Blood animal sacrifices are not mandatory for atonement. Review the plethora of passages revealing a repentant heart will do just fine. Understand the various forms of payment (ie animals, flour, jewelry, incense, etc.) when a temple in Jerusalem exists, is based on affordability, offense, or circumstance to teach the accidental violator a lesson so as to not repeat their violation. Our court system today is based on this concept. Moreover, human sacrifice has always been forbidden (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) AND no human can die for another’s sins (see Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Psalm 49:7). In other words, Jesus didn’t die for your sins. All you need is repentance.
When the author of Hebrews uses Psalm 40 to make the reader think a human sacrifice (Jesus) was required for atonement, he changed out what the Psalm actually says. In other words, the author lied. Intentionally deceived and still deceives unsuspecting readers. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.” Look this stuff up for yourself.
When an Evangelical Christian friend of ours passed away from COVID, I pondered what would become of his soul. Without realizing he was propagating idolatry, our now deceased friend had actively evangelized to others doing his best to get people to believe in and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. By all accounts, he was a “godly” guy. Subsequently, curiosity led me to research what the Hebrew Bible had to say about idolatry and potential consequences for both the apostate Jew and misinformed Gentile that perceives and worship Jesus as God.
What Is Idolatry?
According to the Bible, idolatry is defined as worshiping others, or other deities, or objects as if they are God (Exodus 20:2-4, 34:17). It’s interesting that God or other Biblical authors acknowledge there are other deities, or other concepts believed to be deities (Exodus 15:11, 20:3-4; Psalm 96:5, 97:7, 135:5). In other words, the text acknowledges the fact that mankind struggles to focus on an invisible, infinite God and instead tends to fashion finite, visual being(s) and deem them God. Remember the golden calf incident?
Additionally, idolatry is likened to adultery and considered both an abomination and even identified as hating God (Exodus 34:15-16, Ezekiel 16:15-22; Psalm 81:9-16).
These passages, however, are directed towards ancient Israelites, which now are known as Jews.
Are Only Jews Prohibited from Worshiping Anything as God or All Humanity?
Just as God instructed Jews to not worship other gods early on in the Book of Exodus, God also gave the Egyptians in the same story the opportunity to repent from worshiping their plethora of false gods and to worship the One and Only True God instead. At one point, Pharoah repented and the LORD relented in the plague (Exodus 10:16-17). Unfortunately, Pharoah repeated old patterns and refused to let the Israelite people go to worship God. Through it all, however, God’s motive was to reveal Himself as the One True God to not just the Israelites, but the Egyptians as well. Consequently, many realized the gods they worshiped were false ones and chose to enjoin themselves with the Israelites and fled alongside them (Exodus 12:38). In other words, God’s mission and subsequent use of the plagues weren’t just to relieve and rescue the Israelites from oppression but was to also make His name and authority known to thousands so that they could intimately know God and how He defines covenant relationship with Him. Essentially, God removed them from bondage to a polytheistic culture so they could know the bond of Oneness. In light of this revelation, ponder the concept that Jesus’ statements of being one with the Father didn’t mean he is proclaiming himself as God or part of a godhead, rather Jesus conveyed the bond of covenant relationship with God- oneness. Hence, praying to God that others could also be one with God (John 17). If Jesus were saying he was God, then his prayer would mean he was praying others could also be God.
Another similar opportunity of oneness with God was presented to the Ninevites, who were Gentiles, in other words, not Jewish for Ninevah was a populous capital city in the Assyrian Empire. Commissioned by God to deliver this important message, Jonah reluctantly arrived to warn the aggressive Ninevites to repent from their many sins, presumably including idolatry or there would be dire consequences (Book of Jonah). Unlike Pharoah, the Ninevites repented and God’s grace was given. He delighted in forgiving these Gentiles (non-Jews) just as God would have the Egyptians. While dwelling on God’s grace towards the Ninevites, notice no human needed to die for their sins, no blood needed to be shed, and yet, God forgave them. Tragically, the Ninevites must have reverted to their pagan tendencies because later the prophet Nahum warned of God’s judgment specifically for their idolatry (Nahum 1:1,14).
