Don’t! Shoot a foot!

Many Messianic believers, including our congregation, quote 1 Jo 1:6-10 weekly in our liturgical, congregational prayers.  For two weeks or so, I’ve had a very rare word from that prayer rolling around in my mind.

שֻּׁתָּפוּת       שתף     לְשַׁתֵּף

In Hebrew, this word is ‘shutafut’.  From the verb l’shatef,  from the root shataf.

The ultimate numeric value of the root is “6”, the number of man, the day Adam and Khava were created.

The verbal root concept of it is ‘to include’, and comes to ‘participation’ and eventually can get rendered as ‘fellowship’, and hence ‘communion.’   In this sense, it is literally “ONENESS” in the context of the scripture in mind, where we read, “ואִם אוֹמְרִים אָנוּ שֶׁשֻּׁתָּפוּת יֵשׁ לָנוּ עִמּוֹ “  and “ יֵשׁ לָנוּ שֻׁתָּפוּת זֶה עִם זֶה  “If we say we have ‘shutafut’ with Him…[Yeshua],” and again “We have ‘shutafut’ one with another.”    The passage is telling us that if we ‘claim’ to have ‘oneness’ with Messiah but do not walk the Torah as He walked it, then we are liars;  the converse is this, that if we DO walk the Torah the way He taught it, then we ALREADY  have ‘shutafut’ with one another, and/because the Blood of Yeshua the Messiah cleanses us of all our sin.  [‘walking’ in Hebrew is a 1st Century Jewish Torah concept, the way one follows a Rabbi and how he lives out the Torah; Yeshua is the ONLY Rabbi ever to do it perfectly and teach it correctly]

Shutafut is a funny sounding word to the English ear.  It means ‘inclusion in’ , ‘participation in’.  In this case, ‘inclusion’ in the oneness of Messiah’s Body [not of flesh, but of His Ru’akh, given by the Father, to [in] Him, and to us through Him], and thereby inclusion IN EACH OTHER.  This ‘inclusion/participation’ is in spite of our sins, against G-d, and against one another.  The Blood of Messiah ‘covers’ over ALL of those.  IF WE LET IT.

Most people do not realize the very ‘literal’ level these words have to us.  We are NOT our own.  We are NO LONGER little individuals.  We have become part of HIS BODY, a LIVING ENTITY which covers the globe, but is NOT made up of flesh and blood, yet is ‘contained’ in vessels of flesh.  But, it is ONLY made up of those who ACTUALLY ‘participate in’ Messiah, in HIS WALK.   Just a few verses later, Yoknanan writes: “Hereby we know that we are in Him: he who says “I am in Him” ought himself also to walk His Halakha.”  Yeshua did NOT follow the Rabbis, not those of His day, and certainly not today’s.  Neither did He follow the popes, who moved the Shabbat and all the feasts, taught about three gods in one ‘substance’, and licensed everyone to go against the Torah in most ways, falsely reporting that ‘grace’ is the free ticket to heaven no matter how one lives his life.

We as believers find it very difficult at times to separate the flesh from the neshama [the life of G-d in those of us ‘born again’].  But, we who claim to be IN HIM are instructed shortly thereafter, “He who loves his brother abides in the light.”

Love is NOT an emotion, like many people think.  It does at times ride on our human emotions, but the source of love is NOT ‘feeling,’ but G-d Himself.  It is a function of our “NEW NATURE” AND our WILL.  And if Yeshua is IN US, then we WILL [decide to] love one another.  And that is what real ‘shutafut’ is: participation in Messiah and in ONE ANOTHER, in the supernatural, in His Presence, which is in anyone who trusts AND follows HIM.  This was the very theme of Yeshua’s last prayer, before he went to hang on the tree: “Let them be EKHAD BANU,”  ONE IN US [The Father and His Son].  Sha’ul and Kefa both teach this concept, one saying we are a ‘body’ made up of closely knit joints, sinew, and marrow, and another saying we are a building of ‘living stones’ fitly joined together.  If you’ve seen the Temple’s foundation in Yisra’el, you know just how ‘close’ that is.  Though we are ‘individuals’, we, as those who trust in Messiah and follow His Way, are not to think that way any longer.  We belong to Him, and to one another.  While we are “free”, we are yet “servants” of Tzedaka. 

Our western mindset and our society over-influence us on a subconscious level to ‘think’ in opposition to this very radical idea, which is not an idea, but a hard reality.  We, as ‘corporate’ believers are, at times, failing, tearing at the Body of Messiah.  He [the mind/head] is striving to communicate [Through His Living WORD] to His various parts to ‘cooperate’, “l’shatef” zeh im zeh. [have oneness one with the other].

