Sunday, February 28, 2016

The importance of the weekly Torah portions

For those who don’t bother reading the week’s Torah portions, you REALLY are missing out on God’s Word!  For instance, in Parashah 21: Ki Tissa, Moshe’s face shone when he descended from Mt. Sinai after his 40 days in YHWH’s Presence (Exodus 34:28-34)!  This portion also included a New Testament reading that says something REALLY interesting about Moshe’s face.  Take a look at this overall picture, in context:

(By the way, for those who don’t know this, every weekly Torah reading consists of not just the weekly Torah portion, but also Haftarah and Brit Chadasha (New Testament) readings. The Haftarah consists of the portions from the Tanach (writings and prophets), and Brit Chadasha readings are from the "New Testament" scriptures all of which correlate to that week's Torah portion.)  


Exodus 34:28 Moshe was there with ADONAI forty days and forty nights, during which time he neither ate food nor drank water. [ADONAI] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words. 29 When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, he didn't realize that the skin of his face was sending out rays of light as a result of his talking with [ADONAI]. 

30 When Aharon and the people of Isra'el saw Moshe, the skin of his face was shining; and they were afraid to approach him. 31 But Moshe called to them; then Aharon and all the community leaders came back to him, and Moshe spoke to them. 32 Afterwards, all the people of Isra'el came near; and he passed on to them all the orders that ADONAI had told him on Mount Sinai. 33 Once Moshe had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 

34 But when he went in before ADONAI for him to speak, he would take the veil off until he came out; then, when he came out, he would tell the people of Isra'el what he had been ordered. 35 But when the people of Isra'el saw Moshe's face, that the skin of Moshe's face shone, he would put the veil back over his face until he went in again to speak with [ADONAI]. (CJB)

WHOAH!  Does that tell you WHY our Creator cannot be in the presence of sin?  He is HOLY!  (Isaiah 59:1-3, Micah 3:4 and a host of other passages).  Moshe, at that time was the holiest guy on the planet!  He was CHOSEN by YHWH to lead His people out of Egypt (physically and spiritually) and into HIS Land (Israel – the Holy Land).  Take a look at what the New Testament says about this – it will knock your socks off!

1 Corinthians 3: 1. Do we begin again to show you who we are? Or do we need, like others, that letters of recommendation from us should be written to you? Or, that you should write recommendations of us?  2. You are our epistles, written on our hearts and known and read by every man.  3. For you know that you are an epistle of the Mashiyach, ministered by us; not written with ink, but by the Spirit of the Living Elohim; not on tablets of stone, but on the tablets of the heart of flesh.[1]  4. And such confidence we have in the Mashiyach towards Elohim;  5. Not that we are sufficient to think any thing, as of ourselves; but our efficiency is from Elohim:  6. Who has fitted us to be ministers of the Renewed Covenant,[2] not in the letter, but in the Spirit; for the letter kills,[3] but the Spirit gives life.  

7. Now if the ministration of death was engraved upon stones in writing, and was so glorious that the children of Israel could not look on the face of Moshe[4] on account of the glory upon his face which vanished away;  8. How then will not the ministration of the Spirit be still more glorious?  9. For if there was glory in the ministration of condemnation,[5] how much more will the ministration of righteousness excel in glory?  10. For that which was glorious was as if not glorious in comparison with this which excels in glory.  11. For if that (condemnation) which is abolished[6] was glorious, much more must, that which abides be glorious.  12. Seeing therefore we have this hope, we the more, speak with boldness;  13. And are not like Moshe, who threw a veil over his face that the children of Israel might not behold the termination of that (condemnation) which was abolished.  

14. But they were blinded in their understanding because until this day, when the Ancient Covenant is read, the same veil rests upon them; nor is it manifest (to them), that it (condemnation) is abolished by the Mashiyach.  15. And to this day, when Moshe is read, a veil is thrown upon their hearts.  16. But when any of them is turned to Master YHWH, the veil is taken from him.[7]  17. Now Master YHWH Himself is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of Master YHWH is, there is freedom.  18. And we all, with uncovered faces, behold as in a mirror the glory of Master YHWH; and are transformed into the same likeness, from glory to glory, as by Master YHWH the Spirit.  (AENT)

FOOTNOTES: 

[1]  Paul is clearly referencing Jeremiah 31:33, indicating Torah is being written upon the heart.  See also Ezekiel 18:31; 36:26-28.

[2]  Again a reference to Jeremiah 31:33.  See also Matthew 26:28.

[3]  The “letter” and “Spirit” are not opposites.  In verse 1 Rav Shaul begins by explaining how a “letter” in itself is not sufficient for his purposes, and how those in Corinth are not epistles written with ink, but in the Spirit of Elohim.  The letter points out flaws.  When we study the letter, sins of the weak flesh are exposed; our “natural” man is condemned to death to create a new birth according to YHWH’s Spirit.  Christian theology, however, teaches the “letter” refers to Torah, and that Torah is contrary to the spiritual man, which is a rather evil theology considering that mainstream Christians are already keeping over 60 percent of Torah.  See How much Torah do Christians already keep? in Appendix.  Torah contains righteous directives of how to live and love, as well as the Covenant of promise that necessitates Mashiyach.  In this discourse Rav Shaul is juxtaposing condemnation as a function of the letter; he is most certainly not discrediting the Torah of YHWH as it pertains to the Spiritual Man (Romans 7:14; 8:4).  Torah is the Word of YHWH: “For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this WORD you shall prolong your days in the land.” Deuteronomy 32:47

[4]  Shemot/Exodus 34:29 “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.”

[5]  Ministration of death is also the ministration of condemnation which comes against the sins of the carnal man.  If a man steals he is condemned; if he commits adultery or lies, he is condemned when he reads the Letter.

[6]  Condemnation is abolished when the Ruach haKodesh writes Torah upon the heart, which brings the end of breaking Torah!  However, Christian theologians twist this verse to teach that Paul brought an end to Torah itself.

[7]  The reading of Torah does not blind, nor does the reading of the “Renewed Covenant” bring Grace: but in each, one must “turn to Master YHWH with their hearts” to remove the veil.  MarYah/YHWH is used here, rather than Y’shua.  Rather than people turning to Y’shua as the deciding factor, the point is that both Jews and Gentiles must be truthful, and not just use prayers or Scripture readings as some sort of magical incantation, but to turn their hearts to YHWH.  In many places Y’shua teaches that he came to bring Glory to the Father, and to turn hearts unto YHWH.

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