Thursday, May 28, 2015

Shavuot/Pentecost

This week's reading, having come on Shavuot, is in Exodus 19-20 and Ezekiel 1, and can also include Acts 1-2, regarding the descending of the Spirit on Shavuot.  

In time, instruction is given concerning this day.  It is 50 days after the barley first fruits (which was the first day of the week following the Passover week's sabbath), where a new grain was ready to be harvested, which was the wheat harvest.  We are able to make connections with this in addition to the literal (keeping in mind the 4 levels of reading Scripture) by acknowledging that Messiah is the first fruits, and thereafter Him is the harvest of His followers.  This was that day the believers gathered in Acts 1-2 for the Shavuot feast and the Spirit descended for the harvest.  It makes sense.  Dots connect.  

What adds to the interest and full picture is studying it prior to the instructions of harvest in the land.  Exodus 19 begins by telling us that it is the third month.  Israel left Egypt in the first month, which is the same month of the Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the barley first fruits.  Fifty days later to Shavuot would equal the third month here in Exodus 19-20 when God gave the Words we know as the Ten Commandments.  The Spirit descended 50 days after Messiah's rising in Acts 2, and here the Law descended 50 days after what would have been the barley first fruits if they were in the land.  What unison God is declaring here, that His Spirit and His Law are one!  There is no such thing as the letter of the Law versus the Spirit of it.

The first thing I want to talk about, regarding the Lord descending and harvesting, is protocol.  Yes, there are protocols.

When I was a little girl I had an issue with plugging things into electrical wall outlets.  I had not known myself to have ever been electrocuted, so I don't know what established that fear.  For years I was really weird about this, even putting off certain chores until another could come plug something in for me.  For example, my washer stopped going in the middle of it being filled with water and had to be reconnected.  A vacuum would come unplugged and after pushing the on/off button so many times, I would not know if it would be on or off once I replugged it, giving a moment of spark.  Then there was the one time my breaker box was making a snap, crackle, and pop noise, and I exited my house.  These things brought out a real awareness of the capabilities of electricity to my mind.  Though they were not entirely founded, I did appreciate and understand when Mark Biltz said (in comparing protocols of handling electricity) that there are protocols when dealing with a Holy God.

To take caution when handling electricity (by proper grounding, keeping water away, covering wires, etc.) is not to say that we are forbidden from using electricity.  It is to say we understand its capabilities and are choosing wisdom.  In this simple example, we need to understand God is very capable of utterly frying us (way more than any form and strength of electricity, I might add).  There are certain protocols when approaching His Majesty.  Remember that when Israel said they would like to no longer approach God directly, that He said this was wisdom in their cases.  It isn't that He wasn't accessible to them (Moses did comment on how no other nation has a god so close to them as theirs is to them), but these are babes...and just as how my own baby enjoys the results of electricity as I do (she sits in lighted rooms, has warm food, charged items), she also doesn't go handling the plugs and sockets that bring about those things.

Verse 10 in chapter 19 starts off with the instruction to tell Israel to make themselves ready.  There is a readiness for visitation by Him.  This is just beautiful to me, because if you grasp what is going on, on Shavuot (which would later bring a fuller understanding with Acts 1-2), you see that God just got through delivering these people for Himself to be their Husband and then gives them these sets of Words.  This is a ketubah, a marriage covenant.  The second thing I want to discuss about the Lord descending and harvesting is the marriage that comes from it.

There are countless books out there written about how to read love languages, identifying what love means to your spouse, and how to act accordingly to express your love.  Since Yeshua said that this (the Law) hangs on two commandments -- love God, and love your neighbor -- this means that this Law, these Words given, are... love.  When we take to ourselves a spouse, we consider in each other what it means to love one another, and we hold each other to it as a part of a covenant.  Most of these are written in the traditional vows, though many come up with their own and are very personal and real.  It is what love is to them.  God, who is Love, tells us exactly what love is in these Words.  He gets to define it, because He alone is love.  

I have heard from some people, and even once myself said this same thing... that the Messianic movement is all Law but no love.  If the Messianic movement knows Messiah while guarding the Law, how can we say it is loveless?  I found that I had to change my definition of love, because the Law is God's definition of love expressed.

