FAQ

Throughout this flip-flopped faith journey, many questions have probed not just my mind, but the minds of others. These frequently asked faith questions may help you understand my outlook on this journey as well as challenge yours. Many shalom and blessings as you continue to seek the One True God with all your being!

Who is a Jew?

The term “Jew” comes from Judah as in the tribe of Judah. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, had twelve sons from various women and each son, such as Judah, became a tribe (Genesis 35:23-26). Years later, due to many rebelling and worshiping pagan gods, the twelve tribes had a family feud and split into two kingdoms in the land of Israel/Canaan (1 Kings 11-12). The Northern Kingdom was comprised of ten tribes while the Southern Kingdom was primarily comprised of the tribe of Judah, but also the tribe of Benjamin, as well as the Levites. Some from the Northern Kingdom relocated to the Southern Kingdom when it became apparent the Northern Kingdom was becoming increasingly rebellious against God’s laws and also worshiping other gods. Eventually, despite prophets like Isaiah warning them to repent, the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity by the Assyrians and assimilated into the nations never to be regathered again (until a future time unfulfilled just yet, according to Ezekiel 37). Meanwhile, the Southern Kingdom, which evolved into being known as Jews, has withstood not only the Babylonian captivity, but persecutions throughout human history. Despite the never ending oppression and persecution of Jews, they constantly overcome proving God is real as He keeps His eternal covenants.

Interestingly, Abraham, known as the father of the Jews, was not technically Jewish, but rather came from a pagan religion. However, he was called or chosen by God to leave all that he knew to follow God (Genesis 12). Overtime, God revealed more of Himself and His ways to Abraham and his descendants, particularly when they sojourned the wilderness for 40 years. For example, the first instruction God introduced to the Israelites was the importance of resting on Sabbath (see Exodus 16). Equally fascinating is how some Egyptians or those of other religions abandoned all that they knew to enjoin themselves to Israel. Various Scriptures reveal anyone who enjoined themselves with Israel for whatever reason were to also obey the terms of the covenant and were just as blessed (Exodus 12:37-38, 49; Leviticus 18:26; Numbers 14:24,15:13-16,26-31; Ruth 4:11-22; Isaiah 56; Ezekiel 47:21-23, as a few examples).

Like Abraham, others throughout the Bible such as Caleb (Numbers 32:11-12, 14:24) and Ruth (Ruth 1), were not born Jewish, but committed themselves to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as His ways and therefore, are considered Jewish, or what Judaism refers to as “Jews-By-Choice”. Similarly, Isaiah 56 repeatedly refers to foreigners or those not born as Jews or natural Israelites, but choose to enjoin themselves with God, His covenant, and His people, as “better than sons and daughters”. In other words, according to Isaiah 56, and the accounts of Abraham, Caleb, and Ruth, those who are not born into God’s family, but are adopted in, are regarded in high-esteem in God’s opinion. Who chose who? Did us Gentiles choose God or did God not only chose the Israelites, but also the foreigners or strangers to join them?

What are Jews “chosen” for? Chosen to do what exactly?

Scripture tells us the Israelites, who later evolved into being known as Jews, were not chosen because they were great or mighty, but rather just the opposite (Deuteronomy 7:6-11). He chose them because they were small in number, not because of their virtues (Deuteronomy 9:3-5), but more importantly, because He made a promise to their ancestor, Abraham. Moreover, the Israelites/Hebrews, now known as Jews, were chosen to be keepers and teachers of Torah showing the world the way of salvation (Isaiah 42, 49). They were chosen to be the light as they both learn and teach the world how God defines light. Not only is Torah defined as light (Psalm 119:105-106; Proverbs 6:23), the way/path/sacred highway (Psalm 119:1,3,15-16,27,30,33,35; Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 35:8-10), righteousness (Deuteronomy 6:25; Isaiah 26:8-9), eternal (Psalm 119:160), and so on, but it defines how God wants us to love Him and others for they are all about loving God and or loving others. Eventually, the world not only gravitates to Jews (Zechariah 8), the world/nations/Gentiles realize they inherited lies (Jeremiah 16:9), but also the world “learns righteousness” (Isaiah 26:8-10) as Torah is taught (Isaiah 2; Micah 4; Ezekiel 44) and enforced (Zechariah 14:16+; Ezekiel 44). Jews are chosen to lead in love as they both be and teach the light to the dark world, though some Jews are unaware of such a calling, sadly.

Have you officially converted and if so, what denomination of Judaism do you associate with?

It may surprise some Christians to learn Judaism has several different denominations and movements within Judaism. As a former Christian, I found that a bit daunting trying to discern what the different branches, denominations, or movements believed and why. In fact, I am still learning new perspectives from the different denominations. I have found it interesting and frustrating that some seem to add to God’s Torah making more commandments while others disregard God’s commandments found in Torah something God specifically said not to do in Deuteronomy 13:1 (or Deuteronomy 12:32 if you have a Christian Bible). Nevertheless, I have gleaned valuable insight from all the denominations and still listen to, watch, or read materials from a variety of Jewish sources and denominations within Judaism. If I had to label myself by a particular denomination or Jewish movement it might be Karaite, the minority within the minority, with Renewal or Reform style of music. More importantly, I strive to follow God’s instructions found in Torah and reiterated or demonstrated in other Biblical texts such as the prophets, psalms, proverbs, etc. Technically, I have not converted to any form of Judaism as conversion as it is known today is more or less a man-made process whereas the Tanakh doesn’t detail a conversion process other than committing oneself to God’s terms found in the covenant and circumcision. As a woman, circumcision does not apply to me, but I have committed myself to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and uphold the terms of the covenant to the best of my ability. Therefore, in God’s eyes, I have converted though not necessarily according to man’s standards.

Do you believe Gentiles are only obligated to adhere to the Noahide Laws?

I have written a detailed article with a plethora of Scripture explaining my understanding of Scripture regarding obeying God’s commands, whether Jewish or Gentile. Essentially, considering I believe Scripture reveals the purpose of a Jew is chosen to teach Torah to the world, I believe God’s instructions are for everyone. Jews are simply commissioned to lead in example as teachers. Unfortunately, both Jews and Torah, and by default God, are often rejected primarily because people struggle to respect boundaries. Nevertheless, Scripture reveals one fine day the world, both Jew and Gentile, will adhere to Torah as discussed above. To read an article I wrote proving Noahide Laws are not the only laws Gentiles are to obey, click here.

Do you adhere to the teachings of Talmud or other Jewish writings?

While I certainly believe valuable insight can be gleaned from the Talmud and other Jewish writings, I don’t believe they are the inspired word of God to be considered on the same authoritative level of the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh. Nevertheless, insights shared in the Talmud and other sources can certainly be useful and valuable tools to ponder and apply.

Do you eat kosher?

My food choices are based off God’s instructions outlined in Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14, and Isaiah 65-66. What God defines as food, I define as food. What He defines as clean, I define as clean. I do not have a traditional kosher kitchen with separate dishwashers, refrigerators, or dishes exclusively for meat or dairy. I don’t have an issue with mixing meat with dairy so long as they are from clean animals. Such restrictions are interpretations various rabbis over the years documented in the Talmud.

