Some Doubted

…but some doubted.  Three little words that stand out to me like a piece of pepper stuck in someone’s tooth.  The phrase is in Matthew 28:17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

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Let’s put this in context.  It is the last chapter of Matthew after the disciples had witnessed Jesus’ life, miracles, ministry, death, and resurrection.  There, a resurrected Jesus stands before them and when the SAW him they worshiped him, but some still doubted.

What does that passage tell us about human nature?  It tells us many things, mainly that in spite of seeing all of the great events in Jesus’ life, the disciples still doubted.  Why do you think that is?  I think it is because they did not at that time have the Holy Spirit within them.

Now it would be easy to stand in judgment of the disciples at this point.  After all, they were THERE.  They saw him, they touched him, they ate with him and saw him die and rise again.  Surely, had we been in their shoes we would not have doubted.  I would not be so certain myself.  

How many people do you know of that have had awesome miracles in their lives that they KNEW were from God, only to claim after the excitement wears off that it was just fate or circumstance or the wisdom of the doctors that saved them?  How many times in your own life has the Lord delivered you and afterward you doubted that it was His divine intervention?

The Holy Spirit is what divides the New Testament Christians from the Old Testament Jews and further the Tribulation and Millenial believers.  Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we are able to have the Spirit of God inside us at all times.  During the Old Testament times, the Spirit of the Lord would come upon people for a period, but that was temporary and He did not indwell the believer.  That is the only thing that sets us apart.  That is why those who profess faith in Christ but have never asked Him into their lives struggle.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit is one of the most under-appreciated movements in our modern day churches.

Without the Holy Spirit, we do not even have faith in the things we can see and touch.  That is why people can go to church their whole lives and know in their mind who Jesus is but never make the commitment to let Him into their hearts.  I think that is why so many professing Christians do not bear any fruit. 

Who are they?  Are you one?  Is the person sitting next to you in church one?  They are Christians in name only.  They come as far as they can in the Christian walk without asking the Holy Spirit to come into their lives.  They have accepted the kernel of doubt in their own hearts as part of everyone’s faith.  They do not believe when others profess to not have any doubts about their faith, because they themselves do not know the truth.

You can go to many churches and never hear a word about the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit within us is the perfecter of our faith.  He convicts our conscience.  He is the guiding force that keeps all of us in line and living for God and not ourselves.  

Only through the Holy Spirit are we able to have communion with God and worship Jesus our Savior.  This Age of Grace ends with the Rapture of the Church, those left behind will never have the opportunity to receive this blessing.  There will be many Left Behind, that never truly became Christians but this post is to encourage you today, we are believers.  We are Watchers.  We are Saved.  

(Note – this post was originally written in 2003, but the Helper prompted me to publish this old work again today.  I have never heard preaching on it. It remains one of my favorite pieces and one I shared with my beloved Bible Teacher Father on his deathbed.  I will never forget the look of pride he had in his eyes as I showed him the Scripture and opened his heart to the revelation the Lord had given me.  Peace and Love, my Friends.)

(Click to Site)

The Cautious Watcher

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The Prophecy Watchers have been on heightened alert for the last 20 years but history did not start when we came to conscientiousness!

In 1998, I had a conversation with my then 78-year-old grandmother about the pending global catastrophe of Y2K.  We were at my father’s (a fellow Watcher) kitchen table and we were going over our preparations.  My grandmother was a spirit-filled, godly woman, but she had about her the pragmatism and practicality that had carried her through near-starvation during the Great Depression and the long years of waiting for her husband to return home from World War II.  As my dad and I enthused over all the biblical signs and prophecies, we laid out the case for her about why we believed the turn of the millennium was going to kick off the long-awaited chain of events that were going to see us going home soon.  She listened graciously.  She then said in an off hand manner, “During and after World War II, when Israel became a nation we were certain the Rapture was imminent.  Just be cautious.”

I remember being initially irritated with her.  I was excited!  I wanted to GO!

