The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith.

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”). Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

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About This Web Site

This page provides a very brief explanation of my personal philosophy and the design and content of the website; it may be helpful if you understand these things about the site before you decide to spend much time here.

Site Philosophy

As stated in the page banner, this website (like me) is unapologetically pro-Torah, unashamedly pro-Israel, and irrevocably Zionist. It is not anti-Church; it is not anti-Islam; it is not anti-Rabbinic Judaism; it is not anti-anybody. But it is blatantly pro-Truth (see “What is ‘Truth’?”).

My “religious” philosophy might possibly be described as somewhat close to Messianic Karaite[1] (very probably an oxymoron, in that Karaites hold only the Tanakh as authoritative). I hold only the Tanakh (the so-called “Old Testament”) and the Apostolic Writings (the so-called “New Testanent”) as divinely inspired, or God-breathed (2Tim 3:16), and therefore the only source of authority for faith and practice. I follow the teachings of Yeshua of Nazareth, the Jewish Messiah, and strive to follow the mitzvot of Torah which apply to me.[NOTE] I do not accept the Talmud (the “Oral Tradition”) as part of Torah, because (a) “Moshe wrote down all the words of ADONAI” (Exodus 24:4) and (b) HaShem said, “Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it” (Deut 12:32); I therefore do not accept the rabbinical takanot or minhagim as either a part of Torah or as having authority, though I do respect the Talmud as valuable as any other man-made commentary on the Scriptures.

Do I think that observing the takanot and minhagim are wrong? No I don’t. What I believe is wrong is to hold these man-made rules and regulation as equal to, or more important than, the written Torah. That being said, even if I did consider the takanot and minhagim authoritative, I would not be able to follow them. Why? Simple! Until I can grow to the point where I can follow as much Torah as applies to me, why take on even more that I cannot faithfully follow? Why make a vow to HaShem (to follow takanot) that I cannot possibly fulfill?[NOTE] If you personally feel that HaShem is calling you to follow them, then by all means, please listen to Him and not to me!

A biological descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Levi, I was raised totally assimilated in a devout (Protestant) Christian home, the son of a Christian pastor; I cannot remember a time when I did not know Israel’s Messiah Yeshua as my Lord and Savior, although then I knew Him by his Gentile name, Jesus Christ. As “the preacher’s kid,” I began teaching “little kids’” Sunday school when I was about 10 years old and have been studying and teaching the Bible ever since (I am 75 years old in 2021). My first pastoral appointment was in 1965 and I was in active pastoral ministry from then until my retirement in 2008. My ministry activities are now limited to this website.

My opinions and interpretations are based on more than 55 years of intense personal study of the Scriptures, including over ten years of seminary training culminating in a master’s degree (M.A.) in Biblical Studies, a master’s degree in Systematic Theology (Th.M.) and two doctoral degrees — one in Theology (Th.D.) and and one in Ministry (D.Min.).[2] My theological opinions are very difficult for anyone except Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit to change or influence, and He changes my opinions frequently, thus my theology is not consistent across the pages of this website, as explained below. In about 1998, Ruach HaKodesh began to radically convict me that what I had believed and had been teaching since the early 1960’s was simply foundationally wrong, and sent me down a new path of understanding — one based on what the Bible actually says, and not what I wanted it to say or what I was taught by others to accept that it says.

My formal theological education was in non-charismatic, fundamentalist, dispensational, supersessionist theology. After seven years of college and graduate school, plus the equivalent of ten additional years of seminary, and over 40 years of pastoral ministry, I finally admitted that much of what I had been taught, and much of what I had been teaching, simply did not track with what I read for myself in the pages of Scripture. In about 2002 I made a painful decision to leave “the Church” (in obedience to 2Cor. 6:16-18) and to teach only that which I could actually clearly prove from the Bible only, without the human tradition and outright paganism that I found in the Church. [More important information about my personal spiritual journey HERE.]

In spite of what you may think you read in these pages, absolutely nothing on this site is intended to be anti-Christian, anti-Church, or anti-Jewish. When the Catholic priest and reformer Martin Luther first presented his The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517, he had no intention of leaving the Roman Catholic Church and starting what was to be later known as the Protestant Reformation. He only was pointing out what he believed were serious errors in the Church, and intended only to call those errors to the attention of Church leadership in hope they would be corrected.