As a female Jew-By-Choice, do you cover your hair or only wear skirts as Orthodox women do? What are your thoughts on female Jews wearing a kippah, tzitzits, or tefillin as some women do in liberal denominations of Judaism? Do you light Shabbat candles and do Havdalah?

Because I have not discovered commands in Torah instructing women to cover their hair, at this time, I do not feel obligated or compelled to do so, but I respect Jewish women as well as other women of faith for covering their hair in whatever form they see fit as an act of modesty and or worship. When I would pray publicly in Jewish worship services, I would cover my hair out of respect, but in my day-to-day operations, I don’t cover my hair. In regards to my dress code, I wear skirts, ladies slacks, ladies jeans, ladies t-shirts, ladies shoes (size 8 if you want to donate – haha), etc. I do not wear men’s clothing. I believe the command found in Deuteronomy 22:5 indicates God wants men to be distinctly male and women to be distinctly feminine as He created an individual to embrace and be His work of art, but I personally do not interpret this verse to mean women may only wear skirts/dresses always for in various cultures garments that look like skirts or dresses are also men’s garments. It’s about being distinctly female or male within your culture’s clothing options.

In regards to women wearing a kippah or teffilin as a form of expressing their faith, I am neither against it or for it, but understand why many, whether male or female, do wear such items as reminders of Who they serve. The only item that I can find in Torah as being instructed to wear as a visible and tangible reminder of God’s commands is the strings at the end of the four corners (Numbers 15:37-41), what is known today as tzitzits. Whether this applies to women as well I suppose depends on the interpretation of the text. The teffilin concept comes from the text of Deuteronomy 6:8 to bind God’s law as a sign on your hand and symbol on your forehead, which I interpret to mean to think about and obey Torah. Not to literally attempt to bind 613 commands to your forehead and right arm physically; although, the practice of teffilin dates back to 2nd Century BCE and has been an ongoing debate. At this time, in my faith journey and as a woman, I don’t wear a kippah, teffilin, or tzitzits, but respect those who do.

Even though lighting Shabbat candles just before/at the beginning of Shabbat or holding a Havdalah ceremony at the close of Shabbat are not commands in Torah, I do generally do such traditional rituals as a means to help me distinguish and keep Shabbat special. Lighting the candles helps me to remember to be the light. But if I don’t for whatever reason, I don’t chide myself for failing to do so as it is not an actual command, but just a meaningful reminder to rest when the world is busy and to be the light.

In summary, if God has an instruction recorded for us in Torah, then I strive to obey it willingly and diligently and have consequently, been blessed by it. However, if it is a Jewish custom or additional tradition not detailed in Torah, then I perceive it as optional. With that said, some commands can be difficult to understand how to fulfill so insight from the Talmud or other Jewish sources can be useful in discerning said Scriptures. More importantly, I don’t obey God’s instructions for life to get something from Him such as a blessing, rather, I obey to bless Him. In turn, I am blessed abundantly.

Do you celebrate Jewish holidays / feasts such as Pesach/Passover, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Feast of Tabernacles/Booths/Sukkot, and others?

Yes, I strive to celebrate the Feasts of the LORD detailed in various passages, but namely Leviticus 23 to the best of my ability as a woman while not living in the land of Israel. With that said, I do not stress about some of the additional rabbinic interpretations as to how a Lulav should be shook in various directions during Sukkot, as an example, but I do remove leaven from my home before Pesach as instructed by God, as another example. If it is detailed in Tanakh, I strive to obey it, if not, I don’t worry about it.

Note: Specific commands are for specific genders or roles such as priests as well as specific commands are for living in the land while others apply to those living outside of Israel; additionally, sacrifices, which are apart of the feasts according to Leviticus 23, can only be done in the land of Israel within the temple in Jerusalem, which currently does not exist (and no, sacrifices cannot be made in your backyard or campground. Haha!).

Liberal Judaism typically does not believe in prophecies such as a Messiah, the third temple, resuming sacrifices, the world adhering to Torah, etc., what is your position?

If it is written in the Tanakh, or what Christians would call the Old Testament, then I believe in it. I do believe a day will come when all Jews as well as the scattered, lost, Northern Kingdom, or ten tribes will all be not just resurrected, but regathered to the land of Israel one fine day (Ezekiel 36-37). I believe as Scripture foretells, there will be a third temple, animal and other sacrifices will once again be part of worship, God will pour out His spirit, all of Israel as well as surviving Gentiles will “learn righteousness” as Torah is dispensed and enforced (Isaiah 2, 11, 26, 51, 65-66; Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 36-48; Micah 4).

Additionally, I believe God’s presence will dwell in Jerusalem permanently while the resurrected David will be ruler of Israel. Unlike Orthodox Jews, I do not believe the numerous times prophecies in Scripture details “David” as being king/prince or shepherd that it is by default referring to someone in David’s lineage as I have yet to see a Scripture that prophesized a person’s name, but meant someone else or within someone’s lineage. For example, when the Prophet Isaiah foretold of a Gentile King named Cyrus would help restore the Jews back to Jerusalem and aid them in building another temple, history revealed it was an actual Gentile King named Cyrus who did exactly that not a descendant of someone named Cyrus. Similarly, when the Prophet Jeremiah prophesized of a specific place such as Babylon would take the Southern Kingdom captive should they not repent, it was precisely the Babylonian Empire that conquered the Southern Kingdom and took Jews captive to Babylon. Nor do I see examples of Scripture refraining from stating the lineage of someone such as Isaiah 2 says from the “rod (lineage) of Jesse” a ruler will manifest and Micah 5 proclaims that ruler “one whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (David) will have been born in Bethlehem, which David was. When the prophets detail specific names of people or places or timelines, that is indeed what manifests so I do not perceive or await for a mysterious anointed messiah from the line of David, who also must be born in Bethlehem, and I certainly don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah, for I believe, Scripture repeatedly states literally the resurrected David will be ruler/shepherd of Israel (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; Hosea 3:5), which fulfills God’s covenant with David. I suppose time will tell.

Note: Click here to read a detailed article with much Scripture revealing David will be “Messiah”. I did not pen this article, but found it insightful.

Christianity teaches all mankind is destined for hell when they die by default, but in order to be “saved” from eternal tormenting hell you must believe in Jesus as Messiah. Aren’t you worried you will go to hell when you die? And what is your perspective of the afterlife?

