Torah Portion

Dear Torah Portion Reader...

I am very excited that the Spring Feast is just around the corner! We are now in the final preparation count-down, which for us at Lighted Way Ministries is an "all-hands-on-deck" scenario. In the next few weeks and days, I will be finishing the book "God's Amazing Star Secret" (which I pray to have fresh from the press at Passover, on April 1, 2018), I will be writing the sermons, putting together the children's program, cooking (and freezing) the casseroles to serve during the Retreat week, and more...

In order to accomplish all of this, I will not be taking time to write the Torah portion commentaries during this period of time. However, that does not mean that anyone need to get behind. The following is the Torah reading and study schedule for the next few weeks. As you keep up with this schedule, you will be on track to complete all 613 Statutes this year. So, from now to April 14, the Torah portions will be posted without comment. Commentary and the usual Torah portions will resume on April 15. Thank you for your patience! And happy studying in the meantime :-)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 31, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 5:27-39

Psalm 1

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Yay!!!!  Today is the day! Congratulations to each of you who have now read the entire Bible through this year!

I will take this opportunity today to write a framework - a backstory - for the Torah studies which begin tomorrow. Why study the Torah? What is to be gained? Let me give: 

A Biblical Perspective on the Torah

Psalm 19:7-12 “The Law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul: the Testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple. The Statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart: the Commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. The Fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring for ever: the Judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” 

Is the Law a Heavy Burden, From Which Christ Delivered Us?

When considering a study of the Torah with the Ten Commandments and all six hundred and thirteen Statutes, one must ask whether such a study has value to Christians today. Is a study of the Law meaningful, spiritually strengthening the Bible student? Or is it just a time-waster, taking Christians away from more relevant Bible-study topics? How we answer this question depends upon our view of the Law. If we believe that the Law of God was done away at Calvary, this book will appear as only a thick tome, with a small amount of historical value, worthy of gathering dust somewhere in the archaic past.

But, before one so quickly dismisses this study as mere Biblical trivia, one must first answer a deeper question about the Law: How does God want Christians to view the Law, in our post-Calvary world? Certainly, we must all assent that our view, on the Torah, is not the right view, unless it aligns with Yahweh’s Truth and His Perspective.

Most Christians today have been taught that the Law of Yahweh was a burden, the “handwriting of the Ordinances” which was “against us.” The teachings of the apostle Paul are viewed as birthing New Testament Christianity, which is contrasted starkly against the Old Testament writings.

On the one hand, David wrote of the Law of Yahweh with high praise. He identified it as a vital catalyst in the conversion process (Psalm 19:7). He also proclaimed that the Torah (the original Hebrew word, from which the English word “Law” is translated) brought wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. Understanding and obeying it was a source of great spiritual riches and joy!  So great was the Psalmist’s delight in the Torah, that he meditated upon it, day and night and attributed all true success to this practice!

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Law of Yahweh; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” 

Contrastingly, Paul seems to hold a completely opposite view of the Law. Christians today cite his writings as proclaiming the Law to be “against us” (Colossians 2:14). Obedience to it is viewed as returning to the “beggarly elements” to which we were enslaved before our Salvation (Galatians 4:9). The only personal value the Law has now is that it serves as our “schoolmaster”, which “brings us unto Christ” (Galatians 3:24). But once we have come to Messiah and our sins are covered in His Blood, we are freed from the burdens of the Law.

Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Yahshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Yahshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” 

So if the issue of the Law of Yahweh could be put up for debate, Bible writers like Moses and David would apparently spearhead the pro-Law team, who support the Law and ardently proclaim it a blessing. But Paul would apparently head the opposing team, who consider it a burden and gratefully nail it to the Cross! So divergent are these perspectives and so serious is the doctrinal fracture they create, that the very foundation beneath a Christian’s feet may crumble and fall away, if one is not careful to account for it correctly!

To some, this may seem an extreme statement. Maybe the Law doesn’t seem so pivotal an issue, at first. They may ask, “Don’t Christians only need to concern themselves with ‘salvational’ subjects and Spiritual Warfare?” What may surprise many is that actually the Law is a vital part of BOTH!

