Torah Commentary -Tol’dot (History) Stopped Up Wells -Day 1, Month 9, 5775; 1 December 2016

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Torah Commentary
Genesis 25:19-28:9
Malachi 1:1-2:7
Romans 9:6-16
Hebrews 11:20; 12:14-17
Tol’dot (History)

Stopped Up Wells

The life of the now to be patriarchs are so rich in meaning. In their lives is the wisdom of the Creator. In the accounts recorded for us is His wisdom being passed on from generation to generation. In later Torah portions He will give us specific instructions in life, but they are proceeded by these wonderful stories which are designed to allow our minds to wander back and imagine what life was like for them. None of these men and women ever had a thought that as they were living, Yah was allowing their lives to be a book others would be able to learn from. That statement should make us stop and ponder about our own lives today, but that is a different subject.

In the midst of the Book of Genesis, we see played out before us the message of two seeds prophesied of just before Adam and Eve were banished from The Garden. The battle is not just about seed, but about position, a position of authority within a chosen family. It is about a position referred to as the Malki-Tzedek Priesthood. Simply put, it is the position of king and priest within a family which was to go to the first born. In the cases we read of, this position does not end up with the first born because the first born does not follow in the responsibilities of the correct seed, and the battle for the position turns into a war. We will see in the lives of the tribes that the position of king and priest will be divided within the family, but the battle will not end. In fact it continues to this day. In the person of Yeshua, the positions of king and priest come back together as one, but the battle continues as hasatan continues to try and thwart that authority.  Not too smart on his part, but that too is a different subject. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary Chayei Sarah (Sarah’s Life) -Day 23, Month 8, 5775; 24 November 2016

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Chayei Sarah (Sarah’s Life)

Why That Piece of Dirt?

The joy Abraham experienced after the “Resurrection” of Isaac was short lived by the news of the death of his wife Sarah. He had never known a time that Sarah was not by his side, as maybe some of his first memories of life were playing next to a well with Sarah as their mothers drew water for the day. Now that chapter of his life has come to an end. Commentators have and will continue to argue if her death was in some way tied to the news she had received regarding the purpose of Abraham taking Isaac for the yearly sacrifice. The fact he is facing is that she has passed on, and the job at hand is to find a proper burial place for his wife.

The account continues with negotiations being made with Efron the Hitti who owns a cave in the field of Makhpelah. In the end, Abraham will pay top dollar plus for this piece of land and the cave. Why? It is just a piece of dirt and just another cave. Anyone who has been to Israel knows that caves are not uncommon. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary – Day 19, Month 7, 5775; 21 October 2016

Torah Commentary
Deut 33:1-34:12
Joshua 1:1-9
Matt 17:1-9
Jude 3-4, 8-10

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Day 19, Month 7, 5775; 21 October 2016   

*I did not have time to write a Torah commentary this week for the Sukkot scriptures. This is an excerpt from my book “They Walked Toward the Promises.” I think it is fitting as we look to a new cycle, one which will take us a step further toward Home>
HaBrachah (This is the Blessing)

Moshe penned the last word of the scroll and delivered it to the Cohanim. He then turned to Y’hoshua and asked him to assemble the elders. As soon as they were assembled, he began to speak blessings over each of the tribes individually. While he was doing so, a strange yet comforting feeling came over him. It was as if he could see the words Israel had spoken so many years earlier coming from the past and uniting with his own words. As the words joined together, like the hooks which held the curtains of the Tabernacle, they took on a new life. It was as if the words were going forth to a time in the future and a people yet to be born.

With his last words, Moshe turned to face Mount N’vo. There was only one thing in the way between him and the mount, Y’hoshua. The two men stood staring at each other with eyes red from tears. The elders and people who had gathered stood in utter silence.

Finally, Moshe spoke, “Be bold, strong, and of good courage. Make me proud. Make Him proud!”

The two men embraced. Through his tears, Y’hoshua could see his destiny in the distance, the Promised Land. Moshe could see his own, very different path, Mount N’Vo.

In his flesh, Y’hosha did not want to let go. In his spirit, he knew he must. He had to let go of what was in order to obtain that which lies ahead. With all the emotional strength he could muster, Y’hoshua loosened his embrace. Through the lump in his throat, he finally mounted the words, “Yes sir,” then stepped aside.

