Glossary of terms: https://battzion.org/resources/glossary/
That dance is innocent, harming no one. So read on and find out what ‘twist’ I’m driving at. “Do you get what I’m driving at?” LOL. I love people; especially the people of our Messiah Yeshua, born into His Kingdom. Not all are Messianic, yet, but they all will be one day, as they were ‘in the beginning.’ I truly hope EVERY FRIEND I have will read this with an open heart.
I’m going to preface the rest with a strong reminder from Kefa [Peter]:
“Think of the longsuffering of יהוה as deliverance, just as our dear brother Sha’ul also wrote you, following the wisdom G-d gave him. Indeed, he speaks about these things in all his letters. They contain some things that are HARD TO UNDERSTAND, things which the uninstructed [in Torah] and unstable DISTORT, to their own destruction, as they do the OTHER SCRIPTURES. But you, dear friends, since you know this in advance, guard yourselves; so that you will not be led away by the errors of the wicked and fall from your own secure position.”
The wicked are those who twist the scriptures!
Now, in Galatim [Galatians], Sha’ul records the account of his confrontation with Kefa in regard to his not eating with Gentile believers when Jews from Ya’akov [James, the brother of Yeshua and the “Pakid” of the Congregation in Yirushalayim] came to the Gentile city he was living in.
“If you, being Y’hudim [Jews], live as Arameans and not as Y’hudim, why do you compel the Goyim who have joined themselves to Yehuda to live as Y’hudim?”
This verse is indeed TWISTED by many today!
Don’t get me started on the ‘two-housers’ who can’t see that the Goyim are joined to JEWS… Yehuda/Y’hudim.
Kefa ‘lived as an Aramean’ in Antioch. What does that mean? That means he ate with Arameans! [By the way, this is another internal proof that the letters were written in Aramaic and NOT greek! ] See verse 12:
“For prior to the arrival of certain people from [the community headed by] Ya’akov, he had been eating with the Gentile believers; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself..”
What most people do not have when they read Galatim is HISTORICAL and CULTURAL CONTEXT.
Many religious Jews would not eat with Gentiles. This was NOT a Torah command, but a CUSTOM of the Pharisees! They thought Gentiles themselves were unclean. Yeshua showed Kefa that this was not true. “G-d has shown me not to call ANY MAN unclean.” [notice he didn’t say ‘any food?’ very important fact] Kefa interpreted his own vision’s meaning in Acts 10.
Yet in Antioch, Kefa went back to the TRADITION, the MANMADE RULE, of not eating with Gentiles, but only AFTER some Jews came to Antioch who had not yet learned that lesson! THEY ALL were presumed to learn that lesson in Yerushalayim, in ACTS 15!
When Shaul said this, he pointed out that Kefa was teaching the GOYIM….GENTILES!!! TO LIVE AS JEWS!
“…why do you compel the Goyim who have joined themselves to Yehuda to live as Y’hudim?”
Holy smoke? REALLY! YES!
Kefa was teaching GENTILES to LIVE AS JEWS! He was teaching them the TORAH. He was teaching them the CUSTOMS. Just as Shaul did!
1 Cor 11:2
“Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things, and KEEP THE JEWISH TRADITIONS as I delivered them to you.” [Yes, the GREEK even says “Jewish Tradition”, ‘paradosis’ is very specific.]
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold to THE JEWISH TRADITIONS which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashiakh, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks out of order and not after THE JEWISH TRADITIONS which he received of us.”
“A matter shall be established on the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses.”
You now have FOUR witnesses that the GENTILES were taught to observe Jewish customs when they learned the B’sorah [good news].
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Mashiakh, we ourselves also are found sinners [breakers of Torah], is therefore Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashiakh a minister of sin [breaking Torah]? May it never be!” Gal 2:17
And Ephesians adds a fifth witness, saying:
“At that time you were without Mashiakh, being aliens to the CUSTOMS of Yisra’el, and strangers to the covenants [plural] of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now, through Yeshua HaMashiakh, you who at one time were far off [from the CUSTOMS and the promise] are brought near [to the CUSTOMS and the promise] by the blood of Mashiakh.”
We have ALL been the victims of the serpent, whose primary tactic with people of faith is to TWIST the WORD of G-d. Untwisting it is difficult! Admitting that we, and people we love dearly, MIGHT BE WRONG is a tough thing to do. But to further the Kingdom in TRUTH, it is absolutely necessary. “Come out of HER, MY people!” Our Father is calling His children OUT of ERROR! Will you ‘hear’?
שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יהוה אֶחָד . וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יהוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ
לְכוּ וַעֲשׂוּ אֶת כָּל הַגּוֹיִים לְתַלְמִידִים, וְהַטְבִּילוּ אוֹתָם בְּשֵׁם הָאָב וְהַבֵּן וְרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְלַמְּדוּ אוֹתָם לִשְׁמֹר אֶת כָּל מַה שֶּׁצִּוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם. וְהִנֵּה אֲנִי עִתָּכֶם כָּל הַיָּמִים, עַד לְקֵץ הָעוֹלָם
These two scriptures are both foundational. They are D’varim 6:4-5, and Matti 28:19-20.
