xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'UA-81427306-1 Wisdom and Folly: June 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

About That Truth You're Holding On To

Truth is a fact or belief  that is accepted as true.  By this definition, truth is only what we accept. This acceptance can come from a variety of places.  Sometimes we prove things to ourselves and accept them because we can see the result of some personal experience we've had.  Sometimes acceptance comes from our trust in others whom we perceive as either more intelligent or more experienced than ourselves.  Part of being human is the ability to learn things, either on our own or from others.  For many people, the things they learn on their own are given less weight than those things learned from others.  The trust they place in those other people is stronger than their trust in their own abilities to figure things out on their own.  One might think that this lack of self-trust is an attribute of people of lower intelligence.  That is not the case.  Many people who are very smart will still trust the opinions and beliefs of someone whom they perceive as either smarter or more experienced, even if they've never met.  The opposite of this is also true.  Many people who think they are smarter than someone else will completely discount anything that person says, even if it can be proven.  I see both examples quite often.  

What happens when there is conflict introduced into our beliefs?  For example, you read a word for which you don't know the correct pronunciation.  In your mind, you hear it a certain way according to what you believe is correct.  It sounds right.  Later, you hear someone else say it differently.  There are now two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.  This causes a feeling of uncomfortable tension.  This is called cognitive dissonance.  There are three factors which cause this dissonance to increase.  They are, the importance of the subject to us; how strong the thoughts conflict; and the inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.  In the example of the word pronunciation, the importance would most likely be slight.  The strength of the conflict would also be slight.  We can see how the word could also be pronounced in such a way.  Finally, it would be easy to rationalize and explain away the conflict.  The result would be either we would start pronouncing the word differently or we might ask a third party how to pronounce it.  

There are three results that can arise from this feeling of discomfort.  We will either change our beliefs; justify ourselves by changing the conflicting cognition, or justify our beliefs by adding some new thought as a means to explain it.  When we apply these concepts to our religious beliefs, that uncomfortable feeling can be extreme.

I have seen this take place in many conversations I've had concerning the validity of the New Testament and Christianity as a whole.  Christianity roots itself in the idea that Jesus was the messiah foretold in the Hebrew scriptures.  Christians all over the world believe this without hesitation.  But, when faced with the Hebrew scriptures which refute that claim, cognitive dissonance kicks in with a vengeance. They are so uncomfortable with the thought that their Jesus could not possibly have been the messiah that they have to do something.  If they refuse to change their beliefs, they are left with two options, both of which include justifying their beliefs by either changing something or adding something.  Unbeknownst to them, the changes and additions were already made for them many years ago.  In order for the church to continue teaching that Jesus was the messiah even after his death, they were forced to change the scriptures to make it appear that he was the messiah.  They also added things to the scriptures to further convince  themselves and others that he was the messiah. The worst part of this is that the scriptures plainly say that they can't be changed.  The church uses this to their advantage as well.

Most Christians know that the scriptures can't be changed.  The church is counting on this.  The poor, unknowing Christian actually believes that their bible was never changed.  What they don't know, is that the ideas of the original scriptures have not changed.  They just don't know what those ideas are. When faced with these facts, most of them become so uncomfortable, they refuse to even listen to what they are being told.  A simple internet search will prove that their bible was changed in order to fit the Christology.  If you do such a search, look for reputable sites which are not run by a church or claim to be Christian.  Most Christian sites won't ever admit the truth. The church admits openly that they don't know who wrote the gospels.  The names were ascribed in later years to make them look like they are eye-witness accounts.  They were written may years after the death of Jesus.  The church has amended the bible several times throughout history.

Where does this leave us as individuals?  If you are reading this as a Christian, you have some options.  You can read the Hebrew Scriptures for yourself and trust that G-d will give you the understanding you need to comprehend it.  You can trust your church because your perception of them is that they are smarter than you or more experienced than you.  You can trust me if you think I am smarter or more experienced than you.  You can justify your beliefs by adding something else to them.  You can justify your beliefs by changing what you have learned.  I recommend the first option. If you will just read the scriptures for yourself and allow yourself the dignity of not reading it according to what someone else has told you, you will see the truth.  Think about it like this.  Why would G-d give us the Torah and make it where only a select few could understand it?  Remember, as a human, you have the ability to learn.  There is nothing in the Bible that you cannot understand, no matter what level of understanding you have.  You must get rid of any preconceived notions and read it with a clear mind.  Trust Him.  Ask Him to show you the truth.  You don't need anyone to tell you what it says.  Let G-d tell you what it means.  One of the magnificent things about the Hebrew Scriptures is that as you continue reading and studying, you level of understanding will increase. There are simple meanings and deeper meanings which require more advanced study.  Give it time, you can get there.  Trust only in the G-d of Abraham and no one else.      


