Challenging Ralph Messer, the "quintessential showman" who continues to make a mockery of God's Word

Messer, president and founder of Simchah Torah beit Midrash is a charismatic leader in the Messianic faith. According to his bio, Messer has "an Apostolic and Evangelistic anointing," and he "actively teaches the Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith, fulfilling the great commission to 'make disciples of all the nations' (Matthew 28:19)." His noble goal, "is pioneering a work to bring the "Good News" of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) in the Torah to the ends of the earth."

Unfortunately, in the process, he's skewing YHWH's Truth and desecrating ancient Torah scrolls that are being used as props in his on-stage theatrics wherein he wraps people in these Torah scrolls and tells them they are now "surrounded by the word of God."

According to Messer's website, "For more than 30 years, Rabbi Messer has facilitated inter-faith discussions between denominations, cultures, and various groups, across the country, and internationally as a popular keynote conference speaker and minister."

While he is definitely a "charismatic" speaker, he has apparently forgotten that YHWH expects His people to be holy/set apart, and to NOT desecrate His Word in the process as Messer did when he wrapped Pastor Paula White in a Torah scroll and told her she was now "surrounded by the Word of God." (Paula White is yet another Christian theologian who seems to love featuring Messer in her ministry. Like most other pastors, she espouses personal opinions instead of the Word of God, while - like Messer - she is constantly making sure to remind people to keep those tithes coming in....)

Ignoring the outcry of his antics with Paula White, on January 29, 2012 at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia Messer repeated his theatrics when he wrapped Bishop Eddie Long in a 312 year old Torah scroll saved from Auschwitz after World War II and - like with Paula White - told him he was "surrounded by" and "hidden in" the Word of God.

For those who have never heard of Bishop Eddie Long, he pastors the 25,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and has "an Emmy-Award-winning broadcast, Taking Authority, which airs on the Trinity Broadcast Network, (TBN), reaches 172 countries and more than 270 million people." According to his Statement of Faith, he is a "trinitarian" who - like Rabbi Messer's other friend, Paula White - is NOT Torah observant. Let's not forget to mention, Bishop Long was implicated in a sexual molestation scandal which he settled out of court with the terms mysteriously being undisclosed....

This was the man that Messer had wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and paraded around on stage, lifted high into the air by several strong men, and told he was a KING!

Most of the things that spewed forth from Messer's mouth were figments of his own imagination, including the outrageous remark that the Torah cover is a "foreskin"; thus alluding to the fact that the Torah a phallus. In actuality, Torah is feminine in Hebrew and is personified as "She," as in as we see in Proverbs 3:18: She is a tree of life to those who grasp her; whoever holds fast to her will be made happy. (For those who are interested, Rev. Wil Gafney, PhD, in this Huffington Post article offers a wonderful point-by-point rebuttal to the nonsensical things espoused by Messer at New Birth Church.)

Those who know Scripture recognize that what Messer did was a complete abomination. He might as well have spat on Y'shua Himself! What he did was to dismiss thousands of years of tradition in respecting the Word as it is presented in a Torah Scroll. Most Christians would see nothing wrong with what he did, because they don't realize the significance of Torah; but in traditonal Jewish gatherings, the Torah is always the "primary object"; it is NEVER "secondary"!

Folks, the Messianic faith has gathered many kooks and weirdos and false teachers of all kinds, but to know that Ralph Messer who dares to desecrate Torah scrolls has myriads of google-eyed admirers who run after him calling, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and falling all over themselves on his Facebook pages to thank him for "leading them to the truth" is downright unbelievable! You know you have truly "found your niche" when you can fool an entire congregation into giving you a standing ovation for abusing a Torah scroll by using it as a prop for your side-show antics....

Let's check what Scripture says YHWH and His holy Word:

We are commanded to show respect for YHWH, His Name, His Torah and anything He considers holy. The Torah is the testimony of the covenant between YHWH and Israel. "Take this Torah scroll... that it may serve as a testimony for you" (Deut. 31:26). Consequently, a Torah scroll must be treated with the utmost respect because it is the Word of YHWH. We are taught that whoever honors the Torah will himself be honored.

Another example of how adamant YHWH is concerning His holy Word can be seen in 1 Chronicles 13:1-11 in the story of King David and great multitudes of Israel going to Abinadad’s house to get the Ark of the Covenant (containing the two stone tablets inscribed with the ten commandments and the golden urn which contained the manna and the rod of Aaron which sprouted). They had built a new cart for the Ark and great multitudes of musicians played before it as oxen pulled the precious cargo. At one point the oxen stumbled causing the Ark of the Covenant to fall at a place called Nachon. Uzza, a servant of David who automatically put forth his hand to steady Ark was instantly killed by YHWH - because it was against the Law to touch the Ark of the Covenant for any reason....

Yet today, we have people like Ralph Messer desecrating beautiful old Torah scrolls which were painstakingly and lovingly written by hand with perfect precision!

