Our Doctrine

Common, manmade doctrines with which we disagree

“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

Yes, Yisra’el was divided way back in around 930 BC.

As a result of that division, the northern faction was called Malkhut Yisra’el, the KINGDOM of Yisra’el.  It was called the Northern Kingdom.

That kingdom lasted until about 732 BC.  And then, it was invaded and destroyed.  Three times.  By Assyria.  And all three times there was a dispersion of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom. [ of the 10 tribes, northern Israelites ] The ten tribes were dispersed into Assyria in three ‘waves,’ by Tigrath Pileser III in 732, by Shalmaneser V and Sargon II in 729, and by Sargon II again in 715, into parts more easterly.

This was the fulfillment of prophecy by Hoshe’ah.  But, Hoshe’ah also prophesied the RETURN of the northern tribes, a remnant of them.  And that happened in the scriptures, when Khizki-Yahu invited them back for the Pesakh, and many of them came.

Several of the Nevi’im were warning the northern kingdom of their destruction.  But, none so much as Hoshe’ah, except perhaps Yesha-Yahu.

So many people THINK that this is happening today, and the prophesied collection of the northern tribes is the salvation of the gentiles of today, who many today think are the peoples like the Brits, the Danes, the Irish, the Dutch, etc, etc.  They believe that these people groups are the ‘lost tribes.’  They completely ignore the prophecy of Hoshe’ah, the fulfilment of it in II Chronicles, and the fact that Yekhezkel ministered to Yisra’el [Judah] a full 100 years AFTER the destruction of the NORTHERN “kingdom”, predicting the destruction of Jerusalem in the SOUTHERN Kingdom, Yehudah, which Yekhezkel called Yisra’el!  And they overlook Sha’ul calling himself an Israelite, a Jew, and a Binyemini, and they overlook Kefa and Ya’akov writing to the 12 tribes in their day.

Yekhezkel ministered to Yehudah, the SOUTHERN Kingdom.  The ‘lost tribes’ were already SCATTERED.  And Elohim told them he would utterly forget them.  But, He also said He’d save a remnant.  That remnant already returned, and the ‘unification’ already happened.  BEFORE Yekhezkel ministered to Yehudah.  So, why would Yekhezkel say what he said in that chapter, about the two ‘trees.’  Reading that chapter out of context, we understand how so many can think that there is a rejoining of Yisra’el in our day.  On the surface, without a timeline, and a firm understanding of the history, one could easily come to that conclusion.  But, we need to be responsible, and set everything in CONTEXT.

Yekhezkel writes, in the twelfth year of the siege of YERUSHALAYIM : ‘Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘As I live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. And I will make the land most desolate, and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Yisra’el shall be desolate, so that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am יהוה , when I have made the land most desolate, because of all their abominations which they have committed’.'”

Bear in mind, Yisra’el is now the combined TWELVE TRIBES again, living together in the land of Yehudah, and the Navi calls them “Yisra’el”.  He is speaking of the future of those living in the land under the kingship of Yehudah.  All Twelve Tribes.

He then addresses the “Shepherds” of Yisra’el.  This is the later greek-translated word ‘pastor,’ and is concerning the kohanim, those tasked with teaching Yisra’el.

Yekhezkel 34:5 “So were they scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.  6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains [of their OWN land], and upon every high hill, yes, upon all the face of the land were My sheep scattered, and there was none that did search or seek.  7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the D’var יהוה .”

This is an echo of Yirme-Yahu, who is also a Navi to the SOUTHERN KINGDOM. He ministered BEFORE Yekhezkel, concerning the destruction of Yerushalayim.  In Chapter 50 he writes, concerning those gathered IN BAVEL, AFTER the destruction of YERUSHALAYIM [which had not happened yet, but is about to, from his context]:

Yirme-Yahu 50:4 “…B’nei Yisra’el shall come, they and B’nei Yehudah together; they shall go on their way weeping, and shall seek יהוה their Elohim.  5 They shall inquire concerning Tzion with their faces her way, ‘Come, and join yourselves to יהוה in an everlasting Brit that shall not be forgotten’.  6 My people has been lost sheep [Yisra’el and Yehudah TOGETHER]; their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting-place.  7 All that found them have devoured them [Assyria AND Babylon]; and their adversaries said, ‘We are not guilty’; because they have sinned against יהוה , the habitation of justice, even יהוה , the hope of their fathers.  8 Flee out of the midst of Bavel, and go forth out of the land of the Kasdim, and be as the he-goats before the flocks. 9 For, lo, I will stir up and cause to come up against Bavel an assembly of great nations [Medes and Persians] from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her, from there she [Bavel] shall be taken; their arrows shall be as of a mighty man that makes childless; none shall return in vain.  10 And Kasdim shall be a spoil; all that spoil her shall be satisfied, says יהוה .”

