Friday, May 20, 2016

Behar -- The Big Return

Then Adonai said, "My Spirit will not remain with humankind forever, since they are flesh.  So their days will be 120 years."  -- Genesis 6:3 TLV
It has been quite a few years since I first heard someone say about this passage, "You know that's referring to Jubilee years, right?"  No, I hadn't known that, and it had been since then that the Jubilee year remains such a spark of interest to me each parsha cycle when we come upon its study, on top of being such a mystery.

Why a mystery -- you might ask, especially since Scripture doesn't make it appear to be a mystery.  The time of the Jubilee is set clearly in Scripture to be after 49 completed years, as the 50th year, and that it is proclaimed in the 7th month of the 50th year, on Yom Kippur.  
"Then on the tenth day of the seventh month, on Yom Kippur, you are to sound a shofar blast -- you are to sound the shofar all throughout your land.  You are to make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.  It is to be a Jubilee to you, when each of you is to return to his own property and each of you is to return to his family."  -- Leviticus 25:9-10
When the Word mentions the proclamation being on the 7th month, this tells us that the 50th year (the year of Jubilee) actually starts 7 months prior.  Note, the Word does not say that month of the Jubilee shofar blast is to begin a whole new year.  As far as I have read, the Bible has only ever named Abib as a new year, leaving Yom Teruah as a later-adopted alternative to Rosh HaShanah.  Whether or not that was God-directed, it was not Torah and thus in the mystery of the Jubilee, I rest that the Jubilee starts as soon as 49 years ends (which ends with Adar) -- Jubilee year started on the Abib of the 50th year and it was proclaimed 7 months later on Yom Kippur.  There are 2 ways I'm looking at this mid-year proclamation:  1) the people have 7 months to return before the shofar blasts that the return is complete, or 2) the people have 5 months to return, starting from the shofar blast on Yom Kippur, and better have completed their return by the time the year ends and a new 50 year cycle begins the following Abib.  I have not studied on when they started their travels back to their own families.  We have to remember that these people didn't travel by airplane or motor vehicle, like we do, but their travel took some time...time God gave them either before or after the shofar blast, while also providing food for them on the way as each was allowed to eat the increase in the year, freely, without any property claims from another.

So going back to the mystery in Genesis about 120 years' 2nd meaning referring to Jubilee years... It was such a satisfying connection of dots for me, because when you add up 120 Jubilees you get 6,000 years -- which is the belief of many as to how many days this earth will receive before the LORD's day.  It makes perfect sense when we study the creation account.  Elohim made the earth in 6 days and rested the 7th, sanctifying the 7th day as His day.  When we adopt Scripture's prophetic "day as a thousand years" and apply it to the creation account, then we can turn the earth's 6 days into 6,000 with the 7th day/millennium being the LORD's day, a term used when referring to the return of the Lord into the millennial reign -- which we know clearly by Scripture that His reign on earth is a millennium.  When other would this be then on the 7th millennium, foreshadowed by the 7th day of each week that He established all the way back in the creation account?

So, having hit the things you probably have already been familiar with, I want to get into the Hebrew that further intrigues me about the mystery of the Jubilee.  Before doing so, we can first see that the Shemitah and Jubilee have quite a few similarities, with their difference is that the Jubilee is a year of return, whereas the Shemitah is not.  
"But in the seventh year there is to be a Shabbat rest for the land -- a Shabbat to Adonai.  You are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard.  You are not to reap what grows of itself during your harvest nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.  It is to be a year of Shabbat rest for the land.  Whatever the Shabbat of the land produces will be food for yourself, for your servant, for your maidservant, for your hired worker and for the outsider dwelling among you.  Even for your livestock and for the animals that are in your land -- all its increase will be enough food."  -- Leviticus 25:4-7
Can they eat of the land?  Yes they can!  However, there is a difference between going out and getting your daily food versus a full harvest and storing.  It is like the wilderness, when they got the manna daily, but did not store it, except for the 6th day.  There is a difference between picking off a few grapes versus separating the cluster from its vine.  So these were the rules with the Shemitah -- the land gets rest from sowing, pruning, and full harvesting, and the land is food for everyone.  
"You are to count off seven Shabbatot of years -- seven times seven years, so that the time of seven Shabbatot of years -- 49 years.  Then on the tenth day of the seventh month, on Yom Kippur you are to sound a shofar blast -- you are to sound the shofar all throughout your land.  You are to make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.  It is to be a Jubilee to you, when each of you is to return to his own property and each of you is to return to his family.  That fiftieth year will be your Jubilee.  You are not sow, or reap that which grows by itself, or gather from the untended vines.  Since it is a Jubilee, it is to be holy to you.  You will eat from its increase out of the field."  -- Leviticus 25:8-12
The Jubilee agricultural rules are no sowing nor full harvesting, and the land is food for everyone.  I did notice I did not see anything about no pruning.  I wonder if that is significant?  Adding to, the year of Jubilee is predominately a return to origination.  This return is Hebrew shuv, from which we get another word -- teshuvah.  This word is very significant when we are talking about Yeshua's return, as teshuvah is repentance.

That being said, many today believe that the Jubilee is when Yeshua will return for His bride.  I desire to share a few highlights from the Hebrew to see if we can validate or must reject this belief.  Going back to verse 9 -- 
"...you are to sound a shofar blast -- you are to sound the shofar all throughout your land."
Some translations actually say you are to sound the trumpet of the Jubilee.  The "trumpet" is Hebrew shofar and the "Jubilee" is Hebrew teruah, which means a shout or a battle cry.  Hence, the TLV translates it as a "shofar blast."  It says that the shofar blast is to be sounded, but actually the Hebrew word translated into "sound" is abar.  Abar is the root of the word Hebrew itself, and as we know of the word Hebrew, its meaning is "crossed over one."  Abar is to cross over or transition.  It really doesn't have anything to do with sound, but some of its meanings are not only to cross over or transition but to cover/atone (hence it is "sounded" on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement/covering), and also wrath (confirming another belief on the judgment of Yeshua coming on Yom Kippur).  So far, with a crossing over (which is what we, the Hebrew bride, will one day do) and atonement and wrath on a day that the trumpet will sound and freedom is proclaimed, along with a teshuvah (return), it definitely does sound like the beliefs of a Jubilee return of Yeshua is sitting right in Torah.  However, there are more regulations of the Jubilee year.  From verse 11 & 12 --
"That fiftieth year will be your Jubilee.  You are not to sow, or reap that which grows by itself, or gather from the untended vines.  Since it is a Jubilee, it is to be holy to you.  You will eat from its increase out of the field."
The word "sow" is Hebrew zara, meaning to conceive/become pregnant.  It immediately brings me to when Yeshua spoke of a time when it would be woe to those who would be pregnant or nursing (Matt 24:19, Mark 13:17, & Luke 21:23).  "Reap" is interesting because it does not only refer to the gathering of grapes, but Hebrew qatsar also means to grieve, annoy, discourage, or to be such as well as be impatient.  Now I think of all those references about perseverance as the time comes.  The year of the Lord's return is definitely not the time to quit or discourage one another.  When you are in a race, the last leg is when all stops thinking it is a competition and surprisingly all are encouraging of one another to make it.  Don't drop out at the last minute.