To the Jew, the first is the “Great Command,” meaning we understand that there is only ONE Elohim, and that His Name is יהוה .
To the Christian, the “Great Commission” is the task at hand to go out and make ‘converts’, depending on one’s theological perspective. But, generally speaking, it is to make adherents to one’s form of Christian belief.
The observation that is posed today, however, is how very intertwined these two “GREAT” scriptures should be.
Yeshua Himself supported the Jewish customary understanding of what the greatest Mitzvah [Commandment from G-d] is. He was asked the very direct question [Mark 12], and gave the very direct answer, saying that the greatest of all Mitzvot is, “Shema, Yisra’el, יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.” And continued saying the rest of it, that we should love this יהוה with every facet of our being.
And Yeshua is the one who said, “Go, therefore, and make talmidim of all nations, and immerse them in the Name of HaAv and HaBen and Ru’akh HaKodesh; and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you every day, to the end of the age.”
Now, we must all trust that this is exactly what those 12 men did; and also we must trust that Sha’ul, a ‘sent one’ who was born ‘out of season,’ did the very same thing: Make disciples and immerse them into a Name.
The issue is that now there are many variations of what ‘making a disciple’ is, and also of how and into what Name to immerse those ‘talmidim’.
The passage Yeshua quoted did not come to be called “The Great Commission” for many, many years after Yeshua gave that mandate. But, the Shema has been called “The Greatest Mitzvah” for thousands of years. It would seem that Yeshua, who also asserted that this is the greatest Mitzvah, would support teaching that very idea? Does the Great Commission actually do that?
“Immersing them into the NAME of HaAv, and HaBen, and Ru’akh HaKodesh.”
Something very important to note here is that He said “NAME”, and not “NAMES”.
Is it at all possible that Yeshua was implying that the three identities He mentioned all shared a single NAME, and thereby the same NATURE? [Name is indeed ‘character’ or ‘nature’ in Hebrew, rooted in the thought of ‘reputation.’]
If you look in the greatest of the Mitzvot, we see the Name, יהוה , three times: Twice in the first statement, and once in the mandate to LOVE HIM with all of the being.
Here, Yeshua is stating three TITLES, and NOT ‘names,’ having said to immerse into a single NAME.
It would seem that Kefa, Yokhanan, and all the others, who stood there in awe of their resurrected Messiah, would understand just precisely WHAT HE meant, and HOW to do what He was telling them to do? I would think so. So, it would seem to us that doing what those men did would be the best practice, since Yeshua did not stick around to show us how.
Kefa was the very first person ever to take the mantle on himself actually to do what Yeshua said to do in Matti chapter 28. In Ma’asei HaShlikhim, he preaches the ‘B’sorah’, the Good News, for the first time. So, it would seem that in order to make a Talmid, one must in some way ‘preach.’ That word has a stigma with it these days, so, lets limit it to what ‘b’sorah’ actually means: DECLARE.
Kefa DECLARED by the Tanakh [OT scriptures] that Yeshua is the Messiah, sent to redeem sinful man; that he was executed by man, that Elohim raised Him from the dead. And that Israel needed to ‘do teshuvah’, or ‘repent’, which means, to Jewish people, to return to doing the commands; the Shema being the greatest of them. And then he told them, “Be immersed in the NAME of….”
Are you ready? Did he say “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” “Patri, Fili , et Spiritu Sancti?” NO!
In the Name [still singular] of יהוה Yeshua!
Wait one. Is that REALLY what Kefa said? Do we trust scripture? Then we must surrender to the fact that this is what Kefa said. And if it is what he said, we must trust that it is also what he DID, having stood there to hear Yeshua tell them to do this very thing!
Now, some might say, but it only says, ‘Lord’ there. And yes, in your greek-sourced, English bibles, that is what it says. But, in the Aramaic, there is a direct equivalent to The Name, יהוה , and that is in fact what we read right here.
For brevity’s sake, I’m going to just state that EVERY OTHER immersion in the Brit Khadashah [NT scriptures] has ONLY the attestation that in the Name of Yeshua, in the Name of יהוה Yeshua, or in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiakh, is anyone immersed. NEVER ONCE is anyone immersed into the three titles, ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ NOT ONE TIME.
We, as believers, wonder why we cannot unify, and we’ve taken the very Creator and DIVIDED Him into three separate beings, when HE emphatically tells us that HE IS ONE. And, we’ve taken the mode of immersion, which helps to affect making someone a Talmid [Student] of Rabbi Yeshua, and divided that mode up into three separate titles, not speaking a NAME at all! So, we have so many “Messianic” people, including Jews who theoretically understand the GREATEST Mitzvah, following the Rabbis of those who reject Messiah in all kinds of doctrine, including NOT SAYING HIS NAME AT ALL, much less immersing HIS Talmidim into it! Teachers are denying the Students of Rabbi Yeshua the very mechanism that IMMERSES THEM INTO HIM. And Christian teachers are immersing their adherents into three separate titles as well, and then leaving off creating ‘talmidim’, or disciplined Torah STUDENTS. Many times, they immerse someone, and NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN. The whole believing community KNOWS that there is a lack of power and evidence of the B’sorah. They KNOW that they are floundering to MAKE DISCIPLES [even the greek for disciple implies something more than one who ‘just’ believes, rooted in the word ‘discipline’.] Even Yokhanan the Immerser’s Talmidim understood, when hearing their immersion was not sufficient, that they needed to re-immerse into the Name of יהוה Yeshua! [Ma’asei 19:5] in order to receive the Ru’akh HaKodesh.
