Monday, January 29, 2018

Torah Portion - January 29, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 24:1-9

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Having studied the Hebrew alphabet, at least in an overview, we are better equipped to study and correctly understand the Torah. But there is one more foundational concept which needs to be addressed - the root system of the Torah which is its underlying purpose or the the intent behind its principles.

When considering the Torah, people are often tempted to fall into imbalance. Either folks are tempted to reject the Law of God entirely, seeing it as being done away with at Calvary; or they go the opposite way and embrace the Law to such a legalistic, letter-of-the-Law degree that their lives become judgmental, hard, and miserable (for them, and everyone around them).

Now, at first, the idea of keeping every part of the Law may seem right and attractive to Torah students, so this statement warrants further explanation... 

We once had a very well-meaning person suggest that it was breaking the Torah to have a bathroom in the house. This was because of the statute principle which instructs us not to dig a toilet pit in our tent (living quarters). But the purpose of the Statute wasn't to make life a bit more inconvenient. Rather it was to prevent disease and to keep the home clean from unnecessary bacteria. A clean bathroom with a working sewer or septic system is not at all like having an open sewer pit in one's tent! But, by a letter-of-the-Law interpretation, this person had come to believe that one shouldn't have a clean, working restroom facility inside one's house. In fact, it was because the Pharisees interpreted the Torah in this legalistic fashion, that they had made it a "burden" instead of the blessing Yahweh intended.

Here's another example of a legalistic, letter-of-the-Law extreme. One man. who teaches Torah and heads a Torah-keeping group, takes the Statute about blood to quite an extreme. He believes that he must have a man who waits upon him, carrying his chair about and making sure it is ready for him to sit in, as needed. Why? It's not that this man has a physical need for a special chair. Rather, he believes the Torah would have him sit exclusively in his personal chair to avoid contamination. His reason? He believed it was against the Torah to sit in a chair in which a menstruating woman might have ever sat. To further insure his "purity", this misguided man refused to ever shake hands with a woman. 

But the Statutes prohibiting contact with blood weren't prohibiting contact with people! In fact, Yahshua, our Example in all things, was not afraid to touch (or be touched by) a woman - even one with an issuance of blood. And when she touched the hem of His robe, she was healed.

On one memorable occasion we were sharing with a group of very conservative and sincere Torah-keepers in another state. Before our time there was finished, one of the younger ladies asked to speak with me privately. In the conversation she wept and told me that she wished she could die! The reason? She felt that dying (not suicide, she just hoped God would take her life) would be a mercy since her life had become so miserable from their "Torah-keeping". I was shocked and saddened to see that Torah-keeping could be the cause of such a miserable existence. Truly this was far from the Father's intent in giving it!

But as she explained, the woman's husband had been imposing Pharisee-like rules upon his family, believing that his legalistic (and even emotionally abusive) interpretations were true Torah-observance. And when I learned of some of the interpretations this man had of the beautiful Statutes, my heart broke for the poor young wife! How sad it is when God's well-intending people forget that the Torah is a revelation of God's Character, which is also given in the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. If ever the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are missing from our "Torah-observance", whatever we are doing or believing, we have missed the boat!

Thus, in our studies of the Torah, we will avoid a legalistic, extreme, letter-of-the-Law approach. Instead, we will be seeking to discover the Heavenly Father's intent behind the Statutes and Commands. 

Bearing this in mind, the first, foundational principle for studying the Torah and interpreting the Statutes is this: in our interpretation of each Statute, we must prayerfully if the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are evident. We need to always check for the Fruits. When we have prayerfully found the Creator's Intent in a Statute, we will find keeping it to be a demonstration of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 101-120)
The Torah studies are provided in two formats for your convenience. The first option (below) is the blank worksheets for this week, which will allow you to print out the worksheets and hand-write the studies yourself. If you have less time, you may wish to read/print my completed Statute studies. The completed worksheets are the second option (below):

An Overview of this Week's Torah Studies:
This week we will be studying Statutes 101-120, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 101-102 Summary:
Because only holy people can keep the Sabbath holy, Yahweh wants His Children to make double sure of their Cleansing on the Sabbath. For this reason, (101) twice the Lambs were to be sacrificed on the Sabbath (representing Yahshua’s Sacrifice for our sins). (102) Following the double Lamb sacrifice, Yahweh’s people are to offer double the meat (flour) and drink offerings (representing our acceptable living sacrifice–Romans 12:1–which is our thanks for Yahshua’s Sacrifice).

