrolled at our local community college for classes this Fall. He will be studying Computer Repair Technology and hopefully he can find a decent paying job in that field when he graduates. He is currently receiving unemployment since losing his job in March. He has filled out several applications trying to get a part-time job but so far not one place has called him back. As long as we are in our foreclosed home we can squeeze by with only his unemployment check but once we are told we have to leave or we find a rental before then.. he will need to have a part-time job in order to be able to pay rent. We are trusting that God knows exactly what job to give him and when to give it to him.

On the rental situation that has been discouraging. Trying to find something within our budget, with enough bedrooms in a safe area has been a huge challenge. Then when we have found rentals that are in our price range once we tell the landlord our income he immediately is not interested in renting to us thinking we wont be able to pay him. Wish I could explain to them just how frugal our family is and just how efficient we are at managing with a very low income. Once again, I have to trust that Abba has just the right place for us and He knows when to give it to us. Its been a HUGE walk of faith these past few weeks. But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. When HE is all I have to rely on that is when my faith and hope grow stronger. When I am weak, then HE is strong!

We continue to walk down a path filled with uncertainty but we know that He knows every step of that walk and will carry us through each step of the way!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Genetically Modified Foods

Have you ever heard the term genetically modified food? Or GMO? Well if you pick up a processed food item at your grocery store, you will most likely be eating a genetically modified food (GM) food. That's because over 70% of processed foods contain GM ingredients.

What is genetic engineering? Back in the mid-1970's, scientists discovered that they could transfer genes from one species to another. This was an unprecedented breakthrough in technology. Of course through normal sexual reproduction, parents contribute thousands of genes to their children. Genetic engineers however, force a gene (known as a transgene) into the DNA of organisms that could never acquire it naturally. They break the species barrier by creating completely new organisms. Genetic engineering began so that scientists could implant specific traits into different species, creating crops resistant to pesticides and diseases, foods that can deliver vaccines, and livestock that have more omega-3 fats or other nutritional attributes, among many others. What makes this frightening is that scientists are manipulating animal and plant DNA to create abnormal life forms reminiscent of Frankentstein. For example, they inserted spider genes into goat DNA so that they could milk the goat for spider web protein to use in bullet proof vests. Jellyfish genes have lit up pigs' noses in the dark and Arctic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost. Human genes are also being manipulated. Amazingly, pharmaceutical companies have inserted human genes into bacteria, turning them into living factories to produce drugs. Innovative technological creations? Yes. Things that are safe to introduce into the human food chain and environment? Probably not!

The following statistics are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service in 2006 (that was 5 yrs ago):

89% of the soybeans planted in the US were GM varieties
83% of the cotton planted was GM
61% of the corn was GM

Unlike in Europe where processed GM foods must be labeled if any ingredient includes 0.9% of genetically modified organisms (GMO) or more, here in the US, GM foods are not labeled.

Out of the four major GM food crops currently being produced (soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton), along with the smaller GM crops (zucchini, crookneck, squash, papaya, alfalfa, and tobacco), nearly three-fourths have been engineered to survive applications of a specific herbicide, and nearly one-fifth of them are designed to produce their own pesticide! Further, more than one out of ten GM crops can do both! These products are highly contaminated.

The process of genetic modification easily results in thousands of mutations. Some risks from GM products containing mutations are as follows:

- Causing overproduction of toxins, allergens, carcinogens, or antinutrients
- Reducing nutritional quality of the crop
- Changing the way that the plant interacts with its environment

And because of our limited understanding of DNA, no one knows what the additional consequences to human health and the environment will be. What is extremely important to understand about GM foods is that neither the FDA, nor any other regulatory agency, is monitoring the potential consequences of these creations. They do not require extensive evaluation of the mutations, despite the fact that the few studies that have analyzed GM crops already on the market reveal significant problems, including:

- Containing scrambled DNA, incomplete genes, or multiple fragments of the inserted
- Gene fragments in GM corn that were suppose to be in a different GM crop
- Significant nutritional differences between GM and non-GM crops

The testing done in animals have had horrible results changing their blood, liver and kidneys and even reporting black patches in both the intestines and liver of some animals, as well as enlarged bile ducts. The only human feeding study ever published showed soybeans, that had been genetically modified to make them herbicide-tolerant, spontaneously transferred out of food and into the DNA of human gut bacteria! This means long after we have given up eating GM soy, which is widely available on the market, the bacteria inside our intestines may produce the herbicide-tolerant protein inside of us!

GM corn and most GM crops are also inserted with antibiotic resistant genes. The American Medical Association, the World Health Organization (WHO), and organizations worldwide have expressed concern about the possibility that these might transfer to disease producing bacteria inside your gut, creating new, antibiotic-resistant super-diseases.

There are so many potential problems resulting from GM foods. Even rats fed GM potatoes for 10 days had horrible results. They had smaller brains, livers and testicles. White blood cells responded to a challenge more slowly, indicating immune system damage. Organs related to the immune system, including the thymus and the spleen, showed adverse changes. And the animals had enlarged pancreases and intestines and partial atrophy of the liver! Do you want to be eating stuff that causes this?!?!

We should do our best to purchase whole foods such as fruit, veggies and meats. However in the instance that you need to purchase processed food make sure you read the label for corn or soy. If a product is not organic and contains either one of these or its derivitives than it most likely contains GM organisms and should be avoided at all costs. The only GM free processed foods most times are organic. Just being aware is half the battle. Let's strive to eat real foods the way God made them and in doing that preserve our health and that of our future generations.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fluoride - The Real Truth

Fluoride is something I have been suspicious of since I was a young teen and interested in health. I was told that fluoride was necessary to prevent dental decay but I was not convinced. Several years ago after reading and research we decided to purchase a water filter which would remove the fluoride from our drinking water. And just a little over a year ago we got rid of the fluoride toothpaste and switched to toothpaste that had xylitol (something I have found very beneficial in preventing cavities!). And the last two times my children went to the dentist and had a fluoride treatment they were sick with a horrible cold or a stomach virus within 24-48 hours. After realizing the connection I became very opposed to this drug!

I would like to share with you some things I have read from Dr Mercola's research concerning this drug that is put in our water without our consent. Imagine a drug prescribed to the entire U.S. population with no consent, no way to track dosage or the individual's reaction or vulnerability to the drug. It sounds insane, but that is exactly what is happening in the United States with water fluoridation.

Fluoride has been added to the U.S. water supply for over fifty years in order to "prevent dental decay". Not only is this practice unsafe, but it is also ineffective. Data compiled by the World Health Organization shows absolutely no difference in tooth decay in countries that use fluoridated water compared with countries that don't use fluoridated water. Several studies have found that tooth decay rates do not increase when water fluoridation is stopped, and in some cases, the rates even decrease! The dental community now nearly uniformly believes that fluoride's benefits result from topical application, no when it is swallowed. Despite the dental community's belief and fluoride's apparent ineffectiveness, it continues to be used in the United States, but not without consequences. The fluoride that you ingest from the water supply and from the number of other sources such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, processed foods, some vitamin tablets, and beverages like fruit juice, soda, and tea is associated with a number of negative health effects. Lets look at some of them.

- Accumulates in your bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured
- Accumulates in your pineal gland, which may inhibit the production of the hormone
melatonin, which helps regulate the onset of puberty.
- Damages tooth enamel and may lower fertility rates.
- Has been found to increase the uptake of heavy metals such as aluminum and lead
into the brain and bloodstream.
- Depresses your immune system by inhibiting antibodies from forming in the blood.
- Confuses your immune system, causing it to attack the body's tissues. This can
increase the growth rate of tumors in people prone to cancer.

Noting these and other health risks and the obvious ethical issue of medicating an entire population without their consent, many European countries have banned water fluoridation. To put it simply, fluoride is not the beneficial additive that is purported to be. This is why, if you look on a tube of fluoride toothpaste, you will see a warning label. There is enough fluoride in a typical tube of toothpaste to kill two small children if they consumed the entire tube all at once. Clearly not something that you want to be ingesting regularly!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Being A Mother and Keeper at Home Means To Me

Its been awhile once again since I have posted. I have been dealing with motherhood in a very real way.. morning sickness! Well actually thats not a very accurate word in my humble opinion. I would call it all day and night sickness. Thankfully I will be 12 weeks on Monday and constant nausea and horrible feeling should be starting to wind down very soon. I have tried not to complain too much as I am just grateful that Yahweh has blessed us with another child and that He has sustained him/her in my womb during this time. I know there are many others out there who would do anything to have all day sickness. I am truly blessed and praise Yahweh for the fruitful womb that He gave me.

