18 Months Past the Cross

Looking Through a New Lens
18 Months Past the Cross
By: Terrie C

September 10th marked 18 months since I walked past the cross, and all of Christianity’s teachings. It’s been a time of growth for me in the places I didn’t even know I needed growth. For the first time since I started walking with God 12 years ago, matters of the spirit make sense to me! This path has led me to self-discovery, a necessity that facilitates my interactions with my Creator. We can only transcend that which we know. Without understanding of self, how can we fully connect with anyone? After I stopped trying to cram a demi-god into the Torah Scriptures, a clearer picture of faith and belief emerged. After I realized that “original sin” wasn’t an original concept in Scripture, I was able to look at my own sin in a different way. I was not born prone to sin. I was born with the capacity to do good or do evil. And with the free will to make that choice every day. Several times a day, as a matter of fact! Getting rid of the “original sin” doctrine was just one area of clarification on my journey down this ancient path. Without the so-called “new” Testament in my studies, other doctrines that used to be stumbling blocks for me are gone, too. Some have taken longer than others to “shake”, and I deal with each of those as they surface in my life. So, what’s so different in my spiritual life, other than the fact that I no longer call Yeshua (Jesus) my Lord and Savior? Everything! Here are some of the doctrines from the “NT” that I no longer hold, and that no longer hold me.

Blood is the only atonement for sin (from the book of Hebrews).

Hogwash! Search it out in the Tanakh (the “Old” Testament). Do a study on the sacrifices. It’s eye-opening! While you’re there, note what The Almighty says about human sacrifice. Saying Yeshua wasn’t human, but God Himself, doesn’t work, either. Our God has no form, is not a man and cannot die. Nor does He forgive a sin before we’ve even committed it. Forgiveness comes after repentance, period.

Christians will do what Yeshua “did”, and more (from John 14).

Gosh, this one should be self-evident in its wrongness, but yet it is a doctrine still clung to by the church. If this doctrine was accurate, we wouldn’t still be attending untimely funerals. There wouldn’t be hospitals for children with cancer. No one would go to bed hungry tonight. Search out miracles and healing in the Tanakh and you will find they are all of God, by God and (here’s a kicker) FOR God.

Satan seeks to devour us (from 1 Peter).

Christianity gives so much power to this “supernatural” creature! Enough power to usurp God’s authority and to devour God’s own children. The Tanakh calls this force our adversary, even our accuser. It can be a person, or  a spiritual force, but an adversary is NEVER above the Creator of all. In fact, every adversary that comes against us is sent by God. This can be for testing, for maturation, or even to knock us off our “high horse” when we get to believing we’re more righteous than we actually are. If we walk around simply rebuking this force (like the book of James instructs)  we are missing out on some valuable learning opportunities! God has no formidable opponent and no equal. Never has, never will.

“When two or more agree in prayer, God will hear and grant the prayer” (from Matthew)

Again, the evidence speaks for itself. This is not how prayer works, and certainly not how God works. He most definitely answers prayer, but not because of any formula of man’s making. Truth be told, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Proverbs 28) We should think on that before we petition Him in prayer for ourselves or on behalf of another.

These, my friends, were just some of the doctrines I’ve had to cleanse from my system! There are more, but these are right on top of my pile. I’d be interested to learn which doctrines were paramount for you to let go of when you came to call only YHVH your redemption, salvation and hope. Your comments and questions are so important!

18 months ago, I didn’t have a clue of just how much change was in store for me! I decided then that I wouldn’t move forward in my journey until I’d completed a Torah cycle without Yeshua’s blood splashed all over the pages. I’d been told to “take it on faith” that he belonged in those Torah Portions, but without him, the story becomes so much clearer! We’re almost to the end of the Torah cycle I had decided to remain still for, and simply know that God is One. Without my even realizing it, God has nudged me in a specific direction, and I am excited about that! In fact, I am excited for each new day I’m granted. In every new day, I am granted the opportunity to learn more about God, to put my knowledge into practice, and to examine my deeds and motives through this new lens! Life is good 🙂

I’ll “see” you soon, friends! ~Terrie C

 

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Christian Discrepancies With God’s Word: #5 Sin Sacrifice

sinoftheworldsmall

Center for Tanakh Based Studies

By: William Jackson

The blood of Christ: Christianity states that Jesus was our sin sacrifice.

