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

Listen to the Bible







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...