Friday, November 27, 2015

VaYishlach: Becoming Israel

I don't know the amount of people that are handling the promises of God that were given to Israel as promises to them.  Wikipedia shows me that as of 2012, Christianity is the religion of one-third of the world's population -- that's a couple billion people that are taking promises given to Israel as theirs.  However, knowing that the Bible's covenantal promises are for Israel, and that Israel is most certainly not replaced with Christians as the spiritual Israel, many of us are left with the question of who is Israel?  It only seems logical that the answer to that question would be in our parsha, where we have an experience of a man who became Israel and why/how he became this recipient of Covenant and many promises.

In chapter 32, Jacob is preparing to meet his brother Esau.  When he left Esau he had his first revelation from God, and now returning to meet Esau he has another.  The night before this meeting, he sends all that he has and crosses them over (crossing over is the root of "Hebrew" and what Hebrew means:  to cross over) the stream and remains alone to wrestle with "a man."
And Jacob was left alone.  And a Man wrestled with him until the ascending of the dawn. And He saw that He did not prevail over him, and He struck his hip-socket, and Jacob's hip-socket was unhinged as he grappled with Him.  And He said, Send me away, for the dawn has risen.  And he said, I will not let You go unless You bless me.  -- Genesis 32:24-26
When I researched the hip-socket, there are two words being used to pinpoint this body part.  The first word is referring to an extremity (like a leaf to a branch, paw to a hand) and a bowl.  It is like a hand, which can cup into a bowl.  The second word is the fleshly part of the loin.  So then the word hip-socket comes to the translators, because the hip is a fleshly part of the loin and the socket is a bowl.  The text says that the man's striking unhinged this fleshly bowl.  The Hebrew tells us this is a severing. So then we get a picture of the man severing Jacob's flesh and Jacob is still holding onto Him.  Beloved Reader, from the looks of seeing many fall away from just the slightest transformations, we can honestly say that not very many people can sit around and let God sever their flesh while they hold onto Him for dear life.
And He said to him, What is your name?  And he said, Jacob.  And He said, Your name no longer shall be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have persevered with God and with men and have been able.  -- Genesis 32:27-28
This incident birthed Jacob.  Jacob remained through the severing, holding on until the dawn and until the blessing.  Through this tiny bit, I relate to the teachings of many well-studied preachers and Messianic rabbis I know who often say that salvation is the end result.  Endurance and perseverance is a must to attain it.  Jacob remained.  Jacob was a symbol of the remnant, primarily remaining faithful in His attachment to God through the severing of the flesh.  This is a lifelong process and the smallest denials for God to transform us reveal much of our character and who we are (or are not) spiritually.

The man we all understand to be God.  We understand this because there is an image Jacob saw and He calls that image God:
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, Because I saw God face to face and my life is preserved.  -- Genesis 32:30, A Literal Translation of the Bible
It sounds a lot like the experience Moses had with God.  In fact, the Bible says that God did speak to Moses face to face, as Jacob saw Him even here.  Yet, we know that the exclusively express manly image of God is fully in Yeshua.  So then, who did Jacob (and Moses, and any other OT prophet/saint who experienced God) see?  Jacob saw Yeshua.  

I have noticed God's response to the OT prophets/saints when they ask Him to reveal Himself or His Name.  To Jacob, He didn't answer but asked him why he wants to know.  To Moses, He said you cannot see me and live but I will let you see my "after" (we get behind/back from this) parts -- this is very interesting to study, because the Hebrew word means not just after but "in time."  Moses then saw God's "in time" parts, and God in the realm of time is Yeshua.  God outside of time is the invisible God we cannot see.  Moses saw Yeshua.  To Manoah He said His name is "Secret."  Some translators translate it as "Wonderful," and this is because it is the same root word as found in Isaiah 9:6 describing the Messiah as "Wonderful."  Manoah saw Yeshua, but it is secret because He has yet to be manifested by birth through a woman.  The God of the Old Testament is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His image is Yeshua.

It is not completely impossible to believe Jacob encountered Yeshua, as he has seen Yeshua before.  In the first revelation he had with God (chapter 28), Jacob lays his head on a stone and has a vision of a ladder reaching to heaven, messengers descending and ascending.  Jacob then takes the stone and pours oil over it and sets it up as a pillar.  When I studied the Hebrew, I found it very interesting that the way the stone is written in the Hebrew -- et ha aven, one literal translation could be "you, the stone."  So then, the stone is not an "it" (third person case), but in the second person to tell us that Jacob took 'You, the Stone,' that he had put as his Head and set it as a pillar in the place of this encounter.  We will get to "in the place" below.  Then it says that he poured oil on it ("it" has a pronoun change to a female) and called the place the House of God (Bethel).  What is hidden here is a house of God in the feminine, from this Stone...and what does this all mean?

