Thursday, February 22, 2018

Parashah 20: Tetzaveh (You are to order) Exodus 27:20 through 30:10

Time to get serious about this week’s Torah portion again, as another Shabbat is just around the corner!  As always, a synopsis of this week’s Torah portion can be found on our website right here.  '

This parashah takes place while Moshe (Moses) is up on Mt. Sinai receiving instructions from YHWH Himself! (See Exodus 24:18 and 32:1.)

In this particular lesson we get yet another inkling about how adamant YHWH (Yahweh/The Creator) was concerning obedience to His holy Commands. He did not allow any "half heartedness" and certainly no reinventing of His instructions. Any veering from the Truth and instructions could lead to death - and that is reinforced throughout the Bible.

We are to be dedicated to Him in every area of our lives. Note, for instance, the command to keep "the lamp burning continually....before ADONAI" which is a permanent regulation through all the generations of the people of Israel" (Exodus 27:20-21). This command cannot be kept today because there is no temple (although it seems that this could be done in the world's synagogues, as a token to demonstrate a willingness to obey).

In reading the next chapters, we get a sense that the there is "something divine" about the role of the cohanim (priests) that goes way above and beyond the roles of today's priests and pastors for whom their chosen profession is basically "just a job." Please read the following very powerful passages:

Exodus 28: 1 "You are to summon your brother Aharon and his sons to come from among the people of Isra'el to you, so that they can serve me as cohanim - Aharon and his sons Nadav, Avihu, El'azar and Itamar. 2 You are to make for your brother Aharon garments set apart for serving God, expressing dignity and splendor. 3 Speak to all the craftsmen to whom I have given the spirit of wisdom, and have them make Aharon's garments to set him apart for me, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen. 4 "The garments they are to make are these: a breastplate, a ritual vest, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aharon and his sons, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen. 5 They are to use gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and fine linen.

For more, please click on the link above!

Poster_Paul_Sabbath

“What happens to those who refuse to obey the Seventh Day Sabbath command?”

Someone recently asked a great question about what happens to those who refuse to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath – either due to ignorance or deliberate disobedience.

The only logical response for those who honestly have no clue that ALL are to be Torah observant (Numbers 15:13-16), which includes the Sabbath day - which is a SIGN between YHWH and His people - Exodus 31:16-17; Ezekiel 20: 11) is that we really can't be sure "what happens" to them.

All we can do is conclude from Scripture that, since YHWH wants "none to perish" (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Tim. 2:4), He would show mercy and allow them to "squeak into Heaven" for doing the best they could, according to their knowledge.

Why? Well, because, thanks to Matthew 5, we do know there is a "hierarchy in heaven:

Matthew 5: 17 Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened.

19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P'rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven! (CJB)

Has everything that "must happen" happened yet? Have "heaven and earth passed away? If not, then it seems believers are supposed to BE Torah observant today! Unfortunately, many simply don’t know, and even when told, it doesn’t sink in because they are under the erroneous impression that Christians don’t have bother with “that old Jewish stuff.” HUGE mistake!

Notice that Matthew 5:17-20 says: "So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.” This key, because it is talking about YHWH's commands!

What commands are they? TORAH commands - which still stand today ... and WE are obligated, as believers, to keep those that we can! We need to pay special attention to those that have the word "forever" or "throughout your generations" attached to them, because "forever" hasn't ended yet! Not to mention, "fulfill" never meant "to put an end to." It means, Yeshua came to do His Father's will and to fulfill "the next thing on the agenda".....

Now, please pay close attention to this next part:

IF someone KNEW they were supposed to be Torah observant, yet chose to ignore the command, for whatever reason, their salvation may be in jeopardy because, according to Torah (i.e, scriptures such as Numbers 15:13-16) ALL who accept YHWH as their Elohim, are to OBEY His Torah. We're also told that there is no Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave nor free in His Kingdom (Galatians 3:28) and that we are all ONE in Messiah (Romans 12:5).

So, clearly, YHWH expects ALL to obey His Mitzvot/Commands! Same God, same rules. WHY would He have different rules for His natural and adopted children?

Please think about this: If we don't obey YHWH's Torah, then WHOM are we worshiping? NOTHING in Scripture suggests Torah was ever abolished. Nothing - including those often-misunderstood writings of Paul!

If someone attempts to point you to the writings of Paul which sometimes seem to negate Torah (which they DON'T!), then simply tell them this:

"Paul was a mere man who didn't have any right to (nor did he ever attempt to) negate ANYTHING YHWH ever commanded, or what Yeshua taught. TORAH contains all of YHWH's original, divine instructions in righteousness, and THAT is what you should be paying attention to; rather than to try to figure out ways to weasel out of obedience.

"Your status as a Gentile was negated once you "crossed over" to accept YHWH as your God and Yeshua as His Divine Messiah - which made you a HEBREW. You are now part of ISRAEL, which means you must follow YHWH's Divine Rules. Once you begin to obey, your relationship with YHWH/Yeshua will change and grow exponentially!"

Are believers “raised” immediately after death?

With the death of Rev. Billy Graham, I see many insisting he’s “in the arms of Jesus.” I might be totally wrong, but I don’t believe anyone is immediately raised from the dead – with the exception of the three men mentioned in Scripture who were raised individually: Yeshua (Colossians 3:1, 1 Corinthians 6:14-20, Ephesians 4:7-10), Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).

We don’t see any other “individual raisings”; but we do see “raisings” of "many" on the day Yeshua died:

Matthew 27:50. Then again Y'shua cried out with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51. And immediately, the curtains at the door of the temple were torn in two from the top to the bottom. And the earth was shaken and the rocks were split. 52. And the tombs were opened and many bodies of the Set Apart believers who were asleep arose, 53. And went out. (AENT)

From what we can see in Scripture, the next “raising” will happen when Yeshua returns. Believers will be “caught up” (1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17); with the FINAL “catching up” happening at the end of Yeshua's thousand year reign when ALL (including every unbeliever since the beginning of time) wll stand before YHWH on Judgment Day (Revelation 20:11-15).

This seems to be the death process for Believers:

(1) Our nefesh (soul) dies (Ezekiel 18:20 and Romans 6:23) and our ruach (spirit) returns to YHWH who gave it (Ecclesiastes 9).

(2) Everyone who died pre-Yeshua, excepting Enoch and Elijah and "many of" the Set Apart believers mentioned in Matthew 27:51-53, is still in the grave awaiting judgment.

(3) The fact that the "dead in Messiah rise first" upon Yeshua’s return (1 Thess 4:16) indicates they are STILL in the grave until his return; and that no one has been raised since the day of Yeshua’s death.

I also contend that the scripture "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8) is NOT talking about immediate transformation where believers will be immediately next to YHWH/Yeshua. This is evidenced by Revelation 6:9 which tells us there will be souls "under the altar waiting"....

It means no matter how long we've been dead, when we wake up it will seem like no time has passed.

Some attempt to use Luke 23:43 as proof that we ARE immediately sent to heaven, but I contend we must look at the context:

Luke 23:43 - "Y'shua said to him, 'Truly I say to you today: You will be with me in paradise.'"

The footnote in the AENT says: Compare the emphasis: "I say to you: *Today* you will be with me in Paradise" with, "I say to you today: *You* will be with me in Paradise." The first [emphasis 'Today'] promises the immediacy of ascension, as in "today." The second [emphasis 'You'] promises that as Y'shua is speaking in the moment, that "you" (the man) will be in paradise." It is the second emphasis this scripture intends.

2 Corinthians 5:8 - "Therefore we are confident, and desirous to be away from the body, and to be with our Master (Y'shua)."

The context says nothing about an IMMEDIATE resurrection.

1 Peter 3:18-20 - "For the Mashiyach also once died for our sins, the righteous for sinners; that he might bring you to Elohim. And he died in body but lived in spirit. And he preached to those souls which were detained in Sheol (Hades) which were formerly disobedient in the days of Noah when the long suffering of Elohim commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it and were kept alive in the waters."

Revelation 6:9. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them who were slain on account of the Word of Elohim, and on account of the testimony to the Lamb which was with them. 10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Master YHWH, you Set Apart and True, do you not Judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11. And to each one of them was given a white robe; and it was told them that they must be quiet yet a little while, until the consummation of their fellow-servants and Brothers who were to be killed as they had been. (AENT)

From what I can see, there’s nothing to indicate an immediate resurrection after death. When we die, we’re simply “asleep” and when “raised” it will seem like no time has passed. It's all in YHWH's good timing.