“…Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)

“…Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many…” (Hebrews 9:28)

“…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

“…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

The Blood sacrifice: When these above verses point towards a blood sacrifice they are probably consulting Leviticus 17:11, here it states

” For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.”

However, if we read things in context, this is talking about the sin of consuming blood (Leviticus 17:10-12).  Actually, the Christian religion is guilty of this infraction within their practices.    

Other Sacrifices to atone for sins: We seem to forget that the Torah presents other sacrifices that would atone for sin, not just blood.

Incense, Numbers 16:46-47

Giving charity, Exodus 30:15-16 and Numbers 31:50

Flour, Leviticus 5:11

Is a sacrifice required? God states that a sin sacrifice is not required.  He does, however, says that we need to repent.

“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3)

“Does Adonai take as much pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying what Adonai says? Surely obeying is better than sacrifice, and heeding orders than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15: 22)

“For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)

“My sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; God, you won’t spurn a broken, chastened heart.” (Psalm 51:19[17])

Conclusion:

As we read the new testament we see that Christianity hinges its theology on “the sin sacrifice”.  That is the purpose and reason behind their messiah, Jesus.  Even when we look at the building of the Temple, many might say its sole purpose was to sacrifice to God.  This is why Jesus said he would destroy it and take its place; Matthew 26:60-61, Mark 14:58, John 2:19.  But, during Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, the King talked about praying towards God for forgiveness (1 Kings 8:38-39), not sin sacrifice.  In short; God wants our repented heart, not a human sacrifice.  Nothing in Tanakh (God’s Word) validates the new testament concept (man’s word).

 

Please read our previous articles on this topic:

Christian Discrepancies With God’s Word: #1 The Blood

Christian Discrepancies with God’s Word: #2 Human Sacrifice

Discrepancies wit(h God’s Word: #3 The Second Coming

Christian Discrepancies With God’s Word: #4 Honoring Your Parents

Christian Discrepancies With God’s Word: #4 Honoring Your Parents

let-the-dead-bury-the-dead

Center for Tanakh Based Studies

By: William Jackson

Luke 12:51-53 Tell us that the Christian messiah not only didn’t bring peace but he brought war.  This contradicts the Tanakh’s qualifiers as the Messiah (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11:1-9, Ezekiel 40-48, Daniel 2:44, Zechariah 14)1. This, however, is not the worst violation; he goes onto contradict Torah.  In verse 53 he states “…  father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother…”.  Matthew 10:21-22 spurs on this same mindset. As we look earlier in Luke, we see Jesus getting frustrated with followers.  He makes an ultimatum with one man; either bury your father or follow me, to another he denies him the opportunity to bid farewell to his family (Luke 9:59-62).  The difference between the Tanakh and Christian writings is that Christ has people choose between family and Jesus, whereas God’s Word has His followers embrace family (Exodus 20:12, 21:17, Leviticus 19:3, Deuteronomy 5:16, Proverbs 1:8, 30:17).

In Exodus 20:12 the word for “honoring” your parents is “kabed” which also means to be heavy, weighty, or burdensome2. That really makes the word honoring not seem very warm and loving.  It actually makes it feel more like commitment.  But; maybe it is.  If honoring was effortless, requiring no energy or thought, why would we be demanded to give it.  We would just do it. Honoring means to donate time and be respectful (even when you don’t want to).

Also, lets us not view honoring somebody by blindly doing it “their way” and denying our own rights.  Honoring is to respect, and by being insincere or pretending to be somebody we are not, we are not being respectful.  Honoring, also is about patience and humility. Think about a boss who is open minded enough to listen to you. If you disagree with him, you would find a tactful way to address the issue while leaving everyone’s dignity intact. Remember you can honor somebody and still “agree to not agree” with them.

So, why did Jesus contradict the Torah and encourage families to be pitted against one another? A possibility was to preserve his new religion. If we look back at that period of time, we will see that Christianity saw itself as a branch that grew out of Judaism.  Many of the first converts were Jewish, i.e. the apostilles and Paul. Assuredly many Jewish parents fought to keep their daughters and son steeped in pure Judaism and saw Christianity as idolatry because they worship a human deity.  In order for these converts to follow this movement they would have to be encouraged to break from their families.  Thus Christianity needed to compromise Torah to in order to be advanced.

