Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Eager to get started on the next Torah portion? (Parashahs 42 and 43)

If you're eager to get started on the next Torah portion, you can find a synopsis our our website.  This week features another dual parashah:  

Parashah 42: Mattot (Tribes); Numbers 30:1 through 32:42

AND:

Parashah 43: Masa'ei (Stages); Numbers 3:1 through 36:13

To get started, simply click on each of the links above to read our synopses, and then read all of the Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our articles.

Parashah 42 discusses – among other things - how critical spoken words can be. As a matter of fact, volumes could be written about the very first verse in Numbers 30!

YHWH takes oaths very seriously, especially ones that were made to Him! Today, contracts don't seem to hold any meaning anymore because, many believe contracts were made to be broken and/or re-written to suit a certain purpose. Even many couples who are married in church and pledged to stay together "unto death" demonstrate instead that they didn’t take their oath very seriously, and end up divorced.

Unbeknownst to them, the vows made before YHWH stand, regardless! YHWH doesn't care what the reasoning, whether simple carnal desire or profit of some kind. A contract is a contract.

This parashah covers a WHOLE LOT more, and to read it, please click on the Parashah 42 link, above.

In Parashah 43 we see YHWH prophetically declaring the borders of Israel! As the Book of Numbers nears the end, we find YHWH's people anxiously waiting on the east side of the Yarden (Jordan) as they prepare to leave the Wilderness to enter the Land that he promised their forefathers many years before.

The beginning of this parashah, Numbers 33, is a recap, a summarization of the last 40 years before YHWH's people finally get to possess the Land of Israel! Today, we get to see Moshe taking the opportunity to recount each significant encampment their long and arduous journey toward the Promised Land.

This summarization must have been important to YHWH, who had His people move camps a total of 42 times (starting the count when they left Sukkot, Numbers 33:5, to when they reached the plains of Mo'av across from Yericho, Numbers 33:48). And, by the way, nothing in the Torah is mentioned in vain, and therefore we must pay special attention to those things that are mentioned more than once....

An important detail to grasp in these particular parashahs is that YHWH gave the Land to the Israelites (the offspring of Isaac); not to the Arabs (the offspring of Ishmael who ultimately became the enemy of YHWH: Muslims)!

Click on the link for Parashah 43 above to read all about how YHWH tells His people to not only kill or drive out the people living in the Land, but also their idols and "high places" (places of worship), lest they become infected with false gods. He did not do this because He was a mean God; He did it because (1) He intended for HIS people to inhabit the Land; and (2) He did not want them to fall prey to pagan ways…

IMPORTANT:  Please do not only read our synopses, but the actual Torah portions and the Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our articles.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

What were the “garments of skin” with which YHWH covered Adam and Eve after they sinned?

What were the “garments of skin” with which YHWH covered Adam and Eve after they sinned? It’s not what you might think….

As you all know, ADONAI keeps on opening eyes and revealing more and more of His Word to those who are truly seeking Him and His ways.  That is what He recently did for me on several levels, and I'm about to share something that's going to sound really odd.  (Some may already know this, but I didn’t until just a few months ago.)

For years now, I’ve been under the erroneous impression that YHWH introduced the sacrificial system in the Garden of Eden on the day He “made skins” for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).

I had always assumed the verse meant that He killed an innocent animal.  What else could “garments of skin” have referred to, right?  Well, one day it dawned on me that this passage does NOT say He killed an ANIMAL; it simply says:  “ADONAI, God, made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Hmmm.  Why would He have had to make garments of skin for them, once they discovered their “nakedness” when, back in verse 7 we saw that they had already covered their nakedness with fig leaves?  Why not just put them out of the Garden and let them fend for themselves when it came to “coverings” for their nakedness?

Genesis 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So, they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths. (CJB)

SOMETHING clearly wasn’t right here, and I HAD to find out what it was.  And so, I decided to do some in-depth research to investigate this matter (which included what the Orthodox Jewish Rabbis were teaching) – and what I found was absolutely stunning:  The “skin” to which YHWH was referring was HUMAN skin! 

Yes – HUMAN SKIN!

Please stay with me, now as I explain.  You see, I’m not saying that Adam and Eve were “skinless”; rather, that they were “different” from us today. WE cannot be in the Presence of YHWH Himself without dying; but THEY could!

How would that have been possible?

Remember in Exodus 34 when Moshe (Moses), returned from Mt. Sinai after spending 40 days with YHWH, and he was “glowing” or “beaming” light so bright that he had to cover his face with a veil?  Moshe was in the Presence of the Most High, the Most Holy, a radiance so awesome and powerful that it must have activated the “light force” that glows within us all – a “light force” that receded once Moshe was back among fallen humanity.

