Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Unforgivable Sin

The Unpardonable Sin

There is alot of confusion, and frankly, bad teaching, about what the unforgivable sin is. Some say it is not accepting Messiah, some say it is not believing in gifts of the Ruach. Michael on His Blog had an excellent explanation that came from a converstaion we had earlier.

Here is an excerpt:

There's a lot of discussion about whether there is really an "unpardonable sin" in theological circles. According to Yeshua, there is:

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Ruach HaKodesh, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mat. 12:31-32)

So what does that mean? Could someone have accidentally blasphemed the Holy Spirit and lost their salvation as a result? Not quite; as always, context is key.

The unpardonable sin isn't simply not to recognize the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit or Breath of God, but to attribute a work of the Spirit to the Adversary.

To read the entire article go to B'rit Chadasha Blogspot"

The unpardonable sin is real, from the context of the passage, we can clearly discern the issue is not the identification of Yeshua as Messiah, but attributing the healings and miracles of the Ruach HaKobesh (Holy Breath or Spirit) to Ha'Satan (the adversary.

The Pharisee in this case were saying the healings were of Ha'Satan, not from G-d.

Blessings in Messiah

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thoughts - Opening a can of worms


This post I write with personal sadness. When we have to challenge someone on their path, or beliefs; it is easy to feel so inadequate.

One of the most unfortunate side effects of any movement away from "traditional" church beliefs is that there are some who stumble along the way. It seems that some go "Messianic" and then lose their way. Once in awhile you will see someone even go to the extreme and convert to Orthodox Judaism.

We see people who, like previous posts, fall away, for whatever reason. It seems that some people once open to challenging traditions, lose all sense of direction. They become like Sha'ul warned, ships without rudders, tossed to & fro by every wind of Doctrine.

We need to consider every move away from tradition with care, question all changes; to make sure we are not "throwing the baby out with the bath water", so to speak.

Does "opening the can of worms" have to mean rejecting core beliefs? Does seeing the value of Torah mean Messiah is no longer needed?

While we do not believe in the yin & yang of eastern religion, we do need to seek balance in our faith. When making the transition to Messianic, we need to be very careful to not forget the baby, as we stop celebrating Christmas. We need to remember the resurrection, even if we don't celebrate Easter.

Messianics can become "anti-Christian" very easily. We need to learn to speak against false teachings, without forgetting we all worship the same G-d. We agree on most tenets of the faith, even if those tenets are expressed differently. We believe Messiah is G-d, though we stress He is part of G-d (Echad). We believe the Ruach HaKodesh is G-d, but He is not seperate from G-d. We value Torah as showing how to live a Holy Life, but keeping Torah does not save us, G-d did that, by sacrificing Yeshua in our place.

We should not be "anti-Christian" anymore than we should be "anti-Judaism". We should not define ourselves by negatives, but by positives. We share much with both groups, and should able to fellowship in love with both.

Consistancy, accountability, sound doctrine are keys to living lives pleasing to G-d, and staying on the straight & narrow road.

Sometimes we realize how narrow that road can become and fewer than ever seem to be finding it.

Blessings in Messiah

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Life & Teachings of Yeshua Pt 4


The newest Audio has been posted on the Life & Teachings of Yeshua. This is Part 4 and covers the wedding at Kana, and the famous discussion with Nikodemus.

The link is Yeshua Ha'Mashiach Ministries

Blessings in Messiah

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hamas - "We Drink Jewish Blood"


The below excerpt is from a Hamas Website video, and shows the real intention of the Palestinians. This is sickening, when will we wake up and understand the truth.

Hamas suicide bombers' videotape: 'We drink Jews' blood'

By Nadav Shragai

A Hamas Web site recently published the videotape wills of two suicide bombers, with two main messages: One is directed to the Jews whose blood Hamas pledges to drink until they flee from the land of the Muslims, and the other is devoted to a mother who helps her son plan a suicide attack, according to Palestinian Media Watch, which presents the video shown on the Hamas site after its victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.

The video shows Idham Ahmed Majila and Maumin Rajab Rajab, who blew themselves up at the Karni crossing at the end of 2004. "My message to the hated Jews: There is no God but Allah," Majala says. "We will hunt you everywhere, when you wake and when you sleep. We are a blood-drinking people and we know that there is no better blood than Jewish blood.

For the rest of the article go to http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/683165.html

Blessings Gavri'el

New Websites Launched


I'm pleased to say the new web sites have been launched. While they are still very simple and need more work, they are beginning to take shape.