Well, in this parsha we come to an encounter that almost mirrors.  Jacob returns to Bethel after his meeting with his brother.  In the same place called Bethel, there's a pillar set up, and oil poured on.  However, there are some changes to the text from the first encounter as well as an additional thing that was added.
And Jacob set up a memorial pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone.  And he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.  And Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel.  -- Genesis 35:14-15
In both instances we have a term "in the place."  In the place, Jacob saw God's messenger going up and down, but also in the place Jacob sees God Himself (Genesis 28: 13) as Yeshua, the Stone.  It was like a treasure hidden to see that the place is the Hebrew makom -- not any other word that could mean place or land (like eretz).   Kom is a rising, and adding the mem in front tells us this is a place of rising.  It is the place of resurrection!  Here, at the place of resurrection, Jacob sees descending and ascending.  Fast forward to when Yeshua tells us in John 3:13 that no man can ascend into heaven except he who first descends (speaking of Himself).  It is the same terminology used to describe what Jacob saw, in a place called the resurrection.  Jacob saw the resurrection in his vision!

So he comes back to this place of resurrection, Bethel, and almost mirrors what he did the first time around, with some exceptions.  The second time he pours a drink offering, which is missing on the first encounter he had with Yeshua.  Also in the text I noted an even bigger change -- the pillar and the action to pour are both with feminine endings, and the pillar of stone from the first sentence in 35:14 is actually the feminine plural pillars.  So when I read the text with its feminine direction, I read, "And Jacob set up a (feminine) pillar in the place where He/God spoke with him, pillars of stone.  And he poured on her a drink offering and he poured on her oil."  The first stone in the place of resurrection is none other than our Firstfruit of the resurrection, Yeshua, and by this Stone a house of God is built which is feminine.  The feminine is revealed in the second Bethel encounter, where the stone is actually more than one (see Revelation 3:12) and it is the church, with the drink offering as the blood of Yeshua poured on her.  By Yeshua, we are now temples of the living God, the habitation of His Spirit, the Bethel.  He is seen in the place of resurrection first, because He is the first fruit of it.  She follows, as we will resurrect even as He did.

What does it mean to be Israel?  One must strive and overcome, be severed from flesh yet still hold on and remain through the darkness of the night and the Day of the Lord until the bright dawn.  One must be the habitation of the Spirit.  One must be in Covenant, which has the promises so dearly desired, and which is only through Yeshua.  And just as we follow His resurrection, one must follow His walk.



*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, November 20, 2015

VaYetze: The Chosen One vs the Imposter

How do you judge if God has said something to you?  Some people say they have heard Him audibly, but even if you have how do you determine if what you heard was indeed God or not?  Our authority, and really, the basis of what God wants to say at any point of time is in the Bible.  Therefore, I understand and greatly respect those that say if you want a revelation from God, or if you want to hear from God, read the Bible.  His Word will endure forever, as we are told in Isaiah.  Heaven and earth will pass away, this old body will pass away, the wicked will pass away, but His Word is very pertinent through all of time and outside into eternity.

Many times I have heard, "God told me," "I heard God say," and I don't always believe that.  Neither should you.  A prophet, or anyone hearing from God even on a personal level, having revealed that personal 'God-given' direction to you, should be tested according to God's Torah.  In this parsha, which is just so full of lessons, one of the biggest ones I want to discuss today is assuming God's will.  It is worth the discussion because Jacob assuming God's will at first, acting upon it, and we believing what Jacob assumed has influenced those who didn't accept the Messiah during His day well into influencing our beliefs today.  Again, such importance on testing our assumptions no matter how strong and how deep in the core we "feel" them.

In chapter 29 we come to what has been painted to us as a beautiful love story, love at first sight even.  It is the story of Jacob and Rachel.  Oh ladies, don't we all want a man who weeps at our presence because he thinks we are so beautiful, and works 7 (14 overall) years for us, seeming but as days because of the love he has for us?  Then we think poor Rachel, whose intended husband got stolen from her from her big ugly sister Leah.  Let's study the 2 women here.
And Laban had two daughters, the name of the older, Leah, and the name of the younger, Rachel.  And the eyes of Leah were weak, and Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.  -- Genesis 29:16-17
In studying the beauty of Rachel, according to the Hebrew all I could really amount to was that, literally, she was a sight to behold.  It is no wonder that it was love at first sight.  Many beautiful things we are drawn to initially and often we find they are not God's choosing, but that the appearance attracted us and misled us.

The text above says that Leah's eyes were weak.  I've studied these two words (eyes and weak) and they could be translated as it is above, but also that she was weak/tender-eyed, which Strong's points out is also tender-hearted.  These two words give us implication that she is meek, tender, humble -- traits that people often mistake for weakness.  I don't want to throw out other translations' choice of putting the 2 words in a way that mean that she wasn't just tender-eyed, but that she was tender to the eye -- this is what makes people think she was ugly.  This is very important in understanding that she is God's choosing.

Yes, I do stand firm that she is God's choosing despite Jacob's strong feeling that Rachel is God's choosing, and despite many Christians' beliefs the same.  First of all, we know she is God's choosing because she is Jacob's first wife.  Wait -- but then we say, "Well it was only because Laban said their customs, which were not exactly God's customs..." (in fact, were not, as Laban worshipped other gods) "...was that the younger could not be married before the older."  I want to get into this comparison of Rachel and Leah as older and younger.
And Laban said, It is not done this way in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn.  -- Genesis 29:26 
In verse 17, the English word to describe Leah as older is translated as "older."  Here, it is translated as "firstborn."  Actually, between the two texts, the word older is a more literal translation of the Hebrew word in verse 26, whereas in the first comparison the text uses the word gadol -- which doesn't primarily translate into older, but greater.  So, Leah is tender-hearted, tender to the eye, and greater.