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Good Sap

The richness of Jewish faith in Messiah Yeshua:
“For if you [non-Jews] who have been cut from the wild olive tree which is natural to you, and grafted contrary to your nature into a good olive tree [Israel], how much more fruitful would they be [Jews], if they were grafted into THEIR OWN natural olive tree [Israel IN Messiah Yeshua!]? I am desirous, my brethren, that you should know this MYSTERY, so that you may not be wise in YOUR OWN CONCEITS…”
Yeshua said, “Salvation [life] is from the Jews”, Jn 4:22
When Constantine severed the ‘church’ from Jewish Believers, he cut that ‘church’ off from life!  Before you defend him, in his own words, “Let us no longer have ANYTHING to do with that disgusting people, the Jews.”  He said this as the ‘head of the church’, when he MANDATED the CHANGE from worshiping on the Shabbat to worshiping on The Sun’s Day.  He acted as an anti-Messiah, a False Messiah [Daniel 7:25, 1 Jn 2:18]  He cut all those who followed him and the first ‘ecumenical counsel’ OUT of the Olive Tree of Israel!  Shaul was prophetic when he wrote,  “Well, they were cut off because of their lack of trust, but you exist by trust. Be not high-minded, but fear!  For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches, beware, or He will not spare you!  Consider therefore the goodness and severity of Elohim: on those who fell, severity; but on you, goodness, IF you continue in His goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off!”
Am I saying that no one who is a ‘christian’ is saved.  NO.  Because in spite of him, the WORD remains true!  What I am saying is that those who DO know Messiah know that He IS a JEW.
And, I am saying that if a Jew comes to trust in Messiah, his ‘fruit’ in Messiah is marvelous!  All the TRUE traditions of Israel ‘come alive’ in Messiah Yeshua, even some of those they developed AFTER Yeshua came to earth.  Suddenly, the Synagogue is a place to hear the VOICE of the MESSIAH, His Torah.  The Sabbath is a day of JOYFUL rest, and not a drudgery done to try to be perfect and earn salvation.  The FEASTS become a living example of what Yeshua did, especially Pesakh [Passover].  And, they become predictive of what He is about to do, if we understand them FROM A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE.
Jews, unbelieving ones, point to Yeshua, even when they don’t WANT to!  They have established some customs that can ONLY be explained in Yeshua, long after they rejected Him.  “To them is given the oracles of G-d” [Romans 3], even if they don’t believe!
One example: The Affikomen at Passover.  This is a later tradition of Jews.  This is a ‘dessert’, which is actually a piece of the Matzah [unleavened bread] placed in a ‘unity bag.’  That “Matzah Tash’ or matzah bag/unity bag has three compartments.  A piece of Matzah is divided up into three pieces and placed into each of the compartments.  The MIDDLE piece of the ONE broken piece of bread is taken out at a certain point in the ceremony.  Three pieces of ONE Matzah: Father, Son, Ruakh.  The middle piece is taken out. [“I came out of my Father”]  It is wrapped in LINEN and hidden away for children to find.  It must be sought together, and brought to the FATHER [the one conducting the ceremony in a home is the father].  The Seder is not complete until the Affikomen is found!  The father gives the child who found the Affikomen a token, usually a coin [silver dollar], and promises a greater gift later.  This ‘custom’ is such a CLEAR picture of Messiah Yeshua, the “middle matzah”, the Son, coming to earth, dying, being hidden in a grave, rising from the grave and leaving his linen cloth behind, being sought out, returning to the Father, and giving a ‘deposit’ on LIFE, with the promise of RESURRECTION at a later date!
Another:  Khannukah is a custom that developed about 200 years before Yeshua ministered.  During the Maccabean revolt, Jews took the Beit HaMikdash back from Antiochus Epiphanes, an “anti Messiah” Greek who told Jews they could not study Torah NOR keep the Sabbath [just like Constantine].  He defiled the temple by offering a pig in the Holy Place, and erecting a statue of zeus and declaring himself god.  The popes have done the same.  The Maccabees revolted.  They took the Temple back, cleansed it, and “Dedicated” it.  The word for “dedication” is Khannukah.  They began to celebrate that “Dedication” AS A NATION, and Yeshua honored it!  He went to Jerusalem during Khannukah [Jn 9-10], and preached a message about the false shepherd! [Antiochus, Constantine, and the eventual Anti-Messiah, the son of perdition who will soon appear].  It’s important to note that as passionate as Yeshua was about pointing out the errors of the Pharisees, HE DID NOT REBUKE THEM FOR THIS FEAST!  Khannukah is called the Festival of Lights, because they would light a lamp with 8 lights during this season.  Why?  Because they ‘dedicated’ the Temple in the 9th month of the year [our December], and that dedication was considered a “Sukkot” celebrated out of season, Sukkot usually being celebrated in the 7th month as commanded, and is a 7-day feast, with an 8th day called “Yom HaShmini”, also known as “Simkhat Torah” [Lev 23].  The two Temples that Israel had built before had been dedicated on Sukkot, an EIGHT DAY FEAST [seven days, with a “Great Day” at the end].  At ‘Khanukah,’ the ‘dedication’ after his defilment, to begin that feast out of season, they LIT THE MENORAH, as lighting lights begins EVERY DAY with Elohim, especially His Sacred Days [Sabbath, and the feasts] They had not been able to keep the ‘Season of Our Joy’ [Sukkot] for three + years because of the Greeks, and its kicking off with the lighting of the Menorah was a GREAT JOY to them!  Little did they know that the Messiah would be CONCEIVED during Khannukah, and be BORN DURING SUKKOT!  And, after all that took root in Israel, nearly 1500 years later a new custom developed around the “Khannukiah.”  The original, in-home Khannukiah [Khannukah Lamp] was an oil lamp with eight holes in it [these 1st century pottery lamps have been found all through Jerusalem].  When candles became the standard ‘lamp’ for the home, the “Khannukiah” of today was developed.  This was an eight-stemmed candelabra that looked like the Menorah.  [Hence, it came to be called a Menorah].  Today, there are NINE LIGHTS.  None are certain why, but one account says that In the late middle ages, a community of Ashkenazi Jews [probably one of my grandfathers, 😉 as “Dreyer” means ‘turner’, which also happens to be the root of the ‘turning toy’, Dreidel, of Khannukah] ordered a bunch of 8 branched “Menorahs” ahead of time.  When they were received, they had NINE lamps on them! Oy!  No bother, we’ll use it, and call it “The Shammash”, the servant candle.  It is used only to light the other eight lights!  This, too, is a beautiful picture of Messiah Yeshua, conceived at Khannukah, who gives light to the world!  And, He gives light into the ‘eighth millennium!  [8’s symbol also means infinity; in Hebrew, it is the letter khet, LIFE, also known as the “Letter of Light!”].
He was conceived during the commemoration of ‘new light’ after one of the ‘darkest’ times in Israel’s history.  He was born during Sukkot, the ‘Feast of the Ingathering.’  He died and rose again during the feast of Pesakh.  He sent the Ru’akh on Shavuot, and will call His Bride out on Yom Teruah!  He will judge the world on Yom Kippur, and begin to dwell with us at Sukkot.
The JEWISH nature of our faith is SO RICH.  EVERYTHING Jews do, whether believers or not, if it does not contravene Torah, it points to Yeshua!  They can’t help it!
Again, “how much more fruitful would they be [Jews], if they were grafted into THEIR OWN natural olive tree? I am desirous, my brethren, that you should know this MYSTERY, so that you may not be wise in YOUR OWN CONCEITS…”
And, “If their rejection [of Messiah] has resulted in reconciliation of the world, how much more will their restoration [to Messiah] be? Indeed, it will be life from the dead!”
Be good to Israel.  It could be the life of you.