Christianity certainly declares people will perish in their sins and consequently go to hell unless they confess Jesus is their god, their savior, messiah, etc. How else are you going to fill pews? Christianity is easy to sell when you make people believe they’re going to hell – especially when it is something impossible to prove either way. Ironically, this concept of heaven or hell is largely read into the New Testament as Jesus Himself says no one has been to heaven in John 3:13 and Acts 2 indicates King David is still dead and buried not in heaven. But the New Testament does repeatedly teach about the concept of resurrection as does the Tanakh. The resurrection is actually the eternal life Jesus allegedly references not beaming one up to heaven when they die. In regards to what I believe now that I no longer worship Jesus, the Hebrew Bible, being the Tanakh, doesn’t say anything about when you die you go to hell or heaven. It does, however, indicate when one dies, whether righteous or wicked, they go to Sheol or the underworld like a holding tank awaiting the resurrection (Psalm 16:10, 30:4, 49:15; 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Samuel 22; Jonah 2:2; Hosea 13:14). In fact, the Tanakh essentially says when you are dead, you are dead, your life-breath returns to God, but there is a hope in the resurrection (Psalm 49:6-16, 115:17; Ecclesiastes 7:1, 9:5, 12:7). Moreover, Scripture indicates at the end of the world as we know it, the world will be against Israel worse than ever before in human history (Daniel 12:1), which is difficult to imagine post-Holocaust. One particular verse in Daniel indicates Israel will be rescued, as in literally and physically saved from their oppressors, and all mankind will be resurrected and then judged based off their deeds (Daniel 12:2; Zechariah 12-14). Those who came against Israel will be doomed (Zechariah 14). Moreover, the Scriptures reveal an enormous earthquake, burning, and melting will occur as God essentially destroys the earth through that ordeal, but spares some Gentiles (those that didn’t come against Israel) and literally rescues Israel from their enemies. The House of Israel (the lost Northern Kingdom 10 tribes) as well as the House of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) will be resurrected if dead or regathered if alive and brought back to the land of Israel (Isaiah 25:8-9, 26:19, 35:8-10, 44:23, 51:11; Hosea 13:14; Ezekiel 37; Jeremiah 29-31; Psalm 49:6-16).  The world will be shocked to see the most hated people being Israel will be esteemed (Isaiah 26, 35, 52:13-15, 54-56,60-62; Jeremiah 29-31; Ezekiel 36-48; Joel 2-4; Zephaniah 1-3; Zechariah 8, 14).

Is your husband Jewish or anyone in your family? How have your loved ones responded to such a drastic change in your “flip-flopped” faith?

Neither my husband or anyone in my family is Jewish that I am aware of; however, I am a descendant of German Jews on both my mother and father’s side from numerous generations ago.

My husband has been OK with most of the transition he saw in my life such as resting on Sabbath, celebrating the feasts, but not celebrating pagan holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. The one issue he had with my “flip-flopped” faith was not eating bacon. For about a year or so, he was passive-aggressive about not eating pork, specifically bacon. Nearly every time we visited a family member or friend’s home, he would announce that “Carrie doesn’t eat pork!” and would do so eagerly even when food was not the topic at all. He was covertly trying to get different family members or friends to reprimand me for my new belief so he could eat bacon without feeling guilty. I, however, would express to him he can live as he sees fit, but I am choosing this path. I asked him to refrain from attempting to ostracize or humiliate me to justify his habits or food choices. Eventually, he stopped and rarely eats anything unclean now. He typically rests on Sabbath as well and supports me in my faith.

Thus far, most family members have been supportive – perhaps not over-joyed, but at least generally supportive and not confrontational about it. Only one or two have manifested some antisemitism and their disapproval, but it is not uncommon for those same family members to behave poorly should one set boundaries or express themselves – particularly if it is differently than their ideologies.

Evangelical Christians or the devout Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic, seem to have the hardest time accepting my “flip-flopped” faith. Many have been so deeply brainwashed without realizing it that it is hard for them to critically think or look at various passages without Christian filters or preconceived notions. Many have been conditioned to read into the text rather than letting the text interpret itself like any other book. Meanwhile other former Evangelical, “born again”, or “Spirit-led” and Catholic Christians have traversed a similar path and ultimately came to the same conclusions as I have. It has been neat to see testimonies on YouTube of former Christians, even Pastors and Bible teachers, also abstaining from idolatry and turning to the One True God.

Most people, whether family, friends, or coworkers, respect my faith and I respect theirs. Healthy people can respect others while not sacrificing their own lifestyle choices. It is interesting to connect the boundaries God has established to help us relate to Him and others while recognizing unhealthy people hate boundaries set by God or others.

Also, when one person strives to walk in God’s ways, can easily debunk typical Christian doctrine, and is happy and blessed while doing so, it challenges the faith of others. Usually when people manifest in disapproval or hostility it is because they are feeling threatened and or convicted, but hopefully, they will investigate newly introduced concepts for themselves. Regardless, I choose to serve the One True Living God, be His light, a keeper and teacher of Torah.

Are the 7 Noahide Laws the Only Commands Gentiles Should Obey?

Both Judaism and Christianity typically teach that G!d’s 613 commands are exclusively for Jews to obey while Gentiles are only obligated to obey general moral laws such as the “Seven Noahide Laws”. For those unfamiliar with the 7 Noahide Laws, they are as follows:

1) Don’t worship any other god, but the One True Living G!d (no idols);

2) Don’t curse G!d;

3) Don’t commit murder/bloodshed;

4) Don’t steal;

5) Don’t commit sexual immorality;

6) Establish a judicial system;

7) Don’t eat the limb/flesh of a living animal.

Some of these principles are established by Noah as instructions to his sons after the family and animals exited the ark upon being the sole survivors of the great flood in Genesis 9 while other alleged laws are assumed. In this chapter of the Bible thought to be the basis for the Noahide Laws, Noah urges his sons and their wives to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 9:1,7) as did G!d to Adam and Eve; Noah also informed his sons that the animals, the birds, and fish would be fearful of man, but man has dominion over them all (vs. 2); they can’t eat meat rare (with blood in it – vs. 3); and, lastly, they can’t murder or cause blood to be shed (vs. 5-6). If we were to go strictly by Genesis 9 alone, then, technically, these four commands would be the Noahide Laws. The Jewish sages expanded on them some to establish the seven, and various sects of Christianity have their own set of laws as well.

It is my position that while these Noahide laws are a great place to start, there appear to be hints of other laws Gentiles could obey and Gentiles of the future will obey. Moreover, whether Jew or Gentile, one ought to obey G!d’s commands, not suggestions, to the best of their ability and understanding out of their love for G!d. If one devotes their time finding excuses or develops arguments against obeying G!d’s commands, therein reveals much, namely one’s heart and alleged reverence for G!d and His authority in their life.

In the Summer of 2020, my Gentile husband and I visited the Ark replication in Kentucky.

With that said, let us look at a few examples of Gentiles obeying what many would consider exclusive Jewish laws or laws not listed in the Seven Noahide Laws.

