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An Open Letter to Christians

The Refiner's Fire was created in the Spring of 2001. Since this time - judging from the tons of hate-mail and death threats we have received from "Christians" - it has become blatantly obvious that many Christians view Hebraic Faith/Messianic believers as their Number One enemy. Many Christians (some of whom have told us they've never even read the Bible) feel the need to write and let us know that Torah observant believers in Messiah are are a "cult" or, at the very least, "under the law" because we adhere to Torah - Yahweh's Divine Instructions in Righteousness.

While it is extremely disturbing to get bombarded by Biblically illiterate people, we also understand that most Christians don't know what Torah is all about! Most people have taken for gospel the teachings of their "NT only" pastors - which, in reality, is no different from the ancient rabbis who taught their Jewish brethren their man-made opinions of Torah....Hardly anyone ever stops to ask themselves: What does the Bible actually say?

Rather than to engage in endless arguments with our Christian brethren, we have composed the following short questionnaire. Please study it thoroughly before sending us hate-filled e-mails that attempt to shove down our throats the much-misunderstood writings of Paul....

Questionnaire for Mainstream Christians

(Answers discussed in detail, below.)

  1. Was Jesus a Jew or a Gentile? (Don't laugh - many Christians don't know the answer to this!)
  2. Why do Christians refer to the Jewish Messiah as "Jesus" when Yeshua was His given Hebrew name? It's not that hard to pronounce....
  3. Where in the Scriptures does God tell us to ignore the original, seventh day Sabbath - the day He Himself blessed and made holy (Gen 2:1-2)? (Please don't insist that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday because "Jesus rose on a Sunday" because this is NOT true! Please read our article Correcting the Sunday Myth.)
  4. Christians insist that "the law" was abolished. How is that possible when sin is transgression of "the law" (1 John 3:4)? When and by whom was it abolished? Certainly not by Yeshua! He said He came NOT to abolish but to confirm (Hebrew: koom which means "establish/confirm)". Why would Yeshua's role as FINAL SIN SACRIFICE in any way negate Torah - God's original teaching and instruction? Yeshua is our "New Covenant" and "Sin Sacrifice". God gave us a New Covenant, not a new Torah! He never even mentioned Torah as He spoke about giving us a New Covenant (Jer.31:30-33/Heb.8:8-12)!
  5. Christians insist that "the law" was "written on our hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Romans 10:4-8) and therefore, the "OT" no longer pertains to them. How can you know what "the law" is, if you don't first study and learn to obey it? Man is born into sin; he does not automatically know "right" from "wrong" - which is what Torah is all about. And if Torah is indeed "written on our hearts" then why don't atheists adhere to Torah? And Muslims, or Buddhists and everybody else?
  6. In view of the fact that God said to celebrate the Biblical feasts forever (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14), why do you believe He wants you to ignore them now, simply because His Son died on the cross? Has "forever" come and gone, or somehow ended? If so, then please explain why Yeshua has so far only fulfilled FOUR of the SEVEN Biblical Feasts - and the next one to be fulfilled is the "rapture"....
  7. Did Rav Sha'ul (Apostle Paul) actually say that, since Yeshua's death, we can eat whatever we want, meaning there is no more "Kosher"?
  8. If, as you believe, the Torah was "abolished" and the "Old Testament" is to be ignored - why are Christians still teaching the Ten Commandments or telling church members to tithe? Isn't it hypocritical to pick and choose what we want to believe of the "Old Testament?
  9. Do the Scriptures command us to celebrate the birth or resurrection of the Messiah via Christmas and Easter? What's more, is it okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits? What do these things have to do with Yeshua's birth and death? For those who want to answer: "It's fun; it's tradition", then please check the Bible to see what God says about man-made traditions....
  10. Do you realize that the original followers of Yeshua and His disciples were all Torah observant? Do you realize that Christianity was borne out of Catholicism which totally twisted the teachings of Yeshua? That being the case, how can today's Christians claim that their respective churches are the "original church that Jesus built" when none of them observe Torah, and most of them ignore the seventh day Sabbath and the Biblical feasts? Does your church in any way resemble anything that Yeshua originally taught? Please check the Bible thoroughly before answering.
  11. Yeshua said He came NOT to abolish but to fulfill/establish/confirm (Matthew 5:17). He also said that until all has been accomplished, and heaven and earth have passed away, not one "jot or tittle"/the smallest letter or stroke would disappear from the Torah (Matthew 5:18). Has ALL been accomplished yet? Have heaven and earth passed away yet? If not, why are you ignoring Torah?
  12. The Bible in several places states that God's Word is FOREVER. "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Did "forever" end at the beginning of the "New Testament"? Has "forever" come and gone?
  13. Do you really believe that by ignoring Torah you are provoking the Jews to jealousy (Romans 11:11:12)? Do you think Jews are going to be jealous of pork and shrimp eating Christians who ignore the true Sabbath and the Biblical feasts, and are asking the Jews to give up the entire first two-thirds of the Bible that contains the Torah (and the prophets and the writings) which is our only blueprint for moral, holy living?

