People often wonder…

Common, manmade doctrines with which we disagree

Doctrines

“But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

One example of a “doctrine of man” is the teaching that we should not speak His Name. For more information on why Bat-Tzion believes we are commanded to say His Name, please read What’s In A Name.

“Now the Ruakh distinctly says that in the last days some will remove from the faith, and will go after deceiving spirits, and after doctrines of demons.”
Bat-Tzion welcomes all people, but we do not welcome all doctrines, or teachings. Doctrines produce certain religious behaviors, so those accompanying behaviors are by default, therefore, not welcomed either. This, sadly, means that some people will depart from us. It is a difficult thing to separate people from doctrines that do not belong to Elohim.
We certainly do not despise the person who might bring in error, but, many times the case is that the person refuses to separate from the doctrine, and, because we do not support the doctrine, the person is offended. This is sad, but a necessary displeasure, in order to preserve the sanctity of the Congregation according to the Torah.

Bat-Tzion was established by Yah under the teachings of Messianic Judaism, under certain authority, and the congregation submits to that authority, because it is submitted only to the Word of Elohim. How we divide the Word according to our understanding is a consensus among the members, including the under-shepherd [“rabbi” or “teacher”], the Beit-Din, and the congregation at large. It would be great if everyone who came through the doors of Bat-Tzion agreed with us, but, the sad truth is, many will not. This web-page is an effort to save heartache and preserve the peace in the Body of Messiah at large by warding off any future conflict. There are certain doctrines that make a person not truly of the faith, and we have no sorrow exposing those. But, there are some doctrines that we believe real believers follow which are simply in error, and, sadly, we cannot fellowship. In that case, we would prefer that no one try to bring in and impose upon us those doctrines, and create the uncomfortable situation of our having to separate after opening our hearts to them, and them to us.

The world is full of errant doctrines, and having an exhaustive list of those doctrines would be next to impossible. However, there are a few key doctrines which are more common among those seeking the Judaic nature of faith in Messiah which have already surfaced at Bat-Tzion several times. These are the ones we will present here in summary.

Two Houses of Israel

Two Houses of Israel

Two Houses of Israel – that western-European Christians and their descendants are genetically the ten northern tribes and therefore G-d saved them because they are the physical seed of Avraham, and are “The House of Israel,” and will inherit the land of Israel with Judah.

“Command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer, nor to devote themselves to myths, and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations, rather than advancing the work of Elohim, which is by trust.” (1st Tim. 1:3-4)

Bat-Tzion does not take issue with the fact that the kingdom of Yisra’el was divided in two some 3,000 years ago. Clearly, the Jews are Judah, Benjamin, and part of Levi, and there were ten other tribes who made up the kingdom of Israel in the north, the scattered, forgotten part of the Northern Kingdom. However, Israel today is the nation so called by that name, and not the ten “lost tribes.” Israel in the time of Messiah was the Kingdom of Judah, and those of the northern kingdom who rejoined Israel proper under Judah’s king of Israel. Today’s Jews are Judah and the returned portion of the other ten who came back in the time of Hezekiah. (2 Chron 30). It is our contention that those who now believe in Messiah Yeshua who are not Jewish, yet see the covenants in their entirety and desire to follow Elohim and His Messiah, are in fact grafted into Judah, the known ‘natural’ seed of Israel in the Holy Land in the time of Messiah. They are, therefore, under Judah’s tutelage (Eph. 2:19-22 Rom. 10:12, 11:17-21), since Messiah and all the apostles were from the Kingdom of Judah. The scriptures are clear on this. Calling the northern “Kingdom” by the name “Yisra’el” was a temporary moniker for a kingdom which no longer exists. It is our contention that today “Israel” represents both ‘natural’ Israel in regard to the Jewish people and the land, and spiritual “Israel” in regard to the kahal, since there are Jews in the Kahal (Assembly) who believe in Messiah. There are not “Two Israels,” which is what “Two-House” theology implies. Spiritual Israel never supplanted natural Israel (Romans 11). A Remnant of Natural Yisra’el became Spiritual Yisra’el when the first 500 Jews believed in Messiah’s Resurrection. The first 3,500 believers were Jewish, and they were the Yisra’el of Elohim, the True Israel. no one is the Israel of G-d until they believe in Messiah! But, today, the only people who are genetically recognized as “Israel” are the Jews who are today called “Israel,” living in the land, and the Jews who live in Jewish communities around the world. That is ‘earthly’ Israel. The Shlikhim preached first to Yisra’el, the Jews. (Read the book of Acts) The Yisra’el of Elohim (Gal. 6:16) is made up of Jews and gentiles who trust in Messiah.

Ephraim and Dan, the two ‘leaders’ in the Kingdom of Yisrael that was destroyed, have been forgotten. Why? Because in their cities, “Two Houses” of Israel were built, Temples that יהוה did not command, and they both mixed the worship of Yah with that of idols; they set golden calves in these two temples, one in the territory of Dan, and one in the territory of Ephraim, and they each called this calf יהוה! They will never be brought back in! The tribes listed in Revelation 7, already in the Land during the tribulation, do not include Ephraim and Dan! Why would anyone want to claim to be part of these tribes, and hinge their station in Yah’s kingdom on it? Interestingly, these are the two tribes “two-housers” claim genetic attachment to the most!

Several leaders in this congregation are genetically from the tribe of Yehuda/Jewish, as are many congregants. Nothing Anti-Semitic will be accepted, and Ephraimite/Two House theory, at its root and by many of its progenitors, can tend toward anti-Semitism and ‘replacement theology’. Any notion that presumes arbitrary, modern “Ephraimites” should wrest the promises and/or the land from Israel is strongly opposed by the congregation. Any divisive spirit that derides the place of Judah in the land or as the leader in the Kingdom will be opposed. The sin of Ephraim was his opposition to Judah as the royal line and owner of the land of the House of Elohim.

One scripture that is used to support the “Two House/Two Stick, Ephraimite Israel” idea is this: “But He (Yeshua) answered and said, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the House of Yisra’el.”” (Matt. 15:24, Matt 15:24) The assertion is that these lost sheep are the scattered Northern Tribes, the “Ten Lost Tribes,” that since they were the “House of Israel,” that is who Yeshua came to save. The idea is extended to mean that those who have become believers, who are predominantly European, western Europeans like the British, the Danes, the Scots, the Irish, et cetera, are the lost sheep of Yisra’el, the scattered northern tribes now “found,” and it is proven by their salvation, earning their salvation partly because of their supposed but fictitious genetic inheritance. This is simply not true. Proponents of this interpretation forget that just a few chapters before, Yeshua told His Talmidim this: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, nor into any city of the Samaritans do not enter, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’el.” (Matt. 10:6) Analysis of the gospels and the book of Acts shows us that they ministered only in Judea (jew-DE-a), to the Jews of His time, and not to the Samaritans, who were known descendants of the northern scattered tribes. Further, they were forbidden to go to the “Gentiles,” or the “goyim” at this point. Yeshua brought Salvation to the JEW first! And He called them the Lost Sheep of the House of Yisra’el.

Once again, Bat-Tzion does not take issue with the fact that the northern tribes were scattered. What we take issue with is the assertion that one is a genetic descendant of Yisra’el, and that יהוה saved them because they are sons of Avraham. No. “Know therefore that they who are of the faith, they are the Children of Avraham.” (Gal. 3:6-7) that is the Yisra’el of Elohim. (Gal. 6:16) We are all sons of Avraham because he saved us. Regardless of genetic makeup! “For the real Jew is not a Jew outwardly (by genetics or behavior)… on the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly.” (Rom. 2:29)

Those who promote this doctrine insist that Ephraim is to be “the fullness of the gentiles.” First, this was fulfilled in the time of Joshua, when Ephraim outgrew the land of their tribal inheritance. (Read the book of Joshua) Second, “goyim” does not mean “gentiles,” it simply means “nations.” To imply that this means they would be the numerous sons of Great Britain or other European nations is called ”eisegesis,” writing into the text something that is not there. This simply means that they would be “fruitful,” which is what Ephraim means. They were very fruitful. But, then, all of Israel was told that if they disobeyed and were cast out of the land, they would be few in number when they return! יהוה says this twice in the Torah. (see document linked below for details).

It is further asserted that the parable of the prodigal son is the “Two House” story. This cannot be. First, in the parable, the son who leaves his Father’s house does so in good standing, with his Father’s blessing. Proponents of Two House theology insist that this son represents Ephraim/Israel, the northern kingdom. This was not so of the northern tribes. They were driven out by their Father at the hand of the Assyrians for their extreme disobedience. They did not ask to leave with His blessing, and they did not take their wealth with them! They left as slaves, in abject poverty, subservient instantly to their overlords. The Father told them He would forget them! Second, the parable shows that the son who stayed never left home, but perpetually enjoyed his Father’s blessings up to the day the prodigal returned! Two-House proponents insist this is “Judah.” This is not true of Judah/Jews: they, too, were driven out of the Land by their Father, and have been in great distress throughout the ages, until now. And they still have not returned to their Father en masse. So, this is a serious infraction against the meaning of this story, a twist on it, in fact, and a deceitful one.

Another example of poor academic analysis offered by promoters of this doctrine is the assertion that the origin of the word “Saxon” derives from a conjoining of “Isaac’s Sons.” For those who do not understand linguistics and etymology, this is an easy segue into error. They do this with many words that have coincidental similarity, because they are not linguistic experts, and it is convenient to support their assertions this way. Those who do not study linguistics fall prey to this trickery. Below is the actual etymology (origin) of the word “Saxon:”

Saxon c.1300, from L.L. Saxonem (nom. Saxo), usually found in pl. Saxones, from P.Gmc. *sakhsan (cf. O.E. Seaxe, O.H.G. Sahsun, Ger. Sachse “Saxon”), with a possible literal sense of “swordsmen” (cf. O.E. seax, O.Fris., O.N. sax “knife, short sword, dagger,” perhaps ult. from PIE root of saw (1)). The word figures in the well-known story, related by Geoffrey of Monmouth, who got it from Nennius, of the treacherous slaughter by the Anglo-Saxons of their British hosts: “Accordingly they all met at the time and place appointed, and began to treat of peace; and when a fit opportunity offered for executing his villany, Hengist cried out, “Nemet oure Saxas,” and the same instant seized Vortigern, and held him by his cloak. The Saxons, upon the signal given, drew their daggers, and falling upon the princes, who little suspected any such design, assassinated them to the number of four hundred and sixty barons and consuls ….” OED helpfully points out that the correct O.E. (with an uninflected plural) would be nimað eowre seax. For other national names that may have derived from characteristic tribal weapons, cf. Frank, Lombard. Still in 20c. used by Celtic speakers to mean “an Englishman.” In ref. to the modern Ger. state of Saxony (Ger. Sachsen, Fr. Saxe) it is attested from 1634. Saxon is the source of the -sex in Essex, Sussex, etc. (cf. Middlesex, from O.E. Middel-Seaxe “Middle Saxons”). Bede distinguished the Anglo-Saxons, who conquered much of southern Britain, from the Eealdesaxe “Old Saxons,” who stayed in Germany.

The original words, which were first used to represent this people group, then, were Seaxe, Sahsun, and Sachse, and they all are rooted in hand tools/weapons, and not genealogy or patrilineal sequence, and have absolutely no linguistic tie to Hebrew’s “B’ney Yitzkhak,” the Hebrew for “Isaac’s Sons.” The modern word “Saxon” has changed from its origin, drastically, and bears little similarity in phonetics to the original forms of the word, nor to any Hebrew word or English words for “Isaac’s Sons.” The same kind of trickery is used on the term “Britain,” since it bears coincidental similarity to “brit,” or “covenant.” Yet the etymology of “Britain” shows no relationship to Hebrew, and no similarity to “Covenant.” Similarly, assertions are made that the Danes are the missing “Danites” from scripture. Since the northern kingdom of Israel was not scattered until 700 BC, this is impossible, given that Denmark was settled in 3900 BC! (Nielsen, Poul Otto (May 2003). “Denmark: History, Prehistory.” Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The original syllable in “Danmark” likely comes from tenne, meaning “flatland,” or other geographic references, and not “judge,” as the Hebrew syllable connotes. These and many other such irresponsible, unacademic, even deceptive assertions leave many of the promoters of this doctrine suspect, at best.

The scriptures clearly indicate that the northern tribes went East into territories known to be in Iran, and further east, and were forgotten. The “Lost Sheep” of the House of Yisra’el were those in Israel in His day who had been misled by their “shepherds/pastors,” as YirmiYahu said of Judah. (Jer 50:6, a prophet to the Southern Kingdom). It had nothing to do with geography, nor the ten northern tribes, but everything to do with deception and error.

Bat-Tzion welcomes anyone who trusts one day that Yeshua will return all Israel to the land and save all Israel, but does not hold to the current physical manifestation or “revelation” of Ephraim in our day by those who are being ‘saved’ because of their mysterious, hidden genetic inheritance, which cannot be proven at all. Again, we are not saved because we are Yisra’el, we are Yisra’el because we are saved, and our genes have no place in that determination.

For detailed analysis of scripture on this issue, please read: The Two Houses Theory and the Scriptures

Sacred Name

Sacred Name/Yeshua’s Name

Sacred Name/Yeshua’s Name pronunciation privilege– that there is a ‘revealed’ pronunciation of either the Name יהוה, or of Yeshua, that precludes anyone else’s pronunciation.

Bat-Tzion does declare the Name יהוה , as instructed in scripture. And, Bat-Tzion does believe that Yeshua’s name is important, and therefore important to His identity. But, there is no one on earth whose argument over how יהוה is pronounced is any more compelling than the next to the degree that it should divide believers. Neither is there any pronunciation of either of those names that means that if one does not confess the NAME in THAT particular, special pronunciation, then that one is not saved/righteous.

The name יהוה has been shown to be pronounced “Yahu’ah” since times of antiquity. The Name Yeshua is rampant throughout the Aramaic text, the primary text of New Testament study for Bat-Tzion. There is almost zero room for any variation when tracing from the Aramaic, the sister language of Hebrew. At times, the Aramaic form of Yeshua was used in Hebrew portions of the Tanak in order to express the Hebrew equivalent name, Yehoshua. The Masoretes recorded the pronunciation of Hebrew in a voweling system LONG USED in Hebrew synagogues all the way back in the 6th century A.D. There is no reason to believe the language had changed that much at all. Modern Hebrew agrees with these pronunciations, and too many scholars have agreed. See the file: “You Shall Call His Name Yeshua” .

Bat-Tzion cherishes both of these Names, but will not be put under condemnation for not pronouncing them with any special group of people who claim to have the divinely revealed pronunciation. Several groups who have espoused any variant of this doctrine have turned into cults, with a single ‘prophet’ at the top who claims to have a seat next to Yah’s throne, and special communicative power with the Father no one else has. Not all who follow these pronunciation doctrines have gone that way, but the potential is certainly there.