The Shema speaks the Name יהוה three times, in urging us to understand who our G-d is, that He has a SINGLE NATURE, and that HE is to be loved above all else. Yeshua tells His Talmidim to immerse into a NAME, and they follow suit and immerse into the Name יהוה Yeshua HaMashiakh. But our Jewish people will not speak the Name at all, and our Christian people will not let go of thinking there are three gods, three separate natures that are a consortium of deities that share a body.
When the followers of Messiah TRULY understand WHO HE IS, THEN will we UNIFY in TRUTH, and THEN we will see TRUE TALMIDIM, who have but ONE RABBI: יהוה Yeshua HaMashiakh, Ben HaElohim.
Bugs Bunny was always funny; and poor Elmer Fudd could not get anything over on him. And sometimes, it seems that way in the realm of the Ru’akh [Spirit] in regard to those who are caught up in untruths. Messianic people always tend to focus on the Gentiles and their turning away from Torah, or not turning back to it in obedience. But, many, if not most Messianics, have themselves turned from Torah, and they do not realize it. It doesn’t matter if the turn is ever so slight, or a 180 degree turnaround. Error is error.
There is NOTHING new under the sun. What was a problem in the days of the Shlikhim [apostles] is a problem today, including Messianic Jews and other Jews who went into and/or remained in ERROR! There is a reason the believing community went without Torah for so long! It started with slight errors that Sha’ul tried to correct by writing most of the Brit Khadashah, and which Yeshua warned the congregations about. And everyone ignored those warnings, and we had a dark time without The Word. In spite of the efforts of a small remnant, the believing community is still largely in error.
As a former submariner, and one who drove the submarine for a brief time, I can assure you that even the tiniest error in the course on a ship’s navigation can be extremely dangerous, especially over time. One degree off the ordered course of ‘true north’ will not matter much in the beginning, but if it goes unnoticed for any significant time, it can lead the ship into dangerous waters. It is JUST as dangerous, if not more so, than doing a 180. I was the helmsman [driver] on one of the biggest submarines in the world for a brief time. We were running at flank speed [“full blast,” as the world is now]. The helmsman has control of both course and depth. I was concentrating on course, and for a brief second took my eyes off of depth, and within seconds the boat was -400 feet off of ordered depth! It happened so fast! Thankfully, no one but the “dive” and I saw it, and I was able to correct it without incident. He gave me ‘grace’ by not reporting my error. That is how many people today are operating in the realm of the spirit these days. They’re off course and out of their depth, and they don’t even know it.
This has been brewing in my mind for several weeks, if not months, and this week’s portion of reading for the Messianic Community speaks to it in many, many ways.
In our portion [Acts 21-22], a man prophesies concerning Sha’ul that he is going to be persecuted by the Gentiles. Technically, the prophecy said “Nations,” which would include Yisra’el. This is also supported in Acts 4, where the believers pray a prayer, to which our congregation has put a melody, and that prayer is an echo of the second Tehillah [Psalm]. “Why do the NATIONS rage, and the people plot in vain? The kings, and the rulers of the earth have revolted, and have taken counsel together against יהוה and against His Messiah?” After that, they go on and say in their prayer, “For truly, they [Jews] assembled in this very city [Jerusalem], together with both Herodus [1/2 Gentile] and Pilatos [Gentile] and with the Goyim [nations] and with the people of Yisra’el, against your Ben Kadosh [Set-apart Son] Yeshua.”
This is NOT over with! Our Jewish people are yet in partial blindness until Messiah comes back. Yet our Messianic Jews like to study more under their tutelage than under Yeshua’s. They yield themselves to Rabbinic authority, in spite of Yeshua’s warnings against that. Yeshua did say, “Listen to the P’rushim, for they sit in the seat of Moshe,” and affectively said, ‘do what they SAY, but not what they do.’ The ‘Seat of Moshe’ has been twisted by Messianic ‘rabbis’ to mean RABBINIC AUTHORITY. But, they know that it was a physical chair in the Synagogue in which the READER OF TORAH sat. When they are in that seat, that was the ONLY time they spoke truth! They had veered away from the Torah, even though they SAID they kept it. The same is true today.
I want to preface the rest of this by expressing Yeshua’s deep affection for His Jewish people. “O, Yerushalyim! Yerushalayim! …..How often I wanted to gather together your children, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” ~Yeshua, Matti 23. “As He [Yeshua] approached Yerushalayim and saw the city, He wept over it…” “I have compassion for these people,” ~Yeshua, “He had compassion on them”… etc etc. I also want to point out that Yeshua did NOT cast off all Jewish tradtions, but made them His own: “And He went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath, as was HIS custom.” I now want to echo Yeshua’s compassion for the Jewish people, and say that my affection for the Jewish people is the same. I love our Jewish people, and have embraced the biblical customs of Moshe, just as did Yeshua, and just as Sha’ul taught to the Gentiles. I am Jewish. Like Timothy, my father was not Jewish [although he had a torah-teaching great grandfather, Ya’akov Shuler], but my Mother was Jewish. I was not raised in the Jewish customs [although some odd family traditions on my Mom’s side were likely Jewish in origin]. But, even before I began living my life in a biblical, Jewish way, I have always had a DEEP AFFECTION for the people of my Savior, the Jewish people. There is not ONE OUNCE of animosity or bitterness in me toward the Jewish people, my people, and the people of Messiah. Please bear that in mind, and trust that my love for the Jewish people is very, very real.
