Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (also Deut 5:7)
Each of us has come a long way on our journey through man-made doctrines until we reach the pure Word of Yahweh. Along the way, we could claim various denominations as our spiritual “home”, albeit a temporary one. One common thread I see is that not long ago, 3-10 years ago, a movement was afoot. Many of the women I speak with regularly left the “comfort of their customs and religion” to forge a new road for themselves, their families, and friends. Along the way, as far as people go, they have lost some and gained some. I am no different in my search for Truth - family and friends have come and gone.
At one point in my life, I was Catholic. Having gone through their classes and ceremonies, I became a full member in “good standing” at the parish closest to my home. I loved the people. They gave me the community, acceptance, and love I had been searching for. There were gatherings, and festivals, prayer meetings, and even the need for a women’s auxiliary. With writings going all the way back to the times of the apostles, church history provided me with the historical background I was seeking in a church.
I learned the prayers to recite and even memorized the Rosary. I had several sets of beads to use and prayed it often in the beginning because I was under a lot of stress at the time. I found that, when I prayed, it brought me comfort and calm that I felt I wasn’t finding any other way. Although for decades I had been praying directly to the Father, I felt some kind of comfort believing that the rosary prayers were “interceding” for me. Almost as though praying for “intercession” gave you that extra power boost you needed to get the desired answer to prayers.
As time went on, I discovered the more I prayed, the more “it” brought me peace, comfort, direction, answers to prayers, even healing. Everything I asked of God he delivered and, oddly, I still continued to believe it was because of my rosary prayers.
Until one day I noticed I would get a few words into the rosary “prayer," suddenly stop saying the repetitive words, then pray directly to The Father. This was just as I had done for so many decades before. I realized how all those blessings and every prayer answered was not from the intercession of some string of beads or a methodical prayer to someone else. I had been giving power to an idol (the Rosary) in the beginning. Over time, though, my spirit recognized that I needed to break free from that idolatry and pray, speak, praise, and ask Yahweh directly. Without my knowing it, I had escaped man-made religion and slipped right into what was right and true - A relationship with Yahweh. I was praying to Abba, and he was blessing me.
Knowing this story about my past, it seems strange that I now get condemned by people who are doing the same thing I once did, using different objects of idolatry. Over the last several years, I have seen both men and women give a similar power to “things” they own, just as I had done with the rosary beads. Like them, I initially believed it was my praying through that string of beads that gave me healing, strength to fight, ability to overcome, personal comfort, just as they believe it is in their particular “item” that they have power. I have witnessed people make the same kinds of claims about healing, comfort, and power that I once made about the rosary prayer. However, their idol is not a set of beads, but instead, their idol is a head-covering, a tallit, a kippah, or even a pile of balanced rocks.
No matter what your item (idol) is, you need to learn that the power is not in that physical thing. In fact, the power given to an item only lies in the mind of the one worshipping the item. The key that we have to learn is that the power of Yahweh lies with Yahweh, and not in some object we turn into some idol.
Now, before you deny you worship idols, ask yourself if you could live days, weeks, or months without that object. If you find an attachment to that object and believe your life will not be the same without your head-covering, kippah, tallit, or another item, you are attributing power to that item. You are caught up in a form of idolatry.
Sometimes it doesn’t appear we take this issue personally enough. We ignore the obvious and we may even think we can’t “have” some of the promises from Yahweh unless we earn them. For whatever reason, inside our heads, we believe we are supposed to suffer, be anxious, wear an object or perform some man-made ritual, to get answers. Yet Yahweh has told us many times that those things are not of him. In the scriptures, we witness Yeshua’s miracles and the power of Yahweh at work throughout every event. We marvel at His amazing acts portrayed right before our eyes. We know that Yeshua promised we would do greater works than what he did. Yet people seem to be unable to fully believe in these things and they are unable to put their full stock in the promises from Yahweh. People find it easier to believe that a Tallit, a kippah or a head covering will bring more comfort and blessing than Yahweh will, while at the same time claiming Yahweh used that fabric or that item to bring them blessings. It’s like people need an earthly object they can touch and see in order to fool themselves into believing they are connecting with Yahweh.