The answers to the above questions are discussed in detail below. Please take time to study them properly before sending us any hate mails!

  1. Was Jesus a Jew or a Gentile?

    Yeshua was a Torah observant, tallit wearing, synagogue attending, Sabbath and feast-keeping, kosher Jew, who observed the Jewish holy days of Passover, Tabernacles, and Pentecost. Are today's Christians, for the most part, walking in Torah, keeping the Biblical feasts, or the seventh day Sabbath? Various sects of Catholicism and many Christians denominations claim to be the "true religion" that Jesus established. Yet, modern day "Christianity" has very little in common with the founder of their "faith"!
  2. Why do Christians refer to the Jewish Messiah as "Jesus" when Yeshua was His given Hebrew name? It's not that hard to pronounce....(Please see The spelling of the transliteration of Messiah's Name.)

    Our Jewish Messiah's given name was Yeshua (transliteration of the Hebrew, spelled in various ways including Yahshua, Y'Shua, etc.). "Jesus" is the Hellenized-Anglicized form of "Yeshua". "Jesus" doesn't mean anything, while Yeshua means "Yahweh is Salvation". Yeshua never heard the name "Jesus" in His lifetime. Some people have said that this is irrelevant, but our question is this: If your name is "John" or "Mary", why would you answer to "Charles" or "Betty"? Yes, Yeshua knows who we are talking about when we call Him "Jesus", but it's a lot more rewarding to call Him by His given Name - the name that has a meaning.
  3. Where in the Scriptures does God tell us to ignore the original, seventh day Sabbath - the day He Himself blessed and made holy (Genesis 2:1-2)?

    You won't find anything in Scripture that references the changing of the Sabbath to Sunday, but yet this idea that "Jesus rose on a Sunday" somehow took hold, and suddenly, God's Sabbath was changed to Sunday! No one stopped to remember what HE actually commanded! It's no secret that Jew haters like Constantine and Tertullian "adjusted" Yeshua's teachings and the writings of the Apostles; but, no matter who instituted Sunday worship, in Yeshua's time, both Jews and Gentiles alike, regularly attended the synagogue for worship on the seventh day!

    And the fact that interested Gentiles in Antioch requested further instruction of Paul "on the next Sabbath" is irrefutable evidence that no separate Sunday (1st day) meetings were being held there by those early Christians: The Gentiles were willing to wait an entire week, till the next Saturday, for a meeting because they knew that Paul and his companions did not normally meet for worship on a Sunday. Acts 13:42-44 tells us that, on the next Sabbath (Saturday) almost the whole city arrived for the meeting.

    Some insist that Acts 20:7 reveals Sunday worship, but this is not true. Fact is, Jewish believers in Yeshua continued meeting at synagogue (or the Temple) for Sabbath. Common practice would be havdallah - meeting in homes after sundown on Saturday to continue discussions and praise from the Sabbath, which explains Paul "preaching until midnight" in Acts 20:7. The first day of the week for Jews (like Paul) began at sundown at the end of the Sabbath - Saturday evening - not "Sunday."

