FB Merger w Yokhanan

Yesterday, I finished reading Yokhanan again, my favorite account of the B’sorah.  I got excited about some things that are in ‘plain sight’, and posted them on fb.  I’ve commented on some of these in former posts, but these are just fresh nuggets of observation.  Here are the three posts in one here on my blog:


4:35 AM

Continued in Yokhanan:
“Now since it was almost Erev Shabbat, the Y’hudim said, “Let not these bodies remain on their execution stakes, because HaShabbat is beginning,” but this Yom Shabbat was a HIGH DAY.”
People rightly conclude that the Biblical Shabbat starts on Friday Evening [Erev Shabbat], but WRONGLY think that He was executed on a fri evening. This ‘Sabbath day’ was a HIGH DAY…meaning, it was NOT the regular, weekly Shabbat, but a ‘sabbath’ created by the Pharisees, the 15th of Nisan; Yeshua’s High Sabbath had begun the night before, when He kept THE Pesakh Seder at its proper, Torah-given time. This was actually a WEDNESDAY night, when He was hung on the tree….

4:46 AM

Since I just read about His execution again this morning, I thought I’d repost this.  ‘Watching’ Him die again this morning, my heart is invigorated.
I ‘see’ it so much more clearly, every time I read it, how He took MY place, OUR place. There is SO MUCH in Yokhanan 19….
Today, I think about His PAIN.
And the fact that the ‘new birth’ into His Kingdom began the moment He died, when His dead body was pierced, causing blood and water to flow…
We are still being ‘born’ into LIFE because of that moment.
HOW it was done has been twisted, for theo-political reasons. The ‘vision’ of it is thwarted.
Consider: https://danielperek.com/2019/04/17/men-orah-you-wrong/

5:35 AM

Okay, I thought I was done, BUT, I finished reading Yokhanan, and realized THIS for the FIRST TIME, and got EXCITED: in ch 21:
Yeshua addressed Shimon Kefa, saying “Shimon Ben Yonah”…

Shimon is his given name, the one his parents gave him. Yeshua usually called him Kefa, or “Shimon Kefa”. The name ‘Shimon Kefa’ literally means, “Hear with acceptance [Shimon], ROCK”.

So here, Yeshua is saying to Kefa by saying His whole legal, earthly, given name, “Shimon Ben Yonah”, “Hear with acceptance a Son, A Dove,” THREE TIMES.

Yonah means ‘dove’; the Ru’akh had descended on Yeshua in the shape of a Yonah.

The word ‘ben’ is ‘Son’, which comes from the root word ‘banah,’ ‘to build’. A man builds a house through his son. The two letters in ‘ben’ are ‘bet’ and ‘nun’; a letter ‘bet’ is a symbol of a house,’ and a ‘nun’ is a symbol of a seed. A son is the seed of a house, and a son ‘builds’ up the house of his father.

Yeshua addressed Shimon Ben Yonah that way three times, saying, “Tend to my lambs; Tend to my sheep; Tend to my ewes.” Tend to/care for the WHOLE FLOCK.

Each time the first word of the great command, “Hear, O Yisra’el,” [Shema], was echoed in Shimon’s name: “Hear and accept”.

Yeshua wanted him to HEAR…

Shimon, who is usually called a ‘rock,’ [kefa], is called by His LEGAL name, earthly name, which beckons him to hear the Son and the Ru’akh, to tend to His WHOLE FLOCK.

I have to get to my other writing, but I just had to share…


Who are “They”

So I’ve been reading Yokhanan this week; my favorite account of the B’sorah, because I identify with Yokhanan, the writer.  He writes in a very detailed fashion, giving a full eight chapters to Yeshua’s last Pesakh.  One might call that ‘long-winded’ today.

In that account of Pesakh, the third one he mentions in his book, Yeshua teaches His Talmidim about who He is, about the coming of the Ru’akh HaEmet, and about true obedience being measured by doing the Mitzvot, those that were from the Father, given to Yeshua, and given to us, just as the Ru’akh is from the Father, given to Yeshua, who gives it to us.

He then tells His Talmidim that the measure of whether or not we are keeping the Mitzvot is whether or not we love one another, “Just as I have loved you.”  That is a TALL order. Yeshua loved His Talmidim to the point of death.  T’oma, whom many call ‘the doubter’, was not in any way a doubter.  He was the one who had, just a few days before, said, “Let us go and die with Him.”  Here, he has told Yeshua, “Show us HaAv”.  And Yeshua explains that He is a perfect expression, an exact manifestation of HaAv, because HaAv [The Father] IS IN HIM, and He is IN HIS Father, BY and THROUGH the Ru’akh. And, because He gives us of His Ru’akh HaEmet [His ‘Breath of Truth’, ‘True Breath’ (spirit)], we will love one another, but be hated by the world.

I saw an old friend in the gym yesterday, and we discussed this ‘hatred,’ and how very evil people can be.  He and I had just gone through similar things concerning ‘the world’ and its treatment of people in general [the love of most will grow cold because of lack of Torah], and its treatment of believers that is worse than just general ‘lack of love,’ but a fomented hatred of Truth.

There are those who say they believe, but they do not express their love for Messiah through obedience to His Word.  Yeshua had, just three months before, taught on the ‘False shepherds’, and the ONE False Shepherd.  He explained there that His sheep follow after His Voice, His Way, and anyone halfway learned in the Jewish scriptures understands that The Way is The Torah, and for us who believe, it is The Torah as explained/expounded by Messiah Yeshua.  He alone is our Rabbi.

At Pesakh, after explaining His Oneness with HaAv, the coming Ru’akh HaKodesh, obedience to the Mitzvot being a true expression of love for Messiah, and the hatred of the world for any who follow Him, He then shows us a ‘they’, and today, too many people completely miss the point of His teaching.

“They” will do all ‘these things’ for the sake of My Name, He said.  What things?  Hate His Talmidim; persecute His Talmidim; hate The Father; hate Yeshua; put you out of the Beit Knesset [synagogues]; kill you to think they offer G-d a gift; not believe/trust in Yeshua.

So, who are “they”?

In context, it looks as if it He is speaking of the Jewish people, on the surface, because he is talking to twelve Jews, and talking about “synagogues”.  The question is, is that who He had in mind?  And if so, is that the only people He had in mind?  The more correct answer is, He is talking about everyone who REJECTS the TORAH.  And what many Messianic believers today do not realize is that our Jewish leaders REJECTED TORAH before Yeshua showed up!  The night He said all of these things, the Jewish leaders SHOULD have been having THEIR Pesakh Seder; but, they CHOSE to move the Pesakh.  And so, they could not recognize that Yeshua IS THE PESAKH LAMB.  He had had discussion with them about THEIR customs REPLACING the Mitzvot of G-d, but they just refused to hear Him [Mark 7].  And today, GENTILE theologians, who are quick to disparage all Jewish people because of their rejection of Messiah, even though the first 100,000 or so believers were ALL JEWISH, have done the VERY SAME THING, and REPLACED the Mitzvot of G-d with THEIR COMMANDS.  They ‘hear’ “Remember the Sabbath Day, to rest on the Seventh Day,” and ‘say’ ‘we don’t have to do that; we can worship on any day, Jesus rose on the first day [which is false] so we worship on day 1’.  They REJECT the MITZVAH of G-d for their own tradition, JUST LIKE the Jewish theologians of His day did, and just like Jewish AND Christian theologians do today.  Isn’t it interesting that “shepherd” is translated into “pastor” in most Bibles, every other place it is used in the NT?