In our book, “The Headcovering Dilemma - SOLVED!” we address this topic of idol worship with some questions you can ask yourself to help clarify and understand if you have placed an item before, in front of, or even in the way of Yahweh, therefore making it an idol in your life. These questions can be used by both men and women to help in understanding their relationship with Abba.
There are scriptures listed to guide and direct you as well. I recommend each person pray so that your relationship with Yahweh will be what it is meant to be, and then read the book. Take the time to do a self-checkup on idol worship. Before writing this message, I took the "check-up." It helped point out a few things to me that I don’t worship, but that I was at risk of elevating to a position they don’t deserve. It was a good personal examination, and I pray you will give that time to yourself as well. Don’t get caught up in idol worship and especially don’t do that idol worship in His name.
May you be blessed.
Isaiah 42:8 KJV “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
Judges 10:14WEB “Go and cry to the gods which you have chosen. Let them save you in the time of your distress!”
Do I honestly know that this is lesson number 757,243? No, of course not, but some days I honestly feel that Yahweh has truly had to work hard at showing me certain things - and patience in trial is one that I struggle with sometimes - or rather impatience in trials!
I have noticed that when things are going great it is easy to point out to myself and to others that Yahweh is good, He is with us, he is guiding everything. When things are a struggle, or someone comes along and tries to throw an obstacle up, that is when He has told me I am whining!!! He has also warned me of my demanding nature in trials, and my why, why, why. . . .
I don’t find myself asking “Why don’t you do this for me?” Or “Why did you do that to me??” I don’t find myself blaming Him at all, but what I DO find myself doing if a challenge is going a little bit longer than what I think it should be going, I can find myself asking “Yahweh, I know you have got this but why aren’t I seeing the end result already? Seems to me this struggle has been long enough. It sure looks like everything is in place for it to work right, so where is my end result??? HMMM????”
But if I would just stop - for five minutes or maybe ten, just long enough to listen to Him I might actually HEAR Him. When I do that, when I pay attention to the Spirit telling me to “Be still! And know that He is the great I Am!” If I relax, I find the truth - there are often instructions that He has been giving me that I didn’t do, or people I needed to talk to that I had forgotten to talk to. Each of these little details may be something that needs to be in place before the end result produces what He wants it to produce. That end result is always much more than I anticipated or expected. It gives me the opportunity to realize and learn that I need to remember to do my part, too, all of my part as He instructed.
It is a wonderful feeling when you help Him put all the pieces in place by doing your part, by being obedient, and then, after the end result, you can look back and say, ‘WOW!” His hand was literally in every single detail, including me. I have seen this happen so many times in our lives and in the ministry. Yahweh will reveal to us a choice that we need to make, but to accomplish that choice, it is going to take a lot of little pieces to be put in place. I have watched Yahweh change a hardened heart in another person and turn a situation completely around for our benefit. I have witnessed a difficult person pulled from our lives because they were standing in the way of what Yahweh wanted to happen for us, and a new person filled with his love and Spirit placed right at our door.
When we sit back, and listen, when we are quiet, there is so much more that can be done and accomplished, so many more lives touched, so much in our own hearts changed for the better when we cooperate with leading and yield to the work of the Master.
The other day in prayer, while pleading with Yahweh for the concerns of the sisters in Torah, an inspiration for an article came to me to share with you:
Close your eyes for a moment and picture a HUGE sports stadium packed to the brim with people. There is not an empty seat anywhere to be found. You are walking in with all those people seated and waiting for you to walk up to a podium in the middle of the stadium where there is a remote control and a microphone. You pick up the remote and start showing the entire audience pictures of your children, extended family, every vacation you have ever gone on right on the Jumbo screen. While you flip through the photographs, you make sure that you tell them every little detail about your event and life in general:
- where you live, the colour of your house, and your pets
- your children’s names, ages, where they live if not at home, where they go to school, who their friends are
- include where you go shopping and when
- Where you work, what days and times, and where you go to lunch during work
- Show them your spouses name, where he or she works, and everything you love or hate about them
- Oh, and please remember to tell them when you are leaving for your next vacation and how long you will be gone.
