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WHEN WAS YAHUSHA BORN?

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This is the season when people start talking about “Saving Christmas”, because they think there is a “war on Christmas” every time someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. We hear phrases like “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “put Christ back in Christmas”, but perhaps we should take a moment to find out if Christ ever truly was in Christmas to begin with.

Christmas is one of the most beloved holidays around the world, and is celebrated in over 160 countries. Christmas is a civil holiday in many countries, and is celebrated by both Christians and non-christians alike. If Christmas is really “all about Christ”, then why do so many non-Christians love to celebrate it?

Now before you accuse me of being a Scrooge or a Grinch, please take a moment to consider what I have to say, and test everything with the Bible to find out what is true.

If you have ever wondered if Christians should celebrate Christmas, then Yule love this teaching.

WAS YAHUSHA ( HAMASHIACH OR CHRIST) REALLY BORN ON DECEMBER 25TH?

There has been a lot of speculation and superstition about the birthday of YAHUSHA who the English and most people call Jesus. We can find evidence of this as early as the third century, however, there is virtually no evidence of believers even discussing this issue in the first or second centuries. It was not until the very end of the second century that it is even mentioned.

“There were, however, many speculations in the 2nd century about the date of messiah’s birth. Clement of Alexandria, towards its close, mentions several such, and condemns them as superstitions.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, entry for Christmas)

The earliest record we have of any date being selected comes from Egypt around 200 AD (nearly 200 years after the death and resurrection of the messiah). According to Clement of Alexandria, certain Egyptians assigned the date of Messiah’s birth to the 25th day of Pachon, which is approximately May 20 on our calendar. It is also important to note that Clement ridiculed them for being “overly curious” for trying to set a date for the birth of Messiah. This means that the oldest record of anyone trying to set a date for the birth of Messiah was in the spring, and it was met with opposition from other believers. This fact is striking and should cause us to at least wonder why the disciples and earliest believers had no interest in discussing the birthday of their Messiah for the first 200 years.

As we study writings from the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, we find that several different dates were proposed over the years. Some suggested dates in March or April. January was also a popular month, as well as November. Apparently, there was no agreement about when He was born, and according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were claims about His birth taking place in every month.

“Lupi has shown that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ’s birth.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Christmas)

Why was there so much discussion about the date of Messiah’s birth during the third and fourth centuries, yet total silence on the subject for the first 200 years? If the birthday of Yeshua was so important, why didn’t the apostles write about it? Surely His disciples would have known His birthday if it was important, and they would have conveyed it to everyone they taught, yet the writings from the first and second centuries are completely silent on this topic.

It is also important to note that there was much dispute among Christians in the third century over the issue of celebrating the messiah’s birth at all. One of the theologians who rejected the birth celebration of the messiah was Origen of Alexandria.

“As late as 245 Origen, in his eighth homily on Leviticus, repudiates as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ ‘as if he were a king Pharaoh.’” (Encyclopedia Britannica, entry for Christmas)

And according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Origen said,

“of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below” (Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Natal Day)

Many people have looked to the scripture for clues that might provide a key to unlock the secret date of Messiah’s birth. The Gospels provide us with some important information about His birth that might help us identify if YAHUSHA was born in late December or not.

The Gospel of Luke tells us that there was a census which caused Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem to be registered.

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.” (Luke 2:1-5)

We have no historical records to verify when this census took place, but it is not likely that Ceasar would mobilize an entire population of people in the middle of winter, which makes December 25 an unlikely date for the birth. Luke also tells us that there were shepherds watching their sheep in fields at night, which is yet another indication that this event was probably not during the winter. Although these clues are hardly conclusive, they do give us good reason to doubt the mid-winter date, which means further investigation is needed for us to find our answers.

The Gospels do give us one clue that is very helpful in determining the season of Messiah’s birth. In the Gospel of Luke, we are told that Zacharias was serving as a priest in the Temple during the appointed time for the division of Abiyah.

