Weekly Torah Readings: P’kudei – Mar 8, 2019

P’kudei

38:21. These are the accounts of the Tabernacle, of the Tabernacle of Testimony (Rev. 15:5) as they were made, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Itamar, son of Aaron the priest. 22. And Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah, made all that the LORD* commanded Moses. 23. And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, a skillful workman, and an embroiderer of fine linen in blue, in purple, and in scarlet.

38:24. All the gold that was used for the work in all the work of the Holy Place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred thirty shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary 25. And the silver in them that were numbered of the congregation was a hundred talents and a thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary. 26. A beka, a half shekel, for every man after the shekel of the Sanctuary, for everyone that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty men. 27. And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the Sanctuary and the sockets for the veil, a hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket. 28. And of the thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars and covered their capitals and banded them.

38:29. And the bronze of the offering was seventy talents and two thousand four hundred shekels. 30. And with it he made the sockets for the door of the Tent of Meeting, the bronze altar, the bronze grate for it, all the vessels of the altar, 31. the sockets of the court all around, and the sockets of the court gate, all the pegs of the Tabernacle and all the pegs of the court all around.

Cloths of Service and High Priest’s Garments

39.1. And they made cloths of service of the blue, purple, and scarlet, to do service in the Holy Place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:2. And he made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine woven linen. 3. And they beat the gold into thin plates and cut it into wires to work it in the blue, in the purple, in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, skillful work. 4. They made shoulder pieces for it, to join it together: it was joined together by the two edges. 5. And the belt for tying it on, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work of it; gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine woven linen, as the LORD* commanded Moses. 6. And they fashioned onyx stones enclosed in settings of gold, engraved as signets are engraved with the names of the children of Israel. 7. And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, to be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:8. And he made the breastplate of skillful work, like the work of the ephod, gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine woven linen. 9. It was square. They made the breastplate double: its length was a span and its breadth a span, being doubled. 10. And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: This was the first row. 11. And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 12. And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 13. And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: they were enclosed in gold settings. 14. And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, the engravings of a signet, each one with his name according to the twelve tribes. 15. And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of twisted work of pure gold. 16. And they made two gold settings and two gold rings and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate. 17. And they put the two twisted gold chains in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate. 18. And the two ends of the two twisted chains they fastened in the two settings and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod, on the front. 19. And they made two rings of gold and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its border, which was on the side of the ephod inward. 20. And they made two other golden rings and put them on the two sides above the ephod, toward its front, over against the other connection, above the band of the ephod. 21. And they bound the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so it would be above the band of the ephod and that the breastplate would not fall from the ephod, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:22. And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue. 23. And there was a hole in the middle of the robe, as the hole of a coat of mail, with a band around about the hole, so it would not tear. 24. And they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, of woven linen upon the hems of the robe. 25. And they made bells of pure gold and put the bells between the pomegranates on the hem of the robe, all around between the pomegranates; 26. a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe to minister in, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:27. And they made tunics of fine linen of woven work for Aaron and for his sons, 28. and a turban of fine linen, hats of fine linen, linen breeches of fine woven linen, 29. a belt of fine woven linen, blue, purple, and scarlet needlework, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:30. And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold and wrote upon it a writing, the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD*. 31. And they tied to it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the turban, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

39:32. Then all the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting was finished and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD* commanded Moses, so they did.

39:33. And they brought the Tabernacle to Moses, the Tent and all its furniture, its hooks, its boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, 34. the covering of rams’ skins dyed red, the covering of badgers’ skins, and the veil of the covering, 35. the Ark of the Testimony and its poles, and the cover, 36. the table, all its vessels, and the showbread, 37. the pure menorah, with its lamps, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all its vessels, and the oil for light, 38. and the golden altar and the anointing oil, the sweet incense, and the hanging for the Tabernacle door, 39. the bronze altar and its bronze grate, its poles and all its vessels, the laver and its foot, 40. the hangings of the court, its pillars and its sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, its cords, and its pegs, and all the vessels of the service of the Tabernacle, for the Tent of Meeting, 41. the cloths of service to do service in the Holy Place, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest and his sons’ garments, to minister in the priest’s office.

39:42. According to all that the LORD* commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. 43. And Moses looked upon all the work and, behold, they had done it as the LORD* had commanded, even so had they done it, and Moses blessed them.