For generations, we have read the Scriptures, we have watched the heavens, we have deduced the times.  We have correctly identified thousands of significant prophetic events, compelling numerical distances between dates, extrapolated Hebraic meanings from those numeric dates, and concluded that we are indeed living in the last days, but it is worth noting that at least a dozen times in the last 2000 years the Church has had compelling reasons to believe THEY were also in the last days.  Doug Woodward does an amazing job of outlining the 1666 Rapture Frenzy.  These were not Middle Age superstitious imbeciles, Isaac Newton wrote about the subject.

With the publication of The Harbinger, the discovery of the blood moons and their historical significance, and the availability of free Stellarium software the Watcher community has been on heightened alert since 2008.  As the book of Daniel has been opened, our understanding of the Scriptures of the End Times has multiplied at a breakneck speed, the Holy Spirit has poured out the anointing on His Servants far and wide.

An example of this is the knowledge of the fulfilled Spring Feasts at the first coming of the Lord Jesus.  Those of us who have been at it for awhile take that revelation for granted these days but I have to stress that a mere seven years ago even the most ardent and learned of Watchers was unaware of this amazing fact.  I was blown away in 2013 by the Rosh Hashanah Rapture Theory. (Click to Site)

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Torah Commentary – Re’eh (See) – See, Perceive or Selah – SCRIPTURES FOR August 19, 2017

Torah Commentary
Re’eh (See)
Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
Isaiah 54:11-55:5
1Corinthians 5:9-13
1John 4:1-6

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See, Perceive or Selah
The title of this Torah portion is translated very simply with the word “see.” This small simple word can be taken for granted by some.  For the vast majority of the people in this country, “seeing” is the first thing they do every morning. People wake up, open their eyes to see, or depending on your optical ability, at least look at the images our eyes are allowing their brains to discern. I question whether there is a difference between seeing or looking?
In Hebrew the word is re’eh. The word has the meaning of looking at something with our eyes, but that is not the context in how it’s being used here. The Hebrew meaning is for us to perceive and consider something so as to bring forth discernment. Many of you may relate to the example I’m going to use to explain my point. Most people wake up in the morning head to the bathroom to begin their daily routine to make themselves presentable before leaving home. Many of us find in the mirror the proverbial “bed head” look with hair going every direction. As one makes sense of the new style their pillow created they might find a few gray hairs that certainly could not have been there the day before.
How you handle these sneaky little gray hairs is what brings forth my point. Will you make a mental note of the location of these sly little hairs to pluck them out, hide them with a new hairstyle or run to the local Wal-Mart to grab a bottle of hair color? Are these little gray hairs a frightful unwanted sight or do they bring you to a place of introspection? Do you just “see” the gray hair or do look deeper to evaluate the Scriptural meaning behind gray hair and how it’s interpreted. Do you perceive what is happening in your life regarding your maturity and reflect on decisions you are making? The gray hair is a sign to us to ponder if we are learning the lessons life has been trying to teach us or traveling around the same mountain of mistakes. Are you gaining wisdom through maturity or just going gray? (Click to Site)

 

Torah Commentary – Va’etchanan “And I besought” – The Call to Return – SCRIPTURES FOR August 5, 2017

Torah Commentary
Va’etchanan “And I besought”
Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
Isaiah 40:1-26
1 Kings 19-22
Matthew 4:1-11; Romans 3:27-31
James 2:14-26