“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abiyah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth… So it was, that while he was serving as priest before YAH in the order of his division” (Luke 1:5,8)

This is one of the most significant clues for the timing of the birth of John the Baptist and ultimately the birth of YAHUSHA. If we can find out when the division of Abiyah served, then we can calculate nine months out to the birth of John the baptist, and likewise calculate the birth of YAHUSHA six months later.

We know from 1 Chronicles 24:7-18 that there were twenty-four priestly divisions serving in the temple in rotation, which means each division served twice per year. Which gives us two possible times during the year that Zacharias might have served in the Temple, so we can narrow it down to two possible times when Messiah could have been born.

The Scriptures make no mention of when the division of Abiyah served, the information is recorded in the Mishnah, which explains that the rotations began with the first division serving at the first Sabbath of the month of Aviv, and since Abiyah was eighth in the list, he would have served on the 8th Sabbath, however all of the priests were required to serve in the Temple on Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, which means those weeks the rotation was suspended for the Feast and resumed afterward. By calculating it out and taking the Feasts into consideration, this would place Zacharias’ service during May or June if he was serving in the first rotation, and December or January if he was serving in the second rotation.

If Zacharias was serving in the first rotation in June, that would place the birth of John nine months later, around the time of Passover. How does this help us determine the birth of YAHUSHA? Because the Bible tells us that He was conceived in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, which would be November or December.

“Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” (Luke 1:36)

If this theory is true, that would mean that YAHUSHA was conceived around the time of Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication), and would place His birth sometime in August or September, right around the time of the Fall Feasts (Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles). Because of this, some people have concluded that YAHUSHA was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, because John said that “the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us” (John 1:14), however, this is not very likely since everyone would have been in Jerusalem for the Feast, including Mary and Joseph. It is more likely that His birth could have been on the Day of Trumpets, because trumpets announce something. The Day of Trumpets is the time when kings were anointed, and it also announced the coming of the day of Atonement, signaling the people to repent.

This is assuming that Zacharias served in the first rotation for Abiyah, but if he served in the second rotation, then John would have been conceived around the time of Hanukkah, and born around the time of the fall Feasts, which would place the birth of Yeshua during the spring, around the time of Passover. We can make the same deduction that Yeshua was probably not born on Passover, because His parents would have been in Jerusalem with everyone else during the Feast.

It is interesting that the Gospels mention the Shepherds keeping watch over their sheep near Bethlehem, because these might have been the sheep that were used in the Temple service during Passover. Apparently, the year-old lambs that were killed for Passover were born and raised near Bethlehem. Is it possible that the Lamb of YAHUAH was born at the same place and time as the lambs that were used during the Passover sacrifices at the Temple? Remember that one of the earliest dates suggested for His birth was in the spring. Perhaps this is why John prophesied saying, “Behold the Lamb of YAH!” (John 1:36)

We cannot know for sure if He was born in the fall or spring, but we can say with confidence that He was not born in the middle of winter. So, if He wasn’t born in winter, why was December 25 selected as the date for this celebration? According to the Holman Bible Dictionary:

“No evidence remains about the exact date of the birth of the messiah. The December 25 date was chosen as much for practical reasons as for theological ones. Throughout the Roman Empire, various festivals were held in conjunction with the winter solstice. In Rome, the Feast of the Unconquerable Sun celebrated the beginning of the return of the sun. When Christianity became the religion of the Empire, the church either had to suppress the festivals or transform them. The winter solstice seemed an appropriate time to celebrate Christ’s birth. Thus, the festival of the sun became a festival of the Son” (Holman Bible Dictionary, entry for Christmas)

Unconquerable Sun celebrated the beginning of the return of the sun. When Christianity became the religion of the Empire, the Roman church either had to suppress the festivals or transform them. The winter solstice seemed an appropriate time to celebrate messiah’s birth. Thus, the festival of the sun became a festival of the Son” (Holman Bible Dictionary, entry for Christmas)

I have searched a number of Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, and they all come to the same conclusion that the date of December 25 was selected to replace the birthday of the Roman sun-god.