HaAhavah

אהבה
Is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not over iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. אהבה never fails FOREVER…
 
Many, if not most people, equate this only to romance between a man and a woman.
 
This tells me that the believing community does not understand אהבה at all…
 
Sha’ul was writing to and about the BROTHERHOOD.
 
He had just written about the BODY of Messiah as a single unit, and explained that, though we all serve different purposes with different gifts from G-d for the purpose of serving, yet, we are ONE.
 
Then, he tells us that to LOVE in this manner is GREATER than our actual service and use of His gifts!!!
 
I was reading this first in English, (sourced from Aramaic), and the word ‘fails’ caused me to be curious to go into the Hebrew. ‘nafal’, for ‘fails’, caused me to stop and meditate…
 
הָאַהֲבָה לֹא תִּפֹּל לְעוֹלָם
 
Love does not fail FOREVER….
 
Because of the overuse and almost exclusive use of this scripture at weddings, we do not stop and understand what Sha’ul writes here, and the incredible importance to the BODY this passage has. We relegate to an earthly, sensual, emotion-only ‘love’, to which only humanity can relate. We are NOT like the world, nor should we THINK like the world, nor should we love like THE WORLD, which is temporal and conditional love. We SHOULD be ‘understanding’ this in this way:
 
Love [for a brother/sister] Is not easily provoked [to anger],
 
Love [for a brother/sister] thinks no evil [of a brother/sister]
 
Love [for a brother/sister] rejoices not over iniquity [in the Body of Messiah] ,
 
but Love [for a brother/sister] rejoices in the truth [in the Body of Messiah]
 
Love [for a brother/sister] bears all things [with a brother/sister] ,
 
Love [for a brother/sister] believes all things
 
Love [for a brother/sister] hopes all things
 
Love [for a brother/sister] endures all things
 
Love [for a brother/sister] never fails FOREVER
 
This has been one of my favorite, unsung passages. It governs my heart.  I keep it near in my mind, especially when I am struggling with a brother/sister in Messiah over some issue of the flesh.
 
There are those in my past that I have been very, very close to, who, for one reason or other [most of which has been antisemitism, but some of which has been a misunderstanding of the above, a perversion of His Love] have come to HATE me, even though they say they follow the Messiah who inspired the teaching above about HaAhavah.
 
The way the last phrase reads in Hebrew is actually:
 
הָאַהֲבָה לֹא תִּפֹּל לְעוֹלָם
 
Ha’Ahavah WILL NOT FAIL [lo tipol] FOREVER [L’olam].
 
It is NOT a function of our ‘will’ that says it will not fail…but a function of the NATURE of the LOVE OF MESSIAH, the LOVE of ELOHIM, that is INSIDE of those who trust in Him and have HIS RU’AKH.
 
GOD IS LOVE!!!!
 
If HE is inside of us, then we WILL love…. not ‘must’.
 
I HATE it when someone says, “I have to love you because I’m a believer”….
 
And I hate ‘love’ that is a false display, pretense.
 
Others that have come to hate me, even of late, I STILL love.  I STILL desire reconciliation.  His LOVE does NOT ‘fall away’, which is what ‘tipol’ means… it CANNOT, because it is FOREVER.
 
