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Showing posts from 2019

“Kingdom of Heaven” or “Kingdom of God”?

The two terms, “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God,” create a great deal of confusion for readers of English translations of the New Testament. They also caused a great deal of confusion for scholars and theologians who are able to work with the languages of Greek and Hebrew. This is very clear from the number of books and articles they have written. However, much more important is that one must understand what “Kingdom” meant to Yeshua in order to understand his mission and movement. Read the complete article at --

Yeshua on "What must one do to be saved?"

Take a moment and think about your answer to this question. For many, the above question is “the most important question of all.” Why? Because being saved from “an eternity burning in the fires of Hell” is something they definitely do not want to experience! So, what must one do to be saved from an eternity in Hell? Christians do not agree on the answer. Click here to continue reading the article --

Prayer Through the Eyes of Yeshua

For Yeshua and his Jewish followers, prayer served very different purposes from those of Christians today. The following will help you understand some of those differences – and probably change the way you pray!
You and God are partners in prayer.
Prayer does not always work in the way you want it to or think that it will. God is concerned with the lives of all of His creatures, not just yours.
Prayer is not speaking magic words that force God to make something happen.
Prayer is not bribing or forcing God to obey you.
Read the complete article at --

Jesus or Paul Part 5 (And Then Paul Changed Everything!)

Paul formed a community around his ideas and beliefs. In his community he was the only apostle, he preached a different gospel, and “righteousness had nothing to do with doing acts of tzedaqah.” The Epistle to the Romans clearly describes his new reality.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
In Paul’s exclusive gospel, righteousness is not something people do – it is mysteriously revealed by faith to those who believe what Paul taught.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. (Romans 3:21-22)
In Paul’s gospel, even though “works” and “righteousness” are unrelated. However, someth…

Jesus or Paul Part 4 (Only What People Do Counts)

Doing acts of tzedaqah are so much greater than just giving food, drink, clothes, etc. They were all done by one person for another person.
● Each act was a face-to-face experiencea personal expression of one’s concern for the shalom of the other. The giver “cared for” the receiver and the receiver felt “cared about” by the giver. The feelings of “being cared about” and “being able to care for someoneelse” are very valuable and powerful experiences.
● Each act was an act of acceptance – the giver “showed his or her acceptance of the receiver” and the receiver “felt the feeling of belonging.”
● Each act was an act of one community member for another community memberit was a demonstration of the values of their community. The receiver knew he or she was entitled to receive what was given and the giver knew it was his or her responsibility to give. The receiver knew he or she was not obligated to the giver in any way, but the receiver knew he or she was obligated to give what anothe…

Jesus or Paul? (Part 3: The Breaking of Shalom)

Jesus or Paul? Making People’s Lives Right or Making People’s Beliefs Right? Part 3

The Breaking of Shalom
Making the “right to live” a reality requires “loyalty to the community” by God and people. Leaders and members of the community are responsible for creating and maintaining that environment. We see this in the second definition above. The entire community is charged with the responsibility of “the elimination of anything breaking the shalom.” This is the cornerstone of human justice.
The primary mission of every follower of Jesus is the elimination of anything breaking the shalom!
In the teachings of Jesus, tzedaqah is linked to shalom. Isaiah 32:17 helps us see that link through the eyes of members of the Jewish culture:
The deed of tzedaqah shall be shalom and the labor of tzedaqah shall be tranquility and safety forever.

Shalom results from the deed of tzedaqah.” Now we must clearly understand what “shalom” meant to Jesus. In Hebrew: The Eternal Language by William Chomsky (p. 4) we …

Jesus or Paul? Part 2

Jesus or Paul? Making People’s Lives Right or Making People’s Beliefs Right? Part 2
The Hebrew Meaning of צדקה‎ (tzedaqah)
Jumping from back and forth from one language to another can be a little confusing. But, simply using the traditional translation of the Hebrew word above “righteousness,” may be more confusing. The word “righteousness” is code word – a religious word lots of people are familiar with but rarely, if ever, use in their daily conversations with friends or in commercial transactions. When was the last time you used it?
I will be using the transliteration of the Hebrew word above – tzedaqah – in this article. I am going to build its meaning from scratch for you so you can attach them to the Hebrew word. When you read an English translation of Jesus’s teachings and see the word “righteousness,” just remind yourself to think “tzedaqah” and what it means.
Our source for the meanings for tzedaqah comes from the Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament Volume 3 (p. 1006…

