Friday, April 20, 2018

It's About LIFE! | Tazria-Metzora | By His EVERY Word


Parashat Tazria-Metzora

פרשת  תזריע־מצרע



“She Concieved”

Torah Portion: Leviticus 12:1—13:59
Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16—46:18
B'rit Chadashah/New Covenant: Matthew 8:1 - 4

Shabbat | 21 April 2018 | 6 Iyyar 5778 


This week’s Torah portion, Tazria,” opens with the disconcerting pronouncement that a woman shall be considered unclean following childbirth. 
How can one make sense of this? Children are a blessing from God, after all! The key, as always, is CONTEXT and PERSPECTIVE. 
There is Adonai’s viewpoint, which is high and lifted up, and then there is ours... 
LIFE IS HOLY. And there is no aspect of the lifeof those who carry the Divine Name—that is left to serendipity. 
Like the beautiful Temple, built to house the Holy Presence of God, each and every detail conforms—jointly fitting together for His Glory. 
Even Tzara’at... Leprosy, Mildew, and Mold... (Oh my!)
What’s a Torah Portion, why are we commenting on it, and what relevance does it have to anything?
In a nutshell ... Luke 24:27 tells us that Yeshua (Jesus) revealed Himself through the Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with Moses and the Prophets.  From the time of Ezra, the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) has been read in a yearly rotation by Israel, and this tradition is still observed today. 
In Yeshua’s time, a complimentary portion from the Prophetsthe Haftarah portionwas added to the weekly rotation of readings. Thus, for over two millennia, the children of Abraham have kept this unifying rhythm of studying the same Scriptures year by year, week by week, along with commentaries from the sages, including those who influenced the Apostle Paul, such as Hillel. It is therefore enriching and enlightening to delve into these foundational treasures, unearthing the riches of hidden insights revealed in the original Hebrew language or “listening” through the ears of Yeshua’s contemporaries to gain a fresh understanding of this faith sprung from Hebraic soil, and purchased with Jewish blood, by a Son of Israel, the King of the Jews. 
Join us now at the Father’s table as we keep the rhythm of Israel for more than two millennia, anticipating fresh manna from our God and King. As followers of Messiah we have added a corresponding New Covenant (Testament) portion reflecting the fulfillment and crown of the Torah.


Leviticus 12:1-8  Life is Holy

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: ‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days.’” vv. 1-5




From Adonai’s Viewpoint, Reproduction is Not a Merely Biological Function
Israel will learn to see life as a miracle from the Hand of the Almighty. From the Matriarchs; Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel, to Hannah and the Shunamite woman, Adonai taught Israel’s mothers to look to Him, the Author of Life, for their children. And throughout their history, Israel has rarely had the luxury to take life or survival for granted. It doesn’t just happen

So why is the mother of this grand miracle of creation called unclean? We have to understand that she has not become “detestable” to Adonai like “unclean” animals for food, although there is a correlation.

While the “clean” and “unclean” animals we just studied in our last parsha were “unfit” as food, they were not "unfit" or "unclean" as creations in themselves. Each was created by the Almighty for a purpose.

In the same way, for a period of time, while a new mother has an issuance of blood, she is ceremonially unfit.” Thus, she must stay home with her new baby. (Is this such a bad thing?!)

In reading Jewish commentaries on this difficult to understand Scripture, I found many wonderful insights: 
  • Adonai mandated a special time for the mother to recover, preserving life which is sacred and holyan entirely revolutionary concept in the ancient world!
  • The mother and child had a special time to bond
  • The mother and child were kept safe from infection during these first vulnerable weeks (protecting LIFE which is sacred and holy)
  • Some psychologists propose that a mother and son bond more readily than a mother and daughter, therefore... Adonai gave extra time for the mother to be with her daughter, the mother of the next generation ... brilliant!
I found a contemporary commentary particularly inspiring: 
“It is as if God were saying to the mother: for 40 days in the case of a boy, and doubly so in the case of a girl (the mother-daughter bond is ontologically stronger than that between mother and son), I exempt you from coming before Me in the place of holiness because you are fully engaged in one of the holiest acts of all, nurturing and caring for your child.
"Unlike others you do not need to visit the Temple to be attached to life in all its sacred splendour. You are experiencing it yourself, directly and with every fibre of your being. Days, weeks, from now you will come and give thanks before Me (together with offerings for having come through a moment of danger). But for now, look upon your child with wonder. For you have been given a glimpse of the great secret, otherwise known only to God.
"Childbirth exempts the new mother from attendance at the Temple because her bedside replicates the experience of the Temple. She now knows what it is for love to beget life and in the midst of mortality to be touched by an intimation of immortality.”
Rabbi Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Aish.com 
Don't you love that? We read through these Torah passages and so often find them dry because we miss the Heart of the Divine beyond the standards of the structure He is building. I think Adonai would desire that we would  find delight and awe even in the very difficult or most mundane of passages.

Leviticus 12:6-8 specifies the offering the new mother is to bring to the priest for him to offer on her behalf before the LORD. We may ask again, does Adonai look at the young mother as sinful? She has just fulfilled the highest of commands—to be fruitful and bring forth children in His own image! 

The sages of Israel also looked at this from many perspectives. Some were content to relegate it to the category of no earthly reason at all, but, “the Almighty Wills it, blessed be His Holy Name!”  Others see the young mother as having been apart from the life of the community while her affections were entirely directed toward her child. This mother of Israel now re-consecrates herself to the service of the congregation of Israel and Adonai through the acts of sacrifice, sanctification, and atonement. Nothing is “slip-shod.” Adonai touches all aspects of life, because life is sacred and holy. It matters.
This will become normative for the life of Israel. Women will be circumspect regarding the rhythms of their physiology, carefully preserving the ritual purity of those around them, and visiting the mikveh (ritual pool of running water) throughout the year.
This is why it was such a shock to Yeshua (Jesus) when the woman who had the issue of blood reached up and touched the tzitzit, the fringes or tassels of His garment. (Matthew 9, Mark 5, Luke 8) A Jewish woman at that time (as the Orthodox Jewish woman of our time) will not touch a man other than their husband. 

This poor, desperate woman, who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years, just couldn’t help herself! However, she didn’t touch Yeshua ... she reached out and touched the edge of His tallit, or garment. Yes, His clothing would have been rendered “unclean” according to Leviticus 15 and would need to be washed, however, there is something greater to be understood here.

First, defined for us is the reason for the tremendous emphasis on the prohibitions against the eating of blood, and being defiled by the issue of blood as found in Leviticus:

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” Leviticus 17:11



LIFE. It’s about Life—the sacredness and holiness of life. Adonai created life, but sin in the nature of man cost His perfect creation the shedding of innocent blood. We ought not mock this or take it lightly

The heathen world mocks God (and His gracious and heartbreaking provision of the sacrifice as a remedy for our sin) by consuming the blood of animals. It is abhorrent and detestable

Pagans believe they can harness the essence of the beast through consuming their blood. Why the intense fascination with vampires in this era of gross darkness? Vampires are the epitome of mocking Adonai and all that’s holy in their brand of “eternal life”—the consumption of human blood.

Hear the Word of the LORD regarding the consuming of blood:

“Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.” Leviticus 17:12 


Interesting? Not only Israel, but the non-Jews who sojourn with Israel. This is such an abominable practice, that it defiles the household, the community, and the land.


Why is this so important? Again: “For the life of every creature is the blood of it; therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.” Leviticus 17:14
Israel learned to abhor the things Adonai called detestable. Of course, that served to further alienate Israel from the church, once the church fully embraced the principle of transubstantiation. This debate began during the reign of Constantine, and wasn’t fully rejected until the Protestant Reformation.
The Temple sacrifices were a temporary solution for an eternal problem: The law of sin = death.  

Yeshua came to bring life—life abundant, extraordinary, beyond measure... John 10:10
Now back to our poor woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. Why would she have done the unthinkable just to touch the edge of Yeshua’s garment?
Malachi 4, believed by the Jewish People to be about the coming of the Messiah, also contains a promise of healing: “...to you who fear My name, The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings. Malachi 4:2

The word “wings” here is a play on words. It is kanaph כנף in Hebrew, "wings," which is being used poetically such as in Psalm 17 and 36, being under the shadow of God’s wings. But kanaph literally means border or edge of a garment. The tzitzit, or tassel on the edge of an observant Jew’s garment represents the Word of God.