This time of sickness has caused me to really reflect on what being a mother and a keeper at home means to me. When I am pregnant I notice right away how easy it is to give up junk foods or things that would not be the best nutrition for my body. I am willing to sacrifice anything in the world for my baby. Obviously being sick for days and nights on end for months WILLINGLY is another thing that being a mother means to me.

I am amazed that Yahweh has decided to bless me with the privilege of motherhood. Motherhood has taught me alot about unconditional love and self-less living. My time is no longer my own and I am on call 24/7. I am responsible for nurturing these blessings. Through my love they can see the love of their Abba Father. This is a huge responsibility and something that I often fail at. I ask Yahweh every day to help me be His hands and feet on this earth to my children. I have learned that giving my time to my children is more important than an empty kitchen sink before I go to bed. I have learned that a kiss from mommy on any boo-boo is magical. I have learned that being a mother is not about what can I GAIN, but about what I can GIVE.

Being a mother means that I get to train my children up in the fear and admonition of Yahweh. I get to talk with them about Him when they sit down, when they walk beside me, when they rise up and when they go to bed. I have the privilege of educating them in academics at home and in doing that it allows me to make Yahweh part of their teaching every single moment. Home educating my children has been a lesson in patience, meekness, self-control and love. I thought I would teach my children tons of things, but turns out they have taught me way more! I would never be the mother I am today without the opportunity to home educate them. I am grateful for that and for my husband's complete support in raising our children at home.

I wouldn't trade being a keeper at home for anything in the world! I was the first to see them walk and talk. I was the first one to comfort them when they got their first boo-boo. I was the one to teach them their ABC's and teach them who Yahweh is and how special they are to Him. I was the one who was able to sit on the couch with my son and teach him to read. One letter, one sentence and then one page at a time. I was there to listen to him share his thoughts, his dreams and his imagination. I was there to build blocks and read book after book after book. No, I didn't get to go to the gym every day. I made due with one car many times. I didn't have new clothes. I couldn't get a manicure or a pedicure. I couldn't get a massage when I was stressed out or head to the local spa to pamper myself on a rough day. I couldn't go out to eat much and had to learn to plan meals and cook from scratch. I didn't get to go to a job where I was recognized by the boss, given pay raises and made to feel important. But you know what? I dont regret anything! I wouldn't want to trade being a keeper at home for all the money, comfort and recognition in this world. I am happy to hear "I love you mommy!" from my children. I am happy to tuck them into bed each night and greet them when they wake up each morning. I am happy to discover the world right along with them.

One day they will be all grown up and I wont be able to tuck them in bed anymore or greet them when they wake up. They wont be sitting on my lap letting me read them books. I wont be kissing their boo-boos or teaching them how to read. I will hopefully be watching them grow up to be men who fear Yahweh and raise strong families for Him. Watching them support their wives in being keepers at home. That is my prayer. A life of sacrifices but with no regrets! Thats what being a mother means to me!

Titus 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Life of Surrender, Faith and Trust

These past few months have been quite on a journey on many levels. I have studied the Bible more than I ever have in my entire life. I have re-evaluated my beliefs based on what I had been taught versus what the Bible says. I have learned alot and of course have alot more to learn. I will never arrive.

At the end of March my husband called me from work one morning and said some things a wife never wants to hear, "Honey, I got fired and I am on my way home". Amazingly enough God had prepared my heart and mind for something like this and I was not filled with fear or panic at all. It was a miracle. Hubby came home from work and filed for unemployment, fully prepared for his company to fight it. It has been a miracle but they have not fought the unemployment at all! Yes the money he makes now is like $800 less a month than what he was making before, but because we are in foreclosure we do not have a housing payment (until we are kicked out) and so that has actually been a blessing in disguise.

Andrew has applied for school at HACC and is looking into getting a certificate in Computer Repair Technology. He wants to have more employment options than just warehouse jobs. His placement test is this Friday to see what classes he will have to take in order to begin. We are taking it one day at a time. The program will take two years to complete if he does it full time and during the summers. However, I am sure we will get the notice to leave this property before two years are up. We have already gone a year without a notice and the average time we were told was 12-18 months. Once we get that notice we of course will have to move somewhere that has a rental fee which means he wont be able to do school anymore.. or at least not more than one class a semester. So we are relying on God to lead us wherever He chooses. We are very open to moving out of the area and even out of the state. We are seriously considering a very big move and if God opens the doors, we will follow.

About a week after he was fired we found out that I was expecting blessing #3! I guess some people would be worried and wonder what they were going to do, but once again God gave me a peace that passes all understanding and I was not worried at all. Where God guides, He provides. I trust that He will provide for this little one's every need and our family as well. Of course medical insurance ended for us on April 1st and this is something much needed for a pregnant mama. I applied for medical assistance and just heard from them on Friday that I was approved. So once again, God has provided for our every need. God has also provided us with so many new friends who have not only prayed for us, but have put love into action and given us money to help with the little things that have come along. We have never seen such love in action from other brothers and sisters and it has renewed our faith and encouraged us to know that there are genuine Believers out there.

We are not sure where the path that God has for us will lead us but we are willing to follow wherever that leads to. We have learned alot about faith and surrender in these past few months and we have learned what trusting in God really looks like. Its been quite the journey and I look forward to what the rest of the journey has in store for us. I have learned so many life lessons and I am so grateful that God has used these circumstances to mold my character. I look forward to Him molding me more and more into His image. He is the Potter and I am the clay.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Sabbath Rest

Its been awhile since I have posted on this blog so I thought I would write a little to share what the past few weeks have been like. We were blessed with an opportunity to travel to KY to visit some dear friends and their sabbath keeping fellowship. It was a wonderful and encouraging time. I learned so much in visiting them. After a few days in KY we headed down to Jackson, TN where we once again were blessed with a family who paid our way to the Passover event there. It was an AWESOME experience! I can't even put into words what its like to observe the feasts that Jesus Himself observed! Its incredible! The Bible came alive for us. And the Passover is not just some little historical event.. its a remembrance of the Messiah who was the PERFECT Lamb! He gave His life so that we might live! The Passover was followed by a week of Unleavened Bread and I have to admit that being pregnant and nauseated that was a challenge. However, getting rid of sin in our lives is never easy and we must constantly die to self and deny ourselves. This was a wonderful lesson to me. Also we ate unleavened bread each day as a symbol of taking in more of the Messiah each day. Once we accept Him as our Passover Lamb, then we seek to rid the sin our of our life and seek to take in more of Him. We are now counting the days till Pentecost which will be celebrated on June 12. What an awesome year this has been so far. We feel so blessed.

Tonight was another Sabbath, another reminder that one day we will rest for eternity! I cannot wait for that day! We blessed the bread and the juice tonight and prayed together as a family. Daddy played the guitar and we sang one of my favorite songs, Days of Elijah! My favorite part, "Behold He comes! Riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call. So lift your voice, its the year of Jubilee. Out of Zion's hill Salvation comes!" I am so excited that He is coming back again! He is coming to SAVE us! What a day that will be! I love how Yahweh shows us how to rehearse for His rest in the millennial kingdom! He instituted a seventh day rest every week! I look so forward to that. And He even told us to rest our land in the seventh year! Woven through the pages of scripture are object lessons for us to do that have a spiritual application as well. That is what Sabbath and His feasts are all about! Its incredible!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread (ULB) is the second spring festival beginning in the fifteenth month of Nisan (Lev 23:6; Ex 12:15-17). When the Isrealites fled from Egypt they took the dough before it had time to leaven. On the next day when they baked it, it was unleavened bread. The fermenting nature of leaven is commonly used as a metaphor for sin. In remembrance of this event, Yahweh commanded His people to eat only pure, unleavened bread for seven days every year.

During this week long feast, nothing with leaven in it may be eaten. Leaven is removed from all houses before the Passover feast. Abstaining from unleavened bread for seven days is symbolic of Yahweh's people separating themselves from sin and becoming a holy (set-apart) people and experiencing a holy walk with Yahweh.