Copyright 2016 by:
William Bouker

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What Good is the Law?

רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת הַחַיִּים וְאֶת הַטּוֹב וְאֶת הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת הָרָע:

Deuteronomy 30: 15 Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil,
16 inasmuch as I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land to which you are coming to take possession of it.

For years, I was told that the Law of Moses didn't matter anymore.  There were a lot of different ways of saying it.  It was nailed to the cross was a good one.  No one could do it anyway so God sent His son to replace it.  You get the idea.  It's the New Testament.  Christianity.  The good news.  These are all false claims because they don't hold up to Scriptural scrutiny.  That is to say, if you actually read the scriptures, you can come to no other conclusion than this; Christianity is and has always been one big sham.  None of it fits; Jesus the messiah, Jesus the son of G-d, Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins, etc.  None of these claims can be substantiated through scripture.  Even if they could, it would still be false.  

Look at the scripture reference above.  According to this, what does one have to do to live?  Love the Lord your G-d, walk in His ways, observe His commandments, statutes, and ordinances.  That's it. The most basic premise of Christianity is not to keep the law.  It's not necessary because Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins.  So, even if you transgress the law, he's right there to smooth things over for you.  

If you look at the entire chapter of Deuteronomy 30, and I encourage you to do so, you will see what is being described are the blessings and the curses associated with keeping or not keeping the Law of Moses.  Also, keep in mind to whom this is being addressed; the Children of Israel.  So, when Jesus came, attempting to change the law, Deuteronomy 30 goes into effect.  To reject the law and follow Jesus is certain death.  

When we get to the end of the chapter the point is made again.  19 This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses [that I have warned] you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your offspring will live; 20 To love the Lord your God, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For that is your life and the length of your days, to dwell on the land which the Lord swore to your forefathers to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob to give to them.  It says choose life so that your offspring will live.  That sounds pretty serious to me.  Would you choose the death and destruction of your children?  G-d forbid you would do that. Verse 20 says "for that is your life and the length of your days."  What is life?  "To love the Lord your God, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him."

Let's put some of this together.  For a Jew to accept Christianity is to reject the law.  To reject the law triggers the curses of Deuteronomy 30 which is ultimately death.  But what of the non-Jew?  Non-Jews were never expected to keep the law in the first place.  So why did the church go to all the trouble to attach itself to Judaism?  The simple reason is that Christianity cannot exist without Judaism.  They had to have something on which to base their beliefs.  It is true that much of Christianity comes from pagan religions.  But the pagan religions were weak and couldn't possibly for a strong base on which to build.  So the early church leaders, most of whom were Romans and Greeks, took what they could glean from Judaism.  They took the G-d of Israel and the concept of the messiah from the prophets and made their base,  The sad thing is that they corrupted it so much that what they were left with was useless.  Then they added in some pagan concepts; the trinity, forgiveness of sins, the resurrection, the twelve disciples, the cross.  Then they had to piece it all together.  They spent several hundred years fine tuning everything into what you see today. Fortunately for them, most people back then couldn't read.  The average people had to rely on what their church leaders taught them.  For their part, those leaders were pious men.  They built their trust with the average people.  

These days we take reading for granted.  It's easy to pick up a Bible and read what it says.  The bad thing is that those church fathers who wrote and adjusted the Bible are still trusted today.  They are venerated as saints when they were nothing more than con artists.  They added things when they saw fit to do so.  The last part of the book of Luke was added centuries after the beginning.  This is why I invite you to read the Hebrew Scriptures for yourself.  It is a fascinating text.  If you are a Christian and you made it this far, there is still hope for you.  You don't have to convert to Judaism, although you can do that.  You can live a moral life without the idolatry of the church and still have a place in the world to come.  I invite you to learn about the Noahide Movement which is currently sweeping across the globe.  There is a good life to be had without Christianity.  I have a few great links on the homepage if you are interested.