“It shall be a tassel (Hebrew, tzitzit  ציצת) for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes...” Numbers 15:39
Can you imagine being in this woman’s place? There is an electric undercurrent of excitement ... could this rabbi be the long-awaited Messiah? And here He comes, passing by within reach... 
Perhaps she was a bold person, or perhaps she was a frail little woman, ravaged by her infirmity, only able to summon the strength for this one last daring move by which God be glorified in this moment recorded for all time... 
The text reveals this woman seized the moment! “...for she was saying to herself, ‘If I only touch His garment, I will get well.’” Matthew 9:21
And rather than rebuke her for defiling His garment, Yeshua said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well. Matthew 9:22

At once she was healed! Yeshua said she was healed because of her faith—in Greek: 
πίστις pē'-stēs, meaning faithfulness—not a passive belief—but a deep, abiding, steadfast conviction that is evidenced by fidelity, character, and action. 
Yet what of Yeshua’s garment being defiled? We aren’t told. The common answer from many “New Testament Believers” would be that Jesus came to do away with “The Law.” Really? That’s a bit simplistic—and borders on Marcionism*, a serious heresy. 

It's common to view the Torah as little more than an oppressive set of commandments, statutes, and regulations that God imposed on the Jews as a system unto salvation. This is error. First, the Torah was given to an already redeemed people (redeemed out of Egypt by God's grace and mercy), to teach (the meaning of the word Torah) them how redeemed people live in the Kingdom of God. They still needed the atonement of the sacrifices for the problem of sin—as we do today. Adonai provided the temporary remedy of bulls, goats, and birds until Messiah. Hallelu-Yah, blessed be His Holy Name!
Although we are learning week by week, that Adonai’s Kingdom is built upon very specific blueprints, His principal goal is Life.  
God is not constructing a grand prison so that he may preside as Celestial Warden. (Actually, that is the convoluted deception of satan—he offers “freedom” to indulge whatever your carnal nature desires—but that “freedom” leads to an eternity of misery with no hope of pardon.)
There is something in the nature of man that rankles at the idea of rules. But there is really no avoiding them. Even the antichrist, the “man of lawlessness” (or Torah-lessness), has rules. His, however, lead to ultimate destruction.

Adonai does not put the rules of His Kingdom above His beloved children, however. This is something that Yeshua sparred with religious authorities on. Many of them did not understand. Most of them were not even spiritual leaders—they were political puppets, capitulating to Rome—blind and lifeless.

They thought they had caught Yeshua breaking the Sabbath, but He left them speechless.

“Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.’” (Mark 2:27-28) “And He said to them, Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill? But they kept silent.” Mark 3:4

It's About Life!

Most Gentiles don’t know about Pikuach Nefesh, which is the overriding law in Judaism, and established during Jesus' time, that says life is so sacred and holy that saving a life supercedes every commandment in the Torah (as long as to do so doesn’t lead one into forbidden relationships, murder, idol worship, etc.) 
Pikuach nefesh is an idiom meaning to open one’s eyes—or to supervise or oversee the matters of the soul, such as guard another’s life. It is a sacred duty. “Love your neighbor...” 
Through the ages, with much prayer and study, the Hebrew sages came to believe that in the heart of the Almighty the holiness of the human soul is greater than the holiness of adhering to the commandments. This is why there is an obligation to break Shabbat for the sake of a human life or welfare. 
Pikuach nefesh is derived from the biblical verse, “...you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18) According to pikuach nefesh a person must do everything in their power to save the life of another, even donate bodily organs.
The laws of Shabbat may also be deferred for a woman who has just given birth within the last three days, to provide more comfort. A patient is allowed to eat non-Kosher food if it is essential for recovery and, on Yom Kippur, a sick person is forbidden to fast if it will impair their recovery and health.
This is what Yeshua was trying to impart—not lawlessness or irreverence for Adonai and the Torah, but the point of it all—Life! 

He came to reveal the Father’s Heart, to heal the sick (even on the Sabbath), to rightly interpret (fulfill, fully preach, Greek: pleroo) the Torah, and bring life! He came to set the captives free by changing the equation that sin = death for those who are redeemed under the New Covenant, ratified by His blood! Bless the Name of the LORD!
As a point of interest, it bears noting how deeply Israel has been impacted by the Torah commandments regarding life, blood, and flesh, to this day...





























Following a terror attack in Israel, you may have seen a specialized response team carefully gathering the remains of the victims. This is “ZAKA,” Zihuy Korbanot Ason, which translates to Disaster Victim Identification
The members of ZAKA are volunteers and mostly Orthodox Jews. They assist the ambulance crews and first responders to ensure that all the physical remains and blood of Jewish victims are handled properly and recovered as it is considered sacred.
The founders and members of ZAKA prefer to call the organization and their work Chesed shel Emet (חסד של אמת - Grace of Truth)
After acts of terrorism, ZAKA volunteers also collect the bodies and body parts of non-Jews, including homicide bombers, for return to their families. The phrase Chesed shel Emet refers to doing "kindness" for the benefit of the deceased, which is considered to be “true kindness,” because the deceased who benefit cannot return the kindness.
Among the observant, the Torah has produced a Jewish culture that values LIFE. 


The other side of the coin is the tragedy of the culture that serves Allah, a god who says the highest form of worship is to be a martyr killing the Jews. 

The internet is replete with photos of Arab Palestinians climbing into vehicles of dead leaders or putting their children in, to get the blood on them or grab a piece of flesh (I will not show those photos) of these “shahids,” martyrs for Allah.

A Note on Circumcision
Perhaps Father Knows Best...

“On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”
 v. 2


Granted, no one really likes to talk about circumcision ... with good reason. To the Jewish People, it is a sacred tradition—it is the sign of the Covenant. If there were no earthly health benefit, it would be held to just as tenaciously forever.

Every once in a while, a fringe group will try to push legislation through banning it as cruel child abuse, and claiming it is without any health advantage. More often than not, the group is revealed to be rabid, anti-semitic activists, and the furor winds up eliciting a cavalcade of solid and impartial medical support for this ancient rite.

Is that why Adonai instituted it? We just don’t know. Certainly He would not have instituted a practice that would be harmful. Recently a friend related a story of her early marriage many years ago. After the initial honeymoon, this young bride found “married life” terribly painful. As it turned out, over time, repeated infections were causing problems for health and happiness. Finally her doctor discovered the issue—her husband was uncircumcised. After this brave young husband submitted to the procedure, the problem was solved! So, perhaps “Father” simply does know best! 


Leviticus 13:1-59  Tsara’at~Leprosy, Mildew, and Boils, Oh My!


The Torah Concerning Leprosy


“Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling or a scab or a bright spot, and it becomes an infection of leprosy on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests. The priest shall look at the mark on the skin of the body, and if the hair in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is an infection of leprosy; when the priest has looked at him, he shall pronounce him unclean.” vv. 1-3

“...it is an infection of leprosy, in Hebrew tsara’at צרעת leprosy:

a) in people, malignant skin disease Lev. 13-14
b) in clothing, a mildew or mold Lev. 13:47-52
c) in buildings, a mildew or mold Lev. 14:34-53
This is one of those chapters that we tend to just skim over without really reading! Up to verse eight, the priest is observing the early symptoms of this dreaded disease that we don’t want to read about ... picture ... or think about. Symptom by symptom, scab by scab, the priests are instructed how to observe and diagnose until verse eight when the hatchet falls: “...then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is leprosy.” v. 8
“When the infection of leprosy is on a man, then he shall be brought to the priest. The priest shall then look, and if there is a white swelling in the skin, and it has turned the hair white, and there is quick raw flesh in the swelling...If the leprosy breaks out farther on the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of him who has the infection from his head even to his feet, But whenever raw flesh appears on him, Or if the raw flesh turns again and is changed to white, When the body has a boil on its skin...” (vs. 9,10,12, 14, 16, 18)
Ugh! On and on it goes. Interminable details of leprous skin lesions, boils, and infection—from head to toe... 


How relentless and merciless the corrupting influence of sin! Has it been so long since man and woman walked with God in the Garden of His Delight and all was “good”...a time when death had not yet come into the world...
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Skin lesions are the primary external symptom. If not treated, permanent damage can occur to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. Leprosy has two common forms: tuberculoid and lepromatous. Both forms produce sores on the skin. However, the lepromatous form is most severe. It causes large lumps and nodules. 