Bat-Tzion calls the Father יהוה , and the Son “Yeshua”. In speaking The Name in conversation, we say only Yah, as in Psalm 94:12, but in sacred context of prayer and worship, and ministry, we declare the name יהוה. For more on our understanding of the Name, please read: “The Name”

No Yom Kippur Fast

The Yom Kippur Fast

The Yom Kippur Fast is not commanded – that the command to “afflict your souls” does not mean to fast as the “Jews” do, but simply to be ‘serious’ on Yom Kippur.

There is a trend in some of the ‘two-house’ leaning circles in Messianic “Judaism” that says we should not ‘fast’ on Yom Kippur, because that is what Jews do, and the word in Leviticus 23 does not say ‘fast’, but ‘afflict’, which only means to humble oneself. On the surface, this doctrine sounds lofty, sounds ‘holy’, and sounds like an honest attempt to get to truth. Unfortunately, this is rooted in lack of scholarship, and in anti-Semitism, and the hatred/mistrust of all doctrines of Jews, just because they are “Jewish.” They forget that Yeshua showed up and worked within the framework of 1st Century “Jew”daism during His ministry, and would not violate its ‘customs’ unless those customs violated the Torah.

Yeshua kept the Jewish customs, the ones that did not contravene Torah. The custom of fasting is less a custom and more a command, though to us who are so far removed from the word ‘afflict’, we do not see that “anah”, conjugated as “anitem et nafshoteikhem”, actually does mean to fast, and scripture proves it. We assume sometimes that “Strong’s Concordance”, a lexicon published in AD 1890 by a Methodist protestant, is the ‘authoritative source’ on Hebrew. That is a DANGEROUS assumption, and discredits mountains of other Hebrew scholarship, and does NOT take into account what ancient JEWS used words for and how THEY understood them, including Yeshua.

Further, Stephen, Sha’ul, and the rest of the Shlikhim, were FALSELY accused of wanting to do away not only with Moshe [Torah], but with the CUSTOMS established in Yisrael. Pay attention: these were FALSE ACCUSATIONS!

“And they appointed false witnesses who said, ‘This man does not cease to speak against the Torah and against this makom hakadosh; for we have heard him say that Yeshua HaNatzri shall destroy this place and shall change the customs which Moshe entrusted to you.’ ” Acts 6:13-14 [Perek Version]

“And when they heard it, they glorified Elohim and said to Sha’ul, ‘Our brother, see how many thousands there are in Y’huda who are believers, and they are all zealous for the Torah: but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Y’hudim who are among the Goyim to forsake the Torah of Moshe, stating that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to follow after the customs of the Torah. Now, therefore, they have heard that you have come here. Do, therefore, what we tell you. We have four men who have vowed to purify themselves; Take them and go purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; then everyone will know that what has been said against you is a lie, and that you yourself uphold the Torah and obey it.’ ” Acts 21:20-24 [PV]

We see here, then, that keeping the customs/traditions was part of keeping Torah, in the minds of TENS OF THOUSANDS of JEWS who believed in Yeshua! And Sha’ul did NOT repudiate them, but agreed with them. He also declared that he kept both the Torah and the CUSTOMS, years later when he was defending himself against the same accusations:

Then Sha’ul answered, “I have committed no offense against the Torah of the Y’hudim, or against the Temple, or against Caesar.” Acts 25:8 [PV]

“And after three days, Sha’ul sent and called the leaders of the Y’hudim; and when they were come together, he said to them, ‘Men and my brethren, though I have done nothing against the people and the Torah of my fathers, yet I was delivered from Yerushalayim in bonds into the hands of the Romans, who, when they had examined me, would have released me, because they found in me no cause worthy of death. But as the Y’hudim stood against me, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my own people.’ ” Acts 28:17-19 [PV]

There is a lot to see in these two passages. First, that he did nothing against the “Temple”; the temples embodied many ‘customs’ that were not explicit in Torah, but that went hand in hand with Torah commands. You will see, one of these was fasting on Yom Kippur. Next, we see that, again, Sha’ul declares that he himself did nothing against the ‘traditions’/customs of ‘our fathers’, the JEWS. He is defending his obedience to JEWISH CUSTOM, even AFTER he became a believer in Messiah Yeshua. Check the book of Acts from about chapter 13 through the end, and you will see Sha’ul keeping customs. One of them was Synagogue attendance on Shabbat. There is no direct command to go to a Synagogue. Why, then, do we see Yeshua, Kefa and the 11, Sha’ul, and many tens of thousands of Messianic Jews doing so? We can also see that in the Jewish mind, the death penalty was justified for breaking CUSTOMS. Not just commands; why? Because in their minds, the customs were ‘how’ to keep the commands. They were not separate. Again, the ones Yeshua opposed were the ones that replaced or prevented actually keeping the commands. The ones that supported the commands, those handed down from Moshe, He upheld, as did Sha’ul and all the Talmidim of Yeshua.

Now, to fasting on Yom Kippur itself, the command reads this way:

“Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement [Yom HaKippurim]; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and you shall afflict your souls [anitem et nafshoteikhem]; and you shall bring an offering made by fire unto יהוה .” Lev. 23:27

Those teaching that this does not mean fast assert that since a Methodist preacher decided it only means “afflict”, they can discard the rest of scripture concerning the Hebrew use of this word and ignore the “custom” of fasting on Yom Kippur. That is a DANGEROUS day to tinker with! Ezra shows us how this word means to fast.

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before Eloheinu, to seek of Him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” Ezra 8:21

The word for ‘fast’ here is “tzom”, which is the root word for ‘abstaining from food’, lest there be any doubt about what Ezra is recording. It is followed by the phrase, “L’hitanot lifnei Eloheinu”, or “afflict ourselves before Eloheinu”. So, the fasting was done for the purpose of ‘afflicting’. Indeed, Biblical ‘affliction’ is ‘hunger’, and this is seen in many hundreds of uses of the word in the Tanak.

Let’s make sure this holds up with more than one witness, however:

“But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” Psalm 35:13

“And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noonday..” Yesha-Yahu (Isaiah) 58:10

“In those days I Daniel was mourning three whole weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled…. Then said he unto me: ‘Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand and to afflict yourself before Eloheikha, your words were heard…’” Daniel 10:2-3, 12

“Blow the shofar in Tzion, sanctify the fast, call a solemn assembly…” Yoel 2:15

So, we now have four scriptural witnesses that clearly show us that in many cases the word ‘anah’ is used to indicate that FASTING is the “how” we do the ‘afflicting/humbling’. In Yoel, this is the second shofar of the fall season, and the ‘fast’ is accompanied with the assembly of weeping and supplication, and this has long been seen by Jews as Yom Kippur, the Great Shofar. This was NOT a later “Jewish” concept, but a deeply rooted Torah concept. Moshe taught the Jews this, that ‘afflict’ in the context of Yom Kippur meant ‘fast’, and the prophets echoed it. It is not a “Jewish”, Talmudic custom, as many in so-called “Messianic” circles are now teaching.

This is further born out in the Mishnah, a document that was compiled in the late 2nd/early 3rd century. The Mishnah is the writing down of the orally taught ‘customs’ that were used in the Temple during the Second Temple period. Messiah Yeshua went to that Temple to observe the customs, and to show how those customs pointed to Himself. The customs of our Jewish people are very, very important. The Mishnah is NOT the Talmud. These were the students of people like Gamliel in the Brit Khadasha, who wrote down their teachings about Temple service one generation after they passed. It is the closest we can get to understanding ‘how’ they did things.

In the Mishnah, in Tractate Yoma, which explains how Yom Kippur was conducted in the Temple by the priesthood, we see very clearly that the 1st century JEWS observed a FAST in order to AFFLICT their souls before Elohim as commanded. [Yisrael was made up primarily of the tribes of Judah [JEWdah], Benjamin, and Levi, but small remnants of all the other tribes as well, and they were all called JEWS/YISRAELIS interchangeably. Two-housers can’t wrap their head around that, and it thwarts their doctrine]

In “Perek 4” (Chapter 4) of the Yoma Tractate, we read:

“But this day he scooped them out with a gold one [and was not required to empty one to the other] and with it he would bring it in [and offer it, thus conserving energy for the High Priest on this fast day]. On all other days he would….”

Here, we learn that on Yom Kippur, the High Priest is fasting, and his duty with the ashes is modified to accommodate his fast. This is the first mention in this tractate of the fast. In other words, there must have been a common understanding in Yisra’el that they fasted, that the Mishnah did not need to explain what “anitem nafshoteikhem”/afflict your souls meant! It was simply stated as a matter of fact that the High Priest was fasting that day!

We see this same defacto understanding in Perek 6, where we read:

“At each booth they would say to him, here is food and water, not that it ever happened that one needed to break his fast, rather, it was a comfort for the person to know that it was there, if needed.”

This is describing the journey of the escort for Azazel, the ‘goat for Azazel’ [known incorrectly as the “scapegoat”]. This escort was offered food, but no escort EVER took it! This is on Yom Kippur, when he is escorting Azazel to the cliff. This also shows us that there was a ‘defacto’ understanding that everyone fasted on Yom Kippur, not just the High Priest.

Then, in Perek 8 we read:

“since the Torah states regarding Yom Kippur, “You must afflict yourselves”, one consuming less than the bulk of a large date including its pit does not alleviate the affliction of fasting…”

Here, we are reading how fasting applies to ALL YISRAEL, and how it is EQUATED with ‘anah’, or “affliction”/”humbling” oneself. Again, the command for one to fast is never mentioned, but it is treated as if everyone in Yisrael understood it this way, and it is showing some mercy on the part of Elohim and Moshe, saying that food the size of a date’s bulk is permitted in emergencies!

Again, Yeshua adhered to these customs, all the Shlikhim [Apostles] did, suffering and dying in never ‘admitting’ to the lies that they violated Torah AND Customs, and the biblical proof that ‘anitem et nafshoteikhem’ actually means ‘fast’ is more than sufficient. There are many, many other scriptures where ‘anah/afflict’ is used in the context of HUNGER. Those teaching that Yom Kippur is NOT a fast are in serious error. It is NO SURPRISE to us that this doctrine is coming from TWO HOUSERS.

Our congregational Halakha on Yom Kippur is that WE FAST IN HUMILITY on that day. “How can two [or more] walk [share halakha, halakha meaning ‘your walk’ ] TOGETHER, unless they are in agreement?” If you’re ‘walking’ with those who teach this and other doctrines, please prayerfully consider the wisdom of the Prophets instead.

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Trinity

Trinity

Trinity – that there is a “god-head” made up of three separate ‘persons’, who share a “body”.

Trinity: Definition and Etymology of the word:
“a group of three”
“the state of being threefold or triple”
from Latin ‘trinitatem’ for triad, three.

The first, “official” religious definition of “God” the creator as a “Trinity”: Nicea, described “Christ” as “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father“, 325AD

The bishops were forced by Constantine to use this terminology, which is not found in Scripture. They were compelled by an emperor who was not a believer, in fear of the loss of their lives, to “sign on” to this new doctrine.

It is the word ‘substance’ with which we take umbrage.

The Latin for ‘one substance’ is homoousios. “Consubstantial,” meaning they share the same ‘makeup,’ ‘essence’, body, etc.

We differ on this, because Yeshua is a resurrected HUMAN BEING who had been born of flesh, but, having the divine “NATURE” of Elohim, and not the sinful ‘nature’ of Adam. That is what makes Him different from every other human being.

The Catholic church LATER changed the ‘status’ of the ‘Holy Spirit’ [Ruakh HaKodesh] from being the Power and Presence of Elohim, to being a separate male person, even though the Ruakh in Hebrew is treated as feminine in Hebrew grammar. This is not a ‘gender,’ but an expression of the nature of the Ruakh: life-giving and nurturing. The official trinity defines the “Holy Spirit” as a male PERSON the same as the Father and The Son, “separate but equal to” them, having ‘his’ own thoughts. No. The Ruakh expresses the thoughts of the Father, and of Yeshua, who always agree. Though English translations say ‘He will lead you and guide you,” concerning the Ruakh, the Aramaic [Hebrew] reads IT will lead you and guide you, which could easily be seen as ‘SHE will lead you and guide you’, as the articles that describe the Ruakh are feminine too… nonetheless, it is definitely not a “He”, as in a separate male person,which is what the catholic ‘trinity’ demands we believe. Trinitarian doctrine teaches that the Spirit is to be worshiped; NOWHERE does scripture instruct us to worship the Ruakh. We are to worship the Father, with the Son, through the Ruakh, but we are NOT to worship the Ruakh.

The Ruakh emanates from the Father, and is not separate from Him at all. It is His Ruakh. The Hebrew word means “Breath.” Breath comes out of and goes back into living beings continuously, and we are created in fashion after Him. His ‘breath’ carries His Word, just as our breath carries our words. His Word is LIFE and LIGHT, which emanates out of the Father through the power of the Ruakh.

The Father is spirit, but is also corporeal, having a form, a spiritual ‘body.’ We see that we are created in His ‘tzelem’, or ‘image/outline/shadow’, and also in his ‘d’mut’, or ‘character’/to be like Him. We see His ‘form’ in the garden, walking with Adam in the cool of the day. We see His form at the mountain, where the elders saw His feet. We see Him again from the cleft, where He showed Moshe His Glory, not willing to show him His face. He has a head and face, therefore; WALKING by [having legs and feet], picking Moshe up [having arms and hands], and showing him His back. We see His form in the Hitgalut/Revelation, where He is seen sitting on the throne, having a scroll in His right hand.

Yeshua is the D’var, the WORD, which emanates from the Father in the power of the Ruakh. He is eternal. He is the Father’s Son. He belongs to the Father. Before He became “A Body,” [flesh] however, He was only in His Father. When He was here, He said “My Father is with me.” “I proceeded forth and came OUT OF my Father.” Before He became a man, He manifested in many ‘forms’ and ‘ways’[Hebrews 1:1]: To Avraham at Mamre as a Malakh; to Ya’akov at Beit El as a malakh; to Moshe in the bush, as the Malakh יהוה ; to Manoah as the Malakh יהוה , to Shmu’el as the Malakh יהוה in the DAVAR, To Shadrakh Meshakh, Abednego and Nebukhadnezzar as The Son of God, and many, many times to the Prophets as THE WORD of יהוה .

These were temporary manifestations of the SON of Elohim, before He became the Son [Psalm 2: “I will proclaim the decree: יהוה has said, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'” This is a prophecy concerning the birth of Yeshua.] He has now PERMANENTLY manifested in a HUMAN BODY as the Son: “The WORD became a BODY and lived among us…” [John 1:14]

Yeshua is, therefore, the Son, begotten of Elohim, therefore Elohim ‘reproduced’ or ‘spiritually procreated’ His Nature in His Son, Yeshua, A MAN. He is STILL a MAN, though having been raised from the dead. Yeshua is both DIVINE AND human. He died. God cannot die, but Yeshua’s HUMAN body died. His HUMAN soul went into Sheol. [Psalm 16, Acts 2] His Father, the Almighty RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.