In our portion this week [05/20/18], Sha’ul’s being handed over would happen in Yerushalayim as well, and echoes what happened to Kefa in Acts 4, where the Talmidim pray that prayer.
This morning, while reading the passage in Hebrew, I ‘saw’ that the spirit of anti-Messiah works from BOTH COMMUNITIES, the Jewish AND the Gentile community! That’s why Luka wrote, “AGAINST your Ben Kadosh.” The prefix in ‘anti-Messiah’ means AGAINST MESSIAH. HaBen, The Son, is HaMashiakh, The Messiah.
So many Messianic people give the Rabbinic Jewish community a free pass. Many even submit themselves to the teachings of the “Rabbis,” simply because they are Jewish. Yes, they have Torah. Yes, they have some keen observations in Torah, and appear wise; but the SPIRIT they follow is NOT the Ru’akh of Elohim, or they would know Messiah! [Rom 10:4] “HaSatan comes as a messenger of light [truth].” For some reason, Messianic Jews today think our Jewish people do not err or cannot err concerning Torah and Halakha. They seem to think, along with the Rabbis, that the Rabbis have Torah authority that no one else has, and so Messianic Jewish Rabbis need to submit to that authority. There is a spiritual lure, a demonic presence that draws believers in Messiah away, even if only slightly, from the authority of Yeshua. Again, slight error is huge over time. But, this allure is akin to a dog returning to its vomit, since Yeshua came to wrest authority from the Rabbinic community and give it to the pure of heart. Yokhanan HaMatbil predicted that the axe was laid at the ROOT of the tree, the tree of Yisra’el, and that it would be hewn down; and it WAS. Yeshua is THE ONLY RABBI to whom we should submit. Yet many Messianic Jews graft themselves into the DEAD TREE of Rabbinic Judaism.
Sha’ul tells his own story in this story we read this week [if one continues past the appointed portion], and shows that he himself, a Rabbi, WAS BLIND to the Truth of Messiah! Until Messiah literally blinded him and opened the eyes of his spirit. Yeshua appeared to him, but did not tell him, “Why are you persecuting christians,” or, “Why are you persecuting Messianic Jews,”, but “Why are you persecuting ME.” Sha’ul was of the spirit of anti-Messiah at that time. And when Sha’ul asked who He was, He said, “Yeshua HaNatzri.” Sha’ul was hurting MESSIAH HIMSELF by opposing His people. At this point, every single believer was a Jew. Sha’ul was a Jewish Rabbi who was opposing Messiah Yeshua, because he was persecuting His people. Is Yeshua an anti-Semite, because He opposed Sha’ul here? No. Sha’ul knew Torah and Rabbinic law inside and out, and yet could not see truth. He was kicking against the goads. A Jewish Rabbi would immediately think of the goads as THE TORAH, the WORDS of Elohim. “The words of the wise are like GOADS… given by ONE SHEPHERD…” [Kohelet 12, Eccl] No one who trusts in Messiah and follows HIM should look to ANY OTHER WORDS for how to interpret Torah and follow Messiah.
Messiah was KILLED by Rabbinic thought! Here, the ONE Shepherd of Yisra’el is telling Sha’ul, a Rabbi, that he is FIGHTING TORAH. How? Because Messiah Yeshua is the goal at which the Torah aims! [Rom 10:4] Had he continued on his trajectory, we’d be reading about Sha’ul in the Mishnah, since his teacher, Gamli’el and some of Gamli’el’s other students, classmates of Sha’ul, are themselves quoted in the Mishnah. But Sha’ul FULLY REJECTED Rabbinic thinking. So much so, that in our portion we read that they were lying about him, saying that he was leading Jews away from Torah. These were “Messianic Jews” lying about Sha’ul! They completely misunderstood his role, and what he was doing and teaching! I have suffered the accusation of turning people from Torah, because I’m trying to point them to Torah and NOT to the Rabbis! These accusations come because this spirit is still alive and well in the world. Anyone who upholds YESHUA as the ONLY ARBITER of truth and as the ONLY TRUE Rabbi is going to get this hatred! The reason? Because Rabbinic authority is a demonic spirit, because it usurps the authority of Elohim. If the monument of this lie about Sha’ul is in our Holy Writ, in the book of Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts], which Sha’ul did NOT write, then we can trust that Sha’ul remained true to the Torah the rest of his life. Otherwise, the Ru’akh would NOT have memorialized his fidelity IN THIS BOOK. This book [Acts] covers an extended portion of Sha’ul’s life. Further, Kefa affirms Sha’ul’s writing as TRUE, and that people even later in that century were TWISTING Sha’ul’s words, to their own destruction. And, Kefa elevates Sha’ul’s writings to the level of THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, indicating Sha’uls writings, all of them, even the difficult ones, were INSPIRED. [2 Peter 3:14-18].