I have no such aspirations, nor do I view myself as a “reformer.” My only aspiration is to teach the Scriptures as accurately as I am enabled by Ruach HaKodesh. In fact, I believe that the Church has fallen too far into apostasy (2Thess. 2:3-4; 1Tim. 4:1-6) for it to be corrected from within until Messiah Himself returns to provide the remedy. My hope is to awaken the slumbering, apathetic Christian into becoming a good Berean who will faithfully examine the Scriptures to see if what he/she hears from the pulpit is true, who will challenge the pastors and elders when it is not, and “come out from their midst and be separate” (2Cor. 6:17) if the error continues unchanged.

I expect nobody to agree with me completely; I expect very few to agree with most of what I say; I expect most to disagree with just about everything here that is different from what they have been taught. Virtually every person will find something on this site with which they take offense or disagree. If you disagree with my opinions, please CLICK HERE before contacting me. If you are truly offended by this site’s content, I really couldn’t care less, that’s totally between you and God.

Scripture Quotations

Most Scripture quotations on this website are taken either from the Complete Jewish Bible (copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources) or from the New American Standard Bible® [copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.] Both are used by permission (see also Copyright and Permissions for other versions used).

Scripture quotations marked “literal” are my own attempt at translation and should not be considered authoritative. Upon occasion, I have felt that a different translation of a particular word or phrase better represents the original intent. In these cases the changed text is enclosed in [square brackets].

Site Organization

This is a very large website with well over 2,000 pages. It has been constantly growing since I first launched its predecessor in about 1994. I have divided the content as carefully as I could into appropriate categories. Major categories are listed in dark “buttons” imediately below the masthead at the top of the page. Links to sub-categories and individual pages are found immediately above the page title.

Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?
Added 11/06/20

As stated above, “My theological opinions are very difficult for anyone except Ruach HaKodesh to change or influence, and He changes my opinions frequently.” When I launched the first version of this website in 1994, it was launched as a Christian site with very strong Baptist leanings. Much of the original material was either material that I had written and taught as a seminary professor as early as 1982, or strongly based upon that material. In about 2000, HaShem had begun to reveal the Messianic Restoration to me, and I found it necessary to unlearn much, or nearly all, that I had believed since my early youth, formalized during my years as a seminary student, and taught as a pastor and theology professor. Virtually every time I sit down to study the Scriptures, or hear the teaching of Torah teachers whose opinion I deeply respect, Ruach HaKodesh reveals something to me that causes me to change some aspect of my theological position. With now well over 2,000 pages on this website, every time I “tweak” my theology, it is simply not possible for me to go through every page on the site and edit it to bring it up to date with my “current theology.” So, there are some things that remain on the site that I no longer hold as absolutes. However, they are not “salvation issues” but merely matters of opinion. As I run across them, I try to update them to my current thinking.

_______________

  1. Karaite Judaism is a Jewish religious movement characterized by the recognition of the written Torah alone as its supreme authority in halakha (Jewish religious law) and theology. Karaites maintain that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah without additional Oral Law or explanation (Exodus 24:4). Karaism is distinct from mainstream Rabbinic Judaism, which considers the Oral Torah, codified in the Talmud and subsequent works, to be authoritative interpretations of the Torah. Consequently, Karaite Jews do not consider binding the written collections of the oral tradition in the Midrash or Talmud. I personally accept the Apostolic Writings (aka “New Testament”) as the only writings subsequent to the Tanakh[GN] as authoritative for faith and practice. [RETURN]

  2. My MA degree is in Biblical Studies, Old and New Testament; my ThM and ThD are in Systematic Theology, my DMin is in Bible School Administration and Curriculum Development. I also hold an MBA in Organizational Management with a concentration in Church Administration. [RETURN]

Minor revisions on Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Page revised on Friday, 06 November 2020
Page revised on Monday, 21 December 2020
Minor revisions on Shabbat, 21 August 2021
Revised again on Wednesday, 06 October 2021

Page last updated on Tuesday, 12 October 2021 09:54 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!