Scripture is the Word of God.
The Word was inerrant when it was uttered.
God is sinless and can not lie.
Thus what God has said and says in true.
John 1 tells us that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word is God.”
The scripture is “Torah”, the Hebrew word for the teachings of God. Torah includes everything from Genesis through Revelation. The entire “bible” is Torah. One of the names of Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) is “the living Torah”.
Matthew 5 tells us the Yeshua said He came not to change one jot or tittle of Torah.
That being said, much of the Word of God is misunderstood today, particularly in western culture and particularly in many if not most of English language bibles.
Part of the reason is “replacement theology” which believes “Christianity” has replaced God's chosen people. This is simply anti-semitic. This antisemitism began within a generation after Yeshua went to His father's right hand. The friction between Jewish believers in Yeshua and gentile followers of Yeshua is one of the major reasons, if not the principle one, Rabbi Sha'ul, a.k.a. Paul, wrote the Letter to the Messianic Community in Rome (or the Letter to the Romans).
Today's English speaking bibles are the product of a long journey from the original texts in Hebrew and Aramaic first into Greek, then Latin, then German and on into English. During the centuries that this journey took, antisemitism flourished and grew in the Roman “church”, through the Crusades, the Inquisition, even growing under Martin Luther, who's last three books were among the most vitriolic anti semitic books ever written.
For hundreds of years before King James authorized the King James Bible, Jews had been expelled from England. There was not a native Jewish scholar in the land. Much of the Word of God has been lost, misunderstood, misquoted, misused from then until now.
Yeshua was a Jew, born into the middle east land and culture of his forebearers. He was a rabbi, very close to, if not one of, the Pharisees. He followed Torah. He taught from the Torah (as then existed). He followed the seven feasts commanded by Torah (and none other). He came to fill full Torah – and NOT to create a new, separate and different “Church.” Most of the early followers of Yeshua were Jews. They still observed Torah. They still went to synagogues.
The Torah was written for simple people who were then agrarian. Much of the Word of God was given and originally written in agricultural terms.
One can NOT understand the Bible without a fundamental knowledge of ALL God's word. For example, the Book of Revelation, 400 verses long, contains over 800 references, direct and indirect, to the Old Testament. One of the reasons Revelation is misunderstood is simply that many so called Christians remain ignorant of the Old Testament (or Jewish Tannakh).
Chapter numbers, verse numbers were added centuries after Yeshua. They are not inerrant. In reading and studying the Word of God, it is always helpful to begin a “chapter” 10-15 verses earlier and continue reading on for 10-15 verses later.
Many of the translators of the bible in languages other than Hebrew or Greek were not even aware of their antisemitism and of the antisemitic roots of their work. There is, if not antisemitic, a substantial ignorance of the Jewish roots of Christianity in most contemporary bibles. This has caused many problems in rightly understanding the Word of God.
20th and 21st century bibles contain many pitfalls. Even bibles that are not “study” bibles (complete with commentaries) should be carefully approached. The Thompson chain reference bible contains serious anti semitic chapter headings. The word “Easter” has wormed its way into the King James Bible.
God's Word, specifically stated in the first five books and repeated in Revelation warn us not to take away or add anything to God's Word. Anything. If you do not not accept the Genesis account of creation, you are taking away from God's Word. If you add man made ideas into Scripture, like “dispensationalism”, you are adding to God's Word. God proscribes serious penalties for adding to or taking away from His Word.
The first step in approaching reading God's Word is to pray.
God has given us the Ruach ha Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, to help us in understanding His word. Believers who have submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ, are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helps us understand the Word. Without the Spirit and His guidance, the Word of God can not rightly be discerned or understood much less followed. (That is why this author, who read a book a day for 30 years, who was a learned college professor, never, before he came to the Lord, understand the Bible.)
After prayer, the next step is approaching the Word of God is to ask seven basic questions:
When was it written?
Who wrote it?
Where was it written?
To whom was it written?
How was it written?
What is being written?
Why was it written?
The rabbis of old said it differently. Their method of studying the Word of God is called in Hebrew “pardes” an acronym for P-R-D-S.
