Friday, January 18, 2019

Parashah 16: B'shallach (After he had let go) Exodus 13:17 through 17:16

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/friends/family!  As always, the weekly Torah portion can be found on our website.

In this parashah, we see YHWH bringing His People out of Egypt after 430 years of captivity! This was a significant/memorable event, just as YHWH said it would be in passages such as Exodus 13:3, 10 and 14.

And here is something to chew on concerning this mass exodus: The Children of Israel traveled on a Shabbat! Let's examine this:

YHWH is with them as a cloud by day and fire by night. If HE moves, they move - regardless of the day.

But consider this: There are about two million in this group of people traveling! In verses like Exodus 16:1 which says "They traveled on from Eilim, and the whole community of the people of Isra'el arrived at the Seen Desert, between Eilim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving the land of Egypt." - because of the sheer numbers of people, it cannot be taken literally that "ALL" people arrived on the 15th day.

Let's say the 2 million traveled, five families abreast, and that they could all walk briskly, 3 miles an hour. (Four miles per hour is a very fast pace, considerably faster than a normal walking speed, so 3 miles per hour is a more reasonable, yet "brisk" pace to use in this estimate.) Further, let's say the families are clustered together, rows of families 10 feet apart. So we have a line, 5 families wide; 120,000 families long, which stretches 227 miles!

At a brisk 3 miles per hour, when they stop for camp, the last row of families arrive at the camp a full 3 days after the first! So when we read in Exodus 16:1, that "the whole community of people arrived at the Seen Desert on the 15th", we must allow for a considerable range for the arrival of the entire community. It makes sense in verse 1 to say the "people arrived" based on the date when the first of them arrived (i.e. the 15th); but we simply must allow time for all the others to arrive. So Exodus 16:1 is really saying the people arrived on the 15th and they trickled in likely over the next 3 days to set up camp....

So....Not counting the "mixed crowd/multitude" (Exodus 12:38) who chose to follow Moshe and his people, approximately two million Israelis - if you count one wife and one child for each man - were brought out of Egypt! How do we know this? Last week's parashah in Exodus 12:37-38 told us the following, which was right after the last Plague, which was the killing of the firstborn!

For more, please click on this link.

If I ran America….

I’m beginning to wonder what children are learning in school today, because the “Nazi Salute” seems to be the “in” thing these days.

I’m positive, these kids don’t even know what a Nazi is! However, since it keeps happening, I think the ONLY solution is (1) special mandatory classes in every high school – complete with graphic photos of the horrific situations in some of the death camps; and (2) tough school rules put in place that include automatic STIFF fines, and/or permanent suspension of ANYONE participating in anything that the law says is a “hate crime.” 

NO EXCUSES, NO EXCEPTIONS! 

Nothing in the Constitution says you have “a right” to do harm to others – and that is exactly what anti-Semitism and bigotry of ANY kind does!   If you can’t behave like a decent, civilized, person, then civilized society has no other recourse but to take the “kid gloves off” and start imposing  stiff and swift PUNISHMENT on anyone who refuses to obey simple rules designed to keep everyone safe. 

This “stiff” punishment needs to include the fact that you won’t get “free legal counsel.”  If you want counsel, YOU pay for it!  End of story.

Behavior in America has truly gotten out of hand, and it’s way past time to put an end to the buffoonery….

So, Young Person – if you believe you have a RIGHT to render the Nazi salute, here’s a wakeup call:  You’re not the only person on the planet, and YOUR “rights” end where MINE begin! 

DEAL WITH IT!

Stop blaming your former pastor …

I truly wish the Hebrew Roots adherents and those who end up “leaving Jesus” to hang with mean-spirited, Jesus-bashing Jewish counter-missionaries, would quit insisting that they came out their churches “because they were LIED to.” Except in some cases, it is simply not true that every pastor on the planet is a lying ogre who purposely “kept you from knowing about Torah!”

If you were honest with yourself, it's more like that it was YOU kept yourself from knowing about Torah, because you “went to church” on Sundays to warm the pews, open the Bible to whatever passage the pastor told you to, and then you went home. For many (if not most) “church” is and was just a social event. They didn’t bother to actually READ and STUDY the Bible, where they could and would have discovered the need for Torah themselves.