Conclusion:

Just to bring this into reality, my parents are not religious people.  It was easy for me to get frustrated with them or to tune their opinions out.  However, now I sit patiently and hear their point of view.  In response they listen to mine.  The other day they challenged the idea of a worldwide flood.  I did not respond by quoting Genesis 7, instead I gave the scientific proof3 ,that there was a flood of biblical proportions.  Since they are factual people they actually became very attentive and starting asking questions.  In honoring our parents, we should be led by our brains not our hearts; “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).  Thus follow His laws, not your heart.  Additionally, no messiah should ever tell us to break Torah.

Please read our previous articles on this topic:

Christian Discrepancies With God’s Word: #1 The Blood

Christian Discrepancies with God’s Word: #2 Human Sacrifice

Discrepancies with God’s Word: #3 The Second Coming

References

  1. “Prophecy.” No Peace, No Messiah. Chosen People Ministry, N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.

 

  1. “Exodus 20:12 Lexicon: “Honor Your Father and Your Mother, That Your Days May Be Prolonged in the Land Which the LORD Your God Gives You.” Exodus 20:12 Lexicon: “Honor Your Father and Your Mother, That Your Days May Be Prolonged in the Land Which the LORD Your God Gives You. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.

 

  1. “Worldwide Flood, Worldwide Evidence.” Answers in Genesis. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.

Past the Cross – What if I’m Wrong?

Looking Through a New LensPast the Cross – What if I’m Wrong?
By: Terrie C

It is never a lack of material to discuss relating to my experience of walking past the cross that prompts me to run a “repeat” here on my blog. I am, however, occasionally prompted to do so. Every day, more people are walking away from the church system and the “messianic movement” as they discover that the so-called “new testament” is in direct conflict with God’s Torah (contained within the Tanakh). Because Christianity instilled  such a fear of a so-called “hell” in us, and hammered their “one way to God”  message so hard, the most frequent thought of someone who’s walked past that cross is often “What if I’m wrong?” It is for that reason I “rerun” this post today. It’s a good question. One we should have an answer for. I share my own answer, albeit a rerun, so that brand new eyes can see it. May my experience encourage you to find your own questions and answers…both are so important!  

 

WHAT IF I’M WRONG?  

 

A good friend and I have an elephant in the room with us that neither mentions. She knows about me walking away from the cross, but she remains firmly rooted under it. We haven’t had a “religious” discussion since the one we had on the day I told her I no longer considered  Yeshua my Lord or Savior.

~ I even I, am YHVH; And beside Me there is no saviour.~ (from Isaiah 43)

The one thing we want to say to each other but don’t  is, I’m sure:

WHAT IF YOU’RE WRONG???

Before I dive in, a little disclaimer, of sorts. Let the record show that I have been wrong before!

I was wrong when I was ten years old, and I prayed that a perfect, loving God might stop the things that made childhood a nightmare for me. That wrongness is not my fault, I won’t claim it. It was taught to me in church. I colored pictures of a man they said was God calming stormy seas. I could count on him to calm my stormy seas, too, they taught me. If the things that ruined my childhood weren’t stormy seas, then I didn’t know what was! And so I prayed for the calm, and still was nearly drowned everyday by waves. Because of that wrongness, I grew into an adult that thought IF God existed, He wasn’t concerned about a certain little girl, or the many others I knew who’d suffered even worse upbringings than my own. Wrong, wrong wrong!

 

I was wrong when in my twenties and thirties, when I openly denied God’s sovereignty. I take full responsibility for that wrongness, because plenty of people tried to explain the reasons they believed He was sovereign, and I didn’t pick up a Bible to find out for myself. As an adult, it was on me to relook at beliefs I had fostered as a child. At some point, we cannot blame our past for our present. That wrongness caused me to leave a trail of destruction in every life I touched. I’m still paying the price for it today, as are many other people on account of my actions. Wrong, wrong wrong!

