All of Mark Call’s collected Torah teachings for 2014 are now available on-line in MP3 format at WayToZion:
Podcasts for teachings from earlier years follow a similar format, and can be found via this link as well:
All of Mark Call’s collected Torah teachings for 2014 are now available on-line in MP3 format at WayToZion:
Podcasts for teachings from earlier years follow a similar format, and can be found via this link as well:
Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, “Vayechi.” (Genesis 47:28 to the end).
During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark again covers the entire parsha — from the blessings over all the tribes of Israel through the eeaths of Jacob and then Joseph.
The longer teaching from Shabbat takes off from the framework of the parsha into “uncharted territory”, perhaps even a bit more than usual!
Yes – there’s a lot going on as the world enters a new secular year. And perhaps the world’s focus on “unity” — even in light of prophecies that (like Ezekiel’s ‘two sticks’) point in that direction — is NOT the right answer for us today.
Don’t miss this one:
Sometimes the Truth is easier to deal with AFTER an event — particularly after a particularly emotional event! — than it is in the “heat of the moment.”
That is no doubt what many people have learned when it comes to certain “holidays“. And that is perhaps nowhere more obvious than when it comes to Xmas.
More and more people have come to realize that “Jesus” could not have been born in the depth of winter (there weren’t any “shepherds watching over their flocks by night” then) and that He was almost certainly born during the Feast of Tabernacles, or “booths” (not coincidentally, that Hebrew word “suka” for a temporary structure sometimes gets rendered as “manger” in the Olde English). Instead, it was the pagan sun-god, Mithras, Sol Invictus, et al, that was always said to be “re-born” on December the 25th…just after the winter solstice. Some even now know Xmas traditions owe far more to Saturnalia than anything remotely Scriptural, and that Jeremiah chapter 10 doesn’t seem too keen on Xmas trees, either.
But the problem has always been that people often love the “warm fuzzy feelings” associated with a “holiday” than they really care about what the Bible might really have to say about it. Especially when they don’t want to hear the answer.
And so instead, people often try to change the subject, and sidestep the issue. Better still, make it into an argument about something else, and then say, “can’t we all just get ALONG?” Did you hear the argument again this year about why it’s so IMPORTANT to say “Merry Christmas” rather than something less “polarizing” like “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”? As if the ultimate irony was no longer true: that the pagans had “christmas” first.
No – it’s far more important, some claim, that we Believers be “unified” about a pagan so-called holy day, even if we really know better. And regardless of what the Bible says.
Is “unity” more important than obedience to the King and Master we claim to honor?
So, now that the emotion and stress and even commercial frenzy is over, perhaps we can do a “Christmas post-mortem” on what the Truth really is about pagan forms of worship, and whether we should participate or not. Maybe we can even take a look at what the Savior we claim to honor really Wrote — especially if He is the “Word Made Flesh”.
Let’s start with Deuteronomy chapter 7, and remember that the Roman Catholic Church does readily admit that “Christmas” traditions date to the era of Constantine, and sun-god worship. Since those folks wanted to keep their pagan gods, and pagan celebrations — why not just “Christian-ize ’em”? Just relabel Saturnalia and the birth of Mithras and say it’s for “baby Jesus” instead. Surely God can’t object to “bringing more people to Christ”, can He? Even if we have to lie? Even if we have to break His Word to do it?
His warning would seem pretty clear, however. (Unless perhaps you’re a “church father” or have some other agenda.) He warned His people not to serve the false gods of the pagan people around them, “for that will be a snare to you.” (v 16) Furthermore, when it comes to their symbols and idols, we are not even to “covet the silver or gold on them…lest you be snared by it.” (v25)
But it’s the last line in the chapter that should really grab our attention, as people put away the silver and gold balls, and set the asherah tree on the curb one more time:
“Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.”
You’d think that would be pretty clear. But we’ve already heard the inevitable reprise, “Hey, it’s NO BIG DEAL. God knows my heart, and He doesn’t really care about things like that.” (In spite of what He says, over and over again, presumably.)
And since the mind boggles at the potential responses to a Whopper like that from what is ACTUALLY Written, as opposed to what men no doubt say He SHOULD have Written, were He as smart, and tolerant, and Open-Minded as them…
(Deuteronomy chapters 12 and 13, 30:19, Isaiah 66:3-4, the exile stories of places like Jeremiah 3 and Ezekiel 23, and scores of others come immediately to mind)
…let’s just stick to one (OK, two — since He repeats it through multiple witnesses) easy rejoinder. And since pagan Xmas celebration pretends to be “all about Him” — why not quote what He said when it comes to “traditions of men”?
