Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parashat Pesach

This week brings us to a break of chronological reading and lands us in a reading about Pesach (Passover).  The reading comes out of Exodus 33 - 34:16, and itself doesn't explain much about Pesach, but a confirmed command to keep the Feast.  The purpose for what is written in this parsha explains why this, a many other things in Covenant, had to be confirmed, and so we'll explore what was written and why it was written (or rewritten).  

You will remember that Elohim called Moses up to Sinai to receive the written contract of the marriage Covenant, otherwise known as the Ten Commandments.
--- We know what when two people come together in marriage, they need a written contract of the covenant for the validity of the marriage.  I can say someone is my husband all I want, but unless there is a contract with the names of my husband and myself, there isn't a valid marriage.  Marriages are contracts, and they come with promises and terms -- promises like love, honor, and cherish, and terms like faithfulness/fidelity and placing the other in priority.  These days, these promises and terms are verbally said, but signed for on the written contract.  With the Ten Commandments, you find the same situation:  it isn't just "God" entering marriage.  He states His actual Name, just as marriage certificates don't just say "man and woman," but they say the names of the man and woman in this covenant.  He also states His promises and terms.  Failure to abide by these terms -- which all these terms are really just one, love and the highest byproduct being faithfulness/fidelity -- is a breech in the covenant and a removal thereof. --- 
While Moses was on the mountain, the people were in the very act of breaking the covenant he was up there receiving (Exodus 32).  This act was when they made themselves a golden calf as their god and committed a spiritual adultery against the LORD their God.  God is so upset with them and commands Israel take off her ornaments (Exodus 33:5).  Her ornaments are her bridely adornments from her Husband.  He says take off her bridely adornments because He is ready to put her away, just as we are Biblically able to do when our spouses adulterate against us (Matthew 19:9).  He forgives her and agrees to rewrite the Covenant.  The glory of God is this:  When Israel adulterates repeatedly (which she did), which means she is therefore out of covenant and under the curse as adulterer and not free to remarry (only victims in the marriage are free to remarry in adultery cases, Matthew 19:9), and God ultimately frees her from the curse by dying (death breaks the covenant, Romans 7:3), therefore breaking the first covenant that she breeched and made a curse to her, freeing her to reenter Covenant and marry Him as Yehoshua the Messiah, her Kinsman-Redeemer.  Reentering covenant when it seemed impossible... Now, THAT is Good News and that is the glory of God.

You see a repeat of the Covenant terms and promises, because it is the same Covenant re-offered.  The glory of God is the Way in which the Covenant of Marriage is renewed in the Brit Chadashah -- translated as "Renewed Covenant," modernly accepted as "New Covenant."

Setting this aside for a moment, I wanted to touch on what happened before the rewriting of the tablets. Elohim is upset and the marriage is beyond 'on the rocks,' with grounds to be put away.  Yet, He still remembers His promises to their fathers, and His mercy allows that He will still let them enter the Promised Land (Exodus 33:1-5).  He says He will send a messenger before them, most translations accept this as an angel.  I intreat you to read Moses' response in the rest of chapter 33, and challenge yourself if you were in this same position.

Moses replies to this mercy, "If Your Presence is not going, do not lead us up from here," (Exodus 33:15).  These are a people that are in the wilderness, being prepared for, and traveling to, a land promised.  There is an opportunity to go, and to go with an angel in God's mercy, but Moses says that isn't enough.  How many times have we been in a wilderness, being prepared for a promised land, waiting on God to bring us there, waiting on God for something, possibly in the wait we sin against Him because we are so impatient.  "I'm waiting on the LORD to deliver me to..."  "I'm waiting on the LORD to bring me into..."  And how many of us would jump at the opportunity to go, with an angel before us, not having fully reconciled ourselves unto the LORD?  The question is are you waiting on the LORD to do something that is a promised land to you, or are you waiting on the LORD to be with the LORD?  Do you want His hand or His presence?  Do you want healing or God?  Do you want heaven or God?  Moses' response is beautiful because it reveals the sincerity in love towards the most High, in that the wilderness with God is heaven compared to the promised land without Him.  It is the difference in perspective that heaven is heaven and He dwells there, or that He is heaven.

I have to reveal to you that I am not just a speaker of words, but really speaking a testimony as God opened my eyes in my own situation.  It was just yesterday that I impatiently blurted out that I was sick of waiting for certain things.  Just like the wilderness, it's like a waiting period until something I can call my own, my own "land" per say.  I was strongly convicted as Brant read this passage to me today, how many times I have said I am waiting on God to bring me somewhere, fulfill a time in my life, bring me to the completion of a preparation, etc.  I seem to mention the things I am waiting on more than I mention the joy of being with Him while I wait.  There is so much joy in these preparatory, building, and feeding times.  The relationship therein is so sweet.  It's like heaven to me.