The bottom line, of course is that we can't REALLY know the answers to any of this UNTIL we're out of our earth suits, viewing God through TRUE spiritual eyes!  Smile

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A word to the Hebrew Roots “holier-than-thous” damning Billy Graham to hell

I am appalled by the nasty, vile comments some supposed Torah observant believers are making on threads about Reverend Billy Graham's death. What a bunch of holier-than-thou, judgmental nincompoops! I left left the following comments on one of the threads:

For all you "holier-than-thous" making negative comments: Just what god are YOU worshiping? From the sound of your mean-spirited comments, you should all just stop pretending you belong to YHWH/Yeshua because THAT God hates lashon hara. (Since you're such "Bible experts" look up the pertinent scriptures yourself!) Billy Graham WAS a man of God, whether YOU believe it, or not. Just because the Truth of Torah never occurred to him should be irrelevant for you because it's none of your concern; and YOU have NO RIGHT to sit in judgment of him! That's YHWH's job; not yours!

It's HIS decision about where Graham will spend eternity; not yours! So, I suggest you come down off your high horse long enough to look in the mirror and sincerely ask yourself: "What do I see?" From the sound of some of your nasty, vile, gossipy and CHILDISH comments, your reflection will NOT show "the mind of Messiah." Shame on all of you! It's YOUR eternity you should be worried about; not Billy Graham's. I dare say, he believed in YHWH's Divine Messiah, and lived his life accordingly, which put him a heck of a lot closer to God than you are right now, you bunch hate-riddled gossip mongers!

Proverbs 6:16 There are six things ADONAI hates, seven which he detests: 17 a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet swift in running to do evil, 19 a false witness who lies with every breath, and him who sows strife among brothers. (CJB)

Matthew 7:1. You should not judge that you be not judged. 2. For by the judgment that you judge, you will be judged. And by the measure that you measure, it will be measured to you. 3. And why do you see the twig that is in the eye of your brother, and you not observe the beam that is in your eye? 4. Or how do you say to your brother, Allow me to remove the twig from your eye, and behold a beam is in your eye? 5. Hypocrite! First remove the beam from your eye, and then decide for yourself to remove the twig from the eye of your brother. (AENT)

Matthew 12:34 You snakes! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what overflows from the heart. 35 The good person brings forth good things from his store of good, and the evil person brings forth evil things from his store of evil. 36 Moreover, I tell you this: on the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken; 37 for by your own words you will be acquitted, and by your own words you will be condemned.”

As for the atheists who are posting: You'd better pray you won't die anytime soon, because not only will you end up as worm fodder, but the Bible tells us you WILL stand before God on Judgment Day, quaking and quivering and wishing you hadn't been so stupidly stubborn - in the moments before you're tossed into the Lake of Fire where you will end up forever separated from the One who could and would have given you ETERNAL LIFE!

(And if you think this is funny, then ask yourself what the odds are that more than 300 Bible prophecies have already come true - whether YOU "believe" it, or not! I advise you to put aside your silly pride and read the Bible through just once BEFORE you open your big mouth again. At least afterward, you'll be able to make an INFORMED decision about God and the Bible. If you don't want to do that, then do yourself and the rest of us a favor and just stop commenting about something you know NOTHING about, as your personal UNINFORMED opinion on this issue is totally irrelevant!)

Monday, February 19, 2018

King Herod intended to bring Peter to trial after Easter?

Did you ever notice that the KJV in Acts 12 says that King Herod wanted to bring Peter to trial after Easter?

Acts 12: 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (KJV)

HUGE mistake, King James! There was no "Easter" back then, and it wasn't one of the biblical Feasts. Yeshua was crucified on PASSOVER (Nisan 14); not “Easter”…. Passover (or Pesach), is one of God’s seven commanded mo’ed, while Easter is strictly a man-made “holiday”

God’s seven commanded mo’ed; Easter is strictly a man-made “holiday”….

Here are a couple examples of what the actual translation looks like:

Complete Jewish Bible:

Acts 12:3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Judeans, he went on to arrest Kefa as well. It was during the Days of Matzah, 4 so when Herod seized him, he threw him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each, with the intention of bringing him to public trial after Pesach. (CJB)

Institute for Scripture Research:

Acts 12:3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Judeans, he went on to arrest Kefa as well. It was during the Days of Matzah, 4 so when Herod seized him, he threw him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each, with the intention of bringing him to public trial after Pesach. (ISR)

King James contains many mis-translations! Check out, for instance, passages such as Leviticus 12:8, 15:29 and Numbers 6:10 where KJV mistranslated the SLANG word for "turtles" supposedly being used as sin sacrifices. – when the word should have been "TURTLE DOVES.” You see, the problem is "turtles" could NOT POSSIBLY be used as sin sacrifices because they're not kosher!

Hollywood’s “streetwalker” attire…

As long as we have women "normalizing" this kind of clothing, we will have men receiving the "wrong" signals and mistaking them for streetwalkers....

Poster_naked_women

About that “gay kiss” at the Olympics

Is it any wonder that our world is under judgment? You can't even watch the Olympics without being inundated with "gay" in-your-face-displays!

Well, whether "the world" likes it or not, GOD considers homosexuality a heinous sin ... an abomination!

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

Deuteronomy 22:5 "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.

God places sexually active homosexuals on the same level as murderers and liars:

1 Tim 1:9-11 - 9 We are aware that Torah is not for a person who is righteous, but for those who are heedless of Torah and rebellious, ungodly and sinful, wicked and worldly, for people who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral - both heterosexual and homosexual - slave dealers, liars, perjurers, and anyone who acts contrary to the sound teaching 11 that accords with the Good News of the Glorious and blessed God.

2 Peter 2: 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. (CJB)

For those who may think this is funny or irrelevant, please read on:

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.

Revelation 3:15 - "I know what you are doing: you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold not hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!

Revelation 22:14-16: How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! 15 Outside are the homosexuals, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

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

1 Corinthians 6: 18-20: Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Ephesians 5:11-13: Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.

Around 300 Bible prophecies have already come to pass. What are the odds of that? Our Creator is NOT kidding around when it comes to blatant, willful sinning!

Is Acts 10 proof that YHWH has made all foods clean?

Many attempt to use Acts 10 as proof that YHWH has made all foods clean. But what does it really mean? Let’s check it out….

ACTS 10: 10. And he hungered and desired to eat. And while they prepared for him, a stupor fell over him. 11. And he saw heaven being opened and a certain garment being held by four corners. And it resembled a great linen cloth. And it was descending from heaven to earth. 12. And there were in it all creatures of four legs, and creeping things of the earth, and birds of heaven. 13. And a voice came to him that said, “Shimon! Rise up. Slaughter, and eat!” 14. And Shimon said, “(Elohim) forbid, my Master, because I have not ever eaten anything that is defiled and unclean!” 15. And again a second time a voice came to him that (said), “That which Elohim has cleansed, you should not consider defiled!” 16. And this happened three times, and the garment was taken up to heaven. (AENT)

Many read the above and assume YHWH is telling Peter that "all animals are okay to eat, now - so, go ahead and eat!" But this is NOT what this is saying. Here is an analogy to help clear this up:

You are the parent of a 13 year old who wants to go see an R-rated movie. Your child begs you and you say NO! The child says WHY? You say, here, touch this hot stove....The child says "No, it's hot, you taught me not to touch a hot stove!" To which you say: "That's right, then don't question me when I say you cannot see an R-rated movie!"

So in Acts 10:13 when YHWH is saying "kill and eat", He is the parent soliciting the response from the child (Peter), and Peter gives the proper response: "No, I would not eat unclean animals, you taught me that". To which YHWH responds in verse 15: "That's right, now what I have cleansed, no longer consider unholy!"

Peter learns this meaning of his dream when he tells others about the dream at the beginning of Acts 11. Then in Acts 11:17-18 it becomes clear: 17. If therefore Elohim gives in an equal way the gift to Gentiles, those who believe in our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, as also to us, who was I that I should be able to hinder Elohim.” 18. And when they heard these words they became silent and they praised Elohim. And they were saying that, “Perhaps Elohim has given the Gentiles repentance to life.” (AENT)

A footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament explains:

Gentiles are called to enter into the Malchut Elohim to follow Mashiyach and observe Torah; this is not about the consumption of unclean food. Y'shua casts demons into a herd of swine Matthew 8, Mark 5, Luke 8. Swine meat is unclean, demons are unclean; Y'shua destroys both. Peter never ate unclean animals before or after this vision; followers of Y'shua don't eat unclean foods. The Hellenized Christian church endorsed eating unclean foods, because non-Jews have always eaten it as a cultural normative.