We know that Leah is God's choosing because the Messiah comes from her.  Judah is her 4th son, and the text says that after Judah she ceased from bearing (Gen 29:35).  In my thoughts, it is like she could cease from bearing (though only momentarily) because the seed for the Messiah had been birthed.  She accomplished what God set her aside for as Jacob's wife.  

Pay attention to the language between Leah and Rachel in regards to their husband.  Leah is very vocal about the fact that Jacob is her husband.  In Gen 30:15 she says to Rachel, "Is your taking my husband a little thing?"  Then I also notice that as she names her sons, she is referencing her husband:  "Now my husband will be joined to me, now my husband will love me, now will my husband dwell with me."  Rachel, on the other hand, isn't referencing her husband at all in gaining seed, but her focus is her sister and prevailing over her sister.  In just the dialogue of adding children to Jacob we clearly come to this conclusion:  To Leah, Jacob is husband; but for Rachel, Jacob is a way for her to combat her sister.

In Matthew 11:29, Yeshua tells us to come to Him and take His yoke because He is meek and lowly/tender-hearted.  Isaiah tells us that the Messiah grew up as a tender (there's that word again) shoot, and there is nothing about His appearance that would draw us to Him.  He is not beautiful in appearance, but more we learn in Scripture He was more like Leah...even tender to the eye.  Isaiah does tell us of one who is beautiful in appearance (Isaiah 14), and just like Rachel's focus, he definitely combats the 'Leah', the Messiah and His seed.  Just like Rachel used Leah's husband as a way to combat Leah, satan often uses our assumptions about our Husband, namely in feeding us a false husband, as a way to combat us...and he has been quite successful.

The thoughts of Rachel being God's chosen has been passed along through the time of Messiah's life on earth.  There were so many of His own that were expecting 'a Rachel' but what was before them begging them to "Come to Me," was the tender-hearted, tender-to-the-eye chosen 'Leah' -- in fact, the seed of Leah.

Today, how many of us are searching for Rachels, choosing Rachels, following Rachels, but in fact rejected the Leah of God's choosing?  In time, we see that Jacob reconciled with God's will.  The biggest indicator of this was that he chose some random spot to bury Rachel, but with Leah...he buried her with his family, the patriarchs, and he had himself buried next to her.  When I see the Hollywood Jesus, the Greek imposter, though beautiful, I can't help but mirror it to the Pharisees who wanted and expected the beauty of Rachel in her seed for Savior rather than the humble but gadol Leah.  Beloved Reader, if you have fallen for this false husband, I urge you to reconcile to the Hebrew, tender-hearted, even tender-to-the-physical-eye Yeshua.



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Friday, November 6, 2015

Chayei Sarah: A Woman's Influence

A few weeks ago I found myself in a deep, 4-hour video study of an ezer kenegdo (helpmeet).  What is a woman created for?  Surely it wasn't just for companionship, because Adam already had a perfect companion in God.  Yet, the Bible does say that it was not good for man to be alone.

Woman was the capstone of God's creation.  Her purpose was specifically for the man, which is to say that her purpose was very important for all of mankind.  She not only continues on mankind with the ability to carry children and bring them into the world, but she is needed for man for something very specific.  The study discussed how she was to help man walk in God's command, his support to do the right thing.  For example, think of a time when you were contemplating on whether or not to do something.  You might have even talked to yourself as you weighed out the options.  The woman was to be that person to the man, the part of him that is outside of him drawing him to the right option.  Hence, she was made to be very influential by being a mirror reflection of him, his conscience, and God's Word.  This is to be a proper helpmeet.  We see this power of influence with the first woman and keep on seeing it from there on out.  

Some women use this power for manipulation into evil -- like Jezebel, who was able to turn a whole land and its king to Baal worship.  Some use this same God-given gift for godly influences, to draw people (namely, her children) to godliness, encourage her husband to walk closer to God and integrity to the Word with constant reminder of many things in life that are not only immediately spiritual but can be linked spiritually to a Biblical truth, as we wives often do for our husband's betterment...all of which is to do exactly the very thing for which God created Eve for Adam -- help man[kind] keep the command[s] and mirror them to himself.

When I talk of an ezer kenegdo, an initial example may perhaps be Sarah.  The Bible does say how she became the mother of God's people and she submitted to her husband.  For years, this was my definition of an ezer kenegdo.  However, on that very week of doing this video study, I had a dream of a woman, pure at first, becoming seductive towards a prince whose bride was Egyptian (implying he was Egyptian).  He was going to remove his bride for her.  Her attempts towards sexual immorality were stopped by this prince's inability to have free time to follow through.  As I looked about the room, the understanding was that her mother had been here before.  It appears nothing was of that dream.  However, it wasn't until a couple days later when, in my study through Ezekiel with my husband, that we found ourselves reading through chapter 23, Jerusalem and Samaria taking foreign lovers.  In this passage, it speaks of them playing a harlot in Egypt.  Then I thought of the dream and the thought of the woman's mother having also been in the same position, as well as the passage itself immediately reminds us that these women are the daughters of one mother.  That mother was Sarah, and that same position happened to her twice.