Pagans worshiped all sorts of things including the sun, moon, stars, trees, animals, and even man-made idols. However, sun-god worship was one of the most popular forms of paganism. It can be found in Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Many myths in the sun worship cults placed the birth and death of the sun in the winter, because the days grow shorter and darker that time of year. But, after the winter solstice, the days start getting longer, which caused the pagans to believe that the sun was born or re-born in the middle of winter each year.

That is the real origins of the December 25 date.

I would like to take a moment to share a quote from Charles Spurgeon, who is considered a beloved and highly respected Protestant preacher from the late 1800’s. Here is what he had to say about the celebration of Christmas.

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly, we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First because we do not believe in any mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English: Secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there in no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known. Probably the fact is that the “holy” days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Savior was born it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.” —C. H. Spurgeon Dec. 24, 1871 (Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, p. 697)

The truth will always prevail.

(Original version by Lex, Founder, Unlearn the lies Ministry).

Shalom.

IS ANY FOOD UNCLEAN?

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Some people teach that all foods are clean, so I decided to do this write up to shed light on the topic and help guide people to the right conclusion. 

“Didn’t the messiah declare all food to be clean?” Read and find out.

Let us consider few scriptural passages that people use to say yes or no and I will draw my conclusions.

Let us read Acts 10:9-16

 “About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.13 then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that YAH has made clean.”16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven”. 

So many people out of ignorance interpret this vision of peter wrongly. If you have divine wisdom you will understand that the vision of all kinds of unclean animal was used to illustrate to peter that even the gentile nations and peoples, the Jews regard as unclean will also partake of eternal life in HAMASHIACH if they would repent and leave idol worship and become baptised and receive the Holy Spirit of YAHUAH. So he should not refuse the invitation of Cornelius.

This is very clear because if you read down, from verse 17 down, you will see that peter was at loss on the meaning of this vision until the men sent by Cornelius, who was a gentile and regarded as unclean by Jews arrived at the house peter was staying.

Furthermore, to prove that this vision has nothing to do with food, but rather the gentiles; is there anywhere that peter was offered unclean food and he ate it? No is the answer. The unclean foods used in the vision just represent the gentiles, who out of YAH’s mercy will inherit eternal life because of the sacrifice of ADONAI YAHUSHA  on the cross for mankind. Peter would have refused the invitation of Cornelius because he was a gentile, so YAH had to use the vision and teach him that even the gentiles who were unclean have now be made clean and be saved if they follow the commandment of messiah.

And to make it clearer, when the other Jews who were also believers in HAMASHIACH heard what happened, they were angry that Peter went to unclean people, until peter explained what happened, the vision he saw, and also confirmed to them that these gentiles received the Holy Spirit as he was speaking and they were baptised. This was the baptism of the first gentiles. Read up Acts 10: 44 – 48 to confirm this.

Let us also consider this question in reference to Mark 7:19, which says,

For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) Mark 7:19 NIV

Now look at the King James Version.

“because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods” Mark 7:19 KJV

Notice that the phrase “In saying this, Jesus declared all foods ‘clean’” is not present in the King James Version. This is because that is a translator’s note that was added by the translators of the NIV (and a few other modern translations). If you look at the Greek text, you will not find that phrase anywhere. It is not present in any of the Greek manuscripts; it is an addition that was made by the translators.

This actually really bothers me, because so many people are being misled to think this is Scripture, when in fact it is simply a commentary by modern translators, but because it is inserted into the body of the text, instead of the footnotes, it gives the impression that it was actually part of the Scriptures. This is quite a deception, and unfortunately many people have been misled by this addition.

However, even if that phrase was in the original text, it still would not mean that YAHUSHA declared all animals to be food. It simply says that all foods are clean. If you go by the Biblical definition of food, you will see that pig, shrimp, crab, and rabbit (among many other things) are all listed as unclean for food. This means they are not even considered to be food.