It is a continuum of pagan culture. Isaiah 66:17-24 clearly prophecies of a rebellious people who dine on swine's flesh, eat mice and choose to defy the Word of YHWH and His Mashiyach. Gentiles must not assume that these teachings single them out as unclean; Yehudeans are equally as unclean when choosing to defy YHWH and His Mashiyach (see Haggai 2:14; Ezekiel 44:22; Ezra 9:10-10:1; Isaiah 30:6-12; 65:2, 3; Jeremiah 5:22-31).

It is very important to differentiate between that which is Kosher according to YHWH, and religious "tradition." If unclean food is prohibited for Jewish followers of Y'shua, it is also prohibited for non-Jewish followers; the Kingdom of Elohim is not divided. If unclean food has been proven unhealthy, then it is unhealthy for Jewish and non-Jewish bodies alike; there is One Mashiyach and One Torah.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Parashah 19: T'rumah (Contribution) Exodus 25:1 through 27:19

Shabbat at our house is on the horizon once more, and we pray a peaceful one for our friends around the world!  As always, the weekly Torah portion synopsis can be found our website. This week’s reading is Parashah 19.  Many - if not most – tend to skip over passages such as the ones in this week’s parashah reading (Exodus 25:1 through 27:19). The design of the tabernacle and dimensions of the ark, and the shape of the menorah hold absolutely no meaning for those who don't realize their significance.

Not to mention, most view these things as "Old Testament" which - according to our pastors - was full of interesting history, but they supposedly in no way pertain to New Testament teachings, because Jesus had "fulfilled" it all. The only thing that was really of any consequence for us today, the pastors insist, is our "belief in the shed blood at the cross."

What a pity that most pastors have no understanding about the significance of Torah (YHWH's Divine Instructions in Righteousness)! They simply don't seem to "get" that, unless one has pondered the awesome teachings in the Tanach ("OT"), one cannot understand Jesus or the Gospels in their full context! The Tanach, after all, outlines who God is, how we are to worship Him, and how to live a holy life according to HIS rules, and what to expect once His Son arrives (Isaiah 53) - the Son who is foreshadowed in, and has so far fulfilled the first FOUR of the SEVEN Feasts.

Once you have become Torah observant, you will begin to read the Torah portions through very different eyes! As you grow, you will be better able to understand the significance of YHWH's precise instructions concerning the building of His Tabernacle, for instance, because you'll recognize that all the contents of the Tabernacles with their precise God-directed colors, weights and measurements, all foreshadowed Yeshua! (For more, please click on the link above!)

Poster_shab_peace

Is "see-something-say-something" really the answer?

You've all heard of "swatting" - where crazies make bogus calls to 9-1-1 causing SWAT teams to deploy to the homes of innocent people for the sheer thrill of knowing they've wreaked havoc on someone. (It's basically the same as pyromaniacs setting a fire and then calling the fire department, just to watch them scramble.)

Well, I personally believe that is what's gong to happen with the "see-something-say-something" movement. Why? Because the US is going to do what it always does: Instead of using common sense addressing issues such as the endless school shooting dilemma, we are going to become hyper-vigilant and abuse "see-something-say-something" to the point where the 9-1-1 system will be constantly overwhelmed, law enforcement will be obligated to respond, and those accused will be be picked up and forced into psychiatric evaluation.

Our civil liberties will ultimately fall apart because of the hyper-vigilance; and bogus calls by thrill-seeking lunatics will end up ruining many lives...

Humans tend to not use any common sense when it comes to "hot-button" issues. We always swing from one end of the pendulum to the other, totally ignoring the common-sense, "middle-of-the-road" approach.

I personally don't see any answers, except for Yeshua to return to put a stop to mankind's nonsense, do you?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Let’s sympathize with the victims, first, before lavishing the school shooter with “forgiveness”….

I cannot believe all the bleeding-heart sympathy on the Internet for the shooter who killed 17 innocents at a Florida school yesterday! What is the matter with people? The dead haven't even been buried yet, and there are holier-than-thous out there talking about forgiving the "poor kid who did the deed." Let's sympathize with, and pray for the VICTIMS, first, shall we? Give the victims' families a chance to grieve before attempting to force them to shed tears for the guy who just INTENTIONALLY murdered their loved ones!

It doesn't matter WHAT kind of life this murderer had! Most of us have had hard and tough lives, and we're not going around killing innocents because of it! This is tragic for ALL concerned, including the mentally imbalanced perp; but let's not kick the dead victims and their families in the face by lavishing the perp with sympathy just yet!

Torah doesn't command us to "forgive" someone who has deliberately murdered another. In Torah, when at least two witnesses confirmed that someone killed another intentionally, YHWH's Rules allowed for the families to stone the perp to death. There was no "forgiveness" for someone who committed this kind of abomination! They were they put to death, period. Nobody took into consideration that the perp "had a tough life" or anything else. It didn't matter. What mattered was, he broke one of YHWH's commands by intentionally taking a life.

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.

Numbers 35:30-31 “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death.

Exodus 21:12-14: (12) Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. (13) However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. (14) But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death.

Leviticus 24:17: If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death.

Leviticus 24:21 Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death.

Romans 13:1-14 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. ...

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Who will spend Eternity with YHWH?

Who will spend Eternity with YHWH? Those who are into YHWH/Yeshua/Torah! There is no "gray area." Take a look at the following passages:

Revelation 22: 14. Blessed are they who do His (Master YHWH's) Mitzvot, that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city. 15. Without (will be) dogs (those who are evil/pagan) and sorcerers, and whoremongers and manslayers and idolaters, and everyone that loves and does falsehood. 16. I Y'shua have sent my Messenger to testify to you these things before the assemblies. I am the root and offspring of Dawid: like the splendid star of the morning.

17. And the Spirit and the bride say, You come. And let him that hears, say, You come. And let him who thirsts, come; and he that is inclined, let him take the living water freely. 18. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone will add to them, Elohim will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19. And if anyone will take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Elohim will take away his portion from the tree of life and from the Set Apart city, which are described in this book. 20. He who testifies these things, says: Yes, I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Y'shua! 21. The grace of our Master (Y'shua) Y'shua the Mashiyach, (be) with all the Set Apart believers. Amen. (AENT)

Deuteronomy 27 'A curse on anyone who does not confirm the words of this Torah by putting them into practice.'All the people are to say, 'Amen!' (CJB)

Deuteronomy 28: 1 "If you listen closely to what ADONAI your God says, observing and obeying all his mitzvot which I am giving you today, ADONAI your God will raise you high above all the nations on earth; 2 and all the following blessings will be yours in abundance -if you will do what ADONAI your God says: 3 "A blessing on you in the city, and a blessing on you in the countryside. 4 "A blessing on the fruit of your body, the fruit of your land and the fruit of your livestock - the young of your cattle and flocks.

5 "A blessing on your grain-basket and kneading-bowl. 6 "A blessing on you when you go out, and a blessing on you when you come in. 7 "ADONAI will cause your enemies attacking you to be defeated before you; they will advance on you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 "ADONAI will order a blessing to be with you in your barns and in everything you undertake; he will bless you in the land ADONAI your God is giving you. 9 "ADONAI will establish you as a people separated out for himself, as he has sworn to you - if you will observe the mitzvot of ADONAI your God and follow his ways.

10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that ADONAI's name, his presence, is with you; so that they will be afraid of you. 11 "ADONAI will give you great abundance of good things - of the fruit of your body, the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your land in the land ADONAI swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 ADONAI will open for you his good treasure, the sky, to give your land its rain at the right seasons and to bless everything you undertake. You will lend to many nations and not borrow;

13 ADONAI will make you the head and not the tail; and you will be only above, never below - if you will listen to, observe and obey the mitzvot of ADONAI your God 14 and not turn away from any of the words I am ordering you today, neither to the right nor to the left, to follow after other gods and serve them. 15 "But if you refuse to pay attention to what ADONAI your God says, and do not observe and obey all his mitzvot and regulations which I am giving you today, then all the following curses will be yours in abundance.... (CJB)

YHWH IS NOT KIDDING AROUND!  Blessings are what we gain by OBEDIENCE; curses are what we gain from DISOBEDIENCE. Today's world is cursed - just take a look around you! We cannot pick and choose whom to follow! Our ELOHIM has made that perfectly clear.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Evidence that Torah was given to all men at Creation!