Sarah submitted herself to being a harlot to a foreign king and to a man who was not her husband, rather than reminding her husband of God's ways and encouraging him in God's promises.  She even laughed at his promises of Isaac, making his name "laughter."  The foreign king says it was in the integrity of his heart that he intended on taking her.  Yet, I do not think it was in the integrity of her heart to submit, for she knew right well that she was another man's wife and that this was adultery.  God made the circumstance to where Egypt's prince could not follow through with his (and her) intention.  Her daughter, just as I dreamt, became as her...and it was a very troubling and sorrowful thing to see.

For a parsha that is entitled after Sarah, I am more struck by the womanly positive influence that comes after her death, by way of her daughter-in-law Rebekah.  Rebekah shows compassion towards the stranger when she gathers water for Abraham's traveling servant and his camels.  God commanded His children to be compassionate to the stranger who sojourns with them.  She left her father's house, the house of idolatry.  We are commanded to do the same.  She has faith to begin a journey out to marry someone she has never seen face to face.  All of us in God's covenant are on a journey to our own wedding, in faith, towards a Husband we have yet to see face to face.  Finally, she prepared herself for that wedding.  Upon initial reading we can see that the servant gave Rebekah bridal adornments, yet she is the one who prepared herself not only by receiving them, but by putting on the garments. 
Now Isaac had come from visiting Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the Negev.  Isaac went out to meditate strolling in the field at dusk.  Then he lifted up his eyes and saw, behold, camels were coming.  Rebekah also lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac.  Then she fell off her camel.  Then she said to the servant, "Who is that man there who is walking in the field -- to meet us?"  The servant said, "He is my master."  So she took the veil and covered herself.  -- Genesis 24:62-65 TLV
This year was the first time I had taken notice to the couple of verses that talk about Isaac meditating in the field at dusk.  I even checked numerous other versions, thinking maybe this is exclusive to this version.  I just couldn't believe that I don't remember that Isaac was meditating in the field.  In my head, I guess the scenario I thought I was reading was that Isaac was camped out in his tent and he walked out and saw the camels approaching.  It meant everything to me because it changed the greatest Biblical love story from being Boaz and Ruth and the Song of Solomon to these few verses here between Isaac and Rebekah.  

First of all, not only did Rebekah, in falling off the camel to veil herself, show that she dropped everything to prepare herself as a bride, but she met him in the field.  Talk about timing.  If she would have tarried at her father's house like her family wanted her to, then she wouldn't have been there at that exact moment that her king was in the field to meet him.  

In the month of Elul, we talk of it being a time when the King is in the field, and often leave with the question, "Where are you?"  The month of Elul is the king's beckon and yearning for His bride to meet Him in the field.  You can almost envision it as you read of Isaac's meditation, after the loss of his mother.  Rebekah, by far having the greatest positive womanly influence (to me) in the Torah today, is meeting her king as a bride.  What a great influence of preparation and actions that turned the story into what I consider the greatest love story of the Bible.  If you want a great love story, be the woman God intended you to be.  If you want a great love story with God, be the bride He intended you to be, prepare yourself with the washing of His Word and meet the King in the field.
Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, took Rebekah and she became his wife -- and he loved her.  So Isaac was comforted after the loss of his mother.  -- Genesis 24:67 TLV
The Hebrew word for "comforted" means a few things, like to sigh, breathe strongly, be sorry, console, etc.  One other thing it means is to avenge oneself.  One day, the King will take His bride and will have avenged Himself.  More so than wondering about God doing His job as avenger of blood, let us be concerned with doing ours in preparing as a bride.



*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, October 16, 2015

Noach: So Will the End Be

I have been looking forward to the time this week when I could sit down and discuss this parsha on blog.  When I woke up yesterday, in speaking with the Lord I had thought about the abortions that would take place that day on surgical abortion day at Planned Parenthood.  This, in turn, had me think about the loss of the value of life amongst life itself, and how across the world we see dehumanizing of each other and of ourselves as we give up our morals and defense of life.  I told the Lord that I can't imagine the world getting any worse, as I asked His speedy return.  I have heard some say they are let down over the tetrads, that no big shaking has happened, collapsing of mountains, or other big show to kick off the tribulation period, or whatever it is they believe is to be coming.  I have to say those people let me down.  They let me down because they are so focused on the scenery, and are not believing we are in the times we are in because of lack of destruction in the landscape.  Yet, when we put our focus on the souls, then, like I said, I cannot imagine the world getting any worse.  The attack on humans to completely destroy us is by far the more important thing we should focus on when we are contemplating if we are in the end times or not.  I think about how mankind is threatened and destroyed from before conception by birth control, then Plan B, homosexuality, infertility.  If conception does happen, a child must survive the womb, which is currently the most dangerous place to live in our world.  If the child survives the womb, it must survive the ridiculous amounts of toxins injected into it its first few years of life without compromising his/her intelligence, bodily function, and/or immune system that it will need to fight the other stuff that will attack him/her in his/her future.  If the child survives that, it must survive the poison it takes in through meals and hygiene products.  The child must then survive the brainwashing of public schools, government agencies, or the false indoctrination of the thousands of false ways that exist in the religious systems of our days.  It is absolutely the hand of God that a child can survive all things going against him/her from before conception, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, because when you think about it, the world attacks every human being in every way it possibly can to destroy any/all portion(s) of you that it can, to make you a selfish, self-pleasing person who makes our own self a god, if we even survive on a physical level.  Again, it is a miracle that God can have a real servant, have any more of an inheritance, considering the destruction of the human being from every possible angle imaginable.  Only by His hand are any faithful servants in existence.