Numbers 28:9-10 “And on the Sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”
Statute 103-106 Summary:
Yahweh commands His Children to keep the New Moon by offering specific sacrifices. These sacrifices each point to specific aspects of Yahshua’s Atoning Gift. The point in commanding us to keep the New Moons with such offerings is that Yahweh wants us to specifically claim the Gift of Yahshua over our homes, family and lives in these specific roles. 

We no longer literally offer these animals, because they all pointed to Yahshua’s Death. But we can spiritually claim the Sacrifice of Yahshua in these Roles: 

(#103) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Blood as the most expensive Gift Heaven (bullock) had to offer. As we think of the high cost of our sins, sin become less attractive in our eyes. 
(#104) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Role as our Leader and Protector (Ram). As we think of the Saviour’s Role as our Leader, we study His Example and choose to follow Him more closely. 
(#105) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Blood as the Innocent and Pure One (lamb). As we think of this, we are able to claim Yahshua’s Atonement for our sins and be made pure and innocent through Him. 
(#106) We are to keep the New Moon by claiming and acknowledging Yahshua’s Sacrifice as our Substitute. The devil is compared to a goat, this is why a scapegoat was used to symbolize him. Yahshua had to die for the devil’s traits in us. As we think of this, we are able to repent for having “seeds” of darkness in our souls and be made clean of it. As with the daily and Sabbath offerings, we are to not only claim Yahshua’s Sacrifice, we are also to be the living oblation, returning our gratitude for the tremendous Gift of Salvation through living fully and being willing to die for Yahweh (emblemized in the meal and drink offerings). These offerings are acceptable in Yahweh’s Sight – demonstrated by fire. He sends fire (Pentecost) to consume acceptable sacrifices.

Numbers 28:11-15 “And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto Yahweh; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto Yahweh. And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto Yahweh shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”

Statute 107-109 Summary:
(#107) Yahweh commands us the keep the New Moons. (#108) We are to especially pay attention to (or regard) the New Moon of the month Abib, for this is the first New Moon of the New Biblical Year. We are to calculate timing on Yahweh’s Calendar by the New Moons. (#109) Passover is kept in the first month (New Moon cycle) of the Biblical Year.

Deuteronomy 16:1Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib Yahweh thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” 

Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

Statute 110-111 Summary:
(#110) Yahweh’s people are to work for six days. (#111) But on the Seventh Day, we and all our households are to rest from our daily work and keep the Sabbath.

Exodus 23:12 “Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.”  

Statute 112 Summary:
(#112) On Friday, the preparation for the Sabbath is to be completed. Cooking for the Sabbath meals is to be done on Friday. No cooking, baking or boiling is to be done on the Seventh-day Sabbath.

Exodus 16:23 “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto Yahweh: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.”  

Statute 113-114 Summary:
(#113) Yahweh’s people are never to marry non-Torah-keeping, false-god-worshippers. (#114) Yahweh’s people are not to allow their children to inter-marry with the heathen (those who don’t follow Torah).

Deuteronomy 7:3 “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

Statute 115 Summary:
When someone attempts to curse Yahweh's people, it is a serious offense before Yahweh! Even though Balaam was unable to curse Israel, the fact that the Moabites hired him to do it was sufficient reason for Yahweh to bar them from Life. People from groups which try to curse Yahweh’s Children cannot fellowship with Yahweh’s people or partake of Abraham’s blessings for ten generations. However, Ruth was a Moabite, and because she repented and chose Yahweh as her El, she was not only allowed in the fellowship of the Saved, she was also in the lineage of Christ! As it says in Exodus 20:6, Yahweh is merciful to those who love and obey Him.

Deuteronomy 23:3-4 “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of Yahweh; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of Yahweh for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. 

Statute 116-117 Summary:
(#116) Spiritual Israel are not to loathe people who, like the Edomites, are not antagonistic against Yahweh’s people and have an affinity for Yahweh and the Truth. (#117) Spiritual Israel are also not to loathe people who, like the Egyptians, are not antagonistic against Yahweh’s people or Truth, yet are caught in the spiritual bondage of Egypt. We are to be understanding and gentle with such folk, because we ourselves were once caught in the spiritual bondage of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 23:7 “Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.”  