You might be saying to yourself, “That is ridiculous. I would never give all that information to perfect strangers!” Yet many do it every single day - but you don’t call them strangers, you call them “friends”. Perusing social media and looking at other’s accounts, sometimes you can see people who have thousands of “friends” who have access to their very personal data. This is not just public figures who have this high number, but many average people have large numbers as well. Yet, do you really know who you are sharing your personal information with?
Let me go back to the original example - An average sports stadium holds 70,000 people. In 2001, there were over 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States of America, and over 1/4 of them were reported “missing”. Today, according to statistics the US could have more than 750,000 registered sex offenders. Add to that the annual rate of approx. 300,000 rapes that have no convictions, the number of predators in that stadium just doubled. Doing the math using the percentages from 2001, there would be approx 210 registered sex offenders in that stadium, along with approx. 90 non-convicted rapists. If you consider robberies and forced entry burglaries, out of the 70,000 people in that stadium, 650 of them will be robbed at some point in time. This could be translated to the reverse by saying that 650 people in that stadium are likely to be burglars of some type. This may seem like few people when compared to the 70,000 at the event, but so far that would mean that there is, at minimum, around 1000 potential violent criminals in that stadium and you just gave your information to all of them.
This is not said to instill fear in people’s minds, but to bring awareness to you of who you could be giving your personal information to. Often times we are no more familiar with the people we “meet” online than that group of people in the stadium, yet we are so free with very personal information that could be used to get even more personal information about us. We try to be friendly and nice, and often we do it in the hopes of teaching someone about Yahweh.
You may be asking right now what this has to do with Torah. Not long ago Torah For Women accepted a friend request from a fellow who proclaims to be a follower of Yahweh and Torah observant. Within a short time, this wolf in sheep’s clothing revealed his true self by implying something that was very anti-Torah, through a post about husbands and wives. We not only recognized his false teachings, and blatant self-promotion of what he called a ministry, but we also took the time to do some checking on this individual and discovered many more anti-Torah teachings that he shares with men and women in the Torah movement. We even discovered he had perused our writings, personal information, and public posts to discover our "mind-set", then made an attempt to use it "against us".
This individual was found to not only share anti-Torah teachings of others, but he also writes many of his own false teachings and is even willing to “personally advise” others on their relationships by giving his false interpretation of Torah as well. Sadly, the teachings this person advocates are not something we haven’t seen before and even more alarming we continue to see spread among Torah keepers and Christians. This teaching is anti-Torah, because it involves approving, promoting, and even encouraging the physical abuse of women. It is done to teach wives complete submission to their husband, and as these false teachers state it is often “necessary” to beat a woman so that the wife will properly understand her place in the marriage and home. This type of thinking is not only anti-Torah, but very dangerous and criminal.
This teaching spreading online goes on to claim that a man has the right to deny even basic comforts because they are privileges, and not rights. Things such as food, water, drink, personal care items, showers, even toilet tissue, could be “privileges” that a man can remove until the wife submits to the man of the house - whatever his submission requirements are at that time. Sadly, many men and women are following this teaching and are standing by these so called Torah teachers and adopting these methods of “disciplining wives”.