So far if we look deeper into meaning and application we can see that the Word is also telling us to not discourage nor grieve the one who grows by himself, nor be discouraged nor grieved as you are growing by yourself (as seems to be what many are doing, falling away from the modern church and getting out of a building).  "That which grows by itself" is the Hebrew cafiyach, to be self-sowing.  What a revelation of what the church would like towards the end.  I have talked to quite a few who believe Scripture tells us that there will be a day when the church as we know it will cease, and the Holy Spirit will be the teacher of men even in their own homes.

In moving forward, I was happiest to see what "untended vines" was originally in Hebrew.  The Hebrew original is naziyr, a separated and consecrated/chosen one (Nazarite), or untrimmed vine.  Untrimmed vine and Nazarite being the same thing brings a better understanding to the power of Samson being linked to his untrimmed hair.  Having been trimmed made him no longer a Nazarite.  This is perfect opportunity to bring up that the naziyr is the not the same word translated in Zechariah as "branch" when referring to Yeshua, but that word is tsemach, and naziyr is also different from the city Natzeret, which His dwelling therein (Matt 2:23) was why He was called a Natzrati.  We allow this confusion in easily comparing Yeshua to a Nazarite because 1) He is separated/set apart and consecrated as the chosen one, and 2) He is the true vine.  However, we must realize that considering what it means to be a Nazarite (again, not the same as being a Natzrati), Yeshua could not be one because in the very least He drank wine on the last Seder.  He also cannot be because although He is the true vine, He is not an untrimmed one.  In John 15:1-2, Yeshua tells us that He is the true vine and every branch in Him that does not bear fruit is cut off, letting us know that He is actually a well-trimmed vine.

So far I have seen confirmation of Jubilee-year return.  Except for this very thing, that the Jubilee cannot bring harvest, and Yeshua's return brings just the thing.  In fact, Yeshua's harvest is quite messy with blood, likened unto the threshing of grapes upon the floor and the stained color that brings -- is the grape harvest not a picture of what is described as Yeshua's return?  Yeshua waits until His return to separate the wheat and the tares, which is a harvest.  His return is many things that we see described of the Jubilee, but one thing it is that the Jubilee is not is a harvest.

After 50 Jubilees comes the completion 6,000 years.  After a full 6,000, which means a Jubilee just completed, is the beginning of the 7th.  So then maybe not a Jubilee return, but the Fall Holy Days after a Jubilee?  The mystery continues.  Until then, counting and sevens are not just for understanding times, but for foreshadows and real observance.  With that being said, happy "seventh".

Shabbat Shalom,

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  Therefore, please cite properly.    

Friday, May 6, 2016

Kedoshim -- Set Apart Ones

Friends, we have a problem in today's religion, and that is the forsaking of set-apartness, holiness.  It is so forsaken that the majority scarcely even know what it means.  Holiness does not mean righteousness; it means set-apartness.  Set-apart from what, exactly?  Well, set-apart from the world.  It is an easy concept to understand when we consider this, that we are to purposely not do the things of the world.  However, through the years, religious groups have excused this act of mixing.  This was first done by Israel, which is documented in the Bible, and later into Christianity.  Both groups who claimed to be in relationship with the Set-Apart El.  There is a problem.

This parsha is what I consider the heart of Leviticus.  It is so properly named "Kedoshim," because it is talking about being set-apart ones.  Leviticus is not the book of sacrifices, but the book of set-apartness.  In fact, in the Jewish culture it is typically the first book young children learn to memorize because it gives us an idea of who God is and how to relate to Him.  Folks, we cannot have a relationship with the Creator if we don't know how to relate to Him.  So many see the book of Leviticus as a sacrificial system to come to the Father, and therefore brush right past the book because the New Testament gave us access to the Father without this system.  Friends, I read on Facebook a professed believer who goes around sharing the Gospel asking for interpretation on a passage in Leviticus, saying this was the first time she has read that book.  These things should not be!  Who then are we sharing when we share the Gospel, if we aren't familiar with the specific set-apartness the Creator claims to be and in result expects of us?  We may have access to the Father, but because of His character there are specific ways He expects for us to handle ourselves in relation to Him.  It is like a pastor I once heard who said that we likewise have access to electricity, but there is protocol in handling it.
"Now you are to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land where I am bringing you to dwell will not vomit you out.  You are not to walk in the ways of the nation which I am casting out before you, for they did all these things and therefore I abhorred them.  But I have said to you, 'You will inherit their land and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.'  I am Adonai your God, who has set you apart from the peoples."  -- Leviticus 20:22-24 TLV
This passage comes at the end of this week's parsha.  I wanted to start with it because is it is a summary of what the parsha is about.  By this, we know that the laws and ordinances prior to, from the moment YHWH says they are to be kedoshim, make up the description of what it means to be kedoshim (set-apart ones), and that failure to be kedoshim will result in the land purging itself of them as it is doing of its [then] current inhabitants.  This tells us, then, that what Leviticus 19 & 20 says not to do the nations were doing, and what Leviticus 19 & 20 says to do the nations weren't doing.  Hence, in not doing what they were doing and in doing what they don't do, Israel was set-apart from them.
"Speak to the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael and tell them:  You shall be kedoshim, for I, Adonai your God, am holy.  Each one of you is to respect his mother and his father, and keep my Shabbatot.  I am Adonai your God."  -- Leviticus 19:2-3
As mentioned above, immediately after He says they are to be kedoshim, He begins explaining what this means.  The first thing YHWH mentions is respecting parents and keeping the Shabbat.  Now, the original Hebrew doesn't exactly have punctuation marks, so putting these 2 commands as one sentence does not make them directly related to one another.  However, the word "and" between the 2 commands is a Hebrew vav (the text literally says "and the Shabbat guard").  The vav is a nail, and nails connect things together, which makes it translates into "and" -- it connects 2 points.  In this case, it is connecting the respect of parents to the keeping of Shabbat.  They are related.  