This was a terrifying disease, and it must not be allowed to spread throughout the camp. Because Adonai instructed the priests so meticulously on this subject—on every physiological presentation of the disease, as well as the corresponding diseases of dwellings and clothing, the congregation of Israel would not panic. All was under control!

There have always been disputes over whether leprosy is given as a judgment, referring back to the incident where Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, and Miriam became, “...leprous, white as snow.” (Numbers 12:10) It has been said that leprosy is the result of lashon hara, the evil tongue
Whether leprosy was a curse or not, Adonai still had mercy on His People, providing a remedy. Though a diseased man may be “unclean” for a period of time, they were overseen by the priest, and when their time of healing and internment was complete, sacrifice was made for their re-entry into communal life. 
Yeshua however, demonstrated the Father’s love to be even deeper and broader than ever realized. He was moved with compassion when approached by a leper who fell before Him on his knees. He knew Yeshua could make him whole, make him “clean,” or “fit” as the word means. “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”  Matt. 8:2
Yeshua was without sin—by His own words He did not come to annul or destroy the Torah, but to fulfillrightly interpret, fully preach—demonstrate the Father’s Heart through it...  

Man was not created to serve the Torah, Torah was given to sustain mankind... Just like the laws of the physical universe that Adonai created to sustain life... It’s about LIFE! Because God so loved the world that He gave His Son (Yeshua) that we would have LIFE! 
Yeshua, as High Priest, moved with love, stretches out His Divine hand, and touches the leper, saying to him, "I AM willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:40-41
This is the LOVE of the, “I AM,” 
pronouncing a leper “CLEAN” 
with an entirely new process! 
This process was LOVE...
But this is surpassing LOVE...
Our Maker's form of Beyond Love!” 
........................................
*Marcionism is the dualist belief system that originated in Rome from the teachings of Marcion of Sinope around the year 144AD. Marcion affirmed Jesus as the Savior, and Paul as his chief apostle, but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and YHVH (Yahweh), asserting Him to be only the Jewish, wrathful god of the Old Testament. 

Marcion declared that Christianity was distinct from and in opposition to Judaism. 


He rejected in its entirety the Hebrew Bible and declared that the god of the Hebrew Bible was a lesser demiurge—asserting that he had created the earth—but was the source of evil.

The premise of Marcionism is that most of the teachings of Christ are incompatible with the god of the Jewish religion. 
According to Tertullian, Marcion was the first to separate the New Testament from the Old Testament. Marcion is said to have juxtaposed the Jewish Scriptures against the sayings and teachings of Jesus in a work entitled The Antithesis. Focusing on the Pauline traditions of the Gospel, Marcion felt that all other concepts of the Gospel, and especially any association with the Old Testament religion, were opposed to, and backsliding from the truth.
He further saw the arguments of Paul regarding law and gospel, wrath and grace, works and faith, flesh and spirit, sin and righteousness, and death and life as the essence of religious truth.
He ascribed these aspects and characteristics to two principles: 
~the wrathful god of the Old Testament, and a second God of the Gospel,
who he believed to be quite unknown before Christ, who is only love and mercy.

Due to his anti-Trinitarian, dualistic theology he was finally denounced as a heretic. Marcionist ideas have survived, however, and influenced theology throughout the centuries in various forms—in its most virulent, spawning Christian anti-Semitism as seen in Europe, it laid the foundation for the Holocaust.

To be continued...





Haftarah  Tazria
Ezekiel 45:16 - 46:18

It behooves us to consider regularly the grander of our Creator. He is  an intimately involved God, from the personal details of each of our individual lives on  up to  the pinnacle of the corporate worship of Himself, His just due.



Consider our torah portion for this week. In it we saw YHVH’s care of each and every new mother in the nation of Israel. For this segment of Jewish society God set aside their required religious observance and gave time for personal rest, and bonding with newly arrived children.

Further on in this week’s Torah portion much more attention was paid to personal disease. Considered was the individual again, but this time  it was both the single person who was sick and the protection of those who were not.  After reading the prescribed course of action in the case of lepersey one might feel they had had an introductory medical school course in the care and prevention of that particular disease.

Coming to our selected Haftarah portion I had to put my thinking cap on as I considered what the connection might be between the scheduled weekly Torah reading of Leviticus 12:1-15:33 and the sages’ choosing of Ezekiel 45:16-46:18 for the Haftarah reading. On the one hand we’ve got moms and kids, and prevention and treatment of the ailing. And on the other we have the monumental reshaping of the earth culminating in worship of the Messiah Himself in what will be at that time the ultimate Temple. What could one have to do with the other? Well, let’s think about the latter of these two extremes for a moment. Perhaps that will help.

I consider the book of Ezekiel one of the most exciting books of the Tenakh. (For you newbies to thislike me, that’s just the Old Testament.) Our God had Ezekiel write some fantastic stuff in it, not to mention that the theological giants find it a great place to disagree with one another.  So step into the water with me for a bit and enjoy the swim. 

Our author starts the book off with a vision he had. Some have seen the genesis of UFO’s in it. Ezekiel says he saw living beings in wheels, wheels with rims full of eyes all around. (Ezek.1:4-21, esp. vv. 18, 20-21)

And of course there are many prophecies: of judgement, of restoration, and future Millennial reign by the Messiah Himself. Ezekiel  even predicts a future time when  Israel  will be given a new heart and will be careful to obey all of God’s ordinances. (36:24-28; cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34) But controversy is never far from the Bible’s interpreters.

Let’s identify just two camps of folks right now.

One is that of the allegorist. He takes those passages that don’t fit into his preconceived view of how things will end up and does not see them for what they simply say. To him these passages can end up meaning just about anything he wants them to; from the elimination of god’s promises to the nation of Israel, even to the elimination of the nation itself. Allegorizing is a wonderful tool for making the Bible say what you want it to say and ignoring what it simply says.
The other camp is that of the literalist. While he allows for the artistic value of the written word, where obvious, he believes that what God says in the Bible, God means. No, God does not have wings as you may have read. That is there for artistic value. But, God does judge sin, and forgives sinners as well. That’s literal. When God speaks of a six day creation, He means He did it in six days. When God speaks of a future for His Israel, why, He means it. And when God says that not one letter or stroke will pass away from the Law until the recreation of the heavens and earth occurs (Matthew 5:18) that means none of it has passed away yet, unless of course we somehow slept through that recreation. Well, the problem is that even some  that claim to be literalists aren’t quite 100% on that one. I think they better look out. Messiah said, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven”(Matthew 5:19). And I think that is obviously quite literal.
In case you haven’t guessed yet I am in the literalist camp. And being there Ezekiel ends up with some exciting things that I literally believe are going to happen.

Let’s understand first that much if not all of the earth’s surface is going to be reworked by God as the Tribulation ends and the Millennium begins. Check out Isaiah 2:2-4, 27:13, 56:6-8, 66:20, and Micah 4:1-2. These passages literally say that the single highest mountain in the world will be raised up in the land of Israel. And on top of that mountain the fourth Temple, which will be one mile square in size, will be placed by God. It will become the center of Jewish and Gentile worship. Ezekiel gives us most of our information regarding the Mountain of Jehovah’s House. Read about it in 17:22-24, 20:40-41, 40:1-4, 45:1-8, and 48:8-22. And in our Haftarah portion we see how some of the intricacies of this new Temple worship will work.

This piece opened with asking for consideration of the grander of our Creator, pointing out how intimately involved He is with the details of each of our lives, but He does not stop there.  He will in the future establish on this earth, in Israel, upon the the highest mountain in the world, His fourth Temple,. This will facilitate, up to that point in time, the pinnacle   of corporate human worship of Himself. This is worship He deserves because He is Almighty God.       And this, Ezekiel tells us He will do in His Temple, in the Millennium.

So, how is it God can be so uniquely involved with us individually and yet do the really big things as well? The answer for me is, I don’t know.  I just, don’t, know...

But what I do know is that He is God, and He DOES ... All things well.

Oh, the depth of the riches 
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 
For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, 
OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 
Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM 
THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 
For from Him 
and through Him 
and to Him 
are all things. 
To Him be the glory forever.
 Amen.
Romans11:33

To Him be the glory…
To Him is due 
ALL 
the glory.