Tabernacle Erected

40.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “On the first day of the first month you will set up the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting. 3. And you will put the Ark of the Testimony in it and cover the Ark with the veil. 4. And you will bring in the table and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it, and you will bring in the menorah and light its lamps. 5. And you will set the altar of gold for the incense before the Ark of the Testimony and put the hanging of the door to the Tabernacle. 6. And you will set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting. 7. And you will set the laver between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and will put water in it. 8. And you will set up the court around it and hang up the hanging at the court gate. 9. And you will take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all that is in it and will sanctify it and all its vessels, and it will be holy. 10. And you will anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its vessels, and sanctify the altar, and it will be a most holy altar. 11. And you will anoint the laver and its base and sanctify it.

40:12. “And you will bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Tent of Meeting and immerse them in water. 13. And you will put the holy garments on Aaron and anoint him and sanctify him, so he can minister to Me in the priest’s office. 14. And you will bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. 15. And you will anoint them as you anointed their father, so they can minister to Me in the priest’s office, for their anointing will surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.”

40:16. And Moses did according to all that the LORD* commanded him, so he did.

40:17. And it was in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month that the Tabernacle was erected. 18. And Moses put up the Tabernacle and fastened its sockets and set up its boards and put in its bars and put up its pillars. 19. And he spread abroad the Tent over the Tabernacle and put the covering of the Tent over it, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:20. And he took and put the Testimony in the Ark and set the poles on the Ark and put the cover over the Ark 21. and he brought the Ark into the Tabernacle, and set up the veil of the covering, and covered the Ark of the Testimony, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:22. And he put the table in the Tent of Meeting, on the north side of the Tabernacle, outside the veil. 23. And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD*, as the LORD* had commanded Moses.

40:24. And he put the menorah in the Tent of Meeting, over against the table on the south side of the Tabernacle. 25. And he lit the lamps before the LORD*, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:26. And he put the golden altar in the Tent of Meeting in front of the veil 27. and he burned sweet incense on it, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:28. And he set up the hanging at the door of the Tabernacle. 29. And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting and offered the burnt offering and the grain offering on it, as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:30. And he set the laver between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water there for immersing. 31. And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet there 32. when they went into the Tent of Meeting and when they came near to the altar, they immersed as the LORD* commanded Moses.

40:33. And he raised the court around the Tabernacle and the altar and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

Glory of the LORD* Filled the Tabernacle

40:34. Then a cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the LORD* filled the Tabernacle. (Rev. 15:5,8) 35. And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud stayed on it and the glory of the LORD* filled the Tabernacle. 36. And when the cloud was taken up from over the Tabernacle, the children of Israel went on in all their journeys. 37. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey until the day that it was taken up. 38. For the cloud of the LORD* was over the Tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night, in the sight of the entire House of Israel throughout all their journeys. (Click to Source)

Next week’s Torah readings: Vayikra

 
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Shalom, New Moon – March 8, 2019

 

Shalom,
New Moon
Due to Shabbat I did not receive reports of the New Moon sighting. Mathematically, it should have occurred last night. We enter into a new month and look toward the time when the exile will be over and we will all stand in the Land of Promise watching together.
Look toward the western sky at sundown tonight and celebrate the goodness of HaShem in our lives.

Celebration Tips
Lighting of the Menorah
Reading Psalms
Sounding of the shofar
Celebration dinner
Special time of thanks and blessing.
Prayer for peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6) and regathering of the family of Israel.
(EZ 37)
May HaShem open His floodgates of blessing upon you in this new month.
Chodesh Tov. (Good month)
Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem
 
Disclaimer: This email is not intended to set a calendar or appointed time. It is only to announce the sighting of the New Moon in Israel. It is to be a reminder to those in exile that Jerusalem should be the focus and center of all we do.
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Torah Commentary – Joined To HaShem – Yitro (Jethro) – Words To Live By – SCRIPTURES FOR February 3, 2017