He said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (He quotes from Isaiah 29:13) — Mark 7:6-7 (and Matthew 15:2 as well)
That would seem pretty clear, even when it comes to things which He did not already say were “abominations” to Him, and a snare and curse to us!
Another pagan “holy-day” is past. The trappings may still be in living rooms, on rooftops, and in trash cans all around us, and the debts incurred (in more ways than one) are yet to be paid, but this may be the ideal time to address the issues, and maybe even learn the lessons. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Indeed. Why not start now, while there’s still time before the next onslaught.
And if all else fails, perhaps we can refer doubters to what He said next to those same hypocrites:
“All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, “Vayashev.” (Genesis chapters 37 through 40).
During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark covers the entire parsha — the first part of the story of Joseph, who might even be called the “Transition Patriarch.”
The longer teaching from Shabbat again focuses on several of the broader messages pervading the portion. One might be the ‘unifying underlying theme’ of the story of the patriarchs of Genesis, but the even bigger questions probably have to do with “His Plan” — and what our own choices have to do with it.
Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, “Vayishlach.” (Genesis chapters 32:4 through 36).
During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark covers the entire parsha — the story of Jacob’s challenges in reconciling with his estranged brother Esau, the subsequent ‘rape of Dinah,’ (if that’s really what it is) and the violence that follows.
The longer teaching from Shabbat again focuses on at least one of the broader themes pervading the portion, and might be titled, “Dealing with Esau…” and violence, and indeed ‘the world.’ This, too, is a section of Scripture that should REALLY speak to us today!
There’s no longer any question that things are “heating up” on the End Times Thermometer. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean that the events in the world today are imminently of ‘Biblical proportions’ (even after a currency meltdown, world war, and martial law in more and more countries, it might take several years for the final acts to play out) — those with “eyes to see” are taking notice.
So it’s important that those who expect to rely on the promises of Yah (and the alternative will turn out to be gravely disappointing) need to start ‘walking in obedience’ to Him immediately, if not before. Which is why this author finds certain ‘evangelical’ preachers to be in many respects even more of a threat to those “called by His Name” than most run-of-the-mill worldly agnostics, or even atheists. It’s one thing to be oblivious to the Creator, and arguably more insidious when those who CLAIM to call on His Name mislead His sheep. To destruction.
To wit, more and more presumably Bible-literate pastors — including, unfortunately, many who claim to be “watchmen on the wall” — are warning about the coming End Times, but still departing from ‘the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.’ (I Timothy 4:1) They focus exclusively on “saving souls”, as if that was the end of it, and ignore the rest of the equation:
“IF you love Me, keep My commands.” If we are in fact ‘saved by His grace,’ then what is our “reasonable service“? And don’t they care at all about hearing, “well done, good and faithful servant?”
…as opposed to, “depart from Me, you who work lies [and deny His Word!] — I never knew you!” (Matthew 7:23)
The Truth really DOES matter. And (Jeremiah 16:19) — we really have “inherited lies from our fathers.” And our licensed pastors. This is important because Scripture contains MANY warnings about false prophets, failed priests, and “imposters [who will] grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (II Timothy 3:13)
We live in a time when deception abounds, and many of us know first-hand the depth of that deception. It can split communities, and destroy families. If we are to be ready for the battles to come, we must be “ready, in season and out” to give an answer to those who are being led astray by false shepherds.
A couple of answers to “tough questions” that I heard on a recent preparedness-oriented radio show not only make the point, but should serve to “arm us” with the Sword of His Word when we hear (and we will) similar reasonable-sounding lies:
The ‘voice of evangelism’ was asked by a listener why so many Xtians can be “deceived [into believing] that the body of christ is still under obligation to observe the ‘law of Moses’.” And even that “Sabbath” thing (that YHVH says over and over again – as if THAT still mattered, that we are to keep “forever,” “throughout our generations,” in “all our dwelling places,” and so on. Yeah, it’s hard to understand stuff, since He comes right out and tells us).
Well, the ‘man of god’ responded oh-so-folksily…look at Romans 14:6, “talking about food, and talking about the Sabbath.” And then see Romans 10:4, “For christ is the END of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” As if he was ignorant of the fact that the word translated as “end” — IN CONTEXT — didn’t mean “the ultimate GOAL of” His torah, or instruction!