Yeshua has now been GIVEN all power and authority. If He had always been ‘Very God of Very God,” then “God” would not have had to give Him anything. Yet this is what we read. And, He does not know all that His Father knows, since He Himself does not know the time of His return. “Only my Father knows.” He will return all things to His Father in the End, He is subject to His Father, in obedience. He NOW stands at the Right Hand of His Father, and the Father gives the Ruakh to those who trust, through His Son. Yeshua is the commonality between God and Man. He is not “God” BY HIMSELF, but stands equal with God, because His Father is pleased with Him, and hence has exalted Him, and given Him His Name.

This is what the plain meaning of the texts teach.

Trinitarian ‘logic’ goes far beyond scripture, defines NEW terms that are not in scripture, and completely ignores the greatest commandment, according to Yeshua the Son:

“Shema, Yisra’el, יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.”

The Father is יהוה ; His son is Yeshua, who has also been given the Name יהוה ; the Ruakh is His LIFE/BREATH, emanating out of the Father, through Yeshua the Son, to us. ONE ELOHIM, manifesting in the Son and the Ruakh. That the Ruakh is not a ‘person’ is obvious, since it ‘burns’ before the throne in SEVEN Lights of a Menorah. [Revelation 4:5]

There are NOT “three gods” in “one substance,” which is what the catholic trinity demands, but ONE GOD manifesting permanently in His Son, who manifests to us by His Ruakh, as this is what HE has chosen to do. He could be WHATEVER HE WANTS: “Eyeh Asher Eyeh”, “I will be whatever I will be.” [Exodus 3]. But HE said “I am יהוה .” He first sent His Son, a manifestation of His Nature, and then sent His own Breath/Ruakh through that Son. But, He has never been more than ONE.

Most Christians teach a “trinity”, which is a holdover from the worship of Mithras, a trinity, whom Constantine continued to worship and incorporated into Christianity at the council of Nicea.

We have shown that the council of Nicea declared the Father and the Son to be “of the same ‘substance’ ”, or corporeally the same, which denies the Son of His resurrected flesh and bone, or, makes the Father ‘substantially’ flesh and bone and not spirit. The Son of G-d, Yeshua, declared “I came out of Elohim, and now I have arrived here. I did NOT come on my own: HE SENT ME”. John 8:42] He was “IN Elohim” in the beginning. [John 1:1-2, John 8:42] And the Father was IN HIM while He was here, “The ONE who SENT me is still with me”. [John 8:29]

Because the catholic trinity is so misunderstood and has so many variant understandings among protestants, many of whom confess they do not ‘understand it,’ we DO welcome ‘trinitarians’ into the congregation, unless they make issue of this. We DO NOT accept Trinitarians who accuse us of being “un-saved” for not agreeing with this doctrine of man, and we DO NOT accept those who attempt to “convert” us to this doctrine, outside of honest scriptural based questions and interpretations. But, our confession must come from scripture ALONE, and not Socratic logic and extra-biblical terms and definitions that are necessary in order to ‘understand and accept’ this subtle form of paganism. [‘trinity’ is a pagan concept that goes back to ancient Bavel and the scattering of the nations. The ‘dates’/’seasons’ of the worship of this trinity were imposed by Constantine at the same time as this doctrine, changing the feasts and the Torah.] Come let us search the scriptures daily to see whether these things are so. Usually, when a courageous, serious look is taken into the doctrine, the magic “I believe” button most had to push in order to accept the doctrine is easily released, realizing there is no support for the Trinity doctrine in scripture.

Bat-Tzion agrees with the great command as declared by Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim:

“HEAR, O Israel! יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE!”

[Mark 12:29, Deut 6:4]

Tongues

Tongues

Public use of “tongues” – that “tongues” is the only sign/ or the one ‘necessary’ sign of the presence of the Ruakh HaKodesh, that it can be given to another by man, and/or that it must manifest in every congregational setting.

Bat-Tzion believes in the several powers of the Ruakh HaKodesh, and that they are for the Kahal [congregation] today. However, this one manifestation is misused and abused, and completely misunderstood in some cases, and in many cases, simply forged.

It is the Father’s decision to empower the believer, converted “sons of the Most High”, with His Power. [1st Cor 12:11] He has given us the ability to discern when and when not to move in that power. [1st Cor 14:32] This particular ability, “tongues” is a private enabling of the power of the Ruakh HaKodesh, which is NOT to be used in public settings, UNLESS there is a KNOWN INTERPRETER, or someone KNOWN to have the power of interpretation of languages, which, oddly, is a power that is not widely recognized or employed.

He does NOT give the SAME abilities to everyone in the SAME WAY. He gives SOME to prophesy, some to teach, and SOME to speak in other languages [1st Cor 12:8-10]. Notice that the 3,000 who were immersed on Shavuot did not all speak in other languages! [Acts 2:6-8] Only the original five hundred or so did, and it was TO SAVE THE 3,000! Tongues, in a public setting, is for the UNBELIEVER! [1st Cor 14:22].

Much of what is considered “tongues” in the various congregations is nothing more than syllabic nonsense, not inspired/given by the Ruakh HaKodesh. [1st Cor 14:9-11] Biblical “tongues” are LANGUAGES that are coherent, and spoken on earth for MEN to understand. If Elohim gives a person the use of a language unknown to himself, whether in the presence of men or messengers of heaven, it is for PRIVATE use [1st Cor 14:2,4], and only Yah understands it.

Bat-Tzion welcomes the power of the Ruakh, but not indiscriminately, where things are out of order, but that what is done is done for the edification of the Body, and not the spiritual ‘glorification’ of would-be prophets. We are praying that IF anyone indeed has a message for our Kahal in another language, that there will be an interpreter of that message, and that it will be the POWER of Elohim, and not the fanciful wishes of men conjuring an incoherent, horoscope-style promise of spiritual cake and ice-cream. When Elohim speaks, it is FEARFUL.

Miracle Healings

Miracle Healings

Miracle services/healing ministry – that the Kahal can at any time decide to have a ‘miracle service’, invite Jesus, and He will come and heal anyone who is sick.

Bat-Tzion believes in the power of the Messiah to heal. Many in our congregation have been healed miraculously by Messiah. Bat-Tzion prays DAILY for the health of its Body, and on Shabbat prays for an hour, much of it beseeching Yah through the scriptures [Psalm 6, 33, 40, 88, 103] for Him to heal His people. And, our Kahal has reaped the benefit of those prayers. But, Messiah healed only those whom HIS FATHER TOLD HIM TO.

If the Father did not compel Yeshua the Son to heal EVERYONE in Israel when He was bodily present on earth, He will neither do so today. Not everyone is healed who is a believer and gets sick. Not everyone who is a believer is guaranteed not ever to get sick. The sad truth is, some of us will suffer.

Bat-Tzion’s elders pray corporately for members of the Body when those members ASK. “Is any among you sick? Let HIM CALL for the elders of the Kahal; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of יהוה .” In James 5:14, notice that it is the sick person who should call for the elders. Therein is faith.

Bat-Tzion does not hold a prayer service every time the doors are open, begging Yah to manifest in some miraculous way. But we are in continual prayer for the sick in our Body, even after congregational meetings. The communion is a healing process, and healing may occur at times simply during Shabbat worship, because He is there. But it is His decision. If two of us gather as He would have us gather, He IS there. What He does, however, is up to Him.

Yeshua did not often “pray” for healing. In fact, He never did, according to the gospels. Many times, He only stated that “YOUR FAITH has made you whole”. A plea from someone who WANTED healing was made because the sick “saw” Him, and believed He WOULD heal them. Interestingly, those who called Him Rabbi [teacher] were healed by His touch. Those who called Him Adon [Master] He would speak to and heal. But those who called Him יהוה Son of Elohim, or Messiah, THEIR FAITH HEALED THEM even from great distances. The onus is on the sick, and on the Father. We are only vessels who can pray when asked. He is the healer. Bat-Tzion, again, is praying for the various powers of the Ruakh, of which healing is one.

Calvinism

Calvinism

Calvinism of any variation – that there is a special subgroup of hand-picked people who merit salvation for some mysterious, unknown reason, while others are predestined to die a death in hell, and could not possibly be saved from that destruction.

Bat-Tzion believes in predestination, but that the predestination spoken of in scripture is a direct result of the foreknowledge of יהוה , who is NOT confined by time, but “Who WAS, and who IS, and who WILL BE”. “Because He FOREKNEW US, He therefore predestined us”.[Rom. 8:29].

יהוה set HIS PATH in our place because He knows His Children, so He gave them who accept His Will the ability to become all to which they aspire. But, He has given EVERY MAN the opportunity to become His child. The Messiah died “not only for our sins, but for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD”.

Elohim has given the human mind the power of choice; and He did this to confound the enemy, HaSatan, who CHOSE to defy TRUTH. When we hear the “Good News” about the Kingdom of Elohim and RECEIVE it by FAITH, the Spirit enables us to move in that predestined path, the Torah of righteousness, the ‘image’ of His Son.

Yeshua came to save the WORLD. He has ALL POWER, but the will of man will condemn man, not Elohim [John 3:19-21]. He “desires” all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).

If he desires all men to be saved AND He has all power, how is it that all men are not saved if Calvinism is true? Calvinism requires accepting statements that are clear contradictions, such as “we have not means to go to God ourselves, either by choosing or by good works” AND “we do choose to accept His amazing gift of grace.” In an attempt to obscure such obvious contradictions, additional terms are defined such as irresistible grace, special grace, enabling grace, sufficient grace, efficacious grace, etc., that are not defined in scripture.

Chagigah

Passover or Chagigah

A new teaching, or more accurately an old teaching that has resurfaced, has been circulating around the Messianic community lately. The teaching claims Messiah’s Pesakh with His Talmidim was not an actual Pesakh, but a “Chagigah” sacrifice occurring the evening before Pesakh. 

This teaching appears to be another attempt to reconcile the timing of Pesakh with that of the Rabbis of today and the Pharisees of the 1st century. This error is seen in Yokhanan 18:28 

“Then they brought Yeshua from Kayapa to the Praetorium; and it was morning; and they did not enter into the Praetorium, so that they might not be defiled before they ate the Pesakh.” 

We at Bat-Tzion believe the Pesakh offering is commanded to be at the beginning of the 14th day of the first month, not at the end of the 14th day. For a detailed explanation of why we believe this way, please refer to our teaching “Reckoning Pesakh” which can be found at www.battzion.org . 

The claim in regard to the Chagigah offering is that it was an offering in the first century customarily held between 1 and 4 days before Pesakh and which was occasionally even referred to as a Pesakh offering. 

The first proof which proponents of this teaching give is that the Chagigah offering is described in the Mishna. However, upon further investigation you see that the Chagigah section talks only of the offerings concerning the chagim (festivals). While it does discuss different aspects of the festal-offerings, festival-offerings and pilgrimage-offerings, it never mentions that any of these offerings are made 1-4 days before Pesakh, nor does it EVER refer to any other offerings as “a Pesakh offering”. 

Based on the Mishna, even the definition of the pilgrimage-offerings are different between the different sects of Judaism. 

Abaye said: Beth Shammai and R. Eleazar and R. Ishmael are all of the opinion that the burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the wilderness was a pilgrimage-offering. And Beth Hillel and R. Akiba and R. Jose the Galilean are all of the opinion that the burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the wilderness was the ‘continual burnt-offering’. (Talmud – Mas. Chagigah 6a) 

Notice that even those who believed these were not the continual burnt offerings just believed they were offerings given to appear before Elohim at the temple during the three pilgrimage feasts. 

The festal and festival offerings refer to the actual Pesakh offering and the other offerings commanded during Khag HaMatzot (the festival of unleavened bread) respectively, which are listed in BaMidbar (Numbers) 28:16-25 

16And in the first khodesh, on the fourteenth day of the khodesh, is the Pesakh of יהוה . 17 And on the fifteenth day of this khodesh shall be a Moed; seven days shall Matzot be eaten. 18In the first day shall be a Mikrah Kodesh; you shall do no manner of servile work; 19but you shall present an offering made by fire, an Olah unto יהוה : two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven he-lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish; 20and their Minkhah, fine flour mingled with oil; three tenth parts shall you offer for a bullock, and two tenth parts for the ram; 21a several tenth part shall you offer for every lamb of the seven lambs; 22and one he-goat for a Khatat, to make atonement for you. 23you shall offer these beside the Olah of the morning, which is for an Olah Tamid. 24After this manner you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of the offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto יהוה ; it shall be offered beside the Olah Tamid, and the Nesekh thereof. 25And on the seventh day you shall have a Mikrah Kodesh; you shall do no manner of servile work. 

There is no mention in the Mishna of any specific offering prior to the Pesakh offering, especially one that would have been partaken of outside of the Beit HaMikdash. It is only the Talmudic commentary of the Mishan that gives a date on any of these offerings, but notice that based on the Talmud itself, the festival-offering is to be brought AFTER the festal-offering (The Pesakh offering). 

GEMARA: …And regarding the festal-offering of the first festival day of Passover, 29 Beth Shammai say: [It must be brought] from [animals bought with] unconsecrated money; but Beth Hillel say: [It can be brought] also from [animals bought with Second] Tithe money. Why is the festal-offering of the first festival day of Passover different? 30 — It comes to teach us this: Only the festival-offering of the fifteenth [of Nisan must be brought from animals bought with unconsecrated money] but not the festal-offering of the fourteenth [of Nisan].31 (Talmud – Mas. Chagigah 7b) 

Notice this section is discussing the type of money that can be used to purchase each of the offerings, and only mentions the dates of the offerings, to differentiate between the two offerings being discussed. 

So, to summarize, neither the Mishna nor the Talmud itself establishes any argument for the Pesakh that Yeshua had with His Talmidim to be anything other than what Messiah called it, a Pesakh seder. 

The second claim is that this Chagigah offering came from Torah. The claim is that the commands concerning the Pesakh in Shemot differ from the commands concerning the Pesakh in D’varim and the conclusion is that the sacrifice commanded in D’varim is NOT the actual Pesakh sacrifice, but a Chagigah sacrifice that is also referred to as a Pesakh offering. 

The differences listed between the two accounts are;

  1. The Shemot account prescribes a Passover ritual that takes place around the full moon (12:6); but in D’varim, the account says on the new moon (16:1).
  2. The Shemot account has the ritual near the officiant’s own home (12:3); D’varim is at a central location and not at one’s home (16:2, 5, 7).
  3. Shemot specifies a lamb or a goat (12:5), but D’varim offers a choice, either “from the flock (sheep or goat) or the herd (cattle)” (16:2).
  4. Shemot features a lamb or goat that is “wholly roasted,” boiling being explicitly prohibited (12:8); D’varim states that the meat should boiled (most translations render this roasted not boiled).

Any difference between the Passover instructions of Shemot and the Passover instructions of D’varim can be explained due to the fact that the first one was the actual event, while the second one is the memorial of the actual event. They wouldn’t necessarily be exactly the same. In fact, you wouldn’t want them to be exactly the same, because all of the first born in Shemot who didn’t participate in that Passover died. 

Think about those who recreate famous battles as a “memorial” to the original. They make similar changes for practical reasons. The memorial is shorter, with less people, not with live ammunition, probably not in exactly the same place, and again, nobody dies. 

