The Flag

My Flags

Flags have long been used as symbols for people, especially their nation or their army.  In our day, there are probably thousands, if not millions of flags representing as many segments of people.  The flag or symbol, in and of itself, is not the issue; it is what the nation, army, or people group that brings a certain flag to infamy represents that can have a lasting negative affect.  But, a big part of that can be perception.

I made the little swatch above, and it contains flags that have particular meaning to me.  These are flags of three other nations laid over the top part of “Old Glory.”  That part has the names that the flags above them represent, TO ME.

You see, I spent alot of time researching my family heritage, paternal and maternal, and found that I am of English, Scottish, and Jewish descent.  So, the flags of those nations speak of my personal past, as well as does the flag of our nation, since both sides of my family, all three components, have been here all the way back to the revolution.

I also learned that ALL of my family fought in “The War Between the States,” aka, “The Civil War, aka, “The War of Northern Aggression,” aka “The Rebellion,”, depending on whom you talked to after the war was over.  The victor tends to write history, so you can guess the predominant name of that particular conflict.  All of my family, from Mom’s and Dad’s lineages, fought for the South.  We have 26 known relatives who fought in that war; one was a prisoner of war from the Texas Cavalry 17th regiment, Captain Joseph Bruton.  Three were killed in action.  Two were Jews: Jacob Shuler on my Dad’s side, and Louis A. Dreyer on my mom’s side.

Yes, both sides of my family held slaves.  Joseph Bruton [if I remember which grandfather correctly], however, wrote home during the war about his ‘man’ who was fighting beside him, and had his wife sell some cattle so she could go purchase his wife back, so they could be together when the war was over.  It’s a letter of note in Texas History, housed at SFA university.  Do I agree with the fact that they owned people, that they enslaved them to labor?  Not at all.  Do I regret that they did?  Yes.  However, I do not think for a moment they were any more evil than people today, per se.

The reason many of them found it ‘ok’ to purchase slaves is the SAME reason many people today do MANY heinous things, such as sleep with people out of wedlock, kill unborn children, commit adultery many times over, sleep with persons of the same sex, and many other heinous things that are TODAY acceptable in the eyes of most: THEY WERE TAUGHT THAT IT WAS OK by many of their religious leaders, INCLUDING IN THE NORTH.  Scripture was PERVERTED to appease the consciences of the masses.

Even in the south, there were MANY who were opposed to slave ownership.  And, there were many Blacks who owned slaves.  And, there were many WHITE slaves in the early days of the colonies.  And, the country’s people committed many offenses.  Are you going to hold ME guilty for what MY ancestors did?  What about yours?  Did you not know that many in Africa were slave holders of WHITE people? Study the Barbary Slave trade, and see.  Do we go back and get restitution for that, or is it only for MY ancestors?  Did you know that many slaves stayed and worked for and with their southern ‘owners’ after the war ended, and that that’s how many of them got their surnames?  They took on the names of people they loved.  Does that excuse the institution?  No.  But it should shed some light.  Not everyone who functioned in that instutuion was ‘evil to the bone.’  When they purchased their slaves, it was NOT ILLEGAL, anywhere!  They were not breaking the law.  They were being immoral, but it was only immoral to a few.

That is how homosexuality is now, today.  When I was young, a mere 45 years ago, it was THE OTHER WAY AROUND.  Sexual promiscuity of any kind was still ‘somewhat’ frowned upon, but not today.  In fact, those who are chaste until marriage are today made a laughingstock.  Those of us who think men should not marry men are accused of bigotry.  They ‘think’ it is about religion, when in our minds it is about the sanctity of the traditional family unit.  Disagree, but don’t call me a bigot unless I prove to be.  But in fact, those yelling “Bigots!” are themselves the bigots against us.