Yes, you read that right, there is a move among Torah followers that is teaching men to beat a woman into submission and deny them basic comforts as well, and both husbands and wives are following it and falling for it. Some men, we discovered, will even go so far as to make the wife’s life miserable by selling her car and buying her one that is less than what she had. This is done to show her that she must comply with his directions in keeping the home and raising the children. Not selling it for financial reasons as if it is a burden on them, but for punishment for not “taking care of the house properly”. It was also recommended on one fellow’s counseling site to “punish” or “discipline” the wife as you would a child by changing the password on the internet, cancel the television service, turn off her cell phone, and embarrassing her publicly until she “submits”. If these methods don’t work, then it is recommended to perform “harsher punishments as discipline”, such as beatings. These people (men and women) think this form of relationship and submission is biblical, but we outright call it unbiblical. These people claim the bible teaches men to be harsh masters of their home, but we 100% dispute this and call their teachings sinful.
Here is our biblical proof to refute these false teachers that promote spousal abuse.
Colossians 3:19 says “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them”. Is this method of forced compliance taught by these false teachers fulfilling this counsel to love your wives? NO!
Psalm 11:5 “Yahweh examines the righteous, but the wicked and him who loves violence his soul hates.” This teaching by these men that promote domestic violence is something Yahweh hates. Pretty clear to me.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;. . .” Husbands - is beating your wife the way Yeshua loves his church, the assembly? No, he sacrificed himself for his church/assembly.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” These men need a lesson on true love.
1 Peter 3:7 “You husbands, in the same way, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered” Please, answer for yourself, ladies, do you want a husband to give you honor or to give you a relationship where you are forced into doing everything a man demands and if you refuse to obey get beaten? I hope you would always want better for yourself.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don't you know that you are a temple of God, and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for God's temple is holy, which you are.” God’s temple is holy, you are the temple of His spirit, should that temple be beaten, abused, misused, tortured, and demeaned? Any Torah keeping man should recognize this.
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone doesn't provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” These men who think they have the right to hold back food, water, clothing or other things from their wives are not only in need of help themselves, but the scriptures call them WORSE than an UNBELIEVER.
Each home is different, each has its own dynamics, direction or flow. It is not our job here at Torah for Women or our responsibility to tell one couple or another how to run their home. It is our calling, though, to teach what the Torah teaches and this matter has been pointed out several times in recent weeks to us. We have even witnessed ourselves how this violent teaching is being shared amongst brothers and sisters, and it needs to END!! This is a great concern for us. Violence of any kind toward a wife is not biblical.
We don’t care what any wolf in sheep’s clothing is teaching online or in home groups. These false teachers might claim this criminal activity is approved by scriptures, but that’s a lie. These false teachers will encourage men and women to adopt their teachings and will even proclaim themselves Torah-keepers and “experts,” but we know enough about the scriptures to tell you their teachings are unbiblical, sinful and ungodly. Sisters, know that their are weirdo’s online pretending to be Torah keepers and biblical teachers. Don’t be so trusting of everyone you meet online!!!
Many of you sisters are single and are praying Yahweh bless you with a Torah observant spouse. Others are married sisters looking for places to fellowship with your husband and family. In either case, I want you to place yourself back at the stadium scene. In this stadium you’re allowing everyone and anyone to come along and know your deepest, most intimate details and learn enough about you to weedle their way in to your life. You’re allowing them to look into your relationships, your problems and the feelings your experiencing. These people might offer you comfort, console you, offer advice and attempt to win your trust. For the safety of your children, yourself, your family, please search your friends list, read what people post. Be skeptical before accepting random “friends”. I would also like to recommend as soon as possible, read through the timelines of these so called “friends” you barely know and read what they have been up to. You may find you need to make some changes and delete some people from what you thought was your sanctuary....(your personal Facebook page). If you love having all these friends then stop posting your personal business on your page. Talk scriptures, talk about world events, talk about generic topics and keep your personal business among your real friends and family by sending private messages.
Check them out, don’t be afraid to do it either. It is YOUR home they are coming into, through your computer, your phone, your tablet. Don’t forget people can download your photos, your kids photos and use them. People can scope out your possessions, and know enough about you to approach your kids and claim they are family and you sent them to pick them up.
You are the one who lets them in, or doesn’t. Be blessed, but also: BE WISE. and Be courageous.