Torah Commentary
Yitro (Jethro)

jesus-in-the-synagogue

Exodus 18:1-20:23
Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Matthew 5:21-30; 15:1-11
Hebrews 12:18-29
James 2:8-13
Words To Live By
The Hebrews are free from life in Egypt. Pharaoh is among the dead on the sea shore. It is time for their journey to continue. In their minds, it is time to move on and make a bee line for the Promise Land. Not so fast though. There is a very important stop they have to make, and that is Mount Sinai. What is the purpose of this stop?
In Egypt, the Hebrews had for the most part forgotten who they were and lost their identity as Israel. Though they could have recited their lineage back to Abraham, they had forgotten what that lineage was all about. They had forgotten the responsibilities associated with their lineage. For this reason, they needed a stop to get their foundation set.
At Mount Sinai it is not that the Hebrews will be given the words of Torah, but rather these words will be reinstated into their lives.  The words of Torah go all the way back to the beginning, it is not just a new thing that Father makes up on the spot and gives to them. No, these words were alive and ingrained into the world already, but the people certainly needed to be reminded of them in a powerful way. It is these words which set them apart from all peoples of the earth. And guess what? They do the same to this day!
What are these Ten Words, the Ten Commandments, all about? Are they the “end all,” as some would think? Should they be looked at more as suggestions for life? Is Father really serious about these words? A look at these words from the angle of marriage may give us more insight.
The Ten Words are like the day a bride and groom stand before one another, share their vows and sign a document of marriage. The vows and document contain a foundation for their marriage, but does it spell out every response to every situation which will arise in their years of marriage? Of course not! When situations arise, the couple has to figure out how to walk out the marriage based upon the foundation that was agreed upon on the wedding day. Let’s try an example:
In most traditional marriages, a bride takes on the name of her husband. She states in her vows she will honor him. If, after her honeymoon, she goes to her friends and tells them how stupid he is because he does not know how to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom or put a roll of toilet paper on the holder the right way, what has she done? She has brought dishonor to his name in the eyes of her friends. What about if he decides to contact some of his old girlfriends? Could he say he thought “faithfulness” was just a suggestion?
The Ten Words provide a foundation for the covenant we enter into. The balance of Torah, the words of the prophets, apostles and even Yeshua Himself build upon this foundation.
Here is an interesting exercise you may want to try one day. There are 613 commandments in the Torah and over 1050 in the Renewed Covenant. Lists of these can be found on a web search. Print those lists and begin to read through them. You will find that every commandment can be linked to one of the 10. One example is the kosher diet.
Many will say they do not see a commandment in the Ten Words concerning what we eat. If you were asked the question of where kosher eating is in the Ten Words, what would you say? Give up? The answer is number 2, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” When a person says, “I don’t care what HaShem says, I will eat whatever I want,” food has become a god before Him. How about, “I can worship on whatever day I please?” Go back and read Ex 20:8-11. The word is Shabbat which can only be translated into one day of the week, the seventh. Is that just a suggestion or did He mean it?
I could go on and on with this, but to put it in the way of an old board game, “Now it is your turn to move your Monopoly piece.” Remember, you don’t pass “go” to get to the Promise Land and you don’t get to “collect” milk and honey until you once and for all settle the fact in your own heart that the word “commandment” does not mean “suggestion.” (Click to Source)

 

Torah Commentary – Ki Tetze (When you go out) – Protecting the Back of the Pack – SCRIPTURES FOR September 2, 2017

Torah Commentary
Ki Tetze (When you go out)
Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
Isaiah 54:1-10
Mark 10:2-12
Luke 20:27-38
1Tim 5:17-18

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Protecting the Back of the Pack
As I read through these middle chapters of Deuteronomy I sometimes want to put my head back and say, “Well duh!” For me, I find many of the instructions here are common sense. I really cannot think of a time in my life that I needed to be reminded to not wear a dress or makeup! Then I recall something simple, yet profound, a friend said, “If common sense is supposed to be so common, then why isn’t it?” While watching the news it is rather evident that there are many folks across this world in need of reading these verses and putting them into practice in their lives.
Why are these instructions difficult for so many people? The very simple answer is no relationship with Yeshua, no Torah, no life!! Torah teaches us about taking responsibility for our actions. Consider it this way. Let’s say your ox walks through a hole in your fence and falls in a ditch. You ponder the issue. The blame goes to the ox for walking through the hole in the fence and falling into the ditch. Then you consider maybe a demon spooked the ox which made him run through the hole and into the ditch. The obvious issue is not what the ox did wrong, but the fact you needed to fix the fence. Had responsibility been taken the ox would not be in the ditch!
For the prepper at heart think about the verse that asks you to include a trowel in your pack. How do feel when you realize what the trowel is needed for? Wait, you want me to use that trowel? Do you shutter at the idea that you might get it dirty requiring you to clean it? Are you wondering why someone else can’t clean up the mess you made in the camp? Do you avoid taking responsibility?
The Torah also teaches us what is referred to as the “Golden Rule.” It is amazing how many people actually think the words “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is really a verse in Scripture. No, it is not a verse of Scripture, but it is a principle derived from It. Things like not charging a brother or sister interest, respecting others physical and spiritual boundaries are all instructions taught in these Torah portions. (Click to Site)