N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Monday, April 14, 2014

Passover: Do This In Remembrance

You and I are not ignorant to celebrations in remembrance.  We celebrate the 4th of July in remembrance of our independence day.  Many of us celebrate birthdays in remembrance of event of our, or the loved ones', birth.  We celebrate anniversaries in remembrance of the covenant entered.  It goes on.

Many often say we need not remember days in the Bible and their Elohim-appointed feasts on the specific dates in the Bible, because these things we remember daily.  This same excuse would not fly easily for a man telling his wife they need not keep an anniversary because they are married every day of the year.  Or could you tell your child that we need not celebrate a birthday because they were alive all the other 364 days?  Or how about the government banning your fireworks on the 4th of July because we are free all year long?  Needless to say, this excuse does not fly over well with God.

On top of remembrance, we also acknowledge rehearsals.  I know of no wedding, unless it was a courthouse wedding, wherein a rehearsal wasn't scheduled.  Even invitations to the rehearsal must be made.  Surely, it is not difficult for us to understand the appointed times were rehearsals, and the Bible full of invitations to these rehearsal times.  

In fact, the term "Feasts" in the Bible does not primarily mean to eat, though Elohim understands our love to feast -- we must love feasts, as we created extra-Biblical ones for them, even forsaking the Biblical for them.  The term that is translated "feasts" means appointment and rehearsal.  Some of them are still a rehearsal, because the event has not yet happened.  We do still keep these rehearsals as commanded in both the Old and New Testaments.  It is not wholly unable to understand.  Just as I showed up to my own wedding rehearsal because I wanted to be ready for my wedding, so will I show up to my wedding rehearsals in Messiah, because I don't want to be lost in that most glorious event.

Yet, some appointed times have been fulfilled and are kept in remembrance just the same as you keep your wedding day in remembrance with an anniversary, etc.  Some in the Old Testament, like the Passover, were a remembrance of deliverance out of Egypt and a rehearsal for the moment of Messiah the Passover Lamb.  To us, it is strictly remembrance, as we are told, "This do in remembrance."

Tonight starts Nisan 15, otherwise known as the evening of the LORD's Passover.  This evening is truly when He "passed over" Israel in Egypt.  Let us first consider the establishment of the Passover and roll into the fulfillment and remembrance:
Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of the month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house:  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls, every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year:  ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:  and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  Exodus 12:3-6 KJV
A couple of key points to remember that this passage is telling us:  1) bring the lamb in on Nisan 10, 2) keep the lamb 4 days until Nisan 14, 3) slaughter the lamb in the evening.
And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.  And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.  -- Exodus 12:7-8 KJV
This is the commanded feast, the Seder as it is called, and the night that the LORD passed over (v. 12). A few more things we gather from those last two verses are:  1) take the blood of the lamb and strike the side and top door posts, 2) have a feast of the roasted lamb that evening with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  The following verses continue to tell us that the lamb must be eaten that evening, any that remains till morning has to be burned (v. 10); that the feast is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread and lasts 7 days (vv. 14-15); that the 1st and 7th day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are Sabbaths (v. 16).  Further confirmation of when the Feast of Unleavened Bread (including the fast of leaven) is said in verse 18, which tells us the feast starts the evening after the 14th of Nisan, which is technically the 15th of Nisan, seeing as Hebraic days start with sunset.

Before we get into New Testament fulfillments and our remembrance, I would like to discuss the 14th of Nisan slaughter and the 15th of Nisan Passover.  I quoted the KJV above, which says to slaughter the lamb "in the evening," (v. 6) but then continues to go on to say "eat the flesh in that night" (v. 8).  The translation seems to allude that these are the same evening/night.  We know this absolutely CANNOT be, as the feast/Seder of Nisan 15 (evening) is a Sabbath, and you cannot slaughter a lamb on the Sabbath -- we'll tie this into Messiah in a bit.  The editors of my KJV study Bible have blessed their readers with adding notes of correction when the KJV text has mistranslated.  This is one of those cases.  The Hebrew of v. 6 in regards to the slaughter of the lamb, does not say "in the evening" -- which would imply the slaughter was on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (illegal), or the night before which constituted the start of Nisan 14.  The latter cannot be neither, as this would not match up with the time in which Messiah was offered -- to be discussed.  The Hebrew, instead, actually says to slaughter the lamb "between the two evenings."  What is between two evenings? -- Day.  The lamb is slaughtered in the day of Nisan 14, before the evening brings on the Nisan 15, the Seder/Feast of Unleavened Bread.