HIS LOVE endures EVERYTHING, even hatred returned for love, which is what Yeshua endured while hanging on the tree.  I am getting a sense of that these days.
 
Some people think that there are no ‘degrees’ to this kind of love, and that there is only ONE ‘kind’ of love.  They think that this ‘kind’ of love is or should be equally shared among the brethren from individual to individual in the exact same quantity. If this is the case, then Yeshua and Yokhanan broke the command. Sha’ul did too, as there were several men that he loved very dearly, more than others of his friends.  Timothy and Onesimus each was to Sha’ul like a son.  That is a deeper form of this godly love.  We are ‘joined together’ in the Body of Messiah, which implies closeness, tight binding. [Kol 2:19, Efisim 4]:

“that we be sincere in our love, so that in everything we may progress through Mashi’akh, who is the head.It is through Him that the whole Body is closely and firmly united at all joints, according to the measure of the gift [Ru’akh] which is given to every member, for the guidance and control of the Body, in order to complete the edifying of the Body in love.”

It is NOT that love fails…  It is that we fail to follow love, that is in our hearts, if Messiah is indeed inside of us.

This past Shabbat, I spoke about the ‘blessing’ of Elohim that is inside of us.  This is it.  “HaAhava”.  And our verse from the Haftarah was a command that we should “LOVE COMPASSION.”

“It has been told you, O man, what is good, and what  יהוה  does require of you, only to do justly, and to love compassion, and to walk humbly with your Elohim.”

The LOVE of ELOHIM in us produces this ‘khesed’, which is a deep ‘compassion’ for the failures of our brothers.  We, as a people, the people of G-d, are yet far too bent on judging others, holding grudges, keeping people at bay, doubting each other.  Self included.

This is my prayer this week, and perhaps for a while, for the local Body into which I am knitted:

הָאַהֲבָה לֹא תִּפֹּל לְעוֹלָם

 
Ha’Ahavah WILL NOT FAIL [lo tipol] FOREVER [L’olam].

FB Merger w Yokhanan

Yesterday, I finished reading Yokhanan again, my favorite account of the B’sorah.  I got excited about some things that are in ‘plain sight’, and posted them on fb.  I’ve commented on some of these in former posts, but these are just fresh nuggets of observation.  Here are the three posts in one here on my blog:

==========

4:35 AM

Continued in Yokhanan:
“Now since it was almost Erev Shabbat, the Y’hudim said, “Let not these bodies remain on their execution stakes, because HaShabbat is beginning,” but this Yom Shabbat was a HIGH DAY.”
People rightly conclude that the Biblical Shabbat starts on Friday Evening [Erev Shabbat], but WRONGLY think that He was executed on a fri evening. This ‘Sabbath day’ was a HIGH DAY…meaning, it was NOT the regular, weekly Shabbat, but a ‘sabbath’ created by the Pharisees, the 15th of Nisan; Yeshua’s High Sabbath had begun the night before, when He kept THE Pesakh Seder at its proper, Torah-given time. This was actually a WEDNESDAY night, when He was hung on the tree….

4:46 AM

Since I just read about His execution again this morning, I thought I’d repost this.  ‘Watching’ Him die again this morning, my heart is invigorated.
I ‘see’ it so much more clearly, every time I read it, how He took MY place, OUR place. There is SO MUCH in Yokhanan 19….
Today, I think about His PAIN.
And the fact that the ‘new birth’ into His Kingdom began the moment He died, when His dead body was pierced, causing blood and water to flow…
We are still being ‘born’ into LIFE because of that moment.
HOW it was done has been twisted, for theo-political reasons. The ‘vision’ of it is thwarted.
Consider: https://danielperek.com/2019/04/17/men-orah-you-wrong/

5:35 AM

Okay, I thought I was done, BUT, I finished reading Yokhanan, and realized THIS for the FIRST TIME, and got EXCITED: in ch 21:
שִׁמְעוֹן
Yeshua addressed Shimon Kefa, saying “Shimon Ben Yonah”…

Shimon is his given name, the one his parents gave him. Yeshua usually called him Kefa, or “Shimon Kefa”. The name ‘Shimon Kefa’ literally means, “Hear with acceptance [Shimon], ROCK”.

So here, Yeshua is saying to Kefa by saying His whole legal, earthly, given name, “Shimon Ben Yonah”, “Hear with acceptance a Son, A Dove,” THREE TIMES.

Yonah means ‘dove’; the Ru’akh had descended on Yeshua in the shape of a Yonah.

The word ‘ben’ is ‘Son’, which comes from the root word ‘banah,’ ‘to build’. A man builds a house through his son. The two letters in ‘ben’ are ‘bet’ and ‘nun’; a letter ‘bet’ is a symbol of a house,’ and a ‘nun’ is a symbol of a seed. A son is the seed of a house, and a son ‘builds’ up the house of his father.

Yeshua addressed Shimon Ben Yonah that way three times, saying, “Tend to my lambs; Tend to my sheep; Tend to my ewes.” Tend to/care for the WHOLE FLOCK.

Each time the first word of the great command, “Hear, O Yisra’el,” [Shema], was echoed in Shimon’s name: “Hear and accept”.