I’m not making this up!  Take a peek back at Exodus 33:17-23 where YHWH told Moshe the following:

Exodus 33:17 ADONAI said to Moshe, "I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."  18 But Moshe said, "I beg you to show me your glory!" 19 He replied, "I will cause all my goodness to pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce the name of ADONAI (YHWH). Moreover, I show favor to whomever I will, and I display mercy to whomever I will.

20 But my face," he continued, "you cannot see, because a human being cannot look at me and remain alive. 21 Here," he said, "is a place near me; stand on the rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you inside a crevice in the rock and cover you with my hand, until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand, and you will see my back, but my face is not to be seen."  (CJB)

And here’s what happened when he came down the mountain, after spending 40 days and 40 nights in the presence of YHWH:

Exodus 34:29 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)

It also now makes sense that Moshe was not like most people. YHWH met with Moshe "face to face" ("panim el panim", Exodus 33:11); that is, a close relationship of direct communication, while at the same time, no human can "look upon His face" and live ("l'ra'oth et-panai", Exodus 33:30).

With these thoughts in mind, doesn’t it make sense that Adam and Eve had to be VERY “special” somehow, in order to BE in the Presence of the One who created them?  While the Torah doesn’t actually say that they ever actually SAW Him, we can only surmise that they did, because on the day they sinned, they knew His Voice and Presence, and “hid themselves” from Him when He came down to admonish them: ….

Genesis 3:8 They heard the voice of ADONAI, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of ADONAI, God, among the trees in the garden. 9 ADONAI, God, called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." (CJB)

Genesis 3:21 YHWH, God, made Adam and his wife coats of skin and clothed them. (Schocken Bible, Vol. 1)

Note again that Scripture does NOT say He killed an innocent animal to cover them….

What this means is that Adam and Eve were somehow “different” BEFORE they sinned, until YHWH came down and made for them “garments of skin.”  Once they received those, their "light" was doused by … the confinement of human skin – in essence, “earth suits” - which we cannot shed until our earthly bodies die, allowing our souls (or the essence of whatever it is that makes us conscious, living beings)  to escape to stand before God on Judgment Day in our “original” state.

The thing is, once those events took place, out in the fallen world in their new “earth suits”, they required sacrifices of various kinds to remain reconciled to God - including BLOOD sin sacrifices. Ultimately, two thousand years ago, YHWH sent His Divine Messiah, who willingly martyred himself to become our “substitute” as the Passover (redeeming) Lamb, thus removing the need for “sin” sacrifices!

This, of course, sheds a whole new light on how Yeshua will probably look upon his return, as well – because we will all be VERY recognizable – an extraordinarily powerful, radiant and HOLY being in human form – with face glowing like Moshe's did. (And it’s doubtful he will be covering his face with a veil!)  Mere humans (the myriads who were left behind and managed to survive those chaotic final 3 ½ years) won't be able to get close to him - but those who are "caught up in the air to meet him" just before his return (the dead in Messiah who will rise first and then those true believers who are still living, will be able to join him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where they will subsequently return to earth to help him rule and reign during the Millennium. (See 2 Timothy 2:11-12, Matthew 19:28, and Revelation 3:21.)

(BTW, my opinion concerning our earthly flesh is that it will be left behind, as it is filthy and not needed. Those who are caught up in the air to meet him, will be in their "new, eternal bodies" so that they will also be recognizable to those who were left behind...those who will continue to live until they die, and be resurrected to stand before YHWH Himself after the thousand year reign, to give accounts of their life; and thus, either end up in Eternity with Him, or eternally separated from him. Please see our article containing all the pertinent scriptures.)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Tribe of Judah was chosen to take Torah into the world– to TAKE Torah into the world…. (Get it?)

The Tribe of Judah was chosen to take Torah into the world and safeguard and preserve it (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2); and (but, let's not forget also that: YHWH caused Yeshua to be born into the Tribe of Yehudah/Judah!).

But, has it ever occurred to anyone that this did NOT mean they were to keep Torah all to themselves? Traditional Judaism has this tendency to insist that Torah was “meant only for the Jews.” But let’s read this in another context:

Micah 4: 1 But in the acharit-hayamim it will come about that the mountain of ADONAI's house will be established as the most important mountain. It will be regarded more highly than the other hills, and peoples will stream there.

2 Many Gentiles will go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of ADONAI, to the house of the God of Ya'akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim. 3 He will judge between many peoples and arbitrate for many nations far away. (CJB)

Please re-read that last sentence:

“…’He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim. He will judge between many peoples and arbitrate for many nations far away. (CJB)

Read it again and again, until you grasp its significance! Judah was never supposed to keep Torah all to themselves! Even the Rabbi in this short two-minute video clip says so! Take a listen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Parashah 41: Pinchas (Phineas)

If you’re “chomping at the bit” to start reading this week’s Torah portion, you can find a synopsis of Parashah 41: Pinchas (Phineas)  on our website.