P is for Pshat, the Hebrew word for the plain, simple meaning of the text. For example, when God begins the Word by saying “In beginning, God created heavens and earth,” it means exactly that.
R is for Remez – a second meaning of the same text referred to in pshat or the plain simple text.
Many things given us in the Word have BOTH a simple and a secondary meaning. For example, a message given to people at that time also has a meaning for us today. Most often this is the case. So when reading the Word of God, we must always go beyond the message at the time and follow up with how it relates for us today. The Bible is not given us merely as a nice book of what happened before, but IS a guidebook for our daily lives today.
D is for Drash – yet a third layer of meaning. For example, Yeshua talked in parables. The parable had a simple, true meaning. Each had a spiritual second meaning. And each had a third more complex meaning, for example when Yeshua would explain His real intended meaning for his disciples.
S is for Sot – the metaphysical meaning. A good example of this is when Yeshua took a piece of “matzah” or bread and said “this is my body”. The rabbis, in Ecclesiastes, rightly discerned that bread was a symbol for “Torah” or God's Word.
So the rabbis held that there four ways to read the Word of God. Interestingly, the word “pardes”, the acronymn for pshat, remez, drash and sot, itself is the Hebrew word for “orchard” - a place where MANY fruits abound, where many fruits can be found.
So in studying the Word of God, first pray for guidance from the Spirit: second, ask the questions who, what, where, when, why, how, to whom; then thirdly, look hungrily for the different levels of meaning.
There are so many jewels in the crown of God's Word. The long laborious geneologies are often simply skipped over. Wrong. Two examples. First, in Genesis 5, 10 names are given in a precise sequence: Adam, Shet, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Yered, Hanokh, Metushelach, Lemech and Noach.
Hard to pronounce.
First each Hebrew name had a meaning. Each Hebrew letter had a numerical meaning (only Greek and Hebrew do so). The 10 names cited above mean in English:
Adam - Man
Mahalalel the Blessed Lord
Yered shall come down
Methusaleh His death shall bring
Lemech the despairing
Noach rest or comfort
Put those English meanings together in a sentence: Man is appointed moral sorrow. The Blessed Lord shall come down teaching. His death shall bring the despairing rest and comfort.
Exactly the message of the entire Word of God.
The secnd example of the many, many jewels to be found in the Word of God is this:
In John's account of the death of Yeshua, we are told Pilate had the following sign made to be put on the cross. Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews. And the priests and pharisees were horrified. But Pilate wouldn't change the sign and said “I wrote what I wrote”. Why were the Judean leaders so appalled? In Hebrew the sign read: Yeshua HaNazrit, V'melki, HaYudaeoi. Look at the first letters of the four words: YHVH (Yod Hey Vav Hey). That is EXACTLY the “tetragammatron” of “The Four Letters”, the name of God Himself, Yahweh. Pilate was putting a sign over Yeshua on the cross that said literally “here is God”.
Yet a third example. In English, at the Last Supper, Yeshua took the “bread” and broke it. The Hebrew word is “matzah.” Matzah is flattened (or beaten), it has brown spots (or bruises), it has holes (has been punctured). Each of these characteristics very clearly fulfill old testament prophecies of what the true anointed one, or messiah, would go through.
There are literally thousands of other gems and jewels within the Word of God – IF one takes the time to prayerfully inquire and explore. This effort will make you rich beyond belief. AND bring you closer to Yeshua our lord and Saviour.
A very heavy majority of English speaking preachers and teachers lack serious background in the Word of God. They are the products of seminaries who have preconceived ideas, teachings, doctrines which may or may not be based in sound scripture. Ask any preacher or teacher, seminary trained or not, who are his teachers, what doctrines he follows. Inquire if they are man made or based soundly in scripture.
The renowned Rabbi Hillel, when asked how many Torahs there were, answered TWO, the written Torah and the oral Torah – the first God given and the second the product of learned teachers, i.e., man made. (The Hebrew word for “tradition” is “takanot”. This simply means MAN MADE. )
The Word of God is God made. The oral traditions of men are NOT. We must ask God's help (through the Spirit) which is which. We are to observe, trust and obey the first and ALWAYS be skeptical of the second.