Amen.






B'rit Chadashah  Tazria

Matthew 8:1-4


Our B’rit Chadashah portion of Scripture, Matthew 8:1-4, carries on with the subject of leprosy. So let’s stop for a moment and take a closer look at what we are talking about. 

The word itself, leprosy, is used 68 times in the Bible. We find it's used 55 times in the Old Testament and another 13 times in the New. In the Old Testament leprosy could refer to any one of a number of skin or surface conditions. Clothing and walls of a house could have this condition. And obviously people as well. It was characterized as a scaly condition of the skin or of inanimate objects. Leviticus 13 lists seven forms of this condition. What is most important to know about this condition is that it was a socially ostracizing disease, often associated with sin. In Biblical times those who had it had to live outside the camp or town and when others came around the leper had to cry out, “Unclean, unclean.” 

In Matthew 8 the short story of a healing from leprosy is told—but what had happened to account for the incident? In the early portions of Matthew we see Jesus baptized, and the Holy Spirit descend from heaven and come upon Jesus to empower Him. He then separates Himself for forty days in the wilderness where He fasts, and then is tempted by the devil. His ministry is thus officially inaugurated. 

After hearing of John the Baptist being arrested He goes to Capernaum. It is then that we read in Matthew 4:17,  “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'” 
  • His public ministry had begun (“From that time...”)
  • He was preaching about His coming Kingdom (“...the Kingdom of Heaven...”)
  • He was saying it is now here (“...the Kingdom...is at hand.”)
As we read the concluding verses of Matthew 4 we are told that He is beginning to add to His inner circle of men who we know carried on after Jesus was taken to Heaven some three years later. Now though, He heals. He teaches. And He draws great multitudes who follow Him.
Having drawn this initial following of, “great multitudes,” Jesus goes up on a mountain and presents if you will the Magna Carta of the Kingdom of Heaven. The majority opinion of evangelical Christendom holds that the teachings of Matthew 5-7 are for believers in this “dispensation of the church,” to be lived todayand I would agree.



The truths presented in this “Sermon on the Mount” are not only adjunct to, but expansion of Torah, the Covenant, the Law as it was given to Moses. 
Jesus did not change any of the Law. He lifted it up and embellished it. It was through Him that richer meaning was given to older truths. This teaching of His was radical and it would be all the harder to accept if not authenticated by its Author. 
How was He to do this? The answer would lie in proving that He was the Son of David, the King that was to sit on the Davidic throne in the Millennial state, God Himself.
Time after time, for the three years of His public ministry, Yeshua performed miracles. He healed the sick. He cast out demons. He fed the multitudes. He raised the dead. He prevailed over nature. He did all of this, why? 

The answer is that He was about the business of authenticating the message He had come to give. And that message was first that He was here to offer the Kingdom, if the Jews would accept it ... And then that He was here to die for the sins of man.

Note the turning point in Yeshua’s public ministry in Matthew 16:21. From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.” Note that it was not before this point in His public ministry (It was, “From that time...”). It is just now that He begins to give the death and resurrection message ("...Jesus began to show...that He must...be killed and be raised...”)
So, just after the giving of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gets to the business of authenticating His message, once again. He had already been successful at this. Read Matthew 4:23-25: 
“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”
And then He preached His Sermon on the Mount, because He had proven to these that He was for real. He had authenticated His message. 

When we come to our B’rit Chadashah portion there is no guessing as to what was going on. Jesus had just finished His Sermon on the Mount, and there where still more Jews to convince of who He really was, many more. 

A leper comes to Yeshua and asks Him to cleanse him of his disease and of course Yeshua does. We don’t know if this man was afflicted because of sin or if he had this affliction so that the works of God might be displayed in him. The latter was the case with the man born blind in John 9. Verses 1-4 show us that physical afflictions are sometimes used to bring to light the character of our God. 
“As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?' Jesus answered, 'It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.'”
Yeshua did many works to prove that He was God in the flesh. Here the work that is presented is that of healing one afflicted with leprosy. There are many principles that could be drawn from this story of Him healing the Leper. Perhaps we might focus on just one...

Yeshua
 does have the power to heal. He proved that time and again. But, not all of His children are healed of the afflictions they have. Some will not be healed soon and perhaps never be healed, but will live out the balance of their days with their affliction. This was the Apostle Paul’s situation. In II Corinthians 12:1-10 Paul speaks of his, as he puts it, “...thorn in the flesh.” He prayed that God would remove it but God would not. Notice:
“...there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” vv. 7-10
A personal note now if I may. I have a loved one that has, “a thorn in the flesh.”  I believe that all that can be done medically is being done, and yet relief is still not theirs. Much prayer has been made for this dear saint, that this thorn would be taken away and yet it has not. What then are we to make of this. It’s only God’s words that make any sense, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” It is not known what the outcome of this thorn will be for them. But of this we are sure, when weak then we are strong. 

Yes, Yeshua does heal, but not always.
 
Sometimes He choses to demonstrate His great power
through the weaknesses He allows into our lives. 
In the end we do not ask why this affliction. 
Rather we ask, how...
How can I glorify the Master by using His power in my weakness?


Shabbat Shalom in His Love,
His EVERY Word Ministries

Friday, April 13, 2018

Fire Safety~Learn Not To Burn | Parashat Shemini | By His EVERY Word

Please See Our Information on the GAZA Situation in the Right Column and as Always, 
PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM! Thank you.


Parashat Shemini
פרשת שמיני

“Eighth”

Torah Portion: Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Haftarah: II Samuel 6:1-7:17
B'rit Chadashah/New Covenant: Hebrews 8:1-13


Shabbat | 14 April 2018 | 29 Nisan 5778
14th day of the Omer


In this parashah we begin to understand the relationship between fire—an element of creation and essential for life ... And Adonai in His holiness—Creator, Life-Giver, and Consuming Fire... 


“Trembling has seized the godless. ‘Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?’” —Isaiah 33:14
Sh’mini, meaning “eighth” in Hebrew, opens following seven days of the inauguration of Aaron and his sons’ consecration as Kohanim, or Priests in the Wilderness Tabernacle.  As Adonai continues to imprint His Divine Nature on those who will minister for Him and before Him, Israel falls to their faces in worship as His fire consumes the acceptable offering. 



We are stunned to read that almost immediately, that same fire, consumes the sons of Aaron who dared to bring “strange fire” before the presence of the Almighty. How can we understand this? 
A quick intro for some of our newer readers: What’s a Torah Portion, why are we commenting on it, and what relevance does it have to anything? 
In a nutshell ... Luke 24:27 tells us that Yeshua (Jesus) revealed Himself through the Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with Moses and the Prophets.  From the time of Ezra, the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) has been read in a yearly rotation by Israel, and this tradition is still observed today.
In Yeshua’s time, a complimentary portion from the Prophets—the Haftarah portion was added to the weekly rotation of readings. Thus, for over two millennia, the children of Abraham have kept this unifying rhythm of studying the same Scriptures throughout the year—along with commentaries from the sages, including those who influenced the Apostle Paul, such as Hillel. It is therefore enriching and enlightening to delve into these foundational treasures, unearthing the riches of hidden insights. They are revealed in the original Hebrew language as we “listen” through the ears of Yeshua’s contemporaries to gain a fresh understanding of this faith sprung from Hebraic soil, and purchased with Jewish blood, this a Son of Israel, the King of the Jews.  
Join us now at the Father’s table as we keep the rhythm of Israel for more than two millennia, anticipating fresh manna from our God and King. As followers of Messiah we have added a corresponding New Covenant portion - a third section here - reflecting the fulfillment and crown of the Torah.
Leviticus 9:1-24  Holy Fire

“Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel; and he said to Aaron, ‘Take for yourself a calf, a bull, for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before the LORD. Then to the sons of Israel you shall speak, saying, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both one year old, without defect, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the 
LORD, and a grain offering mixed with oil; for today the LORD will appear to you. So they took what Moses had commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the whole congregation came near and stood before the LORD. Moses said, ‘This is the thing which the LORD has commanded you to do, that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.’” vv. 1-6

The Holy Wilderness Tabernacle has been built according to stringent, detailed instructions from Adonai
, and “vision” given to Moses of the Heavenly Tabernacle to which it should conform. 