Moshe reached down and picked up his staff. It all of a sudden struck him as funny; all these years, he had never really given any thought to the fact that he still picked it up by the tail end, the same as he had done in Egypt. Somewhere inside him, he still remembered being in the presence of Pharaoh and his magicians when it had been turned into a serpent.  A slight smile came to his face.  Not even Y’hoshua would ever know what that smile was all about. Moshe nodded to Y’hoshua, his people, and then took his first step to his end.

The whole camp stood and watched as Moshe began to climb Mount N’vo. Each person was silent, lost in thought, though none more than Y’hoshua.

It was a hard climb, and Moshe was exhausted when he finally reached the top of the mount. He felt as if his feet had truly taken their last steps. He noticed an outcropping of rock. In the center was a rock which looked almost like a couch. Moshe took it as a welcomed invitation from Him to rest. As he sat down, the view was more than he could take in all at once. His people dotted the ground much like the stars dotted the sky. He looked to the staff in his hand and pulled it up in his lap. The carvings he had done through so many years were like an autobiography before him; and Moshe stared at each mark, taking time to remember the event that had caused it.

Finally, Moshe looked to the heavens, “You have been a faithful friend. Thank you! Take care of them, these stars of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “

As the sun began to set, Moshe’s eyes were drawn to the horizon. He had never seen a day so clear. As Moshe gazed from north to south and to the sea to the west, he began to remember again the stories his Abba and Emma had passed down to him. He thought of Adam and Eve, wondering just which hill they were buried on. The Garden was — is somewhere out there. He thought of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others. He longed to meet them in this World to come.

As Moshe took his last, longing look at the land of His people, a particular mountain in the Northwest drew Moshe’s gaze. It was the same mountain he had noticed days before. The mountain seemed to be calling to him. It was as if his spirit knew something, but his mind could just not comprehend. With the thought of that mountain, Moshe leaned back on the rock behind him and his soul continued on to join in the sleep of his fathers.

Elohim would bury Moshe that day on Mount N’vo. The mountain stands as a reminder of the man called, “Yah’s friend.”

Y’hoshua continued to stare at the mountain, unknowing of Moshe’s passing. Eventually, Caleb walked up behind him and placed a hand on Y’hoshua’s shoulder, “We have to move on. “

“I know,” is all Y’hoshua could say. He turned toward his tent to be alone with his thoughts.

The people mourned Moshe’s death in the plains of Mo’av for thirty days. When their days of mourning came to an end, they began the process of breaking camp, looking to Y’hoshua to lead them the rest of the way.

Torah Commentary – Sh’mot (Exodus) – What Is In Your Hand?

Torah Commentary
Sh’mot (Exodus)
Exodus 1:1-6:1
Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23
Matthew 22:23-33; 41-46
Acts 3:12-15
Hebrews 11:23-26
What Is In Your Hand?

Many generations have lived and died since the time of Joseph. To the Hebrews, Caanan is a distant place that is talked about on occasion, but Egypt has become home in their minds. The stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are ancient history. Joseph saving Egypt from ruin? It is not doing them much good now. At least not in their minds. God? Well, it does not look like He is too involved in the lives of the Hebrews. Then one night it all changed. The sound of a baby cry in Goshen was very common, but this cry was unique. For those who had ears to hear it could be interpreted, “Pack your bags, it is time to go home!”

Moses, a type and shadow of the One prophesied in Genesis 3 was now alive and well, even growing up in the very house he would one day judge. The only problem with the picture is the man who will be called to deliver the people needs some time tending sheep to truly be ready for the call.

Moses had probably sat at the base of the mountain many times during his years as a shepherd. Little did he realize how much future events on the mountain would change generations to come including the one you and I are living out right now.

The account of the burning bush is very familiar to us all. There is a detail many read over which I would like to expound on. In Chapter 4 Verse 2 Yah asks Moshe a question, “What is that in your hand?’ Now, from my experience, when Yah asks a question, He in not looking for information. He is normally looking for our response. Moshe answers right away and says it is a staff. In the next verses we read what Yah instructs Moshe to do with the staff, part of which is to throw it down whereas it becomes a snake.

I, for one, am not real crazy about snakes. I do not even like the sight of them. Even the ones which are not venomous, I just do not like them. I think my feeling toward serpents would have been a good one for Eve to have, but that is another subject.