Here is the list:
1. End Anti-Semitism Now! shows past anti-semitic activities and alerts to rising anti-semitism. Designed to counter the denial & lies being told today by those who wish to once again kill our people.

2. Hebrew Root & Root of Faith provide education for Christians on the Jewish Root of the Scriptures, Adonai and Messiah Yeshua. Scripture takes on a totally fresh meaning when understood from it's proper Jewish Context.

3. Jewish Root provides education & provocative thought on non-Messianic Jewish interpretation of scripture. Questions Rabbinic teachings that contradict scripture, while attempting to open minds to a better interpretaion.

4. Cyber Synagogue provides Messianic teachings & synagogue services to persons who cannot attend a local congregation, or live in areas without solid Messianic teaching organizations.

We praise Adonai for providing these new openings to minister His message.

We believe this is a significant path to embark on, and ask for your prayers. It is expected to take several months for these new sites to mature, but Adonai willing, they will grow and produce good fruit.

Blessings Gavri'el

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shabbat or Sabbath - rest


I found the below Blog entry by our Teen Leader Michael Bugg to be a good read, please enjoy.

I got asked a couple of questions the other day about the Sabbath, and I think they do a good job of illustrating the differences between following the Torah and keeping the Torah legalistically, i.e., after the manner instructed in the Talmud. The first had to do with my assertion that the Biblical Sabbath never changed from the seventh to the first day:

Would this make keeping the Sabbath on Sunday wrong or sinful?

Insofar as we define sin as "missing the mark" (the literal translation of both the Greek and Hebrew word), yes: It misses the mark of correct Biblical understanding.

Fortunately, it's not the unforgiveable sin, and we are saved by God's grace, received in trusting Yeshua the Messiah, not by keeping all of God's Appointed Times in just such-and-such a way. I don't generally make it an issue except with two groups of Christians:

1) Those who want to rag on me for supposedly following rabbinical traditions instead of the Bible--my point to them is that if they're going to follow church tradition where it does conflict with Scripture, they shouldn't hassel me about following Jewish traditions in instances where they don't.

2) Those claiming that their denominations traditions are the original apostolic church, e.g., Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. My point to them is that a) God rates obedience over lineage, and b) the Apostles were Torah-observant Jews (cf. Acts 21:20ff), not Roman Catholics.

To which she followed up by asking, Do you mind telling me how you keep it? That is, do you keep it more or less in the manner it was kept during the time of Jesus?

Oh, most certainly not!

Understand, at the time of Yeshua, the rabbis had added so many rules to define just what constituted "work" that they had literally turned not working into a heavy burden. It was so bad that when Yeshua miraculously healed people on the Sabbath, they accused Him of sinning!

I have no desire to return to that.

I strive to keep Sabbath after the simplicity taught by our Lord. I never do overtime on the Sabbath (thankfully, God has given me a job where I can control my hours), nor do I try to catch up on any of my chores around the house. Laundry can wait another day. :)

I go to synagogue, i.e. church. Since God has not granted that I live close by, that means about a 20-30 minute drive. That would definitely be frowned upon by the Orthodox, but in this case, I have to go by the Lord's take that "it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

Thus, when I preach in prison or teach the youth group on the Sabbath, even if it means being on the road for 30-90 minutes, I don't see myself violating God's command any more than a priest ministering in the Temple (Mat. 12:5) or a rabbi circumcising a child (John 7:22).

Other than that, I relax, I read, I visit with friends. I'll occassionally chat with friends on FR and elsewhere online, but I make it a general rule not to let debates carry over into the Sabbath; they too can wait another day.

Yeshua teaches us that, "The Sabbath came into being for man's sake, and not man for the sabbath's sake" (Mark 2:27). That is, the Sabbath, a day to set apart from the pace of the rest of the week, a day to sleep in, to relax, and to be with God and your family and friends, is a blessing, not a burdensome religious duty.


To read other writtings by Michael, go to L'chaim B'Yeshua Blog

Blessings Gavri'el

Friday, February 10, 2006

Why Former Gentile?

Why Former Gentile?

Using the term former Gentile has created its share of controversy. Even amongst some of my closest friends and members of the Congregation. So, why do we use the term “Former Gentile”?

Referring to someone who is not ethnically Jewish as a Messianic Jew is incorrect. While many in the Church, out of ignorance, say all believers are Messianic Jews, that is not the case. Jewishness comes from linage, either Father (Biblically), or mother (Rabbinically). Thus we only refer to a person as Jewish if they have Jewish ancestry (conversion is a topic for another time).