You will notice that I did not put a confederate flag on my cover photo for Facebook (seen above, made for fb).  But, did you know that the basis of the flag for the Confederate Army of Virginia was the flag of Scotland, in the middle above?  There were many, many Scots who settled all over the South.  That ‘cross’ is the cross of Andrew the Shaliakh, who is purported to have been executed on an ‘X’ .  He is the favorite ‘saint’ of Scotland, for legends attributed to him in ancient Scottish/Pictish lore.  But, the Army that adopted it, changed it to red and blue versus blue and white, were protestants, borrowing it only to hearken to their past as Scots, adding 13 stars to represent their ‘union,’ and using it as a symbol of inspiration, to remember their loved ones at home, whom they saw themselves as defending.  The Scots had won a great victory when they favored Andrew in prayer, and they adopted his ‘cross’ for their flag.  It is still there to this day.  The Virginians probably wanted a little of that luck, and certainly wanted their heritage represented, just as I did above.

Of course, it is EASY for the confederate symbol to be associated with slavery, and that is understandable, because that’s what many people think of when they see it.  But, to accuse anyone who has one in some fashion of being racist is not based in reason, but emotion, and in an apparent need to point the finger and DIVIDE the country.

I LOVE the promises of Elohim.  And one of the promises He gave to ALL mankind is one of the most beautiful features of nature: the rainbow.  And today, and for many recent years, so many take that sacred sign and use it to represent what is offensive to Elohim [Lev 18, Rom 1] and to many who believe in Him.  And MANY of the people who believe in Him are griping about the Confederate Flag, but NOT about the LGBT symbol.  That is base hypocrisy.  Why are they not ‘up in arms’ about that symbol, which is a direct perversion of a promise from the merciful Elohim?

I do not like the LGBT flag.  That does NOT mean I do not like LGBT PEOPLE.  But in our society, any HINT of disagreement with the political left is automatically labeled bigotry.  I have no doubt that at some point it will actualy be illegal to speak one’s own beliefs in this country, and THAT is what is terrifying.

I HATE what happened in South Carolina.  It is sick what that young man did.  But, HE did it.  Why are we blaming everyone who descended from sinners for it, even though the majority of them keep the law.  That young man broke the law.  He took their lives.  Not me, and not my grandfathers.

It is a big misperception that the only reason southerners went to war was to protect slavery.  Not only that, it is a tool of deceit.  The South was so besmirched in the eyes of those up north, that when I was only 19 and living in Connecticut, I heard the residue of their hatred and years of misinformation.

I was sitting in CHURCH!  I knew my family had owned slaves, but I also knew that my family in Georgia lived right next door to their descendents.  We did when I was about 4 and 6 years old.  And we didn’t hate each other. I was the only white boy in my kindergarten class, and I had NO IDEA that there was any ‘tension’ between ‘my kind’ and ‘their kind.’  My best friend in that class was, obviously, a little black boy, like me in every way but color.  We were poor.  But in Connecticut, their pastor had gone down south for the summer and learned a thing or two about the Bible.  But, before class started, he started telling the class about his trip.  I was a visitor, my first and only time there, and I had not spoken as yet.  My southern drawl was thick as cane syrup back then.  The pastor began to say how ‘terrible’ it was that they, white southerners, forced black folks to live in tar-paper shacks.  In my mind I’m trying to process this, as I had just been to NYC, and went through Queens and Harlem.  Then I think back to my days in Chicago, and the slums there.  But the southern white folk were held in stark contrast to them?  I didn’t see their ‘holiness’ in this.   Funny, when the actual lesson started, the first question he asked was “Where in scripture do we first see the triune nature of God.”  I’m 19.  Everyone in that room is in their 30s and 40s [an older Navy buddy invited me], and presumably had been Christian their whole lives.  I had been taught that particular Baptist lore as a boy, and after he unsuccessfully solicited his answer, I think I burst his bubble when I raised my little southern hand: “Wail, Ai thank the first time we see the try yune nature of Gawd is in Genesis 1, when Gawd says, ‘Let us make main in ar own image.'”  And I left.  My friend was aghast.  An airforce officer apologized to me through him, the one thing that helped me to forgive them at such a young age.

I learned then that most everyone is a bit of a bigot.  Most everyone has presuppositions about people about whom they know nothing, and unreasonable defenses of themselves and what they are familiar with.  I vowed never to do that to anyone else.  I vowed to learn about other people, and disbelieve the prejudices I had been taught.  And to be cautious about my perceptions of other people.  And later, I learned that I had to let go of who I ‘thought’ I was, so I could get past some of my presuppositions.