Interestingly, passages foretelling the future reveal idolatry, or worshiping anything but the One and Only God, will be forever banished from all the Earth, meaning for both Jew and Gentile (Zechariah 13:2, 14:9,16-21). It should be noted in Zechariah 14:16-21, in the future, the nations that choose not to worship God in the way He instructed, specifically by coming to the temple for the Feast of Trumpets/Sukkot, will suffer consequences. It’s interesting because that is one of the three holy holidays God taught the Israelites they must celebrate by coming to the temple. He did not command that to everybody, just Jews, and yet, in the future, everybody must participate regardless if they are a Jew or of the nations (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:18-23; Deuteronomy 16:1, 9-10, 13, 16-17). All of which validates the Israelites, or Jews, are chosen to lead the nations to God’s teachings found in Torah, which is referred to as “light” (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6; Psalm 119:105-106; Proverbs 6:23).
How Are Jews to Handle Idolatry?
- Not to intermarry with those of another faith (Deuteronomy 7:3, 20:16-18; 1 Kings 11:1-2; Ezra 9)
- To divorce those of another faith (those who worship other gods) (Ezra 10)
- To tear down, destroy, toss out, remove all evidence of idols in one’s territory (Exodus 34:13; Isaiah 27:9)
- To continue to lead in love as they guide other Jews and non-Jews to Torah’s teachings, which is God’s teachings of what He loves and hates; moreover, the faithful Jew uses God’s Torah, which means “teaching”, to teach others what love is and isn’t.
What Are the Consequences of Idolatry, If Any, for Jews & Gentiles?
Below is a list of the specific consequences for Jews, but to rephrase in a modern-day reality, Jews that worship Jesus (or any other god):
- Cursed (Jeremiah 17:5)
- Makes Jews/Israel vulnerable to physical attacks such as war and disease (sent by God as a means to discipline the Jews – Judges 8; Psalm 81:9-17; historical and Biblical siege of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria for their idolatry as well as siege of Southern Kingdom by the Babylonian Empire for doing the same. Both events were warned by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah)
For the Gentile, the Hebrew Bible details similar consequences:
- Early death or destruction (Nahum 1:13)
- Will become like the idols they worship – mute, blind, deaf, lifeless, no breath, (spiritually) dead (Psalm 135:15-18)
Moreover, for both the Jew or Gentile, or in broader terms, all of humanity, it does the following:
- Idols of one’s heart cannot be hidden from God (Psalm 44:21-22; Ezekiel 14:1-11)
- Vexes God prompting rebuke (Deuteronomy 32:19-24)
- Makes God jealous (Exodus 34:15; Isaiah 42:8; 48:11)
- Makes God angry (Psalm 106:34-46)
- Activates TRUE prophets to advise otherwise/warn (Judges 8:7-10; Hence, prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Nahum warning Jews and Gentiles of such destructive choices)
- Cursed (Jeremiah 17:5)
- Activates severe consequences such as fire, plagues, war, aggressive beasts (Ezekiel 14:12-23- Notice the language in verse 13 “if a land”, not specifically, the land of Israel so any land that worships another god, similar to what the future prophecy Zechariah 14:16-21 conveyed)
In conclusion, while digging through these passages, it became grossly evident to me that idolatry causes God pain, severs any hope of oneness with God, and produces significant consequences as God enforces His boundaries of love. It is too late for our deceased Christian friend, but perhaps the most recent plague of COVID and its many variants along with these compelling Scriptures could invoke repentant hearts as we cast down our idols and indeed make our hands clean.
Download these Scriptures to study this important topic for yourself.
As a former Christian, all of the errors and misquotes I have found were while using my Christian Bible (old and new testaments). I did not go to some random special resource to discover this fraud. Look up these verses to see it for yourself in your own Bible.
Here in Hebrews 10 compared to Psalm 40 we can see several errors. Not only did the author intentionally replace God’s word, which it is a sin to add or subtract from Scripture (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32/13:1; Jeremiah 26:2), by subtracting the text “My ears you have opened” and replaced it with “But a body You have prepared for Me..” in attempts to deceive the unsuspecting reader into thinking Jesus’ body was the final sacrifice, but in addition to this blatant alteration of God’s Scripture, the author of Hebrews, presumably Paul, removed “You did not require” and replaced it with “you had no pleasure” to further his agenda.