I was very intrigued to see this and then went on to study more of the Hebrew.  The word translated into "respect" is the Hebrew yare.  It means to frighten, but it also means to shoot.  The Bible tells us the children are like arrows, and blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  How do you respect your parents?  By letting them shoot you like an arrow.  They are to send you off, but being sent off comes with a goal.  Yare is quite similar to another Hebrew word.  That word is yara (or yarah), which is the root of the word Torah.  Torah does not entirely mean Law, but the definition goes much deeper than that.  Yarah means to shoot or aim, and the Torah is the direction of that shot.  Children are to be the arrow of their parents, and parents aim that child in the direction of Torah.

That being said, Torah has a goal.  I'm an archer, and I never take a shot without looking at my target.  Therefore, Torah has a goal.  We don't just claim children are to be respectful, yet we don't aim them at a specific target as they respect us.  Respecting parents means submitting to their shot of you as an arrow, but that shot has to have a specific goal.  In this case, parents have a huge responsibility in their children respecting them.  It is like our current rabbi's wife had said to me, you honor parents as they honor the Lord.  Their honor of the Lord, which is the goal of their shot of you as an arrow (your submission as an arrow is your respect unto them), is the Shabbat.  The Shabbat is the sign of the Covenant.  In proper training up of a child, the goal of the child's respect unto the parents is the parent's aim of the child into Covenant.  However, to take this concept to our spiritual Father, the goal even of us as YHWH's children is Shabbat...to rest.  The goal of walking Torah as a whole is to rest.  The writer of Hebrews (chapter 4) in fact tells us let us continue to labor in good works (walk Torah) because we have not yet entered our rest.  Torah will lead to rest.
"You must keep My statutes.  You are not to crossbreed different kinds of animals.  You are not to sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor are you to wear a garment woven of two kinds of material."  -- Leviticus 19:19
We certainly have advanced in today's science of crossbreeding animals of different sorts and humans with animals, etc.  It may be a surprise for some to realize, by mention of it here in the text, that this was being done even as early as this time frame in Leviticus.  Actually, there are some who really believe that Greek gods are not mythical, but were results of mixing.  Then of course there is also the study of the mixing involved that made up the Nephilim.  Mixing is not new science, but returned from times of past.  It is like we have gone back to the days of Noah.

Also in this verse is the prohibition of wearing a garment with 2 different sorts of material.  If this be the case, then we are failing that shot.  I'm interested in feedback on this passage.  I have researched into it myself and see that Strong's 8162 (mixed garment) is of foreign derivation.  The word or item the word describes is not original to Hebrew.  Many lexicons believe that it is a specific garment that was a mixture of wool and linen, linsey woolsey.  If this be the case, then we can understand it better.  When we read of linen, we see that it is used in holy articles.  Wool, on the other hand, was used in abundance.  We are talking about a group of herders -- there were plenty of sheep.  The wool was used often because of the abundance of it.  Wool was therefore commonly used, whereas linen was for holy use.  So to forbid the mixing of wool and linen is to forbid the mixing of the common with the set-apart...which is what this parsha, and actually all of Leviticus, more so the whole Bible, is all about.
"You are not to eat any meat with the blood still in it, nor are you to use enchantments, or practice sorcery."  -- Leviticus 19:26
Before I get into this, I want to point out another passage that is in the New Testament.  "Therefore, I judge not to trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God -- but to write to them to abstain from the contamination of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what is strangled, and from blood." (Acts 15:19-20).  So many read this and say that these 4 things are the only Torah requirements that a Gentile has to keep.  What many have failed to research is that during this time of Gentiles being added into the community, Christian churches didn't exist.  There were synagogues (wherein they taught Torah) and pagan temples -- that's it.  So these people went from pagan practices to Torah.  They were overwhelmed.  The apostles had decided to start them off with the things they would have to immediately let go of, because those were things they were doing in their pagan temples.  In their (Gentiles) worship they had idols, they had orgies, they strangled their animals and drank their blood.  They did many other things, but these 4 were a part of the worship in pagan temples and it was a start.  They would cross the other bridges as they got there, but surely the goal was that eventually they would be totally transformed out of their paganism and conformed into all of Torah.  This was their baby step, and had to be first because they could not enter the synagogues and temple with such practices -- that would be defiling the temple!  They wanted to enter the synagogues to learn, but the order was that they had to set aside their worship defilements first.  That being said, the command in Torah is easier to understand.  Eating blood was mingled with sorcery and enchantments.  It was a barbaric, pagan practice.

That is the point we must rest upon.  We cannot take the world's practices and bring them into the temple without defiling the temple.  It should be detestable to us to see a congregation claim set-apartness while having pagan decorations and practices within.  
"Also you are to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean.  And you are not to make your souls detestable by an animal or by a bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have set apart as unclean for you."  -- Leviticus 20:25
This is regarding food, and yet goes to show that we cannot manipulate YHWH to make something clean and accept it because we do it or eat it.  We do not choose what is clean or unclean, but He does.  Eating something unclean and asking Adonai to bless it does not make it blessed, but it does make your soul detestable.  This parsha was ended with food, before the Lord said, "You are to be holy to Me, for I, Adonai, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, so that you would be Mine." (Leviticus 20:26).

This food command is the final before He seals it with the bookend, the beginning bookend being "Be kedoshim," and the final one being "be holy."  Why is food so important that the Lord would end it on this note?  First of all, first sin was dietary.  YHWH cared about food all the way back in the Garden.  Food is something we need to fuel our bodies.  It is something we are often thinking about, and it is easy for our tongues and stomachs to become an idol because we put so much attention to them with food.  It is so much of an idol that people will defend the eating of abominable things, and claim that those who don't and are the food-conscious ones are the ones treating food as an idol.  A true test of whether something is an idol or not is your willingness to give it up.  Considering the one excusing the eating of abominable things is doing so to prevent giving it up, they are unwilling to give it up, they have exposed their idolatry though their mouths deny it.  We are lying to ourselves that we are giving up our lives to the Lord, but we cannot even give up ham for Him.