I wondered why so many who find the words of Paul so easy to twist (as II Peter 3:15-16 points out) prefer to quote him, rather than just read what the One they call ‘christ’, and CLAIM to believe, said so bluntly!
But then the preacher did just that, and quoted (at least a bit of) Matthew 5:17. Yes, he stopped after the part that used the English word ‘fulfill.’ And, in the process, ignored the context, and His point, entirely:
“Once something has been fulfilled, it has been terminated.”
And I, admittedly, yelled at the radio. Lies like that get people killed, or worse. He tried to claim it was like a 60 month loan, which, once paid off, was just paid. Done. For my part, I couldn’t help but think how he’d feel if his wife were to use equally twisted logic to claim that, having ONCE turned down a chance to consummate an affair, her marriage vow was equally ‘fulfilled’, and thus terminated.
The logical fallacy here involves a bogus assumption. Fulfilled is NOT the same as terminated — especially since the Messiah in the VERY NEXT VERSE says exactly that! Is “all” fulfilled, even yet? But that’s not what this preacher claimed. He did finally get around to reading the rest of the verse, and then explaining it didn’t mean what He clearly said it did! Instead, he observed that this next line was the “second time [Jesus] uses the word ‘fulfilled’.” And the second time that preacher ignored the meaning, too.
So he follows up a specious assumption with a distortion of the meaning of a key word, and the only way to make that fit is to take the entire verse out of context. In the process, he turns the words of the Messiah on their head — taking a statement that He makes to say He is NOT going to “destroy the torah or the prophets,” and twisting it to claim that he did EXACTLY that! And as if that wasn’t bad enough, this man who (see the next verses) “breaks [even] the least of these commandments, and teaches men so,” then goes on to claim that He wasn’t talking about the “Ten Commandments” anyway — He was really talking only about ‘the beatitudes’. (Come on! what did He just say? He wasn’t going to make even the smallest change to His Written Word — the ‘torah and the prophets’!)
Sadly, this dissemination is pervasive. Twisting of Scripture tends to follow a pattern. There is almost always an assumption. That allows what follows next — a shift in the real meaning of the words, and a removal of the verse from context. Key words may be left out, and even whole verses. But the result all too often ends up being to replace the “commandments of YHVH” with the “traditions of men.” And ultimately make His Word of “no effect.”
If we do not understand the techniques, and the motivations of Pharisees, Old and New, we might fall into the very trap Paul ALSO warned about, (II Tim. 4:3) “for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…having itching ears…and shall turn away…from truth…unto fables.” He’s warning us about exactly what we’re seeing NOW!
This Xtian Twisting from the so-called ‘voice of evangelism’ continued down that inevitable trail. See Col. 2:15, he continued, again taking the admonition completely out of context, “let no one judge you in food…or regarding…sabbath.” But that letter was being written to people who had come out of PAGANISM! What was Paul talking about, if not to warn them about ‘backsliding’? He even SAID so, just a few verses earlier: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after [the Word!]”
Don’t let people judge you for EXACTLY the same things people are judging many of us for TODAY! Not eating pork, and actually deciding to honor Yah’s Sabbaths instead of man’s traditions of sun-god day and Xmas!
But this false shepherd was on a roll. He ignored the context of Galatians 4:9 in exactly the same way, claiming that the “weak and beggarly elements, in which you desire again to be in bondage” was the Torah of YHVH!!!! “Paul had a fear and an anxiety that they were gonna go back to ‘the law’.” What an incredible affront to the Author of Scripture Himself! NO HE DID NOT! And Paul just made that VERY clear, in the preceding verse, when he referred to a time when those he was writing to “did NOT know God,” but served “those which by nature are not gods.” They were pagans. He was warning them about not going back to paganism. And Paul makes the same point in the letter to the Colossians, just a few verses LATER, (Col. 2:22) when he makes it clear that he was talking NOT about the Torah of YHVH, but the “commandments and doctrines of men!” Not surprisingly, that verse got left out of the ‘lesson’.
Scripture is utterly consistent. But lies are not. If the very same Bible which tells us PRECISELY what the Messiah will (and will not – Deuteronomy 13!) do tells us that anyone who CHANGES His Word is a liar, why would we be so foolish as to believe that He would do exactly what He said He would NOT? It is obviously much easier for deceiving wolves in sheep’s clothing to twist the subtle and often complex writings of Shaul (Paul) than the straightforward teachings of the Word Made Flesh.