The Salvational Significance of God’s Law:
What does the Law have to do with Salvation? The Law defines sin. Sin, by its very definition, is “transgression of the Law” (1 John 3:4). It is because of sin that we need a Savior. It is only by comparing our own lives with the perfect beauty of the Law that we are convicted of sin and brought to full repentance, bringing true conversion. This is why David rightly credited the Law as “converting the soul.”

Paul agrees with David on this, plainly stating:

“So the Laws in Moses’ Teachings are holy, and the Commandment is holy, right, and good. Now, did something good cause my death? That’s unthinkable! Rather, my death was caused by sin so that sin would be recognized for what it is. Through a commandment sin became (could be seen to be) more sinful than ever,” Romans 7:12-13 (NOGV).
Notably then, if the Law is merely “done away with” at the Cross, Christians will not concern themselves with learning its principles. Thus, in the dimness of our resulting spiritual ignorance, sin prospers, repentance is incomplete, and the process of full conversion is left unfinished. Yet that is just one devastating fruit to come from nailing the Law to the Cross, effectively removing it from value among contemporary Christians. Another devastating result of relegating the Law to the archaic past has been increasing spiritual impotency.

The Spiritual Warfare Value of God’s Law:

Christians are largely aware that Spiritual Warfare is vitally important to finding and keeping true freedom in Christ. The devil is like a “roaring lion”, especially working to “devour” Christians, who are most threatening to him and his kingdom (1 Peter 5:8-9). Thus, choosing to walk with God automatically means that we must resist the devil (in Yahweh’s Power, of course). As it says in James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The process of daily submitting to God and resisting the devil is called Spiritual Warfare. Yet while most Christians understand the importance of effective Spiritual Warfare as a necessity to genuine Christian living, most do not realize that, without Torah, effective Spiritual Warfare is impossible!

Countless Christians unwittingly place themselves in spiritual harm’s way, by acting in ignorance to the principles of the Torah. The Law of Yahweh is intended to protect us from the onslaught of the enemy, as we will study more thoroughly in the next section of this book. But when we are spiritually ignorant, the Bible warns us that the devil gets the advantage over us (2 Corinthians 2:11)!

Throughout our years in ministry, my husband and I have interceded for Christians, who have unknowingly stepped outside of the protective guidelines of Torah, only to reap the fruits of hell as a result. One man was unable to find peace in his home. Instead of a sanctuary, a little taste of Heaven on earth, his home had become a place of demonic torment and spiritual oppression. He explained to us that he felt better when he left his house. He asked us to come and do a prayer and anointing over his home. He hoped that Yahweh would then cleanse his home, removing this demonic darkness and spiritual pestilence. 

When we arrived at his home and began the requested prayer and anointing, we saw that he had a large Buddha sitting on a stand in his house. We inquired about it, realizing that the devil could have gained the right to infect his home just from the presence of this idol alone! It turned out that the man, although a Christian, had simply picked up the Buddha as a souvenir during his travels. It meant nothing to him, other than as a memento of the trip. But, had he been aware of the Torah safeguards, which forbid all idolatry in the lives and homes of God’s people, he could have been spared a great deal of pain and suffering! Demons don’t get the right to infect a Christian’s home without a cause!

Similarly, we were asked to drive to a couple’s home, located several hours from us. The wife tearfully explained that they were afraid to live in their own home. Lights and water faucets would supernaturally  turn on and off. Menacing presences would threaten the household. The couple couldn’t even sleep through the night without some form of hair-raising manifestation.

“Why is Satan doing this to us? We’re CHRISTIANS!” the woman cried.

Gently, we shared with the exhausted couple that there was likely a cursed object in their home, giving the demons the right to possess the house. We knew this because of a warning given in the Torah:

Deuteronomy 7:26 “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”
Because the Law (the Torah includes the first five books of the Bible: Genesis—Deuteronomy) is viewed as “done away with”, Christians no longer study it or concern themselves with its principles. As a result, this poor couple had no idea that cursed items could bring such terror to their home!

As it turned out, there was one cursed item in the couple’s home. It was a gorgeous tapestry, hanging on the living room wall. The artist had been a mystical, New Age, “white witch”. When the wall-hanging was removed and burned, the home prayed over and anointed, the spiritual manifestations stopped and the demonic shadow was fully lifted. We were all thankful to God for this powerful deliverance, but we were also saddened to realize that the precious couple could have been spared the whole ordeal had they only known and kept the principles of the Torah!