I can say without doubt that if any real Southerners thought for a moment that slavery was going on anywhere in our borders, we would not tolerate it.  I think there are plenty of other offenses, plenty of heinous practices to ‘pick on’ rather than one that has been dealt with.  There are social problems that could all be solved if all of us would follow the instructions of the Creator, יהוה, and learn the art of listening.  That is all many of us on the other side of these ‘liberal’ issues are trying to suggest, but we meet closed-mindedness, the very kind for which we are accused.

I have no doubt that minorities still experience oppression and racism.  And I am sad that it is worse now than it was when I was a kid.  But, I have also seen many classy folks rise above all of that, succeed, ignore the stupidity of a few, and embrace the other race on a footing of equality, and challenge the idiots still lost in the past.  That, I respect.  If we think white racists are lost in the past, so are black racists who want to blame white children and grandchildren for sins of former generations.

Taking the confederate flag out of public eye and off southern monuments and buildings is not the solution.  Having dialogue and learning to love one another, even though we differ, is the solution.  Closed-minded clinging  to issues and political jockeying is NOTHING.  VANITY.  CHASING THE WIND.

I have many people in my family who are black.  I had to prepare some of my extended family for the eventuality of neices and nephews of color.  And now, no one would trade them, they LOVE them dearly.  And one thing that we learned, as many learned during the civil war, is that we all bleed red, and we all die and face the creator.  Doing so with ANY HATE or resentment in our hearts for other people’s skin tone or their particular sin issue is proof that we do not love HIM.

End of rant.

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Today’s Big Issue

וְאֶת זָכָר לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הוא

Above is the verse that relates to one of the most difficult and controversial topics about which people opine very near daily in every forum. I have refrained from doing so, so as not to lend to the cacophony, but have been compelled, seemingly from within and/or above, to raise my voice in an attempt to lend some clarity about this subject, or at least to apply some balm, if that’s possible.

Many are very emotional about this issue. And part of the reason for that is because of its prominence in social discussion; but, also, part of the reason for such emotion is because of one’s personal exposure to the issue, one’s perspective, and also due to the very polar positions people take on this politically, especially if a loved one has embraced the behavior.

The verse above reads:

“And unto a man you shall not bed, as one beds a wife. It is a repulsive thing.”

This verse is in VaYikra [Leviticus] 18:22, and is listed among a whole host of other things that are repulsive to יהוה. [His ‘NAME’, the name of the Creator of the Universe to whom all men will one day give an account of their lives.]

But, for some reason, this one verse is the ‘topic du jour,’ and the other repulsive things slip into oblivion.

The word there for ‘repulsive thing’ is “toh’evah,” which means disgusting, or abhorrent. It is usually translated as ‘abomination,’ but there are so many societal overtones and stereotypes to that word, I chose not to use it here, but bring it up to point out that society has created a perverted concept around this whole issue.

Christian society believes that this is the ONLY thing ‘abominable’ to יהוה . It is not. There are many things abominable, or repulsive to Him, not the least of which is violating His Sabbath and perverting His feasts with pagan idolatry. So, to avoid the hypocrisy of religion and the stigma around this word, we will use a different word for toh’evah: repulsive.

Toh’evah is a word that describes an ‘act,’ a behavior that Elohim [G-d] abhors. But, once again, there are many other ‘acts’ or ‘behaviors’ that He abhors passionately, like when we eat shrimp, bacon, and catfish [which we do not do any longer, having repented [turned from it], for that reason, so don’t assume and call us hypocrites!].

Idolatry mixed with the worship of Elohim is abhorred by יהוה . So, when evangelicals beat the ‘abomination’ drum, they do indeed come off as hypocrites, and so the argument just stays in the spin cycle. “First, take the LOG out of your own eye; then you will see clearly enough to take the spec out of your brother’s eye.” ~ Yeshua the Messiah

VaYikra 18 is full of OTHER sexual sins that, again, get NO attention from the political ‘right’ or evangelicals. Plain ole adultery is also ‘toh’evah,’ or repulsive; EVERYTHING in that chapter is called ‘toh’evah.’ [see verse 29!]