As discussed in my article “Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins”, sin and trespass offerings can only transpire in the temple within Jerusalem, which no longer exists, nor existed at the time the psalm was penned; moreover, those offerings are designed to be a tangible lesson to learn God’s instructions of loving Him and others as they were exclusively for unintentional/accidental sins, not rebellion or intentional sin. When a temple is not present or should the offender be not in Jerusalem, sin and trespass offerings are not required for the remission of sins despite what Christian doctrines purport. We see in 1 Kings 8, King Solomon prays and declares that even when no temple is present or people are not in the land of Israel, God will forgive those who repent and return to His Torah. In other words, all God has ever wanted was for people to hear His documented voice, being His instructions on how to love God and others throughout the Torah; hence, the psalmist praise of “my ears you have opened”. God eagerly forgives those who repent and return to His instructions. As Scripture reveals and repeats in numerous places, all God wants is those with circumcised hearts, willing to listen, trust, and obey (see 1 Kings 8, Psalm 50, 51, 103, 119, Proverbs 3, Isaiah 1:16-17, and many more!). As if all of these intentional and deceptive misquotes weren’t bad enough, the author of Hebrews also left off a key element validating God’s Torah by removing the phrase, “And Your law is within my heart.”
Furthermore, we see in a future era, sin and trespass offerings, as well as other sacrifices, and all of Torah, will resume in God’s presence once the final temple is erected (see Ezekiel 40:38-43; 43:4-46:24; Zechariah 14:16+; Isaiah 56:6-8; Isaiah 2:3).
These errors are clearly intentional as the author of Hebrews is leading the reader to believe 1) A sin blood sacrifices were required (for atonement), 2) God doesn’t want ongoing sacrifices, but just one final sacrifice being Jesus now and 3) by leaving off Torah is within my heart it leads the reader to believe God’s laws are done away with or no longer relevant, a myth the Church has propagated for centuries in attempts to distance themselves from anything remotely Jewish. The author of Hebrews goes on to repeat his grave sin by rewriting it for emphasis in verses 8-9 AND claiming God’s Torah, part of what Christians label “OLD” Testament is removed. Out with the old and in with the new Hebrews 10:9 claims; hence, the birth of Replacement Theology. However, Deuteronomy 13 warns us that anyone that comes along and says God’s law, His Torah, His instructions, His voice is done away with, or steers others to not obey Torah is a false prophet and in dangerous error. This person or doctrine was sent as a test to see if you believe in God or man-made doctrines like Replacement Theology and the Book of Hebrews. Fascinating that the author could not even pen his name to this manuscript just as the alleged authors of the Gospels did not pen their names either.
Evidently, some Apostles disagreed with Paul’s perspective taught in Galatians regarding the law is a curse if you attempt to obey it, but rather agreed with Proverbs 28:9. #BlessingNotACurse
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The craze to dress up like ghosts, goblins, or some other ghoulish costume continues to haunt Americans, including God-fearing Christians and Jews alike. The lucrative 9 Million Dollar American industry tempts even the religious to celebrate the most evil time of the year. What’s more frightening is many, if not most Americans, are unaware the origins of this spooky holiday, much less what the Hebrew and Christian Bibles say about ghosts or more specifically talking to ghosts.
According to numerous credible internet sources, Halloween essentially originated and still is considered a pagan holiday known as the most ideal day to speak to the dead and as a bonus, the dead may even predict the future for you. Even more fascinating is the Torah, the first five books of both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, specifically warn against speaking to the dead either on one’s own or through a medium, particularly to learn of the future (Exodus 22:17, Leviticus 19:30-31, 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:11). The prophet Isaiah also warns not to do so in Isaiah 8:19-20 and 29:4. Just the fact that God states not to converse with the dead indicates it IS possible to do; otherwise, a command stating not to do so would not be needed. It also infers pagans have been communicating with the dead for thousands of years.
In fact, did you know there is a fascinating story found in 1 Samuel 28:7-25 where King Saul seeks out a witch or medium to contact the deceased Prophet Samuel to get advice about what to do about a pending battle? In this story, not only does King Saul break both God’s and his own law banishing mediums or any other form of witchcraft and sorcery, but the medium is successful in summoning the peacefully rested Samuel. The medium is shocked to see the ghost of Samuel for it is then she realizes King Saul is in costume and deceived her in who he is (since he banished such practices) so the medium is worried he will have her killed (see 1 Sam. 28:8 -12). Meanwhile, the ghost of the Prophet Samuel is irate he was disturbed from his soul-sleep, if you will (vs 15).