In our portion, we read:
“When we arrived at Yerushalayim, the brethren welcomed us gladly. And the next day when all the elders [Messianic Jewish Elders] were present, we went in with Pavlos to Ya’akov. And when we had saluted them, Pavlos told them in successive order everything that Elohim had done among the Goyim by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified Elohim and said to Pavlos, “Our brother, see how many thousands there are in Y’huda [Jews] 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 [Jews] 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. [Things Moshe taught, not written down as yet] 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. As for the believers amongst the Goyim, we have written that they should abstain from the things sacrificed to idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.” Then Pavlos took the men and on the next day he was purified with them, and he entered into the Heikhal, informing them how to complete the days of purification until the gift of every one of them was offered.”
There are several things that need to be mentioned here. First, that Sha’ul is Jewish. Second, that all the Jews who were following Messiah were STILL KEEPING THE TORAH. Next, that the non-Jewish believers in Messiah received TORAH MANDATES in order to continue worshipping in the Synagogue! “abstain from things sacrificed to idols [Exodus 34:15], from fornication [Lev 18], from what is strangled [Lev 7, Gen 9], and from blood [Gen9:4, Lev 7:26, 17:14, Deu 12].” ALL of these are TORAH COMMANDS that many today in the Gentile, believing community ignore. Next, we see Sha’ul, the one declaring/teaching truth to the Gentiles, was asked to and agreed to keep a very specific set of Torah commands, concerning the Vow of the Nazir [Num 6]. He enters into this biblical, Torah vow with four Jews. And, he shows himself a Rabbi by teaching them how to FINISH the process of the vow! So, this passage proves that the JEWISH believers in Messiah were still keeping Torah actively, and Sha’ul did too! Further study into the later life of Sha’ul confirms that this continued the rest of his life. He defends himself before courts and kings affirming that he NEVER BROKE TORAH or violated the customs of Israel! Even though Rabbinic and Messianic Jews THOUGHT he did!
In the next paragraph [Acts 21], the NON-Messianic, “Rabbinic” Jews also falsely accused Sha’ul. [they may have been the source of the previous accusations as well, admittedly] They made up another lie that he brought a gentile into the Temple, which TORAH does forbid. He did not. Here, OUR JEWISH PEOPLE, Rabbinic Jews, are trying to KILL Sha’ul, a Messianic, TORAH KEEPING JEW. Why? Because they are under the spirit of Anti-Messiah. They are so blinded, they cannot see OBVIOUS TRUTHS. Why are they so angry? Is it JUST because he was bringing a gentile into the Temple? OR, is it also because of the MANMADE, RABBINIC LAW, that says NOT TO GO INTO THE HOME of a gentile, or to even eat with a gentile? It is because they are guided by a wrong spirit. Indeed, for them, befriending a gentile ‘breaks torah,’ because THEIR torah includes manmade traditions that go beyond the Word. They have elevated their customs to be equal with, and at times, supersede the law of Elohim. This was the teaching of Shammai in that day. We KNOW this anti-gentile law is Rabbinic, and NOT ‘truth,’ as Kefa is guilty of giving in to this Rabbinic LAW, and Sha’ul chides him for it. Humbly, Kefa submits to the correction [Gal], and later lauds Sha’uls writings. Those who doubt that Sha’ul remained in the good graces of the rest of the Messianic Jewish community for the rest of his life do not understand that Kefa’s letter was written AFTER many of Sha’ul’s letters, if not after all of them. Kefa Bet, [2nd Peter] was likely written as late as 67A.D., and shows that Kefa still sees Sha’ul as a teacher in GOOD STANDING. And in defending Sha’ul, he also asserts HIS OWN, LATE in life adherence to Torah, and warning to GENTILES not to leave the Torah! “You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of those without Torah, and fall from your own steadfastness.” [by turning away from Torah!]
Back in our portion, Sha’ul addresses his accusing crowd IN HEBREW. [There are those that assert he only spoke greek, and that Jews in Israel spoke only greek in the 1st century. LIE] In Sha’ul’s testimony before the Jews, he says that Khanan-Yah [Ananias, the man who healed his eyes] was righteous ACCORDING TO TORAH. And asserts that all the Yehudim know this.
Everything about Sha’ul’s defense is his proving his fidelity to the Torah and to Yisra’el, and to his Jewish heritage. Yet, JEWISH people got all the more enraged, and wanted to kill him, still. In Yisra’el today, that animosity is still there, as Messianic Jews are the ONLY persecuted religious group in Yisra’el. Even though they want to follow Torah, and some even to be honored by the Rabbis, in many cases. In SPITE of their adherence to Rabbinic thought on critical doctrine, the Rabbinic community persecutes ONLY Messianic Jews, leaving muslims and Christians alone. Let that sink in.
As much as we LOVE the Jewish people, we must accept the reality that they are STILL blind, IN PART, for the purposes of Elohim, and that they are NOT our ‘instructors’ in the Torah. Yeshua Himself said, “Do not be called Rabbi,” the same time he said “Call no man ‘Father.’ Yet many Messianic Jews equivocate, submitting to calling MEN “Rabbi”, both in the Jewish community and in the Messianic community, but disavowing catholics for calling priests ‘father.’ Which statement of Yeshua is true, and which is false?