I said all of that to say this: I in no way have any ill will against those who call themselves ‘homosexual/gay,’ nor do I think they, as a group, are ‘bad people,’ any worse than anyone else. Neither are they in any greater danger of going to hell than anyone else.

Now, to the question, ‘is this a sin?’:

The Father says yes.

Sin is when we break His Torah. It is the Brit Khadasha [Renewed Covenant scriptures] that defines this very plainly: “He who sins breaks the Torah [law]; because sin IS transgression of the Torah.” [Yokhanan Alef 3:4 (1st John)] VaYikra is the book of being ‘set apart,’ or made ‘holy,’ and is a big and important part of the Torah, defining many of the behaviors that He says are good, and those that He says are harmful. This one is indeed harmful. We will discuss how later. But, for Christians to quote this one verse out of this book on the one hand, and on the other say ‘we do not have to follow the ‘law’ because it is a burden, their hypocrisy is laid bare, so their argument is ineffective.

So, why does this one error get SO MUCH attention above all the other harmful behaviors listed in Torah but that are very nearly ignored? Well, there are likely many reasons for that, but the first one I will address here is this: because some people only read ONE side of the Bible, reading it without the pretext of the Torah. Many do so innocently, because they are taught that way. Our hope is that someone reading this will see that error and stop doing that, no matter what side of this argument they choose.

But, theologians fall into two categories, usually, about this topic. Some of them wittingly ignore the ‘old testament’ texts so as to perpetuate an erroneous system of MAN’S DOCTRINE. This group deliberately points at this ONE error, and screams and hollers about it, so as to draw attention away from the other errors in the ‘church.’ Truly, homosexuality is the modern scapegoat for many. The other group, however, is completely and wittingly dismissive about this one verse, and about the verses in the Brit Khadasha that do say something about this particular error, quite at length.

Since we have said that this is ‘sin,’ or error, let’s further define what that is, beyond just ‘breaking Torah.’ Torah and Khata [law and sin] are two archery terms in the Hebrew language. ‘Torah’ is more accurately ‘translated’ as ‘instruction,’ and NOT ‘law.’ Instruction is ‘directional,’ in the sense that it is the arrow pointing at the bull’s-eye in the target; and khata is the arrow in flight that has ultimately missed the target.

Messiah Yeshua gave us the ‘goal’ of PERFECTION, His perfection. He never sinned; He never broke the Torah. He tells us to be like Him. He [Messiah] is the ‘goal’ at which the Torah aims. [Rom 10:4, check the greek!] And He gives us an opportunity to be conformed, as closely as possible, into that perfection while we are on this earth. There are many who do not strive at all to reach that goal after they come to believe. And there are many who strive, as if fighting inside an open fishing net, because they don’t ‘see’ that the Messiah’s Perfection is HIS TORAH. He embodied Torah: “The Word [Torah] became a BODY [flesh] and lived among us.” He kept it perfectly, and told us to strive to do so as well. [Matt 5:19, John 14:15] Breaking this ‘controversial’ command is just ONE way of not reaching toward the perfection of Messiah.

So, having established that this is error, ie sin, and having established that it is NOT the only sin, and that we do not patently condemn all who commit this sin, let’s now look at what the Brit Khadashah says about this type of ‘missing the target.’

Chronologically, the first place in the Brit Khadashah where this error is mentioned is in Romim 1:19-2:1 [Romans].

We read:

“Because that which may be known of Elohim is manifested to them, for Elohim has revealed it to them. For, from the very creation of the world, the invisible things of Elohim have been clearly seen and understood by His creations, even His eternal power and divinity; so that they are without excuse. For they knew Elohim, and did not glorify Him and give thanks to Him as Elohim, but became vain in their imaginations, and their hearts were darkened so that they could not understand. And while they thought within themselves that they were wise, they became fools, and they have changed the glory of the incorruptible Elohim for an image made in the likeness of corruptible man,

[Some of Christianity has violated that last line. They ‘think’ that because Yeshua is a man, that Elohim is just like man. Doctrine has made people think that “Jesus” is just like us, and overlooks our sins. That is a manmade ‘image’ of Elohim [G-d]. The ways of Elohim are far HIGHER than our ways, and He does NOT think like us. Many Christians pervert the words of “Jesus” and Shaul [Paul], and TWIST scripture to fit their ‘idea’ of “god.” That is IDOLATRY.]

