8 Errors in Messianic Judaism

05/03/14 (02/03) Video Broadcast

The Messianic movement has done a lot of good, but there are also some commonly held errors that need to be addressed and corrected.

8 Errors in Messianic Judaism - Study


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We are ready to begin our study portion for today’s broadcast and looking forward to sharing some concerns I have about the Messianic Movement. If you have never heard of the Messianic Movement, I would be very surprised, but the Messianic Movement is very much growing.

To some extent, I would consider myself sort of a Messianic in a sense that I believe in Messiah and I share some of the same understandings found in the Messianic Movement. But there are some certain elements that are very common in the Messianic Movement that I would have to take issue with.

We want to go over some of these today because I do know that there are a lot of similarities between what I teach and what is found in the movement called “Messianic Judaism,” and yet, there are some very, very stark differences.

And I don’t mean to act as if I am superior to everybody or anything of that nature. Scripture says:

1Corinthians 8:2 – And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

3 – But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.

So, our goal is that we would be known by Him more so than how much we know. Because nobody knows everything. And so, I don’t want to come across as though I know everything, because I don’t know everything. So, I wanted to get that out of the way.

It is important, first and foremost, that we love Elohim. If we love Elohim, then we will be known by Him, according to the Scriptures. And so, our goal is that we would be known by Him more so than how much we know.

But we do need to learn the way of Yahweh. And so, we are going to go over some of the understandings very commonly found in Messianic congregations and compare them to the teachings found in the Holy Scriptures and see if there is a difference.

And so, anyway, here is our study portion: “8 ERRORS in Messianic Judaism” (one of which is up here in the left-hand corner). I don’t know, there is something about that that people like the look. They like the man there under his tallit and the so-called “prayer closet.”

But we are going to get into this and address some of the misunderstandings of Scripture, at least from my perspective, and you can compare what I am saying to the Scriptures. And you may or may not disagree with me, or you may agree with me. But nonetheless, we are going to start.

ERROR #1: The Mikveh. To me, this is the big one. I want to address this because it is a major, major issue from my perspective. It has changed what people do when they come to faith in Messiah.

In an effort to make water baptism seem more Hebraic than what you might see in a Protestant church, they have tied the Messiah’s command to get baptized into this Jewish concept of getting a mikveh.

Now, in mainline Judaism, and actually in the Torah, a person will go down into the water to get cleansed. But in mainline Judaism, a person will get a mikveh, and it is sort of like an immersion. It is a washing. It is a ritual washing.

But it is coming from the Scripture here in Leviticus, chapter 15. This is one of many places. This is not the only place. But, it says here:

Leviticus 15:19 – `If a woman has a discharge, [and] the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.

20 – `Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean.

21 – `Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

So, this “bathing in water” is, I am thinking, where this concept of “mikveh” has come from. And so, we are going to look at some Hebrew words here, first of all, to see if we can find some significant differences between baptism and what we see here.

First of all, this word translated “bathe” is from the Hebrew word “rachats,” and “rachats” is, in the Hebrew Lexicon, meaning “to wash,” “to wash off,” “to wash away,” “to bathe.” Basically, to wash yourself. That is the essential meaning.

Hebrew Lexicon for “Bathe”: 7364 rachats {raw-khats’} Meaning: 1) to wash, wash off, wash away, bathe 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to wash, wash off, wash away 1a2) to wash, bathe (oneself) 1b) (Pual) to be washed 1c) (Hithpael) to wash oneself.

It does not say “mikveh” there. It says “rachats.” And so, where does this thought of “mikveh” actually come from?

Well, we see in Exodus chapter 7 and verse 19:

Exodus 7:19 – Then YAHWEH spoke to Moses, Say to Aaron, `Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in [buckets of] wood and [pitchers of] stone.’

And the word that is translated “mikveh” is actually found in this Exodus chapter 7 and verse 19. Now, is there anything there that talks about washing or dipping in water? No.

Actually, the word “mikveh” is coming from this word translated “pools.” A pool. A pool of water in this case. And, actually, the literal meaning of it is “a collection.”

We see here in Leviticus chapter 11, verse 35– it says:

Leviticus 11:35 – `And everything on which [a part] of [any such] carcass falls shall be unclean; [whether it is] an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; [for] they [are] unclean, and shall be unclean to you.

36 – `Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, [in which there is] plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean.

This word translated “plenty” is the word “mikveh” (#4723 “Mikveh” collection). And so, this word translated “mikveh” doesn’t really even mean “baptism.”

Mikveh does not refer to baptism at all. Mikveh and baptism are two completely different words meaning two different things. And so, we cannot be using this term “mikveh”– at least in a Hebraic sense.

More accurately, we cannot use this word “mikveh” to describe baptism. It is describing the pool from which one would get baptized. It is not talking about the act of immersion. It is like a collection of water. It is not an actual baptismal right of any kind.

And so, take a look at this word in the Hebrew Lexicon: 04723 miqveh {mik-veh’} or miqveh (1 Kings 10:28) {mik-vay’} or miqve’ (2 Chron. 1:16) {mik-vay’}. Now, technically, it is “miqweh,” but it says here that it can mean: 1) hope 1a) hope 1b) ground of hope 1c) things hoped for, outcome 2) collection, collected mass n pr m (CLBL).

Origin: from 06960; TWOT – 1994c, 1995a; n m. You see here it is translated very widely. Usage: AV – linen yarn, 4, hope 4, gathering together 1, pool 1, plenty 1, abiding 1; 12.

Does that sound like baptism? That is not what it means. It does not mean that. And so, to call this baptism, this immersion, a “mikveh” is a misnomer. That is not what it means.

And so, it surprises me that people who would be so much into what would be called “Hebrew Roots” would get this Hebrew so wrong. It just kind of blows me away. Because we ought to know, even from the basic definition of mikveh, it does not mean “immersion.”

So, what would be the Hebrew word for “immersion”? Can we find a definition somewhere? Can we find a Hebrew word that would actually mean “baptize” or “immerse”?

In the book of Acts chapter 8 and verse 36– it says:

Acts 8:36 – Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, See, [here is] water. What hinders me from being baptized?

That is “baptizo” in the Greek.

Now, if you were to look in an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint, which is a 3rd century B.C. translation of the Torah), you would find this same word “baptizo” in the Greek translation of 2 Kings 5:14. It says:

2Kings 5:14 – So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of Elohim; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

It is talking about Naaman the Syrian. And so, this word “dipped,” in the Hebrew, actually is the word (#2881) “tabal.” If you take it back to the Hebrew, from the Greek “baptizo,” “baptizo” is how they translated this Hebrew word “tabal.” And so, “tabal” is the Hebrew word for “baptism.”