What is the connection between the staff and the serpent? In Moshe’s day the staff was where your life was recorded in carvings. It was his autobiography. He would have carved images for various important times in his life. Probably none stuck out more to the eyes of Moshe was the carving of the day he killed the Egyptian. To Moshe it was a symbol of his failure. He who was once called to be the deliverer was forever a failure. What his staff represented was the day he had messed up so bad, hit future was over, the same as if a venomous snake had bitten him.

When Moshe saw the staff turn into a snake it says he recoiled from it. I do not believe he he tried to flee because he was afraid of the snake, but rather he understood what it represented.

Moshe thought his actions years ago had brought death to his calling. This was not the case. His actions had sent him to a place to make him into the man he needed to be, a man who would rely on YH VH and not on himself.

Over the years I have met many people who think something in their past means that Yah can no longer use them. Maybe you are one of them. If that is the case, I have a question for you,”What is that in your hand?” Let’s take a lesson from Moshe. Throw down the image that we may have of failures past. See that image for what it is, a death which keeps us from living our destiny. The staff of Moshe was in a way born again as the old things had passed away and all things had become new. So I ask again, “What is that in your hand?”  (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary- Vayetze (He went out)- His God Too

Torah Commentary
Vayetze (He went out)
Genesis 28:10-32:3
Hosea 12:13-14:9
John 1:43-51

His God Too

Yaakov’s life has been one of testing from before he could remember. He did not choose this war, but from his mother’s womb, he has been thrust into it. He now breaks free of his brother’s grasp and heads out on his own to make a life for himself. Life from now on is going to be a bed of roses. Well, maybe not. The trials are only beginning.

Yaakov leaves the house of his father and mother and begins to walk. We are not told why he walked in the direction he did and the truth is, he probably did not know why himself. Yaakov is no doubt exhausted mentally and physically from the events of the preceding days and finds a comfortable rock to lay his head on. It is there he will see the Heavens opened and begin to understand his true calling in life. He is to be the one whom the covenant given to his father and grandfather will continue through.

Yaakov is not unfamiliar with the word covenant. He has heard this word from his earliest memories sitting on his Grandfather Abraham’s lap. His Father Isaac also made sure the story was forever ingrained in his memory. Now this God of Abraham and Isaac is wanting to enter into covenant with him. Yaakov decides it is time to put this God of his fathers to the test. Sure, he knows He can take care of his fathers, but can He take care of Yaakov? That is still a question.

Now, for most of us, seeing a ladder to Heaven with angels going up and down, we probably would have given in right away. Yaakov, on the other hand, decides to put this God to the test.  Yaakov names the place Beit-El, (House of God) then does something really gutsy.  Yaakov looks to the heavens and ushers a challenge to this God of his fathers. He tells Him that if He will go with him on on his journey, provide him bread, water and a safe return, He will be able to be known not only as the God of Abraham and Isaac, but will then be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Yaakov. By the way, I just love this guy for this one!

As a side note. Notice there is no record of Yah getting nervous here. It is not even recorded that he says a word. I personally feel He sat back in His throne a bit and gave a bit of a smile to the angels around Him.

Yaakov heads out onto a journey which I call his “Crisis of Faith.” He will begin his trial with a relative named Laban. Through Laban he will learn some lessons about faith in Yah. He will deal with trickery, deception, a barren wife and even some speckled goats. All the while, Elohim is showing Himself as faithful to Yaakov.

We end this Torah portion with Yaakov leaving Laban behind and heading back to Beit-El. He will still have a trial awaiting him just over the horizon, but at this point it appears Elohim is going to pass the challenge.

So what can we learn from this Torah portion which will help us in our own walk?

Each of us, just like Yaakov, come into this world and are at some time challenged with what god we will serve in life. We read the stories of covenants given to people who lived thousands of years ago. We can look to the heavens and see His glorious work.  At some time we must come face to face with a decision of whether we will also enter into that covenant. He must go from the God of our fore-fathers and fore-mothers to being our God. Many of us who have entered this covenant understand this. Many of us can recount our own version of a “Crisis of Faith” just the same as Yaakov was be able to do.

What about our children though? Are we sheltering them from their own “Crisis of Faith?” Are we, in an attempt to protect them from the “Evil of the World” also sheltering them from making HaShem their God?