Sacrifices

First, consider neither Adam, Eve, their sons, nor even Noah were Jewish for the tribes of Israel and therefore, the tribe of Judah, had not existed at this point in the Genesis story, and yet, G!d evidently commanded or, at the very least, welcomed the first family to offer sacrifices to Him. Hence, the first case of domestic violence and homicide, sadly, as Cain was jealous of Abel’s sacrifice (Genesis 4). Second, notice Noah understood the importance of sacrifices as he too offered sacrifices as soon as the flood was over (Genesis 8:20-22). Noah also made sure there were clean and unclean animals on the ark presumably for the purpose of making sacrifices and food (Genesis 7:2,8), instructions not yet documented until much later (Leviticus 1-7, 11). Likewise, many years post-flood, Abraham, who also was not technically Jewish, fashioned an altar to worship G!d (Genesis 12:7; 13:4,18); although the text does not specifically say he also offered sacrifices, it is inferred. Later, when Abraham’s son, Isaac, was older, G!d tested Abraham’s devotion to G!d by instructing him to, you could say, lay his idol down as Abraham set out to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering on an altar. Abraham trusted G!d would provide a better alternative while demonstrating he loved G!d even more than his miracle-baby. Consequently, G!d indeed had a better plan and provided a clean animal instead of Isaac (see Genesis 22). Again, all of this took place well before Jews and Judaism existed or G!d’s commands were documented by Moses.

As another example of Gentiles making sacrifices, in the future, after God physically rescues, regathers, and resurrects the scattered tribes of Israel and reigns on Earth (Zechariah 9-14), the surviving Gentile nations will be required to participate in making sacrifices for the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot in Hebrew, according to Zechariah 14:16-21. Did you catch that? It will be required of Gentiles by G!d Himself to sacrifice in the future – for Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles for certain! In that same time period, a temple will exist, according to the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 37-47 so evidently, Gentiles that survive the Battle of Gog & Magog will be bringing sacrifices to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot, or Feast of Booths or Feast of Ingathering.

It should be noted that Noah offered sacrifices of praise upon his literal, physical salvation (Genesis 8:20-22) just as the future surviving Gentiles will do upon their literal, physical salvation (Zechariah 14). Likewise, Noah and the other family that survived the flood repopulated the renewed Earth just as the future surviving Gentiles will do.

Sabbath and Other Holy Days

In the previous segment about sacrifices, we briefly explored the Feasts of Tabernacles, a Feast of the LORD, and how it will be celebrated in the World-To-Come, or upon G!d creating the New Heavens and New Earth, in the New Covenant not yet activated. In Isaiah 66:22-24, we also see the seventh-day Sabbath and the monthly new moon celebrations (Rosh Chodesh) will be observed by “all flesh”, meaning all mankind. The Prophet Ezekiel also predicts during that era G!d’s Sabbaths and Feasts are obeyed as well as sacrifices by the reunited and resurrected twelve tribes of Israel (see Ezekiel 43-44). It would appear in the future because all of the once scattered Israelites will be fully restored in the Promised Land of Canaan (Israel), G!d’s laws will also be fully restored while Gentiles obey some additional laws such as the Sabbath and celebrate Sukkot.

Notice the passage says “all flesh”, not just Jews.

Fasting

Fasting is another command not found in the Seven Noahide Laws and yet the Prophet Jonah instructs the Gentiles of Nineveh to fast as a means to demonstrate their repentance. Fasting is a central part of Judaism, particularly on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), one of G!d’s Holy Days found in Leviticus 23, and all about repentance. Apparently, G!d appreciates the Gentile that fasts as a sign of repentance as well.

Lying

Technically, lying is not one of the Seven Noahide Laws either, but according to Nahum 3:1, the Ninevites (see Nahum 1:1), the ones who fasted and repented as mentioned above, were sinning by lying. In other words, lying was one of the offenses that caused G!d to send a prophet announcing G!d’s disapproval of their behavior and their need to repent to be spared from G!d’s wrath.

Sorcery

Likewise, sorcery was another command the Ninevites evidently violated, according to Nahum 3:4, and yet, is not listed in the Seven-To-Heaven list, or list that deems a Gentile righteous if obeyed according to the traditions of Judaism. Sorcery isn’t even in the 10 Commandments and yet clearly, a no-no, for both Jew and Gentile (Micah 5:11-14).

Unclean Food: No Bacon For You!

The vague translations of Genesis 9 make it sound like Noah’s sons can eat anything, but just the fact that Noah brings both unclean and clean animals on board the ark indicates otherwise. G!d specifically informed Moses much later what is food and not food in both Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 for Israelites, but it is interesting Noah understood what animals are clean and unclean before G!d gave Moses such instructions inferring the knowledge of what G!d defines as food predated the covenant given at Mt Sinai.

Clearly, G!d reveals throughout various Scriptures, albeit after carefully studying, that the Seven Noahide Laws may be a great place for Gentiles to start obeying G!d, but Gentiles should at the very least expect some more in the future (ie. Sukkot sacrifices & Sabbath). Moreover, consider the simple fact that Jews are “chosen” to be the light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6) designed to teach the light, being Torah or God’s commands, and all its wisdom and glory to the deceived world (Proverbs 6:23; Psalm 119:18,105-106; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Jeremiah 16:19; Zechariah 8). We also can learn throughout the passages of the prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible, in the future, everyone will know who G!d is and what He expects (Jeremiah 31) – it will be a time when the whole world, will “learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:8-10) meaning Torah, God’s definition of light, His instructions on how to be the light, life, and love. Torah will be taught to the nations and consequently, there will be world peace (see Isaiah 2 and Micah 4).

Moreover, whether Jew or Gentile, everyone has specific responsibilities and purpose then, now, and in the future.

In conclusion, in addition to the benefits of learning Torah, it is apparent to me if certain commands were observed by Gentiles before the tribes of Israel were even established and some of the said commands will be observed by the world after all the tribes of Israel are reunited and re-established in the future, then obviously, they are neither done away with, as Christianity teaches, nor only 7 laws for Gentiles as traditional Judaism teaches. Therefore, I do not believe the 7 Noahide Laws are the only commands Gentiles should obey, but rather, it could be a good place to start.

“For this applies to all mankind..”

Always Have Been Saved By Grace

As one who has traversed Christian circles, “Saved by Grace” is a common phrase indicating one is saved by believing Jesus died for one’s sins and consequently, gets to experience G!d’s grace or forgiveness. In fact, I used to wear a hat proudly stating this very expression. After discerning more and more of G!d’s word, and upon realizing the fallacy in the Christian message of Jesus had to die for one’s sins in order to receive G!d’s grace, I discovered that we always have been saved by G!d’s grace if only we seek Him and His ways.

Earlier on in 2020, when I sought to prove Jesus is the Messiah using only the Hebrew Bible, I discovered the Hebrew or Jewish definition of salvation is different than the Christian version of being saved. You can read more about those details here in an article I penned called “What Is Salvation According to the Hebrew and Christian Bibles”. Moreover, I realized upon digging through the Tanakh (or what Christians refer to as the “Old” Testament), that G!d has always offered His love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy to those who genuinely seek Him and strive to obey Him. Inevitably, we will make mistakes, but all we have to do is authentically repent and try again. Look at King David’s sin of committing adultery and murdering the woman’s husband. Christians have been told only a blood sacrifice can atone for sins, but what did G!d say to David through the Prophet Samuel in 2 Samuel 12:13-14? G!d said He forgives David’s sins though there still will be consequences just as any good father would say to his disobedient child. Was there a blood sacrifice David had to make? Did he have to believe in a future Messiah? No. How about when the Prophet Jonah went to the Ninevites or Gentiles to warn them of G!d’s pending judgment should they not repent and turn to G!d. Where was their blood sacrifice for G!d’s grace and forgiveness?