I mention this, and the error in version, because I was a strong KJV-only believer, and have come to submit, rather, to the study of original tongues in my journey to be closer to my Lord.  I still read this version, but the infallible Word is the original tongues.  We bless the translators in their efforts, and honor the blood shed that went into translations, but knowing also that some have deliberately changed things and therefore always striving in our learning of original tongues, their idioms, and their context.

Starting from the instructions at the beginning until the Feast, let us consider our Beloved Messiah's fulfillment of these events.

1) Nisan 10 -- lamb is brought in by families to be prepared for slaughter 4 days later.  Lamb is to be spotless and inspected thoroughly during this time.
 ---> Messiah is brought into Jerusalem on a donkey, while the people cry out "Hosanna" (this fulfills another prophecy, Daniel 9, Ezekiel 43-44, Zechariah 9) on Nisan 10.  The religious people try Him 4 days for blemish by their words and testing of Him against Scripture.  Though they hate Him, truly they find no blemish.  Therefore, He is most suitable for a Passover Lamb and soon to be slaughtered.

2) Nisan 14 -- lamb is to be offered.
---> Erev (evening that starts the day of) Nisan 14, Messiah has a Seder with His disciples.  This evening starts the 14th of Nisan.  The true Seder isn't until the next evening after the lamb is slaughtered, but seeing that He is the Passover Lamb, He eats at the start of the day wherein He will be offered.  He reveals that He is such, and commissions us as He serves the meal to do this in remembrance of Him.  After His evening Seder, He prays in Gethsemane, is captured, tried, convicted, and by daylight He is offered at the same time of the morning offering and Passover slaughter, to the hour.  Hence, "between the two evenings" is most properly fulfilled.

3) Coming upon Erev Nisan 15 -- Seder, Feast of Unleavened Bread - high Sabbath
--->  Before the sun sets to bring about this high Sabbath, the Jews desired to break His legs to quicken His death that He may be buried before the evening's Sabbatical Feast of Unleavened Bread.  He is already dead by this time, and He must be in order to match the Exodus timeframe.

4) The LORD's Passover -- Erev Nisan 15
--->  Since it is finished by that evening when the LORD is to pass by (remembrance of Egypt), the LORD therefore passes over by His accepted sacrifice and payment that was just paid.

Truly, it is finished.  Finished does not mean forsake the remembrance, just like consummation didn't merit me right to forsake the remembrance of the day I got married.  Finished also does not mean reinvent.  Reinvention invites the cup of devils.  Even Paul said keep the feast (I Corinthians 5:8), and keep it pure by purging out the leaven that is the cup of devils (I Corinthians 10:21), such leaven that are the extra-Biblical ordinances that have replaced the LORD's passover table or merged with it.

N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Acharei Mot: "After the Death"

Chapter sixteen kicks off this week's reading.  It is the chapter of the Day of Atonement, known as Yom Kippur, a Biblical Fall Feast Messiah will fulfill in His second coming to the day.  The practices of the atonement having been fulfilled, Him being our High Priest, we today find atonement and intercession for our souls to approach the most Holy Place, the throne of grace, and call Him therein "Abba," (Hebrews 4:14-16).  I want to touch lightly on the practices to which I am referring.

The parsha is so named "After the death," and proceeds to tell us the practices of atonement on this named Day of Atonement, after the death of two of Aaron's sons.  It is so important to realize that the chapter starts off saying, "After the death," because this tells you the context following not only has to do with the Day of Atonement and its practices, but the death of those sons -- namely, their practices in regards to the atonement that gave reason for their death.

One thing I absolutely love about Elohim is that He is perfect, and wrapped in this perfection is purpose.  My husband calls me a type A personality.  He dearly wishes to understand the things that go through my mind, my thought processes, and reasons why I do things the way I do them, and why they must be that way.  I cannot even understand it myself, except that my personality calls that I adore God in His perfection.  To everything there is a reason, though it may not be so clear to the finite mind initially.  The Scriptures tell us it is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the honor of kings to search it out, and though at times the reasons of His ways are concealed, I love searching them out...because when I search them out, I see this perfected purpose and connection, this chain link (appreciating this because of my own chain link personality), and I am in awe over His wisdom and care.  It only feeds my trust, adoration, and worship of His majesty.