Spring cleaning has its roots in the Passover preparation. Thirty days before the festival, the women of every household began removing all leaven from their homes. According to Lev 13:7, as long as leaven remains in the house one cannot celebrate Passover. It is a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. If one does not examine their hearts and life for sin and come before Yahweh with a pure heart, then that person cannot celebrate Passover. (1 Cor 5:7-8)

The matzah is a wonderful reminder of the Messiah. The bread with without leaven (sin), striped, pierced and bruised. He was wounded and bruised for our sins. The feast of ULB speaks of sanctification. The Messiah was set apart. His body would not decay in the grave.

The unleavened bread is also a visual lesson instructing us how Yahweh wants us to change through Yahshua (Jesus). When we accept Yahshua as the Passover Lamb who died for our sins, our position before Yahweh changes to sinless (without leaven) because Yahshua took on our sins. We are righteous through Yahshua. As believers in Christ we are to put off the sin nature within us. (Eph 4:22-24)

The symbolism in the feast of ULB is incredible. The Israelites fed on bread without leaven (sin) and believers on Yahshua, the Word, without sin. Unleavened bread is used for consecration and separation and believers in Christ are to be consecrated and separated to live a holy life.

To me these spring feasts represent the process of salvation and sanctification in a believers life. First we accept the Messiah as our Passover Lamb and His blood gets put on the door posts of our heart. Then we seek to turn from our sinful ways and purge the junk out of our lives, this is ULB. And finally we then begin to really study Yahweh's Word and we start in the beginning which is the Torah. From there we seek obey Him by observing all He has written for us (this is Pentecost). I will explain more about the feast of Pentecost in another blog post. But for now I just wanted to show how the spring feasts from Passover to Pentecost show the journey of a Believer's life.

My family and I are so eager to celebrate these feasts this year. What an awesome way to make the Bible come alive and to even further understand the road map that Yahweh has laid out for His children to become set apart for Him!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Yahweh (God) has given us seven annual feasts, or festivals on which to worship and honor Him. By observing them according to His Word, we can understand His ultimate plan for humanity. Leviticus 23 lists all of Yahweh's commanded festivals in order.

The very first festival is called Passover. It comes from the word "Pesach" which in Hebrew means, "passing over" or "protection". Passover, which falls in early spring in the Holy Land, is a reminder of how Yahweh took the lives of all the firstborn Egyptian males (Ex 12:7, 26-29) but passed over the Israelites' homes because they had placed the blood of a sacrificed lamb on their doorposts. The blood of the lamb foreshadowed the sacrifice of Yahshua (Jesus), which spares mankind from eternal death. In the New Testament, Believers come to understand that Yahshua is the true Passover Lamb (compare Ex 12:21 with 1 Cor 5:7). Yahshua was sacrificed on Passover.

It cannot be overemphasized as to how foundational Passover is in Yahweh's redemption plan. It is on the 14th day of the month of Nisan. Only Nisan can be the first month in Yahweh's calendar. Though other cycles and other aspects of life in Yahweh are important, it is the sacrifice of the Lamb that gives it all meaning. Except for the sacrifice of Passover and the blood on the doorposts, all Israel would have suffered the same fate as the Egyptians. The promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would have then become void. With no Passover sacrifice and with no blood on the doorposts, then no Torah could have been given and no other celebrations would have followed. We would have no hope and remain dead in our sins; however, the command was obeyed and deliverance was accomplished. Indeed, for us, this is most certainly the first of all the months, the first month of the year. This is the real beginning of all spiritual life.

Yahweh instructs parents on this special night of the year, to pass down His story of the Exodus from Egpyt. This night not only looks back on the miraculous story of Yahweh delivering His people, but it also presents the promise of Messiah's death and resurrection. It is an exciting experience centering on a mixture of ritual foods. The matzah (representing Yahshua's sinless body), bitter herbs (representing the bitterness of bondage), wine (representing His blood) and other things provide a lasting link through the march of history.

Scriptures through the Bible on Passover being remembered:
Numbers 9, Deut 16, Joshua 5:10-11, Ezra 6:19-20, 2 Chron 30-32, 2 Kings 23, 2 Chron 35, Ezekiel 45:21-24, Luke 2:41-52, Matthew 21 -28, 1 Cor 5:7 and Acts 12:3

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Savior

I would like to share something that my Abba Father has so lovingly shown me.. I am humbled, I am full of gratitude and love....

I am standing at the foot of the cross and as I look up I see my Savior, Yashua, dripping blood and gasping for breath. He is in agony and He looks down at me. I drop to my knees and bury my head in my hands, weeping uncontrollably. I just keep hearing these words from the cross, "Your penalty is paid, your penalty is paid my child!" I manage to stop sobbing just long enough to look up at the cross. As I look I see these ordinances against me on papers just nailed all over His cross.. there they are.. lying, hate, pride, selfishness, bitterness, disobedience.. its ALL there! Every one of them I stand guilty of! Underneath each ordinance is the penalty written: DEATH! Wow, I am trembling and weeping again now. My Savior speaks again as He gasps for breath, "!!"

My Savior has breathed His last breath. He died for ME! For my SIN! This is GRACE! Unmerited favor! I rise to my feet quickly... I am FORGIVEN! I am FORGIVEN! The written ordinances against me have been PAID IN FULL!!! What can I do to show my Savior my gratefulness for what He has done? What can I do to show Him just how much I love Him? Should I return to my former ways and continue in lying, hatred, pride, selfishness, bitterness and disobedience? God forbid! I will REPENT! TURN from my sinful ways! I will seek to live my life for HIM! I love Him so much! My heart can barely contain all the love I have for Him! My Savior! He died in my place! I will obey Him with ALL my heart! I will walk as He walked! I will obey His commands, His law, His ordinances and His statues! They will become my delight! I will be a light on a hill! A beacon for Him! I will walk in love and humility and follow in His very footsteps until my very last breath! I will fail and I will sin, but I will be quick to repent knowing that He will forgive me! This is GRACE! This is what freedom really looks like.. freedom to obey Him!

I am now skipping down the hill. I must tell my friends, my family and all who I can. The time is becoming short! Yahshua is coming again! He has promised! He is coming back for ME! And for all those who are in covenant with His Father! Who by FAITH are saved! Let my life song sing to you Abba Father! The bridegroom is coming! The bridegroom is coming! Be ready! Dont let your lamp oil run out! Let it burn bright for ALL the world to see! May He find me faithful when He returns!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My thoughts aloud...

Ok, it has been a long time since I have written a blog post. I have been busy pouring over the Scriptures and just standing amazed at where these past few months have taken me. Yahweh has been SO good to me! I have been SO blessed! My husband and I are becoming more and more one (echad) in our relationship with the Creator of the universe. This journey has been amazing and I had no idea what I was missing all these years in mainstream Christianity.

Walking in the footsteps of my Jewish Messiah has been incredible. Falling in love with my Abba and delighting in obeying His instructions for righteous living. Remembering that I am saved by faith alone but that out of that faith I seek to obey and bear the fruits of my salvation. I am humbled in realizing just how much I missed for so many years and how much the Holy Spirit has revealed to my husband and I these past few months. I truly feel like David in Psalm 119 when he said over and over again just how much he delighted in the Laws of Yahweh.

I just want to share before I close this blog post some of my latest thoughts. Now that I have really come to understand the Hebrew authors of our Bible, the Scriptures are becoming more and more real to me. I can no longer understand how anyone could think that Yahweh made a covenant with gentiles. I do clearly see how Yahweh made a covenant with the House of Judah and the House of Israel.

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

And I do see that there is only one law for everyone who call themselves children of Yahweh or children of the covenant.

Exo 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
(Even the stranger keeps the Sabbath!!)

So there is only one law and the covenants were made with the House of Judah and the house of Israel only. Then what happens to the rest of us?

ph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Romans 11:16-22 (You can look that passage up as well)

So now we know that there is only one law, a covenant with only Judah and Israel and the rest of us can be grafted into the the house of Israel! Praise Yahweh! When we enter into covenant with Yahweh then we are grafted into His family! We seek to know Him more than ever and become echad (one) with Him. Our heart then begins to overflow with love for Him which then displays itself in obedience to His instructions. As a man once asked Yashua...

Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Psa 119:1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Psa 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Psa 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Psa 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
Psa 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
Psa 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
Psa 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
Psa 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psa 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

I know that my life just oozes the love I have for Yahweh and for His Son, My Messiah! I can't do anything or say anything without Yahweh being part of it! I live, breathe and think Yahweh every waking moment! He is my reason to live. I wait expectantly for His return! I am betrothed to Him and I wait for my bridegroom to return. I must be ready at all times and not be caught unprepared (like the parable of the ten virgins). At any moment that trumpet will sound and I need to be ready! I look forward to celebrating His feasts that point to His Second Coming! I am rehearsing for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our Purim Celebration!