Roman Catholic “tradition” holds that when there is confusion as to what the Bible, i.e., the Word of God, means and who to follow if the Word of God differs from the position of the “church”, the answer has been and still is the position of the church holds first place. The orthodox church position is the same. And so, unfortunately, is the positions of too many protestant churches.
Rabbi Sha'ul ha Tarsus, aka Paul, said it best in Acts 17:11, To paraphrase: Don't believe a word I (or anybody else) say: search the scriptures (the Word of God) diligently.
Two of the greatest contemporary teachers of the Word of God are Chuck Missler in America and David Pawson of Britain. Both are in their 80s. Both are absolutely men of God, saints amidst us. And they differ on some fundamental issues. Chuck Missler was begat of Hal Lindsey who is one of the best known graduates of the Dallas Theological Seminary. That school is a product of scholars who have followed the Schofield King James study bible. That bible came from John Nelson Darby of England who came out of the Brethren Church. Each of these sources came with doctrinal positions, mostly sound, but many frankly man made. David Pawson also came a Brethren background, was once pastor of England's largest Baptist church. He became a “charismatic”.He has moved away from that as well. Both Missler and Pawson have said they have regretted spending so much of their walk with the Lord hamstrung by “denominational” issues, dogmas, doctrines and restraints. There is great wisdom in their journeys. But as each would tell you, as Paul said, trust and believe no one, search everything in the Word of the Lord.
In studying the Word of God, here are some helpful hints:.
1)be sure the Word in accurate in the old testament and Jewish roots of Yeshua our Lord and Saviour,
2)be aware of the inherent, even if unwitting, antisemitism still within many parts of Christianity,
3)know that there are heavy influences of Greek culture and philosophy (ALL man made) within what passes for Christian bible doctrine; know this is often different from what was understood in Yeshua's middle eastern culture,
4)recognize that ALL study bibles contain man made prejudices and opinions that should be very cautiously considered,
Dear brothers and sisters-
was reading Deuteronomy last evening as my going to bed session in the word and came across deut 30:14 in my David Stern Complete Jewish Bible. it reads: on the contrary, the word is very close to you - in your mouth,even in your heart. therefore YOU CAN DO IT.
this is so much more explicit than my King James Version, so clear. it tells me that the Torah, the mitzvot (the commandments), the teachings (which includes but means so much more than what we think of as 'the law' - was DO-able when it was given. God tells us that His Word was accomplishable WHEN it was uttered, for why else would he have given it to us.
the question follows then, what is/was Paul talking about (the Law) in Romans?
it seems to me upon considerable thought, prayer and reflection that (a) the word of God in deuternomy and (b) the 'law' referenced in Romans may have been talking about two DIFFERENT things, i.e. Torah in its totality in Deuternomy and the greek concept of MAN MADE external manifestations of 'law" in Romans.
I once had a wonderful teaching from Nehemiah Gordon, a Karaite Jewish believer, that english translated considerations of 'the law' in the New Testament did NOT refer to Torah at all but to the man made pharasaic interpretations of God's teachings - a totally different thing.
surely these musings validate Matthew where Yeshua tells us clearly He came NOT to alter one iota of Torah, BUT to fill it full.
perhaps we might explore these thoughts further in one of our upcoming studies..
God bless you all. Brother Ray.
WHO'S "INSULTED" OVER ISRAEL?
by Ray LeRoux
As we approach the feast of shavuot, the world is upset. The people of Israel announced they would build new homes in Yerushalayem, the city of Peace. The announcement took place during a peace seeking visit of USA Vice president Joe Biden, an abortion supporting "Catholic". Biden said he was insulted. USA Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, a self professing "Christian" said her country was insulted. USA President Barak Hussein Obama, another self described practicing "Christian" had a fit. His top aides ran to television talk programs further underscoring Israel's insult to Biden, Clinton, Obama and the USA. Some of these facts are correct. There is building in Jerusalem. The USA and the world media is upset. There has been an "insult". BUT, the person who has been insulted is Yahweh.
