O Bae!

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Do I have your attention?  LOL!

I hate some of the modern slang.  But, if you haven’t figured it out, it’s a phonetic device, encouraging the reader to “obey”.

I have posted many, many times how Kefa [Peter] warned that even in his day people were twisting the words of Sha’ul [Paul], to their destruction, and he called them “without/outside of Torah”.  Yet, so many today ignore the very plain meaning of his admonition, and the many other warnings the Brit Khadashah [NT] scriptures give the reader concerning ignoring the Mitzvot of Elohim [Commandments of G-d].  Kefa warned that they twist Sha’ul’s words, “Like they do the OTHER scriptures,”  presumably to include the gospels, which had undoubtedly already been written.  People say  that the Mitzvot that Yeshua taught were just love G-d and people, and that He turned on the Torah, destroyed/obliterated it, and taught the Jews to forget it.  They do not realize that NO JEW, including all of the Shlikhim [Apostles], would have accepted Him as their Messiah had He done such a work of blasphemy.  The blasphemy the Jewish leaders accused Yeshua of was NOT turning away from Torah, but declaring Himself to be equal with G-d, which He is.  They just didn’t believe that. But had Yeshua come to dismiss the Torah, NOT ONE PERSON in Yisra’el would have called Him Messiah or put their trust in Him.

Surely most believers in Yeshua understand that every person who wrote the scriptures was Jewish?  Surely most believers understand that every Shali’akh [Apostle] was a Jewish Torah keeper?  Surely they understand the Ru’akh [Spirit] was given first to them, and then to 3,000 JEWISH people [Ma’asei / Acts 2], who were keeping Torah by virtue of being in Yerushalayim for the feast of Shavu’ot [what most know as ‘Pentecost’, which was one of the commanded Sabbaths of G-d ].  And even more surely, most believers understand that the ‘scriptures’ mentioned in the Brit Khadashah [NT], are and can ONLY be the scriptures of the Tanakh [OT]?

So, with all that in mind, I ask my new readers to take a serious look at the following, very simple verse, and ‘see’ that Sha’ul [Paul] taught the Mitzvot [commandments], as did Yeshua, and that these were not limited to two ‘new’ commands, but were those written in HaDavar [The Word], which is today called the Tanakh [OT], as, at the time Sha’ul wrote this letter, those were the only ‘scriptures’ that existed, and HaDavar was, at that time, exclusively the Torah, Nevi’im, and K’tuvim [Law, Prophets, and Writings, ie, Tanakh/OT].

“Now we command you, my brethren, in the Name of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh, to shun every brother who leads an evil life and not in accord with The Mitzvot which he received from us.”

In your greek-derived bibles, the word there is ‘customs,’ from the greek ‘paradosis.’  But, that greek word actually means “Jewish customs.”  Is it at all possible then that greek translators were trying to inch away from the Mitzvot even then?  Remember Kefa’s warning [ 2 Peter 3:14-19 ] .  Possibly.  But, they may have had a stronger, Jewish understanding of the word ‘paradosis’ than more modern translators are willing to admit.  The best sources tell us this word is a term used exclusively for Jewish customs, but, true Jewish customs that the Shlikhim taught were derived from and supported the Torah. The Aramaic Peshitta texts precede the greek, and are the source of the greek texts, and this verse helps to prove that.  The Aramaic word there is פּוּקדָּנֵא , pukdaneh, which is the Aramaic word for מִּצְווֹת , “Mitzvot”, the Hebrew word for ‘commandments’.  So, Sha’ul, here, is commanding his readers [ancient readers, as most modern readers abhor any commandment], to obey the Mitzvot, and to shun brothers who do not, but choose to live an evil life.  Sin is breaking Torah [ 1 Jo 3:4], so an evil life is one that goes against Torah.  I suppose one chooses the ‘degree’ of evil he wishes to practice, or to shun.  But, clearly, Sha’ul is teaching his readers to follow HaDavar, as written in the Tanakh.  The proof?  A previous verse:

“Henceforth, my brethren, stand firmly established and be strong in The Mitzvot, which you have been taught, either in HaDavar, or in our letters.”