This parashah holds many nuggets, and we see that YHWH does not condone "tolerance" as seems to be the buzzword of modern Western society! He is very adamant about purity and righteousness in HIS people!

To measure where we are in YHWH's "grand scheme of things" - The tribes of Israel were numbered at Mount Sinai more than 38 years ago. The number of men over 20 years of age who were eligible to claim an inheritance in the land of the Patriarchs was then 603,550. In this week's portion, as the "final accounting" of Moshe concludes, we find that after almost four decades in the wilderness and a turn-over of population the number of men in the Redeemed Community who stood to inherit the land of promise had dropped to 601,730 (Numbers 26:51).

RTo get started, imply click on the link above to read our synopsis, and then read all of the Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our article.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

When will it all end? Not until Yeshua returns to put an end to man’s nonsense!

My husband and I became truly incensed while watching this evening’s news because we are sick and tired of having “gay” stories shoved down our throats (both on television and at the movies). It seems the ONLY way to keep from encountering the endless, relentless “gay agenda” is to throw out our televisions and computers, and never see another movie.

HOW is that right? Why is it that, seemingly all the sudden, nearly all movies and TV shows feel compelled to mention the homosexual lifestyle in one way or another. Never in my life have I ever introduced myself as a heterosexual.   “Hello, I’m author Carmen Welker, a heterosexual college and business college graduate, veteran of the United States Army….”

But that is exactly what all gays seem to be doing today. Somehow and for some reason, their sexual preference must come into play. How ridiculous, how utterly LUDICROUS is that?

Ever since our illustrious former LIBERAL and Bible-illiterate President, Obama, made “gay marriages” legal, the media and Hollywood has been behaving as if this is a perfectly “normal” thing, and they feel compelled to shove it down our throats on a continuing basis, not ever allowing us to “come up for air!”

Examples of what I’m talking about:

On this evening's newscast, we saw two stories wherein they mentioned LGBTQ as if it were a perfectly normal thing!

The first mention of it was story about Sara Cunningham, a 54-year-old mother and ordained minister with a gay son, who said she "wrestled with my faith as if I had to choose between my faith and my son...and I reexamined everything I believed." She then proudly went on to boast that the Holy Spirit told her, “What’s important to your son should also be important to me.”

Well, I’m sorry, but – according to the BIBLE - the Holy Spirit of God would NEVER tell someone that it’s okay for ANYONE to live in sin … especially a sin that YHWH cites as “an abomination!”

YES, by all means, we are to love our children unconditionally, but that does NOT mean we must condone their sins. As a “pastor” Cunningham should know that! (On the other hand, she is clearly a lukewarm Christian who isn’t familiar with the WHOLE of Scripture and somehow thinks she has a right to twist it to suit her purposes. She doesn’t realize she’s treading on very thin ice, because God isn’t in the habit of forgiving those who commit deliberate, ongoing sins. Jesus didn’t die so that we could CONTINUE to sin….)

Leviticus 18:22 - You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination. (CJB)

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (CJB)

That's a pretty strong word - "abomination." Unfortunately, today people like to pretend God has somehow changed His mind, and that - not only is it "okay to be gay", but God has even condoned homosexual marriage ... never mind that there is not one scripture to support that idea!

Let’s just lay it all on the line concerning what the BIBLE SAYS about homosexuality, shall we?

Genesis 1:27 So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them: God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it..." (CJB)

(In case people haven’t noticed, homosexuals cannot procreate or “be fruitful and multiply” – and therefore, those who engage in “gay sex” are denying YHWH’s “image” to proliferate.)

Deuteronomy 22:5 "A woman is not to wear men's clothing, and a man is not to put on women's clothing, for whoever does these things is detestable to ADONAI your God. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 6:9. Or don't you know, that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim? Make no mistake! Neither sexual sinners, nor idol-worshippers, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lay down with other men, 10. Nor the oppressors, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. (AENT)

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.... (CJB)

Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles! 24 This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts' lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other's bodies. 25 They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator - praised be he for ever. Amen. 26 This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; 27 and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.

28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things. 29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless. 32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same. (CJB)

Moving on, the second mention of LGBTQ was by a female interviewer who was chatting with the Smithsonian Institution's new secretary, Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the Smithsonian's popular National Museum of African American history and culture in Washington.

Becoming all excited of the fact that the Smithsonian now features an African American history wing, the interviewer made a comment to the effect of, "Oh wow! Perhaps in the future we'll also be able to see a wing for the LGBTQ community!"