This weekend we celebrated Purim and today was our Purim feast with our friends at Beth Shalom. It was a wonderful time of remembering how Yahweh saved the Jews, using Queen Hadassah (Esther). We were so excited to be a part of this celebration because if there were no Jews, there would have been no Messiah and no Bible. I have such a deep love for my brothers and sisters in the Messiah! Thought I would share some pics from our festivities. And below is some concise information about Purim.

What is Purim?

The festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in Ancient Persia from Haman's plot "to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day."

The story in a nutshell:

The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther's cousin) defied the king's orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.

Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued—granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Forgetting the Spirit of the Laws....

I know for a while now my posts have been very heavy on all different aspects of my spiritual journey recently. I was afraid that I was conveying a condescending or judgemental tone in my posts and I wanted to be sure I corrected that. At the very least, offered an apology if I have come across in any way that makes it appear as though I am better than or know more than anyone else. I am truly sorry if my posts have reflected an attitude like that.

I am still very new in my journey. There are not too many things I am 100% certain of and I would be lying to tell you otherwise. My goal with my blog has always been to be very transparent and I want to be sure I live up to that. Of one thing I am certain. That Jesus, Yeshua, died on the cross for my sins. He paid the penalty so that even in my shortcomings I could be with Him in eternity if I believe in Him, repent of my sins and turn from my old ways and live a new life. Of this I am certain. I am also certain that turning from our old ways and starting a new life means we have to change. I am convinced that YHVH has laws. He is the King of the His kingdom and every King has rules. In searching the Scriptures we will seek to determine just what those rules are. I am certain we are not saved by obeying rules. But out of love for our Messiah and our YHVH we obey His rules/laws/commands.

My husband and I will be re-reading the Bible from the Genesis to Revelation and relying on only the Scriptures to make our decisions. We will not be following any man, any great teacher or preacher or anyone for that matter, except YHVH. I am convinced that I have been programmed to listen and believe what man says instead of auditing those beliefs and seeing what YHVH actually says. For far too long I have only done what I did because that is what my family did or my pastors said to do (bad reasons!). We are starting over fresh! We are un-learning and re-learning things. This process takes lots of time! We are taking baby steps and will take one thing at a time. My husband will take the lead and I will be in submission to his leadership. We will see YHVH together. Already there are many, many things that I have found false in the Christian church and therefore it has caused us to question many of the things they are teaching as solid Biblcal doctrine. Questioning is a good thing I am learning. We should always be auditing our beliefs. And in doing that, our walk may start to look different and it may even change from year to year. The change is just proof that we are auditing our lives and our beliefs against the Word of God at all times. We seek to know the Truth and the truth only. We believe that when one veers even 1/8 cm off course.. over a period of hundreds of years this gap in becomes wider and wider. We seek to walk as close to what YHVH says as possible.

That being said I hope you understand that while I am seeking to understand the commands of YHVH I do not want to become like the Pharisees. I do not want to look good on the outside but lack the fruit of the Spirit on the inside. I am human so I make mistakes but I am trying my best.

This verse has been on my mind for days now.. "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but not much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phil 2:12 (KJV)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Are you part of the Covenants?

I have many people tell me that they are Gentiles and are not part of Israel. These are people professing to be Christians. I am concerned for several reasons. First of all Gentile means, "out of covenant". I certainly do not want to be considered out of covenant. Second, in Eph 2:11-12 talks about who we were before we accepted and began to follow the Messiah. We were aliens of the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants. I beg you to reconsider who you are in the Messiah. You have been grafted in. You are no longer an alien of the commonwealth of Israel and you are now partakers in the covenants.

The New Covenant, as first spoken of in Jeremiah, is made only with the Houses of Israel and Judah. If you don't consider yourself belonging to one of those two people groups, you are not included in the covenant, and are not of His people.. YHVH's words :
Jer 31:31 "Here, the days are coming," says ADONAI, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah.
Jer 31:32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them," says ADONAI.
Jer 31:33 "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says ADONAI: "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Heb 8:8-10 says, For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith YHVH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith YHVH. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith YHVH; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a ELOHIYM, and they shall be to me a people."

It appears to me that if you are not of the house of Judah or the house of Israel, you will be on the outside looking in!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shabbat Shalom!

Our Prayer tonight:

"Blessed are You, Adonai, Our God, King of the Universe
Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to
sanctify the Sabbath day!"

Isa 56:6 “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to יהוה, to serve Him, and to love the Name of יהוה, to be His servants, all who guard the Sabbath, and not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant –
Isa 56:7a them I shall bring to My set-apart mountain, and let them rejoice in My house of prayer..."

Tonight we had a wonderful Sabbath meal, chicken wrapped in turkey bacon with stuffing and peas with carrots. We celebrated the Messiah by partaking in the cup and the bread. The evening ended with a worship songs played by daddy on the guitar and the story of YHVH giving the 10 Commandments to Moses was read to the children. We delighted in the beginning of this set apart day, the Sabbath.

Sharing my Heart

On this Sabbath I am reflecting on everything I have learned over the past few months. I am grateful to YHVH for allowing circumstances in my life that caused me to really seek out truth. I had been taught that questioning was a form of rebellion and that belief kept me from seeking out answers to my many questions on my own - until now!

A little testimony about my life and how I got to this point in my journey:

My parents were born and raised Catholics. I was baptized in the Catholic church, but shortly thereafter my parents became "born again". Their neighbors witnessed to them and as a result my parents left the Catholic church, which they had felt was so spiritually empty for them. Their decision to leave the Catholic church was met with much opposition and even family members accused them of joining a cult (the Protestant church). It was a very difficult time for my parents, but they perservered. I always remember being in church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night no matter what.

During my teen years we attended a church that was very pro-homeschooling. This was a huge blessing for us (so we thought) since my parents were homeschooling me and my siblings. It was at this church that I was introduced to the world of Christian hypocrisy at its finest. The pastor taught one thing from the pulpit but lived another way when no one was watching. The same for many families within this church as well. There were many "rules" of the church, but no relationships. I saw legalism at its finest. An attempt to emphasize the letter of the law over the spirit of the law. For instance, many dressed modest, no make up, only listened to conservative Christian music and courted instead of dated, etc. Yet these very same people gossiped, slandered and held unforgiveness and bitterness in their hearts. They were completely out of balance. Then my brother was diagnosed at the age of nine with leukemia while attending this church. Many things happened that were hurtful. One thing that stands out the most is when my mom tried to share our real needs during that difficult time and because she what she expressed did not match what they church wanted to do, she was labeled as having "gross ungratefulness". The pastor an his elder came to my parent's home while my brother was bed ridden to Matthew 18 (as they called it) my parents. There was even money given for us from another family during offering one Sunday and we never saw a penny of it (a friend of ours who was an usher that day shared that with us or we would have never known). Maybe we weren't allowed to receive financial help because we were being Matthew 18'd. Whatever the case may be were tired of the phony Christianity we saw there and so we left.

We went back to the church we had originally been going to. I continued at this church until I was married for a few years and could no longer handle the way they ran church like a buisness. It literally made my husband and I sick to our stomachs to set foot in the building. Sad, but truly how we felt. Then in 2009 my sister was sexually assaulted and one of the men who did it went to this church! My sister and my parents decided immediately to press charges and are met with opposition from the church. One of the assistant pastors calls my parents up and asks them to drop the case against this guy. Of course my family refused and my father was furious with the request. This church sadly was not interested in the truth, but only their reputation. To this day the pastors of this church have kept all of this a secret (as best they can).

By this time, my husband and I had been attending another church for quite awhile and were not feeling like we were getting fed at all. The people were nice but the sermons seemed more like milk than meat. We attempted to visit other churches and finally found one that at least seemed to preach some meat. We settled there for a little feeling kind of bad for moving our children from one place to another. But even there we were feeling restless. My husband and I talked about house church and what the church probably looked like in the days of the Apostles. We were pretty sure it looked nothing like the churches in America today. We started to search for house churches but could find nothing locally on the internet. We then began to think about starting our own church in our home. There was lots of thinking and praying going on at this time.

