I have been thinking and praying these last few days about how the world is reacting to this Covid-19 virus, and the announcements of various governments around the world. I have been listening and watching the reactions of people, both online and in the public as we have ventured out. I have been weighing these behaviours against The Word of Yahweh written for us to bring us through these days.
This is what occurs to me.
At one point I read a story of an elderly man, someone who has been through the Great Depression. Someone who knows what it is like to do without - bread shortages, flour and sugar rations, and other things which greatly affected their lives during that time. This man has “seen it all,” you could say. He went to the store and, with everyone else in line with overflowing carts of toilet paper, just wanted 4-6 rolls to get him through the month. That was all. Just to get through the month. He asked the “owner” of cart upon over-flowing cart if they would sacrifice just ONE package for him. Not one would give up a single pack of toilet paper for an elderly man. Not one. I wanted to throw up. Literally – my stomach got so knotted that I felt like throwing up.
Is this what we have come to in America? If so, then it is time for people to check their heart!!! Do you know what hurt the most? Watching people who under normal circumstances call themselves believers, but under THESE LAST FEW DAYS, threw all that, shall we say, three sheets to the wind??? Yes, I went there and made a toilet paper reference!
If anyone would have, even for a brief second, questioned or hesitated about giving toilet tissue to that man, you need to check your heart. But I will go even better on this topic, if you think that saying one thing here on social media or when talking with friends, but act differently in public - Check your heart!
And remember these words and use them as your check list:
When you have hoarded things to yourself or prevented another less fortunate than you go without, what you just did was as if we have done it to Yeshua!!! Literally.
In Matthew 25:40 WEB it pointedly states: "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU DID IT TO ME.” (CAPS added for emphasis)
I know, I repeated myself. I did that in hopes that it drives the point home. Sometimes, in front of others, we may behave or speak one way, yet act or react completely different in another setting. Because of that, NOW is the time to truly examine Yahweh’s truth, the words recorded from Genesis to Revelation. THIS is the time to find out, discover, and examine how well are we witnessing of Him in each aspect of life.
Remember those verses in the New Testament that say, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” We hear them often as believers, don’t we? Well, let’s look a bit more closely at the words in Matthew 7:12 WEB “Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”
I love this version because it is very direct: whatever it is that you want people to do to you, go out and do it to them!!! As you venture out to the grocery store or bulk store, can you say that you did to others as you wish to be treated? Another way of saying this is: Didn’t you just express to others by your actions that you want to be treated a certain way? What way was that? Were YOU a good example of Yeshua? Of His teachings? Did YOU exemplify Christ?
Or how about Luke 6:31 WEB “As you would like people to do to you, DO EXACTLY SO TO THEM.” (CAPS added for emphasis). Ouch. We often use these words to scold others for how they treat us, but is that what it truly says? I see things a bit differently – I see that we’re being told to treat others EXACTLY how we would like them to “do so” unto us. So, when you are rude, are you expecting to be treated rudely? Angry – angrily? Lacking compassion and denying basic needs to others – you want others to deny basic needs then to you.
I know believers who have taken pride in screaming in the faces of clerks, cussing at store workers, cursing at family members! Using this teaching, we should ask them when they brag about it or demonstrate this in front of us, “Did you just give permission for that person to scream and cuss in YOUR face?” Of course, they will say no, and likely claim the person deserved it or “had what was coming to them.” But if you show or recite either of those verses to that “believer,” I pray you can show them how they actually ARE giving that person a certain level of permission to do the same to them.
Reversing the attention in those verses should be an attention getter for every believer. How YOU ACT TODAY, TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK during this entire man-made crisis is a statement of HOW YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO TREAT YOU.
If you hoard all the toilet paper to yourself, then that means you want people to withhold basic needs from you in an emergency. If you ensure you buy all the meat or milk, cereals or pasta, and do not share with the neighbor who didn’t make it to the store before the panic, then you are stating out loud that is how YOU want them to treat you in your time of lack! Have you ever thought of it that way? I have – many times. It is one of the “exercises” I use regularly to try and keep myself in check.
I have used this throughout my life. If I want others to backbite or gossip, lie, cheat, steal, and covet from me, then I will do the same to them. Yet I don’t want people to lie to or about me, covet, cheat or steal from me. And so, I try my best to not do those things to them.