Yah was up the the challenge regarding Yaakov. I believe His desire is to prove Himself mighty to each of us. To do this there are times He needs to take us to places we are not comfortable with. All the while though he is working all things together for good, because He is able to see past our challenge and to a love that is just waiting to break forth toward Him. A love which will make our desire to walk in the covenant of our forefathers. (Click to Site)

WHY FOLLOW A WEEKLY READING SCHEDULE?
On a weekly basis we hear the term unity in our churches and congregations. It is a subject spoken of, but is it truly lived out?
Going back to the time before Yeshua walked this earth, the Hebrews established a weekly Torah portion reading. Today this schedule goes from Genesis to Deuteronomy in one year. No matter where you travel in the world the same scriptures are being read and taught from. We understand the spiritual power of unity, which is why we join our faith with synagogues, congregations and churches that are choosing to follow this schedule. Our weekly readings include a reading from the prophets as well as the Renewed Covenant, (New Testament). Each week as you read, imagine that the same scriptures are being declared in most every country and time zone around the world.

Land for Mideast Peace, What does the Bible Say?

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Presently, there is an unprecedented push for peace in the Mideast. Newly appointed Secretary of State, John Kerry is redefining “Shuttle Diplomacy” by making bi-weekly visits to the Holy Land. Alongside the Obama Administration, the United Nations and the Arab League appear to be united in a consensus that this is a historic opportunity to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Collectively from distant continents, they are all encouraging Israel to accept the Saudi Peace Initiative.

The liberal pundits are calling the renewed push by the Obama Administration for Mideast peace, a “Window of Opportunity.” Is this truly the opportune time to persuade Israelis to forfeit land for illusive peace, or is this latest peace push the result of a heightened concern that a Middle East war is imminent?

Currently, the international prescription for two states comprised of Jews and Palestinians living autonomously and peacefully side by side requires Israel to destroy Jewish outposts, freeze settlements, forfeit land acquired after 1967, divide Jerusalem and allow Palestinian refugees to homestead the Holy Land. These refugees number in the millions, and represent a second-generation population that generally hates and blames the Jews for their impoverished existence.

From the political perspective it is quite apparent that the international community has become increasingly empathetic to the Palestinian plight, but apathetic to God’s foreign policy contained in Genesis 12:3 and the one-state solution prescribed in Jeremiah 12:14-17. Genesis 12:3 bestows blessings upon those that bless the Israeli descendants of Abraham, but conversely must curse those populations that oppose them. Jeremiah 12:15-17 follows stride by declaring that God would have compassion on the pro-Israel populations, but “will utterly pluck up and destroy” Israel’s neighbors who fail to operate in compliance with God’s plan for peace.

This article takes a closer look at the biblical, rather than the political, plan for Mideast peace between the Arabs and Jews.

GOD’S PEACE PLAN

The Bible foretold in Isaiah 11:11, Ezekiel 36:22-24, Ezekiel 37:12 and elsewhere of a time when the Jews would be brought back into the Promised Land from the nations of the world. This regathering began over six decades ago on May 14, 1948, and is ongoing today. Possessing omniscient foresight, God foreknew that an Arab-Israeli conflict would erupt as a result.

Jeremiah 12:14-17 tells us that as the time drew near for the return of the Jews into Israel the landscape of the Middle East would undergo a geopolitical facelift as God intended to restore Arabs, Persians and Jews back into the historical homes of their ancestral heritages. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917, we see this turn of geopolitical events take place as one by one the Arab, Persian and Jewish states emerged:

Afghanistan 1919, Egypt 1922, Saudi Arabia and Iraq 1932, Iran 1935, Lebanon 1943, Syria and Jordan 1946, and Israel 1948.

Jeremiah’s verses make it clear that God would import the Jews into Israel and export the Arabs and Persians out of Israel when the time came for the implementation of God’s one-state solution. Jeremiah 12:14 refers to the Arab and Persian populations as “My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit,” alluding to the Promised Land given to the Jewish Patriarch Abraham in Genesis 15:18. As stated prior, God intended to have compassion on those populations that would operate in compliance with His divine plan.