I have on occasion been reminded by a friend that not EVERY Christian denomination teaches that ‘the law has been done away with’. (Admittedly, those who keep sun-god day certainly APPEAR to, whether they know it or not.) But the lies are insidious, deadly, and pervasive. The “End Times Deception” is just beginning. Perilous times are coming, and He warned us for a reason.
Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, Vayetzei” (Genesis chapters 28:10 – 32:3 ).
During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark covers the story Jacob leaving home, his encounters with the angels “ascending and descending” from heaven, his wives, the birth of his sons, and his final departure from Laban.
The longer teaching from Shabbat again delves into areas that just aren’t touched by most churches. Yes, there’s not only a lot that is VERY politically-incorrect in here (from marriage to “romance”) but a lot that gives us insight into whether we really care about what is Written, or just what we’ve heard it SHOULD have said. (Warning: adult content, too. Not surprising, probably.)
Does ‘the world’ get love and covenant out of order?
Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, “Toldot” (Genesis chapters 25:19 through 28:9).
During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark covers the story which constitutes really the “Legacy” of Isaac — the ‘middle patriarch’ — and, quite frankly, lays out more questions than answers.
The longer teaching from Shabbat picks up on the attempt to “connect the dots” and answer some of those questions, including that most contentious one:
Do the ends EVER justify the means?
Join Mark for one of the most controversial, or even confusing, portions of Scripture, and one which is extremely relevant today.
Between the Ebola ‘Pandemic Panic,’ (which increasingly looks orchestrated, because what leadership could POSSIBLY be doing such incredibly stupid things OTHER than deliberately?) the march toward WW III, and the continuing slow-motion economic meltdown, it is clear to those with “eyes to see” that there are many plagues close at hand.
More and more somewhat ‘mainstream,’ evangelical leaders are slowly beginning to wake up to the fact that something is horribly wrong, as well. But the rapture hasn’t happened yet, so some suffer from a bit of cognitive dissonance. Can it still get much worse, many are asking?
Ultimately, the answer is relatively simple, and it’s been in Scripture all along. But if you’ve been lied to (Jeremiah 16:19 again) all along by a so-called ‘church’ that teaches His “Law” has been done away with and most of the ‘old’ testament is now immaterial anyway, no wonder it’s hard to recognize just how pagan much of what replaced His Truth truly is.
I recently attempted to begin a dialog with a few well-known Christian teachers who are beginning to question a few of the things they have been taught, and certainly see some of the Big Lies from the politicians and their paid propagandists, but who still have difficulty with the ‘come out of her’ concept. Licensed ‘gay marriage’ and subpoenas of sermons seem to have gotten their attention. It was a call from a listener, asking about “pagan church traditions,” and why do we care anyway, that prompted my response.
Since many others will face similar situations, whether with family or simply as ‘watchmen’, here is a bit of that “open letter,” following my introduction.
Dear XXX and YYY,
While you seem to understand about the pagan origins of Xmas and the Ishtar/Easter, including Jeremiah 10, unfortunately, you fired off a .22 round with your response about WHY we must reject pagan tradition, when Scripture is full of heavy artillery. Do you think the Father might be just a LITTLE disgusted to have what is arguably the Most Important Event in human history re-named after a pagan goddess? He tells us, over and over again, how He HATES idolatry. And Bible history shows us why: we are STILL exile for that rebellion.
See the following:
Deuteronomy chapter 7 (esp. vv. 25-26, the end).
Deuteronomy chapter 12.
And Deuteronomy chapter 13, where He makes it SO clear that those who entice us (be they priests, pastors, or popes) to follow “other gods” are NOT His! When He tells us “not to learn the ways” of the pagans, or to do the things they do and call it “worship” of Him, He is blunt. And unequivocal. We are to hate those idols (Xmas trees, Ishtar eggs died in the blood of sacrificed children, and so on). “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.”
Don’t even bring such an abomination into your house:
Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (Deut. 7:25-26)
And note this, too — the penalty for such idolatry is (among other things) – plagues. Deuteronomy 28:60-61 even warns that not ONLY will He “bring back the plagues of Egypt” – but OTHER ones, too, even new ones NOT Written in this Book! I can’t help but think they might even be patented, like Ebola.