Early in Genesis we are told the people who bless Abraham's faithful descendants will be blessed AND those who curse Abraham's faithful descendants will be cursed. That promise of God has not been amended, alterered or done away with. Through God's son, Yehoshua, those promises are filled full.
God in the scriptures and by His word laid out the boundaries of HIS chosen land. HE repeated His geographic boundaries. HE chose HIS city, which is Yerushalayem. HE has told us HE WILL reside there.
Yerushalayem means the city of peace. Peace means where God is and where NO sin can reside.
Even the people of Israel are merely tenants or renters, entitled to live as occupants only as long as they pay their rent. While today's residents of Israel have been recalled to the land, they has as yet n ot returned to God.
There IS a "peace plan" for Israel and the Middle East. It is authored by God. It is found in the scriptures. It is repeated over and over from Genesis to Revelation.
When man resorts to "takanot", i.e. reinterpreting God's word in man's image, or adds to or takes away from the Word of God, man is promised he will be taken out of the Book of Life. And that appears to be exactly what is happening.
When Britain abstained from the UN vote on establishing the State of Israel in the 1948 UN resolution, the British empire immediately began to dissemble and vanish forever. When the first USA President Bush established the Madrid peace conference over the Middle East, his home in Kennebunkport Maine was naturally destroyed. When he persisted, Hurricane Andrew naturally struck America. When the second President Bush persisted, Katrina naturally struck. Every time man tries to interfere in God's plan something bad happens. Accidents? Hardly.
Scripture tells us Israel will eventually stand alone, a clear sign of the last days. As the American Obama administration insists on having its way with Israel, an adventure of man, an adventure of the world, where the prince of darkness temporarily holds sway, this world hurtles towards God's judgment.
Is God insulted? He surely must be. Will HE send us signs (the Book of Joel) in these last days? He has assuredly promised that is exactly what will happen.
America's Biden and Obama and Clinton, so called "Christians" all either have not read their Bibles, do not accept it literally, have no problems adding to the Word or taking away from the Word or belong to a brand of worldly "Christianity" that is seriously infected and dysfunctional. They may in fact believe they are eternally saved but the final determination of salvation belongs not with man but with God. He writes who is in and who is out of the book of life, needs no coauthors.
The problem for countries like the USA is that entire nations are collectively held accountable for the actions of their leaders.
US-Israeli relations are said to be worse than at any time since 1972 and many think these relations can even worsen. Are these signs of the end times? There is criticism, often justly so, for ones who read, study and discern with the Word in one hand and the daily newspapers in the other. That being said, there is ONE great daily newspaper and it is the Word of God.
Can God be insulted or angered? The Word tells us He has been in the past. Look at Babel, look at the pre flood world, look at Sodom and Gomorrah, look at Capernum today, look at the sites of the seven cities in Revelation 2-3.
Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus.
EVERYONE DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES
by Ray LeRoux
The theme of the Book of Judges, repeated over and over and over, is "everyone did what what was right in his own eyes." Not what was right in God's eyes but what man decided what was right. The heart of all sin is pride and it is pride that lets man decide his own way can be right.
The problem of course is this: God has already decided what is right. He then promises blessings if you/we are obedient and curses if we are not.
Yet believers everywhere ask God's blessings in spite of the fact they and their nations have chosen to forsake God's teachings, His commandments, His Torah, His Word for their own. God's job is to satisfy us,
When we are in Bulgaria, believers ask for God's blessings on Bulgaria. When we are in America, believers ask for God's blessings on America. When we watch Revelation TV, we hear preachers and teachers ask for God's blessings on England.
When we go to church in America, we hear the pledge of allegiance to America, "a nation under God". We pray "God bless America". The problem is that America is no longer a nation under God. We ask for blessings AFTER we have forsaken God's Word. This simply contradicts God's teaching,His commandments,His Word. Obey,be blessed. Disobey, be cursed.