Every Bible has the Torah - those first five Books of Moses that contain all the "thus saith the Lord" verses, which perfectly outline that ALL who accept the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are to do exactly as HIS people do....

So, if they had taken the time to read the Bible from the beginning, they could have started bugging their pastors about those "thus saith the Lord" verses and asking intelligent questions, such as, "since we're all one in Christ, aren't we all accountable for obeying some of those original commands that seem to pertain to everybody?" Or, "Since the Seventh Day Sabbath is a SIGN between God and his people, shouldn't we be keeping it, too? After all, we're His people, too, right?" (See Exodus 31:16-17; Ezekiel 20:11-12.)

Things might have turned out differently, if they had asked those questions of their pastors ... those men and women who had learned the “New Testament-only, grace-only” stuff in their seminaries where they typically had to sign a document before graduation that commanded them to never veer from the dogma of their respective denominations…. At least THAT could have opened a dialogue that caused YOU to learn and grow, and perhaps influence others.

But no – it seems many prefer to sit on their haunches now, to lament about the past and place all the blame their former pastors … people who simply didn’t KNOW that God’s people are to be Torah observant. How can you blame someone for not teaching something they don’t know? Furthermore, if coming into Torah suddenly made you THAT smart and "all-knowing," then you surely know that it's not nice to gossip and bad-mouth those who helped you grow during your spiritual "formative" years...

While there certainly ARE some weirdos and crooked “mega-pastors” and other hooligans in Christianity (what man-made religion DOESN’T have them?) whose only goal is to use the Word of God as a way to line their pockets, most pastors are sincere in their faith – a faith that led most of us “to Christ” at some point. THAT is what we need to concentrate on. NOT on what the pastors DIDN’T do.

We need to remember that “not knowing” something doesn't make pastors "bad" people. It just makes them "lost" people..

Here is the real crux of my little rant: It is lashon hara to go around insisting you were lied to in church and that your pastor deliberately led you astray! Honestly, if you HAVE to blame someone, blame yourself, chalk it up as "lesson learned," and move on.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Something to ponder concerning the idea of being "subject to the authorities"....

Romans 13:1. Let every soul be subject to the authorities of government[1]. For there is no authority which is not from Elohim: and the authorities which exist are established by Elohim.   2. He therefore who opposes the authority, opposes the establishment of Elohim; and they who oppose them will receive judgment. 3. For judges are not a menace to good deeds, but to evil deeds. Would you then not be afraid of the authority? Do good, and you will have praise from it. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

[1] The Church system twists this verse so that Christians will submit to the authority of false governments who in turn support the false religious hierarchies.

In reality, Paul makes this statement in the context of YHWH’s Commandments in Torah; “You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt you answer in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.” (Sh’mot/Exodus 23:2) If the “majority” allows evil men in “government” and within “the church” to go unpunished, the evil becomes punishable upon the majority.

For example, democracy is thought to work by majority vote, but in reality, democracies are easily manipulated by power hungry minorities who control media, ballot boxes, polls and “public opinion.” When the majority fails to act against evil, the hierarchy continues to further enslave its victims (citizens).

Many are discovering that what they believed to be a Democractic government is, in fact, an Oligarchy of organized criminals. The Church system and all false government thrives on “double think” by putting forth an archetype (religious tradition or legislation by “majority” that “sounds reasonable” but is certainly not truth) and markets its theologies and laws as though it is a collectively inherited or accepted ideal.

This is extremely high level rebellion against YHWH and must be prosecuted, or all of humanity will suffer. “You shall not answer in a cause to decline after many.” We must never fear evil men, decline to them, or pretend evil will go away on its own.

Pray, speak and act against all manner of evil. Mashiyach calls all souls everywhere to join together in righteousness and bring Peace, Justice and Equality to all peoples, of all religions and socio-economic situation. See Matt. 22:21.

Continuing with Romans:

Romans 13:4. For he is the minister of Elohim; but it is to you for good. But if you work evil, be afraid; for he is not girded with the sword in vain; for he is a minister of Elohim and an avenger of wrath to them that do evil things. 5. And therefore, it is necessary for us to be obedient, not only on account of wrath, but likewise on account of our consciences. 6. For this cause also you pay tribute money; for they are the ministers of Elohim, established for these same objects.