Yeshua wanted him to HEAR…

Shimon, who is usually called a ‘rock,’ [kefa], is called by His LEGAL name, earthly name, which beckons him to hear the Son and the Ru’akh, to tend to His WHOLE FLOCK.

I have to get to my other writing, but I just had to share…

Neat?

Who are “They”

So I’ve been reading Yokhanan this week; my favorite account of the B’sorah, because I identify with Yokhanan, the writer.  He writes in a very detailed fashion, giving a full eight chapters to Yeshua’s last Pesakh.  One might call that ‘long-winded’ today.

In that account of Pesakh, the third one he mentions in his book, Yeshua teaches His Talmidim about who He is, about the coming of the Ru’akh HaEmet, and about true obedience being measured by doing the Mitzvot, those that were from the Father, given to Yeshua, and given to us, just as the Ru’akh is from the Father, given to Yeshua, who gives it to us.

He then tells His Talmidim that the measure of whether or not we are keeping the Mitzvot is whether or not we love one another, “Just as I have loved you.”  That is a TALL order. Yeshua loved His Talmidim to the point of death.  T’oma, whom many call ‘the doubter’, was not in any way a doubter.  He was the one who had, just a few days before, said, “Let us go and die with Him.”  Here, he has told Yeshua, “Show us HaAv”.  And Yeshua explains that He is a perfect expression, an exact manifestation of HaAv, because HaAv [The Father] IS IN HIM, and He is IN HIS Father, BY and THROUGH the Ru’akh. And, because He gives us of His Ru’akh HaEmet [His ‘Breath of Truth’, ‘True Breath’ (spirit)], we will love one another, but be hated by the world.

I saw an old friend in the gym yesterday, and we discussed this ‘hatred,’ and how very evil people can be.  He and I had just gone through similar things concerning ‘the world’ and its treatment of people in general [the love of most will grow cold because of lack of Torah], and its treatment of believers that is worse than just general ‘lack of love,’ but a fomented hatred of Truth.

There are those who say they believe, but they do not express their love for Messiah through obedience to His Word.  Yeshua had, just three months before, taught on the ‘False shepherds’, and the ONE False Shepherd.  He explained there that His sheep follow after His Voice, His Way, and anyone halfway learned in the Jewish scriptures understands that The Way is The Torah, and for us who believe, it is The Torah as explained/expounded by Messiah Yeshua.  He alone is our Rabbi.

At Pesakh, after explaining His Oneness with HaAv, the coming Ru’akh HaKodesh, obedience to the Mitzvot being a true expression of love for Messiah, and the hatred of the world for any who follow Him, He then shows us a ‘they’, and today, too many people completely miss the point of His teaching.

“They” will do all ‘these things’ for the sake of My Name, He said.  What things?  Hate His Talmidim; persecute His Talmidim; hate The Father; hate Yeshua; put you out of the Beit Knesset [synagogues]; kill you to think they offer G-d a gift; not believe/trust in Yeshua.

So, who are “they”?

In context, it looks as if it He is speaking of the Jewish people, on the surface, because he is talking to twelve Jews, and talking about “synagogues”.  The question is, is that who He had in mind?  And if so, is that the only people He had in mind?  The more correct answer is, He is talking about everyone who REJECTS the TORAH.  And what many Messianic believers today do not realize is that our Jewish leaders REJECTED TORAH before Yeshua showed up!  The night He said all of these things, the Jewish leaders SHOULD have been having THEIR Pesakh Seder; but, they CHOSE to move the Pesakh.  And so, they could not recognize that Yeshua IS THE PESAKH LAMB.  He had had discussion with them about THEIR customs REPLACING the Mitzvot of G-d, but they just refused to hear Him [Mark 7].  And today, GENTILE theologians, who are quick to disparage all Jewish people because of their rejection of Messiah, even though the first 100,000 or so believers were ALL JEWISH, have done the VERY SAME THING, and REPLACED the Mitzvot of G-d with THEIR COMMANDS.  They ‘hear’ “Remember the Sabbath Day, to rest on the Seventh Day,” and ‘say’ ‘we don’t have to do that; we can worship on any day, Jesus rose on the first day [which is false] so we worship on day 1’.  They REJECT the MITZVAH of G-d for their own tradition, JUST LIKE the Jewish theologians of His day did, and just like Jewish AND Christian theologians do today.  Isn’t it interesting that “shepherd” is translated into “pastor” in most Bibles, every other place it is used in the NT?

“They” who do all those things to His Talmidim, are those who FIGHT AGAINST His Mitzvot.  And Yeshua showed the ‘heart’ of His Mitzvot during His Pesakh Seder that night.  LOVE.  Love for Elohim, and a love for the brethren such that we are willing to DIE.  Love for Elohim such that we do what HE SAYS, in SPITE of what the ‘pastors’, the ‘houses of assembly’ say and do to those who want to OBEY in TRUTH.  Religious people, both Jews and Christians, have been murdering simple folk who want only to serve G-d in freedom and truth, for 2,000 years.  Study the history of christianity, and one will see that catholics and protestants have murdered many thousands, if not millions, in the Name of G-d, simply because they disagreed with them.  They murder them first with their tongues, and then with swords, spears, fire, etc.