NOTE:  The following article, borrowed with permission from John and Sue Wyatt of The Lamb’s Servant Blog, is perhaps THE best article we’ve ever seen as proof that Torah existed from the beginning! While it is fairly long, it is truly worth your time, so please take a few minutes to absorb the excellent research revealing that Torah was already present in the time of Adam and Eve – who, by the way, weren’t Jewish!  And don’t hesitate to peruse the rest of that excellent site, once you’ve clicked on the link above….

EVIDENCE THAT TORAH WAS GIVEN TO ALL MEN AT CREATION

JANUARY 2, 2015 SUE IN AQABA

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws [torah]. Gen 26:5

Why is it of interest to know whether or not Adam or Abraham were aware of and kept

Torah? It is important because they were not ‘Jewish’ [1]they represent all of mankind.  If Torah was given to Adam and his early descendants, it indicates that Torah is not just for the Jews and not just for a particular time in history, but rather that Torah is for all men in all ages.  It is of the utmost importance to determine the true status of Torah!

To know Torah is to know YHVH

Torah is simply Father YHVH’s personal ethical standard applied to human behavior.

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My Torah… Isa 51:7

An infant begins understanding its parents’ ethical standards from its first day of life with them, because the parents cannot help but express their standards through their interaction with the infant.  Because Father YHVH embodies righteousness, it would have been impossible for Him to interact with Adam and Eve without conveying His personal righteousness!  Thus Adam and Eve inevitably began learning the Way of Righteousness from their first day with YHVH.

But was Torah presented as a formal Code of Conduct?  We believe it was.

We believe that the basic principles and even many of the specific mitzvot were learned in the Garden, with others having been learned once sin entered the picture.  By holding this belief, we find ourselves very much in opposition with accepted Jewish and Christian teaching. [2]

In this article, we will attempt to show from Scripture that YHVH gave Adam “instructions for righteousness” (Torah) in the Garden and/or immediately upon Adam’s ejection from the Garden.

It is our earnest hope that you will not just read what we present here, but that you will closely examine all of the early books of scripture and form your own opinion.

In School with Y’shua

We know that YHVH created this universe through Y’shua, the Living Word (John 1:1-3).  What a beautiful image comes to mind as we imagine Y’shua enjoying His new creation while He and Adam walked together “in the cool of the day.” [3]  During this interaction, Adam and Eve inevitably absorbed some understanding of the righteousness of the Creator.  In their love for Him, they would have accepted His character as the character they wanted to express in themselves.  Initially, it was natural for them to choose the Way of Righteousness, and they walked with YHVH in intimacy, sharing His viewpoint and goals.

Free Will

However, we believe that Adam and Eve were also created with free will and the ability to choose.  The day came when they made the decision to follow their own desires.  At that point, their relationship with YHVH was deeply fractured, and they were no longer in intimate fellowship with Him.   His ways were no longer their ways, and their hearts had been removed from Him.  How were they to live before Him now?

It may have been at this point that YHVH gave Adam and Eve instructions (Heb: Torah) about how to live in a manner that would allow them to choose rightly and remain in His presence even aftersin entered the picture. [4]  Scripture calls this ‘the Way of Righteousness’ or, for short, ‘the Way.’ [5]

Torah in Genesis

In the early chapters of Genesis, there are many indications of an early awareness of Torah.  The principles are not ‘labeled’ as Torah – we see them revealed only coincident to the events being related.  These Torah concepts appear to have been so intrinsically woven into this early culture that they were ‘normal’ and did not need to be pointed out.  They were so much a part of the fabric of life that there was not even a memory of when they had become part of the fabric!  In other words, it appears that these concepts had become part of Man’s world view very early on, perhaps even before sin entered his experience. [6]

Abraham, who lived shortly after the Flood and long before Mount Sinai, was aware of and lived by YHVH’s formally taught commands and ordinances!

[YHVH made the Covenant with Abraham] Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Gen 26:5

This verse is the clearest scriptural indication that YHVH’s Torah was plainly and specifically made known to mankind prior to Moses and Mount Sinai, [7] and even prior to Abraham, the first acknowledged ‘Hebrew,’ thus making Torah applicable to all men at all times.  These commands were not given to Abraham as part of the Covenant YHVH made with him: The Abrahamic Covenant was made because Abraham was already living according to YHVH’s commands!

In this verse, the word ‘charge’ (Heb.מִשְׁמֶרֶת mishmereth) tells us that Abraham had an obligation to guard the knowledge of the Way of Righteousness and to pass it on to his descendants and anyone else who would receive it.  The use of this word in this passage tells us that at a point before the first covenant was made with Abraham, YHVH had specifically given His Torah to men and had instructed – charged – that His Torah should be observed and taught to succeeding generations.  Someone else had been faithful to that charge and had passed the knowledge on to Abraham. [8]  Because Abraham was in turn extraordinarily faithful to that charge, YHVH made a covenant with him.

The word ‘commandments (Heb. מִצְוָה plur. mitzvot, sing. mitzvah) denotes specific instructions or orders – this word is used every day in Jewish speech, as every faithful Jew is delighted to know YHVH’s mitzvah/mitzvot so that he can be found doing what YHVH desires.  (See Glossary of Terms for further definitions).

The word ‘statutes (Heb. חֻקָּה chuqqah), sometimes translated ‘ordinances,’ gives the connotation of an instruction that has been written down and preserved. The statutes appear to deal primarily with ceremonial issues, such as celebration of feasts, the form of worship, etc.  This word comes the closest to what we Greco-Roman thinkers would perceive as “law.”  When they are first introduced in scripture (Leviticus, etc), YHVH’s statutes are rarely connected with the idea of “punishment for defiance;” however, when the prophets inform the people that they have not kept YHVH’s statutes, they simultaneously warn the people of impending discipline. [9]

The word translated as “law is the same Hebrew word torah that we have previously discussed.  Strong’s Concordance gives its primary meaning as ‘instruction, direction,’ which is appropriate – this word conveys the idea of a loving father’s careful instructions to His beloved child, for the purpose of protecting him and training him up to be a whole and healthy person.

The fact that this verse about Father Abraham, “the first Hebrew,” lists four types of communications from YHVH and assumes that they had been in use for multiple generations, indicates strongly that at some unknown point – most reasonably in the Garden or shortly thereafter – YHVH did indeed give Man His “instructions for righteousness,” for the purpose of protecting Man from harm and to give Man the means by which to maintain a relationship with YHVH.

It is mere conjecture and speculation to say in what form these instructions were given, but it is tempting to see the basic concepts of the Torah having been more or less ‘absorbed’ by physical association with Y’shua in the Garden, with the more formal instructions for worship, cleanliness, etc, having been communicated after sin entered in and the relationship had become distant and strained.

LEGALISM!!

Some will worry that by being ‘legalistic’ and holding ourselves accountable to Torah, we are somehow invalidating the saving work of Y’shua on the cross.  However, we must remember that Y’shua said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Was Abraham ‘legalistic’ because he kept YHVH’s charge, commandments, statutes and laws?  If so, why does YHVH say that Abraham’s faith was accounted unto him for righteousness?

In the Hebraic mind, faith is not mental assent: it is an action that is visible. Faith is revealed in obedience.  For this reason, we read scriptures such as:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1

I have chosen the way of faithfulness; [10] I have set my heart on your lawsPs 119:30, NIV

Behold, he whose soul is not upright in him shall fail, but the just [Heb: tsaddiyq – lawful; law-abiding] shall live by his faith [Heb: emunah – firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness]. Hab 2:4

That last verse (Habakkuk 2:4), was very important to the first believers, and is quoted in the New Testament several times (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38).  However, it had a slightly different meaning for them than the meaning we have been taught:  This verse is not talking about a person who believes in his mind that YHVH is God and Y’shua is His Son.  This verse is talking about the person who lives his life by Torah precepts, and who is faithful and consistent in so doing!  Is this works?  NO!  We are saved by Gracethrough faith, but faith must stop being invisible and take on substance– and that’s what happens as the believer walks in Torah.  Our walk in Torah is the demonstration of our faith!

Y’shua, the One we love and in whom we have faith, is our Authority.  He has given us standards to which we are expected to adhere.  We can call those standards “laws” or “instructions,” but as soon as we abide by them, we are being (biblically) legalistic.  According to Y’shua, we are also actively demonstrating our love for the One in Authority!  We are walking in faith!

Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:24 NIV

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1John 3:18 (See also Psalm 119:142, which tells us that Torah IS Truth.)

Any follower of Y’shua mustbe legalistic in this biblical sense. If we genuinely love YHVH, we will adopt and live by His value system.  However, we can rejoice that our legalism is not a bondage to us, but rather becomes the means by which YHVH allows us to be conformed to the mind of Messiah! (Rom 12:2) Our obedience brings us into sweet fellowship with the Father as we identify ourselves with HIS ways and HIS mind.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove [recognize] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will  [commands, precepts] of God. Rom 12:2

Edenic knowledge of Torah is revealed in other scriptures:

Sacred Times of Meeting

The first scriptural indication of the early knowledge of Torah is found in Genesis 1:14, which tells us that by the third day of Creation, even before He had created Man, YHVH had already set aside specific days and times at which He desired to meet with Man.  Adam passed this knowledge down to his children, as evidenced by the simple fact that it has been recorded for us in Genesis.

And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years. (Gen 1:14, NIV)

YHVH calls these occasions His mo’edim (Heb:מוֹעֵד) – His set-apart (sacred) ‘appointed times’.  Israel recognizes the mo’edim as appointed times of meeting.  These “appointed times of meeting” are YHVH’s Sabbaths, new moons and His feasts, all of which prefigure the birth, life, death, resurrection and Kingship of Messiah. [11]

Knowledge of the sacred times of meeting implies knowledge of the reasons for and the ordained practices associated with those meetings – a large part of Torah instruction.

From the beginning, YHVH expected His people to meet with Him, which is why we see the mention of the mo’edim in the very earliest verses of Genesis. [12]  Since one does not just casually approach the Holy Throne, YHVH must also have instructed them regarding the proper behavior at these meetings.

Adam and Eve were instructed to observe the Sabbath.

And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made.Gen 2:3

Notice that this first biblical mention of the sanctification of the Sabbath gives the reader no detail: the author assumes that the reader already knows what type of behavior is expected on the Sabbath in order to honor its sanctification.  Sabbath observance was an ingrained part of their normal routine.  This information could only have been handed down to us by Adam and Eve, who would have received it directly from YHVH in the Garden.  Of course this coincides with the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Torah) given in Exodus:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8

Adam and Eve understood from the beginning that relationship with YHVH depends on adherence to HIS standards and practices, with the implication that there had to have been instructions informing them of his standards and practices.

One of YHVH’s first recorded instructions to Man involved the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:17

This was no doubt a genuine tree, but it was also quite obviously a ‘picture lesson’ to Adam and Eve, constantly reminding them that relationship with YHVH will always be governed by our personal choices in response to His commands.  Moses (Heb Moshe) put it well:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. (Deut 30:19)

By requiring this free-will choice of man, YHVH was literally telling Adam, ‘You must love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your mind.’ (Deut 6:5), which Y’shua tells us is the ‘First and Greatest Commandment’ of Torah.

I am YHVH thy Elohim, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exd 20:2

Adam had to decide to put YHVH’s desires before his own. He had to choose to value his relationship with YHVH more than he valued his own life.

‘Sin’ and ‘righteousness’ had already been defined in Adam’s day.

Cain was expected to know the difference between ‘what is right‘ and ‘sin‘.    In Genesis 4, YHVH tells Cain that if he does what is right, he will be accepted.  Cain could not do what is ‘right’ until he had been told what constitutes ‘right’.  YHVH could not warn Cain against sin unless Cain understood what constitutes sin.

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. Gen 4:7

Once again the author gives his readers no further detail, assuming that they, too, are familiar with the definitions of sin and righteousness (Torah).  YHVH does not change, so His standards do not change.  John tells us (1John 3:4), …sin is the transgression of the law [Torah].

YHVH’s standards were known during the time of Enoch & Noah (prior to the Flood) and were in opposition to the world’s standards.

Gen 5:24 and Gen 6:9 tell us that Enoch and Noah walked with Elohim,’ with the clear implication that other men had departed from YHVH’s Way of Righteousness.  To say that Enoch and Noah walked with Elohim is the same as saying that they were aware of YHVH’s standards and had chosen to live by them rather than by the standards of the world.

Gen 7:1 tells us that Noah (who like the rest of us was sinful by his very nature) was considered righteous before YHVH, which can only be because he was living in faith according to YHVH’s standards.

And Enoch walked with Elohim: and he was not; for Elohim took him. Gen 5:24

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just [Heb: tsaddiyq– righteous, lawful] man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with Elohim. Gen 6:9

And YHVH said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous [Heb: tsaddiyq – righteous, lawful] before me in this generation. Gen 7:1

YHVH must have communicated His standards (Torah) to Man beforethe Flood; otherwise, He would have been acting unjustly in destroying Man with the Flood.

Gen 6:5 tells us: YHVH saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

We have just seen that YHVH rewarded Enoch and Noah because they knew and lived by YHVH’s standard of righteousness.  If the ever-just YHVH rebuked and punished other men, it must be because they, too, were aware of His standards of righteousness and had chosen to defy them.

Instruction had been given to Adam as to what constitutes a proper offering for sin.

The first family understood the Torah principle that YHVH has the right to tell us how to worship Him, and that He has the right to reject worship that does not follow His instructions.  If this were not true, YHVH would have been unjust in rejecting Cain’s offering.  Cain’s ‘meat’ (grain) offering (a type of ‘thank’ offering) was invalid because it was not preceded by a blood offering, acknowledging sin.  Torah tells us that only blood atones for sin, because ‘life is in the blood.’ Cain was approaching the Throne without a covering for his sin.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood thatmaketh an atonement for the soul. Lev 17:11

YHVH demonstrated this truth to Adam and Eve in the Garden when He killed an animal and used its skin to cover the pair’s nakedness.  When we choose to employ sin, we must pay its wages. …the wages of sin is death… (Rom 6:23) Atonement for their sin required the shedding of blood.

The eating of blood was also understood to be forbidden, as in Torah.  This ruling may not have been given until the time of Noah, as it is possible that it was not until Noah’s day that men began eating meat.  Nevertheless, this Torah ordinance was clearly understood long before it was written down for us by Moshe at Mt Sinai and it remains a standing instruction to Y’shua’s disciples. (Acts 15:20)

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Gen 9:4

We know in later Torah instructions regarding sacrifices that:

· Only specified ‘clean’ animals can be used for sacrifices;

· The suet (fat over the kidneys) is reserved for YHVH alone; (Lev 3:14-16) and

· The animals offered must be from ‘the firstlings’ of the flock. (Deut 12:6)

Abel understood and accepted these requirements and made his offering in accordance with them, whereas Cain ignored the instructions and presented his own idea of an acceptable sacrifice:

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto YHVH. Gen 4:3

And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fatthereof. Gen 4:4

And YHVH had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he [YHVH] had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.   Gen 4:5

Noah, like Abel, clearly understood that mankind is sinful, that there must be sacrificial atonement for sin, and that there is a proper form for such sin sacrifices.

In Gen 7:2, Noah is instructed to collect seven of each type of cleananimal, but YHVH does not explain to him what is meant by ‘clean’.  Noah already knew which animals were clean; he had already learned the basics of kashrut (kosher eating).  He understood that only clean animals could be eaten or sacrificed, requiring a larger supply of clean animals to provide for those purposes.

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Gen 7:2

Noah also apparently clearly understood the concept that YHVH deals with Man in Grace, and that we should live in grateful love for YHVH because of His mercy toward us. These concepts appear to be the basis for the sacrifice that Noah gratefully offered upon his safe arrival at the mountains of Ararat after the Flood.

And Noah builded an altar unto YHVH; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  Gen 8:20

The term ‘burnt offering’ (`olah) is a liturgical term specifying a particular type of sacrifice requiring specific procedures.   Just as in the case of Cain and Abel, Noah’s sacrifice implies understanding of the correct type and manner of sacrifice. (As we learned from Cain’s experience, YHVH does not accept just any offering.) Once again the author assumes that his readers know what is involved in a burnt offering.  It was common knowledge.

Much of this knowledge was lost to the House of Israel after their long bondage in Egypt, which is why YHVH taught them Torah all over again, through Moshe.  Deuteronomy and Leviticus spell out the particular provisions for sacrifices, but we find those same provisions being adhered to in the books of Genesis, Exodus, etc., long before Torah was given at Mount Sinai.