“They” who do all those things to His Talmidim, are those who FIGHT AGAINST His Mitzvot.  And Yeshua showed the ‘heart’ of His Mitzvot during His Pesakh Seder that night.  LOVE.  Love for Elohim, and a love for the brethren such that we are willing to DIE.  Love for Elohim such that we do what HE SAYS, in SPITE of what the ‘pastors’, the ‘houses of assembly’ say and do to those who want to OBEY in TRUTH.  Religious people, both Jews and Christians, have been murdering simple folk who want only to serve G-d in freedom and truth, for 2,000 years.  Study the history of christianity, and one will see that catholics and protestants have murdered many thousands, if not millions, in the Name of G-d, simply because they disagreed with them.  They murder them first with their tongues, and then with swords, spears, fire, etc.

Love for our brethren, such that we are willing to ‘lay down our lives’.  Today, people seem only to apply that phrase to soldiers, or other protectors of the common good.  They are NOT protecting society because of their love for society’s people, and we know this. They do a good and noble thing, but they are NOT expressing the love of His Torah in doing so.   Is that really who Yeshua was describing?  No; He was describing what He was about to do, a deed and act that His Talmidim were about to witness: go to the Tree, lay down His Life by taking on EVERYONE ELSE’s SIN, DIE a horrible and painful death, SUFFER the guilt and shame of EVERYONE ELSE’s sin, and rise from the dead.

9“Just as Avi has loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love.  10If you keep my mitzvot, you will abide in my love, even as I have kept the mitzvot of Avi [my Father], and abide in His love.  11I have spoken these things to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  12This is my mitzvah: that you love one another just as I have loved you.  13There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”

Yeshua had just called His Talmidim his FRIENDS, right at the beginning of the Seder.  He was speaking of HIMSELF, and NO ONE ELSE.  No one has THAT GREAT a love for G-d, nor for people, and we KNOW it.

Yeshua goes on, singing the Hallel and going to the Garden on Har Zetim, and prays for YOU AND ME, asking His Father that those of us who trust would be ONE, EKHAD, UNITED, JUST AS HE is united with His FATHER, just as His Father is in Him, and He is in His Father, let us also be UNITED IN ONE ANOTHER.  THAT is the TRUEST sign that we belong to Him.

I have failed.  I am willing to confess it.  I have TRIED to ‘lay down my life’ for others, to a degree.  It has not yet been ‘assigned’ to me to do so with my very life, however.  If that day should come, I would hope that I would lay it down willingly.  I pray now that I begin to reaffirm my TRUST in HIM, my OBEDIENCE to Him, by doing so NOW.  Yeshua laid down His self-preservation, and it was HARD WORK to do so, to the point of sweating blood that night from the terror of what He knew was about to happen.  And I want to realize anew that He did that for me, and for all those who confess His Name and obey Him.

I have been hated by ‘the world,’ which is religious people who REJECT HIS TORAH. I have been lied about, kicked out of ‘churches’ [houses of assemblies], even most recently, mocked, insulted, suspected of all manner of evil and falsely accused [personally and on fb], ridiculed, threatened, and all that Yeshua said would happen, except being killed for His Name.  I hope that Yeshua sees that I have never once returned any of that hatred with hatred… I truly have striven to lay down my life in that regard.   But, I know I too have failed His brethren and friends at times; and all I have to lean on is HIS LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE FOR ME.  I try to give that to my brethren, and hope they give that to me.

My prayer for ALL the brethren today is an echo of His prayer for us in Yokhanan 17, my favorite chapter in all the Word, because Yeshua prayed for ME, for US.  I don’t deserve it. Neither does anyone else, but for some reason He has lavished His love upon us.

Command Bread



I have often said, ‘The Word is the Torah is the Commandments is the Ruakh [spirit] is Yeshua,’ in many variations.
But, in nearly 20 years of studying the scriptures in Hebrew, I have never seen this so ‘clearly’ as I did when reading in Hebrew, seeing the word מַצֹּֽות but reading it in my head as מִצְוֹתַ …..
Even one who does not read Hebrew can see how ‘dangerously similar’ these two DIFFERENT words are!
The first one is Matzot, and the second one is Mitzvot.
The first one means ‘Unleavened Bread,’ the kind of bread Yeshua broke at the Pesakh [Passover] Seder, saying, ‘This is MY BODY.’
The second one means “Commandments,” and is always in reference to the statutes, laws, and decrees in the Torah.
They are spelled EXACTLY THE SAME WAY in Hebrew!
You can see only subtle differences in what I’ve pasted herein, and those differences are the vowel pointers, that do not exist in a Torah scroll, so CONTEXT is the ONLY thing that ‘distinguishes’ the Matzot from the Mitzvot. In Hebrew, in the original texts of the scriptures, and in modern Hebrew, there are NO vowel pointers! Those are a later addition, used only to help a person learn to read. I have been practicing ignoring them, so that I can become more fluent in reading, so I can read the modern Israeli newspapers without help. In doing so, I momentarily read ‘matzot’ as ‘mitzvot,’ and immediately realized my error, due to context. Then, I had to do a doubletake!
The spiritual overtones to this are ENORMOUS. The symbolism in the letters may read, “the peoples will bow down [worship, become righteous] to a man who is a ‘sign’.” That is a mystery for both MATZAH and MITZVOT.
The Torah itself is a SIGN. The commandments themselves: the Shema finishes by saying, “You shall bind them ‘mitzvot’ as a SIGN upon your hand….”
The Matzah is our ‘sign’ of Yeshua’s only sign to Yisra’el: His RESURRECTION. The Matzah is eaten during the Pesakh, and in Yeshua’s ‘savlanut’ week, he rose from the dead on the fifth day of Pesakh, on ‘saturday night,’ at the end of the SEVENTH regular day, the weekly Shabbat, at the beginning of the 1st biblical day. The Matzah alludes also to the Mannah, which Yeshua also called Himself. The mannah was a SIGN to set the Sabbath day of worship for Yisra’el, and they saw this sign for 40 years. That is how we know that fri eve to sat eve is HIS SABBATH.
Yeshua is the Matzah, the Mannah, and the Mitzvah. Our unleavened bread is HIS PERFECTION IN THE TORAH, the COMMANDMENTS perfectly observed. Throw away the commandments, and you throw away Yeshua, the Bread of Life.