That’s obviously just a start. The bottom line is that we are commanded (Deut. 4:2, Deut 12:32, and the “very last command in the Book” at the end of Revelation) not to “add to” or “subtract from” what is Written. Yahushua railed at the “hypocrites” of His day (Scribes and Pharisees, etc) for doing exactly what the ‘church’ has been doing ever since! The reason this doesn’t get ‘preached’ is not ONLY that the 501c(3) Whore Church serves “another Jesus, whom we have not preached.” It’s that they teach that His “law” has been “done away with” – and that’s an even Bigger Lie.
Think of it this way. If we live in a world which believes that the Creator of the Universe can’t make up His mind, and “did away with” His own Written Law (when He said otherwise, in places like Matthew 5:17-19) —
why would we believe the Constitution, or ANY law of mere men, would fare any better?
Finally – who is the ‘creator’ of a licensed “church”? Hint: Look at the certificate of incorporation; it will tell you. And it isn’t YHVH, Elohim of the Bible – although it was supposed to be. The old common law saying is, “if you take the king’s money, you play the kings’ tune.” Yahushua the Meshiach said, after asking “whose image and inscription?” that we are to “render unto Caesar what is his.” Can you begin to see how not ONLY is the fake god of the ‘almighty state’ legally correct in requiring ITS creation to say “how high” when he says ‘jump’, but also that THROUGHOUT Scripture our True Creator and King has warned us OVER and over again NOT to fall into that trap!
“No one can serve two masters, he will love one and hate the other.”
In legaleze [sic] the term is “by agreement,” meaning, ‘by contract’, and as a consequence of entering into ‘commerce.’ With a little thought, it becomes apparent why we are so rapidly headed to a place where “no one will buy or sell [again, commerce]” without a “mark“.
EVERYTHING* that is being done to us (just as in Nazi Germany) is being done “legally”. In the Bible, the story that applies most obviously is Jacob and Esau, who “traded his birthright for a cup of pottage.” (And, note, “Jacob I have loved, Esau I hated,” says YHVH.) Ben Franklin warned that “those who would trade essential liberty for a little temporary security deserve neither.” And we’re there.
On briefly to marriage, His as opposed to the ‘almight state’.
Amerika (with a K) has been licensing “marriage” since essentially the New Deal. (The history is sordid, and dates to “intermarriage” licensing. Now that all of Caesar’s sheeple have been made again into slaves, the concept has been extended.) Again, it’s “by agreement” — NOWHERE in the Constitution is the power (Art. 1, Sec 7,8, etc) to say ANYTHING about marriage or family delegated to the central government. YHVH the Creator defined marriage, and for man to attempt to redefine His Word is yet another indicator of what is going on; the state plays god.
The key thing to observe is that NOWHERE, not once, in all of the Bible does a “man of God” ask permission of ANYONE but the Father (or fathers, his own and his isha-to-be) to marry. Not one of His people – from Adam, to Abraham, to Moses and so on – ever goes to a king, pope, priest, pretender, or civil magistrate to ask for permission to do what He ordains. BUT — if you DO ask permission, and enter into contract before “another master” — beware the fine print! (It’s called “adherent contracts” in legalese. Ask “child protective services” whose children the village really owns.)
The same thing goes for “gay” marriage. Once you begin to ask permission from “another master” to do that which YHVH forbids, why are we surprised to see good called “evil,” and evil, “good”? There’s much more** — but perhaps you begin to see the point. YHVH Himself, and what He ordains, has been rejected — both by the Almighty State and its licensed “church”.
Finally, see the end of the Book of Isaiah, chapter 66. It has never been more clear:
“…Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” (Isaiah 66:3-4)
* for now. We’re getting to the point that I talk about as well, where the “two P’s” of PRESUMPTION and PRECEDENT will allow Big Brother to dispense entirely with even the pretense of “agreement”.
Most of us now know Christians who are becoming concerned about the contradictions between what they have been TOLD Scripture says, and what is actually Written. So now is the time to be ready to “give an answer to every man that asketh you,” a reason for the understanding we have, and the “hope that is in you.”
Join Mark Call for two teachings on this week’s Torah portion, “Chayei Sarah” (Genesis chapters 23 through 25:18).
During the Erev Shabbat teaching, (Friday evening) Mark covers the story which begins with the death of Sarah, but might also be called a short course, ‘Torah on Contracts 101’.
The longer teaching from Shabbat again delves more specifically into how our understanding – or lack thereof – of what the Bible teaches about everything from contracts to servanthood reflects directly on the sorry state of “law” and “justice”. Perhaps plagues is a better word…