Just because it is in our grocery store today does not mean it is considered to be food by YAH. This is why the phrase “YAHUSHA declared all foods ‘clean’” is so confusing to people today, because they see pork in the grocery store and on the menu at the restaurant, and so they think it is food. However, these same people would probably not consider rat, dog, vulture, bat, or skunk to be food. The reason for that is because of conditioning and habituation. We have been programmed to think certain things are food, when in reality they are not.

There is very little difference between the diet, lifestyle, and anatomy of a pig and a rat. They are both omnivores, they both live in filth, they will both eat anything including their own young. They will even eat faeces. Their bodies are full of toxins, diseases, and parasites. There are actually great health risks in being a pig farmer, and they must take special precautions when they are around the pigs, like wearing masks, gloves, and protective clothing. Many pig farms require employees to shower after leaving the pig area because the spread of disease is such a high risk when working with these animals. These are the same kinds of precautions that people would use when handling a rat.

Now, let’s examine the context of Mark 7, and you will see that the claim some make that “all animals are now clean” does not even fit the context of that chapter.

“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” Mark 7:1-5

So we see right here from the context of YAHUSHA’s teaching is in direct response to the Pharisees claim that the disciples must wash their hands before eating bread. This is not a commandment from the Scriptures, it is a “tradition of the elders”. Now listen to how YAHUSHA responds.

“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, THIS PEOPLE HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. HOWBEIT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. For laying aside the commandment of Elohim, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of Elohim, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:6-9

He is telling the Pharisees that their hand washing ritual is not based in the Commandments of YAH, and in fact it is a rejection of the commandments.

The entire context of Mark 7 is about eating bread with unwashed hands. Bread is already a clean food, and there is nothing we need to do to make it clean. There are no special rituals or prayers that must be said to purify our bread, because it is clean by definition. For someone to teach and require that special rituals be done before eating actually borders on witchcraft, and Messiah called them out on it.

Then he goes on to further explain what he is talking about:

“And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” Mark 7:14-15

But his disciples were a little confused about what he was saying, so they asked him to explain it for them.

“And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Mark 7:18-23

So, we see that he is saying that food is not what makes you unclean, even if you eat it with unwashed hands, because it just passes through your body. But, the things that come out of your heart is what makes you defiled. To the Pharisees, cleanliness is the result of special rituals, but according to the Messiah, cleanliness is about having a pure heart.

So, did Messiah declare all foods to be clean?
No, the translators of certain modern Bibles made that declaration.

Did Messiah declare all animals to be food?
No, that is an assumption based on faulty interpretation.

Is it wrong to wash our hands before we eat?
No, it is perfectly fine to wash your hands before you eat, but don’t think that it is a magic ritual that will somehow make your food clean. All you are doing by washing your hands is getting the dirt and germs off.

Will praying over what is harmful make it not harmful anymore?

NO. You are only being a fool and tempting YAH. Those with wisdom know what is food and what is not.

Seek His Holy Spirit today to guide and direct your life.

Shalom.

HOW YAHUSHA BECAME KNOWN AS JESUS

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Did you know that the name “Jesus” is less than 400 years old? Where did this name come from, and what was the original name of our Messiah?

In the Bible, names have significant meanings. For example, the name Abram means “exalted father”, but the name Abraham means “father of a multitude”. This is why YAH changed his name from Abram to Abraham saying,

“No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5

Likewise, the name of our Messiah has significant meaning. When the Angel of YAHUAH spoke to Yoceph about his son, he told Yoceph what to name the child, saying,

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name YAHUSHA, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

This is significant because the name “YAHUSHA” means “ YAHUAH cries out to Save or YAH has Saved”. The Angel was basically saying, “call Him YAH is Salvation because He will save His people from their sins.”

So, where did the name “Jesus” come from?

The spelling of the name “Jesus” has been in use for less than 400 years. This can easily be seen in the fact that the 1611 King James Version of the Bible still spelled His name “Iesous”, not “Jesus”. The name Iesous was used in Greek, Latin, and English until the 17th century, when the letter “J” was introduced as a replacement for the letter “I” when used as a consonant. However, it was still pronounced “Yea-soos” for many years before it eventually took on the “g” sound that we know today in the word “Jesus”. This means the pronunciation of the name “Jesus” is a very recent development in the English language.

