Revisiting Romans

The below is my response some years ago to an article that seems to have been removed, concerning the old Duck Dynasty’s commentary on homosexuality, after some children had killed themselves over the issue.  I do not fully remember the premise of that article, nor of the old man’s point of view, but it was something along the lines of one’s beliefs about the issue not mattering.  I had responded to the issue, because I have seen believers go way too far one way, and make themselves hypocrites, simply opposing unbelievers who do the same.  Here is my reply to the article, from back in 2013:

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I think public debate about belief on any topic is healthy, and necessary.
What one believes about sexuality is entirely relevant, and this article proves it. Because it is the “belief” of some that caused these children we all want to defend after the fact to kill themselves in the first place. What they themselves believed, and what others believed, affected them very much.
Basically, what many are saying is that this is a ‘sin’. But, there is a belief, a perception of what sin is that is erroneous. Many people think ‘sin’ is something reserved for a certain “other” crowd, when in fact the whole of mankind is riddled with it, including christians. But again, hear me out. Sin is simply “error” against the instructions God gave to mankind to make them ‘holy’ and bless them, and mankind is indeed born with a propensity to err against that. First and foremost, we err against God, and then we err against Him again when we err against our fellow man. This is the foundation of what the Messiah taught. The God of Israel said of Himself: “ יהוה , יהוה , El [God], merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in compassion and truth; guardian of compassion unto the thousandth generation; forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and pardoning;” Understanding THAT should be the goal of every worshipper who claims to love God. Why it is that this one error gets so much attention publicly, then, I have pondered for many years. And I think it is because this particular “error” is not as common among men as other errors. However, it is more common than some are willing to admit.
But, since it is perceived as uncommon, it is easy to target those who choose this way as “other.” I think that’s the basic reason this is the “big one,” but then I think this is compounded beyond belief by other things added to that perception. Nonetheless, “belief” is so intertwined in the social discussion we have over this issue, that to say that what we believe about it doesn’t matter is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. What we, society, believe about it IS precisely the problem, and I think we as a society are trying to hammer out a public redefinition of this issue. Until we get a common understanding, this will continue to be a point of contention in society, and it will continue to harm children.
What our society has “believed” about this issue, by and large, has been an over-interpretation of the scriptures for years, but now our society is swinging so far the other way that it is just as dangerous as the former “norm.” Theologians past and present have played “Let’s Make a Deal” with defining what acts are erroneous and what are not. And the laity take their words, and the words of scripture, without having studied them with the intent of learning of God’s heart toward man, and they become the defacto enforcers of bad “belief.” This, I believe, is where the Duck Dynasty star is wrong. When a great swath of evangelicals turn to a duck-hunter-turned-week-end-theologian as the spokesperson of faith, something is amiss. But, on the other side, we have those who think that everyone who is gay wants to be that way, should be that way, must be that way, and are wrong NOT to be that way. This should be left up to the individual. The sheer fact of it is that many who ‘feel’ gay do not want to be. The reason is moot, and many times is not religious. It is the militant on this side of the argument that are JUST as self-righteous as erroneous christians. Society, as a whole, needs a ‘belief’ in the fore that is not so narrow minded and destructive as BOTH these positions are, and we will not get there if we ignore belief.
So, in former days, and even now for many evangelicals, the belief is that because of about three passages in the scriptures, this people group we’ve sequestered out of “normal” society is especially egregious in their “sin.” This is where I differ strongly with them. But I want to explain why it is I think they think this way. It is largely because of one word: תּוֹעֵבָה. This Hebrew word is “to’evah,” and in most translations is rendered as “abomination.” And this English word has subsequently been given a particular tone in society’s perception of what that is, and unfortunately, it has been wielded by the self-righteous to produce a certain “we-they” mentality, and as a weapon used to deflect attention off of one’s own errors. What they fail to recognize, or even consider, perhaps, is that this word is used of many, many things God expressed were “to’evah” to Him. Among those things are: eating shrimp, eating catfish, pork, shellfish, snake, gators, rats, buzzards, etc, and not only those, but also adultery [cheating on one’s spouse], fornication [sex before marriage], and then also forms of idolatry, especially idolatry that is mixed with worshipping God, such as decorating trees and bringing them into homes as focal points, etc. ALL of these things were seen as errors of a particular kind: to’evah. Suddenly, the “we-they” mentality has to be tabled for a moment if we are going to stand on this stump of righteousness, but ONLY IF we are HONEST with what the text is saying! This is where suddenly everyone becomes gymnastic in their scriptural interpretations, waxing philosophical, demonstrating lofty hermeneutical prowess, or simply deciding that their current perception of it is right no matter what, and not wanting to learn the heart of God on any matter of error, but only the one.