Notice G!d was demonstrating grace way back when the Prophet Isaiah lived (circa 8 BCE – 7 BCE).

G!d’s Holy Scriptures never once say anyone needs to “believe” in a Messiah to be saved, much less that one will be coming to die for the world’s sins, which would be a hugely critical prophecy to reveal, don’t you think? If G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first, according to Amos 3:7, then we can deduce, that the Christian doctrine of Jesus being the Messiah who just had to die for our sins also is nothing except a replica of various pagan concepts. If you are Christian just learning of this, I know your blood is probably boiling right about now as was mine. First, you are angry at the one who enlightens you on said truth, then you become angry towards Christianity for propagating such gross and offensive errors and mourn your deception. Soon afterward though, you encounter a wave of peace and the lifting of a huge burden of guilt and manipulation you had been unknowingly carrying for years believing your sin caused some innocent god-man to die for you. Eventually, you will be so grateful to G!d for opening your eyes and rescuing you from the popular idolatry of the church. As G!d’s Spirit whispered to me one day early in 2020, “You can mourn over the lies you once believed or you can rejoice you have finally been set free from them.

I encourage you, dear reader, to dig into the following Scriptures and ask yourself why would G!d need to send His son, Jesus, to die for one’s sins for forgiveness when these Scriptures clearly indicate G!d has been forgiving people well before (and still after) Jesus? Why would G!d instruct His child to be a human sacrifice when He instructed the Israelites to never sacrifice their children like the pagans do (see Leviticus 18:21, 20:3; Deuteronomy 12:29-32; 18:10; 2 Kings 3:27, 16:3, 17:17; 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Psalm 106:35-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21 as some examples)? Why would G!d cause Jesus to die for another person’s sins when G!d specifically forbids such things in the law and prophets (see Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Psalm 49:7)? Also, why does the famous “New Covenant” chapter state everyone will still be dying for their own sins in the new covenant (see Jeremiah 31:30)? Shouldn’t that be an opportune time to state no one will need to die for their sins because a Messiah will do so for them?

Below is a list of some passages that reveal many over the course of history always have been saved by G!d’s grace.

Please study the following passages and read my other articles:

  • Genesis 4:8-16 (G!d forgave and even protected Cain)
  • Exodus 30:15-16 (money not blood sacrifice)
  • Exodus 34:6-7
  • Leviticus 5:11-13 (flour used not blood sacrifice)
  • Numbers 16:46-47 (incense)
  • Numbers 31:48-52 (jewelry)
  • Deuteronomy 4:29-31
  • 1 Kings 8 & 2 Chronicles 6 (notice both Jews and Gentiles are forgiven even without a temple/sacrifices)
  • 2 Samuel 12 (G!d forgave King David w/o blood sacrifices)
  • Book of Jonah – Jonah 3:8-10 (How is it the Gentiles could get forgiveness without a blood sacrifice?)
  • Isaiah 1:11-17 (sacrifices & other obedience is phony without true repentance – doing good & just is what G!d wants)
  • Isaiah 27:9 (removal of idols atones)
  • Isaiah 42:6; 43:23-25; 44:22; 45:22,25 ; 49:10; 55:6-7
  • Isaiah 56: Notice even Gentiles/Foreigners who align themselves with G!d’s Covenant (i.e. keep Sabbath) are brought to Mount Zion one day and honored even more so than natural-born Jews for doing so.
  • Jeremiah 29:11-14; 31:3; 33:3,6-8,19-26; 50:4-5,20
  • Ezekiel 16:60-63; 18:19-32; 33:12-20; Chps 36-37
  • Micah 7:18-20
  • Hosea 14:2/3 (depending on Hebrew or Christian Bible you are using)
  • Daniel 4:24/27 (depending on Hebrew or Christian Bible you are using)
  • Lamentations 3:22-23
  • Psalms 24:3-6; 25:6-11; 30:5; 32:1,5; 34:22; 36:5,10; 51:1-4, 7-9 (really all of Psalm 51); 103; 119:132,155-156; 141:2; 145:17-20; 147:11
  • Proverbs 16:6; 21:3
  • Job 22:23
  • Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Your Sins
  • Why the New Testament Is Not the Inerrant Word of G!d

To download this list of Scriptures for your own studies.

Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Your Sins

Christianity teaches that Jesus, the perfect sinless lamb-of-G!d had to die for people’s sins so they can be forgiven and make it to heaven. Christianity also touts that it is only through a blood sacrifice a person can receive atonement for any sin, whether intentional, unintentional, past or future sin. It is propagated to congregants that all of us, whether Jew or Gentile, are eternally doomed unless we believe Jesus is the Messiah who died and overcame sin and death through the resurrection. Guilt, condemnation, and fear are the key ingredients while dangling promises of heaven and eternal life to motivate people to believe. These beliefs come from various places throughout the New Testament, which just by cleverly labeling it the “New” Testament sends the message anything before it is old news, invalid, and irrelevant. Out with the old, in with G!d’s new and improved way of doing things. And yet, Malachi 3:6 and 1 Samuel 15:29 clearly state G!d does not change. We do. With that said, let us explore what the “Old” Testament, or Hebrew Bible, has to say about sin, sacrifices, forgiveness, believing in the Messiah to be saved, etc.

These verses of 1 Samuel 15:29 are from Christian versions.

While it is true that all of man sins eventually as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 3:23 and it is true sin has consequences as he further explains in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”, it is not necessarily death or blood of an animal or blood of a human in Jesus’ case that can make it right or to put in Biblical terms, make atonement. It can be confusing, however, when a Christian cherry-picks verses, as they (formerly we) seem to specialize in doing in order to propagate a doctrine. Christian missionaries and ministers often point to Leviticus 17:11 which in part states, “For it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” That is their AH-HA GOTCHA moment. And yet, when studying sacrifices and other passages found in the Hebrew Bible, we see G!d provides a variety of methods to teach His people a tangible lesson about sin and forgiveness; moreover, He provides grace and mercy well before Jesus and still today regardless of Jesus.

First, understand, there are many different types of sacrifices, most of which are a form of praise and worship and have nothing to do with sin such as the burnt offering, meal offering, the daily morning and evening offerings, various offerings during the feasts of the LORD, etc. In fact, the sin and trespass offerings, also known as the purification and guilt offerings, are only for unintentional sin, meaning you, your household, the congregation, or the nation accidentally violated G!d’s law without realizing He had a law against such a thing.