Love Never Ceases

As I prayed the prayers this morning, when I got to Aaron’s blessing, I was again ‘awe struck’ by His Name. יהוה It is spoken three times in that blessing. And again, the next prayer, the Shemah, this Name is again spoken three times.

The Shemah is the greatest of all the 613 commandments. Yeshua teaches this in Mark 12:28:

“One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked Him, “Which is the greatest mitzvah of them all?” Yeshua answered, “The greatest mitzvah is, `Sh’ma Yisra’el, יהוה Eloheinu, יהוה echad [Hear, O Israel, Yahu’ah is our God, Yahu’ah is one], and you are to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’”

As I read it this morning, I confessed to myself and to Abba that I know I do not love Him that powerfully; and immediately, this verse went through my mind as I almost began to castigate myself: “For Mashi’akh is the perfection [goal] of the Torah, for tzedaka to everyone who trusts. ” Romans 10:4

“10:4 good buddy!”

Knowing this is my goal, and not what I have achieved, but what I am to strive for, is very comforting.

So, I started walking through the Shemah slowly, chewing on this most important commandment.

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יהוה אֶחָד.

Hear! O Yisra’el, יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.

Oh, the truth that bubbles out of that one statement!

Yisra’el: A PRINCE with God. Strives WITH God, to be formed into His image.

Shemah, ‘hear’, is weakly translated into English. Shemah not only means ‘hear’, but it means ‘hear and respond’, in the sense of a soldier who takes in a command, processes it, and DOES it.

Hear what?

יהוה is OUR GOD

The Name יהוה separates Elohim from every other being who is worshipped, every other “god”. There are many “gods”, or spiritual entities who crave the worship of humans. They are the ‘fallen ones’. HaSatan, known as “Heillel Ben Shakhar”, [Isaiah 14:12] is the chief of those ‘sons of Elohim’ who rebelled against the Almighty some time before the creation of our heaven and earth. “Heillel” means ‘Shining One’; Why? For many reasons. He was a Keruv that ‘covered’, meaning he had been one of the two “close ones” that hovered over the Father in the Throne Room. [This is depicted in the Sanctuary, the two ‘keruvim’ hovering on the kaporet, the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.]

He was in Gan Eden, dressed in precious stones and gold, he was also ministering at the Altar of heaven; he WAS ‘bright and shining’, a glorious creature. [Ez 28:12-14] Yet he fell, and was cast out of his ‘close place’; because he loved pride more than he loved the Father. [Isa 14:12] He loved himself more than he loved the Father, who was far more glorious than he. He could not see that the Father MADE HIM that glorious, and gave him all that splendor.

When he fell, he took other ‘sons of Elohim’ with him. [many times in your English bibles, when you read ‘angels’, the Hebrew is ‘sons of Elohim’. Sometimes angels is translated from Malakhim, which means ‘messengers/emissaries,’ but many times it is ‘sons of Elohim’] 1/3 of the other “Armies” of Elohim went with him.

All of these ‘sons of Elohim’ who ‘fell’ from their glory are spiritual entities who, at the very beginning of creation, came to earth to confuse and deceive men, twist the Word of Elohim, and rob from God His due worship from mankind. They do that in many, many ways. This is a war that is raging, and most are oblivious to it, or do not know how to function in it. Many ‘talk’ about putting on the armor of Elohim, but precious few really do it.

Most people today do not believe in ‘spirits’; or, if they do, they ‘think’ that these spirits are harmless, or helpful to them [conjurers]. Most of the effect of what these supernatural entities do is relegated in the minds of the ‘educated’ into human mental disease and symptoms, and treated with drugs. Those who do know that there are ‘spirits’ out there that want to thwart the work of God in this world do not fully understand how they operate. They are clandestine, and very, very deceiving. Their primary mission is to TWIST THE WORD OF ELOHIM. If they can’t do that, they simply use a human agent and pose as ANOTHER god. To those who do not believe the Word of God, they do not have to twist the Word of God! They function for them in the form of other deities: Mithras [trinity] [and its pantheon], Ishtar [Easter] and her pantheon, Zeus, [yes, people do still worship him] Allah [and his pantheon… yes, they believe in the deity of other beings], Para Brahman, Buddha, Confucius, Woden [Wednesday] Thor [Thursday] Friatag [Friday, equivalent of roman Venus], Saturnus, and on and on and on….

I said all of that to say this. יהוה IS OUR ELOHIM. יהוה IS ONE.

We are to ‘hear and do’ this. What does that mean? TRUST and AGREE that ONLY יהוה is “GOD.” And that HE is NOT three, two, or many. HE IS ONE.

Yeshua affirmed this! OVER and OVER!

And, Yeshua is a permanent emanation of the Father in a human body, NOT a “separate but equal” “person” of three equal gods who are one ‘substance’ who are three who are one. [this is actually an Egyptian and Babylonian deity that Constantine worshipped until just before he died; but, instead of the original names of the ‘three in one’ individuals, those names were replaced with father son and holy ghost, and the whole conglomerate again called “Trinity”]

Yeshua is the Word, He was IN His Father in the beginning, and proceeded forth and CAME OUT OF His Father [John 8:42], and He became a body, a human. He is not His Father, but He perfectly represents Him, and is UNITED with Him. He is the ‘express [perfect] IMAGE of His Father. The Ruakh is exactly that: RUAKH, Breath! Power! Life! Fire! NOT a ‘third person’. The Ruakh emanates from the Father. It is not a separate ‘mind’ who happens to agree with the Father. This DEFIES the GREATEST command! God is NOT THREE [in one]. He is ONE, and He sent His Nature in Flesh to the earth as Yeshua, A MAN, now risen from the dead, who now gives us the Ruakh, from the Father. He is perfectly UNITED with the Son, BY the Ruakh, which HE GAVE to the Son. [Luke 3:22]

This is NOT a mystery! The ‘mystery’ of the good news is Messiah in US, sinful men! And since the Messiah is in us, the Father is also in us. [John 17] 

We all presumably believe this, yet hopefully NONE OF US would presume to ‘be’ “God”, just because He is in us. Neither would Yeshua! His Father is IN HIM. He is the only man born not of flesh, but of the RUAKH. Yet, HE IS A MAN. STILL! He was SLAIN. Can God die? Really? Then He is not יהוה [the EXISTING ONE, who WAS, [ALWAYS] IS, and WILL BE.] Yet, Yeshua, the man, DIED. His Father was there to raise Him from the dead. And to exalt Him, stand Him at His Right Hand, and give Him all authority. And one day, everything He has been given, He will give BACK to the Father [1 Cor 15]. He is subjugated to His Father, STILL. He is NOT “equal” to His father in every way, and He is not the same “substance” as His Father. He is FLESH AND BONE. Since we don’t know what ‘substance’ the Father is except SPIRIT, we CANNOT presume to say the FATHER is flesh and bone, since flesh and bone did not exist together until the creation. But Yeshua TOLD US, AFTER the resurrection, that HE [Yeshua] is FLESH AND BONE.

“Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I; feel me and understand; for a spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Luke 24:39

Yeshua answered, “The greatest mitzvah is, `Sh’ma Yisra’el, יהוה Eloheinu, יהוה echad [Hear, O Israel, Yahu’ah is our God, Yahu’ah is one], and you are to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’”

That is what we are supposed to say “Amein” to! To give our TRUST to, to HEAR and DO. We are supposed to stay faithful to the MOST IMPORTANT COMMAND EVER!

And then, we are to LOVE יהוה our ONE ELOHIM with ALL OF OUR BEING:

Heart, Life, Effort. We do this by doing what HE said next: THESE WORDS WHICH I COMMAND YOU TODAY will BE in YOUR HEARTS.

What “words”? “D’varim”, the very name of the book of Deuteronomy, the summary of Torah or ‘second torah’ [the greek word Deuteronomy means ‘second law’]. This book starts with “THESE ARE THE WORDS”. “Eleh HaD’varim”

We are to put this WHOLE BOOK, [and thereby a full understanding of the whole Torah] IN OUR HEARTS. MEMORIZE IT!

We do THAT by:

IMPRESSING THEM upon our children


sitting in the house, walking down the road, when we lie down, when we rise up.

We do that by: Binding them on our hands

Fastening them between our eyes as ‘frontlets.’

And, we write them on the doorposts of our houses, and on our gates.

Making the commands a part of EVERY PART of our lives!

This is the GREATEST command: Trust that יהוה is ONE, and that HE IS. LOVE HIM WITH ALL THAT WE ARE. HEAR AND DO HIS COMMANDS.

If we were to memorize the commands and impress them on our children using all these methods, the next generation would NOT FORGET!

But, what has happened. Man did not LOVE יהוה enough to preserve the use of His Name, to understand that He is ONE, to keep His Commands dear; and so many did not recognize HIS WORD when it came into the world in a body, perfectly obeying every command!

We did not love Him enough to continue to do what HE SAYS. We allow so much other ‘stuff’ to interfere with the greatest command. And since we do that, we are incapable of the other great command:


What’s funny is, you can’t do the first one, without doing the second one! And you can’t do the second one, without doing the first one!

Yokhanan teaches us this:

“If a man says, “I love Elohim,” and yet hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love Elohim whom he has not seen?”

I Yokh 4:20

So, the perfect mark of the Torah is to LOVE יהוה with every part of our being, with every action. The proof that we do that is that we obey HIM, and that we actually, really, truly LOVE our brothers.

The commandments are ‘bidirectional’; they teach us first to love God [1-4 of the ten D’varim], and then they teach us HOW to love our neighbor [5-10 of the ten D’varim], even when we offend and are offended. NOT studying the Torah is ROBBING believers of the ability to do this. NOT HEARING the GREAT command [ and #1 of the Ten] CLEARLY, and DOING it, is causing us NOT to study Torah!

The solution to all the worlds woes is the SHEMAH! HEAR AND DO !!

You’re gonna feel the full weight of the Law!

In plain English, to be ‘under the law’ is to BREAK IT!

Even in our own civil parlance, we say, “He’s going to feel the full weight of the law!”

When do we say that?  When a person is driving responsibly at the speed limit, staying with his lane, and observing all traffic signs and signals?  NO!  When a person is speeding and weaving through traffic, blowing through signs, etc.

The ‘weight of the law’ is the application of just punishment.  That is true of the Torah [Law] of Messiah, of the Creator, as well.  Those who trust in Him will NOT suffer that punishment.

The Jews who were FALSE believers in the book of Galatians were under the law BECAUSE THEY WERE UNBELIEVERS who were TRYING to become righteous by THEIR FALSE INTERPRETATION/ UNDERSTANDING of Messiah’s Torah! After the time of Ezra, and after the Maccabean revolt, the “Pharisee” DENOMINATION was formed, and they invented NEW ‘commands’ OF THEIR OWN, and were teaching them in the place of G-d’s commands.  [Mark 7] They taught and thought that SALVATION [Yeshua’s Name, btw] was by THEIR OBSERVANCE of the law, which to them included THEIR ‘fence’, a set of their own rules that THEY said would keep them from breaking Torah.  They REPLACED the Torah with THEIR LAW.  And they stopped believing in Salvation by TRUST in יהוה , which is what the Torah teaches [Gen 26, Gal].  Jews today, including many Messianic Jews, STILL DO THIS, in spite of the Son of G-d showing the sin of it.  One of those MANMADE ‘laws’, from the ruling ‘house’ of Pharisees, was that Gentiles HAD TO CONVERT with the final sign of conversion being circumcision, ‘becoming Jewish’, IN ORDER TO BE SAVED.  This was NEVER true.  Those Jews [In Gal and Acts 15] WERE UNDER THE LAW!  NOT the Many THOUSANDS of Messianic Jews who DID BELIEVE IN YESHUA AND KEPT THE TORAH! [Acts 21], and CERTAINLY not the Apostles, and Paul, who STILL KEPT THE TORAH [Acts 21].

To be ‘under the law’, in any government, is to be BREAKING IT.

Now, to another occasion of Yeshua’s treatment of the subject.

“My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me. He who desires to do His will can understand if my doctrine is from Elohim or if I am just speaking of my own accord. He who speaks of his own accord seeks glory for himself; but he who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true, and there is no deception in his heart. Did not Moshe give you the Torah? And yet no one of you obeys the Torah.”
Yeshua said this to the Pharisees. The error of the Jews in the time of Messiah was to think that their own obedience to the Torah is what made them a “Tzadik” [A Righteous One]. Many of them still think this today. But, there is more to learn from this verse.
There are many ‘christian theologians’ who for 1700+ years have taught that Yeshua broke the Torah, and did away with it. He did not. He was teaching the Pharisees how they misunderstood the Torah, in this conversation, and many others.
These teachers teach that the Messiah came to give a new ‘doctrine’, apart from the Torah. That torah ‘was’, and now He fulfills it, so they do not have to.
That makes Yeshua both a liar, and a hypocrite. Yeshua spent 31/2 years trying to show religious people that they should quit obeying MEN and start obeying G-d. He shows here that He is UPHOLDING the authority of His Father, which is expressed in His Torah.
He did NOT speak “of His own accord”; He was not a wing-nut, Torah breaking Jew as the world of constantine has purported and mindless theologians have echoed for centuries. In this very passage, He is observing the feast of Sukkot! And He spends those eight days teaching Israel how Sukkot is a message about Himself. If they had understood the Torah, they would have known that. And if today’s ‘christian theologians’ truly understood the purpose of the Torah, they’d know that too, and they would obey it.
“He who desires to DO HIS WILL [G-d’s] can understand if my doctrine is from Elohim….”
We are truly ‘justified’, made a Tzadik, a Righteous One, by our trust in Yeshua’s loving atonement for our sins. But, we are “Set Apart”, or become a Khasid [Devout one], K’doshim [holy ones], by our obedience to His commands.
“If you love me, you will keep my commands.” ~ Yeshua
“Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDS YOU WILL STAY IN MY LOVE- just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in His love.” ~Yeshua
And here is how we KNOW that we know Him: IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDS.” Yokhanan
“And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, that you have from the beginning [that’s Genesis], that you should walk in it.” Yokhanan
“My doctrine [teaching] is NOT my own.”
The commands Yeshua spoke of to His Talmidim were not ‘new’ ones, separate from those the Father wrote in the Torah.
To teach otherwise is to defy Yeshua.