This is Yirme-Yahu predicting the destruction of Bavel, BEFORE it happened, which finally happened and is to us history; he called out the destruction of Bavel, before even Yerushalayim was destroyed he predicted it.  And Yisra’el AND Yehudah are told TOGETHER to leave Bavel when the Medes and Persians attack it.  They would already be unified.  And they were lost TOGETHER, just as Yekhezkel said.

So, when Yeshua sent his Talmidim to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Yisra’el’, he did NOT send them to the ‘ten lost tribes.’  In context, that Brit Khadashah passage makes this very clear Matt 10:

Matti 10:5 “These twelve Yeshua sent out, and charged them and said, “Keep away from pagan practices, and do not enter a city of Shomron; 6 but above all, go to the sheep which are lost from Beit Yisra’el.  7 And as you go, declare and say that Malkhut HaShamayim is near.  8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you have received, freely give.  9 Do not accumulate gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses; 10 nor a bag for the journey, nor two shirts and shoes, nor a staff; for a laborer is at least worthy of his food.  11 Whatever city or town you enter, ask who is trustworthy in it, and remain there until you leave. 12 And when you enter into the house, ask for shalom for that house.  13 And if the house is worthy, your shalom shall come upon it; but if it is not worthy, your shalom shall return to you.”

When Yeshua finished commanding them concerning their temporary journey, he departed [chapter 11].  All the gospels bear out that the twelve went out, TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, the JEWISH people in the land of Yehudah! and then rejoined Yeshua.  In very similar fashion He later sends out 70 in another episode that is recorded in Luka 10, and we then read,

Luka 10:17 “So the seventy whom He had sent returned with great joy, and they said to Him, “Adoneinu, even the demons have submitted to us in Your Name.”

Understand this:

ALL TWELVE TRIBES WERE LOST, BECAUSE THEIR ‘PASTORS’ WERE NOT TEACHING THEM THE TORAH!

This was not a ‘physical scattering,’ but “LOST” in the sense of NOT KNOWING TRUTH.  This was true of ALL TWELVE TRIBES in Yirme-Yahu’s day, and in the days of Yekhezkel, AND in the days of Yeshua!  They were LOST TOGETHER.  Yeshua called the Jewish People of His day, “Yisra’el”.  Having been reunited in the land, and yet going into error.  This is why Abba destroyed Yerushalayim!  AFTER Yirme-Yahu predicted it.  It was true in Yeshua’s day, when the P’rushim’s Rabbis taught men’s commandments in the place of Torah, as if they were teaching Torah.  This is true of our Jewish people today.  If they do not follow Messiah, they are LOST!  The Rabbis and all of Israel that do not believe and trust in Yeshua, ARE LOST.  Yeshua sent out the 12 to the JEWS…. people of all twelve tribes living in the land of Yehudah!  Our Jewish people TODAY are comprised of people from ALL TWELVE TRIBES.  Just because one might be from another tribe, does NOT mean he is not a JEW.  Sha’ul was of the tribe of Binyamin, but he called himself both a Jew and an Israelite.  Yehudah bears the scepter, just as predicted.  Those who rebelled against Yehudah’s kingship, and against G-d, are FORGOTTEN.

Israelite and Jew are two terms that are not mutually exclusive, but synonymous.

To further prove this, lets consider.  Today’s ‘two house’ people like to say that Danes, Brits, and Irish, and others of European xtian stock are the descendants of the ten lost tribes, ie; “Ephraimites.”  Well, the scriptures called the land of Efrayim “Shomron.”  When Yeshua was sending out the 12, He specifically told them;

Matti 10:5″Keep away from pagan practices, and do not enter a city of Shomron; 6 but above all, go to the sheep which are lost from Beit Yisra’el.”

Please ‘hear’ His word.  Yeshua sent HIS TWELVE, 2000 years ago, to Beit Yisra’el, and specifically said DO NOT GO INTO SHOMRON!  Shomron had inhabitants who could PROVE they descended from the 10 northern tribes… the ‘woman at the well’ was a Shomronit, and she tried to legitimize her faith as a descendent of Ya’akov.  But, Yeshua told His twelve Jews, from several of the tribes, NOT to go to their ‘half brothers.’  If THEY are not candidates to be “Beit Yisra’el,’ HOW in the wide world are today’s Danes and Brits?  The Shomronim were certainly closer kin than European xtians.

Next in Yekhezkel, after admonishing the ‘Shepherds’ and warning Edom, he speaks to all nations trampling His people, and says to Yisra’el,

Yekhezkel 36:9 “For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and you shall be tilled and sown; 10 and I will multiply men upon you, all Beit Yisra’el, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built; 11 and I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and you shall know that I am יהוה .”

The context tells us that this is ALL TWELVE TRIBES He is addressing here.  Remember, Yekhezkel is a minister to the SOUTHERN kingdom, 100 years AFTER the ten northern tribes were dispersed.  Scattered.

