Jeremiah” Most Religious Practices Are an Abomination to YHVH

Jeremiah 7–9

Jeremiah 7:21–8:3, 9:22 (23)–23 (24), “The Sacrifice of the Wicked Is an Abomination” to YHVH (Prov 15:8).

This message of Jeremiah reveals that the purpose of sacrifice and of all outward acts of worship should be to deepen the inward sense of religion and to stimulate one to a holy or set-apart life. Jeremiah, speaking for YHVH, decries the uselessness of religious activity when accompanied with unholiness and unrighteousness. Furthermore, he denounces the mere mechanical performance of acts of worship; of the superstition that the temple ritual could be a guarantee of security from the judgments of Elohim, while the Israelites were divorced from obedience to YHVH’s Torah. Only whole-hearted repentance could avert a national disaster brought on by YHVH’s judgments (Soncino Pentateuch, p. 439).

What is the true meaning of religion and what was the true purpose of the temple in Israel? Its purpose was to transform people into living temples that would be set-apart or holy unto YHVH Elohim. If they acted one way while in the temple and another way while outside the temple, then the temple activities had only become a mockery of YHVH, a farce and a repugnance to the very one they had supposedly come to worship. Humans may kid themselves by their religiosity, but they cannot deceive the Holy One of Israel who sees all and who reads their hearts and minds. He is not moved by mere outward show of religious piety. What are your true heart motives for pursuing the religion of the Bible? If it is for any reason other than out of a deep, abiding love for Yeshua, for a desire to draw close to the Father in a personal one-on-one way, to walk in righteousness as an act of faith and worship toward him, then your motives need to be reevaluated and readjusted.

Let us define some important words that sadly all too often relate to religious folk. These words are:

  • Pretense, which is “a claim made or implied, but not supported by fact; ostentation.”
  • Ostentation, which is “anexcessive display; pretentiousness.”
  • Hypocrisy, which is “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.”

What does the Word of Elohim have to say about hypocrisy? Please review the following biblical passages:

  • Job 13:16; 15:31,33,34; 20:4,5; 27:8–10
  • Psalm 78:34–37
  • Proverbs 15:7; 21:27
  • Isaiah 1:13,15; 29:13–16; 48:1–2; 66:3–5
  • Jeremiah 3:10; 7:4, 8–10
  • Hosea 10:1,4
  • Matthew 6:1,2,5,16,24; 7:5,15,21–23; 15:7–9, chapter 23
  • Luke 11:39,42,44,52
  • Romans 16:18
  • Galatians 6:3
  • Titus 1:16
  • James 1:8,22–24,26; 2:14–26; 3:17
  • 2 Peter 2:1–3,17,19
  • 1 John 2:4,9,19; 4:20
  • Revelation 3:15–18

Now let’s review some statistics relevant to the state of the American Christian church from George Barna’s book, The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators—A Statistical Report on the State of Religion in America. This book was first published in 1996, yet how much has the American church changed for the better since then? Here are some startling statistics:

  • 85% of Americans claim to be Christian
  • 10% of Americans are “Bible Christians”: that is, they fully accept biblical authority, total trust in Christ for salvation, are evangelistic and are active in a church, and believe in moral absolutes.
  • 25% of Americans are “Conventional Christians”: they claim total trust in Christ for salvation, are involved in a church, they exercise a privatized faith, believe in moral relativism and appreciate the Bible.
  • 28% of Americans are “Cultural Christians”: they have a universalistic world-view, their religion is works based (i.e., they believe that good people will go to heaven), they are moral relativistic, nominal church involvement and are Christian in name only.
  • Of those who claim to be Christian, only 40 percent believe in a literal Satan; 63 percent believe in the accuracy of the Bible; only 30 percent read their Bible in a week; only 57 percent agree that good people will go to heaven; only 31 percent believe in a fiery place of torment after death; 37 percent believe hell is only symbolic; only 9 percent knew what the “Great Commission” was; 63 percent had no idea what “John 3:16” referred to; and only 35 percent could accurately define the meaning of the word gospel.