Mission Improbable!

Did you hear the theme song just then?

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In honor of this week’s portion, “Sh’lakh L’kha”, this is a fitting re-post.

I love Yehoshua chapter 2. The two men who went in as ‘spies’ fascinate me. I used to wonder who they might have been, and then years ago I read that Jews have thought for thousands of years that these two men are Kalev and Pinkhas, and this makes a lot of sense. Yehoshua had to TRUST them, since forty years before, 12 men were sent in, including himself, and only he and Kalev came back with a TRUE report! The other ten men lied.

It never ceases to amaze me how what are called LIES in the scriptures are STILL believed today as truth!

10 men came back from spying out the land of Kena’an, and they told Yisra’el that it was full of NEFILIM. And people TODAY still believe that there were Nefilim in Kena’an! And this is in spite of the fact that the report of the ten WAS A LIE! People would rather believe what ‘sounds cool’ than what Elohim actually SAID.

Similarly, FALSE accusers accused Tzefan-Yah [Stephen], and said that his ‘Yeshua’ would DO AWAY with the Torah. Tzefan-Yah WENT TO HIS DEATH denying it, dying because of their LIE, yet people today STILL think Yeshua came to rid the Jews of the Torah. This is also in spite of the fact that Tzefan-Yah kept it, as did THOUSANDS of Jews who TRUSTED IN MESSIAH. Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 21:20

Again, LIARS accused Sha’ul [Paul] of telling everyone that they did not have to keep the Torah, and accused Sha’ul himself of not keeping it, and yet people today believe THAT report, rather than what scriptures actually say: “Then everyone will know that what has been said against you is a LIE, and that you [Sha’ul/Paul] YOURSELF ALSO walk out the Torah, and OBEY IT.” Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 21:24.

These two men, then, were likely older men, especially if they were indeed Kalev and Pinkhas; they were foreboding Jews, dressed differently than everyone in Yirikho. They had four tassels hanging off their cloaks. They had full beards, and a covered head. They did not have ‘goatees’ or bald faces like the men of that city. They had no tattoos, as most of Yirikho did. They were very different. And they just walk into this bar/Inn and plan to spend the night there. Clearly they stood out, because they were reported to the king posthaste!

Rakhav is the ‘impossible’ element to this story. She could have easily sold the men out. She could have ‘sold’ the information about them. Instead, she strikes a deal with Kalev and Pinkhas to save herself and her family’s lives. She specifically asked, ‘snatch our souls from death.’

She is a harlot, and her “Inn” may have also been a house of ill-repute. Yet, she has heard of the G-d of Yisra’el, and of the mighty deliverance He performed in destroying Mitzrayim [Egypt] and bringing out Yisra’el. She believed that יהוה is Elohim [G-d], and she saw a chance to join Yisra’el, in the two men who had come into her place of business. Her confession was, “For יהוה  your Elohim, He is Elohim in heaven above, and on earth beneath!”

She asks them, “Give me a SIGN OF TRUTH.”

אוֹת אֱמֶת

The first word [on the right] is ‘sign.’ But the ‘picture’ is the Alef and the Tav with a ‘nail’ in the middle, or a ‘pierced’ Alef and Tav. The second word is ‘truth,’ and is the same, only instead in the middle is ‘mayim,’ or ‘water.’ That ‘true sign’ was the hope of a scarlet thread, which I posted about earlier this week. When Yeshua was pierced, ‘blood and water flowed.’ [Yeshua said “I am the Alef and the Tav”]

And the two spies promised that they would do to her, “Khesed V’Emet;” Compassion and Truth! These are the words that describe Yeshua in Yokhanan [John] 1!

Rakhav’s belief, however, in  יהוה  Elohim, caused her to act, and to trust, and to recognize the G-d of the two Jews who were there to see if the land could be taken. She understood that a G-d who could do what He did to Mitzrayim for Yisra’el was to be feared! She knew that these people were His!

These two men accomplish what the ten men failed to do 40 years before. They report the TRUTH about the people of the land:  ” יהוה  has given us the land, and the people who live there melt away [in fear] before us.”  There was no mention of “Nefilim.’

In fact, in the whole book of Yehoshua, there is no mention of Nefilim! And Yehoshua conquers all the land, including that of Anak, where the Nefilim were supposed to be. Not one giant found. Yet people today still teach that they were there. People, the Nefilim were destroyed at the flood! That was part of the purpose of the flood.

But, again, LIES are hard to be overturned. But these two men, and Yehoshua, were finally able to enact TRUTH: it is  יהוה  that shoud be feared.

To what lies do you cling?


Faith: What is it, biblically?

The word used in the Brit Khadasha for ‘faith’ is אֱמוּנָה, “Emunah”; this is from the root word אָמֵן “ahman”, where we get our word “Amein” [ay-men, for you southerners].

The Navi Khabakuk tells us what Avraham, Yitz’khak, and Ya’akov, and all the Patriarchs of the “Faith of Mashiakh” understood:

צַדִּיק, בֶּאֱמוּנָתוֹ יִחְיֶה

“A “Tzadik” in his faith will live on”; often rendered “The just shall live by faith”.

This is what was said of Avraham when he made covenant with Abba:

הֶאֱמִן “And Avraham ‘he’emin’ trusted in YHWH, and He considered that “tzedaka” for him.” Gen 15:6

In Khabakuk, the word is “emunah”.

In the Brit Khadasha, when Yeshua says, “For Elohim [G-d] so loved the world that He gave His One Beloved Son, so that whoever trusts in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” the word for ‘trust’, often xlated as ‘believe,’ is ‘הַמַּאֲמִין’ ‘ha’ma’amin’, or “the ones who trust”, rooted in our word אֱמוּנָה , אָמֵן.

This word is not just ‘cognitive awareness’, in the sense of “I believe”; it is an affirmation of something that is absolute; firm, reliable, trustworthy.