Then the unthinkable happened. Some "friends" from a previous church sent us an email saying that they could no longer be friends with us because we were not true Christians. Their reason for this accusation was one of the most hurtful things we had ever been told - it was because we were going through bankruptcy and foreclosure (my husband had lost a day a week at work for over a year, forcing us into some difficult situations and choices). They proceeded to say many hurtful things about how they pay their bills and take care of their family as opposed to us. The worst part was that one of these friends had just got back from a missions trip and was supposedly on fire for God! We were so hurt and devastated by this. In my human nature I reacted, spewing hurtful things right back, something I am not proud of and have apologized for since then. These people severed communication with us immediately and we have not been able to speak with them since then. When God finally got a hold of my heart about forgiving them I was ready to listen. I had been hurt by so many people who claimed to be Christians. I knew I wasn't suppose to look at people but at God. However, these people were really bearing "bad" fruit in my opinion. I began to think (as well as my husband) that if this is what Christianity was all about, I didn't want anything to do with it. At that time my husband and I decided we would no longer call ourselves Christians, but only Followers of the Messiah. I wanted to follow the Messiah in the Bible who said to love and to forgive and who said to be different than the world. This drove me into the Scriptures to figure out what a real follower of this Messiah should look like, act like and talk like. God really did a work in my heart and taught me what true forgiveness really looks like, feels like and acts like. I was given an amazing desire to forgive these Christians who hurt me and even felt like I should bless them with a gift. I obeyed YHVH's leading and I can truly say I have never felt more free in my life! It was a blessing to be able to bless them!

This new place that YHVH brought me to also brought me to a place of questioning what I had been taught in my many years in mainstream Christianity. I had always wondered why I had been taught that the Old Testament (OT) was done away with and no longer valid. However, these same people preached a 10% tithe that was suppose to be given to the church building you attend. If the OT was no longer valid, why did they choose to pull a tithe verse from it and make a whole doctrine out of it? Besides, the tithe of the OT was a tithe of food and agriculture to feel the Levitical Priests, the poor and the widows. There were many different tithes with a sum total of approx 30% and once again it was like a food pantry for the commonwealth of Israel. So why were preachers taking these verses out of context? And then why was I taught to obey all the ten commandments, but only the ten and none of the other OT commandments? And out of those ten commandments, I was taught to obey all of them except the fourth one, "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy". Why was I not taught to keep the Sabbath day holy? And then there was the question of Jesus' death. I was taught that He died and was buried on Friday and rose on Sunday. Matt 12:40 says that just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Friday to Sunday is most certainly not three nights! Either Jesus was a liar or someone else is. I do not believe my Messiah is a liar so I chose the latter. That led me to question what else have I been taught from the pulpit or from other Christians that was merely man made traditions or man made doctrines?

I knew right then and there I had to empty my mind of all bias, preconceived ideas and all that I merely believed in the past without testing against Scripture. I began to study the Bible with a Hebrew mind instead of a Greek one and I learned so much! Its amazing what you learn when you read the Scriptures through the Hebrew lenses that the authors intended us to read them with. I discovered my Messiah was Jewish. I discovered that YHVH was unchanging. I learned that if the NT contradicted the OT, the problem was with the translator, not the Bible. I learned that I was adopted into His Jewish family. I learned that I was to be a set apart person. That is I looked "regular", "popular" or like the "mainstream" - I wasn't really set apart at all. I learned that it is the narrow way that leads to life. I learned that my Messiah told me to pick up my cross and follow Him and He wasn't joking!

I have so much more to learn, but I am so excited to be on this new journey. I feel so close to my Abba! I am delighted to honor Him on the Sabbath and I look forward to celebrating His feasts this year! I delight in His laws! "Give me understanding, that I may keep your law (Torah) and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments (Torah), for I delight in it." Psalm 119:34-35 I learned that David was a man after YHVH's own heart and Psalm 119 in almost every verse expresses his love for YHVH's commands (Torah). Oh that I might be like David.

I am learning alot in this journey. I may start to look very different in what I do and how I act (as a matter of fact, I think I already do), but this is the narrow way for me. I have learned the OT commands (Torah) were written on stone tablets, but then in the NT they were written on our hearts. Therefore if I preach all love, love but no commands (Torah), I am out of balance. And if I preach all commands, law (Torah) but do it without love, humility, gentleness, self-control, etc - then I am out of balance as well. I do not wish to be the Pharisees who looked wonderful outside but were nothing but rotting corpses on the inside. Yet, I also do not want to compromise - disregarding the commandments (Torah) and becoming lukewarm. I am excited to see where this journey will take me.

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you. May I always be teachable, always loving, always forgiving and always humble. This is my prayer:
"With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments." Psalm 119:10

May YHVH guide each and every one of you closer to Him. May you be able to leave behind anything He asks you to and follow Him. And may peace be upon you always! Shalom Alechem!

Why Do You Keep the Sabbath Day Holy?

This is a question that I have been asked and I am sure I will be asked in the future so I figured I would make things easier and just write a post about it. Why do I keep the Sabbath Day Holy? Well to put it simply... because YHVH says to!

Genesis 2:3, "So YHVH blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it YHVH rested from all His work that He had done in creation."

Exodus 20:8-10a "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your YHVH. On it you shall not do any work..."

Isaiah 56:2, "Blessed is the man who does this and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

Isaiah 58:13-14, "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; If you honor it not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth. I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Exodus 31:16, "Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever."

Isaiah 66:23, "From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord."

Matt 12:8, "For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."

Mark 2:27-28, "And He said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

Hebrews 4:9, "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of YHVH."

I could give you many, many more verses but I will stop there. The word Sabbath is found 169 in the KJV - 109 in the OT and 60 in the NT. Not only is it mentioned in both the OT and NT, but it is the fourth commandment of the 10 that were written on stone tablets. Why I was taught to obey all the other nine and not this one is beyond me. But from now on, our family is going to be obeying YHVH by keeping the Sabbath day holy!

A Perplexing Question

"For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Matt 12:40 (ESV)

I believe what Yeshua says and I take what He says literally. He literally said that He would be in the grave for three days and three nights. So how come my whole life I was taught that He was buried on Friday and rose on Sunday? Do we suddenly lose our math skills when it comes to something like this? Friday to Sunday is only two nights!

Why does this matter some may ask. Well, let me tell you why. If He did not do as He said then that makes Him a liar and that means that He was a sinner and that He could not be the Messiah. Now my dear friends, I do not believe that. I believe that the Messiah is who He said He was. That He was in the grave for three nights and three days.

I am still studying, but based on what I have learned so far, it would appear as though Yeshua was crucified on a Wednesday and rose on the Sabbath (Saturday). Remember that when Mary went to the tomb.. "Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb." Matt 28:1 It appears to me that very early on Sunday morning Yeshua was already gone from the tomb. And just as He said, He was in the tomb for the three days and three nights!

Here is a time line that might help you understand it better to!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

His Name - YHVH

YHVH is a Tetragrammaton. The Hebrew language is a consonantal language, possessing no vowels. Vowels were pronounced but not written. They were transmitted orally from generation to generation. Most people today pronounce it, Yaweh, although that is only our best human guess at the pronunciation.

His Name, YHVH, I am יהוה. His name appears over 7,000 times in Scripture. Yet, His title is replaced in 99% of all translations.

Why was YHVH removed from most Bibles? Well, the Jewish people took the verses saying not to take His Name in vain, very seriously. They began to use the name Adonai in place of YHVH. Whatever the case, the removal of the Tetragrammaton probably created a different theological climate from that which existed during the New Testament period for the first century. The Jewish YHVH lost some of His distinctiveness with the passing of the Tetragrammaton.

Isaiah 42:8 says, "I am YHVH, that is My Name, and My esteem I do not give to another, nor My praise to idols."

That being said I am not being legalistic in implying that you can only use the name of YHVH and none other. I believe that He has many titles. But that is His distinct name. Just as I might be Ma'am or Mrs - but my real name is Rebekah.

I have found a wonderful translation called, The Scriptures, and it keeps all the sacred names in the text. I would recommend it to anyone seeking to dig deeper in their Hebrew roots.


I know this movie is a bit long, but well worth the time if you can watch it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Wonderful Explanation about the "Old" and "New" Coventants

A very good friend of mine has people always asking him about the "Old" covenant and the "New" one and so I thought I would share his explanation because I believe he says it so well and I believe the same thing.

"My explaination has to do with the "Old" and "New" Covenants. Since the Torah has definitely NOT passed away, and the heart of both of those covenants have not passed away, I believe both covenants are still in effect. Both are accomplising excactly what Elohim intended from their inception.