Romans 1 goes on to say:

and in the likeness of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things on the earth. That is why Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves; and they have changed the truth of Elohim for lies, and worshipped and served the created things more than their Creator, to whom belongs glory and blessings forever. Amein. Therefore Elohim gave them up to vile [repulsive] passions; for even their women have changed the use of their natures into that which is unnatural; and likewise also their men have left the natural use of the women and have run wild with lust toward one another, male with male committing shameful acts, and receiving in themselves the due recompense of their error. And as they did not consent in themselves to know Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a vain mind, to do the things which should not be done; being filled with all manner of iniquity, fornication, bitterness, malice, extortion, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and evil thoughts. They are slanderers, backbiters, haters of Elohim, revilers, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, without reason, disobedient to their parents; these have no respect for a covenant. They know neither love nor shalom, nor is there mercy in them. Knowing the judgment of Elohim, that those who commit such things He condemns to death, they not only do them, but also associate with those who practice them. Therefore you are without excuse, O man, to judge your neighbor; for in judging your neighbor, you condemn yourself; for even you who judge practice the same things yourself.”

The first issue in this passage is the mixture of worshipping created things with worshipping the Creator. That is the reason Elohim gave them over to the lusts of their hearts. That is the reason they changed their sexual practices. This is all of mankind. They were NOT CONTENT to know Elohim [G-d], but wanted to do things that should not be done, because of their idolatry.

Idolatry was the great sin; Elohim gave them over to their lusts because of that. This is not new. This has been going on since the beginning. But, there is not one human who escapes ALL the behaviors listed in this passage, who hasn’t at one time or another committed ANY of these repulsive acts. This is what the hypocrisy is among the religious who point the finger only at the ‘homosexual.’

One should not be alarmed that people outside the Body of Messiah would do these things. But, when people who claim to know the Messiah do several of these things, but point out only the one behavior of others, there is the great hypocrisy. That is why the ‘church’ makes very little headway in this debate. That is why so many who say they believe in the Messiah feel ‘okay’ embracing this one behavior, because so many who claim to believe in Messiah commit so many of the OTHER behaviors here listed!

The next place where this error is addressed in the Brit Khadashah is:

“Do you not know that the wicked shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim? Be not misled, neither the sexual sinners, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lie with males, nor extortionists, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor defrauders shall inherit the kingdom of Elohim. And some of these evils were to be found in some of you, but you have been cleansed, and have been sanctified, and made righteous in the name of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashiakh and through HaRuakh of our Elohim.”

Korinti’im Alef [1 Cor] 6:9-11

Now, this is quite compelling, as again we see this one error listed with a host of other errors: [all] sexual sin, idolatry, adultery, corruption, extortion, theft, drunkenness, reviling, defrauding; yet very rarely does anyone get as up in arms about these things as they do about ‘homosexuality.’ Why does this particular ‘sin’ garner so much attention, when the others do not? In my personal life, as a consumer of news, I see these others FAR MORE than I see homosexuality! Our society glorifies most of these as acceptable, even laudable behaviors! And has for years. Yes, homosexuality gets a lot of ‘play time’ these days in television and movies, but what I’m talking about is the number of people ACTUALLY COMMITTING these errors. The truth is that less than 5% of people actually adopt a homosexual lifestyle, 10% at the most, whereas the corrupt, the adulterers, the fornicators, the drunks [and drug users], extortionists, etc, are many of today’s leaders! Why is the believing community not speaking against these things as vehemently as against this one error? Again, only if we address the others will we effectively deal with this one.

If one studies scripture, one finds that these other behaviors are all forms of IDOLATRY! They are all forms of turning from Elohim, and they lead to the one sin many are upset about. Society turns to this egregious behavior because of idolatry!