    Furthermore, the fact is, neither the Father nor the Son has ever claimed the first day as His own in any higher sense than He has each or any of the other laboring days. Neither of them has ever placed any blessing upon it, or attached any sanctity to it. The Bible tells us God expressly reserved the seventh day to Himself, placing His blessing upon it, and claimed it as His holy day. (Genesis 2:1-3.) Moses told Israel in the wilderness of Sin of the sixth day of the week, "Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." Exodus 16:23. (Please see The True Sabbath Day.)
  4. Christians insist that "the law" was abolished. How is that possible when sin is transgression of "the law" (1 John 3:4)? When and by whom was it abolished? Certainly not by Yeshua! He said He came NOT to abolish but to confirm (Hebrew: koom which means "establish/confirm)". Why would Yeshua's role as FINAL SIN SACRIFICE in any way negate Torah - God's original teaching and instruction? Yeshua is our "New Covenant" and "Sin Sacrifice". God gave us a New Covenant, not a new Torah! He never even mentioned Torah as He spoke about giving us a New Covenant (Jer.31:30-33/Heb.8:8-12)!

    You won't find anything in the Scriptures to show that Torah was ever abolished. Many Christians have decided that when God said, "I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts", He meant that His original Torah (teachings) would be rendered null and void. How many of today's people automatically know God's laws? How many actually obey his laws? If it were truly the case that God's laws were somehow imprinted in our hearts, there would be NO adultery, divorce, murder, hate crimes, abortion, lying, stealing, coveting - things that many Christians, too, are guilty of.....

    Yeshua said: Matthew 5: 17 Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened. If "ALL" hasn't happened yet, and heaven and earth have not passed away, then that must mean that His Torah is still valid....
  5. Christians insist that "the law" was "written on our hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Romans 10:4-8) ) and therefore, those old, outdated "OT" commands no longer pertain to them. How can you know what "the law" is, if you don't first study and learn to obey it? Man is born into sin; he does not automatically know "right" from "wrong" - which is what Torah is all about.

    Perhaps Christians need to look at this passage from another viewpoint: Unless we have read the "Old Testament" how can we automatically KNOW what Torah says? Yes, we have "the law"/Torah written on our hearts - but this does not mean we have an automatic knowledge of it just because we are "saved". It means we now have the desire for Torah! The heart is the "seat of desire". Why? Because it is the battleground over which God and Satan fight continually. Allegiance comes from the heart; as do concepts such as honor, loyalty, and commitment. The heart sets apart greatness from merely "good". Without the heart no endeavor reflects the fact that we are created in the image of God.
  6. In view of the fact that God said to celebrate the Biblical feasts forever (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14), why do you believe He wants you to ignore them now, simply because His Son died on the cross? Has "forever" come and gone, or somehow ended? If so, then please explain why Yeshua has so far only fulfilled FOUR of the SEVEN Biblical Feasts - and the next one to be fulfilled is the "rapture"....

    No - "forever" has not come and gone. Messianic believers celebrate the Biblical feasts because it is instructed by God in the Torah for Israel to observe these festivals forever (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14). (As believers in the Jewish Messiah, YOU are part of Israel...) Messiah Yeshua observed these festivals as did the early Messianic Jews and apostles such as Rabbi Shaul/Apostle Paul (Acts 20:16, 1 Corinthians 16:8, Acts 28:17). When Yeshua returns to this earth these festivals will be re-established worldwide (Zechariah 14:16-21). God has His appointed times! He does nothing without purpose. What makes us think we can simply ignore what He says?

    Here's something to ponder. Yeshua has only fulfilled the first four of the seven Biblical feasts. If He fulfilled the first four, what makes you think He won't fulfill the last three? If everything goes according to God's Plan, and since the first four feasts have been fulfilled, then the next feast to be fulfilled is Rosh Hashana - the Feast of Trumpets: the "Rapture". Since Christians choose to believe all "OT" teachings have been "nailed to the cross", then does this mean there won't be a "Rapture"? Why should there be, since you don't "believe" in the Biblical feasts?

  7. Does the "New Testament" actually say that, since Yeshua's death, we can eat whatever we want - meaning there is no more "Kosher"?