The only differnce between the old and new covenants is that the old covenant is Torah written on tables of stone, and the new covenant is Torah written on the "fleshy tables of our hearts".

So what can these covenants do or not do? First, what the old covenant cannot do is make us righteous. The problem is that the old covenant being written on tables of stone and not in our hearts cannot teach us to love YHVH with all our hearts or teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves, because it is external to us.

What the old covenant can do is provide a measure of our righteousness that we can see and understand so that we know we are NOT righteous, and are under the judgement of Elohim for our transgressions.

That is not a bad thing; it is a good thing. As Paul said, "I had not know lust unless Torah had said, 'Thou shalt not covet'". "By the Torah is the knowledge of sin. Unless the Ruach causes me to understand by the Torah that I am a transgressor I will never know that I need the Messiah.

Ps 19.7, "The Torah of YHVH is perfect; converting the soul".

Once I know that I am a sinner through the Torah of the old covenant I learn throught that same Torah that YHVH is sending a redeemer. That causes me to cry out in teshuvah (repentance) for the redeemer to save me.

At that point I am forgiven by faith in Messiah of my sins and his Torah is written on my heart. Since Torah is now in my heart the Ruach enables me to keep it, which is what is pleasing in YHVH's site.

The angel said, "You shall call his name Yeshua for he shall save his people from their sins. If sin is trangression of Torah, and I continue to violate Torah then what has Yeshua saved me from?

In I John it says, "Be not deceived; he that DOETH righteousness is righteous". It is not those who SAY they have "received Christ" that are truly saved, but those who have actually received Messiah by the Ruach, have had YHVH's Torah written on their hearts, and are walking in the righteousness of Torah that are saved.

We are saved by faith in Yeshua alone, but Yeshua's salvation is salvation from sin.

A good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit."

The law has been a contentious issue among believers for hundreds of years. How we, as New Covenant believers, relate to the Law and how the Law relates to us is very important. There is a balance that we need to achieve between legalism (that is, seeking to be justified by the Law) and lawlessness (that is, not having any law or a false idea of liberty that leads to transgression of the Law).

And I must add, it is true that we are no longer "under" the law. Instead, that same law has been written in our hearts. Jeremiah 31:31-33

The Old Testament Laws are obsolete?

I have had several people quote me the following verses as reasons why the commandments of the Old Testament are obsolete.

Mat 22:34 But the Pharisees, having heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, were gathered together,
Mat 22:35 and one of them, one learned in the Torah, did question, trying Him, and saying,
Mat 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?”
Mat 22:37 And יהושע said to him, “ ‘You shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’
Mat 22:38 “This is the first and great command.
Mat 22:39 “And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
Mat 22:40 “On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.”

(The following is a friend's response which I wanted to share)

"In my opinion someone who uses this as an argument against Torah is not being honest with the language. What does it mean on these two commandments "hang" all the law and the prophets?

If we use a simile we could say that to hang the Torah ...and the Prophets is like hanging a dress on a manikin. Why do we hang a dress on a manikin? So that we can tell what the dress looks like when someone wears.

Or we could say hanging the Torah and prophets was like having muscles on our skeleton. What does that do? It causes us to be able to stand upright and makes our muscles much more accurate and useful.

What would our skeleton be without the muscle? A pile of bones.

What would our muscles look like without the skeleton? A big blob.

Without the love of the two great commandment the Torah and the prophets have no real definition or meaning?

Without the Torah and prophets the two great commandments have no power?

The two great commandment were made to go with the Torah and the prophets. The are integrally entwined.

There is a Christian song that says "Lord we praise you because of who you are. Not because of all the mighty works you've done". My question would be, "Who would YHVH be without His mighty works? Would any of us be saved if he was just a great guy, but never acted on His greatness?"

Just the same love without the commandments is meaningless. Faith without works is dead."

I do not believe for one second that the laws of the OT are done away with because of this passage. The Pharisees were asking what were the greatest commandments, not what were the only commandments. Big difference!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Apostasy in the Church

"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [Jesus' return] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction," (2 Thess. 2:3, NASB).

Apostasy means to fall away from the truth. Therefore, an apostate is someone who has once believed and then rejected the truth of God. Apostasy is a rebellion against God because it is a rebellion against truth. In the Old Testament God warned the Jewish people about their idolatry and their lack of trust in Him. In the New Testament the epistles warn us about not falling away from the truth. Apostasy is a very real and dangerous threat.

The verse at the top of the page tells us that there will be an apostasy that is associated with the appearance of the Antichrist. Most Christians are looking for the arrival of the Antichrist, but very few are looking for "the apostasy" that must come first. The arrival of the Antichrist cannot occur until sufficient apostasy has happened in the world. The Antichrist, who is the ultimate of liars, cannot abide in a world where the truth of God's word is taught. This is why the Bible says that the apostasy will come first and then the Antichrist will be revealed.

Therefore, we must, as Christians, ask this question, "Is there an apostasy occurring in the Christian church today?" Some would say no and others yes. But, as we look for the arrival of the Antichrist, should we not also be looking for the arrival of apostasy? And where else should we first look but in our own house for the Bible tells us that judgment will begin in the house of the Lord (1 Peter 4:17).

If there is indeed an apostasy occurring in the Christian Church, we would not know it unless we first examined the Bible closely and then compared the Church to the Word of God.

As quoted above, there is a prophecy in 2 Thessalonians about a coming apostasy that is associated with the disclosure of the anti-Christ.

"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [Jesus' return] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction," (2 Thess. 2:3, NASB).

Have you been looking for the coming of the anti-Christ? Are you waiting for him to pop up on the world scene? If you are, are you also looking for the related apostasy? Most Christians are looking for the anti-Christ but are not looking for signs of apostasy.

The Bible is God's word and it tells us what is right and wrong. To the degree that anyone disagrees with the truths of God's word, to that same degree they are falling away from it. What, then, might be some of the signs of apostasy?

Apostasy is all around us in varying degrees. As Christians, we need to be very sure that we are clinging to the truth of God's word and resisting the inclusion of liberalism, moral relativism, and the oncoming secularism that is all around us. We need to stand on the word of God and never be ashamed of the truth of the Gospel:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek," (Rom. 1:16).

Monday, February 7, 2011

The 10 Commandments or the 10 Suggestions?

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”

The Fall of Babylon

Revelation 18
The Fall of Babylon
1After this I saw(A) another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and(B) the earth was made bright with his glory. 2And he called out with a mighty voice,

(C) "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become(D) a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt(E) for every unclean spirit,
a haunt(F) for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
3For all nations have drunk[a]
(G) the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and(H) the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and(I) the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living."

4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

(J) "Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues; 5for(K) her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and(L) God has remembered her iniquities.
6(M) Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her(N) double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her(O) in the cup she mixed.
7(P) As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
(Q) 'I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.'
8For this reason her plagues will come(R) in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and(S) she will be burned up with fire;
for(T) mighty is the Lord God who has judged her."

9And(U) the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her,(V) will weep and wail over her(W) when they see the smoke of her burning. 10(X) They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

"Alas! Alas!(Y) You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For(Z) in a single hour your judgment has come."

11And(AA) the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.[b]
14"The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!"

15(AB) The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her,(AC) will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,
16"Alas, alas, for the great city
(AD) that was clothed in fine linen,

in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,

with jewels, and with pearls!
17For(AE) in a single hour all this wealth(AF) has been laid waste."

And(AG) all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18and(AH) cried out(AI) as they saw the smoke of her burning,

(AJ) "What city was like the great city?"

19And they threw(AK) dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

"Alas, alas, for the great city
(AL) where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For(AM) in a single hour she has been laid waste. 20(AN) Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and(AO) apostles and prophets,
for(AP) God has given judgment for you against her!"

21Then(AQ) a mighty angel(AR) took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

"So will Babylon(AS) the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
22and(AT) the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
will be found in you no more,
and(AU) the sound of the mill
will be heard in you no more,
23and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more,
and(AV) the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more,
for(AW) your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
and all nations were deceived(AX) by your sorcery.
24And(AY) in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of(AZ) all who have been slain on earth."

Who is this great whore of Babylon?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Are You Jewish?