YHVH sent the prophet Jeremiah to warn the nation of Israel of impending doom if it failed to repent of its disobedience to him. He then cites many examples of various sins that had become odious in YHVH’s nostrils. In their smugness, the Jews felt secure because they possessed the temple in Jerusalem. Surely YHVH would not allow the Jews to be destroyed for the sake of his spiritual house. Yet Jeremiah warned that this security was a false one and to prove his point he calls to their attention the example of the Northern Kingdom or house of Israel, which had already been taken captive a couple of generations earlier. What parallels do we see in the Christian church that are similar to those of the Southern Kingdom or house of Judah of Jeremiah’s day? How many Americans take comfort (and pride) in the notion that America is a “Christian nation” and that certainly YHVH would allow nothing disastrous to happen here? Some take comfort in America’s military and economic might. Others feel that a pre-tribulation rapture will carry them “out of here” when the going gets tough. Is it possible that some might be in for a rude awakening one of these days when things don’t go as planned? We know from history that the temple in Jerusalem—as if it were some lucky talisman—did not protect the Jews who. The stark reality of this came to rest on the Jewish people as they watched their beloved temple go up in flames, even as their conquerors were dragging them off in chains to be slaves in a foreign nation. Could the unexpected happen to America, or any other country? Is YHVH any more duty-bound to protect us than he was the Jews of that day?


John the Baptist: Chop down that tree of religious pride!

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (John the Baptist in Luke 3:9)

Luke 3:7–17, John takes an ax to the tree of religious pride. What’s really going on in this exchange between John the Baptist and the religious folks of his day? Let’s step back and look at the bigger picture.

YHVH sent John to prepare the way for Yeshua the Messiah. As if he had a giant ax in his hand (Luke 3:9), his preaching was aimed at chopping down the tree of human pride, misdirected religious zeal and lack of love for one’s neighbor of which these Torah-obedient Judeans were guilty. John spared no words in forcefully commanding them to repent of their sins. 

In our day as we await the second coming of our beloved Messiah, are many of us not guilt of the same sins as those who went out to hear John the Baptist’s preaching? How many of us have unknowingly exchanged our love for Yeshua and his gospel message, and a love for our neighbor for a self-righteous and legalistic Torah-obedience along with a devotion for rituals and traditions of men? How many of us are proud of our obedience, while sneering at those who aren’t walking in the light of Truth that we have? How many of us would rather argue, split and divide over doctrine rather than reach out to a lost and hurting persons regardless of his or her beliefs. What does John have to say about this? Let’s hold up the same mirror of the Word and heart of Elohim into which John forced the people of his day to look to see what we really look like. Then let’s ask ourself the following question: is this the bride that Yeshua the Messiah really wants to come back for?

The multitudes of Jews had to make the long, hot and arduous journey through the Judean mountains down to the Jordan River, which was the lowest spot on earth, to hear John the Baptist, who was the latest fad preacher to come on the scene. However, when they arrived at his lonely wilderness pulpit, instead of stroking their egos by complimenting them for their religious zeal, he excoriates them and calls them a brood of vipers. John confronts them by saying that if they don’t repent, the fires of YHVH’s judgment will consume them (John 3:7–9). John’s preaching pierces their hearts, and lays them low spiritually. In a proper response, they ask him what he expects them to do (John 3:10). John then preaches a message of social justice involving giving to the poor, being fair and honest in one’s business dealings, and if one is a government worker, then treat the citizens one serves with respect (John 3:11–14).

Continue reading

Yeshua Vs. the Pharisees…the Saints Vs. the Religious Leaders of our Day

Luke 7:36–37, The Pharisees…a woman…who was a sinner. The name Pharisee itself tells much about this sect or denomination within the first-century religious Jewish landscape. It derives from the Hebrew word perushim meaning “separatist,” and was born out of the fact that Pharisees didn’t associate with Am Ha-Eretz or the common people (Yeshua: a Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church, p. 86, by Ron Mosely), who in their view who were impure by the standards of the Levitical law (The Jewish Background of the New Testament, p. 203, by J. Julius Scott Jr.), and their high standards of holiness (Mosely, p 86). Acting like an elite religious fraternity (The Sketches of Jewish Life, p. 208, by Alfred Edersheim), the Pharisees were known for their strict observance of the Torah or the law of Moses, as well numerous additional laws or “traditions of the elders” that were added to the Torah along the way (From the Maccabeees to the Mishnah, p. 149, by Shaye J. D. Cohen; Scott, pp, 206–207; Edersheim, p. 217). Though this sect probably numbered only 6,000 at the time of Yeshua (Cohen, p. 146), they wielded a great deal of power and influence in Jewish society, since they were they viewed as the most accurate interpreters of the Torah (Scott, p. 203; Mosely, p. 92), and they were the leaders and teachers of the masses in the local synagogues (Cohen, pp. 147, 148). For the Pharisee, personal holiness was a badge of honor. To remain a member of this elite sect, one was required to maintain a high standard of holiness relating to tithing, piety, cleanliness and ritual purity, or one would face demotion within the social status of this community, or worse yet, face excommunication and shunning (Mosely, p. 86).