When I think of this being a ketubah given, to which God says to make yourself ready beforehand, it reminds me not only of protocol in approaching a holy God, but it reminds me of a bride who makes herself ready for her wedding ceremony.  She will do what she can to make herself clean.  I mirror this back to 19:10 where the instruction comes to wash.  This brings me to Yeshua's parables of the virgins not being ready and the initial invitees to the wedding party not coming.  It really does make one think about what it means to prepare oneself for the wedding feast of the Lamb.

What does it mean to be a prepared bride?  It is a washing of the Word as Paul so wrote in Ephesians 5 when speaking of a bride.  That Word is Torah, since only the OT existed when he wrote that.  The Torah was given so long ago on Sinai in an event we read about this week.  I simply smile, then, when I see believers going back to the roots of this faith, those accepting the Jewish Messiah and His Torah.  It is God most beautifully calling His bride to prepare herself for that wedding feast of the Lamb.

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bemidbar/In the Wilderness, New Testament

Yesterday the children and I read through the prophetic books into Hosea 1:10-22, which was so full of riches.

It starts off in terminology that is familiar to us already in verse 10 -- the Abrahamic Covenant.  Though the first few verses of chapter 1 are dealing with adultery and unfaithfulness, the original covenant is mentioned thereafter to give hope of restoration to it. I think it is connected to the parsha because a great deal of it is talking about luring Israel into wilderness as a tactic to restoring her back to her First Love.  In the book of Bemidbar, we read of God luring Israel the first time around into the wilderness so that He may be her husband.  Here is the beauty of going back into the wilderness to go back into that intimacy.  

I personally like the wilderness for those reasons.  No trial and affliction can claim victory over us because of the type of relationship that is gained with God during wilderness wanderings.  The wilderness itself is, therefore, full of riches.  If God is to be gained there, then in fact the wildnerness contains the greatest riches this side of heaven.

The video today is through the New Testament portion, which I came to see spoke of riches -- earthen versus heavenly; a man rich naturally versus a man rich spiritually.  I learned some things as I read today.  It is always helpful to read the Torah for background and foundation before you read the words of the Lord in the Gospels, as we strive to do every week starting out with the Torah portions.  The Torah is full of little gold nuggets that make the precious parables of the Lord all the richer.  I do hope you enjoy reading through the couple chapters of Luke with us, the words of the Lord through the lens of the Word (Torah) of the Lord!

The video link can be watched directly at http://youtu.be/TEm9ceW5GYM



Update -- Halfway through the text I realized that the context of the rich man was speaking of the Jews of the time that who were conversing with Yeshua, picking up from the passage regarding the rich man and Lazarus in "Father Abraham's" bosom.  It must then be noted that I looked back to the beginning of the chapter and saw that, likewise, the rich man in the beginning is in the same context as the rich man of the latter, referring to the same people as the latter parable of the rich man, though I had initially read it as a typology for anyone who God has created.

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bemidbar/in the Wilderness, Part 2

Today we read about different jobs given to certain groups within one nation.  Each of these jobs are equally important, but different.  Each group is divided with different responsibility and privilege.  The responsibility is the job, but what is the privilege?  The privilege is the level of set-apartness and closeness to God.  What does this mean to us and what can we reap from this?  This wilderness set up was God's own preference.  Then if we know this is how He likes to set up a nation, what can we expect of His kingdom?  Do we all have the same privilege and job?  We say we don't all have the same job -- we should know then that we don't all have the same level of set-apartness.  Are we all priests?  Are we all the bride for that matter?  When we get to heaven, what will we see, what image of the Father will I ever behold -- and what exactly is this heaven we are expecting?  I am always amazed at how the Torah transforms and how it really does answer many questions.

I am deeply challenged to unlearn the lies inherited by my fathers, and to put off the Greek mind and be transformed to the Lord's Hebraic one.  

Today's "In the Wilderness" study can be watched at http://youtu.be/qOtqlV_7L3Y



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

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bemidbar/In the Wilderness, Part 1

What is in a number?  Nobody wants to be a number -- or do you?  In this book there is a census taken in the beginning and then towards the end.  Those numbered in the beginning were not in the end, save two that were faithful.  You want to be in both numbers.  To not have been numbered the first time means to not have exited bondage, and to not have met the second numbering means to not have remained...to not have been a remnant.  In this crucial time today, we are seeing numbers shift as people exit their bondages, and even more so past this as people remain faithful to walk or not.  It is more than just numbers, it is a remnant.