As I point out in my book, “Psalm 83 – The Missing Prophecy Revealed, How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower,” many predominately Islamic populations will fail to comply. These nations and/or terrorist entities are described in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 and include, but are not limited to: Palestinians, Syrians, Hezbollah, Hamas, Iranians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Saudis, Egyptians, Muslim Brotherhood, Libyans and Turks.

THE SAUDI PEACE PLAN

For even your brothers, the house of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you; Yes, they have called a multitude after you. Do not believe them, Even though they speak smooth words to you. (Jeremiah 12:6; NKJV)

In the above passage Jeremiah appears to issue a stern warning to the modern-day state of Israel not to believe the smooth words of the descendants of their ancestral brothers. Without going into a detailed Bible study, the abbreviated interpretation is likely as follows:

The subjects of Jeremiah 12:6 for the most part are the Jews, Saudis and Palestinians. The “brothers” of the Jews from the “house of” their Hebrew fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Ishmael and Esau. Ishmael was the half-brother of Isaac, and Esau was the twin brother of Jacob. Jacob was renamed Israel in Genesis 32:28, and Esau was also referred to as Edom in Genesis 36:1-9. Both Ishmael in Genesis 21:18 and Esau in Genesis 25:23 were promised to father nations. Ishmael is generally associated today with Saudi Arabia, and Esau with the Palestinians. (Psalm 83 – the Missing Prophecy Revealed details who the Palestinians are today).

The “multitude” formed by the “brothers” Ishmael and Edom is most likely the confederacy tabled here contained in Psalm 83 that ultimately seeks to destroy the modern-day Jewish state, “that the name Israel be remembered no more” (Psalm 83:4).

The “smooth words” are deceptive and the Jews are cautioned not to trust them. They are likely penned in the Saudi Mideast peace plan initiated at the Beirut Summit of the Arab League in March of 2002. This Saudi peace initiative calls for a two-state solution that embraces and strongly favors the Palestinian plight. In a nutshell it requires Israel to withdraw from the territories acquired in the aftermath of the “Six-Day” war in June of 1967 and to provide for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Furthermore, it calls for the return of millions of Palestinian refugees into Israel. In return, Arab states, like those listed in Psalm 83, would establish normal relations with Israel.

Sounds pretty smooth on the surface, but in application it puts Israel in harm’s way. Surrendering land, like the Golan Heights for instance, would compromise Israel’s security from external attacks, and assimilating refugees who hate Israel would subject the Jewish state to terrorism and turmoil from within. The bottom line is that the Arabs don’t want peace with the Jews; they want another Arab state called Palestine and they feel the only way to ultimately achieve this goal is to destroy modern-day Israel. The Saudi two-state solution puts the enemies of Israel one step closer to the kill.

Jeremiah appears to be warning his descendant Jewish brothers and sisters of today to Say NO to the Saudi two-state solution!

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Drug & Alcohol Support Groups with a New & Positive Twist!

Will Yahweh/God Bless the United States by the Blogging Hounds

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I woke up early this morning asking myself and Yahweh/God a question. The present state of this country troubles me and I know that Yahweh is not happy with us. If you were Elohim/God would you bless the United States, when we the people are turning our backs on Yahweh/Yeshua and trashing him with these sins?

Some of the ways that the United States has turned her back on God are described below.

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1 – We have taken the God of the Bible completely out of our schools.

2 – We have 0utlawed prayer in schools and replaced Yahweh with secular  humanism and evolution.

3 – We have been fed a lie that we were accidentally created in the image of an ape, and not in the image of God.   Genesis 1:26-27

4 –  It is considered perfectly alright to acknowledge Allah, Buddha, Satan, witchcraft, paganism, atheism in schools, but not the God of the Bible.  Exodus 20:3-6

5 – It’s normal and totally legal to take the lives of unborn children under the law of this land;  however it’s murder, in the eyes of the God of the Bible.  Exodus 20:13

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6 – Drug & alcohol addiction, pharmakeia, sorcery and witchcraft have replaced the God of all Creation in idolatry at it’s highest form.     Revelation 9:21 and 18:23

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7 – Homosexuality and same sex marriage are unnatural and abhorrent in the Eyes of Yahweh.  He has never changed His mind on this unholy union as He is a God who “changes not”.   Leviticus 18,  Romans 1:18-32, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8

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8 – The apostate church denies the basis truths of the Bible as listed below…

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a) Salvation alone through Yeshua the Messiah who is the only way to Yahweh, the Father, is no longer a doctrinal belief.  John 14:6, Acts 4:12

b) They are denying that the reality of eternal punishment for sin is a very literal hell.  Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20: 11-15

c) They tolerate the breaking of the Commandments of God.