As for point two above, regarding the different locations of where to observe Pesakh, the Shemot Pesakh was in Egypt, but the D’varim Pesakh states “in the place where יהוה chooses to establish His name.” In the Shemot Pesakh they were commanded to put the blood on the door posts of their houses, but there is no such requirement in the memorial of D’varim. For the Shemot Pesakh, they were commanded to stay in their homes, but the memorial is commanded to be away from homes at Jerusalem. Should we perfectly reenact the Shemot Pesakh and all travel back to Egypt to hold it? Of course not! The command to stay in their homes in Shemot was specific because of the judgment יהוה was carrying out on all the firstborn in Egypt. 

יהוה may have allowed differences in the memorial Pesakh offerings for practical and/or spiritual reasons, which makes perfect sense. And both of the Pesakh memorials (2 Kings 23 and 2 Chronicles 35) follow the procedure in the prescribed memorial of D’varim. If the rabbis of history missed this and the current rabbi’s dismiss it, that doesn’t make their error truth. The Torah is truth. 

So let us look at the Torah itself to see if all these supposed differences really exist or if there are other factors, such as misunderstanding of scripture, or even blatant deception going on here. 

To address the first point in the list above, it doesn’t seem that D’varim 16:1 is saying that the Pesakh lamb is to be sacrificed at the “khodesh” of Aviv, because it is not pointing to the exact date of the month, but to the correct month of the year. The Shemot Pesakh was just stated as setting the “first” of months for them, and no name needed to be given to it, because it was happening right then. However, many years later, as a memorial, it is necessary to tell people in advance on what month (khodesh) the Pesakh will be occurring. That month, or khodesh, is Aviv. 

In point three above, the claim is that the D’varim account specifies from the flock or from the herd, unlike the Shemot account which commands the offering be chosen only from the flock. This is clearly a case of bad translation, which appears to be intentional due to the fact that most good translations translate it just the way the Hebrew is written; צֹ֣אן וּ בָקָ֑ר  “from the flock AND from the herd”. This is obviously referring to choosing the Pesakh offering from the flock, just as was instructed in Exodus, AND from the herd, for the other offerings that were commanded during the feast in BaMidbar 28 starting on the first day of the feast. 

The claim in point four above, that there were two different offerings in each account because a different word is used for the cooking method, is also a clear “twisting” of the scriptures with a deceitful translation to support a false doctrine. The problem is that the proponents of this argument translate the Shemot account correctly, in this way;

12:8 They shall eat the flesh that same night; they shall eat it roasted ( צְלִי ) over the fire ( אֵ֣ש ) with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs. 12:9 Do not eat any of it raw, or cooked in any way with water, but roasted—head, legs, and entrails—over the fire. 
Then they translate the D’varim account incorrectly in this way;
16:7 You shall boil (וּבִשַּׁלְתָּ֙) and eat it at the place that the LORD your God will choose; and in the morning you may start back on your journey home. 

The Hebrew word ‘bashal’ used in D’varim does mean boil if you refer to Strong’s or even Brown Driver Briggs, HOWEVER, it also has the idea of cooking or “being done”.  That is why most GOOD translations translate it as roast in D’varim. Because in context, it has to be roast because it is speaking of the Pesakh offering, which we KNOW (based on Shemot) had to be roasted and could not be cooked in water per Abba’s instructions. 

The reason we can say that these teachers are intentionally misrepresenting translations of Scripture is because of their proposed solution to the differences between these accounts from 2nd Chronicles. The proposed solution is that in 2 Chronicles there are 2 different offerings and the assumption is that one is the Pesakh and the other the Chaggigah and both are referred to as Pesakh offerings. 

They translate 2nd Chronicles 35 this way;

35:7Josiah donated to the people flocks— lambs and goats, all for passover sacrifices for all present — to the sum of 30,000, and cattle, 3,000 — these from the property of the king.
35:13  They roasted ( וַֽיְבַשְּׁל֥וּ ) the passover sacrifice in fire ( בָּאֵ֖שׁ ), as prescribed, while the sacred offerings they boiled (בִּשְּׁל֗וּ ) in pots, cauldrons, and pans, and conveyed them with dispatch to all the people. 

Notice that the same Hebrew word ‘bashal’ from D’varim is translated here as ‘roasted’ in the first part of the verse and then as ‘boiled’ in the second part of the verse.  It HAS to be translated as ‘roasted’ in the first part of this verse for two reasons; first it is followed with the word ‘in fire’ which wouldn’t make any sense if it were translated as “boiled in fire” and secondly; because of context, being that it is the Pesakh offering which has to be roasted. (Refer to Abba’s instructions in Shemot) 

So the the translator(s) recognizes this fact in Chronicles and translates ‘bashal’ as roasted here, but then turns around and refuses to acknowledge that same fact (that bashal can mean roasted) in D’varim, and what’s worse, is then they go on to build an argument based on the “fact” that it says roasted in Shemot but boiled in D’varim. 

By the very translation that is used in Chronicles, it proves that bashal can mean roasted, so this shows that there is NO contradiction in the cooking method between Shemot and D’varim, which discredits the idea that this was an additional sacrifice that was also referred to as a Pesakh sacrifice. 

There are also additional arguments from the Brit Khadasha accompanying the Chaggigah teaching that try to support the claim that Yeshua was not having His Pesakh when He did. One of those is that is that the word “artos” (Bread) of 1 Corinthians 11:23-24 could only be leavened bread. This, again, is just wrong. Artos was a generic word for all breads, which could easily have been unleavened bread, because unleavened bread is still artos. But more directly in D’varim 16:3 for the Pesakh, it states; “You shall eat no khametz (H2557) with it; seven days shall you eat Matzot (H4682) therewith, even the Lechem (H3899) of affliction.” Lechem is the generic Hebrew word for bread that most often means leavened bread, but can also mean unleavened bread just as it surely does here. And just like the Hebrew does this, so does the Greek Septuagint. There it reads; “no leaven (G2219), but unleavened bread (G106), the “artos”(G740) of affliction”. So, how can they claim that the “artos” of Yeshua’s Pesakh could only have been leavened bread, when the Greek Septuagint of D’varim claims this very same bread of Pesakh was “artos”? 

There are also claims that the “remembrance” in 1 Corinthians 11, is the same as the Hebrew “Chagigah.” However, the word for “remembrance” in Hebrew is not “Chagigah”, but Zekher. And the first use of “zekher” is in Shemot 17:14 and is used in a negative connotation to “put out the remembrance (zekher) of Amalek”. In fact, the vast majority of uses of “zekher” are not for remembering positive things of יהוה , but remembering negative things; not to do them. 

In conclusion, the argument that Messiah was not having Pesakh with His talmadim on the evening of the 14th day of the first month is nothing new. Christianity has tried for almost two thousand years to separate itself from anything Jewish since Constantine spoke these words at the council of Nicea in 325 CE; “For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforward let us have nothing in common with this odious people;” 

In like manner the rabbis of today who follow the customs of the Pharisee’s of the 1st century have tried to discount Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel, and what better way to do that than to try to show that He did not keep Torah. However, Yeshua kept Torah perfectly, and the clear deceitfulness of this teaching is evident. This is a clear attempt to show that Messiah did not keep the Pesakh with his talmadim on the 14th of the first month, by making up a “custom” that neither the Torah, Prophets, nor the Mishna support, and it is just one more false charge against our Messiah. 

Be diligent to dig into the truth of the Word. With all the tools we have available to us today there is no way these false teachings and deceitful translations can stand up to scrutiny and to the truth of the Word of Elohim.

Many people wonder about these things…

Questions

… and we’re here to answer your questions, if they aren’t already answered here or elsewhere on the website.

“But set apart  יהוה  Mashi’akh in your hearts; and be ready to give an answer in meekness and reverence to everyone who seeks from you a word concerning the hope of your absolute trust,”
-Kefa Alef 3:15 [First Peter]

Aren’t you being “legalistic” by observing the Sabbath and other commands?

Legalism is not very well understood today by many believers. Most people who think that there is no use for the Torah today declare anyone who’s trying to follow it as “legalistic.” This is just another case of misunderstanding the Word of G-d.

Legalistic Legalism

To those who say that Sabbath keepers are legalistic we ask, “Why, then, go to Church on Sunday?” Is it a “law” for your life? Are you not legalistic in doing so? What is the difference? Legalism is what the Pharisees were guilty of: they were trying to “enforce” the “traditions of their men,” versus the commandments of G-d! So legalism that is from the enemy is the attempt by the religious to impose traditions of men on believers in place of the commandments of יהוה! This is exactly what the “Sunday-go-to-meeting tradition” is, as well as the modern “tithe” concept. Legalism is also judging someone else in how they obey יהוה. We do not judge (tell others they’re not saved). But, we do defend our right and call to obey G-d ourselves.

Look at what Messiah said to the Pharisees:

Mat 15:2-9 (a very similar episode is seen in Mark 7:3-13)

(Pharisees speaking to Messiah) “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders, for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But He answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

This is what “legalism” is. G-d is the one who set down the Torah of His Commandments, not men. But men set down “Sunday” worship, Christmas, Easter, modern use of a Torah command called “tithe,” which was rolled up into the priesthood and sacrifice of Messiah, and many other such “traditions” that are now taught as “law,” or covenantal truth. Many of those who say others are “legalistic” are themselves more so, by strictly adhering to tithing and Sunday worship, and other man-made traditions to which their adherents must cling.

To those who accuse Sabbath keepers and those who endeavor to follow Torah of being “legalistic,” a question must be posed: “Which commandment is it that is bothersome?” Is it the “do not commit adultery” command? Or “do not steal,” or “do not bear false witness,” or “do not covet,” or “do not take the name יהוה in vain,” or “do not worship idols,” or “do not worship another god,” or “do not murder?” Because, if the law has passed away, then so have all of these commands, which are the foundation of the law. And the other foundational command is “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” What differentiates this Sabbath command from the other nine? Why did it go away, and not the others? If the law has passed away, and many who accuse Sabbath/Torah keepers of legalism vehemently declare that it has, as a means of not observing Sabbath, then all of the law has passed away, including the other nine commands. Think about it some more.

The only thing, the only thing that makes Messianic believers “appear” legalistic is the observance of Sabbath, and perhaps the keeping of the other feasts. Decide, did G-d command the Sabbath, or did man. Did G-d command “Sunday” worship as a ‘Sabbath’, changing His word and His eternal decree about the “seventh” day (Genesis 2), or did man? We assert that all Christians try to keep the Sabbath: they just do it wrong, on the wrong day! If it is legalism to observe Shabbat, then all believers are legalistic, because every “church” we’ve ever heard of picks a day to meet! And many call Sunday the Sabbath. Man did it, man changed the declared Sabbath of יהוה, deeming it obsolete, and named Sunday the Sabbath in the fourth century AD (see our article called “History”), and most of Christendom has blindly followed, just as the Pharisees blindly followed their fathers in men’s traditions. “But in vain they do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Yeshua. This was predicted in Jeremiah: “Our fathers have inherited naught but lies, vanities, and things wherein there is no profit.” And after a lengthy discourse on those “errors,” יהוה explains the root of the problem: “Thus saith יהוה: take heed for the sake of your souls: bear not burden on the Sabbath Day!”

The Word says, “I am יהוה, and I do not change,” and “Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He observed the Sabbath, and will continue to forever.

In the verse Messiah quoted (Matt 15:9), the word for “doctrines” is, in the Greek, didiskalia. This word is only used twice in the Greek version of the Tanak (Old Testament). In one place, Proverbs 2:17, it translates the Hebrew word “brit” (covenant), and in another place, Isaiah 29:13 (the verse Messiah quoted), it translates the Hebrew word “mitzvah,” or commandment. So, Yeshua is telling them that they make a covenant with their fathers and follow their teachings as if they were commandments. They are agreeing (covenant) with the words of their teachers more than they are with the mitzvoth (commandments) of G-d. This is true of most Christians today. And they do the same thing to us as the Pharisees did to Messiah.

A covenant is an “agreement” between two parties. We as Messianic believers have decided to agree with G-d, and walk as He would have us walk, worship as He would have us worship, observe what He would have us observe. Nowhere does the Bible negate His commands, and those who say it does do so in blindness and willful ignorance, not heeding the very Words of the Christ they claim to worship. Do we condemn them (accuse of not being saved)? No! But neither should they condemn us, nor call us legalistic, or, worse, accuse us of being led of the devil (which has happened for this congregation: see Matt 12:32 and decide if the Holy Spirit leads one to obey G-d or not). “But blessed are those who hear the Word of G-d and obey it”. Yeshua (Luke 11:28)

Obedience is far different from legalism. It is the Messiah Yeshua, Yeshua Christ, who says over and over that we should obey… obey? Let’s look at other scriptures and see what Yeshua wants His followers to “obey”, which means simply to keep His commandments:

Matthew 5:19

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments (of the law, clearly seen in the previous two verses), and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 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 (born again), keep the commandments.

Luke 10:25-28

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (See also 1 John 2:3-6)

John 14:24

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Matt 5:17-18

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

John 12:46-50

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken (G-d’s Word), the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

So there is a difference between doing what men say, which is “legalism”, and obeying G-d. The scriptures say, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”. It is incumbent upon us to obey His Word, all of it. Nowhere in scripture are we commanded to change the Sabbath, nor to do away with it: nowhere. Also, there are “traditions” of G-d that are not men’s traditions, such as the Sabbath, and the other festivals, and all the early believers were compelled to follow them by their apostolic teachers:

2 Th 2:15

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the (Jewish) traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

2 Th 3:6

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the (Jewish) tradition which he received of us.

1 Cor 11:2

Hold fast to the (Jewish) traditions which I have delivered to you.

This is not legalism, but obedience for proper, biblical order of worship… (see our articles). Legalism is when one takes a command or commands or human traditions and tries to enforce it in someone else’s life, asserting they are not of G-d if they do not adhere to their will! We have never done that. We encourage righteousness and good works, as the New Testament tells us to. That is all. We do assert that many Christians, true believers, are in error, most of them innocently (although it is the individual’s duty to seek truth), and we fully believe it is our call to help those who are willing in themselves to change, and begin to obey G-d more fully. Not to control them, nor burden them, but to give them the Joy of the Torah (See Psalm 119). Again, obedience is not legalism. If it is, then Yeshua the Messiah was legalistic, because He obeyed all the commands. He did this not to save Himself, but to “fulfill all righteousness”. In the same way, we do this not to save ourselves, but to “fulfill all righteousness”. He told John, “in doing this we fulfill all righteousness”. John was not divine, but had to ‘obey’, in order to make the value of Torah effective in this world. If Yeshua had not submitted, we would not have a Savior, and we would not have the power to obey, nor the grace that covers our failures. He came to give us “power not to sin”, and sin is breaking His commands. Obedience is far different from legalism.

Was Yeshua “Kosher?"

Kosher Yeshua

The scriptures do not emphatically declare Him to have been kosher, unless one understands what that means and what the Word says about Him: “He who knew no sin”. The Torah declares that eating foods that were not “clean” was a sin. Messiah knew no sin, which means He kept a kosher diet.