But of all the unnecessary sorrows brought on unsuspecting Christians by nailing the Law to the Cross, perhaps the most devastating blow to effective Spiritual Warfare is the devil’s resulting “revolving door policy”. This “revolving door” to the human soul is a spiritual condition in which demons are kicked out of the soul, through Warfare Prayer, only to return, for reasons soon to be explained. As will be shown, it is only when we remain within the protection of the Torah principles that we can find lasting freedom in Christ.

When we disobey or break the Law of Yahweh, we have committed sin (1 John 3:4). And it is through sin that the devil gets the rights to afflict and enslave us in the first place! All demonic bondage, even full demonic possession, began with sin—either sins which we have committed personally, or it is bondage brought on us by the sins of our ancestors (Exodus 20:5). The connection between disobeying the principles of the Law (which is sin) and demonic bondage is plainly stated in Proverbs. To be “holden” with the “cords” of our own “sins” literally means to be unable to get free from the devil’s bondage.

Proverbs 5:22 “His own iniquities (sins—Law breaking) shall take (ensnare, imprison) the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” 

When we come to Christ, repent for our past sins and are delivered from demonic bondage, we become God’s loving children and are made FREE (John 8:36) in the Name and Blood of the Lamb (1 John 1:9). But we are not now free to keep sinning—or keep disobeying the principles of Torah. We are made free to demonstrate our love for God, by obedience to His Instructions.

1 John 5:2-4 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His Commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 

But, if after we have been cleansed in Christ, we return to our old sinful habits and Lawlessness, we also return to the former demonic bondage and spiritual enslavement. Demons that were kicked out of the person’s soul, during their deliverance in finding Salvation, now return and re-infest the soul temple (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Only this time, the demonic oppression or possession will be even greater than it was before!

Scripture teaches that when a demon is cast out, he will come back to check out the “house” (person) in whom he used to dwell. If he finds that he can get back into that soul-temple again, he will not come alone. Each demon, upon re-entry, brings SEVEN devils, more wicked than himself into the soul of the formerly cleansed person! Thus, the Bible teaches that the person is now worse off than he was before he became “saved”; all because the Christian was ignorant of how vitally important the Torah is in both the salvation process and in keeping the freedom.

2 Peter 2:20-22 (ESV) For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our [Master] and Savior [Yahshua] Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the Way of Righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy Commandment delivered to them. What the true Proverb says (Proverbs 26:11) has happened to them: The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Luke 11:24-26 “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” 

Sadly, we have observed Spiritual Warfare ministries, unaware of this principle, casting demons out of people, in the Name and Blood of Jesus (or Yahshua). They truly believe they are being used of God to help and bless. But deliverance without Torah instruction is not a blessing! It is a curse! For the devil gets a hellish revolving door policy. The demons cast out, gain the legal right to re-enter the soul temple of the cleansed person, when the principles of Torah are broken. Think of it! How many demonically oppressed or possessed people can afford to come for help, only to end up seven times worse? This is why the Psalmist exclaimed: 
“Unless Thy Law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction,” (Psalm 119:92)

Torah: Our Wall of Protection

In Bible times, when an invading army prepared to conquer a city,  its first order of business was to breach the city’s wall and take down its gates. Once this was accomplished, the unprotected city was easily defeated. Recognizing how critically important it was to have a strong wall and how disastrous it was for that wall to be breached, many cities began building a double wall.

This concept also has a very significant spiritual application. The Bible compares a person’s heart, or soul, to a city. And the “walls” which protect that city from the invasion of the enemy are the Rules of God—His holy Law. A person who lives without knowing the principles of Torah, and obeying them, by God’s Grace, is left completely defenseless against the onslaught of hell.

Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” 

Thus, Yahweh put in place not one Wall only, but two Walls of defense, designed to protect the “citadel” of our hearts. The outer Wall is the Statutes, all 613 of which are to be read and studied through this coming year. The inner Wall is the Ten Commandments, which are also all thoroughly addressed within these pages. The Statutes are the “fine print”, or details, which directly relate to the Ten Commandments. Only while the Statutes are understood and observed are the Commandments truly being kept. For the Statutes show us how to keep the Commandments, in specific detail. These outer and inner Walls are designed to protect our hearts and homes. And this is the value and blessing of studying them this coming year.