Adonai desires to dwell in the midst of His People ... to be known of them and through them. He is Holy, however, and no one, not even His priests can enter into His presence, nor can He manifest His Divine Presence until all have been purified.

“Moses then said to Aaron, ‘Come near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, that you may make atonement for yourself and for the people; then make the offering for the people, that you may make atonement for them, just as the 
LORD has commanded.” v. 7

Presenting an offering for the sin of the people was a sacred duty—not an exalted position. The word for sin, chatta’ah
חטתא in Hebrew, carries with it a definition of guilt, punishment for sin, and sinfulness. It is a heavy burden

The High Priest must first approach the altar to make atonement for his own sin, before he can make an offering to the LORD on behalf of his people. The purity of the High Priest affected the purity of the entire nation

Moses instructed Aaron and his sons in the way they were to wash, to slaughter, and to present the burnt offering. Next, the grain offering was presented, and then the ox and the ram were slaughtered—peace offerings for the congregation of Israel. And, “Aaron's sons handed the blood to him and he sprinkled it around on the altar.” vv. 8-18

The final offering was the wave offering before the LORD, “...just as Moses had commanded.” v. 21
The order of the sacrifices had great significance: First came the sin offering, expressing purification; next was the burnt offering, which signified surrender to Adonai; the meal offering followed, denoting consecration of labor; and the final peace offering opened up fellowship with God. “Let the people rid themselves of sin, let them submit their will to the Divine will, let them consecrate their daily toil to His service, and they would enjoy that Divine communion which is the supreme experience of man.”               From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
“Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them... ” v. 22

Now able to discharge his priestly duties before the LORD, Aaron blessed the congregation of Israel
. As High Priest, his sacred trust is to serve the spiritual welfare of the nation. The word bless in Hebrew, barakh
ברך, literally means to kneel.

“Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the 
LORD appeared to all the people. Then fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” vv. 23-24

After sacrifices had been made for sin and consecration, and Moses and Aaron blessed the nation of Israel, the Glory of Adonai appeared before all! Once again, as in the burning bush, and as on Mount Sinai, we see Adonai’s presence in fire. Before the congregation, His fire consumes the remainder of the burnt offering on the altar, accepting the sacrifice, bestowing His favor.
In His Presence, Israel shouts, רנן ranan in Hebrew, overcome, they cry out in exaltation, praise, and rejoicing. They fall, naphal נפל in Hebrew, throw themselves or prostrate themselves on their faces, before a Holy God!
Is this not the normal response of man in the presence of the Almighty? Consider I Kings 18:39: “When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God!’”
The fire of God did not come out and consume the sacrifices on a regular basis, yet the priesthood learned to function and serve.
We live in very different times, when men seek to “experience the presence of the LORD on a regular basis and respond in a contrary fashionby falling backward, rather than prostrating themselves before Him, in His Holy Presence

In the Scriptures, we have no instance of men falling backward in worship. Quite the contrary in fact: “When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy.” I Samuel 4:18. Consider also, those who came to arrest Yeshua: “As soon then as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” John 18:6
Leviticus 10:1-20  Strange Fire

“Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
vv. 1-2
This is one of the most intriguing events of the Torah. Just what did Aaron’s eldest sons do to elicit such an instant and mortal penalty? What is strange fire?

In Hebrew, the word strange is zuwr זור, which carries various meanings: strange, foreigner, an enemy, loathsome, a prostitute or harlot, or one alienated.

This gives us a clue.
First, every detail of the Tabernacle, from the materials used, to the colors, weaves, and implements were specific as to use, according to Adonai’s instructions, mirroring that which is in His Heavenly domain. The Tabernacle was built as a dwelling place for the Divine Presence, so that He could draw near, “tabernacle” with His People, Israel. 

We may think that Adonai is unreasonable with His emphasis on the minutiae
of requirements to minister before Him, but HE IS THE CREATOR, and ALMIGHTY GOD. We are not. He does what He does for purposes beyond our understanding, and He needs no one’s approval. (We need His.) His parameters provide safety and blessing for His people. We tend to walk in the ways of destruction.



In the layout of the Tabernacle, the closer to the Holy of Holies
, the materials changed from brass to gold. Nadab and Abihu, who absolutely knew better, having just come through the exact same training as Aaron and their other brothers, took up their own firepans—not sacred objects—and filled them with incense and fire (a contrivance of their own) and then put it before the face of Adonai (paniym YHVH
פנים יהוה )!

The speculation is that they wanted to see Adonai perform again. They wanted to see His fire consume their offering like the burnt offering on the altar. Like a circus sideshow!

It’s hard to imagine the irreverence, dishonor, impiety, and audacity of these young men—men chosen to serve in such a trusted capacity before God Almighty! 
How could Adonai allow such mockery and defiance before His People? He is carefully, lovingly, scrupulously, building a Treasured Nation and a Holy Priesthood through which He will be revealed and revered. This nation is to carry His Name worthily before the nations of the earth unto salvation. 
Shameless behavior toward Adonai by these leaderswhose very duty it was to sanctify the LORD in the sight of the congregation—would spread like a cancer if not dealt with swiftly and decisively. When God is honored by His ministers, the congregation learns to honor Him. Conversely, when those closest to Him are contemptuous, others learn to be profane.  
The shocking deaths of Nadab and Abihu were sobering. It imparted a healthy dose of fear and awe of God.

Aaron was understandably crushed over the sudden and tragic loss of his oldest sons—before all the nation


But Moses reminded him of the holy ground upon which they stood—the weight of their high calling, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.’” (v. 3) As priests, their duty is the sanctification not only of the priesthood, but the nation. They are not their own. 
“In sharp contrast to the common view that highly-placed or gifted men may disregard the laws of morality, Judaism teaches that the greater a man’s knowledge or position, the stricter the standard by which he is to be judged, and the greater the consequent guilt and punishment, if there is a falling away from that standard.” (S. R. Hirsch) “With the righteous, God is exacting even to a hair’s breadth.” (Talmud) From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
This concept is familiar to students of the New Covenant of course, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” James 3:1

Moses instructed Mishael and Elzaphan to carry the bodies of their relatives outside the camp
, away from the sanctuary. He then instructed Aaron and his remaining sons Eleazar and Ithamar not to mourn:

“Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation. You shall not even go out from the doorway of the tent of meeting, or you will die; for the LORD's anointing oil is upon you.”
 vv. 6,7

Again, the priests represent Israel.
If Aaron and his sons rend their clothes and show signs of mourning before the congregation of Israel, they will be communicating to the nation that they grieve Adonai’s action as unjust. Israel will follow and be judged along with Aaron. 



As leaders, they must lift Israel above the human drama and show the nation their love, trust, and reverence for Adonai in this most heartbreaking situation. 


The heart of the matter is learning to distinguish between the holy and the profane. Adonai is altogether other than the gods of Egypt and Babylon. 
He is not only holy, He is “Holy, Holy, Holy!”  Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8
The LORD begins to speak to Aaron personally about the holy and the profane, the clean and the unclean:

Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations—and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses. vv. 9-11

This is not a general admonishment against drinking wine
, but rather an injunction against drinking before discharging their priestly duties, as well as against becoming intoxicated anytime (Hebrew, shatah
שתה). 

Unlike the tragic drunken spiritual guides of Isaiah 28:7: “Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions.”
The sacred office of the leaders of Israel; to teach and impart discernment to the children of men between the holy and profane, clean and unclean, acceptable and detestable, light and darkness,  is not merely ritual—it carries mortal consequences
There is another type of drunkenness, one in which man reels in spiritual darkness or under judgment. Isaiah speaks of this: “...please hear this, you afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine...” Isaiah 51:21

Nadab and Abihu called the consuming fire of God down on themselves because they did not recognize His holiness. They wanted to conjure up an experience. 


It is worrisome that some modern day ministers do the exact same thing. They attempt to order Almighty God about to create an experience for a hungry crowd, as if He is little more than a circus sideshow. How brazenly these ministers act before Adonai—and teach millions of others to do so as well, following in their error. One of the popular “experiences” is “getting drunk in the spirit.” Is this the modern equivalent of those who are “...drunk, but not with wine?”  Yet, the New Covenant continues to emphasize the necessity of being sober:
  • “...let us be alert and sober.” I Thessalonians 5:6
  • “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.” I Thessalonians 5:8
  • “...a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled...” Titus 1:8
  • “...that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience...” Titus 2:2
  • “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” II Timothy 4:5
  • “...keep sober in spirit...” I Peter 1:13
  • “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit...” I Peter 4:7
  • “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8
Leviticus 11:1-47  Awesomeness is Not Enough!