Referring to someone as a Gentile is also problematic if they are a believer in Messiah and especially if they are a Messianic believer. Gentile comes from the Hebrew Goyim, which is used as nations in scripture. Unfortunately it also has the meaning of pagan, as in someone who does not follow the G-d of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. Once a person believes, they certainly are no longer pagan! Also, since believers are grated in to (not replacing) Israel (similar to the Former Gentile Caleb, who with Joshua lead the children of Israel into the promised land!), the term Gentile is in my opinion, improper.

Thus a new term was required to identify non-Jewish, grafted into Israel, believers. The term we chose is “former gentile”, as it celebrates G-d’s miraculous change He has made in their heart. That is why we say “former gentile”.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

What Do Messianic or Messianic Jews Believe?

What Do Messianic or Messianic Jews Believe?

The Messianic faith takes several forms and as a journey, begins in different places for those choosing to follow “the narrow road”. I’d like to define what Messianic beliefs are:
1. G-d is Echad (one), for in scripture Moshe states “Hear of Israel, the L-rd is one G-d”
2. The Patriarchs are the forefathers of all we believe
3. The Torah (first 5 books of scripture) are the basis (foundation) for all other scripture, and the commandments given in the Torah are the basis for a life pleasing to G-d
4. Yeshua is the Messiah and creator of everything,
5. Yeshua and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Breath) are part of the one G-d. Yeshua is the physical incarnation of G-d in a human body, and is called Ha’Davar – The Word of G-d.
6. The Ruach Ha’Kodesh is the Holy Breath of G-d.
7. The promises to Israel still are in effect, and will be fulfilled
8. That former gentile believers are grafted into the Common Wealth of Israel.
9. That Yeshua did not do away with the observance of Torah.

The role of the Torah is clearly the what differentiates Messianics from most Churches. Whereas belief in Yeshua as Messiah is clearly what differentiates us from most Synagogues.

For more information go to Beth Ha'Mashiach


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Why be Messianic or Messianic Jewish?

So why are we Messianic?

Reasons for being Messianic or Messianic Jewish vary from person to person and can generally be summed up into 5 groupings:
1. Former Gentiles who have a passion for Israel and the Jewish people and want to involved in supporting both.
2. Former Gentiles who hunger for truth, who have become convinced that there are significant doctrinal issues in the Church, such as Shabbat and the role of Torah.
3. Former Gentiles who want more out of their relationship with G-d.
4. Jewish Believer who have come to see Yeshua as Messiah, and want to worship Him while maintaining their Jewishness.
5. Interfaith couples seeking a place to worship together where both are comfortable, and a place to raise children who will have both a Jewish upbringing, and knowledge of Messiah Yeshua.

Most are self explanatory, as above, but I wanted to delve a little deeper into 2 specific groups: Jewish Believers in Messiah and Former Gentiles.

Jewish Believers – When a Jew believes in Yeshua as Messiah, your life can take a radical turn of events. Families may react strongly; employment and friendships can be affected. A large change, depending on where you come from as religious background, might be in practice of faith. Imagine giving up all you hold familiar, to practice a “foreign religion”. The first thing many Churches do is invite you to a pork barbeque. Almost all readings from the Tankh are expunged for readings from the New Testament, and the Torah is now obsolete. Is this what G-d intended?

For Jews entering a Messianic Community, the culture shock is not as severe. Pork is not on the menu, the Torah is proudly displayed (and followed), and over 50% of the study is from the Tankh. The weekly parsha readings are the same. Thus you are not adopting a “foreign religion”, but following a path within a Jewish framework. Children are still circumcised, marriages are under the Chuppah and all the feasts are still celebrated. You are free to develop an understanding of Messiah, without cultural bigotry and Anti-Semitic elements clouding the path.

Former Gentile Believers – For former Gentiles beginning a Messianic Life is almost as traumatic as for the Jew. While family & friends might not be as openingly hostile, they will question you. The questions (and acquisitions) may be that: your legalistic, or that you think “everyone else is going to Hell” but you. Simple things like going shopping will be affected, as you now go on Sunday, instead of Saturday may get you labeled as not believing (since “Christians” go to church on Sunday, thus you must not believe if you are not in church).

Most Former Gentiles begin adopting a Messianic lifestyle due to issues they have with church practices & teachings. Many times it is over changes beginning in the 3rd century going through to the reformation that make Christianity less “Jewish”. It might have been the addition of pagan worship days to replace the feasts of G-d. These doctrinal issues will be explained as many past teachings are challenged. The role of Torah, the feasts, corporate prayer and a much heavier emphasis on the “rest of scripture” will challenge, and hopefully delight you.