9 – The United States has turned it’s back on the nation of Israel by forcing her to give up land for peace to a hostile enemy who has always tried to destroy her.  This is land that was given as a promise from God in a covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Genesis 13: 14-17, Genesis 26:3-5, Genesis 35:9-12 

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From all these sins that have been listed above, and many more not mentioned in this article, we beg to ask this question:  Is there any way that we can stop this downward spiral toward Yahweh’s judgement on the US because of all these sins that we have committed against Him?

 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.   2 Chronicles 7: 13-15

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”   

John 3:16-21

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Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.  

Romans 2:1-11

Final thought for Today: Your decision concerning your spiritual condition  with Yahweh/God/Jesus/Yeshua,  will determine where you will live in Eternity

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 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LordAnd if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land.

We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.”And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord!”So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses!” 

“Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!”   Joshua 24:14-24

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Survival Food for Uncertain Times

Torah Commentary – Emor “Say” – Time for Review – Joined To HaShem

Torah Commentary

Emor “Say”

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Leviticus 21:1-24:23

Ezekiel 44:15-31

2Corinthians 1-6

 

Time for Review

 Anyone who has read the Torah knows that many commandments and instructions are repeated many times.  The simple reason is that our Creator knows us very well.  He understands the way we think and the way we tend to forget, unless things are repeated and maybe even then.

 In Leviticus 23 we see a review of the Feasts.  Let’s look at each one briefly as a review.

 Shabbat – Because of His work in our lives we should enjoy rest, both spiritual and physical.  We are to cease from endless striving for our redemption.  Yeshua has accomplished this for us and we rest in Him.  We are also to give our bodies physical rest on the Shabbat.

 Passover – We remember the slavery we were once living and celebrate our being set free to live a new life.

 First Fruits – As Yeshua was the first to be raised from the dead, we will also be raised from this life and enter into His likeness.

 Unleavened Bread – Leaven is a type of sin.  We are to be conformed into His sinless image through obedience to His word.

 Pentecost – We celebrate the instructions He has given to us and the Spirit He has placed in us to enable us to walk in those instructions.  The work of Passover in not truly complete until we have been given a new way of life in Torah.

 Feast of Trumpets – Life is a wonderful gift, but we look for a day of complete restoration.  One day the shofar will sound, His family will be gathered into His presence and we will forever be with Him.

 Day of Atonement – While in this life we should “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”  We are to live our lives unto Him, knowing that one day we will all give an account for the way we lived.  On that day we will stand alone, not with friends and family.  On that day it will not matter what anyone else thinks, it will only matter what He knows.

 Tabernacles – The day of final and complete redemption!  The day when all the work of this life will be over.  Sin will have been dealt with for all eternity.  We will be His people and He will be our Elohim!  He will “Tabernacle” in the midst of His people and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.

 You may have noticed the Feasts tend to switch back and forth from the here and now to the hereafter.  I believe there is good reason for this.  The Feasts are another reminder to be like Abraham.  Although he was in this world he was never attached to this world.  He was always looking for a city whose builder and maker was Elohim.  The Feasts should cause us to live this life in fear and reverence of a Holy Creator and to always keep an eye toward the Eastern Sky and eternity.

 With the world situation the way it is today, I am reminded of the Jewish people who lived through the Warsaw ghettos.  When asked if they had kept Shabbat in the ghetto they said, “It is not that we kept Shabbat, but Shabbat kept us.”  I wonder if one day we will be overheard saying that during the tribulation it was not that we kept the Feasts, but the Feasts kept us?

 

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THIS IS THE VICTORY – David Wilkerson Today – [May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011] – FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2013

THIS IS THE VICTORY
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]
lion_of_Judah32
“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John
5:4).

Have you failed? Is there a sin that easily besets you? Do you feel like a
weakened coward, unable to get the victory over secret sin? But with that
weakness in you, is there also a consuming hunger for God? Do you yearn for
Him, reach to Him? That hunger and thirst is the key to your victory. That
makes you different from all others who have been guilty of failing God. That
sets you apart. You must keep that hunger alive. Keep thirsting after
righteousness. Never justify your weakness, never give in to it, and never
accept it as a part of your life.