To’evah simply means that it is displeasing because it was not part of the design.  A better English word would probably be ‘perversion.’  Each of the things listed as ‘to’evah’ is a perversion of the design of God, and using things He designed for one purpose for another purpose is what He is displeased with. But, His displeasure is with the act, not the person’s ‘soul.’ And, if He has dealt with one erroneous act by surrendering the Messiah to execution, then He has dealt with the other.
The next over-interpretation is of the first chapter of Romans, where people ‘think’ that it is about those in Sodom and Amorrah who were “gay,” that this is why they were destroyed. This is not what the text says, and this is not why they were destroyed in the first place. It is because they had forgotten God. Paul is not writing about Sodom and Amorrah, but of Rome and Greece and the rest of the nations in his day. They, too, had forgotten the Creator. Forgetting Him produced ALL MANNER of behaviors, and most importantly that of not caring about their human neighbors. The big “error” was forgetting God, the rest of what he expresses here is the RESULT of that. The first result of their having forgotten the Creator was idolatry, worshipping created things and not the Creator. For that reason, God gave them up to their passions. So, the BIGGER ISSUE is forgetting the Creator. And readers of this passage always seem to leave off the first verse of the next chapter, which says DO NOT PASS JUDGMENT, because you do the same things! Most people in this country are committing some sort of biblical “abomination!” And every one of us err against Him in some way, forgetting the creator and His desire for man on one issue or another during the day.
What tickles me about this is the duality on both sides. The doublespeak. On the one side, we have those who want everyone to tolerate everyone else and every behavior, EXCEPT those who disagree with their particular level of “toleration.” On the other side, we have those who want to quote the “old testament,” while at the same time disavowing it as irrelevant and ignoring the Sabbath that the Creator made for all mankind! “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Getting honest with Him means facing the fact that our understanding of things is wrong.
God loves every human being on the face of the earth. He gave us some boundaries on a path, that if we would follow that path, we would be blessed beyond measure, protected from our own tendency to self-destruct . NO ONE is going to be perfect in following that path, so the Messiah was sent, to save us from our errors, and return us to that path. That path is very narrow, and christians are not the gatekeeper, nor are Jews, but only the Messiah Yeshua. Not every person who deals with the notion of sexual ‘divergence’ has forgotten the creator. They simply are wandering through this life without a guide, and if they do find Him, morons from both sides of the fence confuse them about this one error, making them feel as if they are never going to please God because they deal with this one thing, which no one else seems to deal with. Or, making them feel that they do not have to be concerned about pleasing Him. Both are wrong. I think this sensation is true of many other things people deal with, too, such as alcoholism and drug addiction. People get a sense of defeatism because of what SOCIETY BELIEVES: right now, that is in flux on many of these issues: on the one hand, some ‘say’ that God does not love them, OR on the other hand, that what they do is irrelevant to God. What some are unwilling to admit on the one side is that there are indeed many who are ‘struggling’ with homosexuality precisely because they do not want to be gay, and it has nothing to do with religion! They just do not understand how they got there, and they want out in a different way, and they are not offered hope by the side of society that tells them to “come out.” Some Christians believe that God hates gays, and they spew hatred. Some do not, but they still ‘reject’ them as people, deride them, talk ugly about them, and drive many of them into the grave, or into a life of deviance in more than one way. Many, however, who hate homosexuality, are not christian, and hate them for other reasons. But, the media never seem to point out those haters, and this is a legitimate gripe on the part of christians. So, there are many “beliefs” about this issue, and the public forum needs to open up the discussion more. Because of the two polar opposites, which are both wrong in their conclusions in some way, there are those within the ‘struggle’ who want help coping with their issue, but the vitriol on BOTH sides causes these tragedies. Belief is VERY MUCH a part of this issue, and public debate is necessary in order to STOP the tragedy. But, the public debate is not CIVIL, and THAT is the problem.
The word for “hate” in the scriptures is “saneh”, and these are things God hates, which are also “to’evah” to Him: [Mishlim 6]
Haughty [proud] eyes (we call it ‘looking down’ on someone)
A lying tongue
Shedding innocent blood
Those who are quick to do evil
A lying talebearer [running someone down, character assassination]
Those who sow strife
When those who are having this discussion publicly can curb their vitriol, we might be better able to help those who struggle in this situation. Our ‘belief” about it, then, should be public, and it should be a public message of acceptance and love, and one that offers help to those who want it. And some in this situation do want help, for their OWN reasons. And that usually stems from their belief about it. It does matter.