The next place where this particular error is mentioned is the last specific reference to the behavior that is only modestly detailed in the Torah in Leviticus 18. But, this passage teaches something about the Torah and those who follow it, as well:

“Now the fulfillment of the mitzvah is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of a true faith, from which some have gone astray and have turned aside to foolish words, desiring to be teachers of the Torah; not understanding what they speak, nor even whereof they argue. But we know that the Torah is good, if a man walks in it according to Torah, knowing this, that the Torah is not made for the righteous, but for the wicked and rebellious, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the profane and unclean, for those who abuse their fathers and ill-treat their mothers, for murderers, for whoremongers, for those who defile themselves with males, for kidnappers of well-born sons, for liars, for perjurers, and for whatever is contrary to sound doctrine; this is according to the glorious B’sorah of the blessed Elohim, which was entrusted to me. And I thank Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashiakh who has given me strength, and has counted me trustworthy and has appointed me to His ministry, who was before a blasphemer and a persecutor and a reviler; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Now the grace of Adoneinu has become abundant in me, as well as my faith and love in Yeshua HaMashiakh. It is a trustworthy saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Yeshua HaMashiakh came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause He had mercy on me, that in me first Yeshua HaMashiakh may show forth all patience, for a pattern to those who should hereafter believe in Him to life everlasting.” 1 Tim 1:5-16

Shaul understands that EVERYONE is counted in the list of sinners given above, and included himself as a chief violator! The Torah is meant for us ALL, so that we can correct our behavior after Messiah cleanses us, so we do not again defile ourselves. Those who do not understand this and yet desire to be teachers of the Word are confused themselves [though they think not], and so they confuse others. They speak out both sides of their mouths! They have not seen that they themselves were [and many still are!] among those in need of the Torah! Sha’ul understood this! And he lists ALL the things that are repulsive to יהוה. And, again, the ‘homosexual’ error is counted among that same list of OTHER offenses, all of which are offensive to יהוה.

Interestingly, Sha’ul writes another letter to this same person, and warns him about the “Akharit HaYamim,” the last days, which many believe we are now in or encountering. He again makes a list of things not pleasing to Yah, but does NOT specifically mention this particular error:

“And men shall be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, proud, conceited, blasphemers, disobedient to their own people, ungrateful, wicked, false accusers, addicts to lust, brutal, haters of good things, traitors, hasty, boasters, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim; having a shade of the fear of Elohim, but far from the power of Elohim; from such turn away.” 2 Tim 3:1-3

It is easy to see that this, and all sexual sins listed in Leviticus 18, are included in the phrase, “addicts to lust.” But, so are a lot of other errors included in that one phrase: greed for money, alcoholism, addiction to facebook, etc…we give ourselves over to many things that take control of our minds more than they should!

Lest someone get bogged down in the semantics of the language, the greek in 1 Tim and 2 Tim, and in 1 Cor, all referenced herein and that is translated as ‘man who lies with man, ‘ is arsenokoites, and cannot be translated any other way; and it perfectly expresses a violation of the topic of this article, Leviticus 18:22. “Man shall not lie with man as with woman.’ ‘Arseno’ means ‘man’ and ‘koites’ means ‘bed’ as a verb meaning the sexual act: ‘man-bedder,’ a man who ‘beds’ a man. Further, Romans 1 spells out the behavior, instead of using the one word that the other three scriptures used to encapsulate the behavior so detailed in Romans 1. All of these passages were written by the same man, and we can conclude that he was speaking of the same behavior in each passage. Also, just because the female rendering is not given in those three later verses does not release females to the behavior, because Romans 1 also addresses that gender, very specifically and detailed. It is error on the part of both male and female to ‘bed’ a member of the same gender.

My point is this: yes, there is error in doing certain things, and having sex outside the biblical boundaries is indeed error: it is sin. But, it is NOT any worse a sin than any other listed as ‘repulsive’ to יהוה . Where people get really upset is in the phrase in 1 Corinthians, where Sha’ul twice states that anyone who does these things ‘shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim.’ The reason they get so upset is because they think this is a ticket of condemnation: the religious see it as justification for stating that someone is going to hell [but again, they excuse the adulterer, fornicator, drunkard, angry, etc etc.]. Then there are those who have a loved one who has given in to this behavior, and they worry they will not ‘see them in heaven,’ but that they will ‘go to hell.’ Neither of these conclusions is true! Talk to any homosexual, and you will find that this behavior is merely a ‘part’ of who they are, and that they are just like every other person on earth, and in many cases, better behaved and more kind than most who ‘hate’ homosexuals!