 

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

Jesus scriptures temple2

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 Vezot ha’Bracha “And this is the blessing” – The Baton Passes On

Torah Commentary
Vezot ha’Bracha “And this is the blessing”
Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12
Joshua 1:1-18
Acts 27-28; Matt 1:1-17
The Baton Passes On

yeshuatheMessiah

Day 11, Month 7, 5775; 13 October 2016 

This Shabbat’s readings mark the end of the Torah cycle. The scriptures we will read are maybe the most bittersweet of all the Torah. Moses finishes his message of Deuteronomy by speaking a blessing over the people he has led for the past forty years. I would imagine that as the words are coming to a close, each one becomes harder to speak than the last. He knows that in a very short time his life will end. Moses has run his race, but has been stopped just short of what he thought his finish line would be. He stands looking into a land he will never enter.

On the surface nothing seems fair. Moses deserves to go in. He made one mistake and it cost him dearly. The Hebrews made many mistakes, but they would soon be enjoying a land they did not deserve. Nothing seems to make sense here. Is there possibly something else to the message of Moses that makes it clearer? Let’s consider it.

When we think of Moses, we think of Torah. In fact, it is called the Torah of Moses. Moses would pass the baton of Torah to a man whose name is Joshua. At least that is his English name. In Hebrew, his name would be very close to the name of Messiah, Yeshua. After the death of Moses, Joshua would receive orders to never allow the Torah of Moses to depart from him. He was to meditate on it day and night. He would also meet a man who was referred to as the Captain of The Army of Yah.   I believe the scripture is very clear through the actions of Joshua that this man was indeed the Messiah, Yeshua. It would be after Joshua’s acceptance of the challenge and revelation of this man that he indeed would enter into the Promised Land with the Hebrews. It would be as he continued in the orders and revelation that he would lead the Hebrews to possess what had been promised to them many years earlier.

So what is the message to us today? Could it be that Yah is telling us that Torah alone will not lead us into the fullness of Yah’s promises? Could it be that simply going through Torah year after year will only bring us to the shore of our own Jordan, but never allow us to cross over? Could it be that we are being told through this account to, with a firm grasp of Torah in our heart, move on? We are to look for a person whose name is similar to the successor of Moses, who will lead us on? A man who not only is the Captain of the army of Yah, but in fact is the embodiment of the Torah?

The message that I see as I look at the complete account is this; Torah alone will not lead us into the fullness of His promises, nor will we ever be allowed to enter in without Torah. It will be as we firmly grasp the Living and the Written Torah, never allowing ourselves to lose focus of the two as one, that we will enter in.

Torah Commentary – Ki Tavo ” – When you come” – Remembering the Journey

yeshuatheMessiah

Torah Commentary
Ki Tavo “When you come”
Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
Isaiah 60:1-22
Matthew 13:1-23
Acts 28:17-31
Romans 11:1-15

Remembering the Journey
 
The people of Israel are posed on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Forty years of the desert are behind them. The Promised Land is now so close they can smell it. Within just a few days they will enter in.
 
As Moses reminds the people they are to live by the Torah in the land, he gives them a very important instruction. He tells them in Deuteronomy 26 what to do after they have settled in the land. They are to take part of the harvest of the land and go to the Priest serving in the Tabernacle. There they are to offer the harvest of the land and remember the journey which brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey. They are to remember especially the life of Egypt, which HaShem had delivered them from. They are to think back to the oppression and slavery they had lived under during the long years of bondage. (Click to Article)

TorahScope – “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” – Y’yakheil (He assembled) – FEBRUARY 21, 2014

By the time we arrive at this week’s Torah portion, V’yakheil, we discover that it encapsulates a description of the actions of Ancient Israel, as the people collectively fulfill the requirements for the Tabernacle construction which was the subject of the previous Terumah (Exodus 27:20-30:10) and Tetzaveh(Exodus 30:11-34:35) readings. Without any hesitation, the text reminds us about the commandment to take a Sabbath rest, even in the midst of the Israelites building of the Tabernacle and producing the various implements, accouterments, and garments as defined.