Statutes 118 Summary:

When the Children of Israel tried to conquer Canaan, they were afraid of the giant and formidable people who blocked their way. Before final Spiritual Israel can possess ultimate Canaan, we too will face “giants” in ungodly earthly powers. But, (#118) Yahweh instructs us NOT to be afraid. We are to remember that Yahweh is with us. He is greater than any foe!

Deuteronomy 7:21 “Thou shalt not be affrighted at them (the nations of the earth of whom you would be afraid – see verse 19): for Yahweh thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.”

Statutes 119-120 Summary:

(#119) Yahweh’s people are never to bring contempt upon Yahweh’s Name, nor trifle with or make light of it nor curse it in any way. (#120) Also Yahweh’s people are never to make light of, bring into contempt, bitterly curse, despise or declare to be evil the leadership of the flock.

Exodus 22:28 “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”

Daily Bible Reading - January 29, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 21

Genesis 38

Psalm 29

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

As always, there are many gems of Truth in today's Bible reading. However, for my personal commentary today, am going to focus on a passage from Luke 21:11
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
What are these "fearful signs" in the heavens? "Fearful" means "awesome", "noteworthy", "they-are-calling-you-to-reverence-God", and they warn of "impending Judgment". The reference to "signs" means they have prophetic value. In other words, our Heavenly Father is giving End-time prophecies in the sky. This is a subject which I have studied a great deal and find very fascinating. So, I'd like to share a few of these heavenly signs.

God, Creator of all, is the One Who created the heavenly bodies. He is also the One Who shaped the constellations, assigned them their original meanings, and named the stars.
Isaiah 40:25-26  "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His Might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth."

Job 26:13  "By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His Hand hath formed the crooked serpent (this is the name of one of the constellations)." 
The prophet Joel foretold that God would be using sky events to alert the world that the Second Coming was near. 

Specifically the Bible says that the Creator will show wonders in the sun being turned to darkness and the moon being turned into blood. 

What does it mean that Yahweh will show wonders in the heavens? The word "show" is translated from the Hebrew word "nathan" meaning "appoint", "ascribe", "assign", and "make". The word "wonders" means that these appointed signs will be "conspicuous omens", which are "miraculously" done by God Himself.

The heavenly events which I am about to show you are in direct fulfillment of Joel 2:30-31. During 2014, the moon was "turned to blood" (which is a total lunar eclipse) twice. Then it was turned to blood two times in 2015 as well. Interspersed between these conspicuous blood moon events were solar eclipses.

But if all a person saw of these events was that there were four blood moons over the spring and fall of two years in a row with a couple of solar eclipses thrown in for good measure, the miraculous Hand of God would be overlooked. To see the miracle in these event, one must notice the timing in which they took place. 

First, these blood moons took place on God's Holy Appointed times - His Feast Days (Passover and Sukkot - also known as the Feast of Tabernacles - two years in a row) listed in Leviticus Chapter 23. But that's not all... there is more...  The sky events took place at precise intervals, which could not be an accident.

Mankind is familiar with the concept the rhythm and interval can be used to spell words. After all, consider Morse Code. And, if any scientist should hear a Morse Code message, whether he could understand Morse Code or not, he would recognize the mathematical rhythm and know that he was hearing a message being given by an intelligent communicator. No one, hearing a Morse Code signal would mistake it for an accident, a meaningless Hodge-podge of sounds, which just happened by some random coincidence.

In these incredible sky events of 2014 and 2015, God was resounding three powerful messages – given in Morse-Code style – spelling out Hebrew words in numeric intervals!

In English, letters don't usually have stand-alone meaning. Letters gain meaning by adding them together to form words. It is different in Hebrew however. Hebrew letters all have tremendous meaning. You could write many pages explaining the spiritual meaning of each Hebrew letter. And the meaning of Hebrew words is gained by adding up the individual meanings of the letter which form that word. Additionally, in Hebrew, letters have numerical value. And numerical value is also to be understood to have great spiritual meaning, which goes with the meaning of the Hebrew letters.

With these concepts in mind, let's look a bit more closely at the exciting sky events in 2014 and 2015.