Second, please study and know there is no sacrifice for intentional sin only unintentional sin. Understanding this concept is critical. I encourage you to get a Strong’s Concordance or Google the terms unintentional and intentional in the Bible. You will not find any sacrifice for intentional sin for if you knowingly and purposely sinned, you went through G!d’s judicial process and would have been eventually stoned or cut off (same thing) should the account of two or three witnesses manifest. The sin or purification offering is for if a sin was unintentionally committed against the LORD whereas the trespass or guilt offering was if a person unintentionally sinned against another person and by default the LORD as well. You will notice Leviticus chapters 4-6 states that those who unintentionally sinned against their brother, neighbor, or another person had to make restitution to the person they accidentally sinned against. Hence, love G!d, love others concept taught in both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. While reading about the trespass also known as the guilt offering, notice in Leviticus 5:6-13, the Torah teaches if a person cannot afford to bring a lamb, goat, turtledoves, or a pigeon, they can instead simply bring flour for forgiveness. Flour for forgiveness?! And yet, there is no blood in flour so based on Christian theology, how could that person be forgiven? Nevertheless, Scripture reveals that a person shall be forgiven indeed (see vs. 13). The overall message, G!d is teaching His people is, yes, sin has consequences, and He uses the concept of sacrifices whether it be ideally a costly sacrifice of an animal or even flour to reveal even unintentional sin is not to be taken lightly (pun intended) and yet certainly forgivable upon repentance. Now learn your lesson and don’t let it happen again.

The Book of Hebrews, along with other New Testament books, replaced words from various Scriptures found in the Hebrew Bible to lead the reader to believe the doctrine being peddled. Consequently, Christians are led to believe G!d required a human sacrifice to put an end to animal sacrifices. Compare Hebrews 10:5-8 to the Psalm he is allegedly quoting in Psalm 40:6-8. We can see in this example the anonymous author of Hebrews twisted and misquoted the Psalm to fit their agenda of making it seem like a human sacrifice was required, which is just a copy of the pagan religions before ancient Israel existed and carried on for thousands of years (and still today in some cultures).

Rather, the sin sacrifice of animals is simply a tangible physical means G!d uses to reveal the concept of consequences and accountability for ourselves and one another. G!d recognizes humans need physical, tangible memorials to help us remember Him and His instructions for living – see Numbers 15:37-41 as another tangible physical reminder. G!d commanded the Israelite men to wear tzits-tzits, strings from the hem of their garment to remind them to obey G!d’s commands.

Similar to the lesson of the sin sacrifices, as a parent, at times you take away your kids’ electronics or TV time when they sin. Upon doing so, it’s not because you need their electronics, rather you are insisting they sacrifice something with the hopes of teaching them what they did is not permissible in your eyes and they ought not to do it again. You, like our Heavenly Parent, hopefully, are fair and just upon deciding what they must sacrifice on an age-appropriate and offense-appropriate level or affordability level. Flour.

Third, understand sacrifices cannot be made in your backyard or just anywhere you please, but rather can only be made in the place the LORD chooses being in the Temple in Jerusalem (see Exodus 20:24; Leviticus 17:3-6; Deuteronomy 12:13-14, 16:5-6), which at this point in time does not exist. This is the only reason sacrifices are not currently happening. Nevertheless, notice what King Solomon proclaims in a prophetic prayer as he dedicates the first temple. In 1 Kings 8:22-53, but especially highlight verses 44-50 for it is there we see Solomon describes a variety of scenarios for both Jew and Gentile to receive forgiveness including when Jews are dispersed in various lands, taken captive, etc. with no capability of accessing the Temple, all they must do is repent and G!d will forgive them! Lamentations 3:22-26 as does Psalm 50-51, Psalm 103, Isaiah 1:16-20, and numerous other passages throughout the Hebrew Bible clearly state all one must do is pray to G!d and repent for their sin and He will gladly forgive them! I implore you to search this out for yourself. Explore terms like sin, forgiveness, salvation, etc. in the Hebrew Bible – an enlightening picture will unfold.

Fourth, did you know that Torah, G!d’s teachings, will be taught to the entire world from Jerusalem? Several passages such as Isaiah 2; Micah 4; and Ezekiel 44 reveal Torah will be taught. Moreover, the nations must also comply with Torah, G!d’s voice, His law one day INCLUDING worshipping G!d on the Jewish Sabbath according to Isaiah 66:22-24 AND bring sacrifices, according to Zechariah 14:16-21.

Fifth, please study the future prophecies found in Ezekiel 36-48, which include the resurrection, regathering, and restoration of all twelve tribes of Israel to the land of Israel. Within those incredible chapters notice the prophet Ezekiel shares that not only will G!d’s Torah be willingly obeyed by the House of Judah and the House of Israel, but that sacrifices will once again resume. What’s fascinating is these sacrifices are being led by the prince, presumably what some refer to as the Messiah, or an anointed ruler (see Ezekiel 44-46). Notice in Ezekiel 45:15-25, that the “prince” makes sin or purification offerings as well as all the other offerings on behalf of himself and the people, but only for unintentional sins as discussed previously. If Jesus is the one and only Messiah or “prince”, the perfect sinless lamb of G!d who made a sacrifice once and for all as the anonymous author of Hebrews proclaims, why does the Hebrew Bible prove otherwise?

Also, you will find there is no sinless Messiah described in the Hebrew Bible for it clearly states there is no one without sin according to 1 Kings 8:46 and Ecclesiastes 7:20.

Lastly, in Jeremiah 31, the chapter that predicts the new covenant, notice verse 30 says, “But everyone shall die for his own iniquity.” That’s strange don’t you think? Why doesn’t it say that Jesus will be the final sacrifice as he will die for everyone’s iniquity and the world will live happily or heavenly ever after? Why doesn’t it say this here in Jeremiah 31 particularly when it is discussing the New Covenant? The entire chapter of Jeremiah 31 is prophesying the future full regathering and restoration of Israel one fine day in the New Covenant and yet is still speaking of people dying for their own sin – being responsible for their own sin not trusting in Jesus to do it for them.

The law and prophets clearly speak to this several times as if giving plenty of advance warning of a false religion that will teach such concepts – most likely because this concept of human sacrifices has been a pagan practice since before ancient Israel even existed! Please review Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6; Psalm 49:7; Ezekiel 18 and 33, all of which speak to the concept of a human cannot die for another human’s sins. Everyone is accountable to G!d for themselves. So why do we think Jesus, a human, can die for our sins?

Also, now knowing the law and prophets speak nothing towards such concepts of a Messiah dying for our sins, nor do we need to believe in a Messiah to be saved, and we now understand human sacrifice for the atonement of sin is forbidden, plus forgiveness is granted simply by repenting when a temple is not in place, and when it is in place, flour can be used as a substitute for blood, and if G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first as Amos 3:7 states, why would we suddenly think G!d changed not only His pure language (see Zephaniah 3:9) from Hebrew to Greek, did away with His instructions found in Torah, and yet didn’t reveal it to His prophets of such dramatic changes or that a person must believe in His one and only son, the Messiah, in order to be forgiven and saved?

Ironically, I discovered this and so much more when I attempted to write an article proving Jesus is the Messiah using only the Old Testament. Needless to say, upon doing so, over many astonishing and grievous months, G!d “flip-flopped” my faith as His word clearly declares Jesus did not die for my sins, your sins, or anyone’s sins but his own!

You may download/print this article for your own studies.

What Is Salvation According to the Christian and Hebrew Bibles?