    When read in context, the answer is "No". Kosher Law always was, and still is, God's Law. God never said pork, shellfish, etc. were food! People called it food in rebellion against God. The passages in question in the "New Testament" deal with animals God gave us to eat and whether they are ceremonially clean and can be eaten at that time. Even in Peter's vision (Acts 11), Peter would never have eaten the kosher animals that had been in contact with treife (non-kosher) animals. The vision was to show that the kosher animals were no longer considered unclean because they were among the treife. This was illustrating that the Gentiles were now to be accepted! The rest of the passage in Acts 11 shows that this is the correct interpretation and what the vision was all about.
  8. If the Torah was "abolished" and the "Old Testament" teachings are to be ignored - why are Christians still teaching the Ten Commandments or telling church members to tithe? Isn't it hypocritical to pick and choose what we want to believe of the "Old Testament?

    The Ten Commandments appear in two places in the Bible - in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Neither version conveniently lists the commandments from one to ten, which is presumably how they would appear when posted. In the most commonly referenced passage (Exodus 20), the commandments cover 17 verses and encompass at least 14 imperatives. Concerning tithing, in the New Testament tithe and tithing are found eight times (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18:12; Hebrews 7:5-6,8-9). But all of these passages refer to the Old Testament usage "under the law"! In view of this fact, it seems that today's church pastors should never ask for tithes because, according to your own train of thought, tithes are "old testament" which was abolished.....
  9. Do the Scriptures command us to celebrate the birth or resurrection of the Messiah via Christmas and Easter? What's more, is it okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits? What do these things have to do with Yeshua's birth and death? For those who want to answer: "It's fun; it's tradition", then please check the Bible to see what God says about man-made traditions....

    You won't find Christmas and Easter anywhere in the Bible. Those holidays were man's idea and Satan encouraged us insert Paganistic traditions in order to lead us away from the Truth. (Please see The Pagan Origins of Christmas and The Pagan Origins of Easter.) What's more, it is not okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits. Lying is a sin that breaks the Ninth Commandment. Can you honestly say that you've never said to your kids: "Santa Claus is coming soon to bring you toys, so you'd better be good!" or "Look! The Easter bunny brought you some colored eggs!" Is it okay to tell a "little" lie? Since when? Is human tradition worth the cost of making us guilty of sinning in God's eyes?
  10. Do you realize that the original followers of Yeshua and His disciples were all Torah observant? Do you realize that Christianity was borne out of Catholicism which totally twisted the teachings of Yeshua? That being the case, how can today's Christians claim that their respective churches are the "original church that Jesus built" when none of them observe Torah, and most of them ignore the seventh day Sabbath and the Biblical feasts? Does your church in any way resemble anything that Yeshua originally taught? Please check the Bible thoroughly before answering.

    In the beginning, Gentiles were considered to be immoral heathens and Pagans because they worshiped every kind of "god" except Yahweh Himself. But yet, it was always Yahweh's will for the Gentile nations to receive His Salvation (Isaiah 49:6, 42:6). God told Abraham that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). Early Messianic Jews did not understand that this was God's will and proclaimed the Good News of the Messiah only to Jewish people. The controversy in the First Century was not if it was Jewish to believe in Yeshua but whether Gentiles could be included without having to become Jewish. This was addressed by the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:1-31).

    (NOTE: Many people have misunderstood the proceedings at the Jerusalem Council to mean Gentiles were only required to perform certain acts - without realizing that Acts 15 is referring to man-made laws and not the Torah itself!)