Some people also claim that His name was changed to Jesus to hide the fact that He was a Jew since Jesus is based on a Greek name rather than a Hebrew name. While it is possible that there might be some truth to this claim, it is pretty far fetched to think that it was some grand conspiracy to hide the Jewishness of the messiah, since the Bible clearly tells us that the messiah was Jewish.

“For it is evident that our ADONAI arose from Yahudah, of which tribe Mosheh(Moses) spoke nothing concerning priesthood.” Hebrews 7:14

Likewise, the Gospels contain some pretty extensive genealogies that trace the Jewish lineage of the messiah back to a number of Old Testament Jewish people including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.

Unfortunately, despite these facts, some people remain unaware of the fact that Messiah was Jewish.

Is it wrong to call Him “Jesus”?

In my own opinion, it is wrong because it is not his name. I prefer to call Him by His one and only name, which is a Hebrew name: YAHUSHA, because it has such powerful meaning and significance. He is salvation and His name is Salvation! He has no other name except YAHUSHA. We can use millions of titles for Him but that does not and can not stand for or substitute His Sacred name.

I want anyone to know that it does not bother me if you use the name “Jesus”. But I will not call Him what Greek, Roman or English people chose to call Him. I will use the name given to Him by His Father which is above every other name.

I hope this teaching has helped to clear up some of the confusion about the name Jesus, and I hope it has given you a better understanding about how His name was messed up; from YAHUSHA to Jesus.

Shalom

 

SHOULD WE KEEP THE SABBATH?

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It is popular for Christians to say that the Sabbath has been done away with, or that we no longer need to keep the Sabbath. Some even say that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. However, none of these claims can be supported by Scripture. There is not a single verse in the entire Bible that tells us the Sabbath was ever changed or removed, and not one verse ever tells us to stop keeping the Sabbath. Yet, there are well over one hundred verses in the Bible that tell us to keep the Sabbath.

Here are my top 10 Scriptural reasons about why we should still be keeping the Sabbath.

10. THE SABBATH WAS ESTABLISHED AT CREATION

“And on the seventh day ELOHIYM ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then ELOHIYM blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which ELOHIYM had created and made.”
Bere’shiyth(Genesis) 2:2-3

9. THE SABBATH IS ONE OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of YAHUAH ELOHAYKA. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days YAHUAH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YAHUAH blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
– Exodus 20:8-11

8. THE SABBATH IS A SIGN BETWEEN ELOHIYM AND HIS PEOPLE

“ And YAHUAH spoke unto Mosheh, saying, Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am YAHUAH MEQODDISHKEM (YAHUAH who sanctifies you)… Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days YAHUAH made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”
– Exodus 31:12-17

“Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am YAHUAH MEQODDISHKEM (YAHUAH  who sanctifies them)… I am YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM(YAHUAH YOUR GOD): Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM(YAHUAH your God).”
– Ezekiel 20:12-20

7. THE SABBATH IS A GIFT TO US

And He said to them, “The Sabbath was MADE FOR MAN, and not man for the Sabbath.”
– Mark 2:27

“Moreover I also GAVE them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am YAHUAH who sanctifies them.”
– Ezekiel 20:12

6. YAHUAH BLESSES THOSE WHO KEEP THE SABBATH

“Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil. Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to EL-YAHUAH Speak, saying, “YAHUAH has utterly separated me from His people”; Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the YAHUAH: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant, Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to YAHUAH, to serve Him, And to love the name of YAHUAH, to be His servants – Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant – Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
– Isaiah 56:2-7

5. THE SABBATH WILL STILL BE KEPT IN THE NEW CREATION

“’For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says YAHUAH, ‘So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says YAHUAH.”
– Isaiah 66:22-23