And I actually have a Hebrew Matthew in the du Tillet, and also the Shem-Tov, and both of them use “tabal” for baptism, not “mikveh.”

So, what is “tabal”? Hebrew Lexicon for “dipped”: #2881 tabal {taw-bal’} Meaning: 1) to dip, dip into, plunge 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to dip in or into 1a2) to dip oneself 1b) (Niphal) to be dipped. Origin: a primitive root. Usage: AV – dip 15, plunge 1; 16.

That is the basic meaning: to dip into the water, to basically immerse yourselves in the water. Now, the terminology is off to begin with, but the terminology is not the only problem. We can split hairs over that, but I do not feel I am splitting hairs at all. It is the most basic fundamental thing.

But the manner in which they do a mikveh, or baptism, is also wrong, because most of the time when you come to a Messianic congregation and you want to get baptized, or what they call “mikvehed,” they will tell you, “No, the ancient way it was done was you go down into the water. We will go with you as witnesses, but you immerse yourself.”

In other words, you will squat down into the water and you will stand up again. And that, they say, is the Hebraic way of doing it.

Now, if I was going to cleanse myself from uncleanness, some kind of ritual uncleanness, yes, that is how I would do it. I would go into the water and have a full immersion, and so on.

But we are talking baptism, “tabal”, which is a little different. There is a difference here. And I will tell you why there is a difference.

If you look in the book of Acts chapter 8, verse 38– it says:

Acts 8:38 – So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

Who baptized whom? Who immersed whom? He, Phillip. Phillip is the one. That is “he.” He (Philip) baptized him (the eunuch).

Who did the baptizing in this case? Did the eunuch do the baptizing or did Phillip do the action?

Analyzing Acts 8:38: he (PHILLIP)… baptized (TABAL)… him (THE ETHIOPIAN). Phillip IMMERSED the Ethiopian in water. The Ethiopian did not immerse himself. Phillip did the IMMERSING.

Now, in both the Greek and the Aramaic, and the Syriac, all these Semitic texts– all of them read the same way. They are all the same. Whether you are reading from the Greek or you are reading from the Semitic text, it is all Phillip doing the action.

So, the one who is doing the immersing is Phillip. So, Phillip immersed the Ethiopian. Phillip dunked; he did a “tabal.” He caused the “tabal” to happen to the Ethiopian. He is the one that did it. They both went down into the water, and one dunked the other. And so, Phillip was the one baptizing.

And this is very contrary to the practice in Messianic groups today where the person basically baptizes themselves while other people watch. But baptism is not biblically ever a self-baptism, at least not a baptism in the name of Yahushua the Messiah and not a baptism that John the Baptist did either.

John the Baptist is called “John the Baptist” because he baptized. He was the one doing it.

Matthew 3:1 – In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

2 – and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

John, the “Immerser” (Tabal). The one who does “tabal.” And so, this is a serious error. It is a serious error in Messianic Judaism, and it is probably the one that is the most significant because we are not performing the command that Yahushua told us to do.

And I think there is an important reason why there is one person who is performing this immersion on another: because we are the body of the Messiah. And so, it is Yahushua living in us. It is not we who live (Galatians 2:20). It is Yahushua living in us, who baptizes us, who cleanses us, who causes us to go down into the water, who raises us up.

And so, who is the one doing the raising? It is Messiah, right? And so, when I immerse, or when I baptize, or I tabal, I perform the action and the other person moves voluntarily along with it, but I am the one actually putting them into the water and raising them back up again.

Some people think because the Christian way of doing it today is that way, it must be wrong. Well, just because a Christian who is in a Protestant church does something a certain way does not mean they are wrong. We cannot go by that. We cannot say, “Well, because they do it, it has to be wrong.”

No, we cannot go by that. We have to go according to the Scriptures. And so, if the way it is normally done is the way it is done in Scripture, then that is what we have to go by. So, it does matter.

It is an important thing. It is the first step of a new believer. And it says:

Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yahushua Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39 – For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as YAHWEH our Elohim will call.

And so, if you were ever baptized in the Messianic way (not really a tabal, more of a self-immersion), I do not think it was done correctly, basically, according to Scripture.

It does not mean you are not saved. I am not going to go that far and start venturing into that neighborhood, but I am going to say that our goal is that we would be baptized the way that we are told and commanded to be baptized.

And if you were not baptized correctly, then I would encourage you if you want to stand before Him on the Day of Judgment and be able to tell Him, “Yes, I was immersed in the name of Yahushua. I was immersed. Someone immersed me. A person in the body of Messiah immersed me. And I did it in the way it was commanded to be done.”

And it is more about doing it the way He says rather than our own fanciful ideas, which are not really based on the Word of Yahweh. So, that is one of the concerns I have, and it is probably the most significant.

There are some other ones here that are fairly significant. And here is one of the others that may be not as significant, but it is a very common error in my view.

ERROR #2: The “Renewed” Covenant. The idea here is that we do not really have a new covenant. What we have is a renewal of an existing covenant. And some would even go so far as to suggest that Yahweh is continually renewing His covenants, from all the way from Genesis to… Zechariah… wherever. He is always renewing existing covenants.

But what I look at here according to what the Scriptures actually say:

Jeremiah 31:31 – Behold, the days are coming, says YAHWEH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah —

Some translations, including the ISR, or “The Scriptures” translation, and others, would translate this as “renewed.” But when I actually look into a Lexicon and find the correct definition of this word, “chadash,” it always tells me: “new thing,” “new,” “fresh.”

Hebrew Lexicon for “new”: 02319 chadash {khaw-dawsh’} Meaning: 1) new, new thing, fresh Origin: from 02318; TWOT – 613a; adj Usage: AV – new 48, new thing 4, fresh 1; 53.

Brand new. And it is translated “new” 48 times. And some of these places where it is translated “new”, it cannot be anything other than “new.” For instance:

They did not “renew” his ropes. They were brand new ropes that had never been used.

Isaiah 65:17 – For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

If the former is going to be obliterated, then it must be new heavens, not a renewed one. So, those are some instances. In every instance, it is talking about something new, not something renewed.

Now, the word properly translated “renew” is Strong’s #2318 chadash {khaw-dash’} Meaning: 1) to be new, renew, repair 1a) (Piel) 1a1) to renew, make anew 1a2) to repair 1b) (Hithpael) to renew oneself Origin: a primitive root; TWOT – 613; v Usage: AV – renew 7, repair 3; 10.

It can be “renew,” and I will acknowledge, the difference between “new” and “renew” is basically this little letter, right here, patach or qamets– whatever you want to use there. That is the difference. It is actually a vowel point. I will acknowledge that. So, I do not need even a Lexicon to tell me this is not a renewed covenant.