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Dogs returning to vomit: YUK!

Yeshua called Epharaimites ‘dogs’, saying they eat the crumbs from the table of the Master.  Most don’t realize a Samaritan is actually from the former ‘Northern Kingdom of Israel, and they are only “1/2” Israeli.  The KINGDOM of Israel, which was rebellious, was scattered and FORGOTTEN.  The REMNANT of that KINGDOM joined Israel and are now called “Jews”, blended into the DNA pool of Judah.  They were scattered with Judah, finally, as prophesied, in 70-150 AD, and will return as Jews.  [See my former post “Yeshua’s Brother found the lost tribes of Israel”].

The “Ephraimites” movement today says that they are the “fulness of the nations”, because of the blessing that Yisra’el spoke over Ephraim in Gen 48.19

‘I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.’

Their reasoning is that this means that Ephraim would become the gentiles, and that this happened when Ephraim was ‘scattered’ or ‘lost’, and so the gentiles who believe in Messiah are the Ephraimites, and therefore Israelites. They reason that since Yeshua said He came to save the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”, that He must be speaking of Ephraimites, and that is who gentile believers are today.  No.  The lost sheep of the house of Israel were the twelve tribes, called Jews, to whom Yeshua sent His Talmidim for a BRIEF SEASON while He was with them here on earth!  And they came back to Yeshua from going to those lost sheep in “Judea”, saying they could not cast out demons.  They were not ‘geographically’ lost and in need of google maps.  They were LOST SOULS, because Israel, the religious class, was not teaching them TRUTH!  They were teaching them they are saved by their DNA and by THEIR righteousness.  Today’s “Ephraimites” of the movement do the same.

They also add to this that Avraham’s promise of having a multitude of descendants is fulfilled through Ephraim.

This is a twisted LIE.

They misread the prophets.

And, they conveniently FORGET what יהוה promised would happen when Israel, which includes Judah, would disobey and be scattered:

Deut 4:27 only a FEW of you will survive among the nations to which יהוה will drive you.

This was spoken to ALL TWELVE TRIBES.  NOT just the ten of the north.

Deut 28:62 And you shall be left FEW IN NUMBER, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because you would not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim.

They had become “as the stars of heaven for multitude” when they left Egypt. G-d said so.

יהוה  your G-d has multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.” Deut 1:10

So, the “stars of heaven for multitude” promise is negated concerning Israel after the flesh, by the promise of יהוה that they would be FEW IN NUMBER if they got expelled from the land!

Today, Isra’el of the flesh, including all 12 tribes, known as “Jews” to the world, are indeed FEW IN NUMBER.  There are only maybe 20 million worldwide.

When the days of the gentiles are finally over, there will only be 144,000 men from ALL TWELVE TRIBES assembled in Yisrael, and Ephraim is NOT EVEN MENTIONED! Rev 7:5-8

Even though Ephraimites are of the tribe of Yosef, and they could be included in that 12000 men for Yosef, they have no such preeminent place in the last days as ‘two-house Ephraimite/Israelite people like to hope.  These 144k are today’s JEWS, a small portion who will come to faith during the Time of Jacob’s trouble.

[Remember, יהוה does not add women and children to the counting, so it will be more than 144,000 total people].