This is a question that I have started to get and I realized it might be best answered on my blog. No, I am not a Jew by blood (at least not that I know of). I am simply a follower of the Jewish Messiah and I seek to honor Him in all my ways. If I am following my Messiah (who was Jewish) then some of my ways might look pretty Jewish. That is to be expected if I follow the Master. I dont call myself a Christian, A Messianic.. none of those labels suit me. I prefer to identify myself as a Follower of the Messiah only. I have spent the past few months seeking answers to questions I always had and finding amazing truths that I had never known before. I have discovered that some of the things I had been taught were not founded in Scripture and I also discovered that there are many things in Scripture that I was not taught. I am so grateful that Yahweh has brought me to a place of truly seeking Him with my whole heart. Never before I have felt such a deep connection to my Savior. I literally feel as though now I am walking in His footsteps.

I have taken an excerpt from the website “Following the Ancient Paths” to further explain my new path since she says it well.

…HaShem chose specific people to be His special treasure, the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Through these people He intended to make Himself known to all the world. He instructed them how He had created them to live and how to know Him. We have the record of these instructions in the Torah, often referred to as the Pentatuch. Torah means “instruction” and His instructions are recorded for us in the first 5 books of the Bible. He called His chosen people for a purpose and made them holy, meaning He set them apart from the rest of the people, so that through them He would be made known in the world. Scripture records for us how these plans have played out time and again. People who were not born into the family of Abraham would see the goodness of the G-d of Israel and be drawn to Him. They were grafted in, adopted into the family, from as early as the Exodus from Egypt. We have examples of Caleb, Rahab, Ruth and many more. This is how it was always intended: His light would shine through His chosen children and draw others to come and serve Him. This concept is not new to Christians because we remember that we are grafted into the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by our faith. Shaul (Paul) teaches that the mystery of the Gospel is that Gentiles are accepted, considered fellow heirs with the Jews, based simply on their heartfelt faith. We, for our part, are strongly warned not to become arrogant and forget that it is we who are grafted into them and this is the reason Shaul was a prisoner in chains. Shaul knew full well that the grafted in Gentiles would grow in number to such an extent that there would be more young children (in faith and understanding) than adults (in faith and understanding) and that if the children didn’t honor and respect their elders, we would stray off course. He also was very aware of the workings of the Adversary within the body of believers, our current struggles with the Church are certainly not new ones.

So, we are grafted into Israel. What does that mean? What did that mean to the Shaul (Paul), his fellow leaders and to his intended audience in the first century? It means that we are the ones who converted. What did we Gentiles convert to? In the days of the Apostles there were many different sects of Judaism, just like today there are many different denominations of Christianity. We can read in Acts 24 that the Jewish leaders of the day accepted the growing movement of believers in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah as a new sect of Judaism. It wasn’t only the leaders in Jerusalem that understood this, but the leaders in Rome understood this as well. It is also important to understand that Shaul (Paul) never forsook his place in Israel as a Jewish Pharisee, he held to the strictest of traditions and teachings through his entire life. Shaul never converted to anything nor did he create a new religion, he simply accepted that Yeshua IS the long awaited Messiah and shifted his discipleship from the prominent Gamaliel (highly revered even today) to Yeshua. Had Shaul created a whole new religion he would be worthy of stoning according to HaShem’s very teaching in the Torah. Any prophet that would come and lead the people away from HaShem or His teachings was a false prophet. What Shaul did do was rise to the position of a leader in this new sect of Judaism, a sect that accepted Gentiles with open arms based on their faith in Yeshua and not a series of rituals. Shaul wanted the new converts (us) to hold fast to the teachings and the traditions that he taught and modeled for us. We can see in historical records that there was always a remnant of Messianic Jewish believers (whether they be Jew or Gentile). This early movement never died, though it was greatly suppressed. Today Christianity is beginning to remember that she has a root in Israel and the implications of this memory brings startling consequences. Today people are beginning to really look at why it is the Church isn’t mentioned at even once in any of the Prophets – because we are grafted into Israel.

I am an adopted child of Yahweh! I am so grateful!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

But What About the New Testament?

I was raised in a home that taught that there was an old covenant and new covenant. The Old Testament was done away with and the New Testament was what was relevant for us Believers now. This meant to me that the OT was the old ways, old laws and the old version of God. And now were under new ways, new laws and a new version of God. Yet, I was always taught that God was unchanging. The same yesterday, today and forever! "For I am the Lord, I do not change." Malachi 3:6 This is something that has always perplexed me. Sure we used some of the OT stuff like the 10 commandments and then a few stories here and there. But honestly, the focus was all on the NT.

Let's first remember that we have assigned the names "old" and "new" to our current Bibles. The "old" testament was really called the Tanakh and it was the Hebrew Scriptures containing the Torah, the Writings and the Prophets. This Tanakh was all the "New" testament apostles, teachers and believers had to read from, learn from and obey. The NT is a compilation of the Gospels and letters written to various churches from various apostles. The New Testaments was not compiled until around 100AD. All 27 books were first officially recognized in a letter written right before the beginning of the fourth century. With this in mind we must be careful to read the NT through the eyes of the Tanakh and not the other way around.

So what about the new covenant? I believe a better translation of the word would have been "renewed". There is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). In this renewed covenant we no longer have to keep all the law (Torah) in order to attain and maintain salvation. Our Messsiah died on the cross, becoming the perfect sacrifice and becoming the mediator between God and us. The law has not been done away with, but it has been fulfilled. Yeshua is the fulfillment of that law. We are now saved by faith through grace and out of a love for our Messiah, we obey His commandments (Torah). Jeremiah 31:31-33 makes the first mention of this renewed covenant. He says that YHWH will write His commandments on our hearts. He never says He will do away with the commandments (Torah). Most of the NT contains direct quotes of things in the OT. It is very obvious when reading the NT through the lenses of the Tanakh, that the NT only confirms and never contradicts what is said in the OT. The OT contains our foundation (Torah). It shows us the character of God. It is the measuring stick by which we measure everything else we read in the Bible. We cannot build a strong house without a good foundation. I had never thought about this before a few months ago.

So where does the NT tells us to obey Torah? (which has been translated into law,commands or commandments) Let me share with you just a few.

Matt 5:17-19, "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth shall pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Matt 23:1-3, "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, the scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you -- but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice."

John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

John 14:21, "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me."

John 15:10, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love."

John 15:14, "You are my friends if you do what I command you."

Acts 28:23, "When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets."

Romans 7:12, "So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good."

Romans 7:22, "For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being."

Hebrews 13:7-8, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Heb 10:16, "This is the covenant that I will make with them, after those days, declares the Lord; I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds."

1 John 2:3-6, "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him; whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked."

1 John 3:24, "Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us."

1 John 5:2-3, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."

Rev 12:17, "Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea."

Rev 14:12, "Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus."

I ask you to no longer read the Scriptures with a Greek mind, but with a Hebrew mind. In reading the Scriptures with a Hebrew mind you will better understand the Jewish authors and your Jewish Messiah.

2 Peter 3:14-17, "Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found with him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also once wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity, amen."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What is the Torah?

So now that I have shared with you that I am a Torah Observant Follower of Yeshua, you are probably thinking "What in the world is the Torah?". Please allow me to answer that as best as I can.

The Torah is the Law of Moses. Specifically, it is the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This is the "law" that Paul often spoke of in his epistles. Paul used the Greek word 'nomos' to translate the Hebrew word 'torah'. Torah comes from a Hebrew root word that is used as an archery term meaning "to take aim, to shoot", such as shooting an arrow in order to hit a target. Is is derived from the Hebrew verb 'yarah' - to cast,throw, shoot. The essence of this word then is "to hit the mark". The Torah is God's aim for us. Do you see the picture? The Torah is the target for which we aim our arrow. When our shot misses and falls short of the target, we have sinned. Sin is missing the mark of the Torah. Torah is God's standard for righteousness. Sin is our failure to hit that mark. (Rom 3:23, 1 John 1:3, Psalm 19:7) There is a point at which the Torah aims. The bull's-eye of Torah, the careful aim of Torah is the perfect Messiah. This is why Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans, "Messiah is the end of the law (Torah)" Rom 10:4. Unfortunately, traditional Christian interpretation misunderstood Paul's words to mean that Messiah is the cancellation of the Torah. The Greek of Romans 10:4 is best understood to mean that the Messiah is the "goal" of the Torah. The Greek word 'telos', which is translated as "end", is the same word we use in English words like telephone, television and telescope. Telos implies arrival at a goal. The sound of one's voice on the telephone arrives at the goal of the telephone on the other end. That reading fits the context of Romans 10:4 as well. Messiah is the destination at which the journey of Torah arrives. Torah does not just mean law, it also means

Oftentimes, believers avoid Torah because they are afraid of falling into legalism. But obedience is not legalism. If keeping the Torah were necessary for salvation, we would all fail because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", Rom 3:23. The Torah was never meant to be the means by which a person could earn his salvation. Legalism says, "I must obey God in order to be saved." Grace says, "I must obey because I am saved."