Faith is your victory. Abraham had weaknesses; he lied, almost turning his wife
into an adulteress. But Abraham “believed God, and it was counted unto him as
righteousness.” God refused to hold his sin against him—because he believed!

Sure, you have failed. Maybe yesterday—or even today! But do you believe
Jesus has the power to ultimately free you from sin’s power? Do you believe the
cross of Jesus means sin’s bondage is broken? Do you accept the fact that He has
promised to deliver you from the snare of Satan?

Let me tell you exactly where I believe the victory lies. Let your heart accept
all the promises of victory in Jesus. Then let your faith tell your heart, “I
may not be what I want to be yet but God is at work in me, and He has the power
to loose sin’s hold on me. It may be little by little, but the day will come
when faith will conquer. I will not always be a slave. I am not the devil’s
puppet and I will not be his victim. I am a weak child of God, wanting the
strength of Jesus. I am going to come forth as pure gold tried in the fire. God
is for me! I commit it all to Him who is able to keep me from falling and
present me faultless before the throne of God—with exceeding great joy.”

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V’eira (I appeared) – “Proclaim His Power and Might”

V’eira (I appeared)

Exodus 6:2-9:35
Ezekiel 28:25-29:21

“Proclaim His Power and Might”

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Our Torah portion for this week begins with us seeing the Lord summarize His covenant faithfulness with His people, as He prepares to act in delivering them from Egypt:

“God spoke further to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the Lord; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them. I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant’” (Exodus 6:2-5).

Throughout V’eira we see God reign down various judgments upon Egypt (Exodus 7:14-9:35). Even though Moses and Aaron constantly return to Pharaoh with the Divine plea, “Let My people go” (Exodus 7:16; 8:1, 20f; 9:1, 13), his heart continues to be hardened (Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 34-35). Reading through our parashah, it seems that God’s two spokespersons are actually losing ground in their role as His agents to deliver the Israelites from the oppression of the Egyptians. If you will remember, as the previous Torah portion, Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1), came to a close, Moses himself was perplexed about this dilemma. The people of Israel were in worse shape than when the requests to Pharaoh began. The complaints and criticism were bearing down on Moses and Aaron:

“Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all’” (Exodus 5:22-23).

Moses was frustrated. He knew he had been called to this assignment, yet every verbal attempt to get the people released ended in greater harm for Israel. Then, God responds with a strong word that establishes the tone for the rest of what we will see during Moses’ and Aaron’s encounters with Pharaoh. The Lord makes the following statement that closes Shemot, and opens V’eira, definitively declaring what He was about to do:

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.’ God spoke further to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the Lord; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them. I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord”’” (Exodus 6:1-8).

Here in these words, the Lord establishes just who He is and just what He is about to do with Moses and Aaron, with Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and with the Ancient Israelites. Remember how the Almighty has established a unilateral covenant with His chosen people. It is the Lord who swore the inheritance of the Promised Land to them multiple times (Genesis 12:7; 15:18; 17:4; 26:3; 28:4), and yet for some reason or another, they still do not believe that the deliverance is coming:

“So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage” (Exodus 6:9).

The people of Israel continue to groan, and we recall from last week that God hears their cries and groans, remembering His covenant:

“Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Exodus 2:23-24).

As the groaning increased with the loss of straw for the Israelites to make bricks, the Lord implements His plan for their deliverance. But as we read, this deliverance is not immediately enacted. Instead, we are told about eight different signs and judgments that are designed to judge the various gods of Egypt, and communicate to Egypt and to Israel His might and power. The Lord will be displaying, for the sake of Egypt and Israel, that He and He alone is the One True God who possesses absolute sovereignty.

In a series of dramatic encounters, Moses and Aaron begin to beseech Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave. The first sign is Aaron throwing his staff on the ground where it becomes a snake. Shortly thereafter, the Egyptian magicians do the same thing with their staffs, but soon discover Aaron’s staff/snake swallowing their staffs/snakes (Exodus 7:8-13). Next, Aaron touches his staff to the Nile River and the water turns to blood. Then, the magicians again match the miracle and turn water into blood (Exodus 7:14-25). Third, Aaron waves his staff over the Nile River and a plague of frogs come up and cover the land. Interestingly, the Egyptian magicians are again able to duplicate the feat (Exodus 8:1-15). Each time as another sign takes place, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened. Finally, Aaron touches his staff to the ground, and some kind of gnats or lice invade Egypt:

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.”’ They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘This is the finger of God.’ But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said” (Exodus 8:16-19).