2 Timothy 3:6-7 For some of these are people who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For some reason this feels like it should be simple to write and yet it has been one of the most challenging articles to get from my heart and head to my fingertips. I thought, “I can whip this out in a day!" Yet Yahweh has had different plans for the direction He wants these thoughts to go. As these two whole weeks that I have been struggling with this topic have gone by, I have found out that this problem runs deeper than I initially thought.
Now there are some who are going to say this is silly to bring up, but it is the deeper part that makes this entire topic far from silly and very valid. The scripture above, found in 2 Timothy 3, depending on the various translations, calls us women “vulnerable”, “gullible”, “silly”, “weak”, “captive”, “idle”, “foolish”, and . . . how about we stop there? It’s not very flattering. This is talking about days to come in the future from the time of the apostles. Times that we live in now. This is a time when women typify those words and give in to the people that creep into their homes through the internet, and women are being led away by various “lusts”, passions, desires, and impulses.
Now the key to this whole verse, though, is that the women who are lead astray and deceived appear to already be loaded down with sin. Yet it does not describe with what sin or sins they are weighed down. Often times women do not feel that this latter day warning applies to them because they are not “weighted down” with sin. Sure, each of us are battling with a sinful nature, but women believe they are not “weighted down” by any sin. It seems that the vision of being weighted down includes BIG sin - like total immorality, murder (abortion), lying, cheating, and stealing. Even these last three bring to mind images of BIG lies - like what politicians do daily, BIG cheating - like a major company deceiving the public with a skewed medical study, BIG stealing - like robbing a bank, but Yahweh does not distinguish between BIG and little. Sin is sin and in the end we will have to answer for all our choices. So, take a good look at your heart and mind, then ask yourself, “Am I weighed down with sin?”
Take a spiritual inventory of the things you might struggle with or be hanging on to. Past bitterness from a failed relationship, gossiping, unbelief, hypocrisy, head-strong, high-minded, speaking evil of something without proper evidence. These are just a few of the things we have talked with others about, and when confronted people quickly deny they do it or that their words and actions are sinful. Yet, this is their opinion and not God's.
We are not here to judge whether you are weighted down or not, we are here to only inform you that there is a pattern developing in the women in the Body of Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus) that is concerning, and can lead to dangerous spiritual travels down strange and winding roads. What you want to be seeking, though, is the straight and narrow pathway.
In this modern age, there really aren’t people physically “creeping” into our homes - we have locks on our doors, security systems, lights on out front and out back. We take pretty good precautions to keep our homes safe against physical intrusions. Yet without us realizing what is going on, people are creeping in - right in front of our faces. Through our computers, tablets, cell phones, televisions, and social media of every kind. Not just the daily entourage of unsavory stars and reality TV people, but even those who claim to be men and women of Yahweh are sneaking in. They enter with teachings that sound good and reliable, yet if we took the time to truly study things out and test them against The Word, we would find that there are a lot of flaws in what these people are "teaching".
Now, here is why this is important - and yes, I laughed when I first read the situation below, yet Yahweh has impressed upon me that what is happening is a fulfillment of 2 Tim 3:6. Women are making themselves look vulnerable, gullible, silly, weak, captive, idle and foolish by allowing people to creep into their lives and homes, leading them astray with all types of fables and strange doctrines.
Here is one example:
DiHydrogen Monoxide. Have you ever heard of this dangerous chemical before? I can promise you, beyond a doubt, that you have definitely heard about it. This chemical can irritate skin, increases corrosion of certain metals, is used as an industrial solvent, used in nuclear plants, it can cause explosive reactions when mixed with certain mineral compounds, contributes to erosion, is a major component in acid rain, and when inhaled, can even cause death. You use it daily, have it in your home, use it in your gardens, eat it in foods, and do so many other things with this “dangerous chemical composition”. Right about now you may be seriously getting nervous about having such a horrible product in your home. You might be asking yourself “Is this endangering my family?” Well, don’t worry because Dihydrogen Monoxide is only WATER. YES, I said it is plain old WATER.