Love for our brethren, such that we are willing to ‘lay down our lives’.  Today, people seem only to apply that phrase to soldiers, or other protectors of the common good.  They are NOT protecting society because of their love for society’s people, and we know this. They do a good and noble thing, but they are NOT expressing the love of His Torah in doing so.   Is that really who Yeshua was describing?  No; He was describing what He was about to do, a deed and act that His Talmidim were about to witness: go to the Tree, lay down His Life by taking on EVERYONE ELSE’s SIN, DIE a horrible and painful death, SUFFER the guilt and shame of EVERYONE ELSE’s sin, and rise from the dead.

9“Just as Avi has loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love.  10If you keep my mitzvot, you will abide in my love, even as I have kept the mitzvot of Avi [my Father], and abide in His love.  11I have spoken these things to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  12This is my mitzvah: that you love one another just as I have loved you.  13There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”

Yeshua had just called His Talmidim his FRIENDS, right at the beginning of the Seder.  He was speaking of HIMSELF, and NO ONE ELSE.  No one has THAT GREAT a love for G-d, nor for people, and we KNOW it.

Yeshua goes on, singing the Hallel and going to the Garden on Har Zetim, and prays for YOU AND ME, asking His Father that those of us who trust would be ONE, EKHAD, UNITED, JUST AS HE is united with His FATHER, just as His Father is in Him, and He is in His Father, let us also be UNITED IN ONE ANOTHER.  THAT is the TRUEST sign that we belong to Him.

I have failed.  I am willing to confess it.  I have TRIED to ‘lay down my life’ for others, to a degree.  It has not yet been ‘assigned’ to me to do so with my very life, however.  If that day should come, I would hope that I would lay it down willingly.  I pray now that I begin to reaffirm my TRUST in HIM, my OBEDIENCE to Him, by doing so NOW.  Yeshua laid down His self-preservation, and it was HARD WORK to do so, to the point of sweating blood that night from the terror of what He knew was about to happen.  And I want to realize anew that He did that for me, and for all those who confess His Name and obey Him.

I have been hated by ‘the world,’ which is religious people who REJECT HIS TORAH. I have been lied about, kicked out of ‘churches’ [houses of assemblies], even most recently, mocked, insulted, suspected of all manner of evil and falsely accused [personally and on fb], ridiculed, threatened, and all that Yeshua said would happen, except being killed for His Name.  I hope that Yeshua sees that I have never once returned any of that hatred with hatred… I truly have striven to lay down my life in that regard.   But, I know I too have failed His brethren and friends at times; and all I have to lean on is HIS LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE FOR ME.  I try to give that to my brethren, and hope they give that to me.

My prayer for ALL the brethren today is an echo of His prayer for us in Yokhanan 17, my favorite chapter in all the Word, because Yeshua prayed for ME, for US.  I don’t deserve it. Neither does anyone else, but for some reason He has lavished His love upon us.

Command Bread

Yeshua

 

I have often said, ‘The Word is the Torah is the Commandments is the Ruakh [spirit] is Yeshua,’ in many variations.
But, in nearly 20 years of studying the scriptures in Hebrew, I have never seen this so ‘clearly’ as I did when reading in Hebrew, seeing the word מַצֹּֽות but reading it in my head as מִצְוֹתַ …..
Even one who does not read Hebrew can see how ‘dangerously similar’ these two DIFFERENT words are!
The first one is Matzot, and the second one is Mitzvot.
The first one means ‘Unleavened Bread,’ the kind of bread Yeshua broke at the Pesakh [Passover] Seder, saying, ‘This is MY BODY.’
The second one means “Commandments,” and is always in reference to the statutes, laws, and decrees in the Torah.
They are spelled EXACTLY THE SAME WAY in Hebrew!
You can see only subtle differences in what I’ve pasted herein, and those differences are the vowel pointers, that do not exist in a Torah scroll, so CONTEXT is the ONLY thing that ‘distinguishes’ the Matzot from the Mitzvot. In Hebrew, in the original texts of the scriptures, and in modern Hebrew, there are NO vowel pointers! Those are a later addition, used only to help a person learn to read. I have been practicing ignoring them, so that I can become more fluent in reading, so I can read the modern Israeli newspapers without help. In doing so, I momentarily read ‘matzot’ as ‘mitzvot,’ and immediately realized my error, due to context. Then, I had to do a doubletake!
The spiritual overtones to this are ENORMOUS. The symbolism in the letters may read, “the peoples will bow down [worship, become righteous] to a man who is a ‘sign’.” That is a mystery for both MATZAH and MITZVOT.
The Torah itself is a SIGN. The commandments themselves: the Shema finishes by saying, “You shall bind them ‘mitzvot’ as a SIGN upon your hand….”
The Matzah is our ‘sign’ of Yeshua’s only sign to Yisra’el: His RESURRECTION. The Matzah is eaten during the Pesakh, and in Yeshua’s ‘savlanut’ week, he rose from the dead on the fifth day of Pesakh, on ‘saturday night,’ at the end of the SEVENTH regular day, the weekly Shabbat, at the beginning of the 1st biblical day. The Matzah alludes also to the Mannah, which Yeshua also called Himself. The mannah was a SIGN to set the Sabbath day of worship for Yisra’el, and they saw this sign for 40 years. That is how we know that fri eve to sat eve is HIS SABBATH.
Yeshua is the Matzah, the Mannah, and the Mitzvah. Our unleavened bread is HIS PERFECTION IN THE TORAH, the COMMANDMENTS perfectly observed. Throw away the commandments, and you throw away Yeshua, the Bread of Life.