So why am I Messianic – very simply, because I wish to be as close to G-d as possible, living by His entire revealed word, not just selected parts. I want to be like my Great Rabbi, Yeshua! To walk as He walked, to talk as He talked, and do the works He showed us to do.


For more information on living a Messianic lifestyle

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Life & Teachings of Messiah Part 2


We have just posted the 2nd part of a new teaching series on the Life & Teachings of Messiah that we wanted to share with you. This teaching covers the birth, circumcision & Pidyon Haben (redemption) of Yeshua the Messiah. The Previous teachings can be found online, or in past Blog entries.

Teh teachings are based on a harmonized Gospel, so elements of all 4 books are covered in a cohesive, linear approach that offers a fresh prospective on the Messiah's life (while on earth). The teaching specifically addresses the correct historical and Jewish cultural elements presented in the Gospels, and removes man-made anti-semitic interpetations added by later translators.

The Life & Teachings of Messiah Part 2

I hope you enjoy this fresh look at scripture. This series will most likely last through Passover.

Blessings - Gavri'el

Monday, February 06, 2006

Torah Reading Beshalach - בשלח : “When he sent”

Parashat Hashavuah

Beshalach - בשלח : “When he sent”
Torah: Exodus 13:17-17:16
Haftarah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Gospel: Mark 6

A Memorial

Thought for the Week:

Chassidic discourse teaches that the Spirit of Messiah is more exalted than that of Moses. Whereas Moses is depicted being drawn out from the water and dividing the sea, walking through the water, Messiah is depicted above the water. In the beginning of Genesis it says, “and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water.” The Sages teach, “This is the Spirit of Messiah.” In the gospels, Messiah walks over the surface of the water.


In the traditional Jewish telling of the crossing of the Red Sea, Nachshon ben Amminadab, the prince over the tribe of Judah, plays an important role. Who is Nachshon? His name is mentioned six times in the Torah. To believers his name is familiar from the genealogies of the Master in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Nachshon was one of the ancestors of Yeshua. The Torah refers to him as the prince over the tribe of Judah.

To read the rest of the Torah Reading

Friday, February 03, 2006

Are many Churches preaching “Another Jesus”?

Are many Churches preaching “Another Jesus”?

In the posting on “Are the Rabbi’s right to not believe in “Jesus” as Messiah”, we discussed some fundamental issues regarding the nature of the Messiah. The main issue was the passage in the Torah that specifically states - if a prophet comes doing great signs & wonders, and denies or tries to eliminate the Torah, the person is to be killed (as a false prophet). We also noted that in the B’rit Chadasha (Newer Testament) the sign of the anti-Messiah is he will try to change “times and seasons” (Shabbat & Feasts), and be the “lawless one” (without Torah).

So if the scriptures specifically say that changing or eliminating Torah (translated poorly as Law) is forbidden, than how can many denominations say the Torah is done away with. The answer is many groups obsession with Paul. Paul, known more correctly to his Hebrew audience as Rabbi Sha’ul, as the “Apostle to the Gentiles” is seen as the final authority by many in the church. It was noted in Derek Leman’s fine book, Paul didn’t eat Pork (www.mtolivepress.com), that 90% of sermons at a large church of one major denomination where from the Letters of Paul (an Epistle is a letter).

So most Churches get the majority of their teachings from letters Paul wrote. There are many points we need to consider:
1. Several groups did not recognize the authority of Paul, this includes entire church bodies such as the Ethiopian Church & the Ebonite’s. While we are not suggesting removing Paul’s letter from Cannon, we do need to understand they are not universally accepted.
2. Kefa (Peter) himself, as 1 of the 3 Elders forming the ruling council of Apostles, said Paul’s letters were hard to understand, and were used by many to their own destruction.
3. The letters of Paul are just that, letters, giving ½ of the conversation. Mark Nanos & Derek Leman have both written excellent works on these letters and how the Church has failed to interpret them correctly. We must understand who is being addressed, who the participants in the discussion are, and the historical and cultural background to rightly interpret his words.
4. Paul’s letters, when incorrectly understood, directly contradict Yeshua’s teachings, as well as the other Apostles. For instance, if Paul really is speaking of the Torah being a curse (as opposed to the true meaning of the passage, the curses of the Torah, i.e. the curses for failing to keep Torah), he would be directly contradicting 1 John 3 where John speaks of keeping Torah to have a proper relationship with G-d.