Here is where this word is used:

2Chronicles 24:4 – Now it happened after this [that] Joash set his heart on repairing the house of YAHWEH.

“Renewing” the house of Yahweh. And…

1Samuel 11:14 – Then Samuel said to the people, Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.

Let’s “renew” the kingdom there.

Isaiah 61:4 – And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.

They shall “rebuild” the old ruins. That is where this word is used.

But one of the biggest proofs for me that this is not a renewal of an old covenant is what He said in verse 32. He is going to make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, and He says:

Jeremiah 31:32 – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them , says YAHWEH.

He says this is not according to that covenant. So, how can it be a renewal of that covenant if it is not according to it?

And so, I understand what they are trying to do. They are trying to prove that we should keep the Torah and this is just a renewal of the Old Covenant. And so, we should still be following the laws found in the Old Covenant because it is just a renewal of the old one.

I understand that argument, but as handy as that argument might be, I do not really need that argument to prove that we should keep the Torah. It is just not honest with the Scriptures. And when we are not really being completely honest with the Scriptures, and these are two instances, it actually does more to damage our claim than anything.

Because someone who might be interested in this, and say, “Oh, okay, that is interesting,” and they go do their homework and they find it is not true, they are more likely just to dismiss the whole thing altogether. And this renewal and this mikveh thing are big deals in Messianic Judaism. So I am concerned.

I have read some of the materials put out by mainline Christians, and this is some of the stuff that they talk about. And it becomes a bad thing because it provides fodder for those who want to discredit what’s being said. And we do not need that.

But whether you agree with me on the Hebrew word or not, it is not according to the covenant He made with their fathers. However, He says: “I will put My Law in their minds, and write it on their hearts.”

Jeremiah 31:33 – But this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YAHWEH: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.

And so, it is the Law still. It does not say, “I am going to create a brand new law, too.” He just says “I am going to put My Law…” The Law that He was talking about there in Jeremiah had to be the Law of Yahweh given through Moshe that He was going to put in the hearts and minds of people. And so, that is what I look to.

When I am looking at this scripture in Jeremiah 31, you know, a covenant is just an agreement. A covenant is not a law. A law can be part of an agreement. Is there a law that is part of the Old Covenant agreement? Yes, but guess what? There is a law that is part of the New Covenant agreement as well.

And this law spoken of here cannot be anything other than (in Jeremiah’s day) the Law of Yahweh given through Moshe. It cannot be anything else. Otherwise, Jeremiah would be lying to the people– “And He says, ‘I am going to make a new law.'” He never says that. He never says, “I am going to make a new law.”

So, I do feel this is a significant problem and a significant error that we need to address and correct. And the New Covenant contains some promises the Old Covenant does not really give. The Old Covenant never says:

Jeremiah 31:34 – No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, `Know YAHWEH,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says YAHWEH. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

The Old Covenant never promises that. It is never a guarantee in the Old Covenant. Those who join themselves to the New Covenant do get that promise and that guarantee. Their sins are forgiven.

And so, I feel this is a big problem and a big error in Messianic Judaism if we compare what is being taught according to Yahweh’s Word.

Anyway, moving forward…

ERROR #3: Head Coverings for Men. And this comes right out of the Jewish tradition of the wearing of the kippah. For instance, some men are choosing to wear the skullcap, the kippah, or cover their head with a tallit, which is this rectangular garment, while they are praying.

And their reasoning is, “Well, okay, we should wear turbans because we are priests. We are Melchizedek priests. We are priests of our home, and we are called a kingdom of priests. And so, we should wear what the priests wear. The priests wore head coverings.” And that is the line of thinking that they use.

And, of course, it makes them more in line and more according to what is seen in Judaism if they were to wear something covering their head, because then they would maybe be able to reach them. But if that is the real reason, I ask this question: Why stop with the head covering?

I mean, with that reasoning, you are the priest, okay. If you want to go that far, then where is your linen tunic? Where is your sash? Where is the crown on top of your head covering that says “Kodesh La Yahweh” on it? Where is the breastplate with the twelve stones? Where is that at?

Don’t forget the blood of a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering when you enter the holy of holies. I mean, where are you going to stop with this thing? But they pick out the one thing, the head covering– “Oh, we are priests. We have to wear head coverings.”

But that was never commanded for the common people to do that. It is never commanded of a Melchizedek priest to wear one. And so, the argument doesn’t really hold water, because if you really want to be consistent, you have to do the whole thing, not just stop at the head covering.

We have to understand, we are not a high priest of an earthly tabernacle. We are a high priest of the heavenly tabernacle. And the Levites (the Aaronites, specifically of Levi), they are the ones who are charged with the duty of wearing the turban and wearing the breastplate and doing these things.

And they ought to if they are functioning in that temple service. But even though it is not commanded anywhere for the Melchizedek priest, people will grab a hold of that and assume they need to do that. But what do they do with these scriptures here?

1Corinthians 11:4 – Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonors his head.

Wow! We would not want to dishonor the Messiah. The head of man is the Messiah. It says if we wear a head covering (Kata Kaphalay), we dishonor our heads.

So, this Greek word, “kata kaphalay,” that is where we get “head covered” from the Greek.

Now their understanding of that, from what I have read, is they believe “kata kaphalay” just means having something down over your head. They believe this scripture is referring to a woman’s head covering, not a man’s head covering.

And so, they believe that Paul is simply pointing out that any man wearing a woman’s garment is dishonoring the Messiah. That is the way they resolve that scripture in some studies.

But, is this true? I mean, was Paul talking about a woman’s head covering? Was he talking about cross-dressing here? If that is the case, then you cannot cross-dress any time. I don’t care whether you are praying or not.

So, why is this only restricted during praying and prophesying that you do not cross-dress? And you are allowed to cross-dress other times? I mean, does that make any sense, really, just looking at it logically? Not to me.

But if you look, once again, in the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, you will find this phrase, “kata kaphalay,” used in the book of Esther chapter 6. It says:

After he is humiliated.

Kata Kaphalay. Same exact Greek words, right there. Now, do you think that he went and put a woman’s head covering on? I mean, if he is humiliated, he is trying to cover his head and his face so nobody can see him, obviously. And so, this just means head covering. That is all it means.

We do not have to add that it is a woman’s garment or these other thoughts. The context of this scripture is talking about Haman being humiliated. And unless you think he would humiliate himself even more by putting on a lady’s garment, which is unreasonable in my opinion, it just means head covering.

So, the reason given in 1 Corinthians 11 as to why a man should not cover his head has nothing to do with putting on a woman’s garment. Paul did not quote from the Law and warn the Corinthians against putting on women’s clothing. Instead, this is what he said, and he got this from the book of Genesis:

1Corinthians 11:7 – For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, since he is the image and glory of Elohim; but woman is the glory of man.