He is talking to the remnant.  This is a concept that every believer needs to understand.  There is and always has been only a remnant, a group of people within ALL Yisra’el, all twelve tribes, that know and trust יהוה for Salvation [Yeshu’ah, ie; Yeshua].  It is the remant that will grow and sprout.

Then, Yekhezkel turns to prophesy again, this time of later events:

Yekhezkel 36:17 “Ben Adam, when Beit Yisra’el dwelt in their own land [ONE HOUSE, all twelve tribes], they defiled it by their way and by their doings; their way before Me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. 18 Therefore, I poured out My fury upon them for the blood which they had shed upon the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols; 19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20 And when they came unto the nations, wherever they came, they profaned My kadosh Name; in that men said of them, ‘These are the people of  יהוה , and are gone forth out of His land’.  21 But I had pity for My kadosh Name, which Beit Yisra’el had profaned among the nations, wherever they came.” 22 “Therefore say unto Beit Yisra’el, ‘Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘I do not do this for your sake, O Beit Yisra’el, but for My kadosh Name, which you have profaned among the nations, wherever you came. 23 And I will consecrate My Great Name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am יהוה , says Adonai יהוה , when I shall be consecrated in you before their eyes.  24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.  25 And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean; from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.  27 And I will put My Ru’akh within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them.  28 And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your Elohim.  29 And I will save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the grain, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.  30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations.  31 Then shall you remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.  32 Not for your sake do I do this, says Adonai יהוה , be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O Beit Yisra’el, 33 thus says Adonai יהוה .  In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built.  34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all that passed by.  35 And they shall say, ‘This land that was desolate is become like Gan Eden’; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.  36 Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, יהוה , have built the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate; I, יהוה , have spoken it, and I will do it; 37 thus says Adonai יהוה .  I will yet for this be inquired of by Beit Yisra’el, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.  38 As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Yerushalayim in her Mo’edim, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am יהוה  .”

And from here we turn to chapter 34.  But, let’s reason a bit.  Is he REALLY telling ONLY the northern kingdom that He would put HIS RU’AKH in their hearts, and SAVE them?  Really?  That is how and what many people teach.  But that is NOT the heart and the way of Elohim.  He only has ONE YISRA’EL.  And ‘Salvation is of the Jews’.  So, what is this prophecy about, and to whom is it written?

Again, Yekhezkel is a Navi to Yehudah, the SOUTHERN KINGDOM, calling the SOUTHERN KINGDOM “Yisra’el”, for several reasons.  The twelve tribes were re-unified in the days of King Khizki-Yah.  The twelve tribes were scattered together to Bavel.  Elohim is promising to bring them BACK to the land, and THEN put His Breath in them and SAVE them.

One must learn something when studying the Nevi’im and Nevu’im.  Abba says something, and it sounds like it will happen in one fell swoop, but then, it happens over a course of years and in several stages.  This is true of the destruction and expulsion of the ten LOST tribes.  This is true of the destruction and captivity of Yehudah to Bavel.  This is true of the return and the rebuilding of the Beit HaElohim.  This is also true of the saving and return of ALL YISRA’EL into the land.  It is also true of the final dispersion, which began in 70 AD and was completed in 150 AD.  Our Jewish people, all twelve tribes together, have roamed the earth together for 2,000 years.  Yekhezkel is predicting their return in the LAST of the LAST days, and it has not happened yet, and is not happening yet. Our Jewish people, ALL TWELVE TRIBES, are still lost: apart from the REMNANT: those who trust in Yeshua.

We cannot forget history from 586 BC to the late 1st century. In summary, all twelve tribes were banished to Bavel; they returned.  They rebuilt the House.  They were again conquered, and then took back the land from the Seleucids.  Then the Romans occupied the land.  And then Messiah came and ministered to all twelve tribes.  And then HE put His Ru’akh into the hearts of all twelve tribes.  [Acts 2]  But, He is NOT DONE.  Because ALL TWELVE TRIBES were again SCATTERED, and LOST doctrinally.  They still are, to this day.  First, some of them remained “jewish” in the lands near Yisra’el.  Sha’ul goes into those lands, into the synagogues, and SAVES them, ALONG WITH GENTILES.  Did Sha’ul call THOSE GENTILES ‘Efraimites’?  NO!  He called them STRANGERS!  But Ya’akov writes to ALL TWELVE TRIBES!  Why would Ya’akov [James] write a letter to people, if he did not know who and where they were?  [James 1:1]  Further, the TWELVE TRIBES have since been scattered!  In waves/stages again, from 70 AD to 150 AD.  And it is to THAT group of people, JEWS, that Yekhezkel is now writing.