Observe the whole of scripture. Something very curious emerges concerning the title “Rabbi.” It is a term that came to use just before Yeshua visited Yisra’el. It is from the Hebrew word “rav”, which means “Great.” Rabbi actually is ‘rav-i’ in Hebrew, meaning “my great one” implying “one who is greater than me.” A ‘talmid’ would ‘submit’ himself to the teacher, and follow his “Halakha,” or ‘how he walked the Torah.’ This would not be a bad thing, if the Torah-walk were true. Unfortunately, as Yeshua demonstrates, most of them turned from Torah, and made walking it too difficult for the average person, because they burdened people down with extra-Torah, extra-biblical [outside of the Bible] ‘halakhic rulings’. This is demonstrated in many places in the gospels. But, when studying the use of the term “Rabbi” in the Bible, a curious observation can be made by a keen eye. Only ONE person in ALL of scripture is actually addressed personally as “Rabbi.” That man is YESHUA. NO OTHER PERSON in ALL of scripture is directly addressed as “Rabbi.” Not even Sha’ul! Who was actually trained in the ‘schools’ the Rabbis referred to when accusing Yeshua of being uneducated! In fact, one sees that Sha’ul, a Torah-keeping Jew, submitted to Yeshua in NOT ALLOWING HIMSELF to be called Rabbi! One would think that he would keep the title, and sign his letters, “Rav Sha’ul,” the way so many Rabbinic Messianic Jews and ‘rabbis’ refer to him today! Yet YESHUA is the ONLY ONE officially named Rabbi in the writings. That is NOT a coincidence. Yeshua is the ONLY Rabbi for those who KNOW HIM and LOVE HIM and OBEY HIM.
Rabbinic law is outside the boundaries of scripture, and is rooted in false, usurped authority that is NOT from The Father. The Father is the progenitor of HaBen, THE Son, and no one is a son of Elohim, unless he is born of Elohim THROUGH HIS Son. Like it or not, the Rabbis teach from THEIR AUTHORITY, and NOT from Elohim, and THEY THEMSELVES have said so! This phenomenon began in the days of Mishnah! And is a theme that runs rampant through the Talmud. They have said they have authority over The Word, and over Elohim Himself on earth, to make decisions and make new laws. They started doing so during the time of and at the behest of Mishna era Rabbis, and they have yet to stop. And, Yeshua’s herald, Yokhanan HaMatbitl [John the immerser] is the FIRST to point it out that they were NOT following G-d! And Yeshua echoed the sentiment.
Yeshua told the Rabbis of His day things that got Him killed! Why cannot our Messianic Jews today see that? How is it that there is such a spirit of compromise with the TEACHINGS of the rabbinic community?
“Why do your [Yeshua’s] Talmidim not walk according to the traditions of the elders, but eat bread with their hands unwashed?” He [Yeshua] said to them, “The Navi Yesha-Yahu well prophesied about you, O hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people [Yisra’el] honor me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. And they worship me in vain when they teach as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For you have ignored the mitzvah of Elohim, and you observe the tradition of men, such as the washing of cups and pots, and a great many other things like these.” He said to them, “You certainly do injustice to the mitzvah of Elohim so as to sustain your own tradition. For Moshe said, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’ and, ‘he who curses father or mother, let him die the death.’ But you say a man may say to his father or his mother, ‘What is left over is Karbani;’ [this halakhic ruling is not in Torah!] And yet you do not let him do anything for his father or mother [which is instructed in Torah]. So you dishonor the D’var HaElohim for the sake of the tradition which you have established; and you do a great many other things like these.”
History proves, and the Jewish Rabbis claim, that these P’rushim [Pharisees] are the predecessors of today’s Rabbis. They say there is an unbroken chain from today, through the P’rushim, to Ezra and the “Great Sanhedrin,” or Great Assembly. But, they do not realize that during the time between the prophets, from Zekhar-Yah to Yokhanan HaMatbil [Zechariah to John the immerser], the Rabbinic community was created, and began to err. Specifically, the error came through the House of Shammai, which is the true start of modern Rabbinic teachings, and was the ruling religious class in Yeshua’s day. Yet Messianic Jews would prefer to follow today’s Rabbis, who rejected, and STILL reject Yeshua, and follow Shammai in the spirit of their interpretation of Torah. They have set their decision-making power of Halakha ABOVE the Torah, and above G-d Himself, and as such, also above Yeshua.
And today, anyone who tries to point this out to Messianic Rabbis is ridiculed as anti-Torah, and anti-Semitic, JUST LIKE they did to Sha’ul in our portion this week. Such hateful diatribes have been hurled at me by ‘notable’ Messianic Rabbis, and other believers who follow them and their teachings. Their teachings are mixed with Rabbinic error [see my last paragraphs], and supersede Torah, yet I am the anti-Torah anti-Semite, according to them. The Rabbis lied about Sha’ul, saying he was teaching Jews to leave the customs of MOSHE, and not to circumcise their children. It was a lie. Scripture calls it a LIE. Yet gentiles today still believe it, and some Messianic Jews think so as well, still misinterpreting the teachings of Sha’ul. Or, they simply turn a blind eye to what Sha’ul, and especially Yeshua, our ONLY Rabbi, teaches.