Why is it important?  The Lord says, as He ends it, that the soul is made detestable by unclean foods.  How can anyone know set-apartness when their soul has been made detestable?  How can we uphold each other to holiness over our bacon and eggs?  It's like parenting advice from someone who neglects their children.  We cannot move forward in growing in set-apartness if we cannot even get passed the first fall.  The detestable soul cannot properly discern holiness.  The Gentiles in Acts 15 had to start somewhere because of what was going in their time.  In today's world, it seems our start is kosher eating and the Shabbat, which so happens to be what made up the beginning and end of this parsha's commands.  Eat kosher and keep the Shabbat.  We've got to start somewhere and if we haven't even started in these, then perhaps it is time to test if we truly be His arrows.

Set-apartness is the heart of Leviticus.  If everything is set-apart, then nothing is set-apart.  He set Himself apart and us apart.  We ought to do so the same.

Shabbat Shalom,

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  Therefore, please cite properly.    

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tazria: Light or leprosy

It is interesting to notice how the Lord prepares us for the portion which we are about to read.  There have been countless times I have been face to face with a situation or in a conversation that got the wheels moving and next thing I know it happens to be the very subject discussed in the parsha.

Last Shabbat, the rabbi of our synagogue made his rounds to saying hello before starting the service.  We were the last ones he talked with before the music started.  We talked about the current week's parsha, and I was discussing with him what I wrote last week in a blog about the fire sacrifices and the word ishah (female of ish, wife) being used, to then give Paul what he was talking about when he said the bride is to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Elohim as our reasonable service.  It was right in the parsha.  This got him to explain to us how we are fire and YHWH is an all-consuming fire.  We are made to be little ambassadors, little fires, of our Creator.  He went further in what happens when male and female, ish and ishah don't control their fires and they consume each other and the result is divorce with the only ashes left over.  We connected the dots in conversation with him about YHWH, the all-consuming fire, being in the burning bush but not consuming it.  It the example of the frail body of the human and the fire of YHWH within him.  The containment is to God's glory.  Of this was then brought up the subject of spontaneous combustion, which he mentioned was simply someone breaking out of their flesh.  Then right as the music started, as he walked away, he mentioned, "You know Adam was able to transfigure in the garden...." No I didnt, but the conversation would have to continue to another time.

Or I should say the conversation prepared me for this week's Torah parsha, which we just began the day after.  The conversation was about the skin and the flesh, man and his wife, and here we are reading about disease of the skin and flesh.  How does this relate to a man and wife?  So glad you asked!

Those specific man and wife, male and female, wheels got turning with a phone call from my imprisoned brother earlier this week.  He asked, "Why does chapter 13 go back and forth with he and she?"  Huh?  I didn't know what he was talking about.  He told me the pronouns are not consistent in the chapter.  One second it using a pronoun that means he and the next it is using she.  I had to read this for myself.  

I was tickled to see that he was correct.  He is referring to the Hebrew #1931, the male of which is הוּא, and the female version being הִיא.  The male is written with a vav and the female with a yod.  I do understand that in the Torah the male version is often not gender-specific, and the version with the yod makes more distinction of female outside of the Torah.  However, the Torah is using this change within the text and I, just like my brohter, have to wonder.

Considering that leprosy is a matter for the priest to determine, and that sacrifices were done after cleansing, then we know that leprosy was a matter of sin.  It was the breaking out of sin in one's flesh.  With my mind on the conversation of last Shabbat, like combustion is the breaking out of the fire in one's flesh, so leprosy was the breaking out of sin in one's flesh.  

O that conversation of last week, ish and ishah...perhaps my mind would not have gone back in to Genesis when reading this week's portion if we hadn't so freshly discussed ish and ishah with the rabbi.  I went back to when sin first entered in and was clearly seen on flesh, as Adam and Eve knew they were naked.  They saw their sin in their flesh.  Talk about connection.  I went to the consequences of it and what the Creator said about it.  It is interesting to note that when talking to Eve in that passage, He called her "ishah" (Genesis 3:16), wherein He says that ishah will desire her ish (He uses ish here and not Adam) and her ish will rule over her.  Mind you, before we go claiming this is the will of God, we need to remember these words are the curse of sin.  

This language is also repeated very soon afterward in their offspring.  It is to Cain in Genesis 4:7 that YHWH says to Cain that sin's desire is to him but he should rule over it.  Same language, just remove "ish" and "ishah" and put in "sin" and "Cain".  What in the world is He saying?  He is saying that sin is a man's wife, or this man (Cain's) wife.  Truly, it is as Paul tries to explain to us in Romans 6 that a man has 2 masters to choose from, sin or God.  He will either marry sin or he will marry God.  The man of the flesh will marry sin and the spiritual man will marry God.  So when we fast forward to Leviticus 13 and we see the language of "he" and "she" as it pertains to a man whose sin has made its way forth into his flesh, we see a picture here of male and female, and therefore a conclusion that the leprous man is one who is not actively in marital relations with God, but rather married to sin.

All this said by skin.  Skin says so much, doesn't it?  Skin showed sin in Genesis and it shows sin in this week's parsha.  What I also came across this week was a Facebook post about how after the first sin God clothed Adam and Eve in garments of skin (pronounced or, Hebrew #5785, Genesis 3:21), whereas their original skin was not so.  This final thought is the final words the rabbi said to us as the service started last week..."You know Adam was able to transfigure in the garden..."  The Hebrew word used for the nakedness of their flesh is #5903, arom, quite similar and of the same root as the word used to describe the serpent as subtle, which is #6175, arum.  This is no surprise.  Since they partook of the serpent's deeds, they are now like the serpent.  A man walks like the serpent he will be likened unto him; a man walks like YHWH, and he will be likened unto Him.  So man is now arom, serpent-like.  Both #5903 (describing man's nakedness after sin) and #6175 (describing the serpent) have the same root -- #6191.  These are all completely different words from that word used to describe the skins the Creator used to cover Adam and Eve after sin -- the garment of skins is ayin, vav, resh, whereas the nudity of skin is ayin, resh, mem -- but there is a similarity in them, and that is that they begin with the ayin, which means eye.  They saw (eye) that they were naked -- notice this is exactly what Scripture says of them, that they eyes (ayin) were open, of which even the serpent claimed opened eyes and therefore they in the that likeness.  Another similarity is that both roots (garments of skin, and the nude flesh from sin) have resh, which means head.  Sin is the head, which makes man the slave of it.  This goes deep, and you will have to take this down the Hebrew trail on your own time, but I need to stick to the point. 