 

I was wrong when I first began walking with God. I didn’t question anything I was hearing from the church, I just accepted it at face value. I even started reading the Bible in the place “they” suggested, in the chapters that have become known as the “new testament”. Reading like that, with Genesis following Revelation instead of preceding it, had me in a frame of mind to connect the “old” to the “new” instead of the other way around. It was easy to cram Jesus into every story, even though I had the niggling feeling he didn’t fit there. “Take him on faith” they told me. It doesn’t have to make sense! “Just believe!” Wrong, wrong, wrong!

 

Then I became a “Messianic Christian”. I was getting warmer, but still wrong, nonetheless. I know a lot of people in that religion who call themselves a “Messianic Jew”, but that isn’t accurate. If one believes Jesus is the messiah who will reign in the end of days, they are Christian, no matter what slant they add to that. A Jew, a truly Jewish Jew, believes the messiah has not yet come. But I digress. I learned that the instructions in Torah were still very much valid. When I was “Messianic” I began calling Jesus “Yeshua” added tzitzit and a tallit to my mental picture of him, and still called him “Savior” all the while ignoring the Scriptures that said YHVH was not a man, had no image, does not share HIS glory and could not die. I was….Wrong, wrong wrong!

 

Not only have I been wrong, there were times I refused to even accept that I COULD be wrong! Perhaps that was my worst “wrong” of all. When I finally came to the end of myself, I came to The Father with this prayer:

 

~Father, I want to know the truth, even if (especially if), I am wrong. Show me in Your Torah who Yeshua is to me, and show me Your truth. Amen~

 

I prayed that prayer twice a day and examined Scripture with a new lens for a full year.

 

And that, my friends, is exactly when the “showing” began! I learned to compare the “new” to the “old” instead of the other way around, and everything changed! Have I got it all figured out? Why would I need YHVH at all if I did? His ways are above my ways, and His thinking is above my own. But I have figured out a few things. The first and main thing is that YHVH is ONE. Echad, in the Hebrew language. Indivisible by any whole number, and certainly not a “three in one” entity! I am grasping other concepts, too, regarding “original sin”, hell, and even Heaven. I am learning that my deeds are more important than my beliefs, and there are things that are “earned” and not given based on my “faith”. But I may yet have some wrong ideas that will be corrected through Scripture study, prayer, and the willingness to be wrong. After all, walking with my Creator is a lifetime journey, not a formula to an eternal reward.

 

And so, yes, I may be wrong. What then? What if I die tomorrow, with no more knowledge than I have today of what is truth? What if Christianity is right, and this omnipotent God really did go against His own Torah by fashioning only one “door” to Himself through a flesh and blood man, who is by definition, a demi-god? How might the conversation go when I am called before the Creator of all, if I am wrong? Believe me when I say I’ve wondered this very thing!  

 

God: Terrie, you have said that you will call no one “God” but me, or attribute My glory to another.

Me: That’s true. I base this on what Your Torah says, what the prophets say and what the Psalms and Proverbs say.

God: Terrie, you have believed that the way to redemption and forgiveness is through repentance, obedience and atonement on Yom Kippur.

Me: Yes, My King! Again, I base this belief on Your Torah, Your prophets, and the Psalms and Proverbs.

God: You say there is no other Name by which your salvation comes.

Me: Yes, Master. Over and over again, that is what Your Tanakh says. You have no equal. No one is beside You. There is no other Name by which I am saved.

God: You refused a human sacrifice for your salvation.

Me: Yes, Creator of all! Your Torah calls human sacrifice abomination.

God: You believe the New Covenant will be written on your heart, not penned in an addendum at the end of my Tanakh.

Me: So says Your prophet Jeremiah.

 

At this point, would it even fit with YHVH’s character to say this?

 

God: That’s it! You believed My words, you believed My Torah, you believed My prophets and the Writings, and you lived as though My Name was the only Name by which your salvation comes… Now you will burn in hell eternally for it!

 

Friends, that just doesn’t add up! Does it?

 

I know I’ve got some points I’m wrong in. Part of my daily prayer is to grow in understanding and wisdom. I’m not afraid to stand wrong in front my Creator one day. The day is coming when knowledge of our God will be universal. He doesn’t expect me to understand all there is to understand about Him until that day comes. What He DOES expect me to understand, in my humble opinion, is that there is One True God, and His Name is YHVH.