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The Call to Return
This Torah portion is so rich that it is difficult to not write pages and pages of commentary. Instead I will focus on a great work which is happening in our day, a work based upon just one verse. In Deuteronomy 6:4 we find the Shema, “Hear oh Israel YH VH our God, YH VH is One”. For many people this is the first verse in Scripture they learn to say in Hebrew! The importance of this verse for the Jewish and Messianic communities is likened to John 3:16 in the Christian church. These verses are foundational in faith.
It was the mid 2000’s when the Shema took on fuller meaning for me. It was then I learned the verse in English and Hebrew. Later on, while I was at a speaking engagement in Lucerne Valley, California a dear friend and brother brought this verse to life for me. He, his wife and congregation had the alarms on their cell phones set to ring at 9am and 3pm. When the alarm went off they would stop whatever they were doing to recite the Shema. I liked the idea and set my alarm also. For a year or so I followed the tradition. In time the alarm and recitation lost interest in my daily life, subsequently the alarms were deleted. I found it was never a heart’s desire to do this, but more an interest in joining in with my friends.
I am not sure what prompted me, but a couple of years ago a change of heart occurred. I decided to set my alarm again. In meetings, conferences and daily life I have encouraged others to do the same. It is quite the experience to be in a meeting and hear alarms going off all over the room at 9am or 3pm so we can join together as one to give honor to the One that brought us together in the first place! Even more exciting is being on a tour to Israel with a busload of folks, or even just a few people in a restaurant, rise, turn toward the Temple Mount and begin to recite the Shema. Rather interesting conversations and events have happened around this as you may imagine.
Why the Shema and why now?
The Shema is not a prayer, but rather a call and declaration. As we honor Elohim, it is a call to those who turned away from Him. It is our voices being used to call out to the “Lost sheep of Israel” to make teshuvah (repentance and return) unto the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov through the covenant of Messiah. When you and I recite the Shema our voices are going to the far reaches of the earth to call our brothers and sisters to nasa (lift up their heads) and return unto Him. It is a declaration of the revelation that the Elohim we serve is Echad, (One).
The words of the Shema are few, but filled with great meaning. Here is an amplified version by Barry Phillips of Remnant of Yisrael.
“So hear, grasp and comprehend, Yisrael, You covenant people chosen by YHWH, full of colors, nations, and tribes, YHWH, He Who is Mercy and Lovingkindness is our very own Elohim, our personal Creator and Judge Who will repay. This YHWH, the second mentioning, the revealing of the first mentioned, Y’shuah, is a mystical and wondrous unity of One; The first and the last together.” (Click to Site)

 

Days of Noah – Demons ARE REAL & We As Christians Need To Know How To Deal With It

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By Ray Gano

Every since I have started this series on the demonic, I have been getting a lot of emails from people.

Some of the emails are down right scary but I have gotten 5 – 6 emails that are more like the following.

Please note, that I am not sharing names or locations, just sharing two (of the several) examples that very real people today are facing.

Situation #1 Wife haunted by an Incubus

“I watched some of your videos and thought I’d reach out and see if you know of anyway to help her. We’ve been married 42 years and I love her.

I’ll try to make a long story short.

About 6 to 7 years ago my wife started accusing me of other women.  A lot of them. Nothing I said or did convinced her different.

About this same time, my wife started drinking to the point of getting drunk most nights. She also started telling me about demons talking to her and she showed me bruises on her inner thighs the shape of finger prints. She told me that a demon told her, she belonged to him now.

PROBLEM: I didn’t believe in demons at that time and didn’t take her seriously.”


Situation #2 – Daughter Haunted by an Incubus

“I have a daughter, she is aged 20.  She was molested as a child by an uncle of hers.  We found out in January 2017 that he took her to a man who performed a satanic blood ritual on her, which has caused this possession.  She is pan sexual, does drugs, drinks, hypersexual, disgustingly messy, and dirty, she does clean up from time to time.  She is coming to our home for a visit.  I’ve spoken to her about deliverance, she gets angry with me, she doesn’t want it.  She hates G-d, blames, Him, and her father, and I for the molestation.  She has to be delivered from this demon.  I am a Holy Spirit filled Christian. I really would appreciate some advice.  Have you heard of this?  Where a child has had a demon attached to them through a satanic blood ritual?”

As I have stated, I have gotten a number of emails from people who have read my articles or seen my videos and they have reached out for help.

Folks, demons are real. They are not some sort of fairy tale make believe story. If angels are real, so are demons.

The issue with demons is that they have a clear-cut agenda. Their goal is to steal, destroy and kill. They know that they are going to hell and they want to bring as many humans with them as possible.

Now I want to make something clear also, that all bad things that might be happening to you or someone you know is not necessarily demonic, like it or not bad things happen to good people.

So please remember that if you think that possibly you have attracted a demonic presence or have an evil spirit in your home.