As was said earlier, it is believed that their skin wasn't originally so.  Of course it wasn't because clearly we can see that their skin (ayin, resh, mem) was a result of being the likeness of the serpent.  So what was it before?  We can only really speculate, by connecting dots with the rest of the Scriptures.  However, it is said the midrash that their skin was originally "or"...yet, a different or and not like the or used to describe the garments of flesh YHWH used to clothe them after sin.  This "or" is not ayin, vav, resh, but rather aleph, vav, resh -- aleph representing the Father, of whose likeness they were originally created.  To add to this, this sort of "or" (aleph, vav, resh) means light.  So their skin was light.  Hence, they were able to transfigure.  I guess this is why Moses' skin was shining brightly after being in the presence of YHWH and why he was present during the transfiguration of Yeshua.

Have you ever studied so much and saw so much revealed in the Scriptures that you almost had to ask God to back off a bit?  Like you would explode if you received any more insight.  It is said that on that glorious day when we will see Him face to face we will have had new bodies.  This old one would combust.  This flesh could not contain the fire within it, once this fire is joined to its originator.  I get it.  Or at least I'm starting to.

Shabbat Shalom,

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  Therefore, please cite properly.    

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sh'mini -- Biblical Divisions

The past couple of years I've really liked to linger on the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu.  Perhaps it is because of the many different considerations on what it means to have strange fire.  I've held onto the belief that it was because the fire [for the incense] did not come from the coals of the burnt offering, as was commanded, but the source of the fire came elsewhere, thereby making it strange.  When I look up the Hebrew, the word for fire is "esh" (remember this from my post earlier this week, regarding the sacrifices?); and the word for strange is pronounced as zoor, which does mean strange but also in line with committing adultery.  There are many things regarding worship that can be considered spiritually adultery.

I heard it best explained to me a few years back in an example between a man and his wife.  Let us say that the wife had former lovers before she married her husband.  Now when she married her husband she did indeed celebrate his birthday and celebrate their anniversary; howbeit, not on the exact days.  Let us say that she decided to celebrate her husband's birthday on her former lover's birthday and her anniversary with her husband on the day that she started dating her former lover.  Now, what do you think her husband's reaction would be?  Can we honestly say that a woman like that is in love with her husband and that she has forsaken her former lovers, or is she committing adultery in her heart?

 This really brings a honest perspective on what it means to celebrate Yeshua's birthday and the moedim on days that commemorated other gods that were put in YHWH's place.  It is spiritual adultery. 
Now Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own censer, put fire in it, laid incense over it, and offered unauthorized fire before Adonai -- which He had not commanded them.  So fire came out from the presence of Adonai and consumed them.  So they died before Adonai.  Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what Adonai spoke, saying:  To those who are near Me I will show myself holy.  Upon the faces of all the people I will be glorified."  Then Aaron kept silent.  -- Leviticus 10:1-3 TLV
They offered strange fire and THE fire (YHWH) consumed them.  In some way, this somewhat connects to those who use the sword die by the sword.  It's not about using the sword (as the sword is the Word), it is about using the wrong sword and for the wrong reason.  Those who shed blood will perish by blood shed, and we know this earth will be threshed with bloodshed for all the blood that was shed upon it.  Death by fire after bringing strange fire...it just added to a principle the Word is trying to tell us.

I'm convinced more than ever that this strange fire is directly related to burnt offering.  Above I said that perhaps it was strange because the fire came from other sources rather than from the coals of the burnt offering.  This is why I say I'm more convinced -- rereading verse 3, Moses reminded that Adonai says, "To those who are near Me I will show myself glorified."  If you read my blog earlier this week, you'll remember that I pointed out the word used for the offering (that is, the burnt offering), starting in Leviticus 1:2, is a word whose root is Strong's 7126, "to draw near."  This tells us the purpose for the offering is to draw near.  Now back to this week's text, the word used in verse 3 of this passage of Nadab and Abihu has the same root.  Hence, the text says, "To those who are near Me...."  In a nutshell?  To those who are near YHWH, there is no spiritual adultery, there is no mixing of the nations' and pagan's worship, but as He said, "...I will show myself holy [set apart]."  Adonai is not set apart if He is likened to the rest of them, worshiped like them, and in their ways.  It is always a good time to test our nearness to YHWH, which can be tested by our set-apartness of Him in our worship.
"You are to make a distinction between the holy [set apart] and the common and between the unclean and the clean."  -- Leviticus 10:10 
I was just telling my husband this past week about my trip to South Beach of Miami, FL some years back.  I was there visiting my cousin and had not been told of what to expect on the beach.  What I saw was so much nakedness of women.  South Beach is topless.  I thought it was such exploitation of women because it took what was beautiful and made it common.  I looked upon those women and there was nothing of a treasure of them, because the nakedness was so common...and what is common is not set-apart, and what is not set-apart is not (as YHWH describes) "a peculiar treasure."

Oftentimes set-apartness comes in time with reading and understanding of the Scriptures.  It is, sadly, not immediately observed...not because that is the way Adonai set it up, but because of the lack of "church" responsibility.  The way Adonai set it up, you teach a child in the faith and in Torah, and that child does not depart from the teaching of Torah.  The way it happened is not so, but mixing has come with teaching lies to our children and letting our children deal with the lies when they become adults.  They filter through which lies of their Gentile church fathers (and even pagan holy days for fun and entertainment and manipulation) that they want to hold onto and start churches with as foundation, and which they will depart with.  We leave our children with more work than YHWH intended, all by forsaking Torah as parents.

Nevertheless, oftentimes when those children become adults and, because of the lack of upbringing in Torah from the parents, those adults will hear the Word in perhaps an ear-tickling church.  We get into many arguments amongst one another on the topic of where we have convocation and if that location is Biblical or if it is the school of demons, and if it is okay because, hey, at least they are getting the Word (even using the passage of Paul's words on at least the Gospel is getting preached).  We might even say the Lord can speak through anyone, even a donkey!  From the parsha we have an answer, found right in the middle of the kosher eating.  I mean, getting fed the Word from a "church" is considered nourishment, correct?  Our nourishment, then, must be kosher.
"If part of a carcass falls on any seed for sowing that has yet to be sown, it is clean.  But if water is put on the seed, and part of a carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you."  -- Leviticus 11:37-38 
We can break down the statement to the carcass being a dead man, the seed being the Word, and the water being the feeding to germination/growth, to make a Biblically accurate principle and answer.  This seed has yet to be sown, meaning that we are talking about people who need the Word.  The source can be a carcass, a dead man, giving them the Word and it is still "kosher," but that carcass cannot grow them in the Word.  They are not to get their nourishment from such sources.  It is unclean eating.  I went to a church recently where God told me to leave and said, "The food is unclean."  I guess I know why such a statement was said to me, considering the place had sorely tainted the Word.  One could not be watered there and be clean, because of its unclean attachments and leaven of the teaching.  So is it okay that someone goes into Osteen's Lakewood church (that was not the church I'm referring to, by the way) and hears the Word?  Perhaps, but it is certainly unclean if they continue to allow themselves to be watered there.  Choose wisely where you have have convocation as you observe the Sabbaths.