Yes, again, the greek and subsequent translators twisted/monkeyed with this verse: first, they change pukdaneh to paradosis instead of “entole,” the actual greek word for ‘commandments.’  This word is The Mitzvot, the commandments of G-d the creator; then, they twist again when “either in word or our letters” they write.  In the Aramaic, however, it reads, “baMilta”, which is most accurately rendered, “in The Word“.  HaDavar.  Which is a Biblical and Jewish name for the Torah, and eventually for the Torah Teacher, Yeshua.

“…which are written in this Sefer HaTorah [book of the Torah]; if you turn unto יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul. For this Mitzvah which I command you this day, it is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?” But HaDavar is very nigh unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.” D’varim [Deut] 30:10-14

HaDavar became a body, which is Yeshua HaMashi’akh in the flesh.  The TORAH became flesh….

Again, how much of G-d’s word do YOU choose to obey?  What pastors tell you, or what is actually written BY G-d Himself?  You decide.

“And if it seems evil unto you to serve יהוה , choose you this day whom you will serve….. as for me and my house, we will serve  יהוה .”

Sergeant John

I told a brief portion of this ‘story’ this past Shabbat.  But, I am compelled to share a little bit more of it today, given our portion last week, and Yeshua being so compassionate to the ‘homeless’ man who was in bondage.

I’ve been contracted to downtown Houston now for almost a year.  I take a daily walk, sometimes more than once, to clear my head and break the monotony.  Some of the encounters I’ve had have been very interesting, and I’ve written of a few.  I also ride the bus to get here, and this has been another source of meeting some interesting people, of many varieties.  Last week, I had another encounter with a disabled Veteran.  But, it came on the heels of an encounter with the same man three weeks before, and that was still not the first time I’d run across him.

So, three weeks ago, I go to our bus stop, and was the only bus rider there.  The only other person on that corner was a homeless man in a wheel chair.  I’d seen him on many other occasions, and interacted with him at least twice.  But, that day, it was just me and him for a while.  The first times I’d seen him, he was very unpleasant, asking people for money and then fussing at them quite contemptuously when they did not oblige.  He once suggested that I go to the ATM, as I’d told him I did not carry cash.  But, he and I had never ‘talked.’  So, on that day, he sees me, and asks me for some money for a sandwich; again I told him I had nothing to give.  He didn’t get ugly this time.  But, he said something insinuating that I didn’t care.  I looked him directly in the eyes, probing his eyes for absolute contact: “I care for you!  I care that you’re a person!”  By that time, one or two people had collected at the bus stop.  He was stunned.  He didn’t know what to say.  When he did not respond, I turned and wandered a bit closer to where I usually stand to await the bus.  A silent moment or two passed, and I heard him say something about my kippah.  I turned, “What’s that?”  He was smiling.  “I’ve never seen a Jew wearing a kippah AND a motorcycle jacket….I’ve been around the world twice, been in 27 countries, and met all kinds of people and seen a lot; but I’ve never seen a Jew in a kippah and a motorcycle jacket!”  I smiled.  “You don’t think we ride bikes?”  “I didn’t say that, just that I’ve never seen that before!”

And then we started talking.  I asked him how he lost his leg and his eye.  He told me he was in Desert Storm.  I told him I trained some of the submariners who launched Tomahawks at Sadam.  “Much respect for you submariners,” he said.  And he started relating his exploits, and I shared some of mine.  We developed a bit of a rapport, brief as it was.  A few more usual bus riders had gathered and heard our conversation.  I asked him his name, and that is when he introduced himself as Sergeant John…..  my bus was approaching, so I shook his hand, told him my name, and told him, “Next time I see you, I will take care of you.”  There was a look of trust in his eyes.

Two weeks went by, and I did not see the Sergeant.  Then, last Friday, I went to the stop a little early.  I’d put some cash in my pocket two weeks before, in preparation of seeing him again.  When I got to the bus stop, there was the Sergeant.  He was talking to another rider, and apparently the man had said something to the Sergeant that did not sit well, so he’d started fussing, and turned and made his way toward my approach.  I saw him, and reached into my pocket, saying, “Hey Sergeant,” and retrieved the cash I’d put there for him.  He humbled himself a mite… shocked that he was getting his ‘sandwich’ money, and telling us all again how some of the sites around downtown won’t help him.