4. WE ARE COMMANDED TO REMEMBER THE SABBATH

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
– Exodus 20:8

3. TO FORGET OR CEASE THE SABBATH IS A PUNISHMENT IN ITSELF

“He has done violence to His tabernacle, As if it were a garden; He has destroyed His place of assembly; YAHUAH has caused The appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion. In His burning indignation He has spurned the king and the priest.”
– Lamentations 2:6

“‘I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths – All her appointed feasts… I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,’ says YAHUAH.”
– Hosea 2:11-13

2. YAHUSHA, Paul, AND GENTILE CONVERTS KEPT THE SABBATH

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”
– Luke 4:16

“So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath… On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of YAHUAH.”
– Acts 13:42-44

“Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,”
– Acts 17:2

“And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.”
– Acts 18:4

1. THE BIBLE NEVER SAYS TO STOP KEEPING THE SABBATH

“Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a PERPETUAL covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel FOREVER; for in six days YAHUAH made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
– Exodus 31:16-17

And here is a bonus scripture:

FALSE PRIESTS DO NOT KEEP THE SABBATH

“Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.”
– Ezekiel 22:26

I hope you enjoyed this top 10, and if you are not currently keeping the Sabbath, I pray this write-up has challenged you to consider doing so.

Shalom.

DO BLESSINGS REALLY EQUAL RICHES?

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Anytime someone speaks about blessings, we have been conditioned to think about money, but is that really what the Bible is talking about when it says we will be blessed? Do blessings really equal riches?

Prosperity preachers are always preaching that YAH(God) wants to bless us with wealth. As a result of these teachings, many people are looking for financial “blessings”, but the Bible says,

“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”           1 Timothy 6:10

Remember also that YAHUSHA said,

“it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:23

If money is so dangerous and destructive, then why do we think YAH(GOD) wants to give us more of it?

Entering the kingdom of YAHUAH is the ultimate blessing, but YAHUSHA said the rich will have much difficulty entering the kingdom. So, in what way is it a blessing to be rich? If wealth is a blessing from YAH, then the rich people should have no problem entering the kingdom, yet the Bible says,

“Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of YAHUAH.” Luke 6:20

How can we say is it a blessing to have riches if the Bible says the poor are blessed?

YAHUSHA taught us to pray, “Give us each day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11, which is a quote from Proverbs 30, that says,

“give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is YAHUAH?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my ELOHIYM.” Proverb 30:8-9

According to this proverb and YAHUSHA’s prayer, we should only desire “daily bread”, because riches will lead us away from YAH and poverty might lead us to steal. Our prayer should be that YAH would provide us with what we need, nothing more, nothing less. Our desire should not be for wealth and riches, they corrupt and lead us away from YAH.

Why would we conclude that YAH wants to give us more money if money is so dangerous and corrupt?

While I do believe that YAH provides for His people, and that provision often includes finances, jobs, etc., those financial provisions are not what the Bible calls “blessings”.

So, What Does The Bible Call A Blessing?

We need to take a close look at what the Bible calls a “blessing”, so that we are not deceived by false teachings.

The first mention of blessings is in Genesis, when YAH blesses the animals, telling them to:

“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Genesis 1:22

Shortly after that, YAH gives the same blessing to Adam and Eve, saying,

“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” Genesis 1:28

Likewise, after the flood, YAH also gave the same blessing to Noah and his family, saying,

“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Genesis 9:1

So far, blessings are all about fruitfulness and multiplication of life, so keep that in mind as we look at other mentions of blessings in the Bible.

YAH told Abraham,

“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great, And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3

YAH also blessed Ismael, saying,

”I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly.” Genesis 17:20

When Rebekah left to marry Isaac, her family blessed her saying,

“Our sister, may you become The mother of thousands of ten thousands” Genesis 24:60

Likewise, when Leah gave birth to Asher, she said,

“the daughters will call me blessed.” Genesis 30:13

The Psalms also tell us that:

“Sons are a heritage from YAHUAH, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalms 127:3-5

The Bible continuously connects blessings with life and curses with death.