As if all that wasn’t remarkable enough, the Prophet Samuel can STILL prophesize to King Saul WHILE DEAD (vs 19)! Prophet Samuel predicts King Saul will be joining him in death the next day along with King Saul’s descendants.
What we can learn from this Biblical account are a few things:
- Whether you a righteous person or a wicked person, it appears, when you are dead, you are dead (Ecclesiastes 9:5) as if asleep blissfully unaware of your surroundings as you await the resurrection (Job 14:10-14; Daniel 12:1-3; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 29-31) and not instantly ushered to “heaven” or “hell” – even the New Testament makes such claims (see John 3:13; Acts 2:29), rather God’s breath in you goes back to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) but I realize, Christianity is an easy sell when you make people believe they are going to hell – Moreover, what is the point of a resurrection or God reigning on earth one day if you are instantly with God upon death?;
- The dead’s spirit or ghost can be disturbed and communicated with (though not advised!);
- Some mediums do indeed have a gift or craft for summoning the dead, though it is against God’s instructions to do so;
- The dead’s spirit or ghost can inform you of things you’d shouldn’t know about or ask about (i.e. like when you are going to die or what tomorrow holds);
- And evidently, prophets can still prophesize even when dead (funny, not funny)!
Being I have seen a ghost and even have regrettably communicated with a ghost once (before knowing it was against Torah many, many years ago now), as well as been on ghost tours through historic cities, and so forth, I have come to believe ghosts indeed exists, but have pondered the mystery as to why one may not speak to ghosts – what’s the harm? And what’s the harm in dressing up like ghosts as is the custom in Halloween? I have come to the conclusion that though it is certainly possible to contact the dead for whatever reason, perhaps for advice or longing for relationship or just to know you are indeed sensing something paranormal in your home and not crazy (such as was my case years ago), The One True Living God wants us to seek Him instead for said matters, not the dead. Furthermore, it would seem once you open that door, it is difficult to tightly close. It’s like the stray alley cat you feed, they are likely to tell the other cats, there is a crazy cat lady who will feed and entertain you. Likewise, it’s been my observation, if you are willing to communicate with one ghost, others also attempt to communicate perhaps longing to resolve issues left undone. Moreover, if there is a Holy Ghost or Spirit of Holiness, however, you want to label God’s Spirit, then that would indicate there also are unholy ghosts or evil spirits. Otherwise, the adjective of “holy” would not be needed to distinguish that Spirit from other spirits. Perhaps just like there are righteous and evil people, there too are good ghosts and bad ghosts, angels, and demons. The problem is both angels and demons are allegedly all around as are possibly the dead, so who do we know for certain we are talking to when consulting the dead or when a medium is communicating with them on our behalf? How do you know you are talking to Aunt Betty or some struggling ghost needing closure and not a demon in disguise? How do you know you or your kid’s costume doesn’t attract some deceptive or confused spirit and your kid isn’t bringing home more than just candy? Again, The Living God implores us not to take such harmful risks, but rather instructs the living to seek the Living God for guidance. He has kindly ensured everything we need to know has been documented for us. Also, know that He still speaks to our minds and still answers prayers. All we need to do is seek Him and verify it is Him through His documented Voice found in the Bible.
Most importantly, fear God, keep His instructions for life, and do not fear, talk to, or emulate ghosts. Halloween glorifies and invites death, breaking God’s commands such as murder or casting spells, while propagating unholy fear, and communicating with the dead. What do you want to teach your kids and grandkids: Fearing God or fearing ghosts? We don’t need to fear ghosts, just God.
Since we each must give an account for ourselves and ideally should be able to explain one’s faith, I have wrestled with some difficult questions over the years all of which cumulated in this eye-opening year of 2020 vision. This, like all my thought-provoking articles, are not an attack against an individual person, but rather it is exposing what I now see is a false ideology called Christianity, specifically what G!d labels as idolatry, and moreover, an invitation to dig into the Holy Scriptures for oneself while pondering, praying, and pursuing such critical concepts.