Peter helps to prove this, indirectly: when Peter had his vision of the “sheets”, seeing all manner of unclean animals and being told to kill and eat them, he said, “NOT SO, L-RD! Nothing unclean has ever touched my lips!” Peter was a dear friend of the Messiah, and a fellow Jew, and Jews simply did not violate the dietary laws of Leviticus 11.

Many use this scripture to try to assert that G-D had cleansed all the animals and made them suitable food, but that’s not how Peter interpreted the vision: “God has shown me not to call any MAN unclean”. (Acts 10:28) The fact that Peter remained kosher is established in several places later on. Peter associates himself with Torah-keeping Jews in Acts 15, while at the same time acknowledging that Jew and Gentile alike are saved by grace, and not by the works of the law. Peter knew, as do we, that being kosher, or keeping Shabbat, or being circumcised does NOT save anyone. But, he also remained kosher, and a Sabbath keeper (he could not overturn his circumcision!). Peter asserted that Jews should not lay the “burden” of the law on gentiles as a requirement for salvation (Acts 15:11), but they did lay a “measure” of the law on them as a minimum requirement for fellowship, and some of that minimum requirement was a partial kosher diet! (Acts 15:20-21, 28-29). Peter and the other Jews, including James, the brother of the Messiah Yeshua, still remained kosher, and required the new gentile converts to be partially kosher in order to be in good standing with the synagogue. Verse twenty-one is the key to understanding Peter’s and James’ mind on this: “For Moses (the Torah) has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath”. The gentiles would hear, and be lead by the Holy Spirit to do with the Torah what יהוה would have them do in the process of writing His Torah in their hearts.

Was Sha’ul (Paul) kosher? Yes.

“Although I have done nothing against our people, nor against the customs of our ancestors…” (Acts 28:17)
“I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews…” (Acts 25:4)
“I believe everything that agrees with the law (Torah) and that is written in the prophets…” (Acts 24:14)
“I was ceremonially clean [which includes kosher] when they found me in the temple courts doing this” [offering sacrifices] (Acts 24:18)
“Brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to G-D in all good conscience to this day”…(Acts 23:1)
“You yourself [James says to Paul] are living in obedience to the law [Torah]. (Acts 22:24)

So, why would Sha’ul write what he wrote to Timothy?

“to be at a distance from foods which G-D created for participation with thankfulness…”

The question is, what does Sha’ul consider food created for “participation”, or consumption? The answer is anything listed in Leviticus 11! This is where “food” is consecrated in the Word of G-D. The Messiah said that we ourselves should be “consecrated” by His Word: “Sanctify them by thy truth: thy WORD is truth”. So, the food that is consecrated in Leviticus 11 is the food mentioned here, not all animals.

A study on “food”.

The first word in scripture for “food” is brosis: trees “good for food”. (Gen 2:9) Same word is used of the forbidden fruit; this word actually means, “good for eating”. This ‘food’ is anything that is eaten at all. Clearly, the forbidden fruit is forbidden, but still edible, just as pork is forbidden but still edible.

Next we see “broma”, which is used in Genesis 6:21 in speaking of grains and such for the animals and No’akh on the ark: acceptable food. Note that at this point, no one ate meat of any kind. Humanity was told to eat meat after the flood. Later, יהוה wrote into the law the restrictions on food, specifically in Leviticus 11. This word “broma” is used exclusively in Leviticus 11 to denote food “which may be eaten”.

In Psalm 136, 146, 147, we learn that G-D gives food to all beings, and the word for food in each of these texts is “trophe”, and is the general term for food, not “broma” which is the consecrated food. If ALL food were consecrated, the writer would have used this word, “trophe”, which is the general word for “food”. Jews used the word “broma” only to speak of kosher food. Sha’ul is actually telling Timothy not to allow anyone to teach others to abstain from kosher foods! And he said that this would happen in the “last days”, and in the context of people “leaving the faith”! And that with it would come the compunction to forbid people to marry! We don’t do that! Only people who “leave” Judaism stop eating kosher! The ‘christian’ practice of forbidding to marry did come with silly restrictions on food in the catholic church. Others have blindly accepted their teachings on the topic. We do not.

Now, we at Congregation Bat-Tzion do our best to follow, at a minimum, the mandate in Acts 15, and some of us have endeavored to become more kosher in our eating, only because it is “beneficial” to us; not to declare that others who do not are not saved. We do not condemn anyone who eats non-kosher foods. But, neither do we buy the idea that the apostles taught others to eat whatever they wanted, or that they turned from Judaism at all. They clearly did not. The decision to eat Kosher should be one led by the Holy Spirit as one studies the Word and begins to see the earthly benefit of being obedient to heaven. Science is proving that the Levitical diet is very healthy. יהוה knew that already.

Should believers in Yeshua tithe?

What is “tithe”?

In Hebrew, where the concept originates [actually, it was first a Canaanite custom, a “tax” from the kings on the plains of Canaan to live in the city-states, or around them; the promise was that if one paid the tithe, the king would offer protection from raiders], the word is “ma’aser”, which means “a tenth”. Most of the time in the scriptures the word is seen in its noun form: its verb form is asar, “to give a tenth”, and is only used once, in Deuteronomy 14. The Greek for this word is apodekatoo [and variations]. The noun form is “dekatos”, a tenth.

This topic tickles us the most, when it comes to Christian churches that push this button so much, and out of the other side of their mouths say that the law has passed away. What doublespeak!

“You have ROBBED god!” they will vehemently declare, on SUNDAY!

Nowhere, not ONE place, in the New Testament is anyone commanded to tithe. NOT ONE PLACE. So, IF Christians are going to use this mitzvah, and they do more than any other, HOW can they then ignore the mitzvah to observe Sabbath, not to eat unclean food, not to serve idols? This is the best representation of the poorest logic among supposedly educated spiritual leaders.

Giving that is divine is giving that comes from the heart, not by coercion. The amount does NOT matter.

What the “tithe” was in the Torah was a means to take care of the Levites, who had no inheritance when they crossed into the Promised Land; they couldn’t even own land. Their job was to perform the sacrifices on behalf of the rest of Israel, tend to the tabernacle/temple, and teach the Torah to the people. They had no source of income, so the rest of Israel was to give them part of their tithe [noun], so that the Levites would be sustained. And guess what, the Levites were supposed to give a tenth part of all the tithe they received to יהוה !

With the renewal of the covenant, the priesthood shifted, since Messiah Yeshua became our high priest. The Aaronic priesthood was about sacrificial worship, which included the tithe. The sacrificial system of Aaron has transferred to Yeshua, and with it the tithe; theoretically, every Christian agrees with the Messiah becoming every sacrifice in the Torah, or we’d be offering bulls and goats. Why this one sacrifice, why cling to it? This tithe is the ONE commandment preachers like to command, and it is a gross misuse of scripture. Nowhere in the New Covenant did anyone tell the Body to give a tenth part for the support of ministers who “ministered” full time. Nowhere! This did not come about for many centuries, under Catholic domination, whose popes desired to restore the model of the Levitical priesthood, and enjoy wealth in a world plagued by poverty. This is another feature of Catholicism Protestants refuse to protest. This is the sin of Nicolaitanism, where there is a paid “clergy” that withholds knowledge from a “laity”, whom they deem not worthy/capable of it.

The tithe actually served several purposes: to feed the poor, sustain the Levites, and to finance communion with יהוה! The Levites effectively got one third of the tithe: every third year, the tithe was to be brought into the gates (of the Temple) and given to the Levites, so that they would have plenty to live off of. Another third was to be given to the poor. The rest of it was to finance a trip to Jerusalem for the person whose tithe it was, and they were commanded to “eat it [the tithe] before יהוה. One Third [1/3] of the tithe was for the tither!

The command “to tithe” is in Deuteronomy 14. This was a savings account for the Pilgrim Feasts, as יהוה had commanded all Jews to come to Jerusalem three times a year for a feast each time: Passover, Shavuot, and Tabernacles. The tithe was used for those purposes. One third, again, was for the Levites, and the Levites gave a tenth of that to יהוה . In Malakhi, where יהוה said, “you rob me in your tithes and your offerings”, He was concerned not for Himself [G-D does NOT need our money], but for the poor, who could not feed themselves, and the Levite, who was not permitted to own anything, and who served the people daily and in the Temple five times per year. Also, they Jews were likely by that time not fully participating in the pilgrim feasts, as that is what the last 1/3 of the tithe was for. It is robbing G-D, not monetarily, but by not having communion with Him and all of Israel as He desired! This is a neglect of Passover, Shavuot, and Tabernacles, which Christians today also neglect!

It is fitting to “offer” anything one wants to offer to יהוה. It is fitting to give to the work of ministry. But it is NOT fitting to command men that they should give ten percent of their income to a church, and then tell them they are free from the rest of the law. If we truly wanted to follow the New Covenant model, we would give ALL THAT WE HAVE, share everything with our brethren! But, what the New Covenant says about giving is that it should be done with a cheerful heart, and with the measure that the giver is willing to give cheerfully. NO OTHER LIMIT OR DEMAND is placed on New Covenant givers. We are ALL priests in his kingdom, and NO ONE should bilk money from people and call it righteous, using a single command of G-D for an offering which Messiah became, and then ignore all other commands. This puts a person in a sore pickle with יהוה. It is duplicity.

At Congregation Bat-Tzion, we do not ask anyone for money. The LORD will provide, and He puts love in the congregation’s heart to sustain the ministry financially. As people serve יהוה, and are fed by the Word, and receive the communion of the saints, יהוה will guide their hearts in their giving. And we have never done without. When Moses built the tabernacle, the people were compelled to give “whatever they could cheerfully give”, and they gave so much Moses had to ask them to stop giving. THAT is the model of Congregation Bat-Tzion. We are all priests. We are all supposed to be giving of our love and time to one another, more importantly than anything else. Many people tithe as a means to appease G-D, hoping it stacks up in their favor on judgment day, or many today do it for a “Return On Investment”, thinking that יהוה will pour it out on them if they “tithe”; or, many do so innocently because that’s what they’ve been told They are likely in financial bondage for it, so that preachers can continue to compel them to tithe, dangling the prosperity carrot in front of their congregations.

The poor will always be with us. And יהוה shows that our excess, whatever falls from the tree, is for them daily. It was called “glean”, not tithe. Giving to the poor beyond 1/3 should not have a number on it, either. Just a heart of compassion done daily to assure no one goes without. In modern terms, it is our “change”. If we gave all our “change” for the poor in our country, there’d be no hunger. No one would do without. THAT is the idea behind tithing and giving, not financing a robed/suited figure who gets fat off the sacrifices of others, holding them in derision if they don’t tithe, watching them do without so he can be fat.

If one tithes because he feels יהוה wants him to, יהוה will bless. But, יהוה offered plenty of other opportunities to give beyond the tithe for Levites and feasts. Giving is more an “offering” than a tithe, as we can’t go to a Temple in Jerusalem right now for the feasts, and there is no priesthood to support. So, we are free to give, again, whatever we can give with a cheerful heart, gladly, not seeking ROI.

Jews are the ones who are commanded to tithe; and if you join a Synagogue, not even they charge a ten percent “tithe”. In order to be a member of most synagogues, the fee is 2% a year for young families [with kids], and 3 percent a year for those whose kids are grown and gone. They understand it properly, that there is no priesthood right now; but they understand they need to support the synagogue, and they pay 1/3 of a 10th part for that! If there were a temple, the other 2/3 of the tenth part would be for themselves, to make a journey to Jerusalem for Passover, Shavuot, and/or Tabernacles. We submit that those who demand ten percent for the Church are actually the ones who are robbing G-D! Falsifying the purpose of the tithe to line their own pockets, giving them a safety net.

“Freely you have received, freely give”…to whomever you are led by G-D.

It would do well that pastors read the following:

Ezekiel Chapter 34

There are many other places where the leaders were chastened for charging money for the services of יהוה, including in the New Covenant. We will update this article as time permits with more information.

When you use the word "Torah", do you mean the Bible?

THE TORAH AND TANAKH:

Seeing the Torah as the foundation also opened the door to SO many more questions and a lifetime of pursuing the depth and meat of the word. Only through the Torah [Genesis through Deuteronomy] can we know what sin is [see Romans 6-7], thereby knowing what we need to overcome and change about ourselves to be conformed to the image of the perfect Son. Many times, if not most times, when I reference the Torah, I AM referring to the whole Bible. The issue is that many, many who say they believe in Yeshua [Yeshua] do NOT think the Torah [Genesis-Deuteronomy] is applicable to their lives today. But, when Paul wrote the church at Ephesus, the city that eventually established the “deity” of Mary, [which is error], he wrote that our gospel is FOUNDED on the Apostles [new testament] AND the Prophets [old testament] [ Eph 2:19-22] [ Moses is THE PROPHET in the Jewish mind; Paul is a Jew; Moses penned the Torah], with Messiah Yeshua as the cornerstone:

Had Ephesus clung to that model, perhaps they never would have deified Mary? The unity of the godhead and the unity of scripture is what is missing in believers today. Believers who try to study usually study only the New Testament, and that through preconceptions and assumptions based on human tradition. Many protestants do not realize how truly catholic they still are! We are fully persuaded that these are the “great harlot” and her “harlot daughters” of the Revelation, the “believers” whom יהוה tells us, “Come out of her, my people”.

In an email response to this question came this statement:

“the idea of Torah abandonment is a huge one of these” [errors];

This is speaking specifically of Torah, the “Law of Moses”. Abandoning it has caused all the confusion in the circle of those who want to follow Yeshua.

So, in the email in question, all of the references to Torah were specific to the law of Moses; the point is that many think that the letter to the Galatian cities gives instruction to abandon everything in regard to the Torah, the “law of Moses”. This flies in the face of the words of Yeshua Himself:

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law [Torah], or the prophets [Joshua-Malakhi]: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Torah, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments [of the Torah], and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:17-19

Paul supports this as well:

“Do we then make void the law through faith? G-D FORBID! Yea! We ESTABLISH IT”. Rom 3:31

Long answer, I know, but important, and a very good question. In talking about Torah sometimes the statements are about “the first five books of the Bible”…but, in the broader context of my usage of the word, the Torah is seen as the whole Bible. In the Jewish mind, one can refer to Tanakh as the Torah, the whole “old testament”. For believers in Yeshua, one can carry that to represent the whole Bible. Let us not forget that the new covenant promise is that the TORAH would be written on our hearts:

Jeremiah 31:33 
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares יהוה. “I will put my TORAH in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Hebrews 8:10 
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my TORAH in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Hebrews 10:16 
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my Torah in their hearts, and I will it them on their minds.”

Sha’ul is reminding the Jews of that very promise, twice! In showing them how the priesthood had been transformed by the Messiah; the key here is that he was “keeping” the relevance of Torah…

Torah DOES equal Bible, because it is the part of the foundation we can actually “see” with our eyes; Messiah is the cornerstone, and we can “trust” in Him, but have not seen Him yet; We soon will, and He will judge the earth according to Torah.

What about Galatians, where it says, "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto G-d?"