 

I’ll leave it to my friend to search out her own possible wrongness. After all, my own journey is the only one I’ll be held accountable for. I hope and pray that she’ll begin with the definition of idolatry. Saying Jesus is equal to YHVH, attributing salvation to him, calling him healer, or calling him King is idolatry. Giving satan any power, or even thinking he is a worthy opponent of YHVH, is idolatry. Thinking there is another plan for “salvation” other than what the Tanakh says is idolatry. Since the beginning, it is something our God hates and demolishes. If I do stand wrong before Him one day, it will NOT be because of idolatry! The “spark” that makes me “me” belongs to my Creator, YHVH. It is my soul, which came from Him and will return to Him. I trust Him completely with it, here in this world, and in the world to come! I will give glory to no other Name than the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. If that makes me wrong, I am in good company. The very ones who have guarded His Torah since it was given from Mount Sinai, and the very ones to whom men of all nations  will cling in the end of times to learn about God (Zechariah 8), also reject the demi-god named Jesus/Yeshua. I stand firmly with them!

Delivering Judgement

scolding

Center for Tanakh Based Studies

By: William Jackson

Last week we discussed how we are to judge people1.  This is something that is encouraged in Leviticus 19:15-19, Proverbs 9:8, 27:5-6, 31:9Leviticus 19:16 even goes onto say “…don’t stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake…” Basically, don’t be an enabler2 by allowing somebody to stay within their own sin. Conversely, Leviticus 19:18 tell us to not take vengeance or bear a grudge on the guilty party but to love them.  Way too many people think that they have to be mad at someone in order to confront an issue, in Leviticus the opposite is true.  Remember, they maybe in sin, but depending on how you handle yourself you might also become guilty of sin.  Here are four biblical steps that will help you help your brother while keeping in God’s graces.

  1. Environment:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1)

Create the right setting:    Far too many times we unleash our criticism when we are angry.  In anger, we can usually justify scolding another person.  However, these confrontations turn into our need to vent, which becomes our transgression (Ecclesiastes 7:9, Psalms 37:8, Proverbs 15:1,18, 19:11).

Select a time and place to talk with them.  Select a place that is not public and a time that will facilitate the best opportunity for reflection.  It is better to talk to somebody at the end of the day before their drive home verses before they start a new project.  Likewise, talking to a family member in the car on a drive is the best environment.  It makes them a captive audience and gives you a better opportunity for dialog.

There may not always be time for the best location, so do the best possible.

  1. Focus on the Issue:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11)

Focus on the sin and not the person, …don’t make it personal.  For example, it is better to state:

“I don’t think that action reflects who you really want to be as follower of God”

Vs.

“That sin makes you (lazy, a liar, a thief, a hypocrite, a gossip …etc.)

Although shaming someone might feel that it is within your rights, it is not Godly and therefore counterproductive (Proverbs 12:4, Leviticus 25:17)

A technique is to start with a compliment, this will make your counselee more receptive and put you in a more productive mindset.

  1. Be specific:

“When words are many, sin is not lacking; so he who controls his speech is wise” (Proverbs 10:19)

Some people spend so much time softening the blow that the point either is missed or made unimportant. Get straight to the point by being direct, yet nonabrasive. Rehearse it in your head first.

Make it about God, not about your opinion. Address where the violation is at in scripture, preferably more than one verse.

  1. Accountability:

“… The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18:20)

Address how we are all accountable for your own actions.  A good example of this is how God tells Cain that he is responsible for mastering over his own sin (Genesis 4:7).

At the end of the day you are not responsible for them being in denial. However, if their sin will physically harm somebody you do have a responsibility to warn possible victims (Leviticus 19:16).  However, as painful as it would be, make sure the wrongdoer knows your intentions (Proverbs 11:13, 20:19, 25:9), this could cause a possible deterrent.

Conclusion:

Confrontation should not be impulsive.  If it is, it may only solve your frustration for a moment but the issue may still persist.  Taking the time out to do it so that the real concern becomes addressed, is an investment that will yield better results. Just remember “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

References:

  1. Jackson, William J, Judging, Center for Tanakh Based Studies, 30 Aug. 2016.
  1. “Enabler”, Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2016.