Torah Commentary – Joined To HaShem – Mishpatim (Rulings) – Getting Into His Mind – February 10, 2017

Torah Commentary – Mishpatim (Rulings)

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Exodus 21:1-24:18
Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
Matthew 5:38-42; 15:1-20
Acts 23:1-11
Hebrews 9:15-22; 10:28-39
Getting Into His Mind
If you ever want an interesting study, type in “Mind of Messiah” in a Bible search. Of course you may have to use the word “Christ”, but nonetheless it will take you on quite a journey. One of my favorite verses revealed in the search is Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yeshua.” One reason I find this so fascinating is because I see this verse in the Tabernacle. If we overlay a shadow of Messiah’s earthly body on a slide of the Tabernacle we find that the place His head would be is the place where the Ark resided. What is in the Ark? We find the Torah and the Mitzvot (The Ten Words and the instructions of how to carry them out.).  We see pictured in the Tabernacle the Torah is His mind. This thought is quite a ways from my denominational instruction which the “Mind of Messiah” was something up for interpretation.
We can look at the above illustration like this. Torah teaches us how Yah thinks. Torah teaches us His mind, how to get in His head. Stop and think about that for a moment. Can we really learn to think like He thinks, act like He acts, do what He would do and does do? The answer is an all too simple yes. We just need to look at the words revealed and allow those words to direct our thinking and actions.
This week the Torah portion is Mishpatim, Rulings. Now I would imagine most of you do not have slaves, nor are we slaves so these words may seem irrelevant. We might want to skip over these instructions. Not so fast. Are you an employer or an employee? Are you self employed hiring your services out to others? Do you volunteer in public service? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions then you can translate these words into your life and relationship with those you are interacting with. For example let’s say you work for a company and have a boss. Do you work with the attitude of doing the minimum to make it through the day and not get fired?  Or do you do your job with thanksgiving as unto the glory of our Heavenly Master?
Let’s look at another ruling.
In Exodus 22:17, we are not to allow a sorceress to live. Again, most of us probably do not have a sorceress living under our roof, but what about that horoscope you may read just because you are curious? How about the fortune cookie at your favorite Chinese restaurant? Maybe the Harry Potter book you have been meaning to throw out. Are these types of sorcerers we are allowing to live in our lives and homes?
As you can see through the examples, these rulings are all a part of learning how He thinks, putting on His mind.
What does this way of thinking do? It will set us apart and cause us to not only be peculiar unto Him, but peculiar to others. It will cause us to walk in a way different than the crowd. Oh, wait a minute that is part of His mind also. In Exodus 23:2 we are told to not follow the crowd. Why? Let me answer with a question. When has the crowd ever been right? Can you name one time? I can’t. All I see in history is the crowd heading toward destruction.
On this subject I see something happening in our day. It is based on of the words of Yeshua in Matthew 7:13-14 where He speaks of the narrow gate versus the broad gate. Allow me to ask another question in light of this verse. Do you see the road and the gate getting narrower in our day? I sure do. What I am wondering today is just how narrow the road and gate are going to be by the time this all wraps up.
To illustrate this I have added something to the teaching I do on the Tabernacle. I now have four posts which make an entrance to my representation of the Tabernacle. The teaching is in three sessions and at the beginning of each session we make the gate to enter a bit narrower. The illustration has made an impact on participants.
How do we deal with the narrowing gate of our day? First we must decide who we are going to follow, the Almighty or the crowd. If you are reading this commentary I think you have already answered that question. The next step is growing in our understanding of His mind more than we have in the past. Think of it this way. What you know about His mind has taken you to the place you are today. If you desire to move further you will need to know His mind better than you do today.
How do we do this? Is the answer just too easy for us? Is it as simple as slowing down while reading His Word instead of rushing through? Is it as easy as praying for further understanding?
One last thought on this. In Exodus 23:29 the Hebrews were told that when they went into the Land it would take time to drive out the enemies. Can we see this as part of our above thoughts? Does knowing His mind take time? Does it take time to replace our old way of thinking with His way of thinking? Is it an instant work? I think we all know the answer, but are we willing to pay the price and take the time? I can only answer that one for myself!  (Click to Source)
Shalom and Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem

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Torah Commentary – Emor (Speak) – “Small Matters” – Day 15, Month 2, 5777; 11 May 2017

Torah Commentary
Emor (Speak)
Leviticus 21:1-24:23
Ezekiel 44:15-31
Matthew 5:38-42
Galatians 3:26-29