The Sergeant is probably not in the best frame of mind at times.  And yes, he may be a ‘user,’ and may be somewhat responsible for his circumstances.  Or not.  But, I have gotten to the point that I do not care. I don’t try to presume why these people are in the state they’re in.  If I can give them but a moment where they can be connected to Messiah Yeshua, perhaps HE can do something for them, that no one else can.

I’m not going out of my way looking for Sergeant, or any of the other regulars I see on the streets.  One of them I met six years ago, and just this last fall he started trying to tell me the SAME story then that he told me six years ago, as if he’d been in a time-lock for six years, a “Ground Hog Day” scenario.  So I’m not naïve.  But, I do avail myself to the Master and ask Him to give me wisdom, and most of all compassion, HIS compassion, like Yeshua had for the man among the Gadri’im, who himself cried out “What have I to do with you, Yeshua, Ben El Elyon?”  Last night, as I lay in bed and meditated on the word, I was musing over how ‘idiomatic’ that phrase must be in Hebrew.  Literally, it reads “Ma Li u’lekha, Yeshua Ben El Elyon?”  Literally, “What is for me and for you, Yeshua, Son of the Most High?”  Could he have been saying, ‘what is between you and me?’  I truly believe he was crying out for Yeshua’s help, whatever the exact meaning of that phrase is, which is probably somewhat lost on our western minds.  The man ends up clothed and calm, sitting at Yeshua’s feet.  I’m beginning to desire that for every human that is separated from Messiah by this world.  Because Yeshua has pretty much said to me the same thing he said to that homeless, insane, wild man: “Go to your home, to your own people, and tell them what יהוה has done for you, and that He has had mercy on you.”  If all of us only knew how much mercy and compassion He has shown to each of us, we’d all desire that everyone be calm and clean, sitting at His feet…..

Mitzvah Good, Enmity Bad…

“For He is our shalom, who has made both [Jews and Gentiles] one, and has broken down the M’khitzah between them; and He has abolished by His Body the enmity, and the teaching of regulations in its commandments, that He may create, from the two, one new man in His image, thus making shalom; and He reconciled both [Jews and Gentiles] in one body with Elohim, and with His stake He destroyed the enmity; and He came and declared shalom to you who are far away, and to those who are near. Through Him we both are able to draw near, by one Ru’akh, to HaAv. Thus from henceforth you are neither strangers nor foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the k’doshim, and children of the household of Elohim; and you are built upon the foundation of the Shlikhim and the Nevi’im, Yeshua HaMashi’akh Himself being the cornerstone of the building: and through Him the whole building is fashioned and grows into a Heikhal Kadosh, through the help of יהוה , you also are built up by Him for a Mishkan [dwelling place] of Elohim through HaRu’akh.”

Most people, when they read these verses in English, do not realize that Sha’ul is putting the reader right smack in the Synagogue!

Above is the final rendering of this passage in our upcoming offering of “HaDavar,” minus the parenthetical statements that are inserted here only, only for clarity.  I remind everyone of Kefa’s statements about the difficulty people had even in his day of understanding the writings of Sha’ul, and also the bent of bad teachers to twist the Scriptures AND Sha’ul’s words, to their own destruction.  Mind you, Kefa was writing about people who called themselves believers, saying that they were teachers who were OUTSIDE of the Torah! [2 Pet 3:17]  And they were destroying themselves.  I’m certain that those who followed them were unaware of their evil twist on The Word, but perhaps Kefa’s admonition awakened them.  Perhaps not.

So, back to the Synagogue.  The word that puts us in the Synagogue is “M’khitzah.”  In each Synagogue, there was a M’khitzah, a wall, that kept out anyone who was not circumcised and part of the Men of Yisra’el.  They could hear the readings, and sing the prayers, but they could not come in and participate in or lead the services.

In our passage in Efisim 2:14-22, it is abundantly clear that Yeshua DESTROYED the M’khitzah!  Did He go into every Jewish synagogue and tear down the M’khitzah of division?  No.  What, then, did He tear down?  The M’khitzah in this passage is NAMED:  THE ENMITY between Jews and Gentiles.  That enmity is what caused the Jews to put up a M’khitzah in the synagogue.  Yeshua ABOLISHED that, making all people able to come close to THE TORAH, the main instrument of Jewish worship and learning.