7. Render therefore to every one as is due to him; head tax, to whomever accounts for it; and duties to whomever collects taxes; and respect, to whom respect is due; and honor, to whom honor is due. 8. And owe nothing to anyone; but to love one another. For he that loves his neighbor, has properly understood Torah.

9. For this likewise, which it says: You will not kill; nor commit adultery; nor steal; nor covet; and if there is any other Commandment, it is completed in this sentence: You will love your neighbor as yourself.[2] 10. Love does no evil to one’s neighbor because love is the fulfillment of Torah.[3] (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

[2] While Paul here is clearly showing that being obedient to the government and not causing chaos in the communities at large is a mitzvah or “good deed” consistent with Torah observance, the other side of the argument concerns what to do when the rules of man attempt to contradict, invalidate or overturn Torah requirements.

Paul’s answer for that issue is found in 1 Corinthians 10:14-33 which begins with the commandment, “Flee from idolatry” and continues on to admonish people to not participate in pagan festivals.

[3] Paul does not teach that Torah was not abolished because we love our neighbor. Greek translations have pleroma, which is translated as “fulfilled”. Popular Bible versions like the NIV recognize this thought is revisited in 13:9 which uses anakephalaiomai, which means “to accurately sum up or understand” the Torah. This is a type of a synonym for pleroma. If pleroma as translated as "fulfilled," there are numerous potential meanings.

One of these, according to Thayer and Smith's Bible Dictionary is: "to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment.”

This definition mirrors the Aramaic term that is also usually translated as "fulfill," such as the line in Matthew 5:17 that is targummed, "for I have not come to unravel the Torah but to provide proper interpretation of it.”

This is also the true meaning of the Greek where it says "thus was fulfilled according to the prophet"; i.e., this is the intended meaning of the Scripture as applied to the NT.

Finally, one should look carefully at what both Aramaic and Greek use for the term "law". In each case, nomos/namusa allows for the targummming of the Word/Torah concept to mean "torah" with a small "t", or individual instruction from the overall covenant.

That being said, the other possible reading is that the true meaning of the relevant commandment is "fulfilled/understood" by loving one's neighbor and so on, which makes much more sense.

Therefore, if one is to read “fulfilled” here, then it must be understood that the correct interpretation of Torah is given according to what Mashiyach Y’shua elucidated. This can in no way be construed that Mashiyach brought an end to Torah.

Do you have a “Hollywood” relationship with God?

Ever notice that “celebrities” rarely ever mention “God”? If they do, it’s always some weird or flippant remark such as, “May you be richly blessed by whatever your concept of God is”; or Oprah’s nonsensical statement that “all paths lead to God.”

Judging by the bizarre movies about God and the Bible generated by Hollywood with its unabashed and flagrant use of “literary license,” they truly have NO clue! Every movie with a biblical theme is completely off the mark; and even documentaries about the Bible reek with rampant ignorance of Scripture.

Fact is, none of them actually “know” יהוה (Yahweh) or His Divine Son, Yeshua who martyred himself and became our "blood redemption." If any of the Hollywood types (and those who idolize them) ever actually READ the Bible, they certainly didn’t “get” it.

Unfortunately, Hollywood has a huge impact on every facet of our society; and the undeniable truth is that Hollywood’s lukewarm, anemic, hypocritical concept of “God” has permeated the lives of many (if not most) who honestly feel that “belief in God” can be accomplished without the Bible and all its “archaic” rules, most of which they insist “pertain only to the Jews.”

A large majority of the people I have ever known (including most of the people I know today), were/are “lukewarm” toward God, with an irritating tendency to “put God in a box.” (Hollywood has done a great job of that!)

Truth be told, I never discerned any real difference between atheists, agnostics, humanists and those who claimed to be “Believers” (whether Jew or Gentile). They all (including the Believers who ran to church every Sunday) lived whatever lifestyle they wanted to live, doing whatever felt “right” in their own eyes.