What we don’t want to do is go off half cocked and running around like wackos rebuking every single little thing in our lives and the lives of those around us. (Click to Site)

To The Jew First – The New Covenant is for Israel – Dr. Todd Baker Zola Levitt Ministries Staff Theologian

She eagerly accepted a copy of the Hebrew Bible with the New Testament, and also
some Messianic Gospel tracts that explain how a Jewish person can accept Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah and still be a Jew. There’s no “conversion” involved. Jews can—and should—trust that Yeshua is the Messiah.

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On the latest To The Jew First (TJF) Gospel outreach in Israel, team member
August Rosado and I watched, once again, as the Holy Spirit of God
opened doors to witness about Yeshua the Messiah to the Jewish people.
One powerful day comes to mind.

As August and I were leaving the Kotel (Western Wall) after prayer, a
young Jewish man eating his lunch greeted us as we walked by. Sensing
that the Lord wanted us to engage this young Israeli, August and I stopped to
chat with Tal while he was on his lunch break from his job at an archaeologicaldig nearby.

In the course of our conversation, Tal casually admitted that he was an
atheist. I gently pointed out that he was actually an agnostic, because no
one can know with absolute certainty that God does not exist. Man simply lacks the power, knowledge, and physical means to make such a claim. Tal agreed.

Now on common footing, I shared with Tal about my former life as an
unenlightened atheist. I told him that when the Son of God supernaturally
revealed Himself to me, He led me to the Scriptures and convinced me that everything that Yeshua said and did in the New Testament was absolutely true.

August and I then challenged Tal to take a copy of the Scriptures—both the Old and New Testaments—in Hebrew to see this saving truth for himself. Tal initially
balked at our invitation, but after the Holy Spirit persuaded him, Tal accepted the
Bible in order to test his agnosticism in the light of God’s Word.

After we left Tal, August and I encountered two young Israeli women raising money for an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) charity. August spoke with one of the women, while
I shared the Gospel with the other, Bathsheva. I told Bathsheva about a new covenant that was promised in the Tanakh, or Old Testament, to Israel in Jeremiah 31:31–37.

Then I related it to Yeshua, the One who ratified this covenant in the B’rit Hadashah,
or New Testament (Matthew 26:28). Bathsheva immediately understood the clear connection between the two Testaments of the Jewish Bible. From talking to her, I could see that Bathsheva had a good, working understanding of the Tanakh from
her Orthodox Jewish upbringing.

But this was the first time she’d heard about the New Covenant for
Israel being prophesied, or even mentioned, in the Tanakh! She expressed a genuine interest to learn more about the Messiah, the Messenger of the New Covenant. She eagerly accepted a copy of the Hebrew Bible with the New Testament, and also
some Messianic Gospel tracts that explain how a Jewish person can accept Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah and still be a Jew. There’s no “conversion” involved. Jews can—and
should—trust that Yeshua is the Messiah. (Click to Site)

Heart Transplant

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Have you received your heart transplant from YHWH?

The reason I ask is that many people claim they have, but I would like to examine in more detail what happens when we received our “new heart” from YHWH.  Let’s begin by looking at a few verses in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 24:6-7
‘And I shall set My eyes on them for good, and shall bring them back to this land. And I shall build them and not pull them down, and shall plant them and not pluck them up. ‘And I shall give them a heart to know Me, that I am YHWH. And they shall be My people, and I shall be their Elohim, for they shall turn back to Me with all their heart.

To start off, we see in these verses that the new heart will be given so that we will know YHWH, and “they shall turn “back” to Him with all their heart.”   Now let’s look at Jeremiah 31 which contains the most used verses to claim we are in or under the new covenant.

Jeremiah 31:31-33
“See, the days are coming,” declares YHWH, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares YHWH. “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares YHWH: I shall put My Torah (Law) in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.

Here in Jer 31,  we see that YHWH will write His Torah on our hearts and then He will be our God, and we shall be His people.  Let’s continue by looking at two other verses with very similar language that are often overlooked.

Ezekiel 11:17-21
“Therefore say, ‘Thus said the Master YHWH, “And I shall gather you from the peoples, and I shall assemble you from the lands where you have been scattered, and I shall give you the land of Yisra’ĕl.” ’ “And they shall go there, and shall take away all its disgusting matters and all its abominations from there. “And I shall give them one heart, and put a new spirit within you. And I shall take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, so that they walk in My laws, and guard My right-rulings, and shall do them. And they shall be My people, and I shall be their Elohim. “But to those whose hearts walk after the heart of their disgusting matters and their abominations, I shall recompense their deeds on their own heads,” declares the Master YHWH. 