Join me, as we begin this exciting journey... tomorrow...

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 30, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 5:1-26

Ezekiel 48

Isaiah 66

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today marks the time when the finish line is in sight! Have you stuck with it and read the whole Bible through this year? If so, tomorrow, we will have finished that amazing and wonderful journey! And congratulations and blessings to you for taking the time to read God's Word through from cover-to-cover. What a blessing it is!

If you're wondering what to expect from this blog starting January 1st, 2018...  Here's what we'll be doing:

COMING SOON... 2018 Sneak Peak! 

As we are nearing the end of 2017, several of you have been asking what I plan to share on the blog for 2018. Thanks for your interest and for your heartfelt desire to continue the momentum in Yahweh's Word! I share this interest. As a result, next year I will be doing two things on this blog, as follows:

1) Each day I plan to re-post the blogs from 2017 (with a few adjustments as needed), allowing a person to read the Bible through in a year. This will not only accommodate those of you who were blessed and want to do it all over again (Yay! Isn't God's Word a joy!?), but it will also help out some who started late and didn't get all the way through the Word this year.

2) I also plan to start something new - Torah readings and studies. This coming year, I will be providing weekly Torah readings along with in-depth studies explaining the meaning behind the Commandments and Statutes found in the Law of Yahweh. Doing this is a protection against false doctrine (Isaiah 8:20) and is a powerful blessing (Psalm 1:1-3).

I hope you'll join me in 2018 as we search out the gems of Truth found in the Law of Yahweh, paying special attention to how the Statutes apply in our lives today...

Now, for this day - Happy Sabbath to you all! And I cordially invite you to join Mark and I for these two Livestream broadcasts, which will begin at 2 PM (PST)

You may also choose to watch these presentations after the live broadcast has finished. You can do so by visiting our Livestream archive at your convenience.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 29, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 4:31-44

Ezekiel 46-47

Isaiah 65

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In Isaiah 65 we find some beautiful and encouraging descriptions of the New Earth and the sinless eternity which God has promised.
Isaiah 65:17-18 "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy."

There are some parts that are confusing, however, and should be addressed... Consider Isaiah 65:20:
“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:20 NKJV).
How can Isaiah 65:20 speak of a child dying at one hundred, when the Bible tells us repeatedly that there will be no more death in the sinless Eternity which God has prepared? Before we look into that more completely, let's start by showing that the Bible teaches there will be no death in Heaven or in the New Earth:
Isaiah 25:8 "He will swallow up death for all time, And Yahweh GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For Yahweh has spoken."
1 Corinthians 15:26 "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." 
Revelation 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." 
Not only will there be no death in Heaven or the New Earth - the promise is quite the opposite! We are promised Eternal Life (which means that every saved person will live forever):
John 3:15  "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." 
Romans 6:23  "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Yahshua Christ our Sovereign." 
1 Timothy 6:12  "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." 
Daniel 12:2  "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
How then are we to understand Isaiah 65:20, with its strange reference to children dying at one hundred years old? There are many parts of Scripture which, if taken literally, are terribly misunderstood. For example, in Psalm 50:10, we read that Yahweh owns the cattle on a thousand hills. If taken for its literal meaning, someone might start counting hills, 1... 2... 3...   998... 999... 1000! There are more than 1000 hills upon the earth. So what should be understood about the cattle on hill number 1001, or 1002...? Doesn't Yahweh also own these? Of course! As Creator of all, He owns everything! 

Psalm 50:10 is using poetic language. In Hebrew, numbers have meaning - whole sermons of meaning, in fact. This is just one small way in which we see that the Word of God is amazing. 
Throughout the Scriptures, there is patterns and symmetry that prove that it is inspired. We can see God’s designs and patterns not only through types and parallels but also in numbers and the meaning of names of people and places. I believe these are part of the “deep things of God”:
1 Corinthians 2:7-10 (KJV) – “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
It is important to note that parallels and patterns should never be used to form doctrine. However, they should be used to support what has been revealed by God’s Spirit through the clear teaching of the Word.
Symbolism of the Number 1000
The number one thousand (1,000) symbolizes “immensity,” “fullness of quantity” or “multitude.” The number evokes a very long time according to most Bible passages. It is often used in scripture to specify an indefinite quantity. Many early Church fathers saw in the number 1,000, “the totality of the generations and the perfection of the life.” The number sometimes is used in a reference to paradise and everlasting happiness. (Scripture Revealed)
Similarly, in Isaiah 65:20, poetic language is being used along with a deep understanding of the meaning in Hebrew numbers - which, in this case, is the number 100.