Shabbat Shalom,

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  Therefore, please cite properly.    

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Levitical Sacrifice -- Is It for Today?

It was a few months ago when my idea of the sacrifices had been radically changed.  One day, in discussion of the sacrifices and offerings, my husband said, "There is no sacrifice for intentional sins."  Of course I had to test that and look into Leviticus.  What I found was that for sacrifices regarding sins, these pertained to sins done in ignorance, unintentional sins, sins of bearing false witness, hidden uncleanness that is made known.  

Talk about understanding not having an allowance to sin so that grace may abound!  To the person in fellowship and Covenant with YHWH, it seems that sins committed are not really purposeful, and if they are (like in bearing false witness) there is some restitution that is to be considered to make amends.  Otherwise, though we fall daily, it is not our intention as lovers of Elohim to dishonor our covenant with Him.  

Though what of the burnt offering?  Many would consider that the burnt offering paid for the sins that are not otherwise specifically stated that I paraphrased above.  Yet, I have been challenged in considering that to be true, all the more when I looked into the Hebrew.  

First, we have to realize that the burnt offering didn't exactly pay for sin.  We get this from the Hebrew. --  
"If his sacrifice is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to present a male without blemish.  He is to offer it at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, so that he may be accepted before Adonai."  -- Leviticus 1:3 TLV
This offering is to be male.  When I looked up the Hebrew word used here (there are many that could be used to signify male), I was satisfied to see that the word used is "zakar."  In my Hebrew primer, I've first learned that zakar's immediate meaning is to remember.  Male and remember are the same Hebrew characters in this case, because male's job is to zakar/remember, as opposed to a woman's job as ezer kenegdo.  Now this possibly will answer some questions as to why sacrifices make a comeback in the Ezekiel temple.  They are a remembrance of what was done.  I can now also understand why some people say that the mitzvah regarding tzitziot only applies to men, as males are given the job to remember and that is the purpose of the fringes.

When we consider Adam as male and his job, we also realize that zakar's alternate meaning is to act in place.  Adam was to rule/dominate as God's ambassador on earth.  In this thought, the sacrifice is acting in place of Yeshua, until Yeshua came.  In the future (prophecy at the end of Ezekiel), it will be looking back in remembrance of Yeshua.  All of this we get from the sacrifice being zakar.

What we also see of the sacrifice is written even before verse 3:
Now Adonai called to Moses and spoke to him out of the Tent of Meeting, saying:  "Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them:  When anyone of you brings an offering to Adonai, you may present your offering of livestock, from the herd or from the flock."  -- Leviticus 1:2-3 
I found this very interesting.  The Hebrew text shows יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן .  That middle word means is telling us "from," but the words surrounding that middle word are of the same root -- Strong's #7126, to draw near.  With a double word statement, there is an emphasis here on that word.  Now you may say this is because the sacrifice is to brought near.  Yet, it is the sacrifice that you bring so that you may draw near.  If you want to really draw near, then this is how it is to be done.  Being stated first in Leviticus, it is like the head of the following offerings, as the peace and meal offerings are simply for fellowship as well.  The sacrifice is to draw near so that there may be fellowship with Adonai, and it is in this fellowship with Him that, working chronologically in how He mentions the sacrifices, that you are made aware of sins that you possibly didn't know existed, uncleanness you didn't realize you had, false witness you've born, especially that of YHWH Himself.  In order, the sacrifices state this process:  draw near, fellowship, cleansing and remittance of unknown uncleanness, hidden sins, and false witness.  Yet what of intentional sins?  A good tree does not bear bad fruit.  The heart is deceitful and commits lies about who we are and where we are found in Elohim.  If intentional sins are the fruit, it is time to test if we be found in the faith or if we are indeed faithless. 

There is one final thing I saw of this burnt offering, this offering made by fire. -- 
"Then Aaron's sons, the kohamin, shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat upon the wood that is on the fire which is atop the altar.  But its innards and its legs he is to wash with water.  The kohen should burn it all up as smoke on the altar, for a burnt offering made by fire -- a soothing aroma to Adonai."  -- Leviticus 1:8-9 
There is a switch here regarding the fire.  The first sentence that talks of the head and the fat uses the root word "esh," simply meaning fire.  However, when talking of the legs and body parts, the word used here is "ishah," a female version of this root.  Ishah also means wife.  It is the wife of Messiah who is His ishah, and of whom it is also said that she is His body [parts], extremities, like that which is burnt here and considered ishah.  It is the wife of Messiah who also is commissioned by Paul to present herself as the living sacrifice in Romans 12:1.  Paul, well-studied in Torah, could see that the sacrifice is placed down in 2 segments -- the head and the fat first, and then the legs and rest of body.  The head is said to be "esh," though the body parts are "ishah."  

The Head has offered Himself first as sacrifice before the rest of the body, as it is written even in Leviticus and seen in Yeshua's sacrifice.  In order to draw near for fellowship, His Body and Bride then offers herself in response.  Relationship.  Marriage.  Covenant.

Shalom,

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  Therefore, please cite properly.    

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pekudei: Covered in Glory and Grace

I am very eager to share with you an experience I had between Sunday night and when I woke up Monday morning.  In a dream there descended upon me a thick cloud.  With it I became acquainted with the earth's travailing.  I felt it in stages.  What also came was the acknowledgment of the evils of this world.  It was like I saw these things without physically seeing them.  They did not come alone but came with the understanding that God was angry.  I saw why He was angry.  It was as if this travailing, seeing the evils of the world, and the understanding of why God was angry, were all being downloaded into me with this cloud.  I thought I would suffocate, but I did not.  I could not contain all that there was to show, and so I said that it was too much.  The cloud lifted.  I did not die, but I cannot say that it didn't feel as if I could have died.  I left that experience in awe and fear of YHWH, and that He is holy.  I tested this cloud against Scripture and was reminded of times when others had a visitation of Yeshua (pre and post-incarnate) and fell as dead.  I remembered Daniel's experience and John's in Revelation.  I also remember the glory of YHWH coming to Isaiah and he thought he would die.  Later that Monday I got to reading the parsha and realized that this was the last of Exodus, when the glory cloud descended upon the finished tabernacle.  I was very pleased to see that YHWH's descent in the dream was preparing me for what I would read in the parsha. 