The Dietary Laws given by God have historically (and inexplicably) provoked the ire and derision of both heathens and Christians throughout the ages. Used as a tool to attempt to crush the spirit of the Jewish People, the enemies of God have often tried to abrogate this peculiar bond between Israel and her God, from Antiochus Epiphanes in 165 BC to the Inquisition years in Spain and Portugal. 

The Torah of God has often been a crucible, costing the Jewish people their lives. The Maccabees died rather than become detestable to Adonai. 

Although Jews converted to the “Holy Catholic Faith” under the Inquisition, many were found to be
secretly obeying the Biblical commandments and not eating the things God calls unclean or detestable. Thus great numbers were tortured or burned at the stake by the church for these “transgressions.”
“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth...Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these...they are detestable things to you...Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you...unclean...detestable...Do not render yourselves detestable...and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean.” vv. 2-43
The Dietary Laws, or Kashrut in Hebrew, belong to the chukkim, the statutes or ordinances. This is differentiated from the mitzvot, the commandments, and the Torah, called Law, but literally translated means instruction or prophetic teaching.  All three can be seen in Genesis 26:5: “...because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.

As we read through Leviticus 11, delineating what Adonai calls “clean and unclean,” “detestable,” and “abhorrent,” you will inevitably set yourself as judge over Him, in one case agreeing—yes, a buzzard would be detestable, and in the next moment disagree—the pig and the crab are delicious and the apostle Paul said I can eat them! Why are the Jews so legalistic?

Modern science can certainly make a respectable case for the health benefits of the kosher diet—especially throughout the ages before there was an understanding of proper food handling, spoilage, and bacteria. The great composer Mozart, is believed to have died from trichinosis brought on by a meal of poorly cooked pork. During the Middle Ages, when plagues ravaged Europe, the Jewish populations were largely unaffected due to the Kosher Dietary Laws. This proved to be both a blessing and curse however, as the Jews were accused of causing the plagues of the “Christians” who did not follow the biblical ordinances and thus fell prey to the epidemics!

The heart of the issue is neither health nor what animal is pleasing to one’s palate. God’s statutes do not have to make sense to us, or have great humanistic or humanitarian benefit. 
The heart of the matter is holiness. Adonai brought His People out of Egypt to become a Holy People, who would show forth His righteousness in a world that served gods of self, sensuousness, death, and destruction. 
The cry from Mount Sinai to the New Jerusalem and the final redemption is: “...be holy, for I am holy.” v. 45
No better reason is needed.
Consider how deeply this is ingrained in the sons of Israel. To the Jews in Israel at the time of Jesus and Paul, these things: pigs, shellfish, reptiles, rodents—things eaten by some of the Gentiles of the region—were simply not considered food. A Jewish person reading through the New Covenant for the first time reads Matthew 8:31: “The demons began to entreat Him, saying, ‘If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.’” He may say to himself, oh, of course the demons want to go into the pigs...they are unclean.

The Jews weren’t waiting for the Messiah to come and set them free to eat such abhorrent things.
Even today, you will meet observant Jews or Israelis who will put it simply: “Pigs aren’t food.”

The New Covenant Scriptures that have been used to abrogate God’s Word on the subject really should be looked at in this light—in context



Consider ...  to most of us, eating many things found in Asian or
 Indian marketplaces would be unthinkable ... dried insects, 
frogs, etc. We would say, “Yuck! That’s not food!” 

That is exactly the reaction you would have found among 
first century Israeli believers to those things Adonai 
calls unclean, detestable, and abhorrent in the Bible.



Therefore, when we read the parenthetical statement by Mark in 7:19:
“(Thus He declared all foods clean.)” we have to understand that: 

1.
Nowhere in this passage are those things referred to as “unclean” now to be considered “clean.” Yeshua was very specifically addressing “food” as it was being partaken of by the community. 

2.
The context of this passage was very clearly the issue of the hand-washing ritual and traditional ritual purity as observed by the religious rulers.

3. We can know with certainty that Yeshua did not abrogate anything in the Torah. As the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, He made that clear ... consider His own Words: “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever  keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19 (BTW, heaven and earth are still here. :-)

In the same way, Acts 10:9-28 needs to be evaluated carefully:

Peter falls into a trance on a housetop, the sky opens up and an object like a great sheet comes down containing all sorts of creatures. He hears a voice telling him to “kill and eat!” v. 13  

Horrified, Peter argues, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” v. 14


A voice comes him to a second time saying, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” v. 15

This happens three times and then the object is taken up to the sky.

The text tells us that Peter is greatly troubled and confused. Clearly he has not received the interpretation and understanding. He is not at peace according to verse 17.

We want to stop reading and believe it was about the creeping things in the sheet, but Peter tells us what the vision means in verse 28 when it is finally revealed to him! 
So the text actually interprets for us, which is more authoritative than our own conjecture—or preference. Isn’t this often the way we come to understand the things of God? It’s not always a bolt of lightning, but rather growing enlightenment.
Watch how this unfolds....
 
Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon's house, appeared at the gate; and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there.

While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are looking for you. But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself. vv. 17-20

So Peter went down to the men and found out that Cornelius, a centurion, (a Gentile) but a God-fearer, “was divinely directed by a holy angel” to send for him to come to his house. Peter is to give a message to the God-fearers gathered there.

Peter, a Jew, who probably has NEVER entered the home of a Gentile is summoned by Divine direction to enter a home—that would render him ritually unclean—and preach the Word of the LORD!

When Peter talked with Cornelius the next day, he gave the interpretation of the vision he had experienced.
“You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. v. 28
Peter was not shown he should call vultures, pigs, cats, or spiders edible ... 
God showed him not to call the Gentiles unclean!
This was the Kingdom of God opening up to the Gentiles! 
This was colossal!
Far eclipsing any idea of eating bacon in prophetic significance, 
this was the announcement of the fulfillment of the promise to Abram
 in Genesis 12:3—the middle wall of partition was coming down,
 and all the families of the earth were going to be blessed 
through Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel!
The tent pegs of Kingdom of God are being flung far and wide 
to encompass the nations who were without hope, without redemption. 
An obscure prophecy given to the first Patriarch 
is now coming to fruition and to understanding. 
The Gentiles are being brought in from the darkness 
to Messiah's glorious light! 
And we are to ignore this SPECTACULAR interpretation, 
GIVEN BY GOD TO PETER, 
because we WANT it to be about BACON? 


REALLY???
Accepting the Gentiles as “clean” after millennia believing otherwise, was not easy for the Jewish community, by the way. 
Perhaps the church doesn’t understand this or the need for Peter to have had the vision to prepare him for Cornelius’ group, and this in spite of the clear words in the Bible interpreting the vision telling us it was about the Gentiles. But the church instead still applies it to food .... Go figure...
We may consider Paul’s words in I Corinthians 6:12-13, regarding all things being “lawful” for him ... “food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food,” in the context, also, of what Paul would have considered as “food.” In his world, only that which was “not abhorrent” would be called “food.” 


Just as we would not refer to insects or lizards as “food,”  Paul would not be pontificating a freedom to eat of things God abhorred, since he and the community elders continually refuted any "false" accusation that he taught against the Torah. Whether or not to have fellowship with a new Gentile believer over such an issue, yes, that would inevitably have to be addressed among the believing community!


Obviously, one does not earn salvation by what he eats or doesn’t eat.
“...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
However, if we truly love the LORD, as a redeemed person, we will naturally desire to grow in our understanding of who He is—what pleases Him (not what we get away with!)—How a redeemed child of God looks .. lives ... walks. So we continue to explore and examine and even re-examine ... mining hidden riches waiting to be discovered!
And Adonai desires to be known, so He will bless our journey of discovery!