Back to purpose.  You will remember that Nadab and Abihu (the sons who died) offered incense with strange fire back in chapter ten.  All of a sudden they are consumed.  What in the world happened in this practice that made them utterly dead before YHWH?  It is easier to understand the reason, and the practices in which they attempted to approach God, when we consider the proper practices herein stated in chapter sixteen, and their purposes.  As we read, it is perfectly okay and commanded to offer that incense, and chapter ten strongly implies by using the word "strange" that the wrong practice was in the fire, because it gives the wrong purpose.  Scripture doesn't tell us what fire they used, but in chapter sixteen it does tell us what fire you are to use and the New Testament reveals that purpose.  The fire is to be taken from the coals that burned the burnt offering.  Therefore, the burning of the incense (intercession) is directly related, and comes from, the offering.  Any other fire is strange fire.  Yehoshua Messiah says (John 14:6) He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man comes unto the Father but by Him.  If you use any other sacrifice or any other practice outside of the Messiah and His sacrifice, it is strange unto the Judge and you have no justification in His presence.  There remains no intercession (incense) on your behalf without the Messiah's sacrifice.

What I wanted to discuss further is found at the end of the parsha, chapter eighteen verses twenty-two and twenty-three.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind:  it is abomination.  Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith:  neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto:  it is confusion.  (KJV)
I don't utilize my KJV with Strong's as much as I used to, but I happened to have it in the car with me when I was waiting in a parking lot, on the day I went through this portion of the week's reading.  So then when I read it, I read exactly as I posted above.  I wondered immediately why the translators chose to use "abomination" for homosexuality, but "confusion" for sexual relations with an animal.  It seemed to me this was just as disgusting.  Yet, when I rested on the word "confusion" I immediately thought of Babel, which was so named because it means "confusion," since the Lord confused the language there. So then, Strong's in the back of my KJV in hand, I started to look up these two words -- "confusion" in Leviticus 18:23, and "Babel" in Genesis 10:9.  You will see that they are two different words, Babel is Strong's 894, and confusion is 8397.  Yet (and I was so excited to see this!), they come from the same 1101, balal, which means to mix.  You will also notice that this is the word used in Genesis 10:9 when referring to Babel.  Emphasis added, it is as follows:
Therefore is the name of it called Babel (894, confusion that results in Babylon); because the LORD did there confound (1101, meaning "to mix") the language of all the earth:  and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.  (KJV)
Now, you and I know that certain mixing is absolutely forbidden -- light and darkness, being one we often refer.  Yet, we cannot say that all mixing (Strong's 1101) is forbidden, because YHWH Himself does mixing.  He mixed the language in Babel, and this same Hebrew word is also used with certain offerings in the mixing of flour and oil, etc.  So therefore, some mixing is indeed Divine.  For example, twenty-three chromosomes from my husband mixed with twenty-three from me, and these in Divine declaration made a human being.

God can declare proper mixing, and with this revelation of mixing for Divine purposes, a very dangerous act has been practiced since before Babel.  This act is when man takes Divine mixing as his own, as an act of God to be as God, and as result he makes gods or makes himself as one.  It is the act of genetic engineering.  I am not talking about your GMO corn and soy fields.  It goes way bigger than this, and genetic engineering has been around much longer.  If you ever research some of these supposed gods of Babylon, the gods before Babylon, after, the gods of Greece, the Syrian gods, you notice something quite unusual and alike -- they are mixtures of animal and man.  Even Semiramis, a human in form and the mother of paganism, came down as an egg-laying rabbit.

Strong's "confusion" used in Leviticus 18:23, says this mixing is unnatural.  It is very natural for a man and woman to want each other and that want serve in the purpose of Divine mixing to breed another human being.  When we go outside of the governing of Torah as the proper and Divine order to make something happen, we have taken out the natural, and this is forbidden.  It is not natural that there is a practice today of mixing pig DNA with human DNA to make a superhuman.  It was not natural to make those astrological gods that were, and still are, worshipped.  It is obvious that such mixing must give a supernatural effect, even genetic engineering of crops makes them supernatural and virtually unable to die.  In speaking of this practice of genetic engineering of humans, it is against God's natural order.  It is not natural.  It makes gods or makes you one, and this is high treason.

Tying this back into Acharei Mot -- "After the Death" --
It is not natural and not destined for man to live immortal as these practices aim to achieve.  It is destined for man to die once, and after the death, the judgment.  Through the one Way of Messiah, we have a way to be found justified before the Judge.  Any other way is strange fire and our doom the same as Aaron's sons.

 N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tazria: "She Bears Seed"

This week's parsha continues the Torah of cleanliness, as it pertains to two separate subjects -- what's within the body coming outside (seed and blood), and what is outside of the body reflecting what's within (leprosy).

The first subject is what this parsha is named after -- "she bears seed."  You will read about the laws of cleanliness when bearing seed, and that there is a difference between bearing a male child vs. bearing a female child.  I cannot find a straight answer for why, but one thing that we will notice is that a woman's uncleanliness with a male child lasts a week, "as in the days of her monthly separation."  The average woman's 'monthly separation' lasts about one week, and so this time is mirrored in her delivery of a male child.  Also with a male child, her uncleanliness ends with the circumcision of the male child on the eighth day.  