Now with everything we read in this verse, if you compare it with various scriptures on this, we understand that with baptism we died with Messiah, and we are raised with Him.

Colossians 2:12 – buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with [Him] through faith in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead.

So, Yahushua now lives in us. The old Adam died. The second Adam, Yahushua Ha Mashiach, is now manifesting before the Father. And so, He needs to be who is seen in the heavenly places during our prayers.

It is His image and His glory now that we bear. We are His body, the body of the Messiah, and the men who choose to wear a head covering are causing the image and glory of Elohim to be covered during prayer and prophesying. Prayer is when we are speaking to Yahweh. Prophesying is when Yahweh is speaking through us.

And so, scripture says we dishonor the Messiah when we cover Him up, when we cover up the image and glory of Elohim, and Yahweh’s work in us is not manifested before Yahweh in heaven. And so, we need not to be covering our heads, men. And I have a whole study on head covering, but to address the male side of things, that is what we need to go with.

So, men, no. The “prayer closets,” so to speak, they are not a prayer closet. All you have to do is just a little bit of research.

And this word, they think the “tallit” is the prayer closet. But it never says that in the actual text. This word translated “room” or “closet” is not talking about a head covering there. He says:

Matthew 6:6 – But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who [is] in the secret [place]; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

They claim this word “room” is talking about the tallit, the prayer shawl. But all you have to do is look it up in the Greek here, and I will just copy and paste the definition: 5009 tameion {tam-i’-on} Meaning: 1) a storage chamber, storeroom 2) a chamber, esp. an inner chamber 3) a secret room.

Origin: contraction of a presumed derivative of tamias (a dispenser or distributor); n n Usage: AV – closet 2, secret chamber 1, storehouse 1; 4.

It is a storage chamber, a storeroom, an inner chamber, a secret room. And the word is translated “storehouse” and “secret chamber” and “closet.” It is never said to be a prayer shawl. That is not from the Scriptures.

So, it doesn’t make any sense. And the word is actually used here in this verse. (And I am just doing this right off the cuff here. It is so easy to search and find.)

Luke 12:24 – Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and Elohim feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?

And this word is translated “storehouse” here. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither… tallit nor barn? I don’t think so. It is a storehouse or a storage room. And so, this is, again, the kind of thing that ends up causing the Messianic Movement to be discredited.

Now, these are some major tenets that we see being promoted today. And so, the head covering and the tallit, and that whole thing, and the mikveh, or the baptism, and the renewed covenant– these are some significant errors in Messianic Judaism today that need to be addressed and corrected. And hardly anybody is saying anything about it.

And then…

ERROR #4 on the list here: Paul/Shaul, a Second Class Apostle. Paul, or as commonly said, “Shaul,” is considered to be almost like this second class apostle. You know, there are the main apostles, and then there is Paul. He has these ideas and he has his own thoughts, and what he says are his opinions, almost as if, “Oh, yeah, that is Paul.”

They might say things like his writings have been so corrupted over the years and his letters have been “monked” with by the monks. You know, all this stuff I hear.

Listen, eighteen out of twenty-seven books in the New Testament are written by Paul, Luke or Kepha. If you throw Paul out, you have to throw Peter out. You have to throw Luke out. Luke was Paul’s traveling companion. Luke wrote the book Acts. I mean, you will only have nine books left, and you are going to miss eighteen.

But we need to understand. What is an apostle? What does it mean to be an apostle? It comes from a Greek word– “apostolos.”

Greek Lexicon for “Apostle”: 652 apostolos {ap-os’-tol-os} Meaning: 1) a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders… That is the simple meaning of it. That is the basic meaning behind it.

Here are some usages of this word “apostolos”:

Apostolos. Just one who is sent out. See? He is sent. That is why he is called “apostolos.” Simple as that. Because “apostolos” means “a delegate, a messenger, one sent forth with orders.”

2Corinthians 8:23 – If [anyone inquires] about Titus, [he is] my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren [are inquired about, they are] messengers of the churches, the glory of Messiah.

They are people who are sent out with a duty, with a message, following orders. They are sent out. Apostolos. Okay?

Yahushua said:

John 13:15 – For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

16 – Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.


John 13:17 – If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

So, it just means to be sent out. That is the simple meaning behind the word. But some would treat Paul being an apostolos (one of many apostoloses in the first century) as though he is a thirteenth apostolos (a thirteenth apostle) and that somehow that minimizes him in some way or means what he says is not important.

And I am sorry if you have never heard this before, but as you learn more about the Messianic Movement (and some even would use the sacred name, as well), you are going to run into people that just do not believe in Paul.

They do not believe his writings are legitimate. They do not think that what he says are inspired words. They do not agree with him. And that is dangerous in my opinion. And I have good reason to say it is dangerous.

It is a slippery slope, for one, because if you throw him out, then, you know, Luke is Paul’s traveling companion, so there goes Luke. Peter said some good things about him, called him “my beloved brother Paul.” He has to go.

You are down to nine books, and you can’t go by the book of Acts. So, you do not know what happened to the people after Messiah died. You cannot believe anything after that, because Acts is really the main account that we have of what happened afterward.

It would make no sense that there would be no narrative to enlighten us as to what happened after Messiah was resurrected. Yahweh always gives narratives after significant events. So, that is one reason.

And suppose, okay, he is number thirteen if you want to say he is number thirteen. Isn’t it kind of curious that we have twelve tribes, but we also have thirteen tribes, because of Ephraim and Manasseh? Isn’t that kind of curious? Does that mean anything to you? And maybe thirteen apostles. It seems like He adds one.

You know, He added a tribe, or renamed them or whatever. And Yahweh has the authority to do that. If He wants to add a thirteenth, He can. He did more than twelve tribes. He split one into two. So, no big deal. What is the big deal about that? What is so major about that that we cannot accept it?

Now, let’s continue here in John. He says:

John 13:18 – I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, `He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

19 – Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am [He].

20 – Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

And so, whatever apostles, whomever He sends, if we receive them, we are receiving Messiah. And according to the narrative– the only narrative we have of what happened after Messiah died for our sins, the book of Acts– it says:

Acts 9:10 – Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Master said in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Here I am, Master.

11 – So the Master [said] to him, Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for [one] called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.

Acts 9:12 – And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting [his] hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.

13 – Then Ananias answered, Master, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.

Acts 9:14 – And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.

15 – But the Master said to him, Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

16 – For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.

And so, Paul was a “chosen vessel.” He was a chosen vessel from Messiah to bear His name before Gentiles. Do you think for a moment that Yahushua is going to send these poor Gentiles, who were ignorant and deceived already, a false prophet? That would be the utmost cruel thing to do.