It can be safe to say that the Pharisaic religious system promoted an elitist and holier-than-thou religious demeanor among many of its members who hyper-focused on legalism and religious form and trappings. The result was “a system of pure externalism, which often contravened the spirit of those very ordinances, the letter of which was slavishly worshipped” resulting in hypocrisy (Edersheim, p. 217).

For these reasons, this is may be why the woman in Luke 7:37 was labeled as a sinner. It wasn’t that she was a sinner any more than anyone else, but that she was not part of any recognized religious sect that labeled her as being righteous as a opposed to being a sinner. Because she was probably outside of the accepted religious system of her day, she was automatically given the label of a sinner. In our day, this would be like a church-going Christian viewing a non-church going person as a heathen. 

The problem is this. Can we know for certain the condition of a person’s heart and their relationship with the Almighty simply because of their external religious involvements? This is what Yeshua is addressing in this passage—the condition of the heart. To Yeshua, the woman who was labeled as a sinner was much more righteous, in a certain sense, than those of the most preeminent religious club of the day. Look at her humble and repentant demeanor at the feet of Yeshua!

Yeshua was known for shining the precise laser-light of truth on a situation and then turning that situation on its head. The end result was that those who thought they were in first place spiritually, were now in last place, and those who were in last place were first. This gives added meaning to Yeshua’s words, “In the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory…many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matt 19:28–30).

When confronting the religious leaders of his day, Yeshua was a master at upending spiritual apple carts, slaughtering sacred cows, demolishing the wisdom of the world and revealing it for the lie that it was. We are now Yeshua’s representatives on earth carrying out his same work and should be doing the same thing he did. This is because truth doesn’t change over the ages and YHVH is still on his throne regardless of conventional wisdom and popular opinion to the contrary.


Natan’s 2018 Shavuot Talking Points—The Deeper Meaning of Shavuot

What is the purpose of religion?

What’s should be the higher purpose of religion? It should answer the deeper questions of life.

  • What’s the meaning and purpose of life?
  • Who am I?
  • Where did I come from?
  • Who made me?
  • Why am I here?
  • Whoever made me, what do they expect of me?
  • Where am I going? What’s my ultimate destiny? Is there life after death?

Let’s narrow the picture down.

Why are we here today?

So why are we here celebrating Shavuot today?

  • To fulfill the requirements of religious ritualism?
  • To get your religious fix?
  • Out of human pride—to do your religious thing so that you feel better than the poor religious slobs still celebrate Christmas and Easter who don’t keep YHVH’s biblical feasts?
  • To hear some exciting exotic, arcane, ear tickling message that leaves your head bursting with something new and exciting? Not! That does nothing to bring you to repentance, change your life and bring you closer to Yeshua.
  • Out of obedience to and worship of Yeshua you Lord and Master?
  • Or because you love Yeshua with all your heart and want to obey him by keeping his commandments not because you’re expecting anything out of it personally but because he is worthy of worship and obedience? Period?!
  • Or to be spiritually transformed, so that you can be about your Father’s business to help transform society around you for the kingdom of Elohim?

Some of these reasons are good, and some of them are not so good.

For those keeping Shavuot out of obedience, which is a good thing, remember that obeying Elohim’s Torah laws is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. 

Romans 10:4,

For Christ is the end [end result, goal or aim] of the Torah-law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Torah obedience is merely a vehicle to bring you something higher. Too many people make obedience including keeping the feasts the goal and not the process to achieve the goal. 

When you get in a car to go somewhere, you believe that you’ve arrived at your destination just because you’re sitting in your car. Same with Torah Continue reading


New Video: How to Live in a Spiritual God Bubble Above It All

Tired of God in a manmade box, religiosity, church walls that keep you from flying high, religious head-knowledge that leaves you high and dry, meaningless rituals, religious middle men con artists who your money and as they enslave you spiritually? Sick of the world and its evil negativity? Want to fly above it all? Here are some tips to help you to create your own personal God bubble, place of peaceful refuge that will help you to soar above it all and give you a personal and direct relationship with the Creator of the Universe.