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” Deuteronomy 30:19

There is a consistent theme of fruitfulness, health, and life connected to blessings throughout the Bible.

“Worship YAHUAH your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.” Exodus 23:25-26

Eternal life is the ultimate blessing because it is life without end.

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power…” Revelation 20:6

And we will receive this blessing by doing YAH’s commandments,

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life…” Revelation 22:14

We see this same theme in YAHUSHA’s sermon on the mount, in which He speaks of immaterial blessings such as comfort, righteousness, and mercy, as well as heavenly kingdom rewards such as seeing YAH, being called children of YAH, and inheriting the earth.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of YAHUAH. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the Meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the Merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the Pure in heart, For they shall see YAH. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of YAH. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of YAHUAH. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

Listen to the warning from the parable of the seeds:

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22

Notice that riches are deceitful, and cause the seed to be unfruitful, however, the Bible equates blessings with fruitfulness. This creates some major contradictions for those who teach that money and riches are a blessing from YAH.

To better understand blessings, we must also look at what the Bible describes as curses.

What Does The Bible Call Curse?

The first two curses that affected humans were when YAH cursed the ground and when He cursed the woman’s womb. The ground was cursed so that it would require hard labor to produce fruit, and that it would also produce thorns and thistles. Before this, the ground produced fruit without labor, but afterward, it required the man to labor for his food. Likewise, the womb was cursed so that the woman would have pain in childbirth. Notice that both of these curses cause difficulty and pain in producing life.

There is a lengthy section in Deuteronomy that speaks about all of the things that will cause a person to be cursed, such as setting up an idol, sexual immorality, and acts of malice or violence that harm another. Then it explains what this curse will be.

“The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.” Deuteronomy 28:18

Notice it is the offspring, the produce, and the fruitfulness that is being cursed. A curse is something that goes against life.

Likewise, when YAHUSHA cursed a fig tree, it withered and died. The tree was not being fruitful, so He cursed it, and the curse resulted in its death.

Biblical blessings bring life, health, growth, and reproduction, and curses bring death, sickness, barrenness, and impotence.

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” Deuteronomy 30:19

I hope this has caused you to rethink blessings and curses, and I also hope it has caused you to put less importance on money, and more importance on the things that matter – the things that bring life and true blessings.

Shalom.

THE TRUTH ABOUT TITHING

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It is popular in Christian churches to teach that we must tithe 10% of our paycheck to the church, but is this really what the Bible teaches? I find it quite ironic (and hypocritical) that the churches who teach that the Law is abolished are the same ones who teach that you must pay them a tithe from your income. This teaching is quite popular because it ensures a steady income for the pastors, but is it Biblical?

What does the Bible actually tell us about tithing? The Torah instructions concerning the tithe are always about produce, grain, and livestock.

“And all the tithe of the LAND, whether of the SEED of the land or of the FRUIT of the TREE, is the Lord’s. It is holy to YAHUAH… And concerning the tithe of the HERD or the FLOCK, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to YAHUAH.”
Leviticus 27:30-32

Notice it is the tenth animal that you tithe on. This means if you only have 9 cows, you do not give a tithe of your cows, and if you have 19 sheep, you are required to give only one of them as a tithe.

Some people will argue that the tithe was only produce and animals at that time because they did not have money, but that is completely untrue. We see in Genesis that money was commonly used. Abraham had gold and silver, and he purchased a plot of land to bury Sarah when she died.

“and he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will give it, please hear me. I will give you money for the field; take it from me and I will bury my dead there.”
Genesis 23:13

Also, when Joseph was working for Pharaoh, he sold food for money, and when his brothers came to buy food, he had the money placed back into their bags.

“Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them.”
Genesis 42:25

We also know that when the census was taken, it was required that each person give one half-shekel as an offering to YAHUAH, and it was not based on how much wealth a person had, but it was a flat tax that everyone paid.