Jesus or Paul? Part 1

Jesus or Paul? Making People’s Lives Right or Making People’s Beliefs Right? Part 1
What difference does it make in the real world if Christians, non-Christians or anyone else follow the teachings of Jesus or Paul? This may be a confusing question for some, because for readers of English translations of Bibles, it appears that Jesus and Paul spend a lot of time teaching about the very same thing -- “righteousness.” For both Jesus and Paul “righteousness” is the essential requirement for inheriting the Kingdom of God and along with that – an afterlife. However they actually had two completely different meanings for the word “righteousness,” but readers of English translations do not seem to know it!
Jesus taught in the Hebrew language to Hebrew speaking Jewish audiences. The Hebrew word Jesus spoke was צדקה‎ -- tzedaqah. It was later translated into Greek and then into English as “righteousness.” Members of his Jewish audiences all belonged to the same culture – the Jewish culture Judea a…

Am I my brother’s keeper?

All of the Jewish Scriptures and the teachings of Yeshua (the real Jesus) focus on answering one question – “Am I my brother’s keeper?
I have spent a lot of time for over the past thirty years trying to understand those answers. For many of those years, Dr. Ike Tennison and Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor have been involved in that research with me. In this blog, I am going to give you a 21st century reconstruction of the story that is responsible for that famous question.
After Adam failed to guard and protect Eve’s life from a walking, talking religious snake in the Garden of Eden, God evicted them from their luxurious home -- which also cut them off from a life in which God provided everything for them. How many times sitting around the campfire times do you think Adam was reminded of how “he” really messed up a good thing!
Now Adam and Eve had to find water, grow crops, make clothing, find shelter and do all of the things required just to survive. But, somehow, in spite of all of their new r…

Do not invite a Roman General to join a Jewish fight!

Salome Alexandra (139-67 BCE), whose Hebrew name was Shelamzion, was a descendant of the Hasmonean family (Maccabees).  She was the wife of Alexander Jannai and they had two sons, Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II. In her husband’s will, she became head of the secular government, while the high priesthood was given to his oldest son, Hyrcanus II. Alexander considered the Pharisees his enemies.
During Shalome’s nine-year reign she completely reversed her late husband’s position and included Pharisees into her government. One of her major appointments was Shimon ben Shetah, leader of the Pharisees, as joint head of the Great Sanhedrin. She also allowed the Oral Law of the Pharisees to be incorporated with the Torah as the law of her royal court. 
Aristobulus aggressively challenged the authority of his brother, but his mother took military action to stop him -- setting off another Jewish civil war. She did not live long enough to see how the chain of events that would not only take the lives…

One Idea Ezra, Jesus and Thomas Jefferson Agreed On!

One idea lays the foundation upon which Judaism, Christianity and the United States of America are built. It acts like the light of a lighthouse to keep individuals and collectives from crashing into unseen dangers. That idea is recorded in documents written by survivors of those crashes and their words are like maps they passed down to their descendants to prevent them from sailing into the same dangerous waters. The first map is in the Torah, the second is in the Synoptic Gospels and the third is in the Declaration of Independence. Read the complete blog at --

God and American Democracy

Every Member has a voice.

Transparency means everyone can see and for that to take place everyone must have a part in the discussion. The BHC Guideline below creates the open safe environment for transparent discussions to take place. Participation in Team discussions requires the agreement to follow the guideline. Click Here to read the complete article.

Jesus taught works and Luther taught grace.

Martin Luther introduced a doctrine that has become very popular – “Saved by grace alone through faith without good works.” Let’s see what Yeshua (the original Jesus) would say about Luther’s revelation:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Yeshua’s was commenting on a section from Isaiah.
Is it not to break your bread with the hungry, bring the wandering poor you to your house, covering a naked one, and not hiding from your flesh? (Do these things) then your light shall break forth as the dawn, your healing shall quickly spring up, your acts of righteousness shall go before you and the glory of God shall gather you. (Isaiah 58:7-8)
Yeshua also referred to Isaiah in this teaching too:
Then the righteous will a…

Do you practice the same religion as Jesus?

Do you practice the same religion as Jesus? Learning About Our Biblical Heritages Series
When we read Acts 2:14-39 in our church, we were told that it was the first revival preached by Peter after Jesus ascended up into Heaven. It sounded a lot like one of the old fashion tent revival our church held in the summer. Peter ended his sermon with these words:
Repent and be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Anointed One for the remission of sins. You will then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter’s revival was a huge success – 3,000 people believed and were baptized that day! What those words meant to us was that 3,000 people were saved and became Christians -- they would go to Heaven for eternity instead of burning in Hell for eternity!
However, for some reason our preachers didn’t spend as much attention on the words that follow. They are very important because they tell us what the 3,000 people did after they were baptized. Pay close attention to what newly baptized people did in P…