That being said, let us turn to the passages in the Noah parsha.  I am going to tell you up front that the biggest thing that stuck out to me were the numbers.  Since we just passed by the Fall Holy Days, and since we know that the end will be as the days of Noah, I really tried to explore if anything in the Flood could be related to the Fall Holy Days.
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.  -- Genesis 7:4 KJV
First of all, I want to point out that the editors of my Key Word KJV Bible are honest enough to put a notation in areas where there has been a mistranslation in this version.  It is not a shocker that the KJV is not the infallible Word.  The notation they made on this verse was that "destroy" is actually "blot out" in the Hebrew.  Immediately, I am taken to the remarks when Scripture speaks of the lawless being blotted out from the Book of Life.  What a perspective it makes, as it brings us to relate the story of the Flood to the end days.

Notice the amount of time it rained upon the earth.  The number 40 is an interesting study.  We begin such study right here as we read there will be 40 days of water, after which a new people and new world emerge.  This sounds so much like the references to the End Times doesn't it?  To add, Romans 8 talks about the earth travailing and the people of the Lord travailing for the redemption of our body and the fulfillments of adoption.  This brings the travailing to last all the way through the End Times to a moment when we, as a child determined for adoption, are birthed so that the adoption can be completed.  A child is in a womb, the womb was filled with water, more and more, just as the Flood filled the earth with water, for 40 weeks.  That is the significance of the number 40 -- a time necessary for a live birth.
And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.  -- Genesis 7:6 KJV
I am especially intrigued to see that the age of Noah is consistent with the amount of time appointed to man.  Noah was 600 at that time, the number 6 is the number of a man.  We also know that the 120 years God appointed to man from the time He reveals there would be a flood is not just referring to 120 years from thence the Flood would begin, but that the earth would only have 120 Jubilee years, which equals 6,000 years.  Creation gets 6 days, but the 7th is the Lord's Day (we learned this from the creation account itself).  Hence, if, as Scripture says, that a day is as a thousand years with the Lord, then 6 days for creation would equal 6,000 years.  The next thousand years would then be the Day of the Lord, the 7th millennium and the millennial reign.  The wickedness of the earth saw itself until the 6   hundredth year of Noah's life.  The wickedness of the earth, in whole, will see itself to the 6 thousandth year of its existence.
And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.  -- Genesis 7:10 KJV
The good ole editors pointed out that this verse does not say "after" seven days in the original Hebrew text, but in proper translation should read, "on the seventh day."  What a difference that makes -- we are talking about a difference of a thousand years of evil reigning (whether on the 7th day/millennium, or after the 7th day/millennium), or a gross confusion of the prophecies within this passage about the End Times.   
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  -- Genesis 7:11 KJV   
The editors, once again, gave the correct translation for "windows" to be "floodgates."  This reminds me of the song "Let it Rain" by Michael W. Smith:  "Let it rain, let it rain.  Open the floodgates of heaven."  This song rolls like a silent praise every time it rains here.  Sometimes when we sing this song I wonder how many of the praisers think they are singing of some blessing pouring out of heaven?  We have to remember that no matter what we think this song is about, the lyrics are taken from a portion in Scripture when God opened the heavens and pronounced judgment on the earth.  I sing let it rain because I yearn for His righteous reign, I yearn for His return...and Beloved Reader, that return will come with judgment, so I sing in yearning for it as well.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth:  and Noah only remained [alive], and they that [were] with 
him in the ark.  -- Genesis 7:23 KJV
I am sorry, Friend, if you are waiting to be swept away before any of the great Day of the Lord.  To be the remnant is to...remain.  Just the same, it was the wicked earth that was swept away and Noah and all in the ark were the remnant because they alone remained.   
And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.  -- Genesis 8:4 KJV
How many times do we read that passage and are so focused on wondering the location that we skip past the time frame?  The ark rested right smack in the middle of Sukkot.  The ark rested on the time set apart for rest.
And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made...  -- Genesis 8:6 KJV
The window of the ark opened after 40 days of rain, just like the womb opens after 40 weeks of water.  Childbirth is all over the Flood account, and these days of Noah are like the days of the end.  What, then, is the purpose of this earth, our time in it, the pains, and anything pertaining to our lives?  It is a childbirth of the eternal kind.
And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.  And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.  -- Genesis 8:14-16 KJV
Around the time of Shavuot, God directs Noah to "Go," as a new creation moving forward.  This reminds me of the time of Shavuot (later known as Pentecost) after the Lord Yeshua's ascension where the Spirit's bidding was to "Go."
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.  -- Genesis 8:21 KJV
If you can stand it one more time, I will share the editors' correction of this version for this verse.  Rather than "a sweet savour," the Hebrew text is translated to be "savor of rest."  This changes my perspective on the End Times.  You see, many of us are thinking this is a time for our rest.  Just the same, the ark rests and so Noah and the inhabitants then can rest.  No.  How quickly we forget that we deserve to be put to death and have no rest.  The text says after the ark rested and the earth was rehabilitated by the remnant, then God had His savor of rest.  