In effect the church is tossing out 90% of all scripture, which Sha’ul himself said was good for doctrine, reproof, teaching, etc. and getting it’s doctrine from only 10% of the Bible!

If Sha’ul is teaching people to do away with Torah, then, by definition, he is a false prophet as seen in the passage in Deuteronomy!

We do not believe Paul was a false prophet, but that his writings have been terribly mistranslated, interpreted and taught for over 1800 years. See www.bethhamashiach.com for more information on correctly understanding Paul.

What then of Churches and Denominations that teach Yeshua (Jesus) did away with the Law (Torah), or that Paul renounced the Torah? The answer is simply this, they are teaching another Jesus! They are not teaching the G-d of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. They have fallen into one of the first Heresies the early believers faced, Marcionism & Gnosticism.

This leaves one question unanswered. Who do you follow?


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Are the Rabbi’s right to not believe in “Jesus” as Messiah?

Are the Rabbi’s right to not believe in “Jesus” as Messiah?


This issue has been on my heart as it directly impacts how Jewish people see Yeshua as Messiah. The Rabbi’s and most Jewish people will not seriously consider Yeshua as the Messiah due to 3 issues: 1. Messiah was to bring peace, 2. the role of the church in anti-semiticism, and 3. The many churches teaching that the Torah is no longer valid.

I would like to discuss the last item; the Torah is no longer valid. Many denominations in the church today teach that the Torah has been “nailed to the cross”, and is no longer valid, but what does scripture really teach, and how can the teachings of the “New Testament” be reconciled to the Tanakh (Older Testament).

In the Torah, G-d says that if a prophet comes doing great signs & wonders, and denies or tries to eliminate the Torah, the person is to be killed. In the Newer Testament the sign of the anti-Messiah is he will try to change “times and seasons” (Shabbat & Feasts), and be the “lawless one” (without Torah).

Let’s examine what Messiah Yeshua’s position on the Torah was.
1. We know (though some in the Church deny it), that Yeshua was 100% Torah observant.
2. We also know He never said one word against the keeping of Torah (the law as translated in many Bibles, from the Greek nomos, which in the Septuagint is always translated Torah).
3. We know He said “not one yod or tittle” would pass away until the end of the age.
4. We know in fact that He said, “if you love me, keep my commands (Torah)”

Please understand – “Had Yeshua taught against Torah, He would not be Messiah, and would have rightfully been condemned to death, per G-d’s own word”. Thus our Messiah never did away with Torah, or told us to not keep Torah.

So the Rabbi’s are right in questioning anyone who says “Jesus is the Christ” and that He did away with the Torah. Even by the “New Testament” that many denominations fixate on to the exclusion of all else (some will not even open the Older Testament), Messiah Yeshua would not be the Messiah by the scriptures stated above.

Let us realize that the Rabbi’s are much wiser than most give them credit for. Unless the church stops pushing a Torah eliminating Messiah, the Jewish people are right to not give credence to the arguments presented for Messiah Yeshua.

Blessings – Gavri’el

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Using Pagan names for the one true G-d

Using Pagan names for the one true G-d


We recently went to see End of the Spear, a story about the 5 missionaries killed in Ecuador by an unreached people group during the 1950’s. While approaching the tribe, the missionaries used the tribal name for a god for the one true G-d. During our stay in the Middle East, we also noticed the use of Allah for the one true G-d.

My concern is, is it alright to use a pagan name for the one true G-d? Rabbi Sha’ul, when in Athens, talked about the memorial to ‘the unnamed god’, and used it to relate to the one true G-d, but he did not use Jupiter, Zeus, or other pagan deity.

The Jewish people have protected the Holy Name of G-d for 3500 years, even to the point where it is not used in the book of Esther. My concern is, is it right for “Christians” to use a pagan deities name in place of G-d’s true name?

Many pagan names are associated with demons, more than the true G-d. What does darkness have to do with light? Are we serving these people by compromising G-d’s name in order to relate to them? Allah comes from the moon god worshipped by Mohammed’s father, using that name as equal to the true G-d, are we now calling YHVH a moon G-d?

We know the church has replaced the true name of G-d with a mistranslated Jehovah (compliments of a 16th century monks mistranslation) instead of His most holy name YHVH. Now in a zeal to reach unbelievers (a laudable goal), we are using other names for Him also.

Is this G-d’s will or another compromise made in the name of spreading the Gospel and making it “palatable” to others? How many compromises can be made before we are no longer preaching the truth, and instead are spreading a lie?

Blessings in Messiah – Gavri’el