The bottom line is:  Our sex lives are no one else’s business!  It’s none of my business if someone else is attracted to the same sex and chooses to live outside of YHWH’s Will.  HOWEVER, if someone wants to live a homosexual lifestyle, thus condemning themselves, what gives them the right to require us to accept it, thus forcing us to condemn OURSELVES?

Human nature – the reason Moshe didn’t get into the Promise Land….

In reading our last two parashahs (39 and 40), we came across several harsh truths – all of which point to the importance of OBEDIENCE to God.

In Numbers 20: 2-5 (and also in Numbers 21), we got to see YHWH's people whining (again!), ultimately making Him angry enough to send vipers to kill many! It didn't seem to matter how many miracles they saw Him perform, the moment they encountered hardships, they would grumble and whine and make demands....

(Isn't that how we humans tend to react whenever things don't go our way? "God, WHY are You doing this to me?" Never mind that we're in a lost world where bad things happen to good people and every experience is a learning experience designed to make us wiser and stronger, preparing us for the Kingdom.)

Anyway, in Numbers 20, we begin to see why Moshe and Aharon didn't make it into the Promised Land. (For those who have never read these chapters, this is very important!)

You see, in verses 8-13, we were once again reminded that YHWH is not kidding around when He demands our trust and obedience! Here is how things unfolded:

Numbers 20: 8 "Take the staff, assemble the community, you and Aharon your brother; and before their eyes, tell the rock to produce its water. You will bring them water out of the rock and thus enable the community and their livestock to drink." 9 Moshe took the staff from the presence of ADONAI, as he had ordered him. 10 But after Moshe and Aharon had assembled the community in front of the rock, he said to them, "Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?" (CJB)

WHOAH! ""Listen here, you rebels! Are we supposed to bring you water from this rock?"

What's this "we" stuff?  Since when was Moshe equal to God?

Numbers 20:11 Then Moshe raised his hand and hit the rock twice with his staff. Water flowed out in abundance, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them." 13 This is M'rivah Spring [Disputation Spring], where the people of Isra'el disputed with ADONAI, and he was caused to be regarded as holy by them.

NOW - note what happened to Moshe as a result of his disobedience! Moshe and the High Priest Aharon were the holiest men on earth at the time - and because of their occasional failure to TRUST in YHWH, they did NOT get to enter the Promised Land. (And today we think that we can get away with anything, just because we "believe"....)

This parashah is a powerful example of the high expectation YHWH has for His leaders, and it's sad that many back then, and most today are not paying attention! Many today are under the erroneous impression that they are "under grace" and therefore don't really have to bother with all those "old rules"....HUGE MISTAKE!

Numbers 20: 12 But ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "Because you did not trust in me, so as to cause me to be regarded as holy by the people of Isra'el, you will not bring this community into the land I have given them.

BOOM! There it is! YHWH just told Moshe and Aharon they weren't going to get to cross over into the Promised Land....

Kinda makes one think a little bit, doesn't it? I doubt that ANY of us is as holy and obedient as Moshe was. And we definitely cannot compare ourselves to Messiah Yeshua. Therefore, we truly need to take some time to reassess ourselves on a regular basis....

On true holiness….

Oh, this week's two Torah portions were absolutely awesome! YHWH never ceases to amaze me! I mean, for instance, I got chills reading Numbers 19, which talks about how very serious YHWH is about "holiness" - which also includes "cleanliness"....

We puny humans believe ourselves to be "holy" just because we "read the Bible" or "go to church or synagogue" and raise our hands to sing and worship.

Truth be told, that is only "playing at" holiness, when you get right down to it, because true holiness comes from the heart and from active obedience to YHWH's Divine Instructions in Righteousness.

Yes, those instructions in Numbers 19 were for the Levite Priests and "don't pertain to us" ... BUT - consider this:

Having been cleansed by the divine blood of Messiah Yeshua, our bodies are the Temple and WE are considered priests - which means WE MUST ALSO be "clean" and "holy"....We should never, ever take it for granted that "it's okay to sin sometimes because God knows my heart."

NO! As PRIESTS, we must shine so the world can literally SEE that we are "set apart" and "different". If we don't take YHWH's commands seriously, then HOW can the world recognize that we are different?

1 Peter 2:9. But you are an elect race (referring to the prophecy of Isaiah 66:20-21) officiating as priests of the Kingdom; a Set Apart people, a redeemed congregation; that you should proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness to his precious light: 10. who formerly were not counted as a people but now are the people of Elohim; and also, there were (once) no mercies on you but now mercies are poured out upon you.

11. My beloved, I entreat you as strangers and pilgrims, separate yourselves from all lusts of the body, for they war against the soul. 12. And let your behavior be honorable before all men; so that they who utter evil speeches against you, may see your good actions and may praise Elohim in the day of trial. (AENT)