DEAD TO THE LAW

This is Deuteronomy 4:2, a very, very important command:

“Do not add to the word I command you, neither shall you ‘take away’, to keep the commandments of יהוה your G-D which I command you.”

The two most important concepts in this command are the words “Lo tigru mimenu”, and “Lishmar”.

Lo tigru comes from the word “gara”, which means “withdraw”, but also means “to destroy”, in the sense of “shaving”, razing… . The most “simple” meaning of it, when coupled with “mi”, as it is here [mimenu, the word after tigru], is “take away”.

“Lishmar” means “to guard”. This is not addressing their “keeping” them in the sense of obeying the commands; Moses takes care of that in verse 5 and 6, where he instructs, “la’asot” , “to do” them. This “lishmar” means to ‘keep’ in the sense of “preserving”. A literal rendering of lo tigru mimenu lishmar et mitzvoth יהוה” would be “do not take away from us, [but] preserve the commandments of יהוה”.

When Yeshua said in Matt 5:18-19, “I did not come to “do away with” the Torah, but to fulfill”, He was ASSURING His JEWISH audience that He was and always would be a supporter of Torah. He was assuring the Jewish community that He would not break this very important command in Deuteronomy 4.

The “riddle” that the English translations of Galatians cause is quelled in this command, and in Yeshua’s PROMISE that He would not break this command! Remember, Galatians is about preventing the making Jews out of Gentiles by compulsion, or “bondage”, NOT about keeping commands.

Consider this:

“Bear in mind that our L-rd’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that G-D gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” II Peter 3:15-16

Paul NEVER intended to overturn the Torah of G-D, nor Shabbat, nor Kosher laws…

”Do we then make void [ tigru] the Torah through faith? G-D FORBID! Yea, we ESTABLISH it [Torah]! Rom 3:31.

Paul’s intent was to STOP “Judaizers” from forcing Gentiles to BECOME JEWS in order to be saved,, which is what “judaizer” means! This was done by the Pharisaic house of Shammai even before Yeshua! [check history] This event is born out in detail in Acts 13-15…Consider these chapters BEFORE making a judgment about what Paul is writing in Galatians. Paul was part of the settling of the argument over Judaizers; It was settled in Jerusalem, and the “conclusion of the matter” was that the gentiles would continue to hear Torah every Shabbat, and that they should at a minimum keep a partial kosher diet while they learn their new faith: no foods sacrificed to Idols [Indian and Chinese food is], no meat with blood in it, no “strangled meat”, which means limbs wrested from living animals; and, they dumped the WHOLE code of sexual laws from the Torah on them! Is that really doing away with Torah? Doesn’t sound like it to me. It is a doing away with men FORCING others to be CIRCUMCISED, which, historically, has always been associated with Shammai’s rule that gentiles FULLY CONVERT in order to worship in the Synagogue with Jews. It was an on-going debate for many years before Paul converted. Paul was not of the House of Shammai, but of Hillel. Hillel taught that Jews COULD worship in the synagogue if they kept the No’akhide laws of Genesis 9. That’s what we see happening in Acts 13-14…Gentiles who were already worshiping יהוה with Hillel’s blessing [the school/house of Hillel was most respected by the Pharisees]. The House of Shammai was in control of the Sanhedrin. That’s who Paul was talking about when he said “am I trying to please men, or G-D?” Shammai’s “men” were forcing a man-made rule on Gentiles. The “minimum” of Hillel was reaffirmed by James in Acts 15….

It is important to note that nothing in the New Testament forbids anyone from keeping Sabbath or keeping kosher…Jew or Gentile!

Chapter 3 of Galatians:

First, recognize that Paul affirms SCRIPTURE first, the truth of the written word, which in his day was ONLY Moses to Malakhi!

Next, verse 2 asks “was it WORKS of law or spirit you received”.
Notice how most minds immediately focus on “law”, and not “works”. In this sentence the main noun is WORKS, with the “of law” as a MODIFIER. This is proven out in verse 3, which says, “commencing in Spirit, are you now completed in FLESH?” WORKS or “deeds” are of the FLESH! The LAW is SPIRIT!

See Romans 7:14~!

He goes on to explain that the Spirit indeed came by faith…just as righteousness came to Abraham by faith…then he says that those who believe “these are the SONS OF ABRAHAM”. And Abraham “kept the commandments, statutes, and laws” of G-D, BEFORE THEY WERE WRITTEN [Genesis 26]. He did so by faith, as do we.

He explains that we are brought into Abraham’s blessings because of Faith in the WRITTEN WORD, the TORAH [remember verse 1 of chapter 3?] He says as many as are of WORKS, [of the law is again the modifier in verse 10] are UNDER THE curse: the curse of what? The CURSE of breaking the Torah…Yeshua has set those who believe in His Law free from the curses contained in it. He goes on and explains that the Spirit comes through the promise made, to Abraham, through Yeshua, to us.

Next, why did the law come? [v 19] “to favor transgressions until the Seed should come, set in order by messengers in the hand of a Mediator [Moses].” [my translation] Stern translates it this way: “It was added in order to CREATE transgressions, until the coming of the seed about whom the promise had been made”.

“Is the law against the promises of G-D?” “HEAVEN FORBID!!”

Then he explains that the scriptures confine ALL [JEW AND GENTILE] under sin, until the MEDIATOR Yeshua should come. Then Sha’ul says that the promise would come to those “guarded by the Torah” so that the promise would take away UNBELIEF. [unbelief of the scriptures, verse 1, the belief in יהוה and His Law, which Messiah came to establish! Matt 5:18-19, and through that, belief in Yeshua. Remember, Yeshua expounded all the LAW and the PROPHETS to teach them about HIMSELF. [Luke 24].

In verse 24 says that the law HAS BECOME OUR INSTRUCTOR! [check a good Greek bible] up to Messiah, teaching us to be justified by faith! Verses 28-29 say that Jew and Gentile have become one; and, if you are Messiah’s, then YOU ARE THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, a Torah keeper! And heirs: inheriting WHAT?: the promise written IN THE TORAH.

This letter was in response to Paul’s hearing about the Judaizers, who were NOT sent by James, the leader of the Church at Jerusalem; they took it upon themselves to assert that Gentiles must convert by taking the sign of circumcision IN THEIR FLESH in order to enter the Olam Haba…”be saved”. This is not what keeping the commandments is about. Keeping the commandments, observing them, is about obeying the Word, by faith. This is seen in 4:16, “they are zealous for you, but not for well, but they want to exclude you so that you should be zealous for them… ”
The proof that this is the Judaizers demanding circumcision comes in 5:2: “Behold I say to you that should you be circumcised”, and says that they should not “put their faith in circumcision” to save them. [vs 4] Verse 11 further supports that this is the Judaizer argument.

Now, look at how Paul expresses this same argument to the Ephesians:

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without G-D in the world. But now in Christ Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, “having made both one [Jew and Gentile], and [the partition of barrier having loosed] the enmity by the flesh of the law of commandments in decrees he cleared away],.

Stern puts it this way:: “has broken down the m’khitzah which divided us by destroying in his own body the ENMITY occasioned by the Torah” [emphasis mine].

[the focal point of that sentence is the enmity, the “curse”, NOT the law!]

His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to G-D through the cross, by which he put to death the ENMITY. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with G-D’s people and members of G-D’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles [new testament] and prophets [old testament], [the covenants mentioned in previous verse] with Messiah Yeshua himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the L-rd. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which G-D lives by his Spirit.”

Perhaps Paul worded it more easily here, because of what Peter wrote?

In short, Galatians is a very difficult book; the first English translators, and most subsequent translators, have approached the Greek with a PRECONCEPTION that the Torah is DEAD! They ALREADY believe that; to those translators, there’s no digging to be done. But, a faithfulness to the language, and to the REST OF SCRIPTURE, not the least of which is the words of Messiah Yeshua Himself, warrants a second look at the book. It was NOT a “Get rid of the Torah” treatise. It was a “Prevent Judaizing” treatise. Nothing further.

If it is more than that, then rip Genesis through Deuteronomy, even through Malakhi, out of your Bible. You don’t need it.

How can Yeshua and Lucifer be the "Day Star?"

Morning Star / Day Star

Let’s first look at the scriptures that are the cause of this slight confusion:

Star From Jacob – from Numbers, 24.
This is Balaam’s prophecy about Messiah.

Lucifer [light bearer] Son of the Dawn
From Isaiah 14

Star falling from heaven – Rev 9:1

The dawn and the light of day arise in your hearts – 2 Peter 1:19

I will give him the Star of the Dawn – Rev 2:28

Consider, Satan is “Sheker HaMashiakh”, a ‘false anointed’, or anointed for lies. His ‘star’ is always a ‘descending’ star, whereas Messiah’s is referenced as ‘rising’.

A “kokhav” is a star.

The first text above says ‘kokhav mi Ya’akov’, a star ‘from’ Jacob, a clear reference to Messiah.

The second text does not say kokhav: It says, “fallen [or falling] light-bearer of the dawn”, and is a clear reference to HaSatan. This matches the next one, which does say Kokhakh Naphal, or FALLING STAR.

The next text, from 2 Pet, says, “The dawn [shakhar] and the light of The Day [Ore HaYom] arise in your heart” – note the ‘upward mobility’.

The next says “I will give him the Star [Kokhav] of The Dawn [HaShakhar] [a ‘rising star’, the sun, in metaphor = Yeshua, the “Sun of Righteousness with Healing in His Tallit”.]

Next, Ore Nogah v’Kokhav HaShakhar – “Shining Light and Star of the Dawn”. As you can see, these are not the exact same phrases, and are clearly opposite ‘images’ of Messiah and Anti-Messiah…

I have not studied this on the deeper levels, but this should get you started in ‘sorting out’ the seeming sameness of the phrase…

Can we really know how to pronounce The Name?

THE NAME

At our recent study of the first chapter of scripture, “B’Reshit”, and the first few verses of the second chapter, we see the first appearance of the NAME, and can gain some initial understanding about it. In these passages, we see Elohim creating the earth and all that is therein, and then, when He details for us ‘how’ He created Man, interacting with “Adahm”, He refers to Himself as יהוה Elohim. This comes across into English as “G-D” doing the creating, and the “L-RD G-D” interacting with Adahm. Elohim relates or reveals Himself to man as יהוה .

So, the very first use of the NAME in scripture is in Genesis 2:4.

In our Hebrew classes on Shabbat, the subject of “vowels” can be difficult to conquer, but only because we make it so! The question arises, or statements are incorrectly made, “there are no ‘vowels’ in Hebrew”/ “are there vowels in Hebrew?”. OF COURSE there are! They are just not written! The vowels are the “spirit” of the Torah! The consonants “carry” or are “covered” by the vowels! You can’t see the vowels unless you “know” the consonants, but you can hear them, if you SHEMA! “LISTEN/HEAR”! [ In Jewish thought, the spaces or “shapes” in-between the letters are other letters! ] If there were no vowels in Hebrew, then when it is spoken, one would only ‘hear’ clicking of teeth and bumping of gums! So, the statement “There are no vowels in Hebrew” is a misrepresentation of the language. The vowels of Hebrew are “intuitive”, as all humans are, and most humans used to be far more intuitive than we are now, especially men! A better word to describe this, however, is that the vowels are SPIRITUAL. Again, they are the “Spirit” of the Torah. They are most indeed there! Eventually, one “sees” them, after having heard them and acted upon them, and understanding them. They are more important, in one sense, than the consonants that are written! Though they cannot be ‘carried’ unless the consonants are there! The consonants carry different vowel sounds depending on the meaning that the word/thought they’re in is trying to convey. Just like there is one Spirit but many “powers/gifts”, and one person can ‘carry’ one or more ‘gifts’ of the Spirit at various times and functions in the Body, so each consonant can ‘carry’ a different vowel sound, in order to do the work of Elohim of communicating meaning to us. This is also seen in the Menorah of the Ruakh, in Isaiah 11:1-4, where the five main gifts of the Ruakh are ‘book-ended’ by יהוה and the FEAR of יהוה . The five ‘powers’ in the middle and the Ruakh יהוה and the Yirat יהוה all rest on one man: Messiah! The Menorah of the World. In truth, in a subtle way, all the vowel “sounds” are represented in the NAME!

It is true, however, that vowel ‘sounds’ are not ‘written’. There are no individual printed letters that exclusively represent the five ‘vowel sounds’ of the Hebrew language. This is true of the text of the scriptures themselves. What do I mean? Any man, any natural man, can pick up the scriptures and read them. But, it is only when yielded to G-D and HIS SPIRIT that one can “Shema”, which means, if you’ll remember, “HEAR AND DO!”. This is an even stronger principle when one is reading the scriptures in Hebrew and Aramaic, because of the need to ‘understand’ the vowels.

There are only five ‘vowel sounds’ in Hebrew, represented by the English phonetics below:

AH – as in BACH / EH – as in bet / EE – as in feet / OH – as in oat / OO – as in boot

Other sounds that one ‘thinks’ one hears when listening to Hebrew are called “dipthongs”, or blends of the five sounds above. This ‘hints’ at the five books of the Torah, and the Prophets! The prophets only use TORAH in their rulings, linking Torah precept to Torah precept! As do the Apostles! An example of the blends is in the word “Adonai”, which means “My Master”. The first syllable is AH, as the first sound listed above. The second syllable is DON, which combines the consonantal “D” with the “OH of oat” and the consonantal “N”, and the last syllable is “AI”, which is a “diphthong” or “blend” of AH and EE. It sounds like our “long I “, but in reality is the blending of AH and EE.

So, when we get to the word יהוה in Hebrew, we ‘understand’ that it is not an ’empty’ word, but “full”. One has to consider what Yeshua said when determining how to say it. “Elohim Ruakh”, or “G-D is SPIRIT!” So, every syllable in this word must be “open”, not “closed” by hard consonantal sounds! Because nothing can “stop” wind, or Ruakh [Breath/spirit]. Here is a ‘picture’ of the Hebrew representation of the NAME:

Remember, we read from right to left!

The first letter is a unique “consonant” which serves as a vowel sound at times. Its name is Yod, and means ‘hand’. It is “open”. Most of the time it represents the sound “ee”, which can turn into our understanding of the consonantal sound of our letter “Y”. But, let’s go slow. Let’s say only “ee” for now.

The second letter is a “heh”, and actually means “BEHOLD!” and also means “SPIRIT!”. It is an “open consonant” as well. In this word, it carries a ‘vowel sound’, AH.

The third letter, the “vav”, functions as a vowel carrier as well! It means “hook”. It’s sound, when positioned within a word, is often “OO”, as in this case. [we will prove that later]

The last letter is a repeat, “AH”.

Each of these letters are “servants” to the vowel sounds in the NAME! They simply “carry” them. They yield to the “spirit”, if you will! Each of them is “open”, so as not to ‘stop’ the flow of the ‘breath’.

So, lets blend these sounds together: EE-AH-OO-AH. A diphthong naturally occurs, which makes us English speakers think of “Y”. Say it faster. The EE and AH become “Yah”, a blend. The rules of transliteration for the Hebrew-to-English give us the word we know as “יהוה”.