You will remember that the eighth day circumcision is a part of the Abrahamic covenant.  Yet, it appears in the Mosaic?  This doesn't make sense for those who believe one covenant demolishes the other, especially that of the New ridding any of the Old Testament covenant (namely, the Mosaic).  If the Noahic covenant rainbow that still appears after a storm doesn't prove to us that covenants stand, then the appearance of the Abrahamic covenant within the Mosaic should grant us the reason to research our beliefs.  Even so, Messiah said not one word of the Torah would be done away with until heaven and earth pass away, and then all will be fulfilled (Matthew 5:18).  I awoke on planet earth this morning, still awaiting the promises of the Lord; and so since it has not passed away and I am still waiting certain fulfillments, these words in the Torah are worth my studying.

Settling that I have not reached an end to the "why" on the times of uncleanliness, and differences of these times between the born sexes, we will just retract back to the born sexes themselves.  It is, after all, what the parsha is named after.  She bears seed, and it is a blessing that she does.  I am convinced that the uncleanliness was not the center of this event, but that it was the child being born.  Perhaps that is why the uncleanliness is very simply and quickly stated, and perhaps my questions that focus so much on the uncleanliness rather than the child, are proof that I live in this generation where we are more concerned with ourselves and what childbirth does to us, rather than what bearing a child means in Elohim's kingdom.  Read a portion of Psalm 127 --
Look, children are an inheritance from YHWH.  The fruit of the womb is the reward.  As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.  They are not ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gate.  -- vv. 3-5
I may be called a little biased because I am on my third child.  Yet, before she was conceived, I was absolutely convinced of a restoration to the days of old, restoration to "Be fruitful and multiply," and that the failure to do so was what Satan wanted, and that it was a rebellion against a commandment, that it was selfishness, with me denying Elohim more to His kingdom.  I was convinced of the Bible's generations being more Biblically sound in their belief that it was a shame if a family name was cut off for failure to produce seed.  I am also now convinced that although many say they do not want to raise a child on this evil earth, deciding against childbearing due to this, that the imbalance that leans towards evil is fed by those who refuse to raise up children to the Lord.  It is a hard thing to hold captive the world's thoughts of childbearing, and set them in obedience to Messiah.  Children are a blessing.  Elohim took set a space aside out of His universe to create and raise life; and by His grace He allows man, in His image, to do the same.  Children are for Elohim, not myself.  My body is also for Elohim, and not myself.  Therefore, my body is for His use, when He wants to use it, for the raising of children to Himself regardless of how many children He opens the womb to be conceived.

The second subject is about uncleanliness of the exterior via leprosy, and how leprosy is a physical manifestation of a spiritual uncleanliness within.  I had found myself asking why this doesn't happen anymore.  By this, we would know who was infectious spiritually (which would likewise manifest in us physically) and stay far away.  Leprosy today is very specific, singled-out to the very precise infection caused by the molecular structure of two bacterial strains.  These strains result in certain symptoms that are progressive.  The physical body (skin) dies.  The eyesight diminishes.  It becomes harder for air to enter your respiratory tract for proper breath.  Another symptom is that the nerves die, making the senses incompetent in their purposes.  Without senses, we hurt ourselves without the acknowledgment that comes by pain via the senses.  We can clearly understand why this infection is used Biblically to describe the natural, unrepentant man in his sins.  The more we progress in our sins, the more we do not see though we have eyes, the more we become hardened in the Ruach's entering and He cannot flow through us, the more we are numbed to sin and continue hurting ourselves to our utter destruction, and the more we physically die by manifestations like these.

It takes but a moment in thought to realize that these physical manifestations in their purposes of revealing the spiritually unclean still exist today.  If you read chapter thirteen, physical manifestations of uncleanliness include much more than the two bacterial strains that make the specific infection called leprosy.  Skin infections, in general, are mentioned and are classified into a level of leprosy.  Today these 'little' infections are forsaken as being unclean, and we consider only the fullness of leprosy in its extreme as this unclean disease.  It reminded so much of how, today, the extreme offenses are sin and uncleanliness before Elohim, but the little offenses (by our definition) are not accepted as sins worth repentance.  My, how we have induced the disease of leprosy within ourselves by the progression in allowing the little things to be accepted until we are so numb in our senses that we are, today, considering acceptance of even the extreme (named abominations) things!

If we accept that physical manifestations of leprosy included far more infections that the two strains, than we can very much accept, and see, that Elohim still uses physical manifestations to declare uncleanliness.  We were just speaking of the time of women earlier.  It is a time when one infection manifests in almost all women -- acne.  Does not this physical manifestation coincide with stated the time of uncleanliness so that we can say that the physical is still so directly connected to something more?  