When we say “amein”, it is supposed mean that we support whatever is being said. There are many who erroneously say that “amen” is not in the bible. Some even assert it is a pagan word; that is ludicrous. Wrong. It is in the scriptures many times, and is in that precise context; it shows that Israel “agreed” with Elohim that the Torah is good. It is used 12 times in Deut 27 alone; and each time, it was Israel agreeing that the pronounced curse from Elohim was just. After Ezra read the Torah to Israel for the first time in 70 years, He blessed Elohim, and all Israel said, “Amein”. The psalmists used this word to affirm the blessing of YHWH as well, 7 times.

So, this word in which ‘faith’ or ‘believing trust’ is rooted is ‘affirmation of something that is firm/trustworthy.’ It means to put our trust in something with which we agree.

So, how do we become righteous by our ‘trust’?

Trust in what?

Look at Khabakuk’s prayer, that caused him to receive the promise from YHWH that the Tzadik [Righteous one] shall live on in his Emunah.

“Why do You show me iniquity, and behold mischief? And why are spoiling and violence before me? so that there is strife, and contention arises? Therefore the TORAH is slacked, and justice never goes forth; for the wicked beset the tzadik [righteous]; therefore justice goes forth perverted…..they are terrible and dreadful, THEIR ‘justice’ proceeds out of themselves.”

[sound like today?]

Clearly, our “Emunah” is to be toward Messiah, understanding that Messiah Yeshua is the embodiment of the Word of Elohim, which is the Torah. He ‘affirmed’ it many, many times over. [Matt 5:17-19, John 14:15,21, 15:10].

It is indeed through our TRUST, our FIRM AGREEMENT with G-d, that Yeshua is indeed His Risen Son:

“G-d makes a Tzadik [a justified one] of everyone who puts his EMUNAH in this man [Yeshua, declared to be the Son of G-d, risen from the dead], even in regard to all the things concerning which you could not be made a Tzadik by the Torah of Moshe.” Acts 13:39

Shaul is preaching here, and he shows that he understood the same thing as Khabakuk and Avraham, quoting Khabakuk’s verse three times directly in his letters [Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38].

In preaching this message, he shows us he is drawing from Khabakuk, warning the Jewish hearers not to ignore his words the way they did the prophets, quoting the verses in Khabakuk that follow this very simple statement:

“Watch out, then, so that this word found in the Prophets may not happen to you: ‘You mockers! Look, and marvel, and die! For in your own time, I am doing a work that you simply will not believe, even if someone explains it to you!’ ” Acts 13:40, quoting Khabakuk 1:5

Emunah is the only thing we can ‘offer’ Elohim in order to be ‘made right’ in His eyes, and it is specific Emunah. It is trust that only Yeshua is the last offering, the final and completely satisfying offering made by a man [Yeshua] before G-d as atonement for sins, on our behalf made. All the offerings in the Beit HaMikdash only temporarily sated the soul, giving the faithful trust that one day YHWH would save Yisrael in a Messiah. That day came. And many in Israel rejected Him. One day, soon, however, ALL Israel will be ‘saved’; they WILL trust. Rom 11:26. They will then weep over the One whom they pierced. [Zech 12:10].

But, until then, Jew or Gentile, those who ‘trust in’ Yeshua, HaMa’amin, are made each a Tzadik, one who is ‘justified’, and able to perform the work of Torah by simply ‘agreeing’ with Elohim.

It is very interesting that the three letters in the root of this word give us a word picture from the Hebrew symbols of the letters:


Alef is “G-d”, Mayim is “Water”, Nun is “Seed”.

Elohim [G-d] waters the seed [of trust].

Is that why Yeshua said : “With what can we compare the Kingdom of Elohim? What illustration should we use to describe it? It is like a mustard SEED, which, when planted, is the smallest of all the seeds in the field; but after it has been planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all the plants, with such big branches that the birds flying about can build nests in its shade.”

And: The Shlikhim said to Adoneinu [Our Master, Yeshua], “Increase our Emunah.” He said to them, “If you had Emunah as tiny as a mustard seed….”

That is IT. That is all you need: TRUST. That is the ONE thing you must ‘do’ to be made just: Trust that His Word is True. Then, begin to DO it, and HE will PROVE it to someone else through you.

Ascending to the Menorah to meet Messiah!

Messianic nut-job strikes again! If you don’t like Hebrew, don’t read this!
I LOVE the symbol of the Menorah, and what it represents.
The meme attached does not show that before he said, ‘in your ascending,’ He said “Say to Aharon,”
This is the High Priest of Yisra’el.
I read this while working on my own copy of Torah [we are commanded to write it!, it is a VERY spiritual process, I highly recommend it.] But I ‘saw’ something in it this time that blew my mind.
It starts out in the second person, talking to Aharon, and it switches to the third person… ‘he shall light the seven lamps.’
First, I notice this is an ASCENT. The Menorah sits just before the vail, on the north side of it, where one can see all seven lamps horizontally before him. The ‘Ner Tamid,’ or ‘eternal lamp,’ the one in the middle on the ‘tree’ of the Menorah, is always lit, but the other six have to be lit at dusk. But, in this chapter, this is the FIRST TIME the Menorah has ever been lit, so ‘someone’ had to light all seven lamps…
We know from Hitgalut [Revelation] that the Menorah of the Temple was a picture of the Ruakh HaKodesh that burns in front of the throne of Elohim.
We also know from that book that each Congregation, if it is founded on Torah, has a Menorah in its midst. But, that Yeshua Himself will take it away, if we do not remain faithful to His Word. This has happened in most settings, though most people are oblivious to it, because they have such a distorted view of ‘church.’ They ‘think’ the Ruakh is ’emotion,’ ‘chill bumps,’ ‘agape’ fake love, crying, running, screaming, falling down, spewing incoherently, ‘dancing in the spirit’, all of these can be foisted on any people group, through music, lighting, and hypnotic techniques that many have used in certain religious settings in America since the 1840s.
But, I digress.
So, ‘someone’ lights the lamp here, after Aharon ASCENDS up before the ‘face’ of it. The word that leaped out at me was MUL. It is actually the word for CIRCUMCISION!
The Menorah is in the ‘heart’ of the Temple! Right in front of the veil. ‘Circumcise your HEART!’ This is a TORAH command, Shaul [Paul] did NOT invent it in Romans!
“What does יהוה , your Elohim, require of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul; to keep FOR YOUR OWN GOOD the commandments of יהוה , and His statutes, which I command you this day? ………….. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”
What makes one certain he has a Menorah in his heart, in his congregation?
Circumcision of the heart?
In ancient Judaism [Messianic Judaism!] it is called ‘Teshuvah!” And this is what Yeshua said would cause HIM to remove the Menorah from the congregation in Ephesus! They were believers! And HE was going to TAKE from them!
“Remember, therefore, from whence you have fallen, and SHUVU! [ REPENT! ] And DO the first WORKS! [The Torah was FIRST]. Or ELSE, I will come to you very soon, and I will REMOVE your Menorah from its place, unless you REPENT.”
If we read Acts, we see that Ephesus studied the TORAH daily for two years under Shaul’s tutelage. At this point they had TURNED from it, and Yeshua told them TURN BACK TO IT, and DO it!
This is circumcision of the heart. Shaul says it applies to JEWS and GENTILES.
Rom 2:29
“But a real Y’hudi [Jew] is one who is inwardly so, and circumcision is of the heart, spiritually, and not literally; whose praise is not of men, but from Elohim.”
The Menorah is the Ruakh, with seven ‘breaths’ that light a flame upon Messiah. Read Isaiah 11:1-2 and ‘see’ those seven breaths/flames.