Verses 15 and 16 are key verses here, and actually read the same in Aramaic and Greek, but in English renderings, there are cheats.  They are twisted.  These cheats remind me of Kefa’s verses of admonition about teachers twisting scripture.

Ours, which is translated directly from Amaramaic, reads:

and He has abolished by His Body the enmity, and the teaching of regulations in its commandments, that He may create, from the two, one new man in His image, thus making shalom; and He reconciled both [Jews and Gentiles] in one body with Elohim, and with His stake He destroyed the enmity….”

The King James, and many other English translations, read this way:

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

I have not molested those KJV verses in any way.  They are pasted herein exactly as they stand in the KJV.

The first ‘twist’ to point out is the word “even”.  A good version of the KJV will have that word in italics, as I found it in my KJV version.  Italicized words in a good KJV bible means the word is NOT in the greek source texts.  It is inserted.  In this case, it is inserted to bend the meaning of the text, to point the reader AWAY from the ENMITY, which is clearly what is abolished, to the Torah, which is what the twisters [translators] want the reader to believe is abolished.  This is a trick of HaSatan, who is the original liar and bender of the Word of G-d.  In the English, it is difficult to see that in BOTH Aramaic and Greek the word ‘law’, “torah” in Hebrew and “nomos” in greek, is modified with a declension: a suffix that makes the word actually ‘torah of’ [rendered ‘teaching of’ in HaDavar] and ‘nomos of’ rendered ‘law of’ in the KJV.  Having the word ‘even’ in there, however, puts the English reader’s focus on ‘law’.  To further muddy the water, the word ‘contained’ is also inserted, in an effort to further focus on ‘law’ and not enmity.  And the reader then thinks that the ‘law’ is abolished, in spite of the fact that the only thing abolished in these verses is ENMITY between Jews and Gentiles!  Even in the KJV and greek texts!

Further, the twisters have actually CHANGED another word altogether in their renderings: from ‘stake’ to ‘cross.’  While that is another subject altogether, I mention it here to show that the phenomenon about which Kefa wrote has carried into our day ad nauseum.  The word there is ‘stauros’ in greek, NOT ‘tau.’  Tau is the greek word for ‘cross’.  That word is not in ANY book of the ‘New Testament.’  NOWHERE.  Welcome to victimhood.

But, what is true, is that Yeshua’s BODY hung on the stake that was fastened to the tree.  And in HIS BODY, which hung on the stake, the ENMITY between Jews and Gentiles was abolished.  Because He suffered for ALL. And because He abolished that enmity, He is creating ONE NEW MAN, reconciling JEWS AND GENTILES to G-d, TOGETHER, and building a consecrated Sanctuary of flesh and blood Jews and Gentiles in which is Ru’akh HaKodesh can dwell.

So, what is “the teaching of regulations in its commandments,” or, “the law of commandments in ordinances.”

The word ‘Torah’ does indeed mean ‘teaching,’ and therefore ‘toraht’ is ‘teaching of.’  The question is, does this verse actually speak about the Torah of Elohim?  The first five books of the Bible, and the ‘law’ most people think is Jewish?  I submit to you that it does not.  The biggest reason is that the Torah of G-d in NO WAY creates enmity between Jew and Gentile.  It is rife with instructions to the Jews to be kind to the nations.  It instructs Yisra’el to warn even its enemies of pending attacks, giving them a chance to make peace.  It tells Yisra’el to have one Torah for Jews and strangers in their midst, and NOT to treat them differently.  And, at the end of each sacred year, Yisra’el was to offer seventy bulls as a sacrifice for all the Gentiles.  The Torah is in NO WAY divisive between Jews and Gentiles.