Isaiah is using poetic language here, therefore, a literal meaning can’t be derived from his passage. Here is another translation from the “Message Bible” that gives a clearer understanding to his passage: 
“No more babies dying in the cradle... One-hundred birthdays will be considered normal...”
What's the point of the 100? Is it to say that a person won't have more than 100 birthdays? No! Just as the Bible doesn't teach that Yahweh only owns 1000 hills worth of cattle... The 100 here has a much deeper meaning and message.

To see the value of 100 in Hebrew, I recommend reading this article on the Qof. Qof is the Hebrew letter which also represents 100 (letters have numeric value in Hebrew, which is the original language of the Old Testament). Qof is the letter of holiness. It is a special promise to the Bride of Christ (His final people).

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 28, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 4:1-30

Ezekiel 44-45

Isaiah 64

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In today's reading from the book of Luke, we read about the Temptation in the wilderness. 

In Hebrews 4:15, Scripture tells us that Yahshua was tempted in all points like we are - yet without sinning. But to the person struggling with a heroin addiction, or ungodly movie addiction, or some other modern issue, it seems impossible for Yahshua to have been tempted in all the same points as us.

In fact, since I am completely unable to turn stones into bread, some of the things Satan tempted Christ with are things I cannot relate with at all...  At least that's how it appears on the surface.

And the bottom line is this. How can Yahshua's experience in the wilderness give me any hope at all, for my personal potential for victory, if I cannot relate with His temptations in any way? Yet Scripture is clear that I should take courage from Christ's victory over temptation. His experience in the wilderness demonstrates how I can also have victory through finding Grace and Help in my own times of need:
Hebrews 4:15-16  "For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sinLet us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." 
Christ was tempted in all points like we are. But this cannot mean that every little nuance of temptation that I face and you face, and everyone else in the world ever faces, also came upon Christ. After all, nuances of temptation are uniquely tailored to each of us. In other words, some things that can be tempting to me - are not also tempting to you, and vice versa. And regarding the nuances of Yahshua's temptations - not one of us could be tempted to turn stones into bread, since we do not have the power to do so. 

The points of temptation, which we all face are not individual nuances which might come upon people in unique situations. Rather the "all points", mentioned in Hebrews 4:15, means that all individual temptations are "common to man" in that they all fall into the four categories, or classifications of sin.
1 Corinthians 10:13  "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 
The key we need in order to be able to relate to Christ's wilderness temptations (and victory over them) is the understanding that all temptation comes in four categories. When the Bible says that Yahshua was tempted in all points like us, it doesn't mean that we should list every specific temptation we have ever faced and look for a time when Yahshua also faced that specific situation or temptation. Rather it means that Christ was tempted in all the same categories as we are - yet without sin. 

So what are the four categories of temptation? They are listed in 1 John 2:15-17:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 
In summary, the four categories of temptation are:
1) Love of the world
2) Lust of the flesh
3) Lust of the eyes
4) Pride of life

Every temptation that Yahshua faced fell into one of these categories. And every temptation that you or I have ever faced - or will ever face - is also in one of these four categories. These four categories are the sins common to all men (1 Corinthians 10:13). They are the "all points" in which Christ - and everyone else faced temptation.

Why do all sins of mankind fall under these same four categories? The reason is that our first parents (Adam and Eve) fell in these four areas, giving the devil rights and ground to tempt all of us in the same four areas in which
Adam and Eve were tempted - and failed. How is this so? Let's return to the Genesis account and revisit the record of the Fall.
Genesis 3:1-6  "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." 
In Eve's temptation and fall, we find three of the four categories, as follows:
But where is the fourth category? Where is the love of the world? That category of sin comes to us from Adam. Scripture tells us that Adam was not deceived, like Eve (1 Timothy 2:13-14). Adam chose to eat the forbidden fruit, knowing full-well what he was doing. His reason? In that moment, Adam could not imagine continuing to live without Eve. So he chose his love for Eve over his love for God, choosing to share whatever would be her fate.