That is what those words are there for in the scriptures – to help remind us of what NOT to be. Yet many don’t look at them from the other side. Most often we try to use those words to put OTHERS in check for how they are treating us or those around us. Take the time, please, during this trial in our nations. And think about how you are treating others. Remember that old saying about walking a mile in their shoes? Now is the good time to try that. Some days it is as simple as asking yourself, if I were the store clerk, cashier or manager, or even the other customer: would I want those words coming out of someone’s mouth aimed at me? Would I want them to behave that way toward me?
This is what will get us through the next weeks.
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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John 8:32 says ” . . . and the truth will set you free.”
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to social media this month. . . Seems the truth definitely set me free - from other people’s social media, to be exact. I have to say that social media is not my favorite thing on the planet, to be honest. I didn’t even have a Facebook page until just a few years ago. I always sensed that social media could rob you of time and get out of hand quickly when not “babysat” properly. I have watched this happen on several occasions to myself and to others, and it has taught me to be much more watchful and careful.
Recently it seems, there has been an uncomfortable tendency to attack people and say things about them that are just not right and decent. The concern started when people with normally kind hearts, seemed to change from the ways they would usually act, which was kind and caring, and then turn on people with venom in their words when people challenged their faulty beliefs, both biblical and secular beliefs. It took me some time to get the courage to stand up for someone else because I knew I risked losing “friends”. Probably not the right attitude to have, right? After all, the Bible tells us several times how we are to stand up for others.
Proverbs 31:8-9 WEB Open your mouth for the mute, in the cause of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and serve justice to the poor and needy.
Let’s quickly explain that in Verse 8, the word mute means someone who is unable to speak for themselves, someone who is speechless. This definition can be used to mean someone with a physical inability to actually speak, but is also used to mean someone who just isn’t able to speak for or stand up for themselves. This may be someone who is not courageous enough or who feels intimidated. Yet, you can see how these verses tell us to open our mouths for those who cannot so that we can help get justice for the afflicted, humble or weak ones. By not speaking up because there is more worry about whether or not the numbers of our friends or followers will go down, then we are not following the advice of scripture. I was not speaking up at first because I was more concerned about risking being “deleted”. Finally, something stirred inside me and I just could not watch while others were disrespected by unkind words and taunts, especially by people who are normally very kind and loving.
Psalm 82:3 WEB "Defend the weak, the poor, and the fatherless. Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed”
Psalm 94:16 WEB Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
What happens when we choose to sit silent and allow the insults, taunting, or what-not to continue? There are a few very clear verses in Ezekiel that warn us of consequences for when we DON’T speak up. You see, when we remain silent, we are failing to share the truth that Yahweh gives to us about how to treat others.
Ezekiel 3:17-19 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I tell the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked, and he doesn't turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
OUCH! Yahweh has given us his truths, and we are responsible for lovingly teaching others through our example and sometimes even through rebuke. It is our responsibility to try with love in our hearts to teach them, for the burden lies with us who know the truth.
I was faced with this on a few occasions recently and, well, after much hesitation, I finally spoke up. I carefully chose the words I used and tried to follow the Torah in everything I said. I wrote, erased, and rewrote each line several times. It was important to make certain my heart was true and my intentions were pure so that I could be blameless for what I was saying. I prayed before I “spoke”, in written words of course, and I tried to use scriptures for those who would listen to scriptures. For those who are not believers, I tried to use only truths that were Torah, not worldy “truths”, and worded things so they would hold up to their personal belief system. Knowing that mentioning the Torah or “God Stuff” would upset them more, I tried to avoid mentioning Yahweh, scripture verses or His teachings in any way, while still teaching His Truth.
No matter how much I struggled with writing just the right words, they were not well received. The reactions were less than kind, often accusatory, and in the end, very angry. None of which were my intentions. Yet I have learned one thing over the last several months in Yahweh’s refining process, there will be people who will not yield when the truth is presented, no matter how it is presented to them. I watched as my words were misquoted, twisted, and misused. As things unfolded, my true intentions were misrepresented and untruths were told about my character and my reasons for speaking. Very little was spoken about the content or whether it was right or wrong, just personal attacks launched against me and those I defended. When things I stated WERE rebuked by this other person, it came across as nit-picking about phrasing, or my grammar, and an attempt was made to embarrass me in front of their friends for my misusing one word. The truth from scriptures I was attempting to teach was never accepted, denied or even addressed. Instead, all I got back as a response was a diversion from the real message, like a magician who uses slight of hand to trick the audience, or a politician who redirects an uneasy conversation.
John 3:20 WEB For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed.