If you have been reading closely the past few weeks, you will have noticed that Shabbat (tB’v;) is of particular concern to the God of Israel. Two times (Exodus 31:12-17; 34:21), an emphasis is placed not only on the “sign” ofShabbat, but also on the importance to observe it faithfully. As the physical labor for constructing the Tabernacle finally commenced, Moses once again reminded Israel about the Sabbath. Perhaps knowing human nature, these admonitions have been placed by the Lord in these Torah portions, so that we may be reminded that having a day of rest is a great blessing to all those who remember and observe it:

“Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, ‘These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do: For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day” (Exodus 35:1-3).

Of course, it is important to note that in this section of the Torah, we find that the whole congregation of Israel, kol-adah b’nei Yisrael (larfy ynB td[-lK), was supposed to rest. By resting one day out of seven, the people would be able to focus on the Lord in a rather unique and special way on the Sabbath day, but they would most especially be able to be rejuvenated during this critical season of the Tabernacle’s construction.

Further on in our Torah portion, we witness the widescale amount of contributions and offerings that the Israelites were making to the building project. The overwhelming reaction by many, with their offerings literally ushering forth, required that Moses command the people to halt their outpouring of freewill offerings:

“And they said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.’ So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.’ Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it” (Exodus 36:5-7).

As I personally pondered the importance of Shabbat this week, and rejoiced in the recorded reaction of the people who wanted to contribute to the various construction projects, I was personally thinking about how I have dealt with this subject since I came to the Lord in 1978. I was born again at the age of 27, and committed myself to being a Believer, rather than a non-Believer—a member of God’s people—rather than a part of the world. From that year forward, I matured in my relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, and learned to live more like Him. Like many of you, it has been a “wild ride,” and I have done things since becoming Messianic that I would never have dreamed of when I first came to faith.

First, I thought back to some of the early years of my new life in the Lord when I was confronted by a relative who happened to be a proponent of Dominion theology. At the time, he was trying to persuade me that taking Sunday and devoting it fully to God was a good thing that would honor the Fourth Commandment. At the time, I was faithfully attending Sunday morning services at a church in Dallas, Texas, and then coming back on Sunday evening for a service that would include taking communion. Two times a day I would load my family into the car and proceed to the church for a teaching convocation, and then a second service which was more contemplative.

At that time many years ago, when this relative admonished me, I thought he was being extremely legalistic. After all, I was living in Dallas and the Cowboys were on a roll in the NFL! I also played men’s city league soccer, and our games just happened to be played on Sunday afternoon. I could certainly get my “time in” with the Lord between Sunday morning and Sunday evening. As I justified my other activities during the afternoon, I actually thought I was doing pretty well to be a dedicated “twice a Sunday” attendee. With the passage of time, I have witnessed that via God’s sanctification in my life that my personal attitude has changed substantially since those naïve days many years ago.

In God’s mercy to me, as I have continued to beseech Him in order to know Him and understand His ways, He has been faithful to reveal more and more of Himself to me. The Prophet Jeremiah reminds us about the rewards of seeking the Holy One of Israel.

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile’” (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

Here, we find that our Heavenly Father does have things under control and He does have a plan for our lives! I can personally testify that if you do seek Him with all your heart, He will not only restore your fortunes, but as He has said:He will gather you back from where you have been scattered. The Lord will bring you back to Himself no matter what nefarious paths you have chosen to follow for a season. He will take you from the doldrums of sin into a place where you can be used for the growth of His Kingdom.

Today, as the Messianic movement continues to grow and affect positive change in the lives of God’s people, we encounter that many are learning to reappreciate the value of the Torah, and the significance of things like the seventh-day Sabbath. The Lord is restoring an understanding to all His people regarding how Yeshua and the early Believers obeyed the commandments—and this is exciting to witness! As I study the Torah and read passages aboutShabbat, the appointed times, and other things that the Lord wants His people to follow so that He can bless us, I am immensely blessed. I not only knownow that the Sabbath Biblically begins at sundown on the sixth day and ends on sundown on the seventh day (cf. Genesis 1:5), and not at midnight as I had always assumed according to modern reckoning. I think it is amazing thatShabbat is exactly what the Scriptures say it is—and it was there all along. I simply failed to look at it.