I do not believe that is the character of the Messiah to do something like that. What, does He hate them or something? I mean, I cannot imagine Him going to the trouble of dying for the sins of the Gentiles only to send them a false prophet to tell lies about Him.

And so, we need to understand, Gentiles in the first century placed a high value on knowledge. And Paul was a very knowledgeable person, and he was able to relate to them. And he writes to the Gentiles. An intelligent man, he is writing to the people who place a great amount of emphasis on wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

And so, when Paul writes to them, he goes into the deep things of Elohim– things that are not necessarily real easy to understand. In fact, Peter said so, in 2 Peter 3:15.

2Peter 3:9 – YAHWEH is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

10 – But the day of YAHWEH will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

2Peter 3:11 – Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12 – looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

2Peter 3:13 – Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 – Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

He is admonishing us to be perfectly obedient. Perfect obedience. But then…

2Peter 3:15 – and consider [that] the longsuffering of our Master [is] salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

It is through Messiah that we are saved, not through our perfect obedience. It is through Messiah. His longsuffering.

2Peter 3:16 – as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable [people] twist to their own destruction, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures.

What things? The longsuffering of our Master is salvation. Not our own works.

And when he says, “… these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures,” it is very interesting here.

Because in his discussions about Messiah being the One through whom we are saved– not by the Law, but by Messiah– he says, some people take these words he talks about, and how Messiah is our salvation, and they twist them to their own destruction “as they do the rest of the Scriptures.”

Now, if I said to you, “Wow, they killed my brother Joe, like they killed the rest of the believers,” by inference, you know that brother Joe must be a believer, because if they killed Joe just like they did the rest of the believers, then Joe must be a believer.

Well, if they twist Paul’s letters, like they do the rest of the Scriptures, then Paul’s letters must be Scripture. There is no way around it. And Peter acknowledged that. In the first century, he acknowledged it– that Paul’s letters were Scripture.

But in this talk about the longsuffering of Messiah being salvation, there are some confusing statements, things that are hard to understand. And the untaught and the unstable will twist them.

For instance, Romans 2:13 says:

Romans 2:13 – (for not the hearers of the law [are] just in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the law will be justified;

How about that? That sounds good. Most people who believe we should keep the Torah would be understanding of that. But then he says:

Galatians 3:11 – But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of Elohim [is] evident, for the just shall live by faith.

Now, wait a minute. He just said “the doers of the Law will be justified,” but then he says “no one is justified by the Law.” What is he talking about? Things hard to understand. Talking about the longsuffering of our Master is salvation.

The truth is, yes, all doers of the Law will be justified. But it is also true no one has ever done the Law except for Messiah. And that is it. Only one person ever has kept the Law. Only one person in the history of mankind has ever been a doer of the Law. And that is Yahushua the Messiah. Not you, and not me.

So, no one is justified by it. No one can be declared righteous by the Law. That is all he is saying. It is only through Messiah we can be declared righteous, and that is by faith in Messiah.

And he quotes this Habakkuk chapter 2, verse 4:

Habakkuk 2:4 – Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

This word “just” means “the righteous.” The righteous is going to live (that is have eternal life) by faith, not by works. And he is saying that is evident in the sight of Elohim. You cannot be justified by the Law. You have to have eternal life only by our faith, not by our obedience.

Now, does that mean you don’t be obedient? No!! He says many times, “Shall we sin then because we are not under the Law, but under grace? Yahweh forbid!” And there are so many things he says in favor of observing the Torah (the Law).

But people take them and they do twist them. And the ones who would twist them would be the ones who are untaught. Untaught in what? In the rest of the Scriptures. And the unstable– that would be new people who are just coming into the faith.

And so, why is it then that in mainstream Christianity most people hear, “Oh, you have to go read Paul’s letters?” I mean, they might not have read Genesis, yet, and they have to read Paul’s letters.

And you continue to read here, and you find out where Paul got his wisdom. In Galatians 1:15, he says:

Galatians 1:15 – But when it pleased Elohim, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called [me] through His grace,

16 – to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

17 – nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those [who were] apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

He did not immediately confer with flesh and blood. No, he went to Arabia.

Galatians 1:18 – Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.

What is in Arabia? Sinai.

Galatians 4:25 – for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children —

So, after he came to Messiah, he was so shocked he took a trip down to Mount Sinai. I mean, he went to Arabia. I do not know where else he would be going there in Arabia except that it would be Sinai.

So, I would not be one to put him down as not being correct in what he wrote. His writings are called Scripture. He was given wisdom by Yahweh according to Peter’s testimony. And he went to Sinai to get the wisdom. And so, I would be very, very careful about setting aside what Paul says.

He spent time there. I believe that is why he writes the way he does. His writings are very deep, but people don’t like what he says about head coverings. They do not like what he says about a woman’s role, what he says about marriage, and things like that. And so… “Well, that’s Paul.”

And I have heard those statements too many times. It should never come out of our mouth. It is Scripture, sir. That is Scripture. That is the inspired living Word of Elohim. Yes, Paul penned it, but it was Yahweh who said it. He inspired it. And we are not going to take that road.

I mean, once you start ripping pages out of the Scriptures, you can rip whatever you want, wherever you want, however you want– and you have no foundation. And I have seen some, literally, after rejecting Paul, look at Yahushua with the same evil eye that they rejected Paul with and reject Him, too.

And I have even seen them reject the Prophets and the Psalms and only believe in Torah. And then, later on, reject that, too, and become atheists. I am not kidding. I have seen it happen. So, I do not think we need to go down that road.

I am going to stick with the Scriptures and with the first century believers and what they taught. I find that the Scriptures we have are reliable. We have copies going all the way back to the second century A.D. Some fragments are found that old.

Everything he said in his letters are in perfect accordance with what is written beforehand. And I would put a challenge out there to anybody who would tell me one verse in Paul’s letters where he contradicted anything that Yahweh ever said should be done. And I will put it out there.

ERROR #5: Blind Love of Jewish Tradition. Some people are embracing Messianic Judaism more so because they like “Jewish stuff.” They just like the Jewish people, and they like the little things they do and the little haggadahs, and the little things they have going, the prayer books. They just like the Jewish stuff.

They have a love for the Jewish things, and to some degree, that is great. We have to love Judah. We have to love everyone, and they should be included. Absolutely! And I consider myself to be a part of Israel, and so, they are my brothers, you know, in the flesh in a sense.

But when I look at that I also see a concern of mine. Okay, we like the Jewish things, and what not, but we have to be careful, because just because the Jews do it does not make it correct.

I mean, just because the Jews have been keeping the Torah for 2,000 years or 4,000 years, or whatever you want to say… 3,000 years… that does not mean that they are always right in how they have interpreted it. I mean, every human being is subject to error.