I want to talk about the glory cloud, but first I want to go over one more item that stuck out to me last week about the tabernacle furnishings, but I did not get to.  It is the laver.  I have looked at the church lately and wondered how much of it is still Roman.  I'm not talking about the politics and the clergy set-up, I'm talking about the physical set-up.  One day I just looked at churches and saw that it looks as if the inspiration is an amphitheater.  There's a crowd that gathers around a platform or stage, that holds the band and performers (including the pastor).  It reminds me of the gladiator days.  It's entertainment.  How much of it aligns with the tabernacle and temple set-up?  More so it aligns with Roman entertainment.  

I bet you would be pleased to know that the tabernacle does have something that refers to a platform or stage, and it is the laver.  It is located between the altar of burnt offering and the Holy Place (Exodus 40:30).  It is the Hebrew kiyor, and one of the definitions of this word says "a pulpit or platform."  Yet, hold on.  Before you are rest assured that your church's platform aligns with the Word's set-up, we have to study a bit more into the laver.  Exodus 38:8 tells us the laver is made of bronze from the mirrors of the serving women.  Mirrors.  So as they bend over to wash themselves they not only get a reflection through the water but through the mirrors.  A person on the pulpit/platform, ministering in music or word, must first reflect that back to themselves.  These are positions not to be taken lightly.  I have seen many, and have challenged myself likewise, that run at a chance to go up a platform for a performance or teaching for a camera, but scarcely go up with a mirror, a message that speaks to themselves, a worship that reflects the truth in their own hearts.  I cannot speak for the preaching aspect, but have spent time on a platform for worship in choir and in dance/banner/flag.  I once was under a director who told us that to be where we are (leading in worship) is to simply worship...and invite the audience to join you.  Good advice.  It is not a performance.

After all these items were built and set-up in their proper, YHWH-instructed, order, the glory cloud descended upon the tabernacle.  If we are missing a glory cloud, perhaps it is time to see if our set-up matches His instructions for set-up.  Yet if we claim to see a glory cloud, we ought to test the spirit of it.  I awoke on Monday testing the cloud of my dream and if it matched with others' experience in the Bible.  I had also then shared it with my husband, the heaviness upon me that I could suffocate from the information and from the presence, he reminded me of the Hebrew definition of the glory cloud.  Kavod (3519) does refer to good, riches, splendor, but it comes from kabad (3513 -- they have the same characters, vowels are not existent in ancient scrolls, b and v are the same character here) which means "to be heavy and weighty."   We see this is exactly the case at the end of the parsha when Moses could not even enter because of the glory cloud's presence, we can also see it in the haftarah (I Kings 8) when the kohanim could not even stand because of the presence of the glory cloud, and I'm also privileged to say I experienced it when I felt such a heaviness I thought I would suffocate from such presence.  I say all of this because when we are living in a time when we claim God's presence means laughter, rolling, twitching, and convulsing, we have to wonder if we have fallen for some perverse spirit instead.  That stuff just does not line up with Scripture, and honestly I'm still looking for the euphoria experience in Scripture, the experience where people walk away with the hairs on the back of their necks standing up and saying, "Oh that felt so good," because I see that a lot in our day, under the claim of a glory cloud descent. More than anything in Scripture, I'm seeing awe as the result of such experiences of the Ruach's descent.  Well, there was ministering -- as in the giving of the Ten Words and Shavuot in the beginning of Acts -- but again what were they ministering?

I had initially decided to touch on the glory and challenge the reader to test their beliefs of the presence of God's glory lining up with Scripture, but after reading the Brit Chadashah portion (John 1) there happens to be another "g" word I'm going to toss out for challenge.  It is the subject of grace.  
Many preachers are coming against this greasy grace theology.  I'm wondering how perverted the "doctrine of grace," has come from the time it was given such a title as "doctrine of grace."  I challenge the reader to define grace Biblically.  Our initial reply would probably be, "Unmerited favor," but I ask you to consider if that definition matches any principle or case in Scripture wherein grace was bestowed.  You may say that grace was a NT concept and so therefore we have to apply it as it pertains to the canceling of sin's debts due to what Yeshua did on the cross, a favor then unmeriated.  Yet, I am challenging you in this because I spent some time in the Greek this morning in John 1, where we see that grace and truth came with Yeshua.  Then it continues to beg me to revisit grace as the passage throws the word out there so much.  

When I look up charis it tells me it is NOT a NT concept, but that it is related directly to the Hebrew 2580 kana.  This must the stuff that Noah had (Genesis 6:8), Moses had (Exodus 33:12), David had, and many others.  When I look up charis (Greek from the NT) it tells me more than anything that grace is the recipient's response to what Yeshua did.  Hence, it says it all over the place, that grace here can be linked to gratitude and thankfulness.  Response, response.  Yet, I have to merge it with the Hebrew because it is a Hebraic principle.  When I study kana it is talking not only of favor, but of an adornment, of elegance.  Grace is an adornment!  So then it is a response, as the adornments are a result of being a bride.  

I want to discuss the elegance part of the definition.  It is easy for us to see grace as elegance when we picture a ballerina.  After all, we call her graceful (elegant) -- grace being the root of the adjective.  What do we mean when we say she is graceful?  Does it mean that she is favored without merit?  In terms of dance, it means that she is strong and controlled.  She is so strong and controlled in her movements that she takes what is otherwise very difficult to do and she can perform it (response) as if it were second nature...better than second nature, she does it as if it is now her new first nature.  The grace of God is that by the Holy Spirit we are controlled and we have the strength to do what we could not otherwise do, and do it as if it were second, or new, nature, this second/new nature (walking Torah as a new creature) being as fruit in response to what Yeshua did for us on the cross. 

Since Torah is God's own character, then walking Torah is pleasing to God -- a response to what He did, and a beautiful, heavenly adornment.   John 1:16 tells of "grace for grace" in Yeshua.  Having further studied the matter, "grace for grace" is like being changed from "glory to glory" ... and we happened to read of both this week. :-)

Shabbat Shalom,

Natasha

*Disclosure:  With the exception of Scripture and quotations, the information on this site is meant to be viewed solely on this site.  Any reference of its contribution is not to be parted with the reference of this site, nor without reference to its contributor.  Therefore, please cite properly.    