What neither community recognizes is that the Jewish Rabbis before the 1st century put their CUSTOMS on the SAME LEVEL as Torah! By the late 1st century, this was the norm, to think of THEIR customs, which go beyond BIBLICAL Jewish customs, on the same level as Torah. So, when THEY say the word “Torah”, they are predominantly talking about their CUSTOMS and halakhic rulings, including the LATEST Talmudic writings, all by Rabbis who DENY Messiah Yeshua as the Son of G-d! This is the spirit of Sheker HaMashiakh!
22Who is a liar but he who denies that Yeshua is the Mashi’akh? He is a false Mashi’akh, and whoever denies HaAv, denies HaBen also. 23Whoever denies HaBen, [The Son] the same does not believe in HaAv.”
Yet so many Messianic people yield themselves to Rabbinic authority.
It is also true today that Jews read the Torah through their Talmud, through the understanding of Rabbis who led them astray. Today’s Jewish people view the Torah through the coke-bottle-bottom lens of the Talmud. The House of Shammai started this phenomenon before Yeshua’s arrival. They were the controlling house, controlling the Temple and the Synagogues. They are many times called ‘The Yehudim’, “The Jews”, in Brit Khadashah, because they thought themselves the only true Jews, and were the ruling house among the Pharisees [the lesser House being that of Hillel 1]. The House of Shammai was to Yisra’el as Catholicism was to Europe for centuries: the authoritian force establishing and forcing doctrine on the people, and claiming authority from Elohim to do so. The House of Shammai ruled that gentiles must fully convert, with the final sign of and proof of conversion being circumcision. This is what the discussion is about in the book of Galatians. This is the “Synagogue of Satan” Yeshua mentions in the Hitgalut. “They say they are Jews, but are not, but do LIE.” Why? Because a true Jew is one who is circumcised of heart. A circumcised heart is accomblished by and through Yeshua! Sumbission only to The Word. [Rom 2:29] The House of Hillel, apart from Shammai, did not make such rulings, but in fact ruled much the same way as Ya’akov in Acts 15 concerning gentiles. But Hillel’s ‘house’ did agree with Shammai on denying Yeshua. Many of the PEOPLE before Yeshua followed the house of Hillel, whose teachings are indeed similar to Yeshua, and some of the Pharisees did. Gamli’el and Sha’ul were both students of that school. And some few followed the Sadducees, a smaller sect. But, on Shavu’ot 2000 years ago, 3500 began to follow Beit Rav Yeshua, The House of Elohim, whose ONLY Rabbi of the Messianic community is Yeshua! Yeshua actually shows us through His life and teachings that ALL THREE sects of Jews had error, and all three had some truth. But HE is the one to show us THE RIGHT WAY. And it is indeed very narrow. And, after 150 AD, BEFORE even the Mishnah was written down, and certainly before Talmud, the whole of the Rabbinic community rejected Messiah outright, telling the Messianic Jews in Israel to leave the synagogues.
Yeshua gets even rougher with the Jewish Rabbis of His day than already mentioned. This is a hard speech that many in the Messianic community largely ignore or avoid.
“Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim [Scribes and Pharisees, ie “Rabbis”], you hypocrites! For you consume the houses of widows, and with pretense you make long prayers; because of this you shall receive a greater judgment. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you have shut off Malkhut HaShamayim against men; for you do not enter into it yourselves, and do not permit those who would enter. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you traverse sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him the son of Gehinom twice more than yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, for you say, ‘Whoever swears by the Heikhal, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold which is in the Heikhal, he is guilty!’ O you fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold, or the Heikhal that sets apart the gold? And ‘Whoever swears by the Mizbe’akh, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering that is on it, he is guilty’. O you fools and blind! For which is greater, the offering, or the Mizbe’akh that sets apart the offering? Therefore he who swears by the Mizbe’akh, he swears by it and by everything that is on it. And whoever swears by the Heikhal, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by Heaven swears by the Throne of Elohim, and by Him who sits on it. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you take tithes on mint, dill, and cummin, and you have overlooked the more important matters of the Torah, such as justice, compassion, and absolute trust. These were necessary for you to have done, without having left the others undone. O blind guides, who strain at gnats and swallow camels! Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of extortion and iniquity. Blind P’rushim! Clean first the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that their outside may also be clean. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you are like tombs painted white, which look beautiful from the outside, but inside are full of dead bones and all kinds of corruption. Even so, from the outside you appear to men to be Tzadikim [righteous ones], but from within you are full of iniquity and hypocrisy. Woe to you, Sofrim and P’rushim, you hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the Nevi’im, and you decorate the graves of HaTzadikim; And you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our forefathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the Nevi’im.’ Now you testify concerning yourselves that you are the children of those who killed the Nevi’im. You also fill up the measure of your fathers. O you serpents, and seed of scorpions! How can you flee from the judgment of Gehinom? Because of this, I am sending to you Nevi’im and wise men and Sofrim; some of them you will kill, and you will execute them on stakes; and some you will scourge in your Beit K’nessets, and pursue them from city to city; So that all the blood of the Tzadikim shed on the ground may come on you, from the blood of Avel HaTzadik down to the blood of Zakhar-Yah Ben Berekh-Yah, whom you killed between the Heikhal and the Mizbe’akh. Truly I say to you, all of these things shall come upon this generation. O Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim, murderess of the Nevi’im, and stoner of those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather together your children, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and yet you would not! Behold, your house will be left to you desolate. For I say to you, from now you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of יהוה .“
Yeshua was speaking to the Rabbis of his day, the teachers and scholars. These are indeed the predecessors of the ones who nearly killed Sha’ul, and of the Rabbis of today. To think otherwise is dishonest. This does NOT mean that anyone who sees the TEACHINGS of the Rabbis as erroneous is anti-Semitic, any more than Messianic Jews today can accuse Yeshua of being anti-Semitic for his words recorded above. Sadly, this is usually the ONLY argument one gets when he tries to present the truth of scripture to Messianic “Rabbis” today. “You’re an Anti-Semite!” How many times I’ve heard this! And me, a Jewish person who loves THE Jew, Yeshua, and only wants to serve Him! The King of JEWS. Suddenly, these people, who profess to believe in Messiah, expose deadly, venomous fangs. Even some close to me have hurled false accusations against me for simply trying to expose the duplicity of Rabbinic thought, the usurpation of the authority of Elohim that governs their thinking.