Naturally, when people can’t explain or can’t overcome such objections, they become angry at the person exposing error or at the very least challenging their belief, not realizing the person, such as myself, typically are motivated by love to do so. After all, iron sharpens iron. Nevertheless, I understand the mentality, the passion, and emotion of the Christian, as I, too, was appalled and even angry upon learning such truths below – first, at the person or people sharing, and then, more appropriately my anger became directed at Christianity or idolatry in general for propagating such blatant and now obvious to me fallacies. Though I readily admit, I know not all of G!d’s truth, for none of us can, today, I am in complete peace (Psalm 119:165), more in love with G!d and others than ever and daily learning to surrender to G!d, His will, and His Spirit of Holiness. It has been a long process of truth-seeking that eventually led me to the LORD when I thought I would be leading others to Him! You could say it’s been a journey of flip-flopped faith, though certainly not my intention when I picked the name “Flip Flop Fellowship” for my ministry. G!d clearly has a sense of all-knowing humor. It is my prayer these questions, as well as my various articles and testimony, spurn you, dear student of the Bible, to continue to seek Abba Father and His will for you with all your being and by continually comparing and examining your will and theology to His as defined in His Holy Scriptures. But I both confess and warn, it is not easy to lay our idols down.
As always, much love, shalom, and blessings! ~Carrie, 10.5.2020
1)What criteria did G!d give the Israelites regarding how to discern a false prophet, false teacher, or false messiah?
FACT: In Deuteronomy 13, God specifically instructed the Israelites to beware of and test a person based off two criteria: 1) Does the person implore the Israelites to worship any other person, thing, or other gods as “G!d” for G!d alone is to be worshiped – not His son, not anybody, or anything but G!d. 2) Does the person teach that G!d’s instructions being G!d’s law or Torah is done away with, old, irrelevant? For Israel is only to obey G!d and His instructions, not man’s, not Paul’s, not Jesus’ commands, but G!d’s alone.
2) What are the Jews, Israel, or Twelve Tribes of Israel chosen for? “Chosen” to do what exactly and why?
FACT: Israel, being the Twelve Tribes, specifically the Jews, are chosen to make G!d, His name, and His Torah known. They are chosen to be the light of the world, to set the captives free, so that all the world may also experience salvation. They are chosen as G!d’s “Servant” (Isaiah 44:1, 21, 45:4, 48:20, 49:3, 52:13) or commissioned to instruct the world in Torah, which the Scriptures define as light itself (Psalm 119:105,130; Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 62:1-2), the way of salvation or righteousness, and moreover, living a lifestyle of loving G!d and loving others. According to the prophets, eventually, in the World-To-Come/Messianic Era, they are elevated and honored while some of them are specifically commissioned to help teach Torah to the world as the world “learns righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9-10). See Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 6, 7:6-8, 26:17-19; 2 Samuel 7:23-24; Psalm 105; Isaiah 2:1-5; 26:1-12; 32:16-20; 33:20-24; 35:1-10; 42:6-7; 48:17-19; 49:6; 51:4-7; 52:1-2; 62:1-12; 66:5-24; Jeremiah 29-31; Zechariah 8, 12; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 1:15-21; Micah 4:1-5; Joel 3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Daniel 12:3; Hosea 14. Nearly every prophetic book foretells this glorious event and outcome for the children of Israel, wherever they are scattered in the past, present, and future world!
3) If both Jew and Gentile can be forgiven by simply repenting and striving to keep G!d’s commands, which are His instructions for life found in Torah, why did Jesus have to die for people’s sins?
FACT: G!d has always eagerly forgave people who authentically repented. His grace has always been available well before Jesus arrived. See Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 1 Kings 8; 2 Samuel 12 (Did King David have to make a sacrifice for forgiveness of his sin?); Isaiah 1:16-17; 42:6; 43:25; 44:22; 45:22,25 ; 49:10; 55:6-7; Psalms 24:3-6; 25:6,10; 30:5; 32:1,5; 34:22; 36:5,10; 37:18,29,34,37-40; 51:1-4, 7-9 (really all of Psalm 51); 68:19; 72:12-14; Psalm 103; 119:118,132,155-156; 146:17-20; 147:11; Micah 7:18-20; Book of Jonah (notice even the Gentiles had to repent- repent from what? Did they have to have a blood sacrifice for forgiveness?). To study more passages, read this article: Always Have Been Saved By Grace
4) Since forgiveness has been and still is granted without any blood sacrifice and by simply repenting, why did Jesus need to spill his blood as a sacrifice?