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אהבת המשיח

Yeshua’s model on love, correction, and discipline:
In about 90 AD, Yokhanan had a crazy experience on Yom Kippur [The Day of YHWH, NOT ‘sunday’].
He was told to write 7 letters, one to each Kahal [assembly].
The first one started with “I know your works, how hard you have labored, how you have persevered, and you cannot bear wicked people…”
The second one started, “I know how you are suffering and how poor you are, and the insults of those who call themselves Jews and are not…”
The third: “I know where you are living, where HaSatan’s throne is, yet you are holding on to My Name”…
The fourth: “I know your works, your love, trust, service, and perseverance…”
The fifth: “I know your works, that you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are DEAD”
The sixth: “I know your works: See, I have put in front of you an open door, and no one can shut it. I know that you have but little power, yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned me…”
The seventh: “I know your works, that you are neither hot nor cold; O, how I wish you were one or the other!”
I began contemplating some different aspects of these statements a few days ago. First, while these are seven letters to seven different earthly congregations, they are also a single message to the One Kahal of Messiah Yeshua.
He begins by lauding the Kahal that assembled in Ephesus, He started with honoring them, because honor was due them. They had works. They were ‘doing’, and they did not abide the wicked, or those who break Torah. He lauded them for that. Yet, He told them to return to their first love: studying Torah! If we read Acts, we find that they were the city where Shaul rented a public meeting place for two years, to teach them the Torah, The Word of YHWH! [Acts 19:9]. He tells them, “REMEMBER how you fell, TURN FROM SIN, and DO what you DID at first!” You must remember, the wrongly dubbed ‘new testament’ had not been written! ‘Turn’ is “repent”, and in biblical parlance it means ‘turn to Torah’, since Torah tells us what sin is, we turn to it to know how to turn from sin.
Can we ‘hear’ Yeshua’s ‘tone’ in these letters? No. But, can we infer certain things about it? Yes. He is compassionate here, then scolding, then encouraging: “You have this in your favor: You HATE the Nicolaitans’ works, AS DO I !” WHAT? Yeshua hates something?
HATE. It has such negative connotations in our baby-fied society that thinks love is nothing but ‘soft’. Yeshua’s great LOVE for truth demanded severe HATE for error. But, notice, He hates their WORKS! NOT the people! And He praises the Kahal for hating those WORKS. What ‘works’; in their case, ‘controlling the people’ and bilking them for money, explained to another congregation later.
Then, He encourages them again, and makes a promise of blessing: “To the one who is victorious I will give the right to eat of the tree of Life which is in Gan Eden of Elohim.”
So, we have Yeshua giving honor FIRST. Then, we have Him chiding them for their error. Then He encourages and reinforces what they do right, and makes a promise of blessing, conditioned on their becoming ‘overcomers’.
The next congregation does not get praised first, because they were suffering. The first thing Yeshua does is show compassion for their suffering. Ephesus, the first one, did not have suffering. This one did. And He shows them compassion. He strengthens them by telling them DO NOT FEAR, and WARNS them that their suffering is not over!
Yeshua does not ‘candy coat’ anything. If it’s bad news, He gives it! But, with the bad news comes a message of hope and encouragement: “remain faithful, even unto death, and I will give you a crown of LIFE.”
It is so tiring to hear people sugar coat the gospel, and whine and cry about how everyone should just get along. People sin! It is a hard life! Sometimes, the people of God suffer; sometimes they suffer more than anyone else. If one comes to Yeshua thinking life is nothing but cake and icecream, they came to Him with a grave misunderstanding, and selfishly motivated. Those who have this understanding are typically those who reject Him eventually, following deceiving spirits that promise “real love” where nothing goes wrong and where one can do no wrong. WRONG. SIN is still SIN.
Life is REAL, and we are NOT promised a trouble-free life in this world! We are in fact promised trouble, by Messiah Himself: “IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE.” Isn’t it compassionate of Him to have told us that! And now we know He sees our struggles. BUCK UP! ENDURE! “Khazak V’Ematz!” Because in the next world, THERE there will be no sorrow; we will get there IF WE are faithful! To Messiah and His Torah. He certainly is faithful to us!
This pattern of recognition/honor, correction, and honor with reinforcement is seen through the next messages to the congregations.
It is the third Congregation where the Nicolaitan error is again addressed, and more fully expounded. Yeshua calls it the error of Bilam. What was that error? Selling the Word of YHWH! “Nicolaitan” means ‘controlling the people’. This was the beginning of the infiltration of the pagan idea of “clergy vs. laity” in the congregations. When the congregations were established, there were always multiple ‘overseers’ appointed, not just one man. Multiple pastors, multiple ‘deacons’, etc. And NONE of them were paid positions! The only people serving the people who received money from the people were those on missions who had left their homes and possessions and means of income! Shaul himself worked with two other Jews, making tallits, so that he could support HIMSELF. [Acts 18:3]
Is it not interesting that He starts five of these letters with “I know your works”? And two times those works were NOT HONORABLE. Remember, He is addressing believers!
“Avodah”: That’s a very Jewish term, my friends. It points to the Torah, which tells us we must ‘serve Elohim.’ There is so much more to ‘service’ than just “good deeds” [helping the poor, sick, afflicted, and helpless]; there is ‘service of worship’, assembling with the brethren on the prescribed times of assembly. prayers, etc. The Torah instructs us in ALL of these things. Our ‘works’ have to be His Works! Not men’s!
In His message to the fifth congregation, and the seventh, we also learn of Yeshua that He will NOT give praise/honor to those who have not earned it! Look at the message to the fifth congregation: He starts chiding them immediately! “You ‘look’ alive, but you are DEAD!”
Where is lovey-dovey ‘Jesus’ all of a sudden?
Today’s teachers think that we have to drum up ‘praise’ for the unruly child who has done no good; or for the congregant who does not serve the Body, but only ‘wants’ from the body, begging for ‘love and compassion’ without being willing to actually do the HARD WORK of LOVE! Love means accepting offenses and moving past them! It means looking into oneself and being willing to accept ones own error. Love is so much more than a feeling.
If one is not SERVING in His Congregation, they deserve NO HONOR~! Nothing is more disgusting than disingenuous “positive reinforcement”. In fact, it does nothing but perpetuate BAD BEHAVIOR. Yeshua warned these two congregations to straighten up and fly right! “Remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and TURN FROM YOUR SIN! For if you don’t wake up, I will come like a thief; and you don’t know at what moment I will come upon you!” And, “Because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!….As for me, I REBUKE and discipline EVERYONE I LOVE; so EXERT yourselves, and TURN from your sins!”
We dare not forget that He was speaking to believers in these messages.
Love, “Ahava”, is a wonderful commodity, not an emotion. Love is an ACTION that offers good OR bad emotion! The ‘negative’ emotion of CONTRITION, provoked by tough love, is a powerful thing, and is absolutely NECESSARY in those who trust in Messiah. “FEEL” BAD, if you are not obeying Him! Because if He does not discipline us, we are NOT His children.
Love is SO MUCH MORE than being ‘sweet’. That is only one side of it! And it’s the side we all want. But that is immature, to think that’s all there is to it. It is sickening, what the world thinks love is! Sometimes, love is DEATH! “GREATER LOVE has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Yeshua set the example on how to love. And sometimes, that means being a little tough on people. There is much at stake.