I read a post on Facebook that we WANT to be left behind.  We want to remain.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but His Words remain.  His Words are left behind.  Reader, I want to be too.  Let us learn from Numbers, how to be numbered until the end.  

Direct video link available at https://youtu.be/JrJk1b1fHfc




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

Friday, May 8, 2015

Emor/Say

This week's parsha is so named "Emor" because it starts out with the Lord telling Moses to speak/say to the priests all the things therein which can be boiled down to division.  Well, it's really instruction in holiness furthermore, but the root of set-apartness is division -- division to distinguish between what is holy and common and/or defiled, clean and unclean.   

Division is a good thing, though often we think upon it as if it isn't.  You must use division in order to set something apart.  The instruction is to make a division to have what is holy and common and/or defiled, clean and unclean.  If we do not bring about division, then there isn't a set apartness, then there isn't a special treasure as God so puts it in reference to what He wants His people to be to Him.  In the same sense, if we do not divide Him from everything else (as to keep the ways of the world, just slapping Jesus' Name on it) then He truly is not your treasure.  This was the issue He had with pre-Yeshua Israel:  they defiled His set apart Name by not setting it apart!  They took the ways of the nations and His Name and joined these things together.  He was not set apart to them, therefore He was not their treasure as Yeshua so encourages in the Gospels.  Let your heavenly Father be your treasure and divide.

I'm actually not going to go through the chapters in Leviticus in diving further into division as it relates to set-apartness (priestly set-apartness and set-apart days), but I'm going to go to the New Testament reading, the book of Luke (11-12).  The words of Yeshua this week had me on my knees, literally, as I studied over them in Bible study with my children.  I found that both chapters, though lengthy, were one long message of division.  How important it is that we do not just use one verse.  How many times I have just read one verse or heard another expand on one verse (or even a group of verses) from the 2 chapters in Luke and how it had a completely different message.  Lord, help us!

First, I am going to pick up in Luke 11:5, where there is a story of a man who is expecting company.  He doesn't have bread for this person, so he knocks on the door of a friend at midnight and asks for 3 loaves of bread to give his soon-coming guest.  Notice the friend does not say he doesn't have bread, but rather (v. 7), "Trouble me not:  the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee."  Yeshua then says persistence is key, as if that man keeps knocking he will get the bread [for his guest] that he seeks.  Many have expanded on this passage and have used it to say that we should be giving people as believers, yet in the very next couple of verses Yeshua uses the same "ask..." "seek..." "knock..." -- words that are familiar to the passage of the friends above.  This time with the group of words, believers alike agree that this is referring to asking, seeking, and knocking unto the Father.  Both sets of verses are the same message -- the second (vv. 9-13) brings the first (vv. 5-8) into a full understanding.  I love how even in this Yeshua shows us the 2nd isn't different from the first, but rather expands upon it and brings it to a full understanding.  We are speaking of a first and second set of verses here, but of course the bigger picture is the Old (first) and New (second) testaments.  The ONE message is not a message to be a giving believer, rather a message of persistence of asking, seeking, and knocking for bread...not only for yourself, but for your friend who needs it.  

Many times we can get discouraged to pray for someone's conversion and cease to pray for them.  It may appear that the door is just shut to them.  You know that they need that bread.  If the Lord is divided against the wicked, but His ears are ever to the righteous, then it is important for the righteous to be a repairer of the breach, stand the gap as it says in Ezekiel 22:30, for the sake of those who are weary and hungry of journey.  I have heard many stories of people praying for decades for someone before a conversion came to pass.  Yeshua is telling us, "Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking" for that bread from that friend (He is that friend).  The Friend didn't say He didn't have the bread, because He does have the bread!  Furthermore, we can conclude with His last words on this particular subject that the asking, seeking, and knocking is related to the need of "the bread" in the parable of friends because He says (v. 13), "How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"  The Holy Spirit is that bread.  The story and its expansion is one of the Lord inviting the set-apart friend of His to petition and receive (with persistence) for the one He is divided against. From the Old to the New, from the Torah to here, God is FOR intercessory prayers that division be not between Him and a person but on the other side of that person.