FACT: G!d forgave people with or without blood sacrifices and /or if they only offered other items instead of blood sacrifices such as flour, money, or jewelry when a temple was in place. See passages above in #3 as well as Leviticus 5:11-13 (flour), Exodus 30:15-16 (money), Numbers 31:48-52 (jewelry). The sin sacrifices were a tangible act in order to teach them to not forget G!d’s instructions/His law like requiring your kid to sacrifice their electronics when they disobey for sin has consequences – best to learn to obey Abba Father/G!d for our own good (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13). To learn more, read this article: Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins (but his own)
5) Why would the unknown authors* of the gospels claim Jesus is G!d’s one and only son (John 3:16) when Scripture reveals the twelve tribes of Israel/the Jewish people (and their descendants) are God’s sons and daughters; therefore, G!d has many sons?
*scholars don’t know for certain who exactly penned each gospel
FACT: When G!d speaks to the Israelites/Israel/Judah or when the prophets refer to G!d, G!d or the prophet often identifies Himself/G!d as Father inferring He has many sons and daughters – see Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:7; Jeremiah 3:19, as a few examples. Similarly, G!d says in Isaiah 56 that non-Jews/Gentiles/foreigners who choose to enjoin themselves with G!d and His holy covenant (meaning Torah) by willingly obeying it (Judaism refers to this as “Jews-By-Choice”) are considered “better than sons or daughters” indicating the naturally chosen are sons and daughters while the “Jews-By-Choice”, or adopted if you will, are even more honored and also brought to Mt Zion upon being literally saved, regathered, or resurrected. Also, see Psalm 82:6 and even Jesus referred to his audience of Jews also as sons in John 10 when quoting Psalm 82:6. And yet the mysterious author of John* made it seem like Jesus is the one and only begotten son of G!d a few chapters earlier in John 3. In other words, Jesus was one of G!d’s many children.
6) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, since Jesus was a Jew, to die for the sins of the world as the New Testament claims when G!d already informed Israel no person can die for another person’s sins?
FACT: According to Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30 (which is also what Eze 18:1-2 says), and Psalm 49:7 no person can die for another persons’ sins even in the New Covenant chapter of Jeremiah 31.
7) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, much less G!d’s other kids, to believe G!d would offer His child as a sacrifice when G!d specifically told His kids, being the Israelites, never to offer their children as sacrifices?
FACT: G!d often instructed the Israelites to not mimic other religions such as offering their children as sacrifices to a god(s), or as a form of worship, and labeled such behavior an abomination. 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.
8) Why are we still teaching each other about who the One True Living G!d is if we are currently in the New Covenant?
FACT: According to the only chapter in the Holy Scriptures that refers by name a “New Covenant”, found in Jeremiah 31, no one will need to inform one another who G!d is for all will know Him (see verse 34). Incidentally, most Christians seem to not notice what the ambiguous author of Hebrews pens in chapter 8:13, which says referring to the “old” and “new” covenants, “Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” inferring the “old” covenant isn’t obsolete or done away with yet because the New Covenant hasn’t manifested just yet -obviously, since there is no world peace and everyone obeying Torah (but more on that later). Equally fascinating, is the New Covenant isn’t activated until there is a New Jerusalem, New Heavens, and New Earth – hence, all the references to “Behold, I will do (future tense) a NEW thing..” Isaiah 43:19. More accurately, RENEWED covenant, RENEWED earth, RENEWED Jerusalem, etc. How interesting G!d is referring to do a “new thing” upon literally saving Israel from their oppressors and restoring them all to the land of Canaan/Israel as discussed in #2.
8) Why in the New Covenant / World-To-Come / Messianic Era (the future, whatever you want to call it) are there still sacrifices if Jesus was the final sacrifice? Moreover, how can Christians honestly believe another man, namely Paul, when he says God’s laws are a curse and not to be obeyed when clearly it is not just commanded by G!d, but the future of the world?
FACT: Ezekiel chapters 36-48 describe both the literal resurrection of all of Israel, regathering, and restoration of Israel, both dead and alive, to the land of their inheritance in Israel, a magnificent event nearly all the prophets describe but hasn’t manifested nowhere near its entirety just yet. In this future era, there is a unique temple established along with sacrifices led by the ruler/prince including not just the praise sacrifices, but sin sacrifices as well (see specifically Ezekiel 43-44). Additionally, Zechariah 14:16+ informs us in the future, after God literally physically saves Israel from their enemies, all the remaining survivors of the nations must participate in bringing sacrifices to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, or what is known in Hebrew as “Sukkot”, in order for it to rain, or put another way in order for them and their economy to survive. Sukkot is in the Fall (September/October on the Gregorian calendar) and is the initiation of the rainy season. In fact, as I pen this, it is Sukkot, a festival of rejoicing, for one day, it will indeed be a whole new world full of joy and peace! To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, read Leviticus 23. Also, in Isaiah 65-66 G!d describes the future and how He wants to be worshiped, as well as how He is specifically angered at those who consume pork, which He instructed not to eat in Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14, and describes worship as participating in the Sabbaths and festivals of the LORD in the New Heavens and New Earth (aka New Covenant). Furthermore, Zechariah 8 tells us Gentiles will be clinging to Jews to learn more about G!d one fine day.