These are the only ones sealed with the Torah and Faith in Messiah during the tribulation. That’s a TINY number, and it is made up of today’s Jews. And many are already in Israel!!!!

יהוה clearly shows us that there are members of the Northern Kingdom who basically became “Jewish”. Khanah, in the Brit Khadasha, who recognized the infant Messiah, was of the tribe of Asher. II Chronicles tells us that many from the north joined Yehudah in the south. Khanah is a descendent of those, as are many JEWS today!

This “multitude” in Revelation is seen as JEWISH today, but יהוה alone knows their true tribal lineage. And that theory has more scriptural weight by far than any “Ephraimite/Two House” conjecture.

Jews share as much DNA with China, Africa, and Native Americans as they do with Europeans. So, there is no person who can know what their “Israelite Tribe” is, unless they are Jewish, and then many of them do not know!  DNA is showing that there is NO ‘pure’ ‘race’ of Jewish people, only threads of common DNA, in small percentages.  And there is NO evidence of Danes and Brits being from the middle east.

This lie DIVIDES Jewish believers in Messiah from Gentile believers in Messiah. There usually is not one Jew in Ephraimite “congregations”. This LIE divides the Body of Messiah. It causes distress and argument. And it serves absolutely NO PURPOSE but division. It is a SAD doctrine, and I hate it almost as much as I dismiss the catholic trinity doctrine, since it turns the Body of Messiah into a two-headed beast, as much as the catholic trinity turns god into a 3-headed monster.

Ephraim’s sin, which got him expelled from the HOLY LAND, was creating TWO HOUSES! And blaming it on יהוה :

כו וַיֹּאמֶר יָרָבְעָם, בְּלִבּוֹ: עַתָּה תָּשׁוּב הַמַּמְלָכָה, לְבֵית דָּוִד. 26 And Yaravam [The Ephraimite king] said in his heart: ‘Now will the kingdom return to the house of David.
כז אִם-יַעֲלֶה הָעָם הַזֶּה, לַעֲשׂוֹת זְבָחִים בְּבֵית-יהוה בִּירוּשָׁלִַם, וְשָׁב לֵב הָעָם הַזֶּה אֶל-אֲדֹנֵיהֶם, אֶל-רְחַבְעָם מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה; וַהֲרָגֻנִי, וְשָׁבוּ אֶל-רְחַבְעָם מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה. 27 If this people goes up to offer sacrifices in Beit  [the house of] יהוה at Yerushalayim, then will the heart of this people turn back unto their lord, even unto Rekhavam Melekh Yehudah; and they will kill me, and return to Rekhavam Melekh Yehudah.’
כח וַיִּוָּעַץ הַמֶּלֶךְ–וַיַּעַשׂ, שְׁנֵי עֶגְלֵי זָהָב; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, רַב-לָכֶם מֵעֲלוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם–הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. 28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said unto them: ‘You have gone up long enough to Yerushalayim; behold your gods, O Yisrael, which brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim.’
כט וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת-הָאֶחָד, בְּבֵית-אֵל; וְאֶת-הָאֶחָד, נָתַן בְּדָן. 29 And he set the one in Beit El, and the other put he in Dan.
ל וַיְהִי הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, לְחַטָּאת; וַיֵּלְכוּ הָעָם לִפְנֵי הָאֶחָד, עַד-דָּן. 30 And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
לא וַיַּעַשׂ, אֶת-בֵּית בָּמוֹת; וַיַּעַשׂ כֹּהֲנִים מִקְצוֹת הָעָם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-הָיוּ מִבְּנֵי לֵוִי. 31 And he made [two] houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, that were not of the sons of Levi.

That is exactly what today’s “Ephraimite/Israelite” people are doing.  And they will be scattered and forgetten, barring true repentance.

יהוה has ONLY ONE HOUSE, and our genealogy is irrelevant to our salvation, AND to whether or not we ever live in the Land of Yisrael during the Millennial Reign. Speculating about what tribe we are from is a distraction from building us up in Messiah Yeshua, and building the ONE Body of Messiah.

Heed the words of Shaul:

Command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer, or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing the work of Elohim—which is by trust.” I Tim 1:3-4

Messianic! Be Careful!