We live in very liberal times.  Laws get revised to allow more freedoms, and we complain about it.  We complain because of the evil that is able to now physically manifest due to the revisions.  We are very offended when we see people so bluntly in their uncleanliness and abominations, along the streets, at our workplace, serving as our grocery cashier, etc.  However, just like leprosy made the congregation aware of the unclean and a warning to stay away, so do these physical manifestations of evil (by such freedoms that Elohim allowed to reveal the darkness) make us aware of the unclean and warn us to stay far, far, away.

Surely, there are many things manifested physically on us and surrounding us that are screaming a much bigger picture.  The physical reveals the spiritual.  Let us seek Messiah's healing of our senses, that we may accept sin as He sees it, that we may see and know the call to repentance.


N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Shmini: "Eighth"

Eighth.  Well, if we are going to talk numbers, let's talk numbers.  Math is one of my favorite subjects.  Actually, the more I grow, the more appreciation I have for all core subjects.  I love history because of the cycles of life and times, and when we see what has been done we will see what will be done.  I come to accept and understand this by the Bible.  The author of Ecclesiastes even said it himself, there is nothing new under the sun; what will be done has been done.  From this aspect and truth, I come to accept and love numbers, which means that I love math.  I love numbers because when you think about 'what will be done has been done' you think of the numbers that surrounded what had been done, and that almost always will accompany what will be done.  For 40 days it rained during the Flood.  It was a trial-some time.  For 40 years Israel wandered the wilderness.  This was also a time of trial.  Forty years passed in the book of Acts before the destruction of the temple.  This was also a trial-some time for Yehudah to accept Messiah.  So you see this consistency in numbers, which means that this is a science.  It is math that meets science.  Therefore, I love history and what it makes of numerical values into a math; I love that this math is such an absolute that it is a perfect science; and I love that this science is portrayed and explained in such an art of communication that it is a language art.  Therefore, I love history, science, math, and language arts, because I love the Ancient of Days, I love the Mathematician, I love the Scientist, I love the Communicator of our Creation.

Going back to math... I love math, and what is math other than absolute numbers?  This week's parsha means eighth.  The number eight, in Scripture, means new beginnings.  I mentioned this before, and it is a very curious interpretation amongst some believers, one that intrigues me as well.  It is the understanding of this earth's time, based up on the meanings of numbers -- specifically, what numbers have been and therefore will continue to be.  Elohim created heaven and earth in 6 days, and rested the seventh.  The seventh is His Sabbath -- in fact, the meaning of "Sabbath" is seventh.  Scripture also tells us that a day is as a thousand years (a millennium) in prophetical time, and has used this prophetical interpretation when it comes to the end times.  We also know that when it comes to the end times, there are many believers that hold to Genesis six's statement of 120 years and man will be no more.  To these believers, this word is as dually-prophetic is all the other prophecies (having both immediate and future fulfillments).  Another example of a dual-prophecy would be end times in Daniel.  Anti-Christ is the future fulfillment of that prophecy, but the more immediate fulfillment was that of Antiochus Epiphanes.  So then, 120 years meant the Flood would come in a literal 120 years, but that the earth would see 120 jubilee years and be no more.  One-hundred twenty jubilee years are 6,000 years (6 millenniums), and see no more.  We know that Scripture tells us Messiah will come again and rule for 1,000 years (a millennium) and when this is finished, we shall have a new beginning.  Remember, the number eight means new beginnings.  We also know that Messiah is our rest.  So then, when the 120 jubilee years are fulfilled (6,000 years), and we have reached the fullness of 6,000 years, we enter the 7th millennium (7 being a number of completion and also meaning rest) as the millennium of Messiah's reign.  This would be the end proclaimed in the beginning -- 6 of work for heaven and earth, 7th was rest, with one day being as a thousand years.  Again, what will be done has already been done.  

What comes after the fullness of the seventh millennium, after Messiah's literal reign?  Scripture tells us there will be new beginnings...new heaven and new earth.  In the frame of time, this would be the start of the eighth (new beginnings) millennium, which actually would end time altogether.  This parsha reading (Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47; II Samuel 6:1-19; Acts 10:9-22, 34-35) is about new beginnings.  It is named "Eighth" and what it entails is all about what should be the result of being a new creature, the result of your new beginning:  set-apartness.

Herein you read about the standard of cleanliness, and you will see that Elohim does not fail to leave out the smallest detail of your life that is subject to cleanliness.  He is very much involved with what goes into the body (like your foods, what your eyes see, your ears hear, etc) and what goes out of the body (like blood and babies).  He is the Lord who sanctifies you (sets you apart), and there is much of us -- indeed, every part of us, which He does not fail to mention -- that needs sanctifying!