Christianity is easy to sell when you make people believe they’re going to hell. And yet, conveniently unable to prove. Whether Catholic or Protestant, Christianity teaches one must believe in Jesus Christ, or put another way, that Jesus is the Messiah, in order to be saved from a default destiny of doom. Depending on the particular path of Christianity you are sojourning, in addition to accepting the concept that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the definition of salvation may emphasize doing good works, being baptized, and or receiving the Holy Spirit or all of the above as qualifying you as having been “saved” or will be saved (John 3:16; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-39). To be clear, the motivation in said events is to be saved from burning in hell when you die or at some point in the future. Most Christians believe when you die, you instantly are ushered into heaven or hell, but what determines if you are saved from being sent to hell by default is your faith in Jesus, or you believed in Jesus AND were baptized, or whether you believed in Jesus, were baptized PLUS received the Holy Spirit, and or whether you were in general a good person, etc, etc. Naturally, the variety of salvation doctrines or man-induced formulas never cease to exist and reproduce, but at the heart of them all is you must believe in Jesus. Otherwise, you are definitely going to hell and even part of the Anti-Christ spirit, according to the Christian faith, a faith I once believed and belonged to. Hence, the overall spiritual version of the salvation concept or one’s guaranteed ticket to heaven plan. Being us humans tend to avoid pain and suffering, it is not difficult to get people to believe in someone or something if it means we will forever avoid tormenting flames and instead can be strumming harps or lounging on clouds in heaven. Faith in Jesus is easy to sell if it means you’ll avoid burning in hell. Similarly, naive children innocently believe Santa will come down their chimney to deliver them gifts, if only they believe in him and be good. All lies wrapped in dazzling packaging. The truth is most of the world, including myself, have been sold many lies.

When I scavenged through the Hebrew Bible, or what Christians would call the “Old” Testament, however, I discovered a different definition of salvation unfolded before my eyes. First of all, there is absolutely no mention of one must believe in a future Messiah let alone you must believe in a man-God as Messiah to be saved. I found that omission surprising as the Lord does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first (Amos 3:7). Surely, they would have written about such critical beliefs in advance. Rather, what I did find was an overwhelming amount of times God says He is it, the end all be all, there is no one other than Him, no other savior, no other redeemer. Please take the time to review the following verses: Isaiah 42:8, 43:3, 10-11, 15; 44:6, 8; 45:5-7, 11, 14-18, 21-25; 46:9; 47:4; 48:12,17; 49:26; 59:20; 60:16; Hosea 13:4. Here are what a few of these verses convey:

Additionally, God’s Torah makes it clear anyone who believes in someone who claims to be God or worships an image in the likeness of a man or other being or uses an item or festivity not prescribed by God as if it is God or all about God, it is considered idolatrous for God intentionally did not reveal Himself in any definitive form so that His people would not make an image like Him and then worship it as if it is Him (Deuteronomy 4:15-24; 12-13). And yet, Christianity teaches that Jesus is God, specifically found in the Gospel of John, the author expresses Jesus is God’s only Son, in fact a definitive version of God Himself and Jesus is God’s Torah or Word manifested in physical flesh. Doesn’t that contradict everything God said before? Why would God come in the likeness of man when He inexplicably said previously He intentionally did not reveal Himself in any form like a man in Deuteronomy 4? Doesn’t that go against the concept of faith or trusting in God alone? Why would God go out of His way to repeatedly state there is no one else but Him in the prophets like Moses, Isaiah, and Hosea? Why does He also state in Micah 3:6 He does not change and yet Christianity proclaims everything has changed? Indeed, the doctrines of man found in Christianity has changed everything to avoid any resemblance of being Jewish and moreover, to go against the One True God. Suddenly, some several hundreds years post-Jesus, as more and more Gentiles believed in Jesus, the Sabbath changed to Sunday, to align with the pagan worship of the Roman sun god, things God specifically said are not permissible to eat are deemed food (see Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14) to fit the appetite of the pagans, the pagan concepts of polytheism is merged into a Trinity doctrine, feasts of the LORD changed to feasts of the Roman Catholic church, the Passover was changed to the Eucharist/communion, and instead of obeying God’s laws, it is taught to hate God’s law, but rather embrace Roman law, all the while hating God’s people in exchange for claiming the Church is now God’s chosen people, and so on. Out with the “Old” and in with the “New”. Perhaps by having prophets like Moses, Isaiah, and Hosea scribe such warnings over and over again, God knew His people would come against many false gods or false messiahs claiming to be God as well as many false doctrines that blatantly contradict God’s ways.

Furthermore, repeatedly throughout the Hebrew Bible, but more specifically in Psalms and the Book of Isaiah, I read concepts of a literal salvation from physical oppression and harm as well as the understanding that this physical blessing of salvation is simply a result of striving to obey God and His instructions detailed in Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. By listening and obeying God’s Voice, which is His eternal word, His instructions in Torah (see Deuteronomy 28:1), we are walking in the way of life eternal (Psalm 119:89-94), we are learning and walking in righteousness (Isaiah 2:2-4, 26:9-10). In other words, righteousness, which is by walking uprightly, genuinely striving to do what God says to do, will be rewarded with salvation or eternal life in the form of resurrection or reuniting with Him one fine day here on earth. Conversely, modern day mainstream Christianity says you can do anything, break any of God’s laws, and still go to heaven as long as you say you mentally believe in a guy named Jesus died for your sins. Much of modern day Christianity teaches your physical actions need not match your word much less God’s word! However, please review how God defines salvation in Psalm 50:

In the New King James Version
In the Jewish Publication Society

Notice in Psalm 50, David explains a person who actively is engaged in honoring God’s Torah, His way, by authentically seeking to obey Him, God will save that person. In the next chapter, Psalm 51, David likewise describes repentance as a means to have ones sins blotted out, to having God’s Holy Spirit dwelling with him, and consequently causing him to instruct others in God’s ways found in His law, His Torah. David goes on to explain it’s not sacrifices for sin God is interested in, but rather, God is longing for people with a repentant, broken, circumcised heart that seek Him and His will for their lives. Psalm 103 reiterates the same concept of repentance for breaking God’s law and forgiveness providing everlasting mercy to those who remember to do His commands. Read it for yourself in both the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) version as well as the New King James Version (NKJV):

In addition to learning God’s grace has always been made available and He is not as interested in sacrificial atonement as He is more interested in a heart that seeks Him and wants to obey Him, He will gladly forgive us or blot out our sins (also visit Isaiah 1:16-20; Psalm 109:14-15). There never is a mention of someone needing to die for our sins much less an image in the likeness of God such as Jesus to do so. Christianity teaches Jesus HAD to die for our sins, but according to the Hebrew Bible, God’s word, another person cannot die for another’s sins rather each person is held accountable for themselves (see Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18 and 33:12-20). Shocking I know! Therefore, the concept of a deity dying and rising from the dead is a farce and comes directly from Greco-Roman mythology as well as many other pagan religions. In fact, Justin Martyr wrote, “when we say … Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propose nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you consider sons of Zeus.” (1 Apol. 21). I encourage you to seek out this theme in many pagan religions. Naturally, the well-circulated foundation of pagan religions made it easy for Gentiles to believe in Jesus, a man-deity that allegedly overcame death. Is it not suspicious the “New” testament is written in Greek while the “Old” is in Hebrew? I suppose God changed what He deems a “pure language” too (Zephaniah 3:9)- from Hebrew to Greek?