Yeshua

What does being “Messianic” mean?

Many people simply have never heard of us!

And they mistake us for other groups, which are occult groups.  WE ARE NOT!

We are “OF MESSIAH”, Messiah meaning ‘Anointed One,’ and in our case, the Anointed One of G-d, Yeshua the Natzri, the Son of G-d.

First of all, names and classifications of people-groups are irrelevant to G-d in His Kingdom. On earth, they serve a purpose of identity, however, and can be useful. But, they can also be harmful by segregating people, creating confusion, and engendering pride. This is not an attempt to do that, but to explain why we ‘identify’ with a wider group of people worldwide who are called “Messianic”.
It has recently come to my attention that some folks do not understand what it means when a person says he is “Messianic”.
I guess one technical definition would be “of or pertaining to Messiah”.
For those of us who say we follow “Messianic Judaism”, however, it is even more narrow than that.
First, being Messianic means that we follow the Messiah of the Jews. In our case, we believe that Messiah to be Yeshua of Nazareth. Are we “christian”? That depends on one’s understanding of what ‘christian’ means. The word “christian” is similar to the word “messianic”; it means “little christ”, in the sense of one who follows ‘christ’, just as “Messianic” means one who follows “Messiah”. Messiah means “anointed one”, and the greek word ‘christ’ is very similar. But, we who are “Messianic” are not ‘christian’ in the WAY we follow the Jewish Messiah, distinct from the way some say they follow ‘christ’, who is a very ‘greek’ person devoid of all things Jewish, including his name.
Christianity today has evolved from what the original followers of Messiah believed and practiced. The twelve apostles were all Jewish, and they continued in the instructions of the Jews for the rest of their lives, teaching Gentiles to follow the customs of the Jews. [I Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6, Matt 5:19] And they called themselves followers of “The Way”, “HaDerekh”, a Hebrew synonym for “Torah”. [Acts 19:23, 21:5, 24:22] They did not consider themselves to be outside the auspices of Jewish life, then, and defended that fact in court and before kings. It was the greeks who first called them “christians”, [acts 11:26]. But the apostles did not call themselves that until much later, and then only once [I Peter 4:16], and there is no evidence they called themselves that very often at all, since they suffered at the hands of greeks as ‘christians’. It was a derogatory term, an insulting pejorative. The Jews called the believers in Messiah “Nazarenes”, since they followed “The Way” of Yeshua the Nazarene. [Acts 24:5] Historically, LATER ‘christians’ called Jews who followed Yeshua “Nazarenes” as well.
So, we who call ourselves “Messianic” follow the Messiah, the word that would be translated as ‘christ’. But, we do not follow a greek ‘messiah’, or ‘christ’, or one who is divorced from the Torah of Israel. We follow the Messiah, Yeshua, the one who was executed as “King of the JEWS”. We follow Him the way He said to: “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.
Briefly, we believe that Yeshua of Nazareth was born miraculously, and is the Son of G-d, and that the final proof of that fact is that G-d raised Him from the dead. He died to atone for our sins, or to forgive us of all our violations of the Torah, freeing us from our guilt and from fear of punishment for it. But, where we differ from much of modern ‘christianity’ is that we believe He did not free us to go on living in those violations, but that we should strive to be like Him. He kept the Torah perfectly.