“When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to YAHUAH, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to YAHUAH. Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to YAHUAH. The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to YAHUAH, to make atonement for yourselves.”– Exodus 30:12-15

So, we see in this particular instance, YAH specifically asked for money, but this was not a tithe. This was a specific case in which money was requested by YAH for taking a census. However, money was not to be taken for tithe. In fact, there is an exception that is made that specifically mentions money and how it is to be used concerning the tithe.

“But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where YAHUAH your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when YAHUAH your God has blessed you, then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which YAHUAH your God chooses. And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before YAHUAH your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”
Deuteronomy 14:24-26

So, we see that the only time money can be used in connection with tithes is when the journey is too far to carry your produce and cattle, then you can sell your tithes for money, and take the money on your journey so that you can buy food and beverages for your tithe. Notice also that this tithe is to be eaten by you, because it is for you to celebrate the Feasts of YAHUAH, such as Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

Even in the New Testament, when it mentions tithe, it is always in the context of produce (not money).

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of MINT and ANISE and CUMMIN, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
Matthew 23:23

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe MINT and RUE and all manner of HERBS, and pass by justice and the love of YAH. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
Luke 11:42

So, if your preacher asks you for your tithe, I guess you can give him a salad because the only tithe mentioned in the New Testament was items from a garden.

So, what is the purpose of the Tithe? Why did YAH tell Israel to tithe, and who was the tithe for? The Bible explains that the tithe was given to the Levites to eat because they did not receive a land inheritance. All of the other tribes were given land, so they could grow crops and raise livestock, but the Levites were appointed to serve in the Temple and did not have any land to grow their own food. So, YAH set up the tithes as a way to provide food for the Levites.

“Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to YAHUAH, a tenth of the tithe… You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting.”
Numbers 18:26-31

The tithe was for the Levites. It was not given to the rabbis or teachers unless of course, they were Levites. In fact, YAHUSHA never received tithes from anyone, because He was not a Levite. Even today, Jewish rabbis do not collect tithes, because they understand that the tithes are for the Levites serving in the Temple, not the rabbis.

So, why do so many preachers impose and require tithes from their congregations? There are two main reasons that I have found.

In most cases, the preacher has inherited lies too, and he does not realize that he is taking illegal tithes. He does it because that is the way it has been done for centuries. These preachers need to have their eyes opened to the truth.

However, in some cases, the preacher is greedy and deceptive, deliberately twisting the Scriptures to their advantage, and manipulating people into giving them 10% of their income. These men are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

They prey on the poor, telling them “if you give from your poverty, YAH will bless you with wealth.” They also like to prey on the emotions of the people by twisting the words of Malachi concerning tithes. However, when we look at the context of what Malachi was saying, we see that he was talking about tithes of produce and grain in the storehouse.

“Will a man rob YAH? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says YAHUAH of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”
Malachi 3:8-10

Malachi is not talking about blessing us with money as the prosperity preachers claim. He is talking about YAH blessing us with an abundance of produce and livestock.

The Biblical tithe is part of the Temple service and is meant for the Levites and the poor. The tithe was never given to rabbis or teachers. However, there is a need for financial support for true ministry and the Bible does speak about this type of giving.

“Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen YAH is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless, we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of HAMASHIACH. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so, YAHUAH has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”
1 Corinthians 9:6-14

If there is a ministry that you like, that is helping you to grow in your faith, then you should support that ministry because without adequate support that ministry will not be able to sustain itself. However, this type of support is not a “tithe”. If someone is dedicating their life to teaching and spreading the truth of the Bible, is it too much to ask for those who have benefited from their ministry to give a donation to help support the work of that ministry?

We should be people who are willing to give and help others in need, especially if they are doing YAH’s work. But, you are not obligated to give 10% of your income. Any gift you give to support a ministry is a love gift, and you are free to give any amount you desire. This type of giving is not compulsory but is done out of a desire to help support the kingdom work.

I hope this teaching has helped to clear up the subject of tithing and has given you a new perspective on giving to support a ministry or called out assembly or church whichever you chose to call it.