Pick this up!

Our Brit Khadashah portion this week has Sha’ul in Yerushalayim.  We learn a lot about the Jew, Sha’ul, in this chapter.  He is a dual Citizen of both the Roman Empire and Yisra’el.  He speaks HEBREW, and some are surprised to learn he speaks Greek [NOT the other way around].  He STILL KEEPS the TORAH, even long after he has become a believer in Messiah Yeshua.  Not only does he keep it, but he acts as a Rabbi in the making of a very serious offering IN THE TEMPLE.

Our chapter picks up with his arrival back to Yerushalayim, after having been all over Eurasia to declare the B’sorah.  The Galatian error of Acts 15 and the book of Galatians had already occurred!  And the issue had been SETTLED. The conclusion of Jewish leaders of the many THOUSANDS of Jewish believers [Acts 21:20] was that the new Gentile believers in Messiah Yeshua did NOT have to ‘convert’ to Judaism in the way of Shammai, the way Gentiles still must convert to Judaism today, with circumcision being the final sign of conversion to a manmade religion, and ‘salvation’ being the reward of keeping Torah, but that JUST LIKE FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE, TRUST in MESSIAH YESHUA ALONE saves a soul, and obedience to the Torah is the outward expression of GENUINE FAITH.  The Jewish community of believers in Messiah laid on the Gentile believers about four different Torah precepts that comprise the equivalent of several chapters of the TORAH as a LITMUS TEST for continuing to worship in the synagogue!  They declared that they were SAVED, but reminded them that they would continue to hear the Torah in the Synagogue on Shabbat. [chapter 15, and 21:25]

In chapter 21 of Ma’asei HaShlikhim, Sha’ul, called here Pavlos, which is his name among the Gentiles, a rumor had preceded him to Yerushalayim: “but they [Jews who keep Torah AND believe in Yeshua the Messiah, see v. 17 and 20] have been informed about you that you teach all the Yehudim who are among the Goyim to forsake the Torah of Moshe, stating that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to follow after the customs of the Torah.”  This is a very, very serious infraction in the mind of an observant Jew, and still is today.  But, what Gentile believers in Messiah have done for about 1700 years is to teach that what was spoken against Pavlos in this chapter, which was a lie, is actually TRUE!

Very ‘advanced’ Bible readers read these verses, and yet turn around and teach that “Paul” abandoned his Jewish lifestyle, and turned against his own people.  But, after this chapter explains what Pavlos was to do to try to overturn this rumor, the Jewish Leaders of the Congregation of Messiah Yeshua in Yerushalayim said this:

“…then everyone will know that what has been said against you is a lie, and that you  [Sha’ul/Pavlos] yourself uphold the Torah and obey it.”

In order to prove to the Jewish BELIEVERS in Messiah [v 17 and 20] that he did NOT turn his back on Torah after having come to faith, NOR on the TRADITIONS of Moshe, Sha’ul went into the Temple and took a Nazarite vow.  This is a personal vow of consecration.  Sha’ul was asked to enter into the Vow of a Nazir with four other Jews, and go the whole way with them through the vow.  This meant that during the duration of the vow, a duration they selected, they would be like Shimshon [Sampson], a Nazir, and like Yokhanan HaMatbil, not eating grapes or drinking wine or strong drink, and not cutting their hair for the duration of the vow.  At the END of the vow, which could go on for months, or even years [we’re not told how long this one lasted], the Nazir was to shave his head.  Sha’ul volunteered to pay for all five hair cuts at the end of the vow.  And, he went into the Temple with them, and they performed the last rite of the vow, making an animal sacrifice to end the days of purification.  Sha’ul did NOT put his trust in this for saving himself, because he already trusted in Messiah.  But, he participated in TEMPLE WORSHIP, and, as an advanced Rabbi, “informed them how to complete the days of purification until the gift [animal sacrifice] of every one of them was offered.” [21:26]  True, after all that happened, a mob of Yisra’elis DID arrest Sha’ul, and beat him, and want him prosecuted.  But, Gentile readers today mysteriously forget verse 20: “see how many thousands there are in Y’hudah [Jews in Israel] who are believers, and they are all zealous for the Torah.”  

It was a LIE that Sha’ul broke Torah and taught others to do so.  Sha’ul, many would argue, should be considered great in the Kingdom of Messiah.  Even those who THINK he was a Torah breaker, and taught others to break the Torah AND the customs of Moshe.  They would agree he was great in the kingdom, even though they do not ‘see’ that his teaching was consistent with Yeshua’s, both of whom were Jewish Rabbis, Rabbi meaning ‘Torah Teacher”.  But, Sha’ul clearly taught Torah AND Jewish customs to JEWS [Acts 19:10, 21:26] AND GENTILES [Acts 19:10, 1 Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6].  Following Yeshua’s lead, and becoming great in HIS KINGDOM by TEACHING THE TORAH!

Do not expect that I have come to weaken the Torah or the Nevi’im; I have not come to weaken it, but to confirm it.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one yod, nor a stroke [of the pen] shall pass away from the Torah until everything comes to pass.  Whoever therefore tries to loosen even one of these smallest mitzvot, and teaches men so, he shall be regarded as small in Malkhut HaShamayim; but anyone who observes and teaches them [the mitzvot/commandments of the Torah], he shall be regarded as great in Malkhut HaShamayim.”

And religious leaders the world over ALL teach the LIE, that Sha’ul turned away from the Torah, completely.  It was a LIE then, and it is a LIE today….