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“Small Matters”
The Book of Leviticus is devoted to the subject of what is clean and what is not clean. Simply put, we should desire to live our lives pursuing that which Yah calls clean and stay away from what He calls unclean. In doing so, it is not only so we can live a life of blessing and closeness to Him, but so we may also show forth His holy character to others.
In this Torah portion His name, YH VH, is used 81 times. We see a summary of instructions for His Feasts. We also find something I want to draw attention to. The word profane is used 12 times. We find Webster’s dictionary defines the word profane as “irreverence for that which is sacred.” Strong’s Concordance has many definitions, one of which is to “make common.” These definitions supply descriptions that may differ from what we would normally consider profane to mean.
Consider it this way. For most of us, trees in our living rooms and decorated eggs hidden in the yard are practices that have become distant memories. We would look back to those practices and call them unclean. Now we have the blessing of celebrating Feasts that have been called clean by our King. However, is it possible to observe the Feasts clearly taught in Scripture and make them unclean? Go back to the definition of Webster, “irreverence for that which is sacred.” His Feasts are sacred, if we do not reverence them in Light of Him, we can make them unclean in His sight. Read Amos 5:21“”I hate, I utterly loathe your festivals; I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.” The people were “doing” the Feasts, but in such a way that Yah not only said He hated them, but He no longer called them His.
How do we keep from making the same mistakes of our ancestors? Take a moment to reflect on your last Shabbat, Passover, Unleavened Bread, New Moon, the current counting of the Omer. Without looking at a sheet of paper or a calendar, what day is it on the counting? What was the Torah portion for last Shabbat? Do you recall its overall theme? Did you even bother to read it? Are you napping through Leviticus? Can you tell what phase the moon is in right now?
Do I need to go on? Consider your answers to the above questions. Answer truthfully. In the eyes of Yah, was your last Shabbat clean or unclean? Was your celebration of the last New Moon more “common” than sacred? How many days of counting the Omer have you missed?
In Luke 16 we read about faithfulness. Verse 10 says, “Someone who is trustworthy in a small matter is also trustworthy in large ones, and someone who is dishonest in a small matter is also dishonest in large ones. ” How are we doing in the “small matters” like counting the Omer? Is our reverence or lack of reverence in what many would call a small matter affecting the weightier matters? I can only answer for myself on this one. Today we are in the middle of the Counting of the Omer. Though we do not have a place in Jerusalem to take an offering to and perform our daily counting, Scripture still tells us to count. How we do so may be as simple as acknowledging a number or adding Scripture readings and prayer. Question is, “How important is the counting to us?” Is it something we are looking forward to every day or do we let a few days go by and realize we have forgotten? Are we allowing the counting to become common? (Click to Article)

 

They Saw God – Torah Commentary – Mishpatim – “Judgments” – January 24, 2014

Torah Commentary

Mishpatim “Judgments”

Exodus 21:1-24:18

Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

Matthew 5:38-42;Acts 23:1-11
Hebrews 9:15-22; 10:28-39

They Saw God

Waters parting, pillars of fire, water from rocks and food from the heavens.  It doesn’t seem that it could get any better than this!  Try to imagine just one more time what it must have been like to be one of the Hebrews.  Imagine the excitement in your spirit and the conversations around the campfires at night as folks recall all they have experienced over the past year or so.  I am sure that at times it all seemed like a dream to them, one they could not believe they were honored to live out.

As the Hebrews continue their journey a mountain comes to view in the distance.  Though it may look like all the other mountains around, there is something special about this one.  Little did they know just how special it would be and how the experiences of the next stop of the journey would define their lives, not only in their generation, but also for centuries to come.  It would be on this mountain that their lives and the lives of all who would come into the family of the Hebrews would be defined as different from all other peoples.  They never imagined the events of this mountain would cause them to be hated, shunned and even put to death in generations to come.

Mount Sinai would become a mountain of covenant, a mountain of marriage for the Hebrews.  It would be on this mountain that the God of their forefathers would take them to be His for all eternity.

The ceremony would begin with the killing of an animal.  Its blood would be poured upon the altar of marriage.  This blood would look back to the sin of their father Adam and forward to their full redemption in Messiah.  The terms of the marriage, the Torah, would be read to the people as an invitation to individually and as a community accept the wonders of this event.  We read the words of the Hebrews as they accept by saying, “We will do and obey.”  I wonder just how many boxes of Kleenex it took to get through that wedding?

With the setting painted before you; read slowly and carefully the words of Exodus 24:9-11.  No, that was too fast.  Read it again.  Moses, the elders and the leaders were invited to the reception which followed the ceremony.  We are not told why all the people were not invited.  That is a mystery I have yet to discover.  The scripture states that these men were called to go up the mountain and there they saw God.  Try for a moment to wrap your mind around the last three words of the last sentence, “they saw God.”  They saw through the floor of the throne room of heaven, and there they saw their Creator.

In the Renewed Covenant it states that no man has seen God and lived.  Is there a contradiction between the words of Torah and the words of the Renewed Covenant?  I think not.  These men on Mount Sinai did not see the fullness of YHVH on that day, but rather they saw the person of Yeshua, the Manifested One.  They saw the same Yeshua the disciples would see centuries in the future.  They saw the same One you and I call upon today, the same One we long to see return.

I am asked often just how these men and women of old were “saved” in the “Old Testament.”  The words of this Torah portion explain it very well.  They were redeemed on that day the same as you and I are today.  They, as we, are called out of our lives of bondage and slavery.  They, as we, are brought to a place of the blood sacrifice.  They, as we, are brought to a place of covenant, of Ketuba, of a wedding invitation.  They, as we, are then given the choice to say we do and we will obey.  They, as we, are invited to a reception, a feast where we will see Him face to face, and have a meal at a marriage supper to celebrate the event.  They, as we, long for the day when the house is ready, the bride complete and an eternity with Him begins.

For hundreds of years Christianity has taught that the Hebrews in the wilderness just did not have the fullness that we have today.  Did you notice in the readings that the elders were invited to a pre marriage supper of the lamb?  Did you notice that they have already seen Him, talked with Him and have eaten the covenant meal with Him?  Did you notice that these are events you and I are still longing to experience?

Maybe the Hebrews did not miss out.  Maybe in their history, which is recorded in Torah for all to read, we see the wonders of this unspeakable relationship between a people and their God.  We, through them, can begin to understand more clearly the love that burns deep within us for One we know, but have never seen.

Click to http://www.joinedtohashem.org/torah/toraha.html