Thursday, February 15, 2018

Torah Portion - February 15, 2018

Today's Torah Reading: Gen. 30:25-43

Love for Yahweh - first and Supreme

Today we are continuing our study of the Statutes which relate to the first Commandment of having no other gods before Yahweh. We are now in the sixth area which is: Statutes on keeping the Torah. As these Statutes show, mindfulness of the Torah is not enough - in and of itself - we are also to align our lives by the Torah principles. Obedience is also a vital part of loving and worshiping Yahweh.

Let us continue our study of the Statutes in this subcategory. In today's study...

Leviticus 24:22 - 
"Ye shall have one manner of Law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I Am Yahweh your God.."

One of the greatest misconceptions of Christianity today is the idea that the Law of Yahweh was only for the Jews. But this idea is against the Statutes...  As Leviticus 24:22 plainly states, Yahweh has given one Law - one system of Judgment - one set of Rules. And this one Law applies to everyone - the stranger (the Gentile) and one of Israel's own country. 

This really isn't too surprising, since there is only one group that is saved: Israel. All who are saved, become part of Israel, who are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the Promise.

Galatians 3:26-29  “For ye are all the children of Yahweh by faith in Messiah Yahshua. For as many of you as have been baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if ye be Messiah's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Psalm 37:28-28For Yahweh loveth judgment, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.” 
The reason there is only one Law for everyone (Gentiles or Jews alike) is because the Law of Yahweh is foundation of His Government. It is the Rules of the Kingdom. Those who are saved have accepted His Payment for their sins (past Law-breaking) and have become citizens of His Kingdom. These saved citizens of His Kingdom are Yahweh's saints.

Think about it before you answer this question: "Are you a saint?"

What a scary thought! Right? Saints are perfect! Aren't they?! Actually saints aren't perfect (because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God) - but they are perfected... Consider the words of John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace:
“I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be. But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, "By the grace of God I am what I am.”
Here's the sobering truth - only the saints are saved. Saints
live different, think different, and have a different destiny from commoners. Now this isn't God playing favorites. It's His Will for everyone to be numbered among His saints. The choice is ours. Bearing this in mind, let's take a closer look at the differences between saints and commoners...  And to make this even more effective, let's compare saints to eagles and commoners to chickens.

The Scottish preacher John McNeill liked to tell about an eagle that had been captured when it was quite young.
The farmer who snared the bird put a restraint on it so it couldn’t fly, and then he turned it loose to roam in the barnyard.

It wasn’t long till the eagle began to act like the chickens, scratching and pecking at the ground. This bird that once soared high in the heavens seemed satisfied to live the barnyard life of the lowly hen.

One day the farmer was visited by a shepherd, who lived in the mountains where the eagles lived.

Seeing the eagle, the shepherd said to the farmer, "What a shame to keep that bird hobbled here in your barnyard! It was meant for so much more! Why don’t you let it go?"

The farmer agreed, so they cut off the restraint. But the eagle continued to wander around, scratching and pecking as before.

The shepherd picked it up and set it on a high stone wall. For the first time in months, the eagle saw the grand expanse of blue sky and the glowing sun. 

Then it spread its wings and with a leap soared off into a tremendous spiral flight, up and up and up... 

What brought about the change for this eagle? Was he physically altered? No...  All that changed for him was his world view. 

What is the world view of a chicken? The chicken is earth-centered. It scratches in the dirt, focuses on the earth, and lives its life with eyes downward, oblivious to the fact that there even is a sky. The chicken lives for this world. And its life revolves around this world...

What is the world view of an eagle? The eagle is heaven-centered. It glides through the air, focuses on the heavens, and lives its life with eyes upwards, centered on the fact that there is a sky. The eagle lives for the heavens. And its life revolves around heaven...

Eagles and chickens are different in their "hearts" as well. The eagle has a conquering heart - a heart for the world above. The chicken...  is a chicken...

Eagles and chickens not only live differently and think differently, they also have an entirely different destiny. 

What is the destiny of the eagle?

And what is the destiny of a chicken?

The Law of Yahweh isn't a burden to an eagle. Like the principles of aerodynamics, its the rules of the sky. But too many of us have had our eyes - and hearts - focused downwards. Like chickens, we have been focused on this world and the things of this world. So, what can we do about it?