As I have been maturing in my walk with the Lord, I can honestly say that I delight in Shabbat and I look forward to it as the pinnacle of my week. Entering into the Father’s rest and putting down the labors of the week are more clearly understood than when I had my debate years ago with this relative. Today, I might be able to present a more comprehensive understanding of what the Sabbath is for me as defined by the Holy Scriptures, than what he tried to present to me years ago. Perhaps now he would be the one considering me “legalistic.”

My second area of contemplation this week was piqued by some other verses in our Torah portion, which describe the supernatural endowment of two individuals who had been specifically selected by the Lord to oversee the various construction projects of the Tabernacle:

“Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the Lord has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded. Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it” (Exodus 36:1-2).

Over the past few years (2005-2010), I have spent some time at the Orlando Convention Center overseeing the construction of various “temporary tabernacles,” and I can relate to just what it takes to physically construct something and take it down in order to move it. Now these trade show, seminar, and conference booths and displays are not to be compared to the magnificence and significance of the Tabernacle, but there are some parallels. I have had to use my hands to build things that have a degree of temporary usefulness, and as a result I can identify with some of what Bezalel and Oholiab had to do.

It does take a certain amount of mental acumen when dealing with the erection of complex structures, and this is where I have been able to consider some of the talents and gifts of those like Bezalel and Oholiab. Not only were these skillful people probably able to physically make the objects of the Tabernacle, but they were also probably gifted with the ability to organize and administer the construction projects. In my work, I have enjoyed learning from the younger and more experienced artisans, who often have specially designed tools crafted for certain needs. Even though I might have some age and wisdom in other areas of life, when it comes to knowing the most efficient and safest way to construct something, I typically defer to the younger people, who I discern are more gifted and experienced for various construction projects.

Additionally, I learned another lesson this week (in 2005) via a gift that I was given for Bible research. I received a certain Greek lexicon, and I believe that receiving it happens to be well timed with a writing project that I have been inspired to pursue. In recent weeks, while going through the Torah portions, I have been spiritually stimulated by Paul’s words of being a “living sacrifice” and what it means as listed in the balance of Romans ch. 12. Pensively, as I began to lay out some of my thoughts and started to think about the terms being used, I realized that my Greek study resources were slim. In a providentially-timed gift, I was given a reference tool that should hopefully point me in the right direction.

In an ironic sort of way, just like watching the younger and more gifted builders of complex structures at the Convention Center, a gifted young teacher of the Holy Scriptures gave me a resource “tool” that will allow me to be far more effective in my studies. I was delighted that this tool was given to me at just the right time. Similar to a Bezalel or Oholiab coming along with a special tool or instrument, or perhaps one first showing you how to build something, it is a sign of maturity when you do not think too highly of yourself and are willing to listen to instruction from someone else. Even if the advice or tool comes from someone younger, I recommend to joyfully receive what is being imparted, and welcome the talents that the Lord wants to instill in you via a young person, so you can be more effective in His service.

This begins to take on even more significance when you realize that in light of the construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, it is the operation of the Ancient Israelites with all of their collective talents and gifts in unison with one another that accomplishes all of what God wants. After all, where would Bezalel and Oholiab have been without the gold, jewels, brass, skins, wood, and the laborers to perform certain tasks? If the willing hearts did not give the items necessary for the project, no matter how talented the artisans were, the Tabernacle would have been a conceptual design relegated to theory rather than the reality of a completed temporary dwelling place for the Most High.

Consequently, it takes the whole Body of the Messiah to accomplish the Lord’s will. Now that I am armed with some more theological tools, I hope that my ability to write and comment about certain aspects of the Scriptures will be greatly enhanced. Just consider some of the things that Paul writes about in Romans 12, which are required of us who serve the Lord diligently:

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).

With the measure of faith I have the more I learn to walk in His ways, the more I not only appreciate His rest on Shabbat, but also to simply rest in confidence in Him for all things. Watching Him orchestrate my life today via a consistent study of the Torah and how it applies to my walk with Him, in so many regards, is fascinating. As I sit back and review Scripture through His illumination, I am beginning to realize more than ever that my actions do speak louder than words. I have seen my walk starting to catch up with my talk! Some verses that dramatically changed my life many years ago, echo the prayers that I still offer today:

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Messiah Yeshua my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Messiah, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from theLaw, but that which is through faith in Messiah, the righteousness whichcomes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11).