Friday, March 4, 2016

Vayak'hel: Getting to Work

Set-apartness.  It has been on my mind these past couple of weeks.  It is always a pleasure to see the parsha ministering to you where you are.  If my mind hadn't been on set-apartness because of a real-life struggle, then perhaps I would not have read the text as plainly as I saw it this week.

The children of Israel have received a second chance from God.  What is beautiful about the turn-out of last week's parsha is that in God writing the same covenant upon new tablets, He was giving the prophecy of the later prophecy of the New Covenant.  He said that He would write His Laws upon new hearts, hearts of flesh, no longer on stone.  Same Law, new tablet.  

We used to think that stories like Ezekiel and Hosea, called to perform actions in their lives to serve as a picture to others, was a rare thing.  More often than not, it appears to actually be the norm.  It is a joke that Moses was the first to break the Law as he threw down the tablets, but actually his actions just gave Israel a picture of what they did.  When we left off with the parsha last week, God was saying take up new tablets and He would cut the same covenant.  Same Covenant, renewal to it.  The New Covenant prophecy.  

This all may seem so basic to many readers, but Reader, it is sad to see how many are struggling with the foundation of their belief in Yeshua, what He did, and why He had to do it, which greatly influences their attitude towards Torah.  It is a struggle to those who have forsaken the Torah, because it is hidden in the Torah and in the prophets 1) the prophecy of the New (Renewed) Covenant, and 2) Why it was needed.  Yeshua reiterates this in the cause of remarriage, speaking to Covenant people about remarriage -- that is, they have initially married in God's eyes.  He is not speaking of those who married outside of Covenant, in rebellion to Covenant, like homosexual or unequally yoked marriages.  God is not obligated to accept what we call marriage, but marriage while in Covenant to God has rules.  The rule that Yeshua reiterated from Torah was that if a man who puts away his wife remarries, except in the case of adultery (some say fornication -- the Greek refers to sexual sin against a spouse), he commits adultery.  In such cases, adultery would free the man of his marriage because the Covenant has been broken and because her penalty is death anyway and death would free him anyway.  To let her live and be divorced rather than stoned is mercy.  However, to the walking-dead adulterous spouse, she is not free, but is under the curse of her adultery in divorce until death frees her -- the death of her spouse she victimized in her adultery.  These are Hebraic foundations of marriage, and Yeshua being the spouse died to free the adulterous wife from her curse of divorce.  In this freedom, she may remarry.  The happily ever after is that she remarries Him.  Renewal to Covenant, new tablet made possible by the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord gave in prophecy in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36.

Understanding second chances and renewals of covenant, we are at a parsha that is fresh off this renewal in the wilderness.  After YHWH passes by and gives His attributes and cuts His covenant, what does He say?  Some say He said, "Get to work," as we see the tabernacle is now being constructed.  Let's look again.
Then Moses assembled all the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael together and said to them, "These are the words which Adonai commanded you to do.  Work is to be done for six days, but the seventh day is a holy day for you, a Shabbat of complete rest to Adonai.  Whoever does any work then will die."  -- Exodus 35:1-2 TLV
First, I want to stress the last sentence.  YHWH says the man who does work on the Sabbath will die.  It is very easy for us to fall into the belief that this doesn't stand.  I will forewarn that to say such things is like the person who thinks that eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil does not end in death because death was not immediate.  This is almost appearing to be the same principle.  You may not see death immediately, but it is sure.  To be clear, we as a country have abandoned God as King because we have abandoned His Laws for our kingdom and instead regulated our own, and so His justice of stoning people who commit certain sins cannot stand today, but is still His justice, Beloved.  Remember that.

The first thing God said in this renewal/second chance, which I am mirroring to our first commission in the Renewed Covenant is to 1) rest, and 2) be set apart.  Before any work gets done, you must first be set apart.  We see it right here, fresh off the renewal to the Law, YHWH commands you keep the Shabbat.  The Shabbat is a rest and the Shabbat is a symbol of being set-apart as the day itself is to be set apart.  You must recognize the importance of being set apart.  We have too many that are doing work for YHWH's kingdom without any set-apartness, slapping hands with false organizations that worship false gods, etc.  I will testify of myself that early last year I joined in on an event for 40 Days for Life, which is a Catholic-based campaign, full of praying to Mary/Semiramis, rosaries, erected images of Guadalupe, etc.  Though I did not partake of those prayers, I stood with them and therefore partook of that group.  In this, I did not set God apart in my "work" in this abortion holocaust.  Today I stand out there with my husband and children alone if that is what it amounts to.  I am not without peace to be alone -- it is the call I see of many in the Bible, who did far greater work than we have done.  Only then, after YHWH established the set-apartness, could work begin.  Specifically, it is the work that matched what was already in heaven (the tabernacle was an example of a heavenly reality, Hebrews 8:5).  Honestly, that is the only work that will matter -- the work that matches a heavenly reality.  I remember that as I go about "kingdom business" and ministry -- if this won't be done in glory, wouldn't be sang in glory, wouldn't be commemorated in glory, wouldn't be celebrated in glory, then I need to learn to set it down so that I may be set apart and be found matching with a heavenly reality.

That is what I saw in the tabernacle.  Early this morning I sat side by side with Exodus 25 & 26, and this week's parsha and I compared the instructions YHWH gave about the tabernacle with what was actually built.  It matched.  Of course it did, but it was like wholeness to see it.  I'm still smiling as I type it.  Don't you want to match God's instructions, His character, His Law for our peace and well-being?  

A treasure I saw in the Hebrew I'm eager to share with you... When I studied into the the items used to build the tabernacle, I was struck with the boards that made up the walls.  Board here is Hebrew 7175, which means to split off, likened to a plank, and also...the deck of a ship.  Each had 2 supports, which is the Hebrew yad, meaning hand.  Unity.  A little over a year ago I had a dream of a ship I was on, along with many other people.  Deception would follow on this ship, a false prophet, and 2 beasts I would recognize and call out; but before I saw all of that, I remember putting my hands on the boarded walls of the ship.  It was warm, it had a pulse.  This ship was a body.  The tabernacle is a ship.  It's boarded walls are the people who are holding on one to another with their hands (yad) to make unity.  However, based upon what Yeshua said to those who accused Him of operating under Beelzebub  -- "If Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?"  -- I gather that even satan has unity in his kingdom, for right now anyway.  So then Beloved Reader, doing something for the sake of unity means nothing for the kingdom of God, and might even mean joining with the wrong spirit and working for the wrong kingdom, if it isn't first done in set-apartness.

Shabbat Shalom,

 Natasha

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