In the creation account, we read that the 7th day was God's rest.  In being caught up on ourselves and looking forward to being able to kick our feet up after a (hopefully) long life of travail and labor for the Kingdom, let us ponder for a moment that the Day of the Lord, His millennial reign, will properly not be predominately our rest...but His rest.  Let us yearn for our Dear Lord's rest from His enemies and rest from extending His hand and lending His breath to those that use Him and hate Him.  Lord, we yearn for your rest.



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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

B'Reshit -- The Earth is a Mem

When we, as a family, reopened the Bible to start back over at Genesis a couple of days ago I had prayed that we would turn aside everything that we have been told and would read and trust what we have read with our own eyes. Earlier this year our family had researched into the flat-earth disc theory – which, by the way, was believed by the ancient Hebrew culture. This theory is well-appreciated in my family for many reasons, but one is that it begs the researcher to engage your own senses (namely, what you can see with your own eyes) rather than taking someone else's words as truth. For example, in the flat-earth argument, one would have to wonder how you know the world is indeed a globe? We must all confess that we believe so based upon the words of another, not based upon what we have actually seen with our own eyes. As a result of knowing that we can wholly believe what someone says without requiring logic nor eyewitness, we submit to the fact that we are easily brainwashed. We are very much a culture where in all things, including in churches, we believe something we were told rather than something that we have observed with our own senses that God gave us to distinguish between reality and false claims. So setting aside all things that we were told of the earth, we come to verse 2 and gather some things we have read and therefore will accept about the earth.
And the earth was chaos and waste, darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim was hovering upon the face of the water. – Genesis 1:2 TLV
Based upon what we can read with our own eyes at this point, we can say that the earth has darkness and that it also has water. Due to this, the earth is reminding me of a womb.

It was in my pregnancy with Elisha that I remember reading the weekly updates on prenatal development and somewhere around the 20th week of pregnancy the update said that a baby's eyes will open. I thought about how she had eyes well before the time she could open them, yet they were not developed enough to be open. Then I thought about how even after they are open, they are not ready to observe light, but she would still be seeing in darkness for some time before she is able to take in the light that will hit her eyes after childbirth – whether the natural light in the earth, or even the bright lights of a delivery room. I reflected upon us, spiritually. I realized that though we all have eyes it doesn't mean that they are opened. I also realized that even though some of us have open eyes, there is still a time of maturing our eyes so then right now we are seeing things as a light through a womb until we are birthed. I wonder if this is what Paul meant in I Corinthians 13:12.

The earth reminds me of a womb, and it has since my last child was in my womb. Not only does the second verse of the Bible bring me to confirm this, but then I think of all the Scripture passages that refer to the end times as a travailing through labor. The travailing will end with the birth of God's people, mature enough to behold the Light and see Him with their own eyes, face to face.

I really like the TLV's choice of words to say that the earth was chaos, which only further supports the concept of the earth as a womb. In Hebrew, the womb is represented by the letter mem. Mem comes in 2 forms: open and closed (soffit). Open mem means open waters, which means chaos. Closed mem means closed waters, no chaos. It is likened unto a woman whose waters break. As her womb is closed, there is peace within. However, when her womb opens, which is followed with the breaking of the waters, there is the bodily chaos of travailing.

If the earth is God's mem, then what is our purpose of being here? All of a sudden life has significant meaning and the gift given to women to bear children is an honorary witness. That is why Elisha's middle name is Edah. Her time in utero became a witness to me.

Yeshua tells Nicodemus that a man must be born of water and of the Spirit to have eternal life. It is well understood that the water is referring to the natural birth. A man must be born into this earth and born of the Spirit while on this earth. Friend, the purpose of life on this earth is greatly paralleled to the purpose of prenatal time for the growing of the baby.  Furthermore, in order for one to be birthed spiritually, he must first be birthed naturally.  Can you see the hate of the adversary and his seed toward God to rob Him of His inheritance?
Then God said, “Let the land sprout grass, green plants yielding seed, fruit trees making fruit, each according to its species with seed in it, upon the land.” And it happened. – Genesis 1:11 TLV
Then God created the large sea creatures and every living creature that crawls, with which the water swarms, according to their species, as well as every winged flying creature, according to their species. And God saw that it was good. Then God blessed them by saying, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas. Let the flying creatures multiply on the land.” – Genesis 1:21-22 TLV
God made the wild animals according to their species, the livestock according to their species, and everything that crawls on the ground, each according to its species. And God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1:25 TLV
The earth reminds me of a mem because it was made pregnant. First you have the trees that were made with their seeds. Next you have the land, sea, and water creatures made according to their species, which is to be made to reproduce their likeness. The first command God gave to life was to the creatures in vv. 21-22, and that is to reproduce.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness! Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the sky, over the livestock, over the whole earth, and over every crawling creatures that crawls on the land.” God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land and conquer it...” – Genesis 1:26-28a TLV
So then God makes the man to rule over all these pregnant things. He divides His image into male and female so that they must come together to bring forth the image of God – man alone isn't sufficient to bear witness, and neither is woman. Man has some characteristics of God separate from the characteristics of God that woman bears. However, it is together as male and female only that one of the greatest witnesses of God's character comes forth...and that is the ability to bring forth life. We see how mankind has perverted such a great witness of God's character by homosexuality and abortion.