For example, firstborn sons were originally the persons appointed to physically make the offerings.  This is why, although technically Moses was the leader of the Israelites, his older (firstborn) brother Aaron was appointed High Priest of the people even before the Levites were set apart as priests and before Torah was given at Mount Sinai.

… the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.  Exo 22:29

Adam and Eve were aware of the Torah principles of marital faithfulness and non-covetousness.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one [Heb. echad] flesh. Gen 2:24

With the pairing of Adam and Eve, YHVH set in place His ideal for marriage: one man with one woman.  He did not make several women for one man, or vice versa, or man-with-man/woman-with-woman.  He clearly meant marriage to be a ‘living picture’ of His own relationship with us, which He often describes as a marriage, referring to His people as His Bride.  We are to be one with YHVH. [13]

This one-to-one relationship implies a required faithfulness, which in turn implies that one must not covet another person’s spouse.  Thus Gen 2:24 equates to the Seventh and Tenth Commandments.  (None of this is spelled out for us, because once again the author assumes that his readers are already aware of these requirements.)

Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exd 20:14

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. Exd 20:17

Let thy fountain be blessed [may you have many children]: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Pro 5:18

Gen 2:24 also echoes Torah mitzvot (commands) pertaining to marriage and covetousness:

Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her. Lev 18:20

And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Lev 20:10

The first people understood that the killing of humans is unacceptable.

The scriptural treatment of the account of Cain and Abel is a clear indication of this. YHVH was remarkably merciful in His treatment of Cain, [14] but the message was loud and clear – murder is unacceptable.  At the very least, had the subject not been broached in the Garden, it was certainly taught at this time, long before Mt Sinai or the ‘Noahic Covenant’.  Cain also understood that the appropriate penalty for murder was execution: ‘… whoever finds me will kill me.’ (Gen 4:14)

And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; Gen 4:10-11

The account of how Noah’s sons dealt with his drunkenness and nakedness plainly indicates that the instruction to honor one’s parents had been clearly revealed and was held to be sacred. (Gen 9)

And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. Gen 9:23

This passage further indicates that the Torah instructions not to ‘view the nakedness’ of close relatives were also known. [15]  We see additional indication of this in the narration of Lot’s experience when his own daughters seduced him – the whole event is viewed with disdain and abhorrence. (Gen 19:30-36, Lev 20)

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am YHVH. Lev 18:6

Other Torah Concepts Found in Genesis:

Considering that the Genesis account comes from an oral tradition that was perhaps a couple of thousand years old before it was written down, the fact that it includes even a few of the additional Torah concepts is an indicator that more of those instructions for righteousness were known and taught in those ancient days – we simply do not hear of them in Genesis because that was not the purpose of the book.  Even the concepts we have just discussed were so commonly accepted by the author and his readers that they are quite taken for granted and are mentioned only coincidentally and by inference.

If one scrutinizes the entire Book of Genesis, he will find other Torah concepts mentioned in passing, as well, beyond those we have discussed here:

· The patriarchal system of family structure, which is detailed in Torah (Gen 24, Gen 38:11, etc.; see Ex 24 and Num 1, where the governmental system is based on a patriarchy answerable only to YHVH, Lev 19:3, Lev 19:32, etc.)

· The understanding of set-apartness: Enoch, Abraham, Noah, etc.,separated themselves from the pagan cultures around them and were viewed in a special light by YHVH.  They were acknowledged for their faithful attempts to live in a special way that identified them as belonging to YHVH. (…ye shall be kadosh [holy; consecrated; set apart] for I am kadosh… Lev 11:44)

· The existence of a set-apart priesthood: Abraham himself offered his tithe to a king-priest called Melchizidek (Righteous King or King of Righteousness). (Gen 14:18) Abraham is commended for his dealings with Melchizidek, so we must infer that this priest served YHVH.  This man represented what was in fact the originalpriesthood, now being restored in Y’shua.  We are told in Psalm 110:4 that the Messiah would be of this order of priesthood; this is confirmed in Heb 5:6-10.

In ancient days, the first-born son was set apart to act as the priest of the family – it was his duty to offer the sacrifices.  (Y’shua is described as the Firstborn, a legal term designating the one chosen to represent his father.)  This remained the practice until the first-born shamed themselves at Sinai, and YHVH gave the privilege of priesthood to the Levites.  All of this indicates a firm understanding of the correct manner of presenting sacrifices in a way acceptable to YHVH.

The concept of priesthood also implies an understanding of sin and atonement, which in turn implies an understanding of what YHVH considers to be righteous behavior.

· The ability to distinguish between YHVH’s ways vs. pagan ways:Genesis repeatedly mentions the “wickedness” and “perversity” (rebellion) of the nations, which Noah, Enoch and Abraham could discern. They would only be able to identify ‘wickedness’ if they had a standard of ‘righteousness’ in mind – YHVH’s standard – with which they could compare men’s behaviors.  In other words, they had to know YHVH’s Way of Righteousness so that they could make the comparison and choose to live by YHVH’s standard rather than the world’s.  In action-oriented Semitic cultures, those standards would necessarily and only be recognizable as the actions identified in YHVH’s Torah.

We believe there are other examples of Torah concepts to be found in Genesis. Take the time and study the subject for yourself to see what you can find!

CONCLUSION

There is never a specific occasion recorded in the Book of Genesis where YHVH spells out these ‘instructions for righteousness’ to anyone – their existence simply appears ‘full blown,’ already in place as the accepted behavioral parameters of early culture.  Examination of early Eastern cultures shows that when these concepts are shared in common, their origins are ‘lost in the mists of time,’ indicating a common source far back in the Garden.  When these concepts are foreign to a pagan culture, they are mentioned as specific to righteous followers of YHVH such as Noah or Abraham, and appear to have been adhered to only by the righteous servants of YHVH, indicating that YHVH taught them to men at some earlier time – probably in the Garden.

It seems impossible to escape the conclusion that ‘instructions for righteousness’ were either specifically taught or were at least absorbed as Adam and Eve associated with YHVH, and that Adam and Eve then taught them to their descendants.  We know from Gen 26:5 that Abraham was fully cognizant of YHVH’s commandments, statutes and laws (torah) many generations before Mount Sinai.  From the same verse, we know also that Abraham obeyed YHVH’s charge to pass the Way of Righteousness on down to his descendants and that someone else must have previously obeyed the charge and passed them on to Abraham.  (The sages teach that Shem and Eber were Abraham’s  teachers.)

YHVH is the same yesterday, today and forever – His ways never change, and humans have always had to (and continue to have to) conform to them. (Rom 8:29, Rom 12:2)  YHVH will never conform Himself to us!  His righteousness must be satisfied by every man in every age – and the standard has been and will remain the same – the convenient name for that standard is Torah.

So we ask again: Why is it important to know whether or not Torah was given to Adam?

It is important because Adam was not ‘Jewish’ – he represents all of mankind.  If Torah was given to Adam, it indicates that Torah is not just for the Jews and not just for a particular time in history, but rather that it is for all men in all ages.  If this is the case then YHVH has given His Torah to you and He invites you to share in His lifestyle.

[Messiah speaking] I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy torah is within my heart.  Psalm 40:8

By John and Sue Wyatt  (lambs.servant@gmail.com)

Originally posted 9 Jun 2014 at The Coming Kingdom

Proof that Torah was already put into place in the very beginning…

The below is proof that Torah was already put into place in the very beginning. How else could Kayin (Cain) have known what constitutes sin? In Genesis 4:3 we see that Kayin knew he hadn't provided the "right kind" of sacrifice (as only blood covers sin); and he KNEW he was committing sin when he killed his brother because, when YHWH confronted him, he feigned ignorance and arrogance (Genesis 4:9). And when YHWH told Kayin he would be banned from His Presence in verse 4:14, we find that Kayin's immediate fear was that "whoever finds me will kill me" - because, without YHWH's covering, the world is an evil and dangerous place.

The ONLY way Kayin could have known all these things was because YHWH had already laid down His Divine Instructions in Righteousness...

Genesis 4:6 ADONAI said to Kayin, "Why are you angry? Why so downcast? 7 If you are doing what is good, shouldn't you hold your head high? And if you don't do what is good, sin is crouching at the door - it wants you, but you can rule over it." (CJB)

How could Kayin rule over sin? Through obedience to Torah!

Genesis 4:18 Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him. 9 ADONAI said to Kayin, "Where is Hevel your brother?"And he replied, "I don't know; am I my brother's guardian?" (CJB)

He LIED to YHWH, knowing full well that YHWH knew that he had killed Hevel. Confronted by the reality of the situation, Kayin then began to fear for his own life/ Why? Because he KNEW that he was doomed to spend the rest of his life without the covering of YHWH....