The magicians of Egypt could no longer counterfeit the signs and judgments. They clearly proclaimed that what they saw with the gnats was obviously the “finger of God.” A comparison could be made that just like God had taken the dust of the ground to form Adam (Genesis 2:7), He now took dust and He brought forth these gnats. This inconvenience was spreading over all the land of Egypt, but in short order the Holy One was going to separate His people from the judgments to come:

“Now the Lord said to Moses, ‘Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he comes out to the water, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of insects on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of insects, and also the ground on which they dwell. But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of insects will be there, in order that you may know that I, the Lord, am in the midst of the land. I will put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign will occur”’” (Exodus 8:20-23).

Moses and Aaron continue delivering the plagues on God’s behalf, but now as swarms of insects came over Egypt, the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were living, was not affected (Exodus 8:24). And yet, even after this plague subsides, the heart of Pharaoh was still hardened (Exodus 8:25-32).

Next, the distinctions between the Egyptians and Israel become more evident. The livestock of Egypt is separated out for death. But the Lord decides to preserve the livestock belonging to Israel (Exodus 9:1-7). The plague of sores or boils comes upon the Egyptians, and the Israelites are spared, and again the heart of Pharaoh is hardened (Exodus 9:8-17). We then get a peek into what God is actually doing to Pharaoh and Egypt, as these signs and judgments are being executed:

“But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).

The Lord uses these events so that His power and greatness will be proclaimed throughout the whole world. Little did the Ancient Israelites know how true this would be, as we still remember the Exodus and its awesomeness today! The Exodus is one of the most important controlling narratives for how people read the message of the Bible, redemption in Messiah Yeshua, and how God always has worldwide intentions when He performs significant acts of salvation history.

Finally, as our reading for this week comes to a close, the Egyptian people begin to get the message that the God of Moses and Aaron is not playing games. They are warned about a devastating hailstorm that is about to come (Exodus 9:18-35), and some of the Egyptians take heed to protect themselves and their livestock from certain death:

“‘Now therefore send, bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety. Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.’ The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses; but he who paid no regard to the word of the Lord left his servants and his livestock in the field” (Exodus 9:19-21).

You would think that Pharaoh—the leader of Egypt—would be getting the message that the Lord means business, but instead he continues to harden his heart against Him (Exodus 9:35). Again, we see God making a distinction between His people and the Egyptians:

“Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail” (Exodus 9:26).

Our Torah portion ends with this sad testimony:

“But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not let the sons of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses” (Exodus 9:34-35).

We too often have to read about the sad story of individuals like Pharaoh—because even when seeing the physical results of Divine judgment, they are incapable of changing their hearts and crying out for help. They often willingly choose the judgment of God, in order to appear humanly strong, rather than cry out to Him for mercy.

Some reading this may have a problem with what appears to be a hardening of the heart by the Almighty Himself. Keep in mind that Pharaoh was the leader of Egypt, one who believed himself to be a god, and one who was presumably perfect. Because of these things going against him, he may have not even had a chance at redemption. As the Apostle Paul comments, we discover that God, who is full of mercy and compassion, actually raised up Pharaoh so that His fame and power could be demonstrated and proclaimed around the world:

“What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion’ [Exodus 33:19]. So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth’ [Exodus 9:16]. So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires” (Romans 9:14-18).

Paul reminded the mixed group of Believers in Rome of the example of the Egyptian Pharaoh, in describing the justice of God. Now, for those of us today who read these words and consider them for our spiritual edification, what can they possibly mean to us, over three millennia removed from the Exodus, and almost two millennia from Paul writing the Romans?

Do we really take seriously the fact that the Lord uses various trials and tribulations to declare His name and His power throughout the Earth? When we read about the events that had to occur for Ancient Israel to be delivered, do we at all praise Him for it? If we have faith in His past actions on behalf of His people, we can be confident that the Lord will be with us through whatever we face today. To Him be the glory and the power and the honor forever and ever!

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