He is clarion in revealing His essence:

For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy. This is the law regarding the animal and the bird, and every living thing that moves in the waters and everything that swarms on the earth, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean...” vs. 44-47

This is the spiritual purpose underlying His Torah, His Commandments, and His Statutes: 
Be Ye Holy, for that is His Essence. 
We have just experienced Passover, "the season of our joy." And for those who experienced the Seder, the traditional Passover dinner, you will be familiar with the "Dayenu" song that is sung at some point during the service. It is a recitation of God's goodness with a response from everyone attending saying, "Dayenu!" after each statement. Dayenu means "It would have been enough or sufficient." It goes something like:
"God has bestowed so many favors upon us..."
"Had He only brought us out of Egypt, and not executed judgment on their gods..." Dayenu!
"Had He only split the Sea for us, and not led us through it on dry land..." Dayenu!
"Had He satisfied our needs in the desert for forty years, and not fed us the manna..." Dayenu!
On and on it goes...

I bring this up to demonstrate a principle of appreciating the AWESOMENESS OF ADONAI.
We may do well to consider the riches we have have received through the unfathomable sacrifice of Yeshua our Messiah.
In this light, what if Adonai really is "the same yesterday and today and forever..." (Heb. 13:8) and still labels a small portion of animals abhorrent to Him of the vast bounty of food the earth brings forth for His people? Why would we resent Him having any restrictions in our lives for all He has given us ... and all it has cost Him?
It's worth considering and praying about.
The wicked and godless may tremble for He is a Consuming Fire, Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning? Isaiah 33:14
Yet, the redeemed are assured by that same consuming fire—it is the LORD their God that goes ahead of them to defend them and destroy their enemies.  Deuteronomy 9:3

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.

Psalm 143:8







Haftarah  Shemini

II Samuel 6:1-7:17


We have just finished seeing the consequences of doing God’s business man’s way. To put it a bit differently, God’s people are often guilty of thinking they just might be able to improve or fudge on God’s method of accomplishing a given task. 

I’m referring of course to Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. They were to conduct their priestly service in a very specific way, but did not. Instead they chose to do things their way, a way one might suppose they thought was an improvement on God’s way. The consequence was their death. For offering, “...strange fire before the LORD,” “...fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Leviticus 10:2-3

How terribly heart wrenching for Aaron—the death of two of his sons. How shocking for the nation of Israel, the fiery death of their two leading priests
for doing something only slightly different than the way God had commanded. But much worse than this was the fact that in changing God’s stated procedure He had not been treated as holy and had
not been honored before His people. And thus this severe consequence. Lev. 10:3
One of the reasons for studying history we are told is that we might learn from it; so that  in the future we will not again make the mistakes of the past. This lesson was entirely missed by King David as we shall see in our Haftarah text, II Samuel 6:1-7:17.
The Ark of the Covenant had not always remained with the people of Israel or in its justly due place of prominence before the people. It was in the days of Eli the priest that the Philistines defeated Israel and captured the Ark. They kept it for seven months during which time Adonai dumped Dagon, the Philistine statue god, on its head before the Ark. So much for the Philistine god’s superiority! 

As the Ark was moved from city to city God brought afflictions upon its inhabitants.
Finally, the Philistines placed it on a cart, hitched up two nursing cows who had never pulled a cart, and watched them leave their calves to pull the cart back to Israeli territory. Now how improbable was that? The Ark ultimately found its way to the house of Abinadab where it remained there thru Samuel’s judgeship and Saul’s reign.

Ultimately David comes to the throne.
He consolidates the twelve tribes under his kingship, makes Jerusalem his capital, defeats Philistine invaders, and brings relative peace to the land. His desire now is to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, see the cessation of moving the Tabernacle from high place to high place, and centralize worship. Yes, David is on a roll. Things are happening and they all seem to be going his way. Like the newsboy on the corner once called out, “Read All About It!” This is exciting stuff and you’ll find it in II Samuel 1-5.

In our Haftarah verses ahead let's first focus on II Samuel 6:1-9.
There we read that David had decided to move the Ark to Jerusalem. The last time it had been moved any distance was decades before when the Philistines had loaded it on a cart and sent it back to its rightful owners. Perhaps David thought that if it had worked for them then, why not for his move to Jerusalem now. In 6:3 the Ark is picked up and placed on a brand new cart for transportation. The process had begun. It was David that had chosen the method of transportation. But was this transport being done God’s way?

In 6:6 we read, “But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it.”  And in the following verse we read of the tragic consequence, “And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.” Could it be that God felt that David’s process for moving the Ark was somehow fudging on God’s methods, or that David simply had another way of doing God’s work David’s way? Uzzah knew something was not being done right. God says he was irreverent in his actions. What had gone wrong?
A little studying on our part will show, and a little recalling of history on David’s would have shown that David wasn’t doing God’s work God’s way. God’s way was to have the Ark carried by the sons of Kohath, not by a cart. (Exodus 25:14-15; Numbers 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9) In doing things another way than God’s way, David had not only cost the life of Uzzah, but worse yet God had not been treated as holy and had not been honored before His people.  
David eventually admits his error. I Chronicles 15:2 says, “Then David said, ‘No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the LORD chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever.’ His decision to move the Ark God’s way follows in verses 13-15 “Because you did not carry it at the first, the LORD our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.” 

So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. The sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles thereon, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord. It was three months later when this move was again attempted. David did it God’s way, and successfully so. II Sam. 6:11-17
Does this Old Testament story of doing God’s work God’s way have any relevance for us? Consider the consequences of not doing things God’s way, today.
The New Testament has 260 chapters containing 7,958 verses.  One source states that the commands in the New Testament alone number 1,050. That’s compared to 613 in the Old Testament.  That, it seems to me, makes God look pretty serious about how we are to live our lives. Just how serious is He?
In the book of I Corinthians Paul addresses a number of problem  areas in that church. One was the manner in which communion was being taken. They weren’t doing it God’s way They chose to do things their way. As a result many were weak and sick and some had even been killed by God. (I Corinthians 11:20-34, esp. vs. 30) It doesn’t seem to me that God’s emphasis on doing things His way has changed much.

Not doing things God’s way can surely lead to an untimely death.
I John 5:16 says in no uncertain terms, “There is a sin leading to death.” And short of death there is corrective action by God in the believer’s life. Discipline is its name, and correction is its aim. Check out Hebrews 12:5-11.

We all as believers in Messiah should revel in the grace of God.
There is never NOT enough grace from our Lord to not cover our sin, our disobedience, our decision to do it our way and not His. Romans 5:20-6:2

But, doing it His way is always better, safer and most of all,
best for Him. Remember, doing it His way
treats Him as the holy God He is and honors Him before His people. 
Moving on in our text we see David entering Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant. It is placed in a tent, but David’s heart desire is to build a place to house the Ark. It would be the first Temple. God in a dream tells Nathan the prophet that David will not build the Temple. Instead God establishes a covenant with him. This has come to be known as the Davidic Covenant.
Nathan gives David this message from God. It is a message that causes David to sit before God and offer praise to Him. What a great tribute we find to both David’s and our Creator in II Samuel 7:18-29. One might think that David would be disappointed after having his heart’s desire denied him. But God had something else, something that was much better for David.

It is this Davidic Covenant that so thrills David.
It will far outlast any temple that as a man David could build, and it establishes his kingship forever. There are those that see Christ and David sitting on two separate thrones in the Millennium, each with different purposes. This definitely is a contrarian view, but it does have merit to it.

The specific provisions of this covenant (II Samuel 7:12-16) are as follows:

(1) David was to have a son. He was to follow his father to the throne and have an established kingdom. (vs.12) This as we know was Solomon.
(2) Solomon, not David would build the Temple. vs. 13a
(3) Solomon’s throne was to be established forever. vs.13b
(4) Though Solomon would commit sins God’s loving kindness would not depart from him. vv. 14-15 Solomon did fall into grievous sin and God told him that his kingdom would be divided as a result of it. However, this did not happen until Solomon slept with the kings.
(5) David’s house, kingdom, and throne would be established forever. vv. 16

And so hearing all this from Nathan, David went into the tent that housed the Ark and sat before God. There he offered praise.
David had good reason to praise God and by his example we should do the same as well. The word praise occurs 207 times in 181 verses in the New American Standard Bible. 
It is no small subject or duty. So much could be said as to why we should praise our God, the one who has made us as believers a royal priesthood. But perhaps we might conclude with just this thought. 
“Through Him then,  
let us continually offer 
 up a sacrifice of praise to God, 
that is, the fruit of lips 
 that give thanks to His name.”
 Hebrews 13:15 

Shemini
B'rit Chadashah/New Covenant
Hebrews 8:1-13

A Closer Look at the New Covenant

When I last studied and wrote on this passage over two years ago now I started with the following two paragraphs:
You’ll forgive me if I start out here by saying how much I love my wife. I do. A great deal.  But I must admit, as Sarah does, from time to time, that we wonder what our Lord had in mind when He brought us together.  
“You see, Sarah is what is known as a Messianic Jew. She is Jewish by birth, and has come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus of Nazareth) as Messiah and Lord. I, on the other hand, am a typical Gentile, but saved as well. I brought to our marriage traditional Christian beliefs regarding the Old Testament, and the cessation of the Law. Galatians 3:19-28” 
Well, now I have a confession to make to you. I now know at least in part why God did draw Sarah and I together. She had always been Torah observantor as she puts it, "Has simply accepted the preciousness and authority of the whole of His Word since coming to faith." 