America officially took the Word of God out of its schools. It has broken commandments by officially endorsing abortion, as Molloch, and to date has slaughtered over 40 million babies. America has officially approved homosexuality, has changed God's rules on marriage. America has abandoned God's peace plan in His land. America has established so many idols it is hard to count them. It has embraced "political correctness" abandoning God's Word to render unto God what is God's. And yet, American "believers" still seek and still expect blessings rather than curses.
We, a nation that kills babies, expect special protection for "our" troops and when we pray thus we do NOT mean the warriors in the army of God.
Each church service, believers infringe upon God's time with an incessant and never-ending litany of personal prayer requests for things in this life, in this world, as if God were nothing more than a department store Santa Claus who's only function is to fill personal requests - a job, a better job, a new house, and mortgage payments to boot, a miraculous cure for everything from sniffles to doctor visits, to halting the ageing and dying process. We echo the cries of the Hebrew believers in Yerushalayim, save us - here and now. God is to serve us rather than we are to serve Him. We have forgotten THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We tell God forget about cursing us, just keep on with the blessings. And we even forget to say please.
We forget mercy. We no longer feel the need, in spite of our national apostasy, our idolatry, to fall before the Lord and beg for His mercy. We mouth the word repent but we do not repent, for we do have changed our ways and have no observable intention to do so in the future.
Take this matter to the Word. What does the Word say? The Word, in both the Tanakh and in the Brit Hadashah, is clear. I will NOT hear you, God tells us, over and over and over. I will JUDGE you, the Word tells us, over and over and over.
Jeremiah tells us. Isaiah tells us. Revelation tells us. I will take my lamp stand away from you, Yehoshua tells us.
Babylon WILL fall. Both the original Babylon and ALL the world's Babylon's. This world will end, and it will be no more, we are told. Clearly.
The world, while it still is under the dominion of the evil one, has no ears to hear and no eyes to see.
Is it an accident that unrepentant nations and peoples and countries and individuals are being beset with natural disasters, with financial troubles, with signs from on high? The rabbis have long held there are NO accidents in the Word.
It is not only that our nations have forsaken God. We have so many idols and make so many accommodations to the world inside our community of believers, we tempt and test God - all the while expecting a continuous flow of blessings and miracles and NO curses at all. How utterly foolish.
The Word tells us God has had to enlarge hell. The Word tells us only a remnant will survive this massive lack of true repentance.
At the judgement, will God, when judging baby killers, make an exception for America. He can’t. Will in judging homosexuality, He make an exception for America. He will not and can not. When He judges the nations who have abandoned Israel and God's faithful, both native and grafted in, make an exception for America or any other nation? He will not. A just God can not.
We have pastors and teachers who do whatever they can for national Israel which has returned to the land but not to the Lord - except take Word to them. We love the John Hagees but do not listen to the Art Katzs and the Jacob Praschs. We flock to mega churches which preach prosperity gospels now and large complexes big enough for yoga rooms. We elect political candidates who make professions of belief but then cancel national prayer days and blithely support women's freedom of choice, the Barak Hussein Obamas and Hillary Clintons and Edward Kennedys.
If the Lord dispersed His native branches, will (or can) He do less for and to the grafted in branches?
We are as in pre-flood days, continuing to marry and such, oblivious to God's Word. How many survived the flood? A handful. We are as the chosen people taken out of bondage in Egypt. How many who started completed the journey? Can we expect better if we don't change and obey the living Lord of Lords and King of Kings?
Is America and its churches losing its lamp stand? Is your nation? How do we get our lamp stands back? Is there an answer? Of course there is and it is in the Word. But it is not in doing what is right in our own eyes.
Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus. Even in these last days Dear Father, we know You will send us current day Jeremiahs. Dear Father,have mercy on us, hear our prayers, give us graciously ears to hear and eyes to see. Dear Father, we know You stand ready to write a new covenant on our hearts.
A Murder of Crows Salvation Download the first chapter by clicking on here
Brother Ray has continued to expand his earlier look at Scriptural "genealogies". We have regrouped them in sequence. As he says, it is an ongoing study, a work inj progress. If you haven't look at the "genealogy" article lately, there is more there now. It's good stuff.