So, what instruction is divisive such that it created enmity between Jew and Gentile?  It is the ‘teachings of the Rabbis,’ that taught Jews NOT even to eat with Gentiles, not to associate with them, not to allow them to worship in the Synagogue unless they became Jews!  These are the same ‘regulations’ about which Yeshua chided the Rabbis in Yokhanan Markos 7 [Mark 7], saying, “The Navi Yesha-Yahu well prophesied about you, O hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people [Jews] honor me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.  And they worship me in vain when they teach as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For you have ignored the mitzvah of Elohim, and you observe the tradition of men…. “You certainly do injustice to the mitzvah of Elohim so as to sustain your own tradition….. So you dishonor the D’var HaElohim [Word of G-d] for the sake of the tradition which you have established…”

Mind you, many Jewish traditions are wonderful, and biblical, and support the Torah, and they have their purpose in the lives of all who trust in G-d through Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.  But traditions of men and commandments that Elohim did not give, that contravene the Torah, those are the source of ENMITY between true believers in Elohim and people who would create a class system in His Kingdom.  [There is never a class system in His Kingdom, but people are creating their own kingdoms, thinking that they are building His.]

Yeshua took OUR SIN into His Body when He died, and because of this the enmity between Jews and Gentiles is DESTROYED.  This is why any HINT of anti-Semitism in the Body of Messiah is so egregious.  Enmity is a two-way street, and Yeshua UNIFIED us by His death.  The enmity was indeed started by Yisra’el and their disobedience to Torah, but it is perpetuated by Gentiles who disobey.  One who is truly IN MESSIAH has NO ENMITY in His heart, regardless of his DNA.  “With His stake He destroyed the enmity.

Further, in our passage, at the conclusion of the chapter, Sha’ul clearly shows that the House that Yeshua is building, the spiritual ‘Body’ of believers, is established on the cornerstone of Yeshua Himself.  Atop that is the Torah [referred to in this passage as the Nevi’im, the “Prophets”; most people forget Moshe was a Prophet, so His books, Genesis-Deuteronomy, i.e. the Torah, are included in the FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE-BODY]. And atop that is the Shlikhim, the writers of the Brit Khadashah [Apostles/NT].  Dear reader, please understand, the Torah is FOUNDATIONAL to your faith!  To the BODY OF MESSIAH.  Without it, we cannot know what sin is.  And this is precisely why this so-called ‘Christian nation’ in which we live is BEREFT of righteousness, and people cannot live a successful, righteous life.  They have turned from the Ru’akh, which teaches us His Torah and gives us power to keep the weightier matters of it.

May the reader be blessed and understand the unity of the House of G-d, and the beauty of doing what G-d says to do in its simplicity.

 

 

 

 

 

Shalom, Readers!

It’s been a while!

If you’re keeping up with my posts, you should know that we recently moved.  It was a brutal process!  We had so much stuff.  But we are purging, and we are going to be quite content where we are in our new home.

Lots is happening on other fronts as well.  The “Messianic Peshitta Megilah for Purim” is about to go to press!  I am hoping it can be ready for all who want to celebrate Purim and/or study the Book of Esther from a Messianic and prophetic perspective before and during Purim this year.   For those of us who follow the Biblical model, the way G-d said to set the feasts, Purim will be tricky this year, unless the barley is late.  We will know in the first week of March whether or not Pesakh will delay until April, and if so, we will keep Purim in March.  I am hoping our Shpiel is again the best one yet.

HaDavar, D’var  יהוה  will be next to go to the publisher!  It has been thoroughly edited, and my hope is that the oopsies are minimal if not nonexistent.  It is always like the Bedikat Khametz when you edit a document of that size.  It seems that no matter how thorough you are, you find a little leaven after you’ve finished the hunt.  But, I hope that our Blessed Father and yourselves see the amount of effort we have put into it.  If we are able to send it off to the publisher early next week, then we should see it in print within a couple of months!  Hopefully before Pesakh!

I was reading in Kefa Alef this morning, and I am so encouraged that we are indeed seeing ‘last things’ play out on the world stage.  People who lack faith really do think we are strange and they do heap abuse on us for not agreeing to their sinful acts.  Being distinct from the world is very much like threading the needle.  I only hope that until Messiah comes and gets us that we can make a difference for someone, turn hearts to Him, soften hearts that have been offended, and create unity in the Body of Messiah on some level.  That is truly our prayer.

I hope that all readers can look up today, and see the face of Messiah smiling on those who love Him.  And know that Avinu [Our Father] is indeed watching over His Word, to finish the work in our lives.  His eternal B’sorah is well worth all the effort we put forth, even though in these last days it seems that so few really want to walk in His ways.

Shalom!