The Rise of Secular Humanism—The Devil’s Religion

The Devil’s Original Lie and the Religion of the New World Order

We are presently watching unfolding before us an epic and cosmic struggle between the forces of evil and good. The world system or cosmos of the devil is pitted against the unalterable and immutable plans, purposes and Word of the sovereign Creator of the universe, YHVH Elohim.

At the center of this battle is man. He was created in the image of Elohim and destined to become a son of Elohim. The Adversary, on the other hand, wants to make man into his image—a son of perdition. Man has to choose whom he will follow. To sit on the sidelines, ignore the battle and not to choose is, by default, to choose the side of the devil. Man must carefully choose his course of action, for the consequences are eternal. Inaction—not to choose—is to ignore the battle and by default to choose the side of the devil.

That battle will reach its nexus at the end of the age, just prior to the return of the Messiah. Will man fall for the lies of the counterfeit Messiah, or remain faithful to the Truth and Word of the real Messiah? To resist the deceiver and not fall for his lies one must know the face of his enemy: his tactics, game plan and the nature of his deception. The lies he will use in the end times to woo the multitudes to his side are not new. The tactics and game plan are the same, for it has never changed from the beginning. What are the lies he will use to seduce man to his side of this struggle? When did the deceiver first ply his trade? The answers are in the Book of Life.

The Big Lie and Its Origin—The Scriptures Speak of a “Lie”

There are those who turn from the revealed truth of Elohim and turn to believing a lie as Romans 1:24–25 states:

Wherefore Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen

The Man of Sin/Lawlessness will cause many to turn from YHVH’s truth and believe a lie as 2 Thessalonians 2:7–12 states:

For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now restrains will do so, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom YHVH shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause Elohim shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Outside of the New Jerusalem will be those wicked ones who believe a lie as the Book of Revelation states:

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev 21:27)

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. (Rev 22:14–15)

The primary meaning of these passages is referring to those who have exchanged the truth of YHVH for a lie. But what lie? Who did Yeshua say was the father of lies (John 8:44)? The devil is, of course. So, ultimately all lies that humans believe had to have originate from those lies the devil through the serpent told the first humans in the Garden of Eden.

What Was This “Big Lie”?

Fundamentally, all big lies against the truth of YHVH actually originate from several big lies with which the serpent seduced Adam and Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 3:1–5). The serpent told the following lies: Continue reading


The Spirit of Laban and Balaam Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth Today!

Flee from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!

Flee from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!

Genesis 31:43, Laban and Balaam. It is quite possible that the false prophet Balaam, who heard from YHVH and had a sense of righteousness, though was still steeped in paganism, was a descendant of Laban.

Both Laban and Balaam were from Aram (part of greater Babylon) and only 280 years separated them. One of the Aramaic Targums (Targum Jonathan) equates Balaam with Laban, while other scholars view Balaam as Laban’s grandson.

Both were involved in a mixed-religious system—some truth and some error, some good and some evil. This is the nature of religious Babylon (meaning “mixture” or “confusion”). A mixture of what? Of good and evil.

Remember the tree by that name in the Garden of Eden? Who was the one who enticed man to indulge in that fruit in rebellion to YHVH’s commands?

Even today, Satan the serpent is at the helm of spiritual Babylon trying to lure people into his system of good and evil. Like the tree of knowledge, the religious Babylon of today, out of which YHVH is calling his people (Rev 18:4), is just that—a mixture of truth and pagan lies. How else, for example, do we account for the name of the Christian festival called Easter or Ishtar named after the Babylonian sex goddess of fertility? Or how else do we account for the Christmas tree phallus symbol that also originated from Babylonian sex worship? Or how about the Easter egg (an ancient Babylonian fertility or sex symbol) or the egg on the Jewish Passover Seder plate? All these are symbols of pagan sex worship.

As YHVH called Jacob away from Babylon back to Beth-el (the House of El), and as YHVH turned Jacob’s heart back to the ways of his fathers, is not the same YHVH likewise now calling his people to come out of religious Babylon (Rev 18:4), to separate themselves from that which is unclean or not kosher (2 Cor 6:17)?

Yes, YHVH is pleading for the modern descendants of Jacob (redeemed Israelites or the Israel of Elohim, Gal 6:16) to not succumb to the forked-tongued Labans and Balaams of today who would pull them back into their religious systems that are a mixture of truth and error. Rather, Elohim is urging his people to remember the good, ancient and blessed paths of the Torah of Moses his servant and to listen to the spirit of Elijah as the children’s hearts re turned back to the Hebraic fathers of their faith (Jer 6:16, 19; Mal 4:4–6).