I am blessed that my earnest actions to know my Lord and Savior, and quite possibly the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, continues to bring me more of His rest, as I personally notice the maturation in my walk with and in Him. These actions speak volumes to me much louder than all the words I can fathom! In a like manner, I pray that you would be equally encouraged that our collective actions will be what today’s world sees and hears.

Finally, even though different measures of faith come by hearing, it is most often by our Messiah-like actions that people will observe the power of the Holy Word that is transforming us. In so doing, others should be drawn to us to hear about how God has transformed our lives by us receiving Yeshua and obeying Him diligently. This must be the testimony that we offer: whether they witness our obedience via the peace only He can give us or even whether they witness our obedience to following something like Shabbat. May we remember that we testify of Yeshua via our actions—sometimes even more than our words! Take to serious heart the immeasurable responsibility that you have.

 Click to http://outreachisrael.net/torahscope/2013-2014/02_exodus/10_vyakheil.html

TeshuvahRoad

 

Torah Commentary – Yitro – “Jethro” – Joined To HaShem – January 16, 2014

Torah Commentary

Yitro – “Jethro”

Exodus 18:1-20:23,Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6,1 Samuel 4-6

Words of Life

This week we come to the section of scripture known as the Ten Commandments. No section has been spoken or written on more than these words. With all the commentary though, do we really know what these words are all about?

To understand the Words, let us first look to the setting. The Hebrews have been through quite a whirlwind of a year. This God whom they only remembered from stories of a distant past has now done quite a job of reintroducing Himself to them through many signs and wonders. While signs and wonders are a good thing, they did not help the Hebrews to understand who this God is or what He really expects of them. At this point He is a good miracle worker, but there has not been much relationship built between them and Him. So how does He go about beginning the process of the reintroduction? He does so by telling them some things that He likes and some things that He does not like.

Within the words of the Ten Commandments the Hebrews were told how they should treat Elohim and how they should treat each other. They are words which still resound just as truly today as they did hundreds of years ago when they were first spoken.

The problem most folks have had through the years in interpreting these words is that they have thought the Ten Words were an end in themselves. People have thought that if they just keep these Ten Commandments then everything else in the Torah would be irrelevant. The reason for such thinking is they do not understand the purpose for these words.

The Ten Commandments are not an end, but simply a beginning of one of the hardest jobs The Almighty has ever taken on, explaining His heart to mankind. Think about that task for a moment. How hard a task is it to explain to mortal man who He is as YHVH?

Looking further at this thought of the Ten Commandments not being the end, but a beginning, look at the fourth commandment. Is all we need to know about Shabbat within these four verses of scripture? I don’t think so. These words are a beginning to our understanding of how to observe this day. As we continue reading scripture this year we will find this verse amplified in the balance of Torah as well as the Prophets, the Writings, the words of Yeshua and even the words of the Disciples. HaShem unfolded the wonders of Shabbat unto man as we could take it, each generation learning a bit more about Shabbat and in turn learning more about the heart of our Father and His will for us.

We can even look at the Ten Commandments as the heart of scripture and everything else as putting flesh onto that heart. Just as through the physical heart the blood of life is pumped to every organ of a body, through the heart of Torah the life giving nutrients make it to our mind, our hands, our feet and every other area of our being. If the Ten Commandments are pumping life to our being then when our hand begins to reach out and touch that which is unclean, it will pull back because of the life from the heart flowing through it. When our eyes begin to look upon things we should not, they will turn away because of the life being pumped to them from the heart of the Ten Commandments.

There are just over 600 commandments outside of the Ten Commandments in the Tanach. There are also well over 1000 commandments in what we refer to as the Renewed Covenant. Take some time when you can, or even make it a bit of a game with your family, to look at the commandments in scripture and relate them back to the Ten. I have yet to find a single commandment within the pages of scripture that I could not relate back to one of the Ten Commandments, back to the heart.

Let me give you a quick example. We all know about the commandments of eating kosher. Which of the Ten does this relate to? Give up? How about number two? It speaks of not having idols in our lives, not putting our desires above His desires for our lives. I wonder how life would be different today if Adam and Eve had understood this principle?

One last assignment. Close your Bible. Can you recite the Ten Commandments from memory? Did you get them in order? Did it take you longer to think of them than you thought it would? Remember, in a Hebraic way of life, we do not truly know a commandment unless we are doing the commandment.

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

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

Torah Commentary

Emor “Say”

 seven-feastsbmp

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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