The Torah can be likened to the foundation of a house because it is the initial revelation of God. Books like Proverbs continually exhort us to turn to the Torah. The Psalms praise God's Torah and urge us to keep His laws.The Epistles are an extension of Yeshua's teaching, but they rest on the foundation of Torah. Even the book of Revelation is Torah-based. It contains seemingly endless allusions to the Torah and speaks of the triumphant over-comers as those "who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua". Consistency with the Torah is the litmus test of scriptural authenticity. To fully understand God's word, we must read the Gospels and Epistles through the lens of Torah. Only when we start with the beginning of the book will we fully understand the middle and the ending. When the house rests on a solid foundation, it is unshakable.

Torah is more than just legal formulations; it is the revealed person of God dressed in laws and commandments. It is His spoken word written down, His self-disclosure to the world. When one realizes that Torah is God's self-disclosure to the world, one must also recognize the enormous gravity of declaring parts of that same Torah null or void. As soon as we begin to discard commandments, we have begun editing God. We have started reshaping God into an image we deem more appropriate. When we try to change the Torah or do away with a commandment, it is actually God we are trying to change or do away with. Outside observers should be able to look at the Torah-observant life and discern in it several truths of godliness. Deut 4:5-8 says that when Israel lives out the Torah, the world will see God.

Jeremiah's prophecy of God's Torah being written on the hearts and minds of men and women has not yet been fully realized. Redemption is a process. The Torah is being written on our hearts, but none of us have arrived yet. For this reason, we are still very much in need of Yeshua. Consequently, we are still very much in need of the written Torah. It remains the only standard we have to measure our errant hearts against. A living copy of the Torah is being written on our hearts. This inner Torah does not negate the written Torah. Instead God's Law is suppose to become a moral reflex for us, a new Natural Law. which enables us to walk in genuine obedience. To the extent that we do so, we are living lives like Messiah. This is what is means to be transformed by Messiah.

James calls the Torah the "perfect law". (James 1:22-25) Remember, the Torah is a soul mirror. For believers, the Torah is not a sterile list of rules. It is a written version of our inner identity - Messiah.

"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?..." 2 Cor 13:5 (ESV)

There is a Torah-Observant, Jewish guy dwelling in you!!!

"Coming Out"

I am sure the title of my post has some of you holding your breath. Wondering what in the world I am going to say. I thought this title best described my decision to tell friends and family about the change in some of my beliefs. I have always loved the Messiah and believe He died on the cross for my sins, rose on the third day and ascended into Heaven and will one day return again! These core beliefs have not changed and never will. I will be sharing these changes with you over several posts.

In my search for authentic living, the way the Messiah intended His followers to live, I discovered a wealth of information that I had never known before. I want to share what I have learned with you and share my heart. I know it may not be popular, but the Messiah was not popular. My desire is just to share my heart, share my adopted Jewish heritage and then pray that you would seek God (YHWH) with all your heart and keep an open heart to what He might be trying to tell you.

A dear friend gave me a wonderful book called, "Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus". I am so grateful for her kindness and generosity in giving me that book. I gleaned so much from that book that I will be sharing with you in this post. I also have studied the Scriptures with a new founded fervor and a deep hunger to know who my Messiah really is. YHWH has opened my eyes in so many ways, in ways only He can do and I have been so blessed. I hope what I share with you is as much of a blessing to you as it was to me.

We Gentile Christians have in some ways misunderstood and misapplied the Gospel because we have been ignorant of the Jewish origin and Torah context of the Gospel. The Jewish people have lived in exile since the age of the Apostles. So has the Gospel. But the time is nigh for the exile to come to an end. Moses foresaw a time of restoration. He foresaw a time when the people of Israel would return from exile and turn back to the commandments of God. "And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I commanded you today" Deut 30:8.

New Testament scholars are returning the Gospel to its Torah context and reconnecting it with its Jewish origins. In the days of the Apostles, Christianity was not yet a separate religion from Judaism. An honest reading of the NT from a biblical-Jewish perspective makes it clear that the first century church never thought of herself as separate and excluded from Judaism. Rather, she considered herself as part of the whole of Israel. She never imagined herself as replacing Judaism. She might have conceived of herself as a reform within Judaism, but not as a separate entity. Jesus was actually a Jewish teacher of Torah (first 5 books of the OT). His Hebrew name - that is, His real name - was Yeshua. He kept the Torah, taught the Torah, and lived by the Torah. He taught His disciples to keep the Torah in imitation of Him. He argued with teachers of other sects of Judaism. He denounced the Sadducees, rebuked the Pharisees and brought correction to errant teachings, but He did not institute a new religion, nor did He cancel the Torah. Instead, He sought to bring restoration to the ancient faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His followers, the Apostles and the believers, also remained within the parameters of normative, first-century Jewish expression. They met daily in the Temple. They congregated in synagogues. They proclaimed the Scriptures of Israel. They kept the Biblical festivals, the Sabbaths, the dietary laws and the whole of Torah as best as they were able. When non-Jews began to enter the faith through the ministry of Paul of Tarsus, they too congregated in synagogues and embraced the standards of biblical Judaism. They understood themselves as "grafted in" to Israel and made citizens of the larger "commonwealth of Israel".

History then began to change things. The Jewish war gave rise to the politics of anti-Semitism. Emperor Vespasian followed up the Jewish War by imposing a heavy, punitive annual tax upon all Jewish households in the empire. He determined Jewish households as those who worshipped after the Jewish manner. With the addition of the Fiscus Judaicus tax, Gentile believers had financial, political and cultural incentives to distance themselves from Judaism. By the time second century began, anti-Jewish sentiment was SO high in the church that most non-Jews no longer wanted to be identified with Jews at all. Theologically, the church leaders decided that the Christian church had replaced the Jews as the true Israel of God. They decided that they were now the true people of God, and that Jews were consigned to damnation and everlasting cursedness from God. By the time Constantine converted to Christianity and declared it the official state religion, most of the Jewish elements were gone. Constantine made the divorce from Judaism final with the Council of Nicea (325 CE). His official policy regarding Torah observance is expressed in his words: "Let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish rabble." The Council of Antioch (341 CE) prohibited Christians from celebrating Passover with the Jews, while the Council of Laodicea (363 CE) forbade Christians from observing the biblical Sabbath.

As time went on, and the Dark Ages began, the Christian church turned violent toward the Jewish people. Synagogues and holy books were burned, whole communities were slaughtered. Jewish men and women were tortured - all in the name of Christ. The pages of church history are stained red with the spilled blood of the Jewish people. Then along came the Reformation. What the various Protestant reformers have failed to recognize about the first-century church is that she was Jewish. Yeshua, the disciples, the first believers, the worship system, the Scriptures, the interpretation of the Scriptures, the teaching, the vernacular and even the very concepts of faith and grace, Messiah and god were all patently Jewish. Any attempt at church reformation, ant attempt to return to the original NT church falls short as long as it refuses to acknowledge the essential Jewishness of our faith.

The modern-day Jewish roots movement is born out of an intersection of things. The Holocaust, the formation of the State of Israel and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls all combined to spark a complete renaissance in the way that early Christianity is studied and understood.

After reading about my Messiah and His religion.. I realized that I needed to go back to my Jewish roots. I was adopted into His family and I was ignoring His commands to me, His Torah. I now consider myself a TOFY - A Torah Observant Follower of Yeshua. In my next post I would like to share with you what the Torah is and how it applies to us today. I had never really studied the Old Testament, simply because it was "old" - old news, old laws.. nothing in there applied to me I was taught.. oh well except for the Ten Commandments. But anyway, the more I studied the more I realized that not only was the OT for me, but it was relevant for everyone. When Yeshua was on the earth and He taught from the Scriptures and He taught us to obey His laws and His commands, He was teaching us from the OT. The NT did not begin to get compiled until 90AD and some of the letters from the Apostles did not get added until two hundred years after their death. This made me look at things in a new way, a new light.