Yeshua said those hard words above to Yisra’el’s Rabbis, who had not yet written the Mishnah, much less the TOMES of Talmudic writings that have so muddied the waters today, and that plague the Messianic community with anti-scriptural bias against Yeshua’s Halakha. Because of that mud, the Messianic community is as divided as every other ‘denomination’ of Judaism and Christianity. The Body of Messiah must UNITE around the TRUTH of Messiah! Once the authority of MAN that was wrested from Elohim is quoted by Messianic Rabbis and teachers, and used as a proof for halakha, one LEAVES out from under the leadership, authority, and ANOINTING of Messiah Yeshua. They give themselves over spiritually to the authority of the spirit of Sheker HaMashiakh. It has been our experience that most who do this eventually go the whole way and deny that Yeshua is Messiah, and this is grievous. But, even if they do not, they rob themselves, the ones they teach, and the whole Body of Messiah of the UNITY that can ONLY COME when we all follow THE ONE SHEPHERD! Yes, Elohim is merciful in spite of it, FOR HIS PEOPLE’S SAKE! But, that does NOT excuse the error, and every person who calls himself a Messianic Rabbi will ANSWER BEFORE HIS THRONE for every lie of man they perpetuated and taught HIS people. “It would be better for him that a donkey’s millstone were hanged on his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” [ ~ Yeshua, Luka 17:2] To ‘stumble’ means to err against His Word. Much of what Messianic “Rabbis” teach does exactly that. “Whoever therefore tries to loosen even one of these smallest mitzvot, and teaches men so, he shall be regarded as small in Malkhut HaShamayim; but anyone who observes and teaches them, he shall be regarded as great in Malkhut HaShamayim.” [ ~ Yeshua, Matti 5:19]
It would be impossiple to list here all the teachings that lead people away from truth, but I will enumerate the easiest and most obvious, and arguably the most important ones:
They moved Passover. Is that a coincidence? They MISSED the Messiah, who clearly kept the Pesakh the DAY BEFORE THE RABBIS. Much of Yisra’el also kept it with Messiah, on the same night. Written history just goes to the ‘victor.’ The Pesakh is the very COMMEMORATION of the BLOOD of our Covenant, and they do not observe it correctly, and have not for several hundred years before Messiah came, whereas the scriptures show ALL Seders to occur on the night of the 14th. They know they moved it, and they say that they have authority to do it, just like the Popes moved Shabbat and Pesakh and Shavu’ot. The Jewish Rabbis also moved Shavu’ot. Yeshua clearly rose as the Bikurim, the firstruits, on late Sat night into Sun morning. If the ‘rabbinic’ way is correct, Yeshua should have risen as the firstfruits on THURSDAY NIGHT/fri morn. He did NOT. This is THE REASON they did not recognize Messiah. They were not and still do NOT follow Elohim and HIS WORD. They teach the Jewish people not to Say His Name. They, as a community, will NOT ‘see’ Yeshua because of these things, until He comes back in His Glory. “For I say to you, from now you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of יהוה .”
These are SIMPLE, easy things, and the whole of Judaism, including much of Messianic Judaism, violates Torah to perpetuate MAN’s TRADITION.
We LOVE our Jewish people. Any notion that asserts that we are Anti-Semitic is born of hatred and ignorance, and a stubborn will not to look into the WORD for His Truth. The Talmud was written LONG AFTER Yeshua ‘sealed’ the book, and said NOT to add to it nor take away from it. Our Jewish people put the Talmud on the level of Holy Writ. Messianic teachers who teach the Talmud are the least in His Kingdom, as they teach the commandments of men for their doctrine and halakha.
“Blessed are those who do His Mitzvot, that they may have the right to Etz HaKhayim, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
‘Drash’ starts at about the 1:00 mark