Mankind was plunged into a dismal fate through the Fall of our first parents. From their sins came our weaknesses - our points of temptation. These four categories are the sins that are "common" (we all have them) to all mankind.

But Yahshua came as the second Adam. And while the four categories of sins came upon us all through the first Adam (Eve is included in this reference), so forgiveness for these things, cleansing, and victory comes to us through Christ - the second Adam. For Christ was victorious over "all points" of temptation and paid for our failures with His Own Blood.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22  "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 

How did Yahshua gain victory over these four categories of sin? Let's go through the temptation in the wilderness, point-by-point.

The first temptation – Matthew 4:3-4 - Satan's appeal to the lust of the flesh. 

Having fasted for forty days, Yahshua was naturally hungry. Challenging Yahshua‘s identity, Satan appeals to His fleshly hunger: "command that these stones become bread" 

Yahshua responded with Scripture 1) Quoting Deut 8:3, "Man shall not live by bread alone..." 2) There is more to life than just fulfilling physical desires; man is dependent upon the Word of God to truly live! 

The second temptation – Matthew 4:5-7 - Satan appeals to the pride of life.

Again challenging Yahshua's identity, Satan sets Yahshua on the pinnacle of the temple, tells Him to "throw Yourself down". Twisting Scriptures to support his deceptions, the devil quoted Ps 91:11,12.  Yahshua responded with Scripture by quotoing  Deut 6:16, "You shall not tempt Yahweh your God". While the passage Satan quoted is true, it would be an abuse of it to purposely test God. 

The third temptation - Mt 4:8-10 - Satan appealed to the lust of the eyes.

Taking Yahshua to high mountain and showing Him the kingdoms of the world. The devil was offering to give Yahshua all the kingdoms if He worship worship Satan. Yahshua responded again with Scripture 1) Deut 6:13, "You shall worship Yahweh your God, and Him only you shall serve". Though Christ was offered a shortcut to receiving power over the nations, Yahshua does not take the easy path - Re 2: 26-27; 3:21

Passing the Love Test - Yahshua also passed the fourth category, choosing the love of Yahweh over all else. He demonstrated this multiple times, most poignantly in Gethsemane. But here is one example:

Matthew 12:47-50  "Then one said unto Him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee. But He answered and said unto him that told him, Who is My mother? And who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His Hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the Will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother."

In conclusion, it is because of -and through- Christ that we may find complete deliverance in "all the points" of temptation in every category of the sins that the "common to man". And it is through Yahshua that we may claim the power of Yahweh to follow the injunction of John: 
1 John 2:15-17: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 27, 2017

Today's Reading:

Luke 3:21-38

Ezekiel 42-43

Isaiah 63

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In today's reading from the book of Luke, we read Yahshua's genealogy. In so doing, a problem comes to mind. Earlier this year, we read Matthew's genealogy of Christ...  And the two records are different.

Since Yahshua's genealogy is given in two places in Scripture (Matthew 1 and Luke 3), the fact that the two accounts don't match is used by critics to suggest that the Bible cannot be trusted. The idea that the Bible cannot be trusted to be historically accurate casts doubt upon it altogether. For this reason, I believe it is important to provide a response.

Let's start at the beginning and retrace the steps carefully:

First, as I mentioned, Yahshua's genealogy is given both in Matthew 1 and in Luke 3:23-38Matthew traces Yahshua's lineage through Joseph. His genealogy goes back to Abraham. Luke also traces Yahshua's lineage through Joseph. But his genealogy goes all the way back to Adam.

But there aren't only differences in how far back these genealogies go, there are also apparent discrepancies.  While Matthew says that Joseph's father was Jacob (Matthew 1:16), Luke writes that Joseph's father was Heli (Luke 3:23). 
Further, Matthew traces Messiah's lineage through David's son Solomon (Matthew 1:6), but Luke traces Christ's line through David's son, whom he says was Nathan (Luke 3:31). What is up with this?