Birth control, and abortion, came as a way for the sexually immoral to not have the natural results of conception come from their actions. It has long since penetrated into the married community, to where even though they are married and not engaging in sexually immoral sin, we still refuse to bear witness of God by denying bearing life in the womb and accepting birth control until the right job comes around, etc. The answer to abortion and failure to image-bear is simple. It is a command of God to abstain from sexual immorality and it is also a command (for the marrieds) to be fruitful and multiply.

In Exodus 34:6 the Lord is describing Himself to Moses. The first word He uses to describe Himself is most often translated as compassionate, or merciful. The Hebrew word is rachum, which is taken from racham. A recent amazing discovery I came across is that racham is best described as a pregnant woman's womb that contains a cherished fetus. God Himself uses the natural affections of a pregnant woman (or what should be her natural affections) to describe Himself to His people. There remains such an image of His character entrusted into the hands of pregnant women. To abort such a witness of Him is to not only go against the very purpose of your time in God's mem, but to most adversely reject Him.

With the fight against abortion we must remember that pregnancy is a strong image-bearer. We know it is an image-bearer of the Biblical Appointed Times, but it is also an image bearer of God's earth and of God Himself. Joining the fight doesn't need much convincing. Since we are in a reciprocal relationship with the Lord, I ask Him to help me protect His image since He so zealously protects mine.



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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Nitzavim -- Standing and Crossing

I am pondering the word Hebrew this week and meditating on what it means to cross over.  

Speaking of Hebrew, the writer of Hebrews does often use the story of post-exodus Israel to relate to spiritual truths.  Once again, take the story of the children of Israel, having crossed over the Red Sea, rebuilding, and then having crossed over the Jordan, and let us learn a bit more about the word Hebrew.  We can see that crossing over is more than just leaving, but also arriving somewhere.  
"Each of you is to cross over into the covenant of Adonai your God that He is cutting with you today, and into His oath."  -- Deuteronomy 29:11 TLV
Arriving somewhere, though, often takes preparation.  The world over, we train for things we are about to engage in or enter.  The Scripture is talking about crossing over into a covenant before that final cross over Jordan, and in fact that cross over into Jordan is a part of the cross over into the Covenant.  As you know, people not in covenant and already there were kicked out.  The preparation itself is a crossing over.  The time in preparation was, in action, faithfulness to being crossed over and eventually that faithfulness and endurance lead to the final cross over Jordan. 

The heart of the cross over is the oath mentioned in the verse.  The oath, as said earlier in the chapter, is to Shamar -- to guard and keep -- the Covenant.  This word is first given to Adam in relation to the garden.  Rather than guard, he allowed Satan to come in and put a seed a doubt against the word and command.  Too many times since then, believers have allowed the same thing to repeat itself:  God gives commands and also commands that we guard and keep (which is to observe) them and we allow Satan to whisper that we don't have to.  Mass, modern Christianity today is centered upon the same incident that happened in the garden, yet still claim the blessings of the Lord and the final cross over.  He addressed this issue in verses later:
"Now when someone hears the words of this oath and in his heart considers himself blessed, thinking, 'Shalom will be mine, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart' -- thus sweeping away the moist with the dry -- Adonai will be unwilling to forgive him.  For then the anger of Adonai and His jealousy will smoke against that person.  So all the oath that is written in this scroll will settle on him, and Adonai will blot out his name from under the heavens."  -- Deuteronomy 29:18-19 TLV
The adversary, being adverse to the Law, would like to whisper that we cannot do it, it is too difficult, Jesus did it so we don't have to.  It is definitely difficult to love God and love your neighbor (the commandments are instructions on how to do this), if you are like the devil in being adverse to these and only for yourself.  
"For this mitzvah that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off.  It is not in the heavens, that you should say, 'Who will go up for us to the heavens and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?'  Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross over for us to the other side of the sea and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?'  No, the word is very near to you -- in your mouth and in your heart, to do it."  -- Deuteronomy 30:11-14 TLV
The cross over into the oath takes place in the heart.  The crossed over heart will do it.  
"What I am commanding you today is to love Adonai your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His mitzvot, statutes, and ordinances.  Then you will live and multiply, and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are going in to possess."  -- Deuteronomy 30:16 TLV
Once again, let us use a story in the Torah to teach us a spiritual truth.  I mentioned Adam and guarding the garden earlier, paralleled to us guarding the Torah.  Why wouldn't Adam want to guard the garden?  God walked with him in there.  It contained all the good produce he could ever desire.  It was fruitful.  It was peaceful.  When any one person thinks of the garden, they think it a bountiful place, full of blessings and shalom.  To this place, Adam was to shamar.  To the Covenant (Torah most inclusive) we are to shamar; and of the Torah, it is described in the same detail as the garden:  within its walls God walks with us (or rather, we walk with Him), it contains good fruit, blessings, and shalom. 