Today’s Jews are in NO WAY ‘united’.  There are as many factions and schisms in Judaism as there are in some streams of xtianity.  Geographically they are not united, but scattered among the nations, still.  It may be precisely because they are from separate tribes that they quibble so much over even their talmudic doctrine and practices!  But, the chapter in question, is indeed written concerning END TIMES.  But, it is NOT about ‘gentiles’ who are the ‘house of Efrayim.’  Efrayim is forgotten!  Only a remnant of Efrayim, and of the other tribes, survives today.  And they are Jews.  [Rev 12]

In the first part of Yekhezkel chapter, 37, we read:

Yekhezkel 37:9 …”Prophesy unto HaRu’akh, prophesy, Ben Adam, and say to HaRu’akh, ‘Thus says Adonai , יהוה  ‘Come from the four winds, O Ru’akh, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live’.'” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and HaRu’akh came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.  11 Then He said unto me, “Ben Adam, these bones are the whole Beit Yisra’el; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off’.  12 Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, ‘Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘Behold,I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Yisra’el.  13 And you shall know that I am יהוה , when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people.  14 And I will put My Ru’akh in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; and you shall know that I, יהוה , have spoken, and performed it, says יהוה ‘.'”

Yekhezkel is assuring future Israelis the REMANT who trusted would be resurrected.  Nothing in this passage is about a mysterious morphing of Efrayim into ‘gentiles’.   The portion about the two trees/sticks is NOT independent of this passage concerning the dried bones.  The two ‘trees’ or ‘sticks’ that Yekhezkel joins together are indeed representative of Efrayim and Yosef, and Yehudah.  But, the WHOLE POINT of it is that there is ONE TREE…. ONE HOUSE….the promise given to the WHOLE HOUSE is the same as the one given above, AFTER THE RESURRECTION, which I would assume EVERYONE would agree has NOT HAPPENED YET.  Do you not get it?  Yisra’el coming into the land as a unified, single house, does NOT HAPPEN until AFTER the resurrection.  Consider, Yekhezkel, who lived in circa 600 AD, is speaking about DEAD MEN.  And only FAITHFUL dead men.  He is speaking to the remnant from ALL TWELVE TRIBES, in HIS day, telling them that those dead prior to 600 AD would one day rise again.  And of course, this is ‘The Resurrection,” so the remnant of the future would also participate in that.

We also see when Yisra’el does become unified, AFTER THE RESURRECTION, that Messiah Ben David will be the ruler of Yisra’el.  THIS IS of course MESSIAH YESHUA!  He will one day rule IN THE LAND, with ALL TWELVE TRIBES living in the land in safety.  Today, the twelve tribes are scattered all over the world: and they are called Jews.  The re-unification has not happened yet.  And according to the first part of the chapter, does not happen until after The Resurrection.  And then ALL JEWS will be ‘saved.’

Yekhezkel spoke, once again, 120 years AFTER the complete destruction of the northern kingdom and the scattering of the northern ten tribes.  They are forgotten.  When he referred to Yisra’el, he referred to the believing/trusting remnant, all twelve tribes.  The REMNANT of Efrayim has already been returned to Yehudah.  The 30th chapter of Divrei HaYamim Bet [2 Chron] bears this out, just as Hoshe’ah prophesied.  That REMNANT, made up of Messianic Jews, is awaiting the Resurrection.  Today, any Gentile that says they directly descend from Efrayim or Dan or Yosef is fooling himself.  There is simply no proof whatsoever.  And they are putting a measure of their hope for salvation in their DNA.  This tramples the blood of Messiah, and betrays a lack of trust in that blood ALONE for salvation.  Sha’ul was from the tribe of Binyamin, yet called himself an Yisra’elite AND a Yehudi [Israelite/Jew].  There is NO DISTINCTION.  “A House that is divided SHALL NOT STAND.”  There is ONLY ONE house in the Kingdom of Elohim.  Efrayim and Dan were guilty of creating ‘two houses’ in the northern kingdom, because they did not want to follow Yehudah’s King.  These two tribes are conspicuously missing from the census of tribes in the book of the Hitgalut [Revelation].  This matches the prophecies, that they would be destroyed AND FORGOTTEN.  [minus the remnant, that would unify with Yehudah and become Jews].  They became Jews; just the opposite of what ‘two-house’ teachers teach, that they became gentiles.  A Jewish person cannot become a Gentile, EVEN IF he forgets he is descended from Avraham, Yitz’khak, and Ya’akov.  But, it is NOT our DNA that saves us, but ONLY our trust in the blood of Messiah, whether we are Jewish OR Gentile.

Galatim 4:28 “There is neither Yehudi nor Arami, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Yeshua HaMashi’akh. 29 So if you belong to Mashi’akh, then you are descendants of Avraham, and his heirs according to the promise.”

Identity religion is sin.

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 both: “The Name”and “What’s In A 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.

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.