So, why did the “vowel marks” come into play, and how?

There was a community of Jews in the sixth/seventh century that saw the need to create a system with which to teach Jews who no longer spoke Hebrew on a daily basis, who were scattered in the diaspora, how to read the scriptures. They themselves DID STILL SPEAK HEBREW. They were a community of Jews IN JERUSALEM, doing a service for Israel, the language, and the Tanakh. Their name “Masorete”, means ‘tradition keeper’, as they had rejected Rabbinic Judaism and believed in a purer Torah Walk. They still exist today, and have had a continuous presence in Jerusalem and Iraq since just after the time of Messiah. They created what we call “niqudot” or “dots”. These dots and dashes make up a diacritical system of indicators that tell us what “vowel sound” a consonant is “carrying”. They themselves, remember, had been reading Torah WITHOUT THEM for generations! But they were ‘compelled’ to preserve the language with these ‘niqudot’. From them we get our understanding of Hebrew pronunciation. I find it very interesting that Ya’akov’s sheep and goats all had niqudot!

Hebrew has been read/spoken in Synagogues CONTINUOUSLY for the last 2400 years. There is very little variation, even when one moves from place to place around the globe, especially where vowel sounds are concerned! The only real variation that developed over the centuries is that in the German/Chech/Polish “Ashkenazi” communities they changed the “tav” to use the “s” sound of “samekh”, and the khaph (soft kaph) to use the ‘k/q’ sound of qoph, probably due to local influence of Slavic languages. But they did NOT modify VOWEL SOUNDS!

So, why is there so much ‘debate’ over the pronunciation of the NAME?

In the Jewish community, particularly in the sect of the Pharisees, the ruling house in the time of Messiah, there was a trend toward NOT saying the NAME, even though the scriptures command us to say it! To DECLARE IT AMONG THE GENTILES! But, in examining the scriptures closely, especially our Aramaic texts, we see that Yeshua said this NAME often, as did the disciples. So, in His day, the pronunciation had NOT been ‘forgotten’. The proof also is that the Mishnah, written down AFTER Messiah, tells us that the High Priest would say the NAME on Yom Kippur in the Kadosh K’doshim.

The Masoretic community, however, though returning to Torah, preserved the man-made tradition of not pronouncing the name when reading the Torah/Tanakh. So, when they assigned the niqudot to the consonants of the NAME, they did not assign the right ones! They assigned the ‘sounds’ of Adonai and Elohim to the letters of יהוה !

And in some of the places where they assigned niqudot to יהוה , they assigned the vowel sounds for ELOHIM:

So, Masorete readers would ‘see’ the two variations when reading aloud, but would ‘say’ either Adonai or Elohim in place of THE NAME! In doing so, they were no longer keeping the command to declare the NAME.

As a result, later “scholars” who did not SPEAK Hebrew saw these vowel points and created a combination of sounds, using Latin replacement consonants, and gave us the faulty transliteration, “Jehovah”. The first syllable should tell us “STOP!”, and certainly so should the third!

So, how do we know what TO say, when we see this name? We look at other forms/uses of the name!

Many Biblical names make use of the NAME. We will look at two, which are the most compelling. The first one we will look at is Isaiah. This name contains a joining of two words.

The word is pronounced in Hebrew, “Yesha-Yahu”. I have broken it up into its two cognate parts above. Starting on the right, the first two syllables are “Yesha”, the second two syllables are Yahu. Together these words mean “יהוה Saved” [You should notice how similar the first part is to Yeshua].

We will focus on the second cognate, Yahu. What letter is missing, when we compare it to the NAME? Only the last “heh”. Here, we basically see three of the five ‘vowels’: EE, AH, and OO. When we ‘say’ them in the timbre and cadence of normal speech, it comes out “YaOO”, with a very simple ‘wind’ from the Heh. Yahu.

This word, Yeshayahu, has been echoed through the ages, and its pronunciation is rarely debated, if ever, among Jews! This same suffix is on the back of “Eliyahu” and Yirmiyahu”, two other major prophets, whose names mean “My G-D is יהוה ” and “Appointed by יהוה ”. The current Prime Minister of Israel also shares this cognate: Benyamin NetanYahu, whose last name means “Gift of יהוה”.

Now, lets look at one more.

See how similar this name is to יהוה ?

It only has ONE other letter in it, a “closed door”, the Dalet, the red letter [the word Dalet, the name of that red letter, means “door”, and it is a ‘closed’ letter. The Heh, the second and last letter, is actually an “open door”]. This word is YehuDah, with the stress on the last syllable. You know it as Judah. This word means “praised”, coming from the concept of “throwing” or “casting”, and its root is a homonym of “yadah” or “known”. This is the patriarch of the Messianic Tribe, and is the word from which we get our English word “JEW”. The Jews CERTAINLY know how to pronounce this word! Consider, “Judah” has “closed the door” on SPEAKING THE NAME! When they repent of this infraction, and of their other changes to Torah, then Messiah will come! Now, look at how very, very similar Yehuda is to יהוה ! Take the “door” out, and you’re ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ His NAME. Yeshua, we know, IS the door. When He changed from mortal to “immortal”, He OPENED the door!

“I will declare THY NAME among my brethren! In the midst of the Congregation I will sing praise unto thee! Ye that fear , PRAISE HIM!” [Heb 2:12, and Psalm 22:23]. Sha’ul attributes these words to Yeshua! In the previous verse in the Psalm, the speaker asks “save me from the Lion’s mouth!” The lion is Judah! His mouth is closed, NOT declaring the NAME!

יהוה said this about His Name to the Jews: 
“B’khal hamakom asher EHZKIR et SHMI avoh eleykha ooverakhtikha”. 
Meaning, “In EVERY place where my NAME is REMEMBERED I will come to YOU and I will BLESS YOU!”

To “remember” in Hebrew also means “to mention”, or “recall”.

Israel has often done what “Christianity” has done, and forgotten, even forced the omission of the NAME in worship, and especially in daily life. יהוה says that this will be remedied, for everyone, in the future:

Jer 16:21 
Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is  [ יהוה ] .

Jeremiah then reminds Israel of what they did once more:

Jer 23:27 
Which think to cause my people to FORGET MY NAME by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

What most religious “scholars” fail to teach the “laity” is that the word for BAAL in English is L-RD! The equivalent Greek word for BAAL is KURIOS, a title given to many, many of the Greek gods, including Zeus. Constantine assigned this title to Yeshua, and now everyone calls him “L-rd”, and not יהוה . Further, the name “Yeshua” has nothing in it to tell us that “ יהוה is Salvation”, which is exactly what the word Yeshua does.

But, when Messiah came, He caused Israel to declare the Name יהוה into all the earth, in the name of Yeshua. The Apostles, including Sha’ul, all went out into the world and SPOKE HIS NAME, the Name of יהוה , and told them His Messiah’s name is Yeshua.

Mal 1:11 
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my NAME, and a pure offering: for my NAME shall be great among the heathen, saith יהוה Tzeva’ot.

Acts 2:14-17, 21 
Then Kefa stood up with the Eleven and raised his voice to address them: “You Judeans, and all of you staying here in Yerushalayim! Let me tell you what this means! Listen carefully to me! “These people aren’t drunk, as you suppose – it’s only nine in the morning. No, this is what was spoken about through the prophet Yo’el: יהוה says: “In the Last Days, I will pour out from my Spirit upon everyone”…. And then, whoever calls on the name of יהוה will be saved.”

Acts 2:35 – 36 
 יהוה said to my master, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’ Therefore, let the whole house of Isra’el know beyond doubt that Elohim has made him both יהוה and Messiah – this Yeshua”.

And in Malakhi, a prophecy is made about the “Sun” arising, which Peter tells us is also at a FUTURE date from our day. This ‘promise’ is given to those that fear the NAME of יהוה . The previous verse tells us that it is יהוה speaking in this verse:

Mal 4:2 
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Yeshua IS יהוה , The WORD of Elohim manifested in flesh! The LION of the tribe of YehuDAH. The pronunciation of this name, YehuDah, has the ‘blends’ of the name יהוה in it, so it is very easy to ‘see’ that the NAME is pronounced, in timbre and cadence, as EE-AH-OO-AH. I-A-U-A, four vowels. Thus, the early transliterations that offer us “ יהוה ” in English, following the rules that are established linguistically for transliterating between these two languages DIRECTLY, instead of through the Greek or Latin, give us accurately the ENGLISH word Yahweh.

His NAME has NOT been lost!

Please read our file, “The Name ,” for more background on this Great Name.

Now, lets briefly discuss the name Yeshua, which means salvation, and is a common, common word in Hebrew scripture, whose pronunciation is obvious. But this pronunciation is further supported as a NAME in the ARAMAIC scriptures, which are more reliable than the Greek and Latin. In Aramaic, the word Yeshua sounds EXACTLY like the Hebrew word yeshua [salvation]. But, in Aramaic, it’s meaning is more full. It means “ יהוה is Salvation”. This is also the meaning of the word Yehoshua. Why not YeHUshua? BECAUSE IT IS AT THE FRONT OF THE WORD as a prefix cognate. But, remember, in Yehuda, it is neither a prefix nor a suffix!

In the Aramaic scriptures, this is quite obviously Yeshua’s name. The Aramaic community in the near east has been using and saying this word for 2700 years! With no loss of continuity! If we were really wanting a proper English word for the name of the Savior, the Son of G-D, it is JOSHUA. This form takes the name Yehoshua out of Hebrew DIRECTLY into English. The word “Yeshua” comes to us from Hebrew, through the Greek, as Iesous. It is further massaged into English using GREEK-to-English transliteration rules, giving us a totally different sounding word from Joshua.

However! The ‘ayin’ on the end of Yehoshua is translated EVERYWHERE ELSE in Hebrew to Greek rules as an ‘open ending syllable’, so, the Greek “sigma” on the end of this word SHOULD NOT BE THERE! This is why many postulate that “Yeshua” is a cognate of “hail” and “Zeus”. It is indeed a compelling argument for the unlearned. They assert that the  or “ee-eh”, means “hail”, and the  or ‘sous’ means Zeus. But, there are two different letters in Zeus in the Greek:  The Zeta and the epsilon.

It is certain that our catholic forebears had an affinity for Greek gods, so it does leave one to question their motive for ignoring the standard rules of transliteration in the case of this ONE word. The last sigma should NOT have been there, and all ‘scholars’ know this. It is simply ‘overlooked’; or is it?

There are indeed many protestants who would cringe at the thought of calling “Yeshua” zeus. These are the ones who ACCEPT HIS JEWISHNESS! And they are few and far between. These are the ones to whom יהוה is calling, and compelling them to learn the truth about pagan ritual laced throughout ‘Christian’ practice. Their love for the Son of G-D will eventually drive them to His proper name, and His Torah. For now, they are covered by grace, indeed, unless upon hearing the truth they ignore it and prove false about adhering to scripture and truth.

So, when we say “Yeshua”, we are using a very common Hebrew word AND a very common Aramaic word, over which there is no debate in pronunciation. Some Messianics who are making controversy out of its pronunciation are doing so in ignorance, or because they are not truly “Messianic”, but are part of cultic behavior and elitist theology. That is NOT us.

Please read our file, “You Shall Call His Name Yeshua ” for more background on the Messiah’s Name.

The use of the Name יהוה in speech should be treated with great care, in great fear and reverence of the third commandment. DO NOT take the name of יהוה in vain. In other words, do not use it in “empty” context or common conversation, or to curse someone. In these settings of speech, we use “Abba”, or “Yah”, or “HaShem”, or “Adonai”. Yeshua and the Apostles teach us to call Him “Abba”, which means ‘daddy’, or “Avinu”, which means ‘Our Father’. Personally, I rarely use “L-RD” anymore, because it equates to Baal, and is a human term for one of the most prolific idols of antiquity. That’s just me.

I certainly hope this helps clear up any clouds that might have been lingering!

Read more:  What is in a Name?

Is the "Magen David" or "Star of David" a pagan symbol?

MAGEN DAVID

“I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning STAR.” ~Yeshua~Revelation 22:16″I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A STAR will come out of Ya’akov; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” Numbers 24:17

“We saw His Star in the east, and have come to worship HIM”. Matt 2:2

“I am the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys” ~Song of Solomon 2:1

Many people ask us about the asserted occultic origins of the Magen [Shield of] David, or Star of David, and whether or not a Messianic Jew should wear one. There are indeed many cultures that use the symbol in their symbology, but HaSatan is notorius for robbing symbols from Elohim and making them into items of worship or symbols of things occult. The most recent theft of something sacred made into something perverse is the use of the rainbow, a symbol Elohim used to promise mankind that he would never again destroy us by water. Recently, a ‘cult’ has arisen that uses that symbol to represent their evil practices, yet no believer would call the rainbow itself evil. The same has occurred in the case of the Star of David.

While it is impossible to assert exactly when the Jewish Community adopted the symbol as self identifying, the bottom line is that it has long been used in Judaic culture. The most compelling evidence of its intrinsic Israeli value is the “Lily of the Valley”, and its very early use in Judaic architecture. This flower [seen above], which grows wild in the region of Galilee [in the North/East], where Yeshua was raised, and where much of His ministry took place, was used in the decoration of the sacred Beit HaMikdash [known to most as the temple of Elohim].

“And the capitals that were upon the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily work, four cubits.” I Kings 7:19

“And upon the top of the pillars was lily work; so was the work of the pillars finished”. verse 22

As we do not have the remains of the temple to verify, we must trust the Word. However, the star-shaped lily has been found in a synagogue in Capernaum, Kefa’s [Peter] home town.

Capernaum – straight lined star -4th century C.E., Credit: Gabi Goldman

So the early use of the six-pointed ‘star’ flower is both Biblically and archeologically proven, from earliest times. There is reputed to be a star of David over the head of the Israeli king surrendering to Nebuchadnezzar in an ancient relief owned by the British Museum, but we have not been able to locate that. Nonetheless, the symbol carries early significance to Jews.

The flower above and right is the flower of the pomegranate. The pomegranate was interlaced with the bells on the bottom of the Robe of the High Priest. It is interesting that the only two flowers mentioned so specifically both open up into the six-pointed star of David.

Also from this same time period [3rd century], there are many Jewish tombstones that bore the emblem, even in Italy, where one was found in Taranto from that time frame. It has also been found on ancient synagogues from that time in the more ‘traditional’ hexagon form we know today.

Later use of the symbol in Jewish culture puts this symbol in direct sacred context. It was used on the cover of a Tanakh [“old testament”, or Jewish Bible], placed there by the Masoretes, a purely Torah Observant Jewish sect, having themselves a distinct aversion to paganism. They would hardly have even thought to use a pagan symbol in any setting, much less put one on the cover of sacred writ. They viewed it as a Biblical symbol for their people. This comes from the year 1008.

Masoretic text, the Leningrad Codex, dated 1008 CE, Source: Wikipedia.org

Perhaps the most compelling argument, however, is the use of the “flower” on the Menorah! In an ancient Arabic translation of the scripture that describes the Menorah, the word for “flower” is actually translated as “lily”. Given that the lily was the flower used on the pillar, it is not difficult to consider the possibility of its use on the Menorah. There indeed was a flower under the bowl on the top of each of the seven branches of the menorah.