I, on the other hand, had dismissed the Law’s applicability for the Church and saw it as set aside until it would be re-instituted in the Millennium, if not earlier during the preceding seven-year Tribulation period. 

So what might be a BIG reason He brought us together? Well the answer is that with her as my study partnerand so very much study on my own as wellthe Lord has used my wife to help me gain a different perspective on the “Law.” OK, I’ll just say it. I too, believe it is God's will to embrace the whole of His Word for today ... what I would term, to become Torah observant



Still saved by grace through faith apart from any work of the flesh or of the Law. (Like Paul, as he addressed the Galatian heresy.) However, I do now see the legitimate place of the Law in the life of the Church today. Much could be said about how I arrived at this position. This was a process, not an overnight revelation, but the telling of it will however best be served by holding it for another time and in another format.

Let me say this though. The process started over five years ago when Sarah and I started discussing this verse,“...until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18  And the deal was sealed for me a short time ago when I fully realized the ramifications of the entire Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19,20  
In His three years of earthly teaching little was mentioned of the yet to be established Church. But, He lived the Law perfectly and taught it abundantly.  And we must as well. Live it as best we canrealizing that certain aspects of it have been suspended for a timeand teach it to His disciples through the life we live and the words we speak. 
So, having said all that it will be understandable that I now have a somewhat different take on our Brit Chadashah than when I last addressed it. So let’s take a look now at Hebrews 8:1-13 and see where it takes us. 

In the process you’ll notice how this passage dovetails with our Torah and Haftarah portions. There, mistakes were made, costly mistakes. Here, no mistakes are made. Everything is done exactly as God would want it done.

This chapter is about our High Priest, His work in the true tabernacle in Heaven, and the New Covenant. 

Verse one gives us the main point of this passage. 

“Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.”

The Hebrews author is identifying our High Priest as Jesus (7:22) and a Son (7:28). He says of Him that He sits at the right hand of God, a location that is, “the true tabernacle.” Because Jesus was not a member of the tribe of Levi, but Judah, He could not perform the priestly functions in the earthly tabernacle. Thus, His proper place of intercession had to be in another tabernacle, the heavenly one where God the Father dwells, and tribal birth was not an issue.

Verse three says that this high priest had to have something to offer. And verse six tells us what it was that He offered. It is His “mediation” of a better covenant. Note the text of verses six and seven. 

 A Better Covenant?
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.”

Before moving further lets review for a moment. In the text before us we have a high priest. That priest is Jesus. He is carrying out His priestly function in the very throne room of God. What is that priestly function? Answer: to make an offering. 

Why in the throne room of God? Answer: because as one born in the tribe of Judah He was disqualified to enter the earthly Tabernacle or Temple. 

What was the offering that He made?  Answer: mediation. This word is defined as one who intervenes between two, one who restores relationship. In short, an arbitrator. ("For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5)

Now please reread verses six and seven above. Note what most English translations convey; that there IS a better covenant, that it IS based on better promises,  and that the first covenant DID have fault. Lets address this.

This covenant being spoken of is obviously the covenant given at Sinai to Moses. It is the Law. Are we really to understand that God’s Law was “faulty?” The answer is, no. 
I’m afraid we are suffering from, not the best translation work here. David Stern in his Complete Jewish Bible gives a “looser translation” that I think best conveys the true thought behind verses 6 and 7. It reads: 
“But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant He mediates is better. For this covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises. Indeed if the first covenant had not given ground for faultfinding, there would have been no need for a second one.”
The question now comes up, What was the ground for faultfinding? The answer is found in verse 9. It is that the Israelites did not keep the covenant. This was not God’s doing. It was theirs. So, a New Covenant, one that cannot be violated, will be instituted. Our Hebrews author then gives the provisions of that covenant in verses 8-12.

Well, what is Jesus actually mediating right now? There are several opinions as you might guess. Of them  one is that this is the New Covenant we have just spoken of (verses 8-12). It is said that it was instituted at the Lord’s Last Supper and is in operation in a “spiritual” sense today. Its full institution will happen at the establishment of the Millennial reign.

Another is that this is a new covenant entirely separate from the one spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 36:24-28. This New Covenant is for the Church which came into existence at Pentecost and will be raptured prior to the seven year Tribulation. Because of time and space we will not go into these views right now, but another time for sure. Hmm, why don’t you take a look at this and let Sarah and me know what you think? 

“A Text Taken out of Context Becomes a Pretext
And now verse 13.

It reads:  “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”
Well here is one of those many verses that I for sure thought taught the Law had been done away with at the cross. How wrong I have been, as is the case with so many of the commonly misunderstood, or simply wrongly translated portions of Scripture. So how might we best understand this verse? 
First lets point out that the word, “covenant” is not in the original text. This was added I guess because of a theological bias. 
What preceded the added word (covenant) is the word, “new.” 
And the word "new" in the original text, standing by itself just begs for the translators to ask the question, “The new what?” 
So they chose to add the word, “covenant.” See how it appears in italics? 
But was that proper and in keeping with the context surrounding this verse? What is that context? And what would have been the best way to answer, “The new what?” 
The context surrounding the verse is very clear. It is the ministry Jesus has obtained in the heavenly sanctuary. (v6) This trend of thought starts in Chapter seven in the discussion of Melchizedek and his ministry and continues on into chapter 10. Read it and see what you think. 
So the context is, “ministry.” I think that should have been the word to have been added. Now reread verse 13 again, but this time in another vein of thought. “When he said a new ministry He has made the first obsolete. But what ever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”
If this was the “first covenant” or Law being referred to in verse 13, well isn’t the argument that the Law had  ended when Christ died on the cross? 

That at least is how I always understood it to be taught. So if the covenant or Law was ended how can it now only be, “becoming obsolete,” or, “growing old” and only “ready to disappear?” That sounds like it still has some life left in it. 
So it really doesn't make any sense to see an “obsolete” covenantthe Mosaic Covenant, the Lawthat ceased when Christ died on the cross ... still have some life. Sorry, but that just can’t be the best understanding. How might we best see this verse?
If indeed the best word to place after “new” is “ministry” then verse 13 is best understood to be speaking of Christ’s “ministry” pointed to in verse 6. Consider this, the Temple ministry conducted by the Levite priests was going to cease in 70 AD. (The Temple was to be destroyed and will not be rebuilt until the Tribulation.)  So it was ready to”disappear.” Christ had already died on the cross at the time of this writing so Christ’s ministry of mediation for the saints had in effect made the first mediation in the Temple by the priests officially obsolete in the throne room of God.

My conclusion? We are not talking about the Law here. We are talking about the mediatorial ministry, first by the Levital priests and then by Christ. So if we are to look for Scriptural evidence that the Law was brought to an end and is no more, this verse won’t prove it.

By now you are probably asking, “Why was it again, this passage was chosen for the Brit portion in light of the Tora and Haftorah texts?” Well, both of those portions emphasized how important it is to God to do His business, His way, and of course the consequences of doing God’s business our way. Of the three only our Hebrews passage gives illustration of things being done, only God’s way. 

And that brings up an excellent question. How are we doing in living up to the guidelines in God’s Word? Failure to do so can only mean loss of potential reward. But successful livingdoing God’s work God’s waybrings reward in the future and abundant living now.  

Let’s get going...shall we?
  


Shabbat Shalom!
Blessings in Messiah's Love, 
His EVERY Word Ministries