Exodus 20: 1 Then YHWH said all these words: 2 "I am YHWH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery. 3 "You are to have no other gods before me. 4 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. 5 You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, YHWH your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot. d 7 "You are not to use lightly the name of YHWH your God, because YHWH will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.

Click here to see what Ron Cantor of Maoz Israel has to say about Messer's antics!

When Moshe completed the writing of the Torah, he told the Levi'im to place it with the stones in the Ark (Deuteronomy 31:24-26). Moshe went on to say that the Torah was a witness against the people because he knew the people would turn bad. Messer, on the other hand was using the Torah as a "witness for" Eddie Long - elevating Eddie to "king".

Pastor Eddie King, a Torah-less Christian pastor, did not know enough to show any respect for the Torah, or he would have NEVER consented to this, and he would have risen when the Torah was presented. Instead, he was seated while he held the Torah. True believers who KNOW Scripture know that one stands in the presence of the Torah! Following are but a few examples:

Deuteronomy 10: 8 At that time ADONAI set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark for the covenant of ADONAI and to stand before ADONAI to serve him and to bless in his name, as they still do today.

Deuteronomy 18: 5 For ADONAI your God has chosen him from all your tribes to stand and serve in the name of ADONAI, him and his sons forever.

Deuteronomy 18: 7 ...then he will serve there in the name of ADONAI his God, just like his kinsmen the L'vi'im who stand and serve in the presence of ADONAI.

Ezra 9: 15 ADONAI, God of Isra'el! You are just; yet we have been left a surviving remnant that has escaped, as is the case today. Look, we are before you in our guilt; because of it, no one can stand in your presence."

2 Kings 3: 14 Elisha said, "As ADONAI-Tzva'ot lives, before whom I stand..."

2 Kings 5: 11 But Na'aman became angry and left, saying, "Here now! I thought for certain that he would come out personally, that he would stand, call on the name of ADONAI his God and wave his hand over the diseased place and thus heal the person with tzara'at.

2 Kings 5: 16 But Elisha answered, "As ADONAI lives, before whom I stand, I will not accept it."

2 Chronicles 20: 9 'If calamity strikes us, such as war, judgment, disease or famine, we will stand before this house - that is, before you, since your name is in this house - and cry to you in our distress; and you will hear us and rescue us.'

2 Chronicles 29: 11 "My sons, now is not a time for being negligent; for you are the ones ADONAI chose to stand before him and serve him as his ministers, offering him incense."

Psalm 5: 5 Those who brag cannot stand before your eyes, you hate all who do evil, 6 you destroy those who tell lies, ADONAI detests men of blood and deceivers.

Psalm 22: 23 "You who fear ADONAI, praise him! All descendants of Ya'akov, glorify him! All descendants of Isra'el, stand in awe of him!"

Here is Ezra 9:

1 After these things had been done, the leaders approached me and said, "The people of Isra'el, the cohanim and the L'vi'im have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands and their disgusting practices - the Kena'ani, Hitti, P'rizi, Y'vusi, 'Amoni, Mo'avi, Egyptians and Emori. 2 They have taken some of the women from these nations as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed has assimilated to the peoples of the lands; moreover, the officials and leaders have been the main offenders in this treachery." 3 When I heard this, I tore my robe and tunic, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down in shock. 4 All who trembled at the words of the God of Isra'el assembled around me when confronted with the treachery of these exiles; and I sat there in shock until the evening offering.

5 At the evening offering, with my cloak and tunic torn, I got up from afflicting myself, fell on my knees, spread out my hands to ADONAI my God, 6 and said, "My God, I am ashamed. I blush to lift my face to you, my God! For our sins tower over our heads; our guilt reaches up to heaven. 7 Since the times of our ancestors, we have been deeply guilty; and because of our sins, we, our kings and our cohanim have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to exile, to pillage and to disgrace, as is the case today. 8 Now, for a brief moment, ADONAI our God has shown us the favor of allowing a remnant to escape and giving us a secure foothold in his holy place, in order for God to make things look brighter to us and revive us a little in our slavery.

9 For we are slaves. Yet our God has not abandoned us in our slavery, but has caused the kings of Persia to extend grace to us, reviving us, so that we can rebuild the house of our God, repair its ruins, and have a wall of defense in Y'hudah and Yerushalayim. 10 "But now, our God, what are we to say after this? For we have abandoned your mitzvot, 11 which you gave us through your servants the prophets when they said, 'The land which you are going to in order to take possession of it is a land defiled by the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, because of their disgusting practices, which have filled it with their filth from one end to the other. 12 Therefore, you are not to give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons; and you are not to promote their peace or prosperity ever. Only in this way will you grow strong, enjoy the good things of the land and leave it as a lasting inheritance to your children.'