Photo credit: Chabad.org

Moreover, the definition of salvation in the Hebrew Bible is consistently connected with being saved from physical persecution, abuse, oppression, and harm (Psalm 53, 54, 78, 80, 85, 91, 126; Isaiah 51, 60-62; Ezekiel 34-39; Jeremiah 29-32; Zephaniah 3) while literally being restored to Israel, specifically Mount Zion or Jerusalem, where God’s presence will permanently dwell. In other words, it’s not being saved to some mystical heaven, but rather being saved to be apart of heaven on earth (Psalm 53:6, Isaiah 11, 54-56, 65-66, Zechariah 14).

Fascinatingly enough, upon reading prophecies penned by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, I found it interesting that many Jews will be literally saved from evil oppression and tyranny, restored to their rightful land and place, be cleansed with water, and receive God’s Spirit of Holiness causing them to want to obey God’s instructions with their whole heart (see Ezekiel 11:14-21; 36:24-29; Jeremiah 30-31; Isaiah 43:25-29; 44:1-5, 21-22; 46:12-13). It’s as if it is the Jews/Israel experience the exact reverse of how Christianity defines the salvation experience (i.e. baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, then believe and obey). Upon being resurrected and regathered, many Jews will be you could say, “born again”. When I simply read the various Scriptures for what they said instead of through my Christian filter while also reading them in context and looking at the repetitive theme, a varying definition of salvation emerged similar, yet quite different, from the Christian explanation. Additionally, Isaiah 56 says even the non-Jews who obey’s God’s holy covenant by keeping Sabbath for example are taken to Mount Zion. Likewise, Psalm 67:2 hints that God’s Torah, also known as His way, will be known among the earth; therefore, salvation will be among all the nations of the earth (also see Isaiah 2, 11, 42, 49, 51; Micah 4; Zechariah 14:16+).

To recap, the wicked indeed are held accountable to some extent deemed by God for their rejection and rebellion towards God and His word, His law, His Torah, which are His instructions for living. However, those who believe in God enough to actually attempt to obey Him and are humble enough to repent when they fail, both Jew and Gentile/foreigner, will be considered righteous and rewarded, which also is deemed by God. Everyone is eventually physically resurrected to be judged (Daniel 12:2-3, 13) and or physically regathered to Israel one fine day (Ezekiel 34-48; Zechariah 14). This is the Hebrew Bible’s repetitive definition of salvation and heaven on earth.

What Is the Torah Portion & Haftarah About?

Did you know when Jesus / Yeshua read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath/Saturday), which we can read about in Luke 4:16-30), He was reading from that specific week’s “Haftarah” portion? For thousands of years, those of the Judaism faith have read from the Torah and Haftarah. A major part of the Jewish worship service since the days of escaping Babylonian captivity (see books of Ezra & Nehemiah), is the public reading of the Torah.For the Jewish people learned the hard way while under Babylonian captivity to forsake God’s instructions will inevitably lead to physical and spiritual bondage. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Law, or God’s instructions for life. Each week, in today’s congregations of Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and many Hebrew Roots’ congregations read a certain portion of the Torah in their services. So the whole world (of those groups) is studying the same portions in unity. However, many years ago, circa 175 BC, when Antiochus Epiphanes conquered the temple, he outlawed the public reading of the Torah, replaced the holy artifacts with pagan gods within the temple, slaughtered pig, an unclean and abomination according to Leviticus 11, Deut 14, and Isaiah 65-66, as a means to mock God’s ordained sacrificial system, and even tormented and killed Jews for holding to their belief in the one true God and their desire to adhere to His laws. All of this was an “abomination of desolation”, which will happen again according to prophecies found in the Books of Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation. Consequently, the rabbis of those days researched and prescribed related passages of the Torah found in the Prophets to be read each week instead of the Torah during that tumultuous time. This became known as “Haftarah”, which means “conclude”. After that horrific time, the practice of reading from the Prophets stuck so today, passages called portions from the Torah and the Haftarah, which are related are read. In Messianic Judaism (and possibly Hebrew Roots too), related portions from the Brit Chadesha (Renewed/New Covenant) are read as well. This photo captures this week’s. The Torah portion’s title is selected from the first few words of the passage. You will notice all of these passages have to do with sending out (i.e. spies & apostles). I hope you had a peacful, wholesome #Shabbat!

The Ravens Will Feed You

As my husband and I continue to sojourn this peculiar and adventurous way following Yeshua wherever He beckons (John 10:27; Romans 8:14; Revelation 14:4), we have discovered proverbial ravens provide for us just as they did for the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 17. We marvel, smile, laugh and glorify Abba whenever a “raven” walks up to us and freely gives us an item we had just said we needed. It’s not even something we necessarily asked Abba for, but just spoke the need out loud to each other when lo and behold, a “raven” will walk up to us either that same day or shortly thereafter and deliver to us the very item we just discussed! For example, while on a cleaning job on Wednesday, my husband said to me, we really need to get a two-step step ladder to more effectively reach and detail these higher spaces. All of which I agreed. On Friday, a fellow boater we’ve recently met, not knowing our request, walked up to us and handed us a two-step step ladder. Jerry and I just looked at each other, smiled and laughed while thanking God and this man. That is just one example. There have been many more just like that where Abba has provided us with various marine items for free like a nautical chart of this area, sailing books, a flare gun, an expensive anchor chain, along with cleaning products, essential oils, clothing, food, plastic bins, a mixing bowl, cast iron skillet and even a free Walker Bay dinghy ($$) and floating dinghy dock! If you’ve followed along our YouTube vlogs, then you’ll recall we have come to these foreign lands with little to nothing, not knowing a soul, nor what it all will look like. Nevertheless, it is amazing how we speak the need and it almost instantly manifests. Meanwhile, we have noticed Abba provides cleaning jobs for us shortly before specific bills are due allowing us the opportunity to not only responsibly pay those required expenses, but to trust and know Abba will indeed provide us daily manna (Exodus 16) or our daily bread as Yeshua/Jesus taught us to ask Abba for in Matthew 6:11. It would seem these are critical lessons to remember as we follow Yeshua for He even instructed His apostles to not worry about money or our needs, but rather take little to nothing as He calls you to sojourn or set sail (Matthew 10; Luke 12). He will command the ravens, the widows, and whomever else to serve your needs as you continue to serve Him and others by simply doing what He said to do. Complete opposite as to what the hoarding world preaches!

Moreover, we are learning just as Yeshua taught and John scribed in 1 John 3:22, whatever we ask we will receive because we respond with obedient, surrendered hearts to Abba’s commands… His Voice, which is His word!

What a YAHsome journey this has been! May our documented experiences in this faith journey foster, facilitate, and free you to follow His guiding cloud and fire as well for we can testify: If God calls you to it, surely He will provide for you through it!

Shalom and Amen.