Ezekiel 36:24-27
“And I shall take you from among the Gentiles, and I shall gather you out of all lands, and I shall bring you into your own land. “And I shall sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean – from all your filthiness and from all your idols I cleanse you. “And I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I shall give you a heart of flesh, and put My Spirit within you. And I shall cause you to walk in My laws and guard My right-rulings and shall do them.

Now we see a new spirit being given to go with the Torah being written on our hearts.  This transplant of the new heart of flesh along with His Spirit allows us to know Him, return to Him with all our hearts, walk in His laws/statutes (Torah), and guard (keep) His right-rulings (judgments) so that we will do them.

Did you catch that?

So that we will do them!

What is them?  YHWH’s statutes, ordinances, laws, and commandments! (Click to Article)

B’ha’alotkha – When you set up – “Prophets All”

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B’ha’alotkha

When you set up

Numbers 8:1-12:16
Zechariah 2:14-4:7

“Prophets All”


by Mark Huey
mark@outreachisrael.net

As we look at this week’s Torah portion, B’ha’alotkha or “When you set up,” we are directed to the continuing saga of Ancient Israel, and some of the trials and tribulations of its sojourn through the wilderness wanderings. Among the things we encounter, Moses is given the design for the menorah or lampstand that is to be placed in the Tent of Meeting.[1] This seven-branched candelabrum is to illuminate the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant is located. Specific instructions are given for the Levites, who are dedicated to serve the Almighty.[2] It is also noted that the requirements for sojourners who have joined themselves to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are identical to those as the native born.[3]

In one of the unique passages of the Torah, Numbers 10:35-36 are actually separated out by two inverted Hebrew letter nuns.[4] These are editorial markers that have been placed in the text by copyists, to denote that this is something which needs to be paid attention to:

V’yehi binso’a ha’aron v’yomer Moshe, “Qumah ADONAI v’yafutzu o’vekha v’yanusu mesanekha mipanekha, u’venuchoh yomar shuvah ADONAI riv’vot alfei Yisrael

Numbers 10:35-36 are certainly important verses in the Torah, communicating how Ancient Israel would move in the desert, and they implore God to protect Israel from its enemies:

“Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them. The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp. Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, ‘Rise up, O LORD! And let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.’ When it came to rest, he said, ‘Return, O LORD, to the myriad thousands of Israel’” (Numbers 10:33-36).

A theological explanation, for the two inverted nuns, is obviously so that Torah readers can pay attention to the significance of these verses.[5] Textual explanations also exist, in that there is some doubt as to whether or not Numbers 10:35-36 are actually in their correct place within the Hebrew text, possibly being dislocated,[6] as the Greek Septuagint testifies to a slightly different arrangement for Numbers 10:33-36. This is not at all something, though, that communicates any difference of content:

[33] And they departed from the mount of the Lord a three days’ journey; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them a three days’ journey to provide rest for them. [35] And it came to pass when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Arise, O Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered: let all that hate thee flee. [36] And in the resting he said, Turn again, O Lord, the thousands and tens of thousands in Israel.[34] And the cloud overshadowed them by day, when they departed from the camp.[7]

From Numbers 10:35-36, we see a significant declaration issued by Moses, indicating how critical it would be for the Israelites to appeal to the Lord and His power prior to moving the Ark of the Covenant. These verses undoubtedly communicate a sincere reverence for the Word of God, and its Divine inspiration. By remembering that God has the power to scatter the enemies of His people, each of us today must entreat the Holy One to protect us and preserve us—as opposed to us relying on our own human strength. It should not be surprising for us to know that Numbers 10:35-36 is recited, along with Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4, every Shabbat in the traditional liturgy of the Jewish Synagogue before the Torah scroll is removed for reading.[8]

Following this important word, B’ha’alotkha now turns to the incessant complaints of the Israelites, and how the Lord dealt with their insurrection and demands for food and the culinary comforts of Egypt.[9] The introduction of the quail for food, and the response of Moses to the judgment that is meted out upon these recalcitrant people, gives us a real sense of Moses’ heart and love for them. Moses has a real willingness to step out for the Israelites, in spite of their negative and thankless attitudes:

“So Moses said to the LORD, ‘Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers”? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, “Give us meat that we may eat!” I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness’” (Numbers 11:11-15).