Genesis 4:10 He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground! 3 Kayin said to ADONAI, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 You are banning me today from the land and from your presence. I will be a fugitive wandering the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." (CJB)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The difference between a Shabbat and a Shabbat Shabbaton

Question to The Refiner’s Fire: Referring to https://therefinersfire.org/counting_the_omer.htm, I can only find three occasions within time which  are called Shabbat or Shabbat Shabbaton, namely, the seventh day of the week, Yom Kippur and the agricultural Shmita Year (PS. I've learned that Shabbat isn't the actual name of that day but a description: i.e. the seventh day is called "Shabbat" after a certain characteristic of that day, and so, certain days are also called "Shabbaton" after a certain characteristic of those days).

Our reply:
 
Thank you for writing. 

I hope our article which you referenced, was not confusing, as we advocate the counting of the Omer from the 16th of Nisan, and not from a weekly Sabbath.

You have brought up some interesting points though about the "Shabbat" vs the "Shabbat Shabbaton".  Please let me try to clarify. 

A "Shabbat" is any day of cessation, or day of rest.  The Hebrew word for "Shabbat" means "rest", or "cessation".  In that vein, all 8 recurring holy days are "Shabbats" because each are identified as days of "no ordinary work".

But there are three "special" Shabbats, called "Shabbat Shabbaton" which are more than a regular "Shabbat" (the weekly Shabbat, Yom Kippur, and the agricultural 7th year Shmita), but not for the reason you have come to assume.  These "special" Shabbats are special (i.e., Shabbat Shabbaton) because of their position as the "7th" in a sequence, not because they have a "special characteristic" of a particular day:

- The Weekly Sabbath is the 7th day of the week.
- Yom Kippur is the 7th of the named High Holy days of the year - the only day on which atonement is offered. (The weekly Sabbath is its own Sabbath, see Lev 23:2-3).
- The agricultural year, the 7th year is the year of rest for the land.

All the other "Sabbath" days are "days of rest", that is, they are important days of "cessation" from activity. (The 1st and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day of Shavuot, Yom Teruah, and the 1st and last days of Sukkot).  Each of these day are, indeed, "Sabbaths", but they are not "Shabbat Shabbatons", because they are not the "7th" in a sequence.

Thus, the weekly Sabbath is a "Sabbath", because it is a day of cessation, but it is also a "Shabbat Shabbaton" because it is the 7th day of the week.  And Yom Kippur is a "Sabbath", because it is a day of cessation, but it is also a "Shabbat Shabbaton" because it is the 7th of the annual Sabbaths, on which atonement is offered.

And the year of the Shmita is a "Sabbath" year, because it is a year of cessation of planting or harvesting, but it is also a "Shabbat Shabbaton" because it is the 7th year of the agricultural years.

Of course few studies such as this are "perfect". While the idea posed here has merit, Leviticus 23:39, which is about the 1st and last days of Sukkot, reads "On the first day is a rest [shabbaton], and on the eighth day a rest [shabbaton]" adding a bit of confusion.  Perhaps it is no wonder then why the Mishnah records that even the Sages pondered these differences. "Mishnah. There is no difference between festivals and Sabbath save only in the matter of [preparing] food."

Did Moses really see God face-to-face?

READER QUESTION:  Please explain Exodus 24, which tells us that Moses and the 70 leaders “saw” YHWH, yet we are told in John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12 that nobody can look upon God’s face. Help me understand that Moses and the elders saw God but John is saying no one has ever seen God.

RESPONSE:  What we can surmise by perusing all the pertinent scriptures concerning anyone "seeing YHWH" is that no one ever actually SAW Him in His Natural State - not even Moshe, because Exodus 33 tells us that no one can look at YHWH "and remain alive." Here's what we are told Moshe and the 70 elders saw in Exodus 24:

Exodus 24:9 Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the leaders went up; 10 and they saw the God of Isra'el. Under his feet was something like a sapphire stone pavement as clear as the sky itself. 11 He did not reach out his hand against these notables of Isra'el; on the contrary, they saw God, even as they were eating and drinking.

12 ADONAI said to Moshe, "Come up to me on the mountain, and stay there. I will give you the stone tablets with the Torah and the mitzvot I have written on them, so that you can teach them." 13 Moshe got up, also Y'hoshua his assistant; and Moshe went up onto the mountain of God.

14 To the leaders he said, "Stay here for us, until we come back to you. See, Aharon and Hur are with you; whoever has a problem should turn to them." 15 Moshe went up onto the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.

16 The glory of ADONAI stayed on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moshe out of the cloud. 17 To the people of Isra'el the glory of ADONAI looked like a raging fire on the top of the mountain. 18 Moshe entered the cloud and went up on the mountain; he was on the mountain forty days and nights. (CJB)

Now, in Exodus 33:11 we read that Moshe saw YHWH "face-to-face" - but since God is spirit (John 4:24), He does not have a “face.” The passage simply means that YHWH had a close relationship with Moshe - they were in harmony with each other, just as close friends are. They were not literally face to face, but their relationship and communication was very much like two people who spoke to one another as close friends would.

Take a look at this passage in Exodus 33 which serves to explain that NO ONE can see YHWH's Face:

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. 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."…

Nothing suggests that Y'shua was on the mountain with Moshe and the 70 leaders in Exodus 24. He could have been, but the passage doesn't reveal exactly "what" (or "who") Moshe and the leaders saw.....

Counter-missionaries love to downplay the “golden calf” issue by “tweaking” the passage

COUNTER-MISSIONARY COMMENT:  "Messianic" and "study" is an oxymoron!

RESPONSE: It isn’t more of an oxymoron than the words “Jewish” and “study.” Both sides are coming from their own understanding, yet counter-missionaries seem driven to make fun of anything we say, think or do. One cannot even enter into proper discussion with counter-missionaries because they’re only interested in their own opinions and self-proclaimed “knowledge” (which they’ll use to verbally pound you to pieces).

Most of them will absolutely NOT bother to read what you’ve written in your response, much less respond to it; they simply keep on pounding you with their “knowledge” - often while berating you or resorting to name calling, in the process...or just constantly making statements like, "You're wrong" or "Don't try to those NT verses on me because I consider the NT to be a myth!". "Being berated" by counter-missionaries can get very tiring, and that is why we have banned many of them from this page....

Here is a true story of how some Jewish counter-missionaries twist Scripture to make people believe THEY have all the "right" answers."

A couple years ago I encountered some counter-missionaries who arrogantly insisted they – unlike me - have a personal relationship with God which began with the patriarchs “because God spoke directly to 3 million” of their ancestors at Sinai. One woman told me: “We don’t believe because of some stories we have heard or some book we have read. We believe because our own fathers were there, witnessed Him and have passed the information to us from one generation to the next. Praying to or ‘through’ Jesus was not a spiritual experience known to our ancestors at Mount Sinai – hence it is obviously idolatry.”

Well, okay. However - Scripture also tells us that more than 500 people saw Yeshua after His death, including Peter, Paul and all the Apostles! (See 1 Corinthians 15:6.) Granted, that’s far fewer than the 3 million at Mt. Sinai, but hey – eye witnesses are eye witnesses – and (sorry but I have to say this!) at least the ones who saw Yeshua weren’t busy building a golden calf to worship behind his back. You wanna talk about idolatry?

This same person tried to downplay the golden calf issue by suggesting the people who participated in making the golden calf were not GOD’s people doing these things; rather, it was the “non-Jews” who followed Moses out of Egypt….Why did she say that? Because in Exodus 32:7-8 God said to Moshe “Go, descend to YOUR people that YOU (Moses) have brought up from Egypt….” In other words, God didn’t at that point, refer to them as MY people.….

Sounds convincing, doesn’t it? Well, if you will read the REST of that passage you’ll discover something very interesting: Moshe’s brother, Aaron, the High Priest – who, like Moshe, was a LEVITE – was instrumental in the building of that golden calf! As a matter of fact, he ORCHESTRATED it and then tried to downplay it when confronted by Moshe! Please read all of Exodus 32 to see exactly what happened, so you can recognize this BLATANT attempt at Scripture twisting….

NOTE TO COUNTER-MISSIONARIES: If you’re going to accuse someone’s faith of being “oxymoronic” then perhaps you should make sure you properly know your own, first.

Y’shua means “YHWH Saves”….