Like the eagle, in the story, we first need a higher world-view. We need to stop looking downwards and focus our gaze up:

Acts 26:17-18  "Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

Psalm 89:15 - "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Yahweh, in the Light of Thy Countenance."

What does Yahweh's Law have to do with the eagle life? The Law is the terms of the Heavenly Covenant - the Covenant between Yahweh and His saints:

Exodus 19:5-6  “Now therefore, if ye will obey My Voice indeed, and keep My Covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy ("holy" means "set-apart for holy use" and "saint") nation (congregation)…”

Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of YAH, and the faith of Yahshua.” 

Deuteronomy 11:18-28 - 

"Therefore shall ye lay up these My Words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which Yahweh sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
Then will Yahweh drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.
There shall no man be able to stand before you: for Yahweh your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the Commandments of Yahweh your God, which I command you this day:

And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of Yahweh your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known."

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 141-164)
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 141-164, which are summarized below. Happy studying!

Statute 141-143 Summary:
The Feast of Trumpets is the seventh New Moon (the first day of the 7th Biblical month.) 

(#141) It is a Sabbath of rest. 

(#142) We are to blow trumpets and hold a holy convocation and 

(#143) present ourselves (by Yahweh’s Grace) acceptable living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Leviticus 23:24-25 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh..”
Statute 144-148 Summary:
The Feast of Trumpets is a Holy Day when specific sacrifices are to be offered. We no longer shed animal blood, as the animal blood all pointed to the Sacrifice of Yahshua (Hebrews 9:8-15). But, we still are to bring the spiritual offering, claiming and acknowledging each aspect of the Saviour’s Sacrifice for our cleansing. 

The bullock showed the tremendous cost of our redemption. (#144) On the Feast of Trumpets, we are to count the cost of sin, and as we do so, sin loses its attractiveness in our eyes. 

The ram offering showed the Saviour’s Role as the Protector and Leader of His Flock. (#145) On Trumpets, we are to prayerfully measure our lives to be certain we are following our Divine Leader. We are to see His cleansing for any time we’ve strayed from His Leadership. 

We are to offer seven lambs. Seven is the number of perfection or completeness. The lamb was an offering which showed the innocence of our Saviour. (#146) On the Feast of Trumpets, we are to claim His offering as our perfect and complete Lamb. In so doing we are made perfect, complete and innocent in Him. 

The goat was offered to show the Saviour’s work to destroy satan’s traits (he’s the goat symbol in Atonement) in us. (#147) On the Feast of Trumpets, we are to seek YAHWEH’s deliverance from every satanic stronghold and any traces of the demonic goat in us. 

(#148) On the Feast of Trumpets, we are also to spiritually offer ourselves as acceptable living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). This is represented in the meat offering and drink offerings. This is our reasonable response of Thanks to our Saviour for all that He has given for our redemption.

Numbers 29:1-6 “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto Yahweh; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram, And one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto Yahweh.”   

Statute 149-151 Summary:
The Day of Atonement is the Tenth Day of the Seventh Month. 

(#149) It is a holy Convocation (rehearsal - and a day to gather for special worship). 

(#150) Yahweh’s people are to offer spiritual sacrifices (see the Statute Summary on Statutes 144-148 for an explanation of the Sacrifices) on this Holy Day. 

(#151) Yahweh’s people are to afflict their souls on this Day.

Numbers 29:7-11 “And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:  But ye shall offer a burnt offering unto Yahweh for a sweet savour; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to a bullock, and two tenth deals to one ram,  A several tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: One kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings.”

Statute 129-131 Summary:
(#129) The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Day of rest (Sabbath) and a holy Convocation day. (#130) The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Day of rest (Sabbath) and a holy Convocation day. (#131) On these two days of Unleavened Bread, no work is to be done, with one exception: cooking and preparing food is allowed.

Exodus 12:16 “And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.”  

Statute 152-156 Summary:
(#152) Keeping the Day of Atonement is a statute which endures forever. 

(#153) No work of any kind is to be done on this Day. It is a Sabbath of rest. 

(#154) On the Day of Atonement, Yahweh’s people are to be cleansed from all sin before Yahweh. 

(#155) YAHWEH’s anointed, consecrated priests are to officiate in the Atonement service. 

(#156) They are to spiritually wear the white linen, which is the righteousness of Yahshua, in preparation for leading out in these services.

Leviticus 16:29-34 “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an Atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before Yahweh. It shall be a Sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the Atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: And he shall make an Atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an Atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an Atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an Atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as Yahweh commanded Moses.”  