At this point in Israel’s experiences, we see that Moses is ready to offer himself for the needs of his people. The solution to the frustration that Moses felt, even though he surely served Israel without reservation, was that Moses’ leadership responsibilities would be divided among seventy elders. Moses would not have to lead Ancient Israel, presumably mostly by himself:

“The LORD therefore said to Moses, ‘Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone’” (Numbers 11:16-17).

As you consider the requirements for leadership in the camp of Ancient Israel, you can read that Moses simply knew who those were, intended to be chosen to “have experience as elders and officers of the people” (NJPS). Moses chose individuals of the highest caliber.The instructions witnessed in the Torah, for the leaders of Ancient Israel, affected later generations of Israelites as the Promised Land was settled, as well as informed the leadership structures of the Jewish Synagogue during the time of Yeshua and the emerging Messianic movement of the First Century.

After Moses chose the seventy elders who would assist with the administration of the Ancient Israelites, the Holy One then was able to pour out His Spirit upon them. As a result of this occurring, we see that various individuals in the camp of Israel began to prophesy:

“So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again. But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp. So a young man ran and told Moses and said, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, ‘Moses, my lord, restrain them.’ But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!’ Then Moses returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel” (Numbers 11:24-30).

In an incredible display of God’s grace toward His people, He placed His Spirit upon the seventy elders who had been selected for leadership. Apparently, there were two who were chosen to lead, but who did not attend the initial outpouring of the Spirit upon the other sixty-eight. All of a sudden within the camp, Eldad and Medad were found prophesying in the camp, and Joshua came and reported this activity to Moses, having thought that perhaps they were out of order.

The response of Moses is quite interesting, as he admonished Joshua for his concern. Moses already knew that God wanted the seventy to help lead Israel. Moses’ response, “I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29, NIV), indicates that he was desiring all of Israel to be in a position to prophesy or speak forth God’s truth with clarity.

Being able to speak forth important admonitions, from the Lord, is something that our Heavenly Father surely desires for all of His children. In the Apostle Paul’s description of various ministry functions within the Body of Messiah—whether one is an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, or a pastor or a teacher—all are to be guided by the Holy Spirit and speak forth the Lord’s message with clarity and maturity:

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Messiah; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Messiah. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Messiah” (Ephesians 4:11-15).

The goal of these, and various other jobs to be performed within the Body of Messiah, is so that all Believers may attain unity within the faith, and be mature. All of the Believers, properly functioning together, are to necessarily point to the Head or the Source of all: Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

One of the critical aspects required for any leadership position, within the Body of Messiah, is the ability to speak forth God’s truth in love. The only way to do this is by allowing the agapē love of the Holy Spirit to speak through us. This requires a person not only to be born again, but also to be committed to a life of holiness and steady growth in the Lord. Just like Moses desired that all of Israel would prophesy, so too are gifts of prophecy and many others, to be present among the community of Messiah followers today.

The other Apostles also give us fair warning about the need to be able to discern what are truly genuine words originating from the Spirit of God, and what are not. The Apostle Peter warns about the need to discern between a true prophetic utterance and what is not, emphasizing how he was present at the Mount of Transfiguration when he saw Yeshua the Messiah in all of His exalted glory:

“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’—and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:16-21).

In this day and age, when we have been warned incessantly throughout the Scriptures that many false teachers and false prophets will arise to deceive people, we need to be mindful of the imperative to check everything we hear through the grid of the Bible. This is why it is so critical that we establish a working knowledge of Scripture, beginning with the laws of the Torah, and consistent with the actual Prophets and Apostles of God themselves. Here is an extremely worthwhile example to consider, because it is very clear that God Himself is going to send false signs and wonders to test His people, and determine if they are following Him or some other spirit:

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).