“You shall make a Menorah of pure gold, beaten out shall the Menorah be made, its base, its branch, its goblets, its knobs, and its flowers shall be hammered from it”. Exodus 25:31 see also vs. 33

In this configuration, the light would burn from the middle of the “star” flower, and would likely cast a shadow in the shape of the star into the floor of the Beit HaMikdash!

In Israel’s modern history, the father of Zionism, Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl, asked that there be seven Stars of David on the flag of the new nation of Israel. David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister, and signer of the declaration of Independence, decided that a single Magen David on the flag would suffice.

This is especially compelling when one considers the description of יהוה concerning the Messiah in the book of Revelation:

“To the messenger of the assembly in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the SEVEN SPIRITS OF ELOHIM and the SEVEN STARS“. Revelation 2:26. These are clearly the stars of the Menorah, as the Menorah is described in the fourth chapter as holding the seven Spirits of יהוה .

This is further supported in the Messianic prophecy, which names the Seven Spirits, and tells us that the “Root” and “Branch”, or the Davidic King, Messiah, will bear them. Isaiah 11:2

So, nothing could better symbolize Messiah Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, the Root of David, the Star from Jacob, the Lily of the Valley, than the Magen David, the Star of Israel, the Jew of Jews. Any pagan accusations are just that: accusations. Since the beginning of the Kahal [congregation] there has been an effort to demonize Jews and accuse them of every dark sin. This is not new. But the symbol of the six pointed star, fashioned after two flowers that are indigenous to Yeshua’s home region in Galilee north/east of Jerusalem, replicated on the Beit HaMikdash and the Menorah, is one of the best symbols to represent Messiah Himself, given that He called Himself the Star of David.

There are those who assert that the “Star of Molekh” mentioned in Ma’asei HaShlikihim chapter 7, [Acts 7:42] is in fact the “Star of David.” The passage reads this way:

“O Sons of Yisra’el, why have you offered me slain creatures or sacrifices during the period of forty years in the wilderness? Indeed you have borne the tabernacle of Molekh and the star of the god Rephan; and you have made images to worship them; therefore I will remove you beyond Babylon.”

First, there is absolutely not one shred of historical evidence that our six-pointed Magen David was marked ANYWHERE on the Tabernacle. Second, this verse is about the wayward heart of Yisra’el, serving other gods while at the same time offering sacrifices to יהוה . The ‘star of Rephan’ is actually the inverted pentagram, and not the Magen David. But, if we set these verses in context, we see two things: first, that TzefanYah follows up and says that it was the TABERNACLE OF  יהוה that was with Yisra’el in the Wilderness! He’s saying that they received HIS TABERNACLE. So, the one they carried in the wilderness is NOT the tabernacle of Molekh, and TzefanYah [Stephen] makes this plain! Next, that TzefanYah is actually quoting several of the prophets. YirmiYahu from 19, and Amoz from 5. This is against a disobedient Yisra’el whose hearts had turned from  יהוה , and began to worship the hosts of heaven, the ‘star’ being spoken of here is NOT the “Magen,”, the “Shield” of “David”, but an ORB in they SKY.

Rephan or Remphan, is the English rendering of the Greek word appearing in Acts 7:43 as Ρομφα, Ρεμφάν, Ρεμφαμ, Ραιφαν, and Ρεφαν . It is part of a quotation from Amoz 5:26 where the Septuagint renders raiphan or rephan in the place of the Hebrew ‘Ki’un’. This is probably the Babylonian “Kayawanu,” the planet Saturn, another name for Sakkut, which appears as Siccuth in the earlier part of the verse in Amoz.

Never in history has Saturn been associated with the Magen David. By the time the Magen David became an accepted symbol of Judaism, Jews had long turned from the idolatry they had been guilty of in the days of YirmiYahu and Amoz. Yes, there are some Jews today who practice Kabbalah and the Occult, but, that is no cause to indict EVERY Jew and all of Judaism of paganism.

“Magen David”, the earliest Jewish definition of its origin, is attributed to the Shield that David carried, that had on it the emblem of His name. The assertion has been that the double “dalet” was used, and overlaid on the back of his wooden shield as a brace. This would be the two ‘triangles’ in the ‘star’ we now see, creating the six points. There is, of course, no way to prove this, but neither is there any way to disprove it. The scriptures speak of the “Shield of Avraham,” and David is the rightful king of the nation that came from his loins. David wrote of  יהוה , calling Him his ‘Shield,’ and his very great reward. THIS is that to which Yisra’el and the Jewish people have attributed the Magen David, attesting to it in its very name! To deny it is to expose the antisemitic spirit that wants to demonize Jews, saying they do not know what their own symbol represents.

For more compelling historical and archaeological evidence, read this blog: Star of David

Is it wrong for believers in Messiah to drink wine and other fermented/strong drink?

YESHUA DRANK YAYIN/WINE

For more information on this topic, please see or download: Yayin (Wine) PDF)

Did Yeshua overturn Torah in His teachings about divorce?

YESHUA AND DIVORCE

For more information on this topic, please see or download: Divorce (PDF)

Tefillin (Phylacteries) - Are they required or prescribed in Torah?

YESHUA AND TEFILLIN

Shalom! There have been a couple of questions of late about Tefillin, otherwise known as ‘phylacteries,’ which are the prayer boxes that are strapped to the arm and the head by Orthodox Jews. New information has come out about them in antiquity, and we need to address this, and then just answer the question for our newer folks who are curious: “Is winding the Tefillin compulsory/”required;” why do we not do that, though we do the Mezuzzah?”

First, I want to re-clarify what our stance is generally on ‘tradition/’custom.’ I will summarize here, but feel free to go to our ‘Customs’ page and refresh your memory.

Some may be misunderstanding my drashes of late: WE DO NOT DESPISE JEWISH  TRADITION.

We oppose ANY tradition that contravenes Torah or prevents the doing of the commandments of Elohim. Yeshua also clearly taught this. The two customs in question herein derive primarily from D’varim 6:4-9 and 11:13-21, and also from Shemot 13:9, where the command was first given, BEFORE THE TORAH WAS EVEN WRITTEN, and before they had permanent homes.

The Mezuzah is a known practice in the time of Messiah, though it took slightly different form over the years, due to practicality [people no longer live in one home their whole life] and persecution [Mezuzot make it easy for anti-Semites to find Jews and kill us, so they became “affixed but removable”]. Regardless of the ‘form’ of the Mezuzah, the command has been clearly practiced by Jews for THOUSANDS of years, way back before the time of Messiah. Further, it does nothing to ‘stand in the way’ of keeping any other command, but in fact encourages the doing of The Word.

The physical ‘Tefillin,’ however, are a different matter. First, we do not ‘forbid’ the practice of winding Tefillin. There is nothing ‘negative’ about them, except this: The Rabbis/Sages of the Talmud teach that it is THE LAW OF ELOHIM. That is why we have not begun that practice. But, there are problems with that much later, Rabbinic conclusion, which I will address shortly. But, one who does wind Tefillin is NOT despised in the congregation; we only ask that they not put the Rabbinic “compulsory” pressure on our members, asserting man’s authority over our Congregants, concerning a much later practice that is NOT seen AT ALL in the Brit Khadashah.

Tefillin are NOT found in antiquity in the time of Messiah, or before. Anywhere. The earliest mention of them in written history is in 159 A.D., long after Messiah had come and gone. One ‘Aristeas’ had written a letter, in it a passage concerning ‘tefillin,’ but ONLY being applied to the hand, and no mention of the headpiece. All the wording used to describe the device was Aramaic, which suggests that Hebrew had begun to die out. The very name of these devices, Tefillin, is Aramaic, meaning they come from the Age of the Talmud, and NOT of scripture. While we support the Aramaic Brit Khadashah scriptures, we do not support Talmud. The Aramaic Brit Khadasha scriptures were written about Yeshua and by OUR teachers, the Shlikhim, eye-witnesses of Yeshua’s death and resurrection. The Talmud was written by the part of the Jewish community that denied Yeshua as the Son of G-D, and executed Him, and remained unrepentant about it. We do not follow them. We mourn for them, as did Sha’ul, and pray they will see Messiah.

The Mishnah does mention Tefillin. But, interestingly, it betrays the LATER, Rabbinic conclusion on their being ‘commanded of G-D.’ In Mishnah “Sanhedrin” 11:3, we read:

חומר בדברי סופרים מדברי תורה. האומר אין תפילין כדי לעבור על דברי תורה פיור. חמשה טוטפות להוסיף על דברי סופרים, חייב

‘Disregard of the enactments of the Scribes is MORE SEVERELY dealt with than disregard of the injunctions of the Torah! If one says, “NOT to wear Tefillin is NOT a transgression of the Torah,” he IS exempt. BUT, if one teaches that [in the Tefillin there are] FIVE partitions, he thus adds to the [words of] the SCRIBES, and IS CULPABLE [guilty].’

Do you see that? Already, in the Mishnah, there was an attempt to give the weight of the words of the Scribes AUTHORITY OVER G-D. They began to make THEIR words MORE IMPORTANT THAN TORAH! And the matter was concerning these little boxes and how they would use them. That is the sin of the Garden all over again, using the idea that man is equal with G-D to force doctrine on others. That is the WHOLE argument of the Rabbinic community AND the Christian community, when you confront them with the plain meaning of scripture.

The history bears out that there was NO SET MEANS of practice concerning these devices in the time the Mishnah was written, as is evident in the passage cited. They were beginning to use the scare-tactic of “We have divine authority” to TRY to force unity in the behavior. Archaeology has born out that there was complete disarray in their early use, too.

The issue likely was the word טוטפות, or Totafot. Totafot has no clear origin, use, or meaning. It gets translated as ‘frontlets.’ Interestingly enough, in Shemot 13, that word was not used, but zikkaron was: “You shall set them [The Word] as a memorial between your eyes.” But, because ‘totafot’ was so obscure by the time of the Talmud, there was debate concerning the NUMBER OF SCROLLS/COMPARTMENTS in the boxes. This issue was STILL hot in Medieval times, when two of the main Rabbis debated it. They did not unify the Jewish community on it, either. Rashi [1040-1105AD] and Rabbenu Tam [1096-1171] had differing opinions on how many scrolls/compartments there should be, and which scriptures should be placed in them. The issue is only ‘settled’ in the different communities: Ashkenazi and Sephardi being the two major Jewish communities. This is also why there are different ways to tie the Tzit-Tziot. But, concerning the Tefillin, there was NO prevailing practice in antiquity.

Archaeologically, the earliest Tefillin found were found at Qumran. But, Qumran was a HUGE community of very pious Jews, having been settled THREE TIMES in antiquity. Relative to the number of scrolls found, the number of sets of Tefillin found is VERY SMALL. And, in that number, there is WIDE VARIETY as to how many compartments there were, and how many scrolls/which scriptures should be put in them. These likely come from the THIRD settlement of Qumran, as the scientific dating of the devices themselves puts their origin in atleast the second century. So, though they are the earliest found, they do NOT put Tefillin in practice in the Time of Messiah. Some ‘think’ they were because of the passage in Matti 23:5 in GREEK and greek-sourced, English texts.

“But all their [Scribes and Pharisees] works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries [Tefillin], and enlarge their garments.”

This passage actually betrays the greek texts as coming AFTER the Aramaic Brit Khadashah, because the Aramaic Brit Khadashah texts DO NOT SAY THIS!

“And all their works they do just to be seen by men; for they make grandiose prayers, and they lengthen the tekhelet of their robes” — Mat. 23:5

Where greek says ‘phylacteries,’ a greek word INVENTED to translate “Tefillin,” or Jewish Prayer Boxes, the Aramaic says תפליהון , tiflayhon, which is תפליהם in Hebrew, both meaning “THEIR PRAYERS.” [The ‘tekhelet’ is the blue thread in the tzit-tzit, and making them very long is still a practice among Jews today].

An Aramaic scholar translating from greek to Aramaic, of which there were MANY in the fourth century when the Greeks hi-jacked the faith, and in the sixth when the Greek community insists Aramaic was translated from Greek [which cannot be true], would NOT have translated phylacteries wrong! As an invented greek word to represent an Aramaic word, how COULD they? This is a MISTRANSLATION of “PRAYERS”, תפלין from Aramaic, what was actually תפליהון in the original, to the greek word ‘phylacteries,’ by GREEKS, who knew of the newer practice and mistook the word, a practice/device which was a hotly discussed, unsettled, non-Messianic Jewish practice in the fourth century, still argued about among Jews 700 years later! This is NOT found in the time of Messiah.

So, we conclude that Messiah is seen nowhere doing this. He is our Rabbi, and NO ONE ELSE. We DO NOT CONDEMN the practice of winding Tefillin, as a practice. But, it is NOT compulsory [required] by the Torah, and therefore also not required for our congregation. And, anyone who tries to tell us that it IS required by Elohim is out of line with scripture, and even with Mishnah, which supports that it was the authority of the SCRIBES that require it, and NOT Elohim and His Torah.

So, what is the purpose of the commands in D’varim and Shemot concerning binding and totafot?

I believe Mishlei, Proverbs, shows us, and this is the understanding of 1st century Jews, Messiah included.

Shlomo and others in the Tanak saw these commandments as applying to the conscience guiding the hands and eyes, the behaviors and practices of the person:

“Hear, my son, the instruction [musar] of your father, and forsake not the teaching [Torah] of your mother; For they shall be a chaplet of grace unto your head, and chains [of adornment] about your neck.” Mishlei 1:8-9
“My son, forget not my Torah; but let your heart keep my commandments; Let not kindness and truth forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the table of your heart.” Mishlei 3:1, 3
“My son, keep the commandment of your father, and forsake not the Torah of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart, tie them about your neck, when you walk, it [The Torah] shall lead you, when you lie down, it shall watch over you; and when you awake, it shall talk with you.” Mishlei 6:20-22
“Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them upon your fingers, write them upon the table of your heart.” Mishlei 7:2-3And in D’varim 11, where some of the scrolls of the Tefillin come from, we read: “Therefore shall you lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.”

All of this shows us that Shlomo had Torah in mind when he thought of the binding and the adorning. And it all shows us that he saw these commandments as alluding to an internal work, that of getting Torah INSIDE you. This is the very promise of the Renewed Covenant in YirmiYahu. Yisra’el had failed to do this, so Elohim promised that HE WOULD:

“I will put My Torah in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.” Yeshua affirmed this and started the process for us all at Pesakh 2000 years ago: “And He took the cup and gave thanks, and He blessed it and gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, “This is my blood of the Renewed Covenant which is shed for the sake of many.”

His writing the Torah on our hearts is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing, and that we KNOW יהוה , and follow our Rabbi. If one feels that Tefillin help them in this process, that is a fine thing for that person.  But that one should not try to force it on the Body of Messiah as if the practice was done by Yeshua or required by Elohim before His writing it on our hearts.

For more information on this topic, please see: Customs