The next set of verses deal with Yeshua casting out demons and Him being accused of doing it in the name of Beelzebub.  This is absolutely ridiculous as He uses the division jargon again to tell us that a house divided against itself will not stand (v. 17).  He continues on in verse 21:
"When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:  But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth the spoils.  He that is not with me is against me:  and he that gathereth not with me scattereth."  -- Luke 11:21-23 KJV
The strong man is Beelzebub.  Don't let the word "peace" confuse you.  It simply means to not be in war.  Satan is not in war as long as Yeshua (the stronger man in the following verse) isn't around.  He is therefore 'at peace' when there isn't a dividing factor, like one stronger than him to oppose him.  Ah, but Yeshua does come around and overcomes him and divides (there's that word again) the spoils.  There is a division and it is brought about by the stronger man (Yeshua).  Then Yeshua divides Himself against the divided (scattered) in that final verse (v. 13).  Yeshua has a way of bringing about a sword of division.

This brings me to the end of our New Testament reading in chapter twelve:
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth?  I tell you, "Nay, but rather division:  For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three.  The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."  -- Luke 12:51-53 KJV
Imagine that -- 80 some verses later, He is still talking about division.  In between those verses the message is likewise division of other sorts.  What, or who, is the dividing factor?  It is none other than the Word -- the Torah and Torah made flesh.  These are one, as Yeshua is not a house divided against Himself, but it a house divided from all things as to be set apart.  He invites you into His house to be likewise set apart, divided with Him and not against Him in His own house!

The message from Leviticus to Luke is the same message of division for set-apartness.  It is about time that we stop dividing God against Himself with dividing the Old and New Testaments.  A house divided against itself will not stand.  Rather, we should divide ourselves against the sins that so easily beset us, and return to the Covenant, made possible by the ultimate repairer of the breach, Yeshua, who made the way of restoration to Covenant, and by His Spirit gives us the power to walk in His Torah, no longer divided against Him but divided with Him.  

N...

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Acherei, Kedoshim

This week has two Torah portions in one -- Acherei ("After the death" of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu) and Kedoshim (starting with chapter 19, "Holy ones" -- See verse 1:  "Ye shall be holy:  for I the LORD your God am holy.").  I think it rather neat those two points fall in that order, as we learn that holiness comes after the death of one's self.

This parsha juggles so many things that it is hard to just stick to one point to expand upon.  You really can only take it one chapter at a time, one thing at a time.  Isn't that called life of self-denial unto death and holiness, though?  So we will do just that -- take it one chapter at a time.

Chapter 16 is regarding Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.  It comes after the death of Nadab and Abihu.  God gives instruction against what they did that Aaron and the rest of his sons and future seed do not become barbeque as well.  Each time I read it I would focus on what to do in comparison of what Nadab and Abihu did, seeing as their names are in direct relation to the instructions given.  For instance, the instruction for what fire to use to burn the incense in v. 12 as opposed to another fire source they may have used instead, constituting "strange fire."  This time, however, something else stuck out to me:
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  -- Leviticus 16:7 KJV
It goes on to say that one goat will be the LORD's lot, will have its blood used as it dies as the offering, while the other will be released [into the wilderness].  Then noted this:
And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins:  and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.  -- Leviticus 16:16 KJV
And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.  -- Leviticus 16:19 KJV
I highlight these things because this all sounds familiar.  It sounds like last week's parsha about cleansing of the leper -- it required two birds, one was sacrificed and its blood was used, while the other was released.  This was the cleansing ritual because leprosy was an uncleanness.  Now we fast forward one week and we are dealing with two land animals, one sacrificed and its blood used, while the other is released.  Over and over God is saying of this day that it is given for the uncleanness, same language used in leprosy's cleansing.  Yom Kippur's atonement is about cleansing from our spiritually leprous state, cleansing by the blood, and that blood is of the Messiah.
It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.  -- Leviticus 16:31 KJV
I know many people who will, in remembrance though sometimes in joy, most often in nostalgia's mourning, keep up the anniversary of their late loved one's birthday or death.  If we can do that for a mere human, why can't we afflict our souls on this one day, keeping this statute, as a bittersweet reminder of what our dear Lord has done for us?

It also reminds me much of the prophet Zechariah's words in 12:10, which says that they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and shall mourn for Him.  Sounds a lot like soul affliction, doesn't it?  Well, we all know this is a prophecy of the Lord's coming as it relates to Israel's atonement.  Yet, when you read in Revelation about the Lord's coming as it ties to the atonement of Israel, specifically beginning verses of chapters 8 & 19, you read of very familiar terminology, like white linen, incense, blood.  This is familiar because it is all terminology linked to Yom Kippur.  It sounds like all of that is happening on Yom Kippur.  Yes, I do believe it is proper to interpret that one Yom Kippur day, Israel will afflict themselves in mourning as they see the one they have pierced, which obviously means He has come, and that this picks up in Revelation's account, as their acceptance becomes their atonement... on Yom Kippur.