And so, there are some traditions they do that I feel we do have to be careful about. And there are some guidelines we need to follow when it comes to whether or not we are going to accept any tradition– whether it be from a Jewish congregation or a Gentile church.

And here are some “Principles for Accepting Tradition”– First of all, be absolutely sure that it did not come from a pagan or idolatrous source. Don’t tell me that the Jewish people are immune to this, because how do you explain the egg on the Passover plate? I mean, how do you explain that? What on earth is an egg doing on the Passover plate?

But it is right there. And it just so happens to be around the time that Christians are keeping Easter with the Easter eggs and things like that. So, just because the Jews do it, it doesn’t mean they would never have accepted that.

Because you just don’t know what has happened over the years of the Christians just hammering and killing and destroying and burning up the ghettos– you just do not know what kinds of things have been imposed on them that may not be biblical, that may not be according to the Scriptures.

And so, the Christians who seem to be willing to accept Gentile traditions found in paganism may have imposed things on the Jewish people that, if you knew about it, you would say, “Oh, well, I don’t want to do that.” And so, I am real cautious about this kind of thing.

And so, we have to make sure that what we are following did not come from that source. And a lot of times, you will not be able to know. You just won’t be able to research it because there is not enough information to trace it back. And so, in those instances, I think it is best just to not do it.

Number two: Be absolutely sure it does not break a commandment of Yahweh. Yahushua said, “Full well you keep your tradition, but you break the commandment in the process.”

And then, thirdly: Do not turn it into a command by looking down on others who do not follow that tradition. And that is what a lot of people do. I wouldn’t say a lot of people, but some people do.

And do not assume that because those from a Judaism background are more experienced with the Tanakh that their baggage, or whatever, is supposed to be more likely to meet these principles, because Judaism practices some things which Yahushua said is rejecting the commandments of Yahweh.

And when Paul wrote to Titus, he said:

Titus 1:10 – For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,

11 – whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

12 – One of them, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans [are] always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.

Titus 1:13 – This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,

14 – not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

I think a modern day Jewish fable may be this oil story with Hanukkah. It is not found in the Talmud. It is not found in the book of Maccabees. It is just some Jewish fable. We do not know whether it happened or not, and we may be celebrating something that never even happened.

Now, we do know that Messiah kept the Feast of Dedication. It was winter. That is different. And to give thanks to Yahweh for re-establishing Temple worship in Yerushalayim for that time period, I have no problem with that.

But the oil story and the nine candles, you know… the menorah and all that… adding the branches to the menorah– that is not Scripture. That is just tradition, which may be rooted in a fable that is not even true. So, that is some concern I have there.

And then, in mainline Judaism, of course, they have the rabbis…

ERROR #6: Messianic “Rabbis.” Yahushua had a few comments to say about this. In Matthew 23, verse 5, He said:

Matthew 23:5 – But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.

6 – They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

7 – greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, `Rabbi, Rabbi.’

Matthew 23:8 – But you, do not be called `Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brethren.

Now, what does this word rabbi” really mean? According to Thayer’s Lexicon, the word translated “rabbi” is actually transliterated correctly into the Greek– 4461 rhabbi {hrab-bee’} Meaning: 1) my great one, my honourable sir 2) Rabbi, a title used by the Jews to address their teachers (and also honour them when not addressing them).

Look at this… Meaning: 1) my great one… And that is the literal meaning right there: “My great one.” That is what the word “rabbi” or “ravi” means in the Hebrew.

The word “rav” is a word meaning “much,” “many,” or “great.” If you add the “ee” sound on the end, it is possessive then– “my great one.” That is what you are saying when you say this man is “your great one” or “your rabbi.”

Hebrew Lexicon for “Rab”: 7227 rab {rab} Meaning: adj 1) much, many, great 1a) much 1b) many 1c) abounding in 1d) more numerous than 1e) abundant, enough 1f) great 1g) strong 1h) greater than adv 1i) much, exceedingly n m 2) captain, chief.

Usage: AV – many 190, great 118, much 36, captain 24, more 12, long 10, enough 9, multitude 7, mighty 5, greater 4, greatly 3, misc. 40; 458.

The word is translated “great,” for instance, here:

Genesis 7:11 – In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

That is just one example, but let me ask you this question: Which one of the apostles, which one of the disciples in the first century (in the book of Acts, or otherwise), name one that ever called himself or was ever called “Rabbi”? Never. Never once. Not even one time is Paul called “Rav Shaul.” Never. He is never called “Rabbi Shaul.”

And Kepha? No. James? No. Not one scripture do you find any of the first century believers called “Rabbi.” Not even one. Now, doesn’t that tell you a lot right there? Rabbinical ministry is nowhere found in Scripture. They are taking their cues from Rabbinical Judaism.

Now there were two men who were called “Ravi” in Scripture– John the Baptist and Yahushua the Messiah. But nowhere would you find any of the apostles or leaders in the first century assembly referred to by that. And right after John the Baptist was called Ravi, he says, “Well, I decrease. He increases.” He humbled himself.

And so, trying to copycat Judaism to gain a favor of those who happen to be in that religion is called syncretism and compromise. And while it is true that the apostles were not really trying to create a new religion in the first century, it is also true they were trying to reform the existing one.

And the fact that nobody in the first century assembly ever called himself “Rabbi” certainly demonstrates this is one of the practices rejected by the disciples of Yahushua, because it was a very common term.

And so, I do not want to be called “Rabbi” or “Ravi” or “Rav” or “Reverend” or any of these titles that people try to apply to themselves. One is my Ravi, and that is Yahushua Ha Mashiach.

ERROR #7: The Hebraic Mindset = Listen to the “Rabbis” or the “Sages.” Some people actually act as if having a Hebraic mindset means you have to listen to what the Rabbis say. You know, they have the right mindset. They know the Hebrew. And they have the sages. They have the Hebraic mindset.

And, yes, they know Hebrew. I will go along with that. They may know the language and everything. And so, it is actually encouraged in some circles to listen to the oral law and to obey the oral law. The oral law is essentially written down in the Talmud. And that is their mentality. We should follow this oral Torah.

Yahushua, though, warned about their doctrines. He said, in Matthew chapter 16:

Matthew 16:6 – Then Yahushua said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

7 – And they reasoned among themselves, saying, [It is] because we have taken no bread.

8 – But Yahushua, being aware of [it], said to them, O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?

Matthew 16:9 – Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?

This is supposed to be a parable of this leaven of the Pharisees. The leavening reproduces.

Matthew 16:10 – Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?