Love Never Ceases

As I prayed the prayers this morning, when I got to Aaron’s blessing, I was again ‘awe struck’ by His Name. יהוה It is spoken three times in that blessing. And again, the next prayer, the Shemah, this Name is again spoken three times.

The Shemah is the greatest of all the 613 commandments. Yeshua teaches this in Mark 12:28:

“One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked Him, “Which is the greatest mitzvah of them all?” Yeshua answered, “The greatest mitzvah is, `Sh’ma Yisra’el, יהוה Eloheinu, יהוה echad [Hear, O Israel, Yahu’ah is our God, Yahu’ah is one], and you are to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’”

As I read it this morning, I confessed to myself and to Abba that I know I do not love Him that powerfully; and immediately, this verse went through my mind as I almost began to castigate myself: “For Mashi’akh is the perfection [goal] of the Torah, for tzedaka to everyone who trusts. ” Romans 10:4

“10:4 good buddy!”

Knowing this is my goal, and not what I have achieved, but what I am to strive for, is very comforting.

So, I started walking through the Shemah slowly, chewing on this most important commandment.

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יהוה אֶחָד.

Hear! O Yisra’el, יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.

Oh, the truth that bubbles out of that one statement!

Yisra’el: A PRINCE with God. Strives WITH God, to be formed into His image.

Shemah, ‘hear’, is weakly translated into English. Shemah not only means ‘hear’, but it means ‘hear and respond’, in the sense of a soldier who takes in a command, processes it, and DOES it.

Hear what?

יהוה is OUR GOD

The Name יהוה separates Elohim from every other being who is worshipped, every other “god”. There are many “gods”, or spiritual entities who crave the worship of humans. They are the ‘fallen ones’. HaSatan, known as “Heillel Ben Shakhar”, [Isaiah 14:12] is the chief of those ‘sons of Elohim’ who rebelled against the Almighty some time before the creation of our heaven and earth. “Heillel” means ‘Shining One’; Why? For many reasons. He was a Keruv that ‘covered’, meaning he had been one of the two “close ones” that hovered over the Father in the Throne Room. [This is depicted in the Sanctuary, the two ‘keruvim’ hovering on the kaporet, the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.]

He was in Gan Eden, dressed in precious stones and gold, he was also ministering at the Altar of heaven; he WAS ‘bright and shining’, a glorious creature. [Ez 28:12-14] Yet he fell, and was cast out of his ‘close place’; because he loved pride more than he loved the Father. [Isa 14:12] He loved himself more than he loved the Father, who was far more glorious than he. He could not see that the Father MADE HIM that glorious, and gave him all that splendor.

When he fell, he took other ‘sons of Elohim’ with him. [many times in your English bibles, when you read ‘angels’, the Hebrew is ‘sons of Elohim’. Sometimes angels is translated from Malakhim, which means ‘messengers/emissaries,’ but many times it is ‘sons of Elohim’] 1/3 of the other “Armies” of Elohim went with him.

All of these ‘sons of Elohim’ who ‘fell’ from their glory are spiritual entities who, at the very beginning of creation, came to earth to confuse and deceive men, twist the Word of Elohim, and rob from God His due worship from mankind. They do that in many, many ways. This is a war that is raging, and most are oblivious to it, or do not know how to function in it. Many ‘talk’ about putting on the armor of Elohim, but precious few really do it.

Most people today do not believe in ‘spirits’; or, if they do, they ‘think’ that these spirits are harmless, or helpful to them [conjurers]. Most of the effect of what these supernatural entities do is relegated in the minds of the ‘educated’ into human mental disease and symptoms, and treated with drugs. Those who do know that there are ‘spirits’ out there that want to thwart the work of God in this world do not fully understand how they operate. They are clandestine, and very, very deceiving. Their primary mission is to TWIST THE WORD OF ELOHIM. If they can’t do that, they simply use a human agent and pose as ANOTHER god. To those who do not believe the Word of God, they do not have to twist the Word of God! They function for them in the form of other deities: Mithras [trinity] [and its pantheon], Ishtar [Easter] and her pantheon, Zeus, [yes, people do still worship him] Allah [and his pantheon… yes, they believe in the deity of other beings], Para Brahman, Buddha, Confucius, Woden [Wednesday] Thor [Thursday] Friatag [Friday, equivalent of roman Venus], Saturnus, and on and on and on….

I said all of that to say this. יהוה IS OUR ELOHIM. יהוה IS ONE.

We are to ‘hear and do’ this. What does that mean? TRUST and AGREE that ONLY יהוה is “GOD.” And that HE is NOT three, two, or many. HE IS ONE.

Yeshua affirmed this! OVER and OVER!