Imagine a statute of “the Virgin Mary” crying with actual tears coming from the stone or marble. To many in the world, this sounds like a tremendous sign or miracle that one might even witness with his or her very own eyes. What is one to do, especially when the people who are showing you this sign are trying to impress you?

First of all, given the fact that there have been many “manufactured miracles” witnessed in the course of Roman Catholic history, it is appropriate that a critical person question whether something supernatural has really transpired. There are many perceived supernatural or spiritual occurrences, which are actually man-made.

Secondly, just because something “supernatural” occurs, does not automatically mean that it originates from God. Those who know the Torah, or Law of God, should be instinctly aware of the Second Commandment, and its prohibition of making statutes or carved images to be used in worship:

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4; cf. Deuteronomy 5:8-9).

When you know that God does not permit graven images to be used for, or in, worship, a statue of the Virgin Mary apparently crying can be immediately disregarded as originating from Him. This is something that would violate the Second Commandment.

Can you think of any other examples of so-called “signs” or “miracles” that might occur today, but clearly do not align with the character of the Holy Scriptures, or the testimonies that it gives us of the kinds of signs we should legitimately expect to see? There are probably many supernatural occurrences you have either seen or witnessed, which are “supernatural” only in the sense that human beings are not responsible for them—and they actually come from the forces of darkness. It is a sobering and scary thought, but we each need to realize that demonic signs will actually become more treacherous, slippery, and commonplace the sooner we get to the return of Yeshua. The need to know what the Scriptures say about these things is absolutely critical, for discerning what is from the Lord, and also what is from the Adversary. Yeshua Himself warned His Disciples that false signs will be prevalent in the Last Days:

“For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you beforehand. If therefore they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go forth, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it” (Matthew 24:24-26).

This is a stern warning that false messiahs and false prophets “will appear and produce great signs and omens” (NRSV) that will challenge the elect of God to discern from where these manifestations emanate. I would urge you to be warned of many false signs and wonders that do not line up with instruction of God in the Torah, or any part of the Bible for that matter. For those of us who are trying to reestablish a firm foundation for our faith, we should exhibit some skepticism when we hear about many of the “miracles” present throughout Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity today. Are they genuine, or are they deception?

We need to all know the Word of God and inculcate it into our hearts and minds every day! Certainly, Moses desired that all would prophesy. But, he also wanted all to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit, as the Spirit through His people would do the prophesying. This is available today as we submit our wills to His will. As we seek to be led by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit, we can let all of the Lord’s words come forth from our innermost being. May this be the testimony for one and all!


NOTES

[1] Numbers 8:1-4.

[2] Numbers 8:5-26.

[3] Cf. Numbers 9:14.

[4] See Karl Elliger and Wilhelm Rudolph, et. al., eds., Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia(Stuttgart: Deutche Bibelgesellschaft, 1977), 231; and Aron Dotan, ed., Biblia Hebraica Leningradensia (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2001), 213.

[5] Cf. Hertz, Pentateuch & Haftorahs, 613.

[6] Cf. Kelley, Mynatt, and Crawford, pp 34-35.

[7] Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton, ed & trans., The Septuagint With Apocrypha (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999), 188.

[8] Hertz, The Authorised Daily Prayer Book, pp 473-475; Scherman and Zlotowitz, Complete ArtScroll Siddur, pp 471-473; Harlow, Siddur Sim Shalom, 139.

[9] Numbers 11:1-35.

Torah Commentary – B’har (On Mount Sinai), B’chukotai – The Heart of the Matter – SCRIPTURES FOR May 20, 2017