Most of the Christians I knew, never mentioned God; and the very few who did, went overboard in their zeal to let me know I was going to Hell if I didn’t “believe in Jesus.” (While it’s true that the half-hearted and unbelievers are eternally separated from ADONAI, it makes NO sense to tell someone who is Bible illiterate, to “believe in” an entity they can’t see, feel or communicate with, who plans to HURT you if you DON’T believe in him…)

Anyway, because there was normally no discernible difference between the Christians and the “worldly” people I’d ever known, I decided I never wanted to be a Christian - because I just plain don’t like hypocrites.

Of all the Christians I had ever met until I was almost 30 years old, only one sticks out in my memory, because he actually LIVED his faith. I distinctly remember that he was a MAJOR pain in my backside … a well-meaning, Bible-thumping, tongue-talkin’ Sergeant I knew while stationed in Stuttgart, Germany with the US Army, who once gave me a “biblical concussion” that literally brought me out from behind my desk in a demonic rage that caused him to back out the door in fear for his life.

(I’m pretty sure he realized that day, that it’s not wise to employ pressure tactics on everyone you meet; and that it wasn’t “man” but the Ruach (Holy Spirit) who convicts someone about God! All the preaching and screaming, yelling and Bible pounding do no good UNLESS the Ruach opens one’s “spiritual eyes.”)

Be that as it may, I also recognized this particular man as being “different” BECAUSE he “lived his faith” - and it sowed a seed that left me wondering what it was that had attracted him to God so much that he felt compelled to constantly talk about Him....

The Ruach opened my “spiritual eyes” several years later, at the “ripe ol’ age” of 44. Unlike most who either grew up disillusioned by their respective faiths, or were somehow touched by the Hollywood idea of God, I was never confused by any particular theology, denominations or dogma.

Yahweh placed me in a tiny Baptist church where the “right pastor” at the “right time” who used the "right wording" and made the “right statements” that tore me out of my slumber and literally opened my eyes to a whole new world I never knew existed!

What I’m trying to say is that, unbeknownst to us, we all have that “little hole in our soul” that only God can fill. But, unless you are TRULY seeking Him, and until the Ruach opens your eyes, you CANNOT possibly understand – no matter how much some well-meaning person tries to make you understand.

You can even read the Bible a million times, but until the Ruach is actually present within you, it’s all just words on paper; stories that really make no sense, peppered with a string of endless commands from a seemingly “bossy” Creator who appears to expect people to perform impossible tasks.

The thing is that the Creator KNOWS who is serious and who isn’t. You can’t fool Him. He made you! He already knows whether or not you will accept Him; or whether you’re among the countless many who only want "a" god with no rules they can tell what to do, and whom they can “put in a box” and take out whenever they need something.

Make no mistake - He KNOWS whether you want HIM, or whether you're seeking the feel-good, nonsensical Hollywood “god”….

Matthew 7:7-8 tells us, "Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps asking receives; he who keeps seeking finds; and to him who keeps knocking, the door will be opened." (CJB)

From what I can see in the “Hollywood-type” of worship around the globe, most seem to be “seeking in all the wrong places” – looking everywhere EXCEPT in the Bible where Yahweh’s TRUTH lies.

Where are YOU seeking?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Response to a Christian who attempts to use Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 to prove that Sunday is the Sabbath Day

A Christian was recently trying to argue that Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 reference Sunday ("First Day") meetings in the New Testament - that it was supposedly their habit to meet on the first day of the week...

He wrote: “In Acts 15, when the question of Gentiles following the Law came up, the Sabbath was not included in the list of things they had to follow. Sabbath observances is not
commanded anywhere in the New Testament. Colossians 2:16-17 says I shouldn't allow you to judge me for not keeping the Sabbath. “

OUR RESPONSE:

That is absolutely NOT true! Christians have confused as "Sunday meetings" the Havdallah (end of Shabbat) services with Paul's continuing to teach through sunset (end of Shabbat), on into the "first day." God's Sabbath has ALWAYS been on the Seventh Day - and that never changed. Sunday is "the first day.". It was never considered "holy" or God's required "Day of Rest!"