Proverbs 1:7 “. . .but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction. . .”
Proverbs 15:32 “. . . He who refuses correction despises his own soul, but he who listens to reproof gets understanding. . .”
I am sorry that there is now a wedge between me and these others I had hoped to help. That was never my intention. I have spent several hours over the last few weeks, a few minutes here, several minutes there, questioning, and re-examining my behaviours, to ensure that I stayed within Torah. There are a couple of things I will correct, should I ever have the chance again to speak with the people who are angry. I am not above judging my own actions, receiving rebuke from Yahweh or refining myself, but for now things will be left unsaid.
There was never another chance to talk sensibly, calmly, or humbly with each other. The immediate response was for the person to eliminate the perceived “problem." In each case, it was my sincere prayer that the recipient of my messages will take to heart what was said, pray on the words that were spoken and see the spirit in which they were given. In the end, it is in Yahweh’s hands and only He can change or mold hearts. And if anything else that I have said or done was in error, He will correct me, change me and continue to mold me as well. In the meantime, life goes on, and social media is STILL not my favorite thing in the world. It is, however, a useful means to minister to others, especially those who are at a great distance as long as we continue to have the boldness to speak the truth and the compassion to minister to others.
Ephesians 5:11-13 Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them. For the things which are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things, when they are reproved, are revealed by the light, for everything that reveals is light.
A lot of the topics we discuss on Torah for Women come from actual things we have seen or heard amongst believers in Yahweh and Yeshua as they try to find their new path in a purposeful life. It is common to see both men and women turn from everything Christian, including all the things that are good and right in their “old” Christian faith. In an effort to distance themselves from those things that are legitimately incorrect or inaccurate, we have seen many people who have decided to give up on the truth that they had learned in their previous Christian walk, and that brings great concern.
Imagine for a moment you leave a church and faith that has distinct pagan traditions or untruth running rampant through their doctrines, activities, and belief system, but that church also has a strong faith in healing or a strong teaching in repentance and baptism. Should you forsake the truth, they shared with you and now create new dogmas or doctrines that contradict the truth you learned just so that you can be different from what you used to be?
I remember being there at that stage where suddenly you see contradictions in so many areas that you have to purge your entire thought pattern and do a mind dump just to find Yahweh. I remember being over-zealous and anxious to share my new knowledge with everyone. The interesting thing is that as time wore on and I conducted deep biblical studies, I discovered some of the things I had learned as a young adult and as a mother, in that “pagan” religion were true and biblical. I was taught in my old church that many of the churches on the earth draw NEAR to Abba, but none is entirely truthful. Of course, they went on to teach that only THEY held the FULL truth of Yahweh; only THEY have all the words and teachings that men are to follow. It seems that each and every religion believes this about their own doctrines. Remember the best lies always contain some truth.
When you take a much deeper look at every mainstream religion currently practiced, it is easy to see that some of the teachings are quite obviously false. For example teaching that the Ten Commandments are no longer to be followed, they are obsolete. Other church doctrines are close enough to Yahweh’s teachings that they seem plausible or believable, and yet others are very close to His truth. Whether Protestant, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, or any other “Christian” religion, each has some truth, some half-truth, some untruth, and it becomes necessary on the journey to remember to keep the beliefs that are the truth. Yet what we have seen often is men and women throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Believers on their new Journey back to the Biblical roots of their faith have often been hurt by their previous church, the leaders, or the members and that anger and pain can drive a believer to claim every little thing about those people and that religion is completely false, a lie, pagan, or heretical. The concern comes when others see the “new believer” in Torah become so engrossed in fighting against the past that they forget to search for the spirit in all things. It is important to discover the truth in the Word and then turn to teach that truth with love and kindness to those who have been left behind in your previous Church. We must, as believers in The Way, find it in ourselves to forgive, love, and find a way to fill our hearts with the same compassion and patience Yahweh has shown to us in our own journey, and lead others down a similar path.
Which way do you wish to be treated? Would you prefer Yahweh teach you by screaming and yelling at you, cussing and cursing, and blasting you for believing what you believed before, all the while ranting about what beliefs you had that are all “PAGAN!!!” Or would you learn better by being taught with gentleness and patience? Maybe the next time you feel the urge to combat another “Christian” or someone considering becoming an “Ex-Christian,” you could take that into consideration. . . just food for thought.
1 Thesalonians 5:19-21 WEB
Don't quench the Spirit. Don't despise prophesies. Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good.
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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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