Torah Commentary
B’har (On Mount Sinai), B’chukotai
Leviticus 25:1-26:2; 26:3-27:34
Jeremiah 32:6-27; 16:19-17:14
2Corinthians 7-13
 The Heart of the Matter
tabernacleinthewilderness
For our culture, many of the instructions of Leviticus seem quite foreign to us. There is even a debate whether most of these Scriptures pertain only to the time when we have entered the Land. “Buying and selling of crops, allowing the land to rest on the seventh year and redeeming our poor relative from slavery”, you have to admit, are not things most of us spend our waking thoughts pondering today. When it comes to food storage many people consider storing food for the winter. Wrap your head around storing supplies for three years to take your family through the Jubilee. Due to the difference in culture, we can get lost in the relevance of these verses for our day and read through them way to fast. A quick glance may cause us to miss the heart of the Scriptures.
Torah is about relationship with HaShem, family and the people we are called to interact with on a daily basis. The mysteries and wonders of Torah are awesome, but if we miss the theme of relationship, we miss the heart of the matter. Torah is teaching us through practical day-to-day life instructions how to love our Creator and how to treat one another. This principle is brought out again in Leviticus 25:14-17. Here Scripture speaks of selling property to a neighbor while considering the amount of how many years remaining until the Jubilee and the return of said property.  On the surface we do not see the point of the instruction, because in our society when we sell an item to someone, we do not expect him or her to bring it back in seven years. All transactions are typically final.  What can we learn in this instruction? The heart of the instruction is in verse 17, which tells us not to take advantage of one another in our transactions.
Let us put some flesh on this principal. Back in the days when I sold real estate, I did not like to sell property to or for friends. Sadly, more often than not, it turned out to be a disaster. I found that no matter how hard I tried, the “friend” was much harder to work with than a stranger off the street. They usually wanted special favors and in the end could not believe why I did not turn my entire commission over to them and call the transaction a favor based on friendship. This was an example of taking advantage of a friendship, which is what Leviticus warns us against. (Click to Article)

Torah Commentary – Acharei Mot(After the Death), K’doshim(Holy Ones) – Searching For Life – Day 8, Month 2, 5777; 4 May 2017

Torah Commentary
Acharei Mot(After the Death), K’doshim(Holy Ones)
Leviticus 16:1-18:30; 19:1-20:27
Ezekiel 22:1-19
Romans 3:19-28; 9:30-10:13
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
2 Corinthians 2:1-11
Galatians 3:10-14
Hebrews 7:23-10:25
The_Ten_Commandments2
Searching For Life
Life is an interesting word. The dictionary defines it as,”The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” According to this definition life is just going through motions which will allow someone to know if we are an animal, plant or just a rock. Simply put, if it moves, grows and reproduces, it has life, if not, it’s a rock. Another definition for life is, “The period between the birth and death of a living thing.”
As I consider these definitions in light of the words in Leviticus 18:5, which explains we will have life through obedience to Torah, the dictionary definitions appear to pale in comparison of how I feel our Creator desires us to have life. If we throw into the mix the words of Yeshua in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life, life in its fullest measure,” the definitions really lose value.
What is the difference between the book definitions of life and what most of us desire as the Scriptural definition of life? I believe it comes down to one word, purpose. Consider the word purpose for a moment. Is it possible for us to have life, but never find purpose? We all know the answer is a resounding “yes”!
When we reflect on an example of life without purpose our minds may envision a homeless person on a street corner. He or she wakes up in the morning the same as the rest of us, breathes the same amount of air as we do and in truth goes through many of the same motions to sustain a level of life. Is simply sustaining life all that our Creator intended? Obviously, not! Would you say, when compared to the homeless person on the street corner, we have achieved the Scriptural definition of life in its fullest measure by reading the Torah each week, eating clean and observing the Feasts? I’m not sure I would.
Ask an honest question of yourself. Do you feel you are walking in the Scriptural definition of life? Now I am going to go where only the truly insane go. Comparing your life of Torah today with your life in a church in the past, do you feel you have more life now or just more knowledge? I wish I could get a show of hands here.
If my conversations with people through the years are any indication to the answer of the above question I would say most of us feel we have more knowledge than life. If you are the exception, please do not become offended. Maybe you have found the keys to abundant life and should be the one writing instead of me. For all the rest, please read on.
Leviticus 18 promises we will have life through observing His laws and rulings. Yeshua says we will have abundant life through Him. Is the key to life in joining these two verses together? If so, is there a verse which combines their meaning? Look at Psalm 40:7, “In the scroll of the book it is written about Me.” This verse is our key to the equation. It is all about Him. (Click to Article)