He sets you apart.  Let us not forget that is the very truth of the words "holy" and "sanctified."  These mean to be set-apart, and to be so because He is set-apart.  In Elohim's creation, children are the extension of their parents, and you are either a child of Elohim as Father or you are a child of the devil your father.  Hence, to be sanctified is to be in the image of His likeness; and the only likeness that has form is that of the Son.  To be set-apart is to be in the image of Messiah, the same Messiah who is the walking Torah, including the standards of cleanliness.

Righteousness is by Him alone, though we learn in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) that the result of righteousness is living righteously, having His Ruach (Spirit) that enables us to do that things that we could not do on our own, like rising above sin and walking in the likeness of our Master, as a child of Elohim as Father, instead.  

This being said, it is controversial if these standards have changed, especially when you consider the Brit Chadashah reading for this week (Acts 10:9-22).  If we accept Elohim as eternal, it is ludicrous for us to think that His holiness (the root of these standards) has changed, but what has changed are people.  Elohim has not changed, nor can He, but people do change.  When you read Acts 10, you read a discourse with Peter arguing that he has not eaten unclean nor common meats.  He keeps kosher, as defined in this week's Torah reading in Leviticus eleven.  This discourse goes back and forth three times before the vision returns to heaven.  He never eats the common and unclean.  Yet, the message was, "What Elohim has cleansed you do not consider common," (Acts 10:15).  Immediately thereafter are what used to be common men, now clean by Elohim, looking for Peter.  The message was not that of animals converting, but Elohim used Peter's hunger to make a point.  The message was about men converting, the common man versus the clean and set-apart man.  We learn from the story of Israel and Balak, that you cannot curse what Elohim has blessed (like man), but you also cannot bless what Elohim has cursed (like the animals used to make the point of the Acts men's newfound blessedness).

What is common has no place with the set-apart.  The Torah told us earlier that linen and wool were not to be mixed.  Linen was used for priests, while wool was for common use.  We are not to treat the set-apart like they are still common.  At the same time, the newfound set-apart should not treat themselves as if they are still common.  We should not treat the common as if it were set-apart, and the common cannot call themselves set-apart.  As set-apart, we should encourage each other to walk the set-apart life by gracious enabling with the deposit of the Ruach.  This means that we change to rise to standards of Elohim, not that the (His) standards change to our likeness.  This is the result of the righteousness in our new beginnings:  we can now live righteously. 

 N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tzav: "Command"

I was a bit confused when I read the portion for this week's parsha.  It said it started from Leviticus 6:1, but Leviticus 6:1 didn't begin with the word "command" as the Hebrew system operates.  One part of me laughed at some of the stereotypical irony to which I could conclude:  You can name any parsha in Leviticus "Command," because that is what Leviticus is all about!  I have been finding the OJB (NT included) quite handy when reading through Leviticus, mainly because of the chain-linking in this version and the many Hebrew words that help in understanding relation of words and phrases throughout the whole Scriptures.  So all joking of Leviticus aside, I realized in reading the OJB, that Leviticus 6:1 actually starts in verse eight.  
And YHWH spoke to Mosheh, saying, "Command (there's our word! -- emphasis added) Aharon and his sons, saying, 'This is the Torah of the burnt offering:  This is the burnt offering, because it is burned on the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar is kept burning on it.'"  -- Leviticus 6:8 (6:1)
The Word here is a commandment of the burnt offering.  In many versions, it says the command is a "law."  Translators (bless their souls for their efforts and praise Elohim for them!) have done a very confusing thing in translating 'Torah' almost thoroughly into "law."  The version I used above (The Scriptures 1998) kept to the Hebrew word, Strong's 8451, "Torah."  Torah is a law, but lest your flesh rise against it by remembering that one word solely as the meaning of "Torah," it is vital to note that word also means teaching, instruction, direction.  Since Elohim's instruction for our lives is to be even as He is, "be ye holy for I am holy," and this is wrapped in commands in the Torah; and since His choice of direction for us is always toward Himself, then the very direction that is "Torah" is Himself.  He is Torah.  These words are the moral attributes of Elohim Himself.  Hence, the Torah is holy, just, and good; and hence, Him robed in flesh is the walking and living Torah.

This point must be made because all things in Torah we must come to accept if we are to accept Elohim; and we must also come to accept that some still require practice, even if it is by merely spiritual application.  Obviously, a burnt offering is not one of physical practice.  Many Elohim-appointed reasons, both physically and spiritually (not only having a everlasting atonement in Messiah, but the lack of the physical anointed vessel to lay this sacrifice), prevent such a literal practice.  We have to say it that way because the last few chapter of Ezekiel reinstate sacrifice with the new temple, and this is after Messiah.  I will say I am still seeking what that means.