Chapter 17 is talking about how to get God's face turned against you -- offering in an unauthorized location and drinking blood.  You know, what goes into a man becomes waste.  I mean, it is his food, but it does eventually all become waste if it is not used as energy unto nothingness.  If God says the life is in the blood, it is a degradation to take something so precious and make it dung or make it for fuel into nothingness.  The Lord uses it for atonement, life for life.  He gave all of His poured on the ground, His life for yours, surely it is very reasonable He demands of you the same.  Let blood be poured onto the ground as He said, let life return to the ground.  You should not be stained with someone else's blood.  I cannot help but think of the little lives lost to the abortion holocaust.  Their lives are not only ripped from them, but they don't even receive a proper burial.  Their blood is not upon the ground, nor are they treated as precious human life and given back to the dust in the ground, but their blood stains the hands of their murderers and researchers that shred their little bodies and the blood to nothing, throw their cells into flavor enhancers which later comes out as dung.  These people have blood on their hands, and if we know one thing from this chapter about the improper disposal of blood, it is that God has His face against these people.  The cup of wrath is filling and I dearly pray that it is now full, for the sake of the atrocities that torture His eyes and the minds of the righteous.

Chapter 18 is about mixing, which seems to greatly be connected to sexual practices.  It used to be a way of crossing genes, like in the days of Noah as it is believed.  So just like those days, if that was true, we have entered once again.  This time it is mainly in a lab.  I remember watching the Spiderman movie where there was a crossing of lizard into a human so that the man could regrow his arm.  I thought then that this was a way to get the populous used to the idea of the benefits of cross-species.  It is a way to create super humans.  Everyone is trying so hard to not die.  Death is the defeat of the sinner.  O but to be believer, we say, "Death is defeated."

Chapter 19 starts off the second part of the parsha, "Kedoshim."  We are to be holy because He is holy.  Much of what is commanded here is a reflection of the Lord, what He tells us to do because He does it. It is the Lord Himself who said that in a marriage it is twain one flesh and that you are to be equally yoked.  It makes sense that if God is holy as our Husband, we are to be a holy wife.  His own marriage must reflect His own Word regarding marriage.  It is not just "God set apart the Sabbath," but we (as in, you and Him as bridegroom and bride) set apart the Sabbath.

I think of raising a family.  Every parent knows that children will pick up on inconsistency in a heartbeat.  They will find ways to manipulate between Dad and Mom, if you let them.  It is so important, then, that Dad and Mom are ONE.  "It is not Dad's rules, Children, it is our rules."  Hence, the children know they can't ask Dad and then turn around and ask Mom for a different answer.  In the same sense, adopt the Lord's Torah.  It is not His rules, it's our (His and our) rules.  For Someone who adopted your flesh, your heavy yoke, as a step to being one with you, it should not be a burden to take His yoke and seal the marital deal.  We are allowed (not burdened) to gain from His reward in being His bride in a call to be holy.  If children can so easily in their immature minds pick up on inconsistency between the twain one flesh for manipulation, how much so can a devil in your inconsistencies in your oneness with God.

Chapter 20 contains certain penalties for sins, but most importantly to me is that it is a reminder to be set apart.  This is brought about by comparison to the other nations, and to distinguish God's Torah from their customs.  It is not acceptable to take their customs and put God's name on it.  God says this (the Torah) is His custom, you take this.  You do not set apart God when you make Him like the nations, in taking their customs in "Jesus' Name."  His ways and days are different.  They are supposed to be.  He set apart days, like the Sabbath that is not to be like other days.  He has set apart foods, so that not all are clean.  After all, if everything is set apart, then nothing is set apart; and we run into the trouble that we see in the church today -- that holiness, even in our perception of God's character...is gone.

One thing they cry out in eternity:  "Holy, Holy, Holy."  Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart.  The Lord does not intend this would be gone.  The Lord is set-apart and invites us to be one with Him.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tazria/Metzora, Part 2

 Today we finished the Torah portion in Leviticus, continuing the laws of leprosy.  For direct view for higher definition, the video may be watched directly at https://youtu.be/TxVEV-iwpCQ


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