The Torah is life.  Anything that is not Torah or is opposed to Torah, or seeks to change Torah is death.  Choose wisely.  Your life and the lives of your children and their children are at stake.  


Copyright 2015 by:
William Bouker

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Final Redemption is Here

The world in which we live is currently going through its biggest change since the flood and it's happening right under the noses of those whom we thought should be expecting it.  It's called the Redemption or Geulah.  I heard Rabbi Tovia Singer speaking about the Redemption.  He said that it will happen in stages, similar to the redemption from Egypt.  There were ten plagues which, according to Rabbi Singer, spanned a period of eleven months.  The Redemption is happening in stages in order to give the greatest number of people the opportunity to return to HaShem.  Which stage we are in right now is hard to say.  I am of the opinion that the stages have been going on throughout history.  

It could have started in 1948 when Israel became a country again. That would be a good starting point.  But it could have also started in 70 CE with the fall of Israel.  This could also be a good place to start seeing the beginnings of the Redemption.  The final Redemption could also have started at Mount Sinai with G-d revealing Himself to the children of Israel.  This is a really good place to start in that G-d, at that time, created the Nation of Israel to be a light to the nations.  That light can be seen as the trigger mechanism to the final Redemption. Wherever you look to find the beginning is less relevant than when it will be completed.  That completion and ultimate Redemption of the world is getting very close.  The end of this age is drawing near.   

In a recent episode of Beyond the Matrix (Israel NewsTalk Radio), host Ira Michaelson is heard to say that there are thousands upon thousands of people leaving other religions and turning to the truth of Torah.[Paraphrased]  This is an astounding estimate.  This is the Redemption happening now.  At no other time in history have so many people turned to the Jewish People to find truth.  In fact, quite the opposite has been true since the time of Solomon.  The prophet Zechariah said in chapter 8: 23 So said the Lord of Hosts: In those days, when ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." This is exactly what we are seeing.  I would go as far as to say that the reason it has been the way it has been for so many centuries (antisemitism) is so that when we see this happening now, we can know for certain the Redemption is coming soon.

Ezekiell 36 gives us some insight into the final Redemption.  36: 34 ...And they shall say: This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. 36Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD have builded the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate; I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.37 Thus saith the Lord GOD: I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.  38 As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed seasons, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am the LORD .  These things are happening now.  The land of Israel was a desolate wasteland not so many years ago.  If you seek proof, you have but to do an internet search for old photos of the land of Israel.  Once you get a feel for the barrenness. look up some current photos of Israel.  The once deserted areas are awash with green.  In verse 37 it says "I will increase them with men like a flock."  In other words, there will be a great inpouring into the House of Israel as we are seeing today.

Most of these people are coming out of Christianity, with the largest portion, like myself, coming from the Baptist denomination according to Rabbi Zalman Weiss, author of Adon Olam: A Search for Meaning. The Christian bible contains what they call the old testament.  It is an adulterated version of the Hebrew Tanakh.  Even with all of the changes put in place by early church fathers, there is still enough evidence that Christianity is a false religion.  I like to equate Christianity to the story of the golden calf in Exodus.  In the story, the Israelites attempt to worship HaShem through the golden calf; in a way which He forbids.  Christians also attempt to worship HaShem through Jesus.  This is the reason why Jews consider Christianity a form of idolatry.

The Final Redemption is happening now.  Yes, it is coming in stages, but we don't know when it will be complete.  The prophets only give a small amount of information concerning this and yet there have been volumes written about it.  For at least two millennia, the Jewish sages and scholars have studied it.  People have hoped and prayed to be fortunate enough to witness it.  Countless millions have wanted to be a part of it and prayed these words, "I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait every day for him to come." (Ani Maamin)   Every day for thousands of years people have waited to see what you are seeing right now.

But know this,  there is no place for idolators in the world to come. Fortunately for you, there is still time.  The true religion, Judaism, is the only religion that does not require you to join it in order to be a part of the Redemption.  That's right.  Righteous Gentiles will have a place in the world to come. You must only adhere to the seven laws of Noah.   Follow the link for more information or visit Netiv,net for in-depth Torah learning on the subject.  I can only hope and pray that you make the right decision.

Copyright 2016 by:
William Bouker