13 Now, after all that has come upon us because of our evil deeds and our deep guilt - and even so, you, our God, have punished us less than our sins deserve and have given us a surviving remnant - 14 are we to break your mitzvot again by making marriages with the peoples who have these disgusting practices? Won't you become so angry with us that you would destroy us completely, so that there would be no surviving remnant and no one who escapes? 15 ADONAI, God of Isra'el! You are just; yet we have been left a surviving remnant that has escaped, as is the case today. Look, we are before you in our guilt; because of it, no one can stand in your presence."

The point is that in the presence of the Word of YHWH, the righteous STAND. At the end of Messer's side-show, someone bopped in and took away the Torah Scroll! No recognition, no honor; they just came and took it away without any kind of reverence, pomp or circumstance. After all, Bishop Long was the important one here!

Luke 20: 45 Within the hearing of all the people, Yeshua said to his talmidim, 46 "Watch out for the kind of Torah-teachers that like to walk around in robes and be greeted deferentially in the marketplaces, the kind that like to have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets, 47 the kind that swallow up widows' houses while making a show of davvening at great length. Their punishment will be all the worse!"

Here is James 2 from the Aramaic English New Testament:

1. My Brothers, do not hold to the faith of the glory of our Master Y'shua the Mashiyach with double-minded hypocrisy. 2. For if there come into your assembly a man with rings of gold or splendid garments and there come in a poor man in ragged and stained garments; 3. and respect is shown to him who is clothed in splendid garments, and you say to him, Be honorably seated; while to the poor man, say, Stand way over there, or sit here (in low prostration) before my footstool; 4. are you not showing double mindedness among yourselves and becoming advocates of evil thoughts? 5. Hear, my beloved Brothers; has not Elohim chosen the poor of the world, the rich in faith, to be heirs in the Kingdom which Elohim has promised to them that love him? 6. But you have despised the poor man. Do not rich men exalt themselves over you and drag you before the tribunals? 7. Do they not hate that worthy Name, which is invoked upon you?

8. And if in this you fulfill the Torah of Elohim, as it is written, You will love your neighbor as yourself, you will do well: 9. but if you have partiality towards persons, you commit sin; and you are convicted by Torah as breakers of Torah. 10. For he that will keep the whole Torah and yet fail in one aspect of it, is an enemy to the whole Torah. 11. For he who said, "You will not commit adultery," said also, "You will not kill." If then you commit no adultery, but you do murder, you have become a defiler of Torah. 12. So speak and so act as persons that are to be judged by the Torah of perfect freedom. 13. For judgment without mercy will be on him who has practiced no mercy: by mercy, you will be raised above judgment. 14. What is the use, my Brothers, if a man say, I have faith; and he has no works? Can his faith resurrect him?

15. Or if a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16. and one of you say to them, "Go in peace, warm yourselves, and be full;" and you do not give them the necessities of the body, what is the use? 17. So also faith alone, without works, is dead. 18. For a man may say, you have faith and I have works; show to me your faith that is without works and I will show to you my faith by my works. 19. You believe that there is one Elohim; you do well; the demons also believe and tremble. 20. Would you know, O weak man, that faith without works is dead?

21. Awraham our father, was not he justified by works[1] in offering his son Yitz'chak upon the altar? 22. Do you realize that his faith aided his works, and that by the works his faith was rendered complete? 23. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says: Awraham believed in Elohim, and it was credited to him for righteousness and he was called the Friend of Elohim. 24. You see that by works a man is justified and not by faith alone. 25. So also Rahab the harlot, was she not justified[2] by works when she entertained the spies and sent them forth by another way? 26. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


[1] Some theologians allege this teaching to be opposite of the Pauline Epistles, such as Galatians. The reality is that Paul was grossly misquoted whereas Ya'akov was not. Rav Shaul did not accept empty ritual devoid of proper spiritual focus. He was Torah Observant; he kept the Moedim (feast days), the Shabbat, and took one or more Nazirite vows; he fasted on Yom Kippur, ate "clean" food and lived a Set Apart life in Mashiyach Y'shua. The fact is that Romans 7:12 totally harmonizes Galatians with, and complements, Galatians and Ya'akov.

[2] The Hebrew word for a righteous soul = tsadiq; righteousness = tsedeq; justified = tsadaq; notice they are the same word. A soul without righteousness can never be "justified" regardless of what theologians claim. The original root word for justified relates to righteous action. However, mainstream Christianity teaches that a person is "justified" solely on the merits of belief in Y'shua, and that observing Torah is impossible. Even in Ya'akov's day, some individuals wanted cerebral belief to "justify" themselves, which is impossible. Y'shua's person (example) and Spirit is meant to literally be imparted into us; this must be evidenced by our actions, otherwise we do not belong to him. Theological, or cerebral "belief" without works, is dead religion; but active literal Faith comes to life in Mashiyach. Torah Observance/obedience is clear evidence that we have passed from death to life. See John 5:29, Matthew 7:23.

Some final thoughts....

Someone wrote to The Refiner's Fire with this quote: "Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise."

And so has "Messianic Judaism." All the various pastors mentioned in this article, including the illustrious "Rabbi" Messer are living proof of that!