First, on April 14, 2014, there was a blood moon, which is called a total lunar eclipse. 

Then, on April 29, 2014, there was a partial solar eclipse.

On October 8, 2014, there was another blood moon event.

And the last of the eclipses for this year took place on October 23, 2014, with a partial solar eclipse.

 The amazing pattern reversed in 2015, with solar eclipses starting off instead of blood moons. The blood moons still fell on Passover and Sukkot this year as well.

First, on March 20, 2015, there was a total solar eclipse.

On April 4, 2015, there was a partial blood moon. 

On September 13, 2015, there was another partial solar eclipse. 

And finally, on September 28, 2015, we saw the fourth blood moon of the spectacular tetrad.

Now as if the fact that these events occurred on God's Holy Days both years wasn't enough to show that this was the Hand of God - a miracle, done by His Design - God added an amazing "Morse-code-style" Message, spelled out in the precise intervals between events. There were three number messages given. The first number message was 15.

In 2014 the first two events took place 15 days apart.

In 2014 the second two events took place 15 days apart.

In 2015 the first two events took place 15 days apart.

In 2015 the second two events will take place 15 days apart.

Fifteen is a sacred number in the Hebrew language (remember letters double as numbers, similar to Roman numerals).  The Jews are careful not to write the number 15 in its traditional form, which would be a yod and a heh (written in black panel above) making 15. The Number 15 is the word YAH. Jews don't write a fifteen this way because they don’t want to write God's Sacred Name in common math! To prevent this, the purposely change the rule for how numbers are written and write 15 with a tet (9) and vav (6), which add to make 15. 

The use of these letters together are a call, which we can more fully understand by looking at the individual meanings of the yod and heh – It is a call for mankind to return to Yahweh and honor Him, to be cleansed of sin, and filled with His Spirit – represented in the Heh. It is a call to return to the Ten Commandments and to stand among the faithful – represented in the yod.

So the number and message of 15 is proclaimed 4x – pronouncing the Name of Yah from the Heavens with the same clarity and precision of Morse Code. And there’s more…

In 2014 there was 177 days between Blood Moons.

In 2014 there was 177 days between Solar Eclipses.

In 2015 there was 177 days between Solar Eclipses.

In 2015 there was 177 days between Blood Moons.

In Hebrew, the letter Qof is the number 100. Two letters, a resh and a zayin, combine to form the letter Qof. The zayin, to the left, descends below the line, while the resh, to the right, hovers above it. The paradoxical union symbolized by the two components of the Qof  is the secret of “There is none holy as God.” In general, the Qof stands for kedushah, “holiness.”

To make one hundred and seventy-seven – two numbers sevens follow the Qof  Seven is the Hebrew Letter zayinZayin is the letter of effective Spiritual Warfare – which is the way to maintain holiness, in Yah’s Power. Zayin means “weapon” and its form represents the SWORD of the SPIRIT

It is also a strong call to honor Yah’s Sabbaths! By being doubled in this number, the message of the zayin is only increased and magnified – having two witnesses, we see this message is established by God in Heaven and will surely come to pass.

The Creator is not only calling people unto Holiness and Sabbath keeping, but also to effective Spiritual Warfare that all sins be conquered in our lives! He is, at the same time, warning that for those who reject this calling – the Sword of Judgment is coming…

The third heavenly Message that God has proclaimed in this Morse-code-like style is 162.

In 2014 there was 162 days between the cluster of events (April 29, 2014 - October 8, 2014)
In 2015 there is 162 days between the cluster of events (April 4, 2015 – September 13, 2015)

162 also starts with the letter Qof, which is the number 100, as I said before. Again, it reminds that “There is none holy as God” and stands for “holiness.”

To make one hundred and sixty-two – the numbers 6 and 2 follow the Qof  Six is the number of man and two is the number of Messiah – Yah manifested, or Tabernacling, in the Flesh. It is a call unto man to be holy! We should experience the in-dwelling Presence of Yah in our lives now – that we will be prepared to Tabernacle with Him in Person – soon.

These Heavenly signs, which started in 2014, concluded September of 2015. 

God has given His three Messages with tremendous and notable precision. They were designed to be spectacular signs to get the whole world’s attention. And they are a powerful demonstration of what our Saviour meant in Luke 21:11,
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."