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Friday, September 4, 2015

Ki Tavo: The Heart of the Matter

Torah, Torah, Torah.  I am amazed at the snares of many Christians when this word is mentioned.  Though as believers, we often say God's Word governs us and in earnest it is the Law.  The Scriptures that we use against homosexuality and abortion derive from Torah, yet some Christians quoting that Torah will cringe at the word torah.

I used to be one of them, and had to do inventory on why, though I said I love God's Word, I cringed at the constant mention of Torah.  I'm sure you could once relate to that attitude (though I hope not anymore) -- "I don't have to do this," or  "Where is the love in all of this?"  In time we understand that love is defined Torah.  It is the instructional on how to love.  Paul, in Romans, tells us to uphold the "Law of Love" that NT believers claim to be under, is actually the keeping of the Law (Torah).  Then of course, it sinks in that Messiah says if we love Him we will keep His commandments, and John's words of "This is the love of God, that we keep the commandments."

To have a heart that says God's commandments have changed (which is to say God's character has changed, and ultimately that God has changed) is to go far into the realm of blasphemy just for the sake of feeling free and content in thinking you don't have to do whatever it is in God's Law that you are still against.   
Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, "Keep the whole mitzvah that I am commanding you today."  Deuteronomy 27:1
What is it about rules that makes people think they have lost their freedom?  Truly, that seed of thinking came from Satan in the beginning, because we understand that Law is order is peace is equality is justice, and in turn is therefore love toward all.  Lawlessness is selfishness is crime is chaos is death.  Which one is true freedom?
"'So now, look!  I have brought the first of the fruits of the soil that You have given me, Adonai.'  Then you are to set it down before Adonai your God and worship before Adonai your God.  You will rejoice in all the good that Adonai your God has given to you and to your house -- you, the Levite, and the outsider in your midst."  -- Deuteronomy 26:10-11 TLV
God freed Israel from the house of bondage.  Is it too much to want them to rejoice in this?  He, like any one of us, wants the family that is happy to be in His presence and rejoices to be in relationship with Him, not the "I don't have to do this..." mentality.  If you were to adopt a teenager and that teenager comes up to you and says, "Look, this is what is going to happen.  You are going to allow me this, and from you I still expect this.  I will obey these rules of yours but there are certain ones that I just don't think are applicable or are for me, so you will have to excuse me on these..."  What nonsense.  Who is the parent here?  This child is acting very unappreciative and is ignorant to the fact that you did him a service in taking him in.  You, as the parent, are not on a power trip to feel this way, but seeing that you are going to care for his wellbeing and pay the cost of taking him into your house, he is your responsibility and you must set rules accordingly.  It isn't about I don't have to, but I get to.  Compare the first teenager with another that you adopt who now says I get to have security, protection, companionship, headship, direction, provision, when I once did not have these.  I use the example of parent-child, because from raising children we know that a "I don't have to" heart is a rebellious heart.
"Now when you cross over the Jordan, you are to set up these stones about which I am commanding you today on Mount Ebal, and coat them with plaster.  There also you will build an altar to Adonai your God, an altar of stones -- you are not to use an iron tool on them.  You are to build the altar of Adonai your God of whole stones, and you are to offer up burnt offerings on it to Adonai your God.  You are to sacrifice fellowship offerings and eat there, and you will rejoice before Adonai your God.  You are to write on the stones all the words of this Torah very clearly."  -- Deuteronomy 27:4-8 TLV
If you recall from the parsha, Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim are across from each other.  From Mount Gerizim some of the tribes were to say the blessings, and from Mount Ebal some of the tribes are to say the curses.  They are clearly said and all say, "Amen" after each one, to acknowledge and be in agreement.

I saw a powerpoint image of these two mountains side by side, that looked like shoulders.  From the valley, if a man has his face turned towards Jerusalem he is looking at Mount Gerizim (blessings).  If he turns his face away from Jerusalem he is looking at Mount Ebal (curses).  Mount Ebal is also where God commanded the stones to be set up with the Torah written clearly on it.  So then, as you are walking away in rebellion from God's Kingship, not only do you see a reminder of the Torah so that you clearly know that what you are doing is wrong, but with the Torah written on stone you also see a reminder of your heart:  stone.

The New Covenant, as prophesied in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, is not that God would do away with the Torah (remember, the problem between God's Law and us is us, not His Law), but rather that He would do away with the stony heart that it is written upon, pay our debt of violating Torah, and that by the power of His Holy Spirit we are able to walk that Law we once did not.  The heart of the problem is the problem with the heart.  Test yourself, if you can rejoice in the whole Torah of our God.



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