Statute 157-159 Summary:

(#157) We are commanded to keep the Day of Atonement. Keeping the Day of Atonement is a salvational issue. We know this because Yahweh plainly states that any soul who fails to keep this Day will be cut off from the congregation of the Covenant and destroyed. 

We are to keep the Day of Atonement at the time specified. (#158) We are to begin keeping the Day of Atonement begins at sundown on the ninth day of the Seventh month. 

(#159) We are to end our keeping of the Day of Atonement on the evening (at sundown) of the 10th day of the Seventh month.

Leviticus 23:27-32 “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a Day of Atonement, to make an Atonement for you before Yahweh your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.  It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.”

Statute 160-164 Summary:

(#160) The Feast of Tabernacles is to be kept, starting on the fifteenth day of the Seventh Month. 

(#161) We are to keep the feast for seven days. 

(#162) On the first day of Tabernacles, Yahweh’s people are to keep a holy Sabbath of rest. 

(#163) Throughout the entire feast, Yahweh’s people are to make an offering made by fire – spiritually this represents presenting themselves as acceptable living sacrifices (Rom 12:1), claiming the Blood of Yahshua and seeking the Heavenly Fire, which represents Yahweh’s acceptance. 

#164) The eighth day is not actually part of the Seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, but is next to it. This day is also a Sabbath of rest, during which there is to be no servile work.

Leviticus 23:34-36 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.”  

Daily Bible Reading - February 15, 2018

Today's Reading:

Hebrews 11:1-22

Exodus 13:1-14:31

Proverbs 5

Listen to the Bible








Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Today's reading offers many points which stand out and should be mentioned. First, I'd like to share a bit from the side of history/archaeology on the Exodus story and Red Sea Crossing. Have you ever wondered why the Bible says the Egyptians became "entangled" in the land? Have you ever wondered how the land allowed God, with a Pillar of Cloud, to keep the vast Egyptian army from reaching the Children of Israel, allowing them time to safely cross the Red Sea? Have you ever wondered where the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea - and if it was possible to identify the crossing site beyond question? If so, you will enjoy this video, which helps the Bible story of the Exodus come alive in living color:

Next, I must mention Hebrews chapter 11. This is the Faith Chapter. Reading through these inspiring verses takes us strolling down the aisle of the Biblical Hall of Faith. Every story highlighted in this chapter is a powerful demonstration of living faith. And because these patriarchs had faith, God used them to accomplish great things, leaving a legacy of faith which passes down to us today.

What is faith? It's definition is given here in:

Hebrews 11:1-2   "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report."
In a nutshell, faith is "visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it."

Many say that they believe in God. But there is no life-change to back the belief. This is not real faith. Faith is an action word. In every case, as you "walk" (read) the Biblical Hall of Faith and see the "faces" (stories) of those memorialized in this Hall (Chapter), you will find an action, which they did to demonstrate their faith. Without action, there is no faith.
James 2:17-26  "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my worksThou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."  

 Faith is knowing that God is your reality - not your circumstances.

To illustrate this, consider the story of the Widow of Nain. In Bible times, a woman had no inheritance or means to care for herself, without her father, husband, or son. 

The woman's name is not given in the Gospel account. She is simply called "the widow of Nain". But by that title, we know a bit about her. Her husband had obviously died at some prior point. And now, as Christ enters the scene of her life story, He finds her weeping, following after the dead body of her only son in his funeral procession. 

What would that widow have said, if we could have interviewed her at that point in her life? It probably would have gone something like this:
Us: "I'm so sorry for your loss! What will you do, now that both your husband and son have died?"

Widow: "My heart is breaking! This the worst day of my life! I've already lost my dear husband. And now, my precious son is dead also. I have nothing left in this world. There is nothing for me to live for. I have no future - no reason to hope."
But while every word she might have said would have appeared to be an accurate portrayal of her circumstances, it wasn't the REALITY. You see, we've never heard the end of the story until God Speaks. What circumstantially appeared to be the worst day of the Widow's life, was the best in realityWHY? Jesus (Yahshua) was in town!

He raised her son from the dead and restored him to her life. What a glorious day it turned out to be!  That is what it means when we say that God is our Reality - not our circumstances. And being able to remember that God is our Reality - not our circumstances is one of the best demonstrations of living faith.
Hebrews 11:6  "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."