Acts 20:7 says "And on the first day of the week, when we assembled to break bread, Paul spoke with them, because he was to depart the next day; and he continued his discussion till midnight." (AENT)

Since "Jesus" was a Jew who taught only from the Tanach - the "Old Testament" - the earliest "Christians" were taught by him to observe HIS Sabbath, which was the 7th day. A study of early Christian writers reveals that Sunday observance of a Sabbath was a second century invention, not around in Paul's time. No, we can be sure that when Acts mentions the "Sabbath day", it is the 7th day and not Sunday.

Also, 1 Corinthians 16 does NOT suggest that anyone taught on Sunday! Please take a look at Scripture through the Hebrew instead of the Greek mindset:

1 Corinthians 16:1. And as to the collection for the Set Apart believers, as I directed the assemblies of the Galatians, so do you. 2. On each first day of the week, let every one of you lay aside and preserve at home what he is able; that there may be no collections when I come.(AENT)

NOTE: Here the Christian myth of Sunday replacing Shabbat is fully exposed for what it is! The fact is that Rav Shaul (Paul) asks people to make preparations on “the first day,” i.e. work, proving that neither he nor the Corinthians viewed the first day of the week as a Shabbat (Sabbath).

The fact that Rav Shaul wants to make sure they don’t need to prepare when he comes, speaks volumes towards Shabbat observance on the Seventh Day Shabbat! Acts records 84 occasions when he met in the synagogues on Shabbat.

Paul does not want his hosts to break the Shabbat and he counsels them to make ready for him in advance. All early Netzarim (Nazarene) believers like Rav Shaul RESTED on the Seventh Day Shabbat in Mashiyach (Messiah).

Read Numbers 15-13-16 which shows why Christians ARE bound to the Sabbath laws....In that passage God says four times in a row that ALL who accept Him are to do exactly as HIS people do.....

It's quite true. Most all Christians think Acts 20:7 "proves" the Sabbath was changed to Sunday because of the way it reads: "On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread,..."

However, if you look at the Aramaic, the verse actually begins: "oov'yom'a, d'chad b'shab'a kad..." which means, roughly: "After one Sabbath day when" ...(we gathered to break bread).
This is clearly the evening after the Sabbath when they would be eating, and has absolutely nothing to do with "meeting on a Sunday".

In other words, the verse has nothing to do with "Sunday" becoming the Sabbath day; rather, the importance is that the Sabbath had ended, and the apostles were simply gathered to eat. The verse is just a reference to the "motza'ei Shabbat meal" (meal after the Sabbath) - a perfectly normal event.

Since, after sunset of the Sabbath, it becomes the next day, technically it was the "1st day of the week," as the day-count in Hebrew terms changes at sunset; but the typical English translations of the verse obscure that it is only the evening meal they are holding, not a "meeting on Sunday".

Friday, January 11, 2019

Parashah 15: Bo (Go) Exodus 10:1 through 13:16

Shabbat shalom, mishpocah/family/friends! As always, a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion (Parashah 15: Bo [Go] Exodus 10:1 through 13:16) can be found on our website.

Not only have we seen the Ten Plagues on Egypt in their entirety, but we also got to witness the Original Passover AND prophecy fulfilled in Exodus 11:2-3 which refers back to what YHWH told Abraham in Genesis 15:14:

Genesis 15: 13 ADONAI said to Avram, "Know this for certain: your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs. They will be slaves and held in oppression there four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge that nation, the one that makes them slaves. Afterwards, they will leave with many possessions.

Exodus 11: 2 Now tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman her neighbor for gold and silver jewelry." 3 ADONAI made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people. Moreover, Moshe was regarded by Pharaoh's servants and the people as a very great man in the land of Egypt.

Note that YHWH made the heathen "favorably disposed" toward His people. It seems He is doing the same thing with "the world" today (especially in the US) by making our country "favorably disposed" towards Islam (and just about anything else)! The United States, it seems, has become "tolerant" of anything and everything, and has allowed all manner of false religion into our midst, which is in direct violation of YHWH's command to be set apart and NOT allow "other gods" to taint our lives..

This week’s parashah is chock full of great information, and by the time we get to the end of it, in Exodus 13, we are left with NO doubt as to how adamant YHWH is about the obedience to His TORAH!.

For more great informative and interesting reading, please click here.

Poster_Shabbat_w_candles