In this week's Torah portion, we saw YHWH lay down lots of rules. And then, quite out of the blue, amidst all the rules, there appears this little passage about YHWH's angel (messenger) that could only have referred to Y'shua!

Why? Because Y'shua is the only heavenly Being who has YHWH's Name within his own! (Remember, Y'shua means "YHWH Saves!" All the messengers/angels only have YHWH's title of "Elohim" within theirs - i.e., Rapha-EL, Gavri-EL, Micha-EL.)

Exodus 23:20 "I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him, listen to what he says and do not rebel against him; because he will not forgive any wrongdoing of yours, since my name resides in him 22 But if you listen to what he says and do everything I tell you, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. (CJB)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Feminist rabbi writes blasphemous article accusing God of sexual harassment….

Surely this is a made-up story! NOBODY could be this ...lost … could they? This utterly ridiculous and blasphemous article has to be read to be believed because its central thesis is that God somehow sexually harassed Eve, and that Eve is “the first case of #MeToo.” Clearly, this woman is an atheist, because only an atheist would dare say something like this!

Here are some excerpts taken from this article written by Rabbi Tamara Kolton ("the first rabbi ordained in Humanistic Judaism" according to Wikipedia). about Adam and Eve:

"… I want you to think about this. Here is a young, beautiful, intelligent, naked woman living in a state of Grace. She’s hungry, so she does the most natural thing in the world and eats a piece of fruit. For following her instincts, trusting herself, and nourishing her body, she is punished. Her punishment? She will never again feel safe in her nakedness. She will never again love her body. She will never again know her body as a place of sacred sovereignty…."

"… I know that at this very moment in time, Eve is with us and she is awed and proud that we are finally finding our voices, one at time, and then hundreds, and thousands at a time. She, who was lost to us so long ago, is actually here with us now, marching in the streets, testifying, raising her voice, at last."

"Eve, our blessed mother, is saying, '#Metoo.'"

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Let’s discuss Romans 7

Have you ever pondered Paul's tormented, heart-felt, gut-wrenching writings in Romans 7, concerning our carnal, human nature which sometimes tends to get in the way? I was going to do a short article on Romans 7:13-21 today, but I became so immersed that I decided to simply go ahead and discuss the whole chapter, to show the context of this confusing, often-misunderstood passage.

Here we go:

Romans 7:1. Or do you not know, my Brothers (for I am speaking to them who know Torah) that Torah has dominion over a man as long as he is alive? 2. Just as a woman, by Torah, is bound to her husband as long as he is alive: but if her husband should die, she is freed from the Torah of her husband. 3. And if, while her husband is alive, she should adhere to another man, she would become an adulteress: but if her husband should die, she is freed from Torah; and would not be an adulteress though joined to another man.

NOTE: Paraphrasing the footnotes on this chapter from the Aramaic English New Testament (AENT), the context of the first three verses reveals Paul’s attempts to show that “Torah” is intended as “Instruction” - as in the instruction pertaining to marriage alone, and not the whole body of the Covenant. When a marriage partner dies, the surviving spouse is no longer contractually bound to the marriage covenant, but this does not mean that THE RULES of marriage no longer apply to the survivor, or to the rest us.

MOVING ON:

4. And now, my brothers, you also have become dead to Torah by the body of Mashiyach; that you might be joined to another, (even) to him who arose from the dead, and might yield fruits to Elohim. 5. For while we were in the flesh, the emotions of sin which are (listed) by Torah, were active in our members that we should bear fruits to death. 6. But now we are absolved from Torah and are dead to that which held us in its grasp: that we might from now on serve in the newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

NOTE: The term “Dead to Torah” refers to being “dead to the penalty for sin,” which is death, followed by destruction. Believers still tend to sin; however, those who are “in Mashiyach” (Messianic Yeshua) have atonement in him. This, of course, doesn’t mean we are free to sin at will. No! It means, the Ruach (Holy Spirit) within constantly reminds, warns and admonishes us whenever we do things we shouldn’t. From the beginning (Gen. 3:15) YHWH established a defense for His people against haSatan (the adversary)! Today, Believers have the privilege of adhering to Torah and “believing in” Yeshua our Divine Intercessor, who martyred himself on our behalf.

By the way, to “live in the spirit” and be “in” Mashiyach means to live a life pleasing to YHWH and NOT break Torah (see also Romans 8:1-10). Those who think that they can repeatedly break Torah without consequence because Mashiyach died for them, are very deceived because – as we see in places like Numbers 15:30, Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26, Romans 1:18-32 and 2 Peter 2:19-21, there is NO sin sacrifice for DELIBERATE and CONTINUED sinning!

Verse 6 is often misused by anti-Torah types who haven't grasped the concept of YHWH/Yeshua/Torah! You see, faith in Mashiyach and Torah observance brings eternal life, but the consequence of sin is death. This does not mean Torah is “released” because, with or without Mashiyach, the penalty for willful sin still remains! If the penalty for sin remains, then Torah also remains.

The “oldness of the letter” in verse 6 speaks of old religious ways which do not recognize Mashiyach as bringing the Living Word of YHWH to mankind. Y’shua brought the correct understanding of Torah which is to be written upon the heart, so we don’t continue in sin. (See also 6:12, below.) Some might say they have Faith and claim to be “Believers,” but if they continue in sin their faith/belief is irrelevant.

MOVING ON, we see Paul adamantly confirming Torah!

7. What will we say then? Is Torah sin? May it never be! For I had not learned sin except by means of Torah: for I had not known lust, had not Torah said, You will not covet: 8. And by this Commandment sin found occasion and perfected in me all lust: for without Torah, sin was dead.

9. And I, without Torah, was alive formerly; but when the Commandment came, sin became alive, and I died; 10. And the Commandment of life was found by me (to be) to death. 11. For sin, by the occasion which it found by means of the Commandment, seduced me and thereby killed me. 12. As a result, Torah is Set Apart; and the Commandment is Set Apart, and righteous, and good.

NOTE: Halleluyah! Please re-read verse 7 until it sinks in that we cannot know YHWH nor His Divine Messiah unless we grasp the concept of Torah, His Divine Instructions in Righteousness, without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!

MOVING ON:

13. Did that which is good, therefore, become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be seen to be sin, perfected death in me by means of that good (Torah); that sin might the more be condemned by means of the Commandment. 14. For we know, that Torah is spiritual; but I am carnal, and sold to sin. 15. For what I am doing, I do not know: and what I would, I do not perform; but what I hate, that I do. 16. And if I do what I would not, I testify of Torah, that it is right.

NOTE: Paul says “Torah is spiritual”; therefore, while those without Torah might be very religious, they are not “spiritual” according to Paul and Messiah Yeshua! Yeshua haMashiyach is the goal and we are to be like him, which means that when our spirits are awakened to Messiah we will proceed to welcome Torah to be written upon our hearts.

MOVING ON … we’re now getting to the passage that has kept coming to my mind lately, concerning our carnal nature:

17. And then, it is no more I who do that thing, but sin which dwells in me. 18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) good dwells not: because, to approve the good, is easy for me; but to do it, I am unable. 19. For I do not perform the good which I would perform, but the bad which I would not perform, that I do perform. 20. And if I do what I would not, it is not I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 21. I find therefore a Torah coinciding with my conscience which agrees to my doing good, whereas evil is near to me.

22. For I rejoice in the Torah of Elohim, in the inner man. 23. But I see another instruction in my members, which wars against the instruction of my conscience and makes me a captive to the instruction of sin which exists in my members. 24. O, a miserable man, am I! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25. I thank Elohim by means of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach (I will be rescued.) Now, therefore, in my conscience, I am a servant of the Torah of Elohim; but in my flesh, I am a servant of the instruction of sin. (AENT)

NOTE: The above passage should resonate with all who read it, because we’ve all experienced the endless struggle with “ourselves” and our desires to follow our carnal will.

Concerning the word "instruction in verse 22, the Aramaic word "namusa" could refer to the Tanakh, particular instruction within Tanakh, or an earthly instruction from the heart of man that may or may not be righteous, as it does here. The key context here is “in my members”; i.e., the flesh.

The phrase "instruction of sin" in verse 25 actually refers to two instructions; one from YHWH, the other from flesh, and they are in direct opposition to one another.

So, the “million dollar question” is this: Since YHWH gave us all the choice to follow His Instructions, or not; which “instructions” are YOU going to follow?

How many more times and in how many more ways does He have to say: "I give you good instruction: Do not forsake my Torah!" - (Proverbs 4:2)