And, Yeshua is a permanent emanation of the Father in a human body, NOT a “separate but equal” “person” of three equal gods who are one ‘substance’ who are three who are one. [this is actually an Egyptian and Babylonian deity that Constantine worshipped until just before he died; but, instead of the original names of the ‘three in one’ individuals, those names were replaced with father son and holy ghost, and the whole conglomerate again called “Trinity”]

Yeshua is the Word, He was IN His Father in the beginning, and proceeded forth and CAME OUT OF His Father [John 8:42], and He became a body, a human. He is not His Father, but He perfectly represents Him, and is UNITED with Him. He is the ‘express [perfect] IMAGE of His Father. The Ruakh is exactly that: RUAKH, Breath! Power! Life! Fire! NOT a ‘third person’. The Ruakh emanates from the Father. It is not a separate ‘mind’ who happens to agree with the Father. This DEFIES the GREATEST command! God is NOT THREE [in one]. He is ONE, and He sent His Nature in Flesh to the earth as Yeshua, A MAN, now risen from the dead, who now gives us the Ruakh, from the Father. He is perfectly UNITED with the Son, BY the Ruakh, which HE GAVE to the Son. [Luke 3:22]

This is NOT a mystery! The ‘mystery’ of the good news is Messiah in US, sinful men! And since the Messiah is in us, the Father is also in us. [John 17] 

We all presumably believe this, yet hopefully NONE OF US would presume to ‘be’ “God”, just because He is in us. Neither would Yeshua! His Father is IN HIM. He is the only man born not of flesh, but of the RUAKH. Yet, HE IS A MAN. STILL! He was SLAIN. Can God die? Really? Then He is not יהוה [the EXISTING ONE, who WAS, [ALWAYS] IS, and WILL BE.] Yet, Yeshua, the man, DIED. His Father was there to raise Him from the dead. And to exalt Him, stand Him at His Right Hand, and give Him all authority. And one day, everything He has been given, He will give BACK to the Father. He is subjugated to His Father, STILL. He is NOT “equal” to His father in every way, and He is not the same “substance” as His Father. He is FLESH AND BONE. Since we don’t know what ‘substance’ the Father is except SPIRIT, we CANNOT presume to say the FATHER is flesh and bone, since flesh and bone did not exist together until the creation. But Yeshua TOLD US, AFTER the resurrection, that HE [Yeshua] is FLESH AND BONE.

“Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I; feel me and understand; for a spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Luke 24:39

Yeshua answered, “The greatest mitzvah is, `Sh’ma Yisra’el, יהוה Eloheinu, יהוה echad [Hear, O Israel, Yahu’ah is our God, Yahu’ah is one], and you are to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’”

That is what we are supposed to say “Amein” to! To give our TRUST to, to HEAR and DO. We are supposed to stay faithful to the MOST IMPORTANT COMMAND EVER!

And then, we are to LOVE יהוה our ONE ELOHIM with ALL OF OUR BEING:

Heart, Life, Effort. We do this by doing what HE said next: THESE WORDS WHICH I COMMAND YOU TODAY will BE in YOUR HEARTS.

What “words”? “D’varim”, the very name of the book of Deuteronomy, the summary of Torah or ‘second torah’ [the greek word Deuteronomy means ‘second law’]. This book starts with “THESE ARE THE WORDS”. “Eleh HaD’varim”

We are to put this WHOLE BOOK, [and thereby a full understanding of the whole Torah] IN OUR HEARTS. MEMORIZE IT!

We do THAT by:

IMPRESSING THEM upon our children

SPEAKING IN THEM [THESE WORDS, DEUTERONOMY] when:

sitting in the house, walking down the road, when we lie down, when we rise up.

We do that by: Binding them on our hands

Fastening them between our eyes as ‘frontlets.’

And, we write them on the doorposts of our houses, and on our gates.

Making the commands a part of EVERY PART of our lives!

This is the GREATEST command: Trust that יהוה is ONE, and that HE IS. LOVE HIM WITH ALL THAT WE ARE. HEAR AND DO HIS COMMANDS.

If we were to memorize the commands and impress them on our children using all these methods, the next generation would NOT FORGET!

But, what has happened. Man did not LOVE יהוה enough to preserve the use of His Name, to understand that He is ONE, to keep His Commands dear; and so many did not recognize HIS WORD when it came into the world in a body, perfectly obeying every command!

We did not love Him enough to continue to do what HE SAYS. We allow so much other ‘stuff’ to interfere with the greatest command. And since we do that, we are incapable of the other great command:

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

What’s funny is, you can’t do the first one, without doing the second one! And you can’t do the second one, without doing the first one!

Yokhanan teaches us this:

“If a man says, “I love Elohim,” and yet hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love Elohim whom he has not seen?”

I Yokh 4:20

So, the perfect mark of the Torah is to LOVE יהוה with every part of our being, with every action. The proof that we do that is that we actually, really, truly LOVE our brothers.

The commandments are ‘bidirectional’; they teach us first to love God, and then they teach us HOW to love our neighbor, even when we offend and are offended. NOT studying the Torah is ROBBING believers of the ability to do this. NOT HEARING the first command CLEARLY, and DOING it, is causing us NOT to study Torah!

The solution to all the worlds woes is the SHEMAH! HEAR AND DO !!