Think about it for a moment “di” means 2, Hydrogen is H, MON is 1, Oxide is Oxygen. TWO hydrogen and ONE oxygen make up what? WATER, also known as H2O. BUT, when you put a chemical name to it it sounds very scary, doesn’t it? It sounds toxic, maybe even deadly? But it is not any of those things, it is simply water. YOU are made up of water, or at least a good part of you is. God made you and God made water.
More and more, there are memes floating around claiming that farmers are spraying it on our crops in an attempt to force us, unknowingly, to consume this hazardous chemical. It is used in our prepared foods, added to our drinks that we buy, etc., etc., etc. Someone has even been creative enough to dedicate an entire website to this “chemical compound” and has created a governmental HazMat sheet called an MSDS for this dangerous product. I have watched people fly off the handle and make statements such as “The maker of this needs to be stopped!!! Just like (that major chemical company)!!!” Which has me laughingly calling out, “But it’s just water people!!!”. You may even be surprised to learn that this rumor was "invented" by a 14 year old in 1997 to find out how gullible the public is.
With creative marketing, some pretty pictures, and just the right wording, someone has made a complete campaign out of it now to deceive people into spreading rumors and false teachings. He or she are probably laughing at all the gullible people believing this joke and passing it around from post to post. Why is this important at all? After all, water has nothing to do with our salvation, and it does sound silly that many are falling for this spoof. BUT if you are gullible enough to fall for something such as this, what other delusion will you allow to lead you astray into false doctrines, teachings, or impulses?
Take for example the strange teachings that are running rampant through the Torah followers. There are so many of them cropping up right and left that it is often difficult to keep track and keep up. Lately everything is pagan. Everything from saying the words “blessing” or “amen” to watching the Olympics to the bible being called an idol. Yes! You heard it correct. There are people who believe and teach all this, or they are just passing around another joke to see who falls for it. All these things are randomly being declared forbidden because of their so called attachment to “paganism,” which are claims that cannot even be proven.
Recently I witnessed someone being scolded that they improperly capitalized a letter in a word, therefore giving it “more glory than was appropriate”. And let’s not even discuss the “name game” today. These are just a few, but there are an over-whelming number now, and it seems to grow exponentially every day. It is becoming such a phenomena that people are making memes now to show the silliness of it all. Now, normally these would not be any issue at all because much of this silliness has nothing to do with your salvation, but if a woman in Torah is easily led astray because she falls for these memes, or even this H2O website, what else will she fall for?
WE are responsible for studying. WE are responsible for learning, and testing everything. WE are responsible for knowing the truth. But, sadly, it appears lately many women are more easily deceived than men tend to be. Women have the softer heart, often feel overwhelmed with responsibility, and they act as if they haven’t enough time to study something out fully and test teachings for themselves. Single women in the Torah movement have the need for male leadership to fill that missing gap in their life. However, this desire for male leadership is making these single women susceptible to falling for any man who appears godly, who fills the missing gap. Sadly, no matter what this man teaches, women easily accept what he says as truth because they must follow this new “male leader” in their life.
Ladies, let’s face it, the very first deception was in the Garden, and Eve fell for it. Not Adam. Why? Because it fulfilled her desires. We don’t need to be this way, though. Choose you this day whom you will serve, the deceiver? Or Yahweh!
It is our prayer that you test, challenge and study for yourself all teachings that cross your path. The next time a meme pops up that sounds unnerving or even joyous, please look it up and study it for yourself first before you join in passing false doctrine. Know the truth, know His true teachings and make sure His words are written on your hearts and in your minds. Do this for yourself so that you will know the difference between truth and all the internet lies and strange doctrines being passed around.
Now, go, please, and pour yourself a nice cold glass of dihydrogen monoxide, relax and study to avoid being fooled again!!!
Blessings and Shalom!!!
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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