This means that He believed יהוה was the only G-d, and only ONE. [Mark 12:29, Deut 6:4] So do we. This means He went to the synagogue on Shabbat, the SEVENTH day. [Mat 12:9, Mark 1:21, Luke 4:16] So do we. This means He ate kosher according to Leviticus 11 and other Torah texts. So do we. This means He wore a four-cornered garment with “tzit-tziyot” as reminders of the Sabbath and all other commands. [Numbers 15, Matt 9:20, 14:36] So do we. This means He kept all the feasts of G-d, along with the Sabbath. [Lev 23, Matt 26:18, Mark 14:1, John 7, 8] So do we. This means that He prayed often. [Luke 5:16, 22:32] So do we.
We also see Him as a Jew, and not just a ‘guy’. This means He called Himself Yeshua, and Messiah. So do we. This means that He knew that the name of His Father, G-d, was יהוה , and He called Him that. [Mark 12:29, Matt 4:7, Matt 22:44] So do we. This means that He prayed with his head covered, and wore a head-covering everywhere. [Exodus (28:4, 37, 40)] So do we. This means that He did not eat the meat of the inner thigh. [Genesis 32.32] Neither do we. This means He honored Khanukah. [John 10] So do we.
So, while we agree that we are not to commit adultery, nor to steal, nor to kill, nor to lie, nor to covet, nor to worship idols, we as Messianics also believe the fourth command is still just as binding as the other nine. And, we see that all the feasts will be kept in the Millennial Reign [Zekh 14, Isaiah], so we also keep them now, as did Yeshua. Further, we see that the first commandment tells us explicitly that our G-d is יהוה , and not just any “concept” of god which man might contrive, and NOT a ‘god’ that goes by any other name, ie, Allah, Buddah, etc….
In short, we follow HIM, and not men. We are instructed to see HIM as our example, and not anyone else. “ANYONE who SAYS he abides in Him ought himself also to walk HIS halakha”. I John 2:6
[Halakha is a Jewish word meaning “how one walks the Torah”. Yeshua walked it in a “pure” way, not adding to it nor taking away from it. That is what He came to Israel to correct: adding to and taking away from the commands of G-d. See Mark 7:1-11]
This means that NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE says, or how lofty the argument, nor how passionately we are opposed, no one can show us in scripture that He worshipped on ‘sun-day’, or ate pork or catfish, or dressed like a Babylonian, or neglected prayer, or studied any other sacred writ than Torah and Nevi’im. He did not add to the commands, and neither did He take away. Christians teach that He took them ALL away! “I did NOT come to abolish the Torah”. “Whoever shall DO and TEACH the commandments, that one shall be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Matt 5:17,19]
It truly is that simple. And, this applies to Jew and Gentile, as “anyone” is all-encompassing.
So, being Messianic means following the “way” of the quintessential Jew: Yeshua of Nazareth. Is it “christian” to do so? Well, if one goes back to the origin of that word ‘christian’, then YES, as we are “little messiahs”, or little ones who are anointed with His anointing. If one asks whether we are ‘christian’ in the sense of other doctrines that paint a confusing picture about the Jewish Savior who died on a tree [not a ‘cross’, a word that is not even in the texts], then, no, we are not ‘modern-day christians’. We do not see three “people” stuffed into one “body” as Constantine insisted, we do not worship on the day of the Sun as Constantine commanded; we do not keep Easter as Constantine commanded, we do not keep ‘christmas’ as was imposed on christianity in early antiquity, and we do not recklessly eat anything we want; not because we are forbidden, but because we love our G-d, and choose to follow His instructions [Torah], which are good for us. [Psalm 119] We choose to follow the only example that is SURE! One cannot go wrong by imitating the Messiah Yeshua! [Phil 3:12, 1 Cor 11:1] That is what being Messianic is; it is being a Jew INWARDLY , [Rom 2:29] and that inward ‘circumcision’ being expressed in the whole life of the follower of Yeshua of Nazareth, and His Way.

Our Congregation could further define itself as a “Messianic Jewish Peshitta” community, as we also believe the Brit Khadashah was written in Aramaic first, and is best preserved in the Peshitta community’s Aramaic scriptures.  Further, the above description is basically defined as “Peshitta”, meaning we follow the PLAIN MEANING of the texts.  The Ancient Aramaic community of faith REJECTED the Constantinian takeover of the community of faith, and were dubbed “Peshitta” by Rome, meaning “simple”, because they rejected the new ‘trinity’ doctrine, standing firm on what the ‘plain meaning’ of the text says.  In Judaism, there are four levels of studying scripture: Peshat, Remez, D’resh, and Sod.  The Peshat level is the ‘plain meaning,’ and NO other means of interpreting scripture can violate the PLAIN MEANING.  Example:  “יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.”  This is very, very plain.  So, when we then understand that HE MANIFESTS in His Son and in His Ru’akh, we cannot then say that He is THREE…..this is a violation of the plain meaning of the text.