9) Why would the “New Testament” and Christianity be all about propagating one must “believe” Jesus is Messiah in order to be spared from hell and go to heaven when there is absolutely no prophecy in the Hebrew Bible stating one must believe in a future Messiah in order to experience salvation much less the heaven vs hell concept?
FACT: Search the prophets out for yourself, you will not find any prophetic word regarding anyone must believe in a Messiah to be saved. But what you do read in Amos 3:7 is G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first. Also, you will find a very different definition of salvation unfolds. Plainly said, salvation is a literal, physical experience, not solely spiritual mental ascent, while both salvation and righteousness are repeatedly linked with obeying G!d’s commands, His laws, His Torah, His Voice. Whereas many passages infer or directly state those who disregard G!d’s laws are considered wicked (Psalm 50; Psalm 119), without knowledge, and will perish (Hosea 4:6). You will not find in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, the law, and the prophets where salvation is merely a mental belief in a Messiah, but rather reward is based on your conduct, the exact opposite of what the New Testament, namely Paul, teaches.
10) In the early 1990’s, did you believe David Koresh when he claimed to be Messiah? His followers claimed he performed miracles and was prophetic. He and presumably his followers were writing manuscripts to spread his good news, his message. Would you put your trust in him? How about if he and or his roommates, who all tragically and unnecessarily perished, claimed he WAS actually G!d? Would you pick up your cross and follow him? On what criteria do you judge a person and their message? Is not the Hebrew Bible, the law and prophets, the foundation for which all are to be judged? Hence, the very label “the law”. What makes you put your trust in Jesus, or more accurately, Paul since Christianity is mostly based on Paul’s message and spiritual experience of seeing Jesus in the sky allegedly? Did Jesus, Paul, or other Apostles entice you to worship someone or something other than G!d, or worse, did Jesus or his followers indicate Jesus WAS/IS G!d; therefore, replacing G!d or elevating oneself to be as G!d or as part of G!d? Did Jesus, Paul, the other Apostles, or any of their followers, then and now, instruct you to disobey G!d by not keeping His law? Do you or your church have an Easter ham for dinner, as an example of breaking God’s law? Do you rest, reflect, and spend time with G!d and family on the 7th day or are you out grocery shopping, mowing the grass, or doing laundry? Does your church celebrate Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, but not the feasts of the LORD, His holy holidays? Why do some, if not all, denominations of Christianity claim everybody should keep the 10 commandments, but not the one about Sabbath or worshiping other gods?
FACT: Every Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant or even Messianic Jew/Gentile, knows that according to the writings of the New Testament, Jesus, but especially Paul as well as the other Apostles and the unknown authors of the gospels, elevated Jesus to be G!d (John 1), for Jesus to be worshiped and obeyed (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2; Colossians 2), as well as instructed their audience, their disciples to disregard G!d’s laws (Galatians 3)or at the very least, the church instructs congregants to disobey most of G!d’s laws, the eternal law (Psalm 19, 119:142,152,160: Isaiah 2) of then, now, and the future. Hence, eternal. So with all that said, back to Deuteronomy 13, what were the two criteria G!d specifically said to watch out for? See #1.
“Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15.
Many Christians feel Jesus must be God and or The Messiah simply because he performed miracles or because the Christian has witnessed or personally experienced a miracle such as a healing, for example. I also have had various spiritual experiences, which seem to solidify one’s faith in say, Jesus. But what if God, in His abundant love, simply allows miracles to help you along your faith journey while not validating “Jesus” or whatever you believe in is absolute truth? Many religions currently and throughout history have had documented miracles of various kinds or spiritual experiences , not just Christianity.