    When the early Messianic Jews took the Good News of the Messiah to the Gentiles, a great number were brought into the Messianic faith. By the end of the first century A.D., the number of Gentile believers outnumbered the Jewish believers by a ratio of two to one! This occurred primarily because there were (and still are) more Gentiles in the world than Jewish people. Through the years, as the number of Gentile believers increased, they began to dominate this Messianic faith. Some Gentile believers, not understanding the Jewish roots of their faith and God's eternal covenant with Israel, wanted to split off and form a separate religion divorced from their Jewish roots (Romans 11:1-2). This "de-Judaizing process" continued until Gentile Christianity emerged as the dominant representative faith in the Messiah. In one of the greatest paradoxes in history, it became alien for a Jew to believe in Yeshua as his Messiah!
  11. Yeshua said He came NOT to abolish but to fulfill/establish/confirm (Matthew 5:17). He also said that until all has been accomplished, and heaven and earth have passed away, not one "jot or tittle"/the smallest letter or stroke would disappear from the Torah (Matthew 5:18). Has ALL been accomplished yet? Have heaven and earth passed away yet? If not, why are you ignoring Torah?

    Since Yeshua said He did NOT come to abolish Torah, we MUST adhere to Torah! The Bible clearly shows that Yeshua was a devout Jew who did not come to abolish the faith of Judaism or the Torah of His Father, but to magnify, establish, and confirm it! As we continue to read Matthew 5, verse 19 and 20 clench the previous two: 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot (words/commands) and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P'rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
  12. The Bible in several places states that God's Word is FOREVER. "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Did "forever" end at the beginning of the "New Testament"?

    God said His Word is FOREVER. "Forever" didn't end last Tuesday, so why are Christians negating His Torah already? "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). "As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring's offspring," says the LORD, "from now and forever." (Also see Isaiah 59:21 and 1 Chronicles 16:15.)

    "Forever" hasn't come unless "everything has happened that must happen" and "heaven and earth have passed away" (Rev.21:1). Has the heavenly Jerusalem already come down from heaven to the earth (Rev.21:2)? Has Satan already been punished and cast into the lake of fire? (Rev.20:10.) Has the Great White Throne Judgment occurred already? (Rev.20:11-12.) Has Yeshua already returned and established the Kingdom of God (Rev. 10:1-7 and Rev.19:6, 11-16)?
  13. Do you really believe that by ignoring Torah you are provoking the Jews to jealousy (Romans 11:11:12)? Do you think Jews are going to be jealous of pork and shrimp eating Christians who ignore the true Sabbath and the Biblical feasts, and are asking believers to give up the entire two-thirds of the Bible that contains the Torah (and the prophets and the writings) which is our only blueprint for moral, holy living?

    Yahweh used the Jews to spread the Word about Himself and His Son. If He hadn't "scattered the Jews into the nations" you would never even have heard of Yahweh or Yeshua! Yet many supposed "Christians" openly hate the Jews and condemn Israel while supporting their enemies. Christians are commanded to spread the Gospel to the entire world; this includes your Jewish brethren!

    Christians have killed millions of Jews and been responsible for persecuting them in one way or another for centuries. And now you want to give them a "New Testament" concussion by insisting "Jesus nailed it to the cross" and "You're going to hell unless you start believing in Jesus"?

    You want to tell them that THEIR God - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whom you also worship - has come in the form of a man they are supposed to worship, and that the man is more important than the Father? You demand of the Jews that they throw away their Tanach ("Old Testament") because you believe Jesus' death on the cross automatically negated ALL of God's original teachings? You want them to believe they should throw out the original God-breathed Word and adhere to "last third" of the Bible in which the Apostle Paul said things that Gentiles have misunderstood and misinterpreted as negating Torah? You want them to give up the idea of the Yahweh-commanded seventh-day Sabbath and the Biblical feasts - the very feasts that Yeshua is STILL in the process of fulfilling??? (Please see Yeshua Has Fulfilled Only the First Four Feasts) and Jewish Holidays, in a Nutshell.

    To win the heart of a Jew, you must first remember that Yeshua was a Torah observant, seventh day Sabbath and Biblical feast-keeping, kosher Jew! You must realize that the reason most Jews do not and cannot believe in Him is because the Christian version of the Torah-less "Jesus" is off the mark, and their "spiritual eyes" have not yet been opened to the truth of Yeshua. GOD Himself will open their eyes in due time. In the meantime, your job as Christians is to be kind and understanding, and to educate yourselves on exactly what it is about the Torah that Jews refuse to let go....While you're at it, hopefully, you will learn that you're supposed to be keeping Torah, as well!