Actually, the explanation is quite simple. One Gospel account is tracing Yahshua's lineage through his adoptive father, Joseph. And the other Gospel record is tracing Yahshua's line through Mary. Through either Mary's or Joseph's line, Yahshua's lineage traces back through king David, making Him eligible to be the Messiah.

As the genealogy chart shows (made by

The reason both genealogical accounts start with someone named Joseph is a bit confusing. Some Bible scholars suggest that, on Mary's side, the "Joseph" mentioned is actually Mary's father. If this is so, Mary had a father named Joseph, and also happened to marry a man named Joseph, but they were not the same person (of course). 

There is another possibility. Perhaps the Joseph mentioned in the two lists is the same man - Yahshua's earthly father. In this scenario, Mary's husband is only included in Christ's lineage through her because genealogies were traced through the men. It is argued that there is no Greek word for "son-in-law". So Joseph was called the "son of Heli" through his marriage to Mary, who was Heli's daughter.

It is unclear whether the Joseph in Matthew and in Luke are both Mary's husband or whether one is her husband and other her father. But one thing is clear, Matthew was giving Yahshua's lineage through Joseph. And Luke was giving his genealogy through Mary's bloodline. This accurately accounts for the differences. 

Now let's look at why Christ's genealogy is important to understand. Certainly it is important because Christ's genealogy shows He has fulfilled the Messianic prophecies regarding His lineage. But the importance of Yahshua's genealogy doesn't stop with demonstrating His fitness to be the Messiah. His lineage has personal value as well. For this part, I will quote from Arron Chambers, who wrote an excellent blog on the value of Christ's genealogy (sacred Names added by me):

Heritage Matters.
Why were these genealogies important to include in the story of the life of Yahshua?
First, to the Jewish people (at least in Biblical times), genealogies were very significant. It was important to know where you came from, whose ancestry you followed, what tribe of Israel you descended from.
Second, these genealogies trace Yahshua’s ancestry back to David and connect him with the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
We know from historical records that many of the early Christian evangelists and apostles had Matthew’s genealogy of Yahshua memorized.  The works of early Christian writers are filled with references to them. (See R.C. Foster’s, Studies in the Life of Christ, p.265).
Abraham’s legacy is Yahshua.
Perez’s legacy is Yahshua.
David’s legacy is Yahshua.
Asa’s legacy is Yahshua.
Josiah’s legacy is Yahshua.
What’s your legacy going to be?
If we want to leave a legacy that matters we need to …
Be Humble.
Submit your life and the lives of your family to God.
Be Intentional.
British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein was once visited in his studio by the eminent author and fellow Briton, George Bernard Shaw. The visitor noticed a huge block of stone standing in one corner and asked what it was for.  “I don’t know yet. I’m still making plans.”  Shaw was astounded. “You mean you plan your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!”  “That’s all very well with a four-ounce manuscript,” replied the sculptor, “but not with a four-ton block.” Today in the Word, April 5, 1993
Are you being proactive or reactive in this life?
Are you owning your life or is your life owning you?
Life is a gift and we need to be good stewards of our lives.
Be Faithful.
We must believe that God has a plan for our lives.
Embrace the truth of Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We are not accidents.
We are not victims.
We were planned for power.
We were planned for purpose.
We were planned for passion.
We were planned to leave a legacy.
What is your legacy going to be?
You’re determining your heritage with each decision you make every minute of every day.
Back to the genealogy of Yahshua
Jacob’s legacy was Yahshua.
Joseph’s legacy was Yahshua.
Mary’s legacy was Yahshua.
I want my legacy to be Yahshua, too.
The Genealogy of Yahshua matters because it teaches us that…
People Matter.
This list is made up of ordinary people, just like us.
They weren’t superheroes.
They are ordinary people who became a part of God’s extraordinary plans.
People like…
Jacob, who was a twin.
Hezron was just one of the sons of Reuben.
Little about Ram is known, except that he must have lived when the Israelites were in Egypt.
Ruth, who was not an Israelite, but who chose to follow God instead of the false gods in her homeland, Moab.
Obed was David’s grandfather.
Joseph who was a carpenter.
Mary who was just a young woman who found favor in God’s eyes.
This teaches us that…
All People Matter to God.
This list includes men, women, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, Kings, shepherds, Jews, and Gentiles.

Yahshua, the Lamb of God, came to bless everyone.