Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Can a person live in a lifestyle of sin and still expect to be forgiven?

Can a person live in a lifestyle of sin and still expect to be forgiven?

One of the biggest fallacies that exists today is that "grace" covers all sins. This "grace" being presented is not reconciliation with G-d, but a license to live in open rebellion to His teachings. There is true Grace, and there is false "grace", often referred to as easy grace or "greasy grace".

In 1st Yochanan (John) Chapter 3 we see what true Grace is:

1Jn 3:1 See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God's children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known him.
1Jn 3:2 Dear friends, we are God's children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when he appears, we will be like him; because we will see him as he really is.
1Jn 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in him continues purifying himself, since God is pure.
1Jn 3:4 Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah - indeed, sin is violation of Torah.
1Jn 3:5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him.
1Jn 3:6 So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him.
1Jn 3:7 Children, don't let anyone deceive you - it is the person that keeps on doing what is right who is righteous, just as God is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 The person who keeps on sinning is from the Adversary, because from the very beginning the Adversary has kept on sinning. It was for this very reason that the Son of God appeared, to destroy these doings of the Adversary.
1Jn 3:9 No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed planted by God remains in him. That is, he cannot continue sinning, because he has God as his Father.
1Jn 3:10 Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God's children and those of the Adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God. Likewise, anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God.

As we see above, it is abundently clear, sin is defined as a violation of Torah, both the original commands given at Sinai and the words of Messiah. Anyone who continues to live in sin is not from the Father, nor do they have the Son.

G-d redeemed us at a huge cost, not so we could live in sin and rebellion, but to live in the image of His Son.

Does that mean a person is lost every time they sin? No, we have a High Priest who makes intercession for us continually, even Yeshua the Messiah. What is does mean is that we must confess and repent (turn away from that sin). If we do not, that sin stays on us and defiles us.

A life of continuous sin, to the point where we no longer repent, is a sign that the Ruach (Spirit) has left (or was never there) and that G-d is no longer striving with us to cleanse us. In that case, it is likely the person has been given over to their sin and is not covered by the blood of Messiah. Is that person then capable of being redeemed? Only Adonai can answer that question.

Kefa (Peter) says "work out your salvation with fear and trembling". This does not mean that we are saved by works, but that we need to objectively ascertain are we walking in G-d's light, or are we deceiving ourselves.

Shalom - Rabbi Gavri'el

False Teachers, the Internet & Distribution of materials

The Synagogue leadership strives very hard to prevent false teachings from entering the Congregation. That is one reason we carefully determine who can be in leadership and who can address the Congregation.

Leadership has an extra accountability before G-d for the members of the Congregation. If we teach falsely, or allow false teachers to teach, we are guilty for the damage caused by that teaching. In effect, we have "blood on our hands" as if we taught falsely.

To that end, great caution and discernment must be used in allowing persons to address the Congregation, especially in matters such as a prophetic word, and other manifestations of the Ruach.

While leadership believes these gifts are valid today, we also agree that many use them for their own glory, not for Adonai's, and thus are not from G-d.

Another area of concern is the preponderance of false teaching available in both books, and especially on the Internet. For every good site, there are 10 bad sites.

Likewise, there are known groups who promote doctrines that Leadership believes are contrary to scripture, an example is the group from the Sunday debate, who said we were not saved because we follow Torah. Other groups including some Black Hebrew groups that reject the Jewish people, claiming they are the only true Jews.

There are additional groups who teach doctrines stating, in effect, that everyone saved is really a Jew or from a lost tribe (No Gentiles?). Others state G-d has forsaken our Jewish Brothers and that they are cursed (No Jews). Many today teach the Church has replaced Isra'el and that G-d will not redeem His people. All views we believe are contrary to Scripture..

Because of these wide spread teachings that are so prevalent today, we must respectfully ask that no materials be given out (electronic or paper) that have not been approved in advance. No one would want to be the cause of making a weaker brother stumble. So please respect these rules.

Additionally, the Congregation is not a place to solicit for a persons own personal ministry. If you have a ministry that G-d has placed on your heart, please work with leadership to see if it is consistent with the vision and purpose of the Synagogue.

Shalom, Rabbi Gavri'el & the Leadership of Congregation Beth Ha'MAshiach

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why is the Shema recited every Shabbat?

Why is the Shema recited every Shabbat?

The Shema was repeated by Yeshua and is the summary of our faith; both as Jews and those claiming Messiah as their savior.

Hear O Isra'el (both Jews and grafted-in Believers), the L-RD our G-D is One!

Contrary to the widely held misconception world-wide that there are three gods, there is in fact only one. Yeshua in the flesh was fully man, in the Spirit, fully G-D, not a god, but the G-D. That G-D can both indwell (live inside) Yeshua and also in Heaven confuses many; but should not, after all, He lives in each of use through His Ruach Ha'Kodesh!

If you don't agree that many think we believe in 3 gods, just ask unsaved Jews or Moslem's, or any of the 5 billion people who are not believers.

Judaism of Yeshua's time was the only monotheistic religion. Had Antiochus succeeded in wiping out Judaism, monotheism would have been totally supplanted by polytheism.

Yeshua stated that He agreed fully there is only one G-D. Further more Yeshua included the Shema as part of the summary of commandments in Mark 12:29-30.

The Shema is what makes Isra'el, and by extension what makes Christianity.

If there where no Isra'el, there would be no Scriptures.
If there where no Isra'el, there would be no Messiah.
If there were no Messiah, there would be no Believers, Messianic or Christian.

Thus the Shema is critical, and we as Believers, and Messianic Jew's, also repeat it daily!

Shalom - Rabbi Gavri'el

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is it appropriate to give First Fruit Offerings on Shabbat?

Is it appropriate to give First Fruit Offerings on Shabbat?

As many of you know, we do not collect a tithe, as today there is no functional Levites or Priests to support. It is often ironic how many today say "we are not under the Law (Torah)", but still collect a Tithe, which was only for the Levites, who then gave 10% of the 10% to the Priests (Sons of Aaron).

While many may say the preacher now functions as a Priest, this cannot be in any protestant denomination, and as is clearly taught, all believers are now Cohenim (Priests) of ADONAI. Thus using that logic, we all could collect the Tithe (please don't try this at home).

Alternately, there is a totally Scriptural offering that should be made by all believers, and is still totally functional today, the First Fruits Offering. This offering was a gift to ADONAI, which was especially Holy. Since the First Fruits where an offering, it made the remaining 90% Holy and promised ADONAI's blessing upon it.

Now back to the original question, is it permissible to give an offering on Shabbat? The answer is yes. Why? Offerings are a free-will expressions of a person's thanksgiving and joy for all that ADONAI has done and will do. As such, the Rabbis agreed that free will offerings could be brought into the Temple on Shabbat.

We follow the same Halacha in that modern day First Fruits offerings are acceptable on Shabbat.

Shalom - Rabbi Gavri'el