11 – How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? — [but] to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

12 – Then they understood that He did not tell [them] to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Well, this doctrine is pretty much preserved in the Talmud. That is where they preserve their doctrine.

It is the doctrines of the first century “rabbis” that is actually keeping the Jewish people from accepting Yahushua the Messiah. And it is the doctrines of traditional Christianity, and the Reverends, that are keeping the Christians from seeing the Torah and also keeping the Jews from accepting the Messiah Yahushua.

And so, we have to acknowledge this. Listen, I love the Jewish people. They invited me to their dinner table when I was in Israel, me and Brother Bill. I had a wonderful conversation with them. I had a wonderful time. And I am as committed as anybody else in seeking to reach them for the truth and for the Messiah.

But we also have to realize, in many cases, the reason why they do not receive Messiah is because of these false doctrines from the so called rabbis.

Yahushua said about these Jewish leaders in the first century:

Matthew 23:34 – Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: [some] of them you will kill and crucify, and [some] of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,

35 – that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

On whom may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth? The men who wrote the Talmud.

Matthew 23:36 – Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

The Talmud consists of the Mishnah, which is the teachings of the first century Judaism of these men. Then there is the commentary on that. And there is Rashi’s commentary on both. So, the writings are preserved in the Talmud.

And the reason why they say you have to do this is because of Deuteronomy 17, verse 8. It says:

Deuteronomy 17:8 – If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which YAHWEH your Elohim chooses.

9 – And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge [there] in those days, and inquire [of them]; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment.

Deuteronomy 17:10 – You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in that place which YAHWEH chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you.

11 – According to the sentence of the law in which they instruct you, according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside [to] the right hand or [to] the left from the sentence which they pronounce upon you.

So, He is warning them to obey those Levites, the people who were appointed to be the judges in Israel. And He said:

Deuteronomy 17:12 – Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before YAHWEH your Elohim, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel.

13 – And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously.

And so, they were told, “You have to obey what those men say.” And that is why many Jewish people believe they have to follow the rabbis– “Gotta follow the Rabbis.”

But guess what? The rabbis are not necessarily even from Levi, much less the sons of Aaron. And so, how did they hijack that? How did they become the leaders, the ones you listen to? But nonetheless, they do.

We are told in Scripture:

1Peter 2:13 – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Master’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

14 – or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and [for the] praise of those who do good.

So we should submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Master’s sake according to this scripture.

1Peter 2:15 – For this is the will of Elohim, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men —

16 – as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of Elohim.

17 – Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear Elohim. Honor the king.

Boy, it sounds like, “What I am promoting is we should listen to the Jewish leaders.” But wait a minute. What do the Apostles do in Acts chapter 5?

Acts 5:26 – Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.

27 – And when they had brought them, they set [them] before the council. And the high priest asked them,

28 – saying, Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!

Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said: We ought to obey Elohim rather than men.

When it comes down to it and you are going to have to decide whether you obey Elohim or whether you obey men, you have to obey Elohim. Yes, submit yourself to every ordinance of man, except when they tell you to disobey Elohim.

And so, in terms of doctrine, whose doctrine are we going to follow? Who is in authority now? Is it the rabbis? Or is it Yahushua, “the” Rabbi?

Matthew 28:18 – And Yahushua came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

He is the One that we go to for truth, for doctrine, for understanding. He is our Rabbi.

Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 – teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

He is the One in authority. So, when it comes down to it, we obey Messiah. We do.

Daniel, he was faithfully following the laws of the land in which he lived, but he would not disobey Yahweh, right?

Daniel 6:4 – So the governors and satraps sought to find [some] charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he [was] faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.

5 – Then these men said, We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find [it] against him concerning the law of his Elohim.

So, he submitted himself to every ordinance of man because of Yahweh and what He said, but when it came down to it and he had a choice between obeying Yahweh and obeying men, he obeyed Yahweh. He did not stop his practice of opening the window and looking toward Yerushalayim and offering up prayer. He did not change one bit.

He could have hid in a room somewhere, where people did not know he was praying, or whatever. He did not change anything he did because of that ordinance. When it came to his relationship with the Father, no one came in between him and Yahweh. Because no man has jurisdiction over us except Messiah.

This is an important thing for us to remember. We are not under the rabbis. We are under “the” Rabbi– Yahushua Ha Mashiach. He is the One we follow.

ERROR #8: Let’s “Peddle the Word of Yahweh.” The final error, which grieves me greatly. What do I mean by this? Well, according to 2 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 17, Shaul (Paul) said:

2Corinthians 2:17 – For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of Elohim; but as of sincerity, but as from Elohim, we speak in the sight of Elohim in Messiah.

So, we have here a charge against the peddling of Yahweh’s Word.

Now, some translations do not have that “peddling” word in there, but when you look into the Greek text– #2585 “kapeleuo” {kap-ale-yoo’-o}– it says: “Meaning: 1) to be a retailer, to peddle 2) to make money by selling anything 2a) to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain 2b) to trade in the Word of [Elohim].”

We are not supposed to be selling Yahweh’s Word. I mean, did Yahushua charge? When He gave the Sermon on the Mount, did He charge “5 shekels and you can be a part of the crowd”?

He had a real problem with those who turned the House of Yahweh into a place of merchandise. The one time He got the whips out:

John 2:13 – Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Yahushua went up to Jerusalem.

14 – And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business.

John 2:15 – When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.

16 – And He said to those who sold doves, Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!

The word “merchandise”: 1712 emporion {em-por’-ee-on} Meaning: 1) a place where trade is carried on, esp. a seaport 1a) a mart, an emporium Origin: from 1713; n n Usage: AV – merchandise 1; 1.

Do not make His house– or His Word, I would say, also, based on 2 Corinthians 2– something with which to make an emporium.

You know, Yahushua, this otherwise very gentle, very patient man, made Himself a whip of cords and whipped men into submission, scaring them out of the temple, turning their tables of the moneychangers over, dumping it all over the ground.

What is wrong with having sheep and oxen? I mean, we know everyone was pretty much farmers, most people were. And so, there would be people who needed to purchase lambs in order to make the Passover sacrifice made by Yahweh. And yet, He hated it. He hated the mixing of holiness with the profane.

Yahweh’s temple is a holy place. Profane men were coming in and commercializing the Feasts, commercializing the offerings of Yahweh so much, Yahushua considered it to be thievery. And we have the same thing happening today. We really do.

You know, the Messianic Movement has become a marketplace. It has become a selling point. It has become a tool for making money. This is how ministries make their money. They sell teachings. And I have a real problem with that.

I mean, I don’t have a problem with a believer being a fulltime minister. I am a fulltime minister. I take donations for me and my family. I do not have a problem with that. But to start selling the Word of Yahweh so that only the rich can afford and the poor cannot afford? Uh.. no. We should not do that. We should never, ever, ever do that.