In fact, according to an article by Britannica titled “Miracles In The Religions of The World”, they write:
“Hellenistic religion presents one of the best examples of a civilization in which miracles play a major part. The intervention of the gods in the affairs of the Homeric heroes takes place in a cosmos in which the divine and human spheres still interact. Later Hellenistic syncretism conceived of the sublunar world as a distinct sphere, though higher powers could miraculously irrupt into it. Miraculous cures (e.g., at the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus), divine manifestations of various kinds (e.g., voices, dreams, and theophanies), and even virgin births and resurrections were widely reported.”
It is said one reason Christianity was an “easy-sell” to the Greeks or Gentiles is because some of their gods were born of a virgin and or died and were resurrected. In other words, miracles, including alleged miracles of virgin births and resurrections, were well-known and reported due to Greek mythology or Hellenism.
Additionally, according to the above linked article as well as many others, faiths like Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and a variety of pagan religions over the centuries, including witchcraft, all report miracles – not just Christianity. In other words, thinking Jesus must be God by passionately saying, “in Jesus’ name!” as if it is a magic charm and then seeing a miracle manifest is not exclusive or indicative as one must know the One True God or be the One True God. If you recall from the Exodus story found in Exodus 6-15, you will notice the Egyptian magicians could conjure up many of the same miracles God’s prophets, Moses and Aaron, did (see Exodus 7: 10-11,22; 8:7). In fact, God warns in Deuteronomy 13 that He will specifically send false prophets or false messiahs, or magicians, if you will, to test your heart to see if you will turn away from the absolute truth of the One True Living God and His documented voice, His instructions for life and love, found in Torah (first 5 books of Bible). For God warns if a person comes along performing miracles or signs that actually manifest, but then implores you to worship them or another god and or instructs you to do away with God’s Torah, His law, then you should NOT follow, NOT believe, NOT trust in that person or religion for it is false and simply a test to know what is in truly in your heart. Notice the verses specifically states “Follow none but Adonai (the LORD) your God, revere none but Him, and only follow His commandments” – not Jesus’ commands, not Paul’s or any other person’s – especially if their instructions or epistles contradict God’s!
So while other religions or people come along proclaiming and manifesting fascinating miracles, which inevitably will continue to happen, consider the following possibilities:
- It is a test as just discussed.
- Even though it is a test to see if a person who already knows the One True God will remain faithful to their Abba Father (God) and His word (aka Jews), God can use any illness or any healing miracle, or even false prophets for His glory (read the story of Balaam, a false prophet, in Numbers 22-24), or an oppressive leader like Nebuchadnezzar, as documented in the Books of Jeremiah and Daniel, to make His true name known to a person and others who learn of such miracles or events. God specializes in making His name known. Read the plethora of stories and statements made by God in the law and prophets. God says over and over again – He is all about making Himself, His name, made known for He is the ultimate Educator! So whether you are Jew or Gentile, God loves you and can and will allow illness or oppression, as a couple of examples, as well as miracles or deliverance, as a means to make Himself known to you in a meaningful and personal level.
- Know that whatever false prophet, false teacher, false messiah, seeming despair, seeming miracle, government leader, etc. that manifests, God may be using it as a test, and a means to reveal more of Himself to you, and has always been after circumcised hearts and wants a relationship with you. Therefore, He often allows said things as a means to draw you closer unto Him.
In conclusion, God graciously allows miracles in a variety of people, places, and even of differing faiths to ultimately bring us closer to Him, guiding us into more of who He is and His truth, not to necessarily validate a specific person or ideology is indeed abiding in His unchanging, absolute truth. Likewise, God graciously allows ailments or seemingly unfortunate circumstances in our lives to also bring us closer to Him, guiding us and others into more accurate truth of who He is and His will for us (just read the Book of Job), not to necessarily punish us for some wrong belief or sin. Moreover, according to the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:8 and the overall theme of the Book of Ecclesiastes, God’s thoughts and plans, or His will, don’t always align with our will or make sense to us, but for whatever reason, He allows, creates, and manifests such things as He deems. As the final verse of Ecclesiastes proclaims:
Learning to trust Him, surrendering to Him and His will, even when it doesn’t align with ours, that is the real miracle and authentic faith made manifest.
Much love, shalom, and blessings.
Carrie R. Turner, 10.4.2020
(Exactly 14 years after I cried out, “JESUS, SAVE ME!” – Thank you, God, for hearing my prayer and miraculously saving me anyway.)