For now, let us look at some truth about the instruction ("Torah") of the burnt offering.  This perpetual fire was first started by Elohim.  Each time the camp moved and the tabernacle was set up, His fire came down upon the sacrifice.  It was a sign of His acceptance of the sacrifice (Leviticus 9:24; II Chronicles 7:1).  The fire is called "perpetual" because it was never to go out.  This means that in the face of the YHWH there was to be a constant acceptance, made noteworthy by the constant fire upon the sacrifice, just as He started the fire as the sign of His acceptance.  In this, there is a constant justification, and a perpetual saving atonement for the people on behalf of the sacrificial animal.  The truth as it applies to us, who do not sacrifice animals as foreshadows of the fulfilling acceptance, being past that fulfillment, is that we should be aware of the constant acceptance of the set-apart most High us-ward, because of the continual justification (Ephesians 1:6-7) and perpetual saving atonement (Hebrews 7:25) of Messiah Yehoshua, the sacrifice.

The fire is often related to the Word of Elohim. When Jeremiah purposed to not make mention of the Word, he said it was as a burning fire within him.   It was such a fire that he could not forbear speaking it (Jeremiah 20:9).  Not only is it a fire, but it is perpetual.  As Isaiah 40:8 (KJV) tells us, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”  The Word is a burning fire; the Word will abide forever.  It is as a perpetual fire.  Through it, His servant warned (Psalm 19:11), so that through it, your servant is instructed into acceptance.

Yet, the fire does also require ours our servitude.  Elohim gave the fire, but it was the duty of the Levites to keep it burning.  Elohim gives that fire that is Himself (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29), by the fire of sacrifice Himself, by the fire of the Ruach HaKodesh.  Yet, we still have a responsbility to the fire, that the fire within us is continuous, never ceasing, always burning.  We are given the Torah (guidance, instruction, direction, law) for acceptance.  First, the Torah is as a guidance to acceptance by the sacrifice of Yehoshua Messiah.  Next, we are also given guidance to persevere in that acceptance.  That guidance is otherwise known as "commands." 
"If you love me, you will keep My commandments." -- John 14:15 (TLV)
But Yeshua said to him, "No one who has put his hand to the plow and looked back is fit for the kingdom of God."  -- Luke 9:62 (TLV)
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.  -- James 2:26 (TLV) 
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. -- I John 2:3 (KJV)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:  and his commandments are not grievous.  -- I John 5:2-3 (KJV)
Commands.  That is what started this week's parsha.  Commands are law, instruction, guidance to sanctification, which is guidance to Himself -- "Torah"...

...and Torah is not just found in the first five books with this namesake.


 N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.    

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ministry -- Spring 2014

We know that we have plenty of people who are supporting us, foremost, in their thoughts and prayers, while we continue in San Jose, Costa Rica.  One of our fellow laborers recently told us a famous saying, that is something to the likeness of... 'It is said that prayer is the tool to the greatest success, but prayer is the greatest success.'  Those that pray for this ministry are very much a part of it, and should know that Elohim is blessing.  One plants, another waters, and He gives the increase.  Here is how the ministry is planting and watering:

Monday 

Morning campus evangelism and afternoon invitation to English Bible study
Afternoon campus English Bible Study

After-study evangelism


Tuesday

I start my day gathering with missionary wives for ladies Bible study
And then it's back to campus for Spanish Bible study

Wednesday

ESL instruction
Conversations with the beginners class
Intermission -- this is where the students join in song of worship and listen to a sermon

Thursday

Morning bus ride to campus, meeting the Creation Team
The Creation Team, minus one who was ill
We take the kids every opportunity we can, starting their missionary training in their youth
Invitation to creation Bible study
Creation Bible study
Creation-Evolution survey and evangelism

For the following three days, we generally do not pursue ministry outside of the house.  The exception is every other Shabbat we assist friends in a local orphanage (not pictured here).  

We share this to glorify God in His harvest.  The result of campus labor is that Elohim has formed a church of these students, as a congregation that meets for service off-campus on Saturdays, and mid-week service on Tuesdays (also not pictured here).  Elohim has provided His harvest with long-term and guest missionaries faithful to feeding the congregation for these services.  In fact, Brant will be sharing the story of Purim and information about the celebration with the group this Saturday, alongside a guest missionary's speaking.  Happy Purim, and shalom from Costa Rica.


N...

*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.  The information is, kindly, made public, and expected to be cited properly.