I read an article this week (USA Today Web Site). The title of the article was called “Hebrew Roots Rising” (3/14/2014). And in that article, they were talking about the Hebrew Roots Movement, and toward the end of the article, they said: “There are 10 to 15 major ministries and hundreds of smaller ones.

“Many are subscription-based and charge for their seminars, classes and prayers. If Hebrew Roots continues to grow, one could easily see certain personalities turning their followings into the kind of hefty profits brought in by megachurches, trading sprawling cathedral complexes for vast online ministries fueled by a culture of paying for knowledge.”

I was appalled when I read this.

“Legions of well-educated, faithful followers mixed with big personalities and big profits? Sounds like Hebrew Roots, not unlike other ascendant religions, may soon have to deal with some complex challenges. What would Yeshua do, indeed.” (USA TODAY Web Site – “Hebrew Roots Rising. Not quite Christians, Not quite Jews” – 3/14/2014).

Earlier in the article they were talking about how Hebrew Roots followers were just trying to live like Messiah did. And whoever wrote this article, he was smart enough to see what was happening. This is becoming a “culture of paying for knowledge,” this whole thing. He even questioned: “Is this really what Messiah would do?”

And this is a black eye on the movement in the eyes of whoever this person was, and probably a lot of other people. You know, the merchandising of the teachings… and so on.

What did Yahushua tell His disciples when He sent them out? (What would Yahushua do, by the way?) He said:

Matthew 10:7 – And as you go, preach, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

So, when we preach, when we heal, when we cleanse, when we do miracles, when we do our ministry– “Freely you have received, freely give.”

Matthew 10:9 – Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,

10 – nor bag for [your] journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.

In other words, it is okay to take donations, but you do not charge for anything. It is okay if someone wants to give you what you need. That is okay, but do not charge for anything– freely give.

And so, Yahushua wants us to carry this attitude of having no worries about the money part of things and just move forward. Freely give.

Do not charge for your books. If you are going to charge anything for a book or a CD, or whatever, okay, maybe you can charge them costs. But, you know, we send out, I think, maybe one hundred DVDs every week. We have volunteers handling that. That is of the broadcast.

And then there is I don’t know how many (probably 4 or 5 thousand) of “Hebrew Roots” DVDs that have gone out thanks to those who just want to give. Never had to charge for a single CD, or anything.

So, Yahushua wants us to carry this attitude of “freely give.” I have been to Messianic gatherings, even Messianic synagogues, where (right there on Sabbath) there were tables of various items for sale. It really grieves me.

Again, I am not against collecting donations. The last six months my family and I (actually, since the month called “November”), we went fulltime ministry. I rely completely on donations to provide for our needs here. And Yahweh has provided. I praise Him for that.

There have been some scary moments, but, you know, I have to move forward and trust Yahweh. But to start charging people at the door, I mean, come on. Way over costs. If you want to charge whatever it costs to produce a DVD, that is one thing. But or for a DVD set– or whatever, this is venturing into the ridiculous.

Because why would a rich man be favored over the poor when it comes to hearing the Word of Yahweh? That is why Yahushua said “freely give.” I believe that if He wants the Word to go out, He will provide the finances to make it happen. I mean, we do not have to break out the vending equipment.

Why not bless the people with the opportunity to give an offering of their own free will rather than forcing them to pay money in order to hear the Word of Yahweh? If they are blessed by what they hear and they want to help, then great.

There is a great reward when people give of their own free will. If you are just going to charge, it is just like, “Okay, I bought my food for the week in the grocery store, and here I bought my spiritual food over here at ‘such and such’ ministries.” It is more of a merchandising kind of thing.

So, these are some areas I certainly am concerned about with the Messianic Movement. These are the errors I am seeing. And, you know, no one is perfect, and probably somebody could write a study “8 Errors of EliYah.com.” I don’t know. They have a different perspective than myself.

But this is what I am seeing, and if you agree with me on the Word– HalleluYah! That is what I am trying to put out there. And no one is perfect in everything. But in comparison, these eight areas that are common in Messianic Judaism, when I compare them with the Scripture, I do find a difference.

Unless somebody stands up and says, “Uh, wait a minute. This is not right. We are going the other extreme, now. We went one way, and now we are flipping back the other way. You know, like a pendulum going back and forth.”

And so, if you really want to boil down to what I am looking at, it is: Who are the saints? Who are they? Who are the people that Yahushua calls believers? What are their characteristics?

To break it down real simple, here:

Revelation 14:12 – Here is the patience of the saints; here [are] those who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yahushua.

Two things: 1. Keep the commandments of Elohim 2. The faith of Yahushua. It is as simple as that. Do what the Father says and believe in His Son.

Judaism, yes, they are real big on, “Keep the commandments of Elohim.” Although, they have added traditions and things on top of it. And mainline Christianity, yes, they are real big on, “You have to believe in Messiah,” but not so big on keeping the commandments.

Why don’t we do both? I mean, that is who the saints are. That is who His people are.

Judaism is found in this first concept, and mainline Christianity is found in the other. But maybe we just need to follow the commandments AND the faith of Yahushua and shed the unscriptural baggage of both religions and follow that straight and narrow road right down in the middle of both of them– minus the baggage.

Maybe that is the straight and narrow path. I do not see what other path could be the straight and narrow path. Over and over again in Scripture– Torah and Messiah, Torah and Messiah. I will be sharing more about that next week, Yahweh willing.

Anyway, I hope that some things have been enlightening to you. May Yahweh guide all of us into His truth. May He expose any errors that we have in our hearts. May He show us His ways as we seek His ways. And as we seek and we knock and we pursue righteousness, may Yahweh fill us with righteousness.

Father Yahweh, in the name of Yahushua Ha Mashiach, I pray that everyone who has heard this study today would receive it in the way I meant to give it, which is with humility and with a sincere concern for the things that we are seeing. Father, we just want to know what Your truth is.

No matter where it might be and who might speak it, it does not matter, Father. We just want Your Word, Your Torah– Your Living Torah, Yahushua– to dwell in us and fill us with understanding and to fill us with the light that You want us to shine ever so bright to this world.

And Father, if there is any error or dark way or misunderstanding in our hearts, we ask that You would shed Your light, shine it brightly upon those areas and give us full understanding that we might be an accurate and true manifestation of Yahushua Ha Mashiach dwelling on the earth. It is You, Father Yahweh, we seek to glorify through Him.

And it is in His name we pray these things, through Yahushua Ha Mashiach. For truly Yours is the glory and the Kingdom and the power, and all praise, honor and worship belongs to You, Yahweh Elohenu, forever and ever. In Yahushua’s name, Amein.