Inheriting the Kingdom of Elohim and ‘going to heaven’ are vastly misunderstood today: “some have gone astray and have turned aside to foolish words, desiring to be teachers of the Torah; not understanding what they speak, nor even whereof they argue. But we know that the Torah is good.”

Those who inherit the kingdom are those who not only trust in Yeshua the Messiah as their salvation, but also OBEY HIS TORAH. These are they who will assemble around His Throne and see the face of Elohim, The Father. These are those who turn from ALL these behaviors. They will rule over MANY who did trust in Yeshua for salvation, but did NOT choose to obey Him fully! Those who rule with Him do so because they understand that He will rule by HIS TORAH.

Those who are the ruled did not seek Him with a whole heart. They will not see Elohim and His Throne! But, they will not ‘go to hell,’ provided they repent in the great time of testing that is to come. They are those who, like Sha’ul, committed these sins unwittingly, not KNOWING that they themselves were sinning, because of the TEACHERS who told them they could keep on living a life outside of Torah and what is Righteous. They are the ones who ‘have the smell of smoke on their garments.’ They are ‘saved,’ but not much more than that. These are the ones over whom those who DO inherit the Kingdom will rule during the Millennium, the 1000-year reign of Messiah on earth.

Inheriting the Kingdom of Elohim is NOT the same thing as ‘salvation,’ or ‘going to heaven.’ Salvation is being rescued from eternal destruction. Inheriting the Kingdom means ruling with Messiah. Those who do not rule with Him are ruled BY Him, AND by those who rule WITH Him, with Torah as the body of ‘law’ governing His Kingdom. [See Isaiah 2:1-4, and other places that show us Torah is the mechanism of His rule].

The ones who ‘go to hell’ are those who KNOW that they should do right, but they choose NOT to; they DEFY Elohim, REJECT Yeshua, twist their philosophy/religion to make themselves arbiters over what is ‘right and wrong,’ saying ‘anything goes,’ deigning to say that G-d does not exist, or that they do not care if He does. They hear of His Son Yeshua and they REJECT Him. They are persecutors of His People. They are deceivers. These people are those who say ‘whatever MY heart tells me is right is right.’ They are the ‘iniquitous,’ the ‘wicked,’ the ‘evil’ people in this world. And, yes, this is MOST people. And some of them claim to be ‘Christian.’ The wicked have always far out-numbered the ‘righteous.’

The difficulty for many who have succumbed to homosexual behavior is that they ‘think’ that they must succumb to it, and they are now being told by society that they should. They have been told that they are born that way. Irresponsible ‘scientists’ are insisting there is a ‘gay gene,’ which is a lie, and their assertion is not backed by scientific method.

Many homosexuals have been labeled all their lives by many who think that their ‘tendency’ to behave like the other gender MEANS that they are ‘gay.’ Because they did not fit in societal molds, and because peers and parents did not understand that their ‘personality’ was not a sexual identity, they have been ‘informed’ by society that they are made that way, that their ‘tendency’ should be translated into their sexual ‘choice,’ which, to them, is really no choice at all. Words are powerful, and when a young man hears from his ill-trained, hateful peers that because he is ‘soft’ or ‘artsy’ or ‘intuitive,’ then he must be ‘gay,’ he begins to look for others who ‘feel’ the same way. He seeks companionship with those who are the same as he, and it eventually ends up that his sexual behavior becomes defined by his affection for those who share his plight. Most of them are without the plain reading of The Word on the issue, and they are just trying to be loved, as everyone in society is, in some way or another. They do not see that every behavior, every sexual ACT, is a choice, and they become trapped in the lie, seeking like-minded persons to help them be happy. This is the very reason the underground homosexual community began to call themselves ‘gay,’ when they began to reveal their behavior to society: gay means ‘happy.’ They thought they were now ‘happy.’ The truth is, they just ‘unionized’ their behavior.

They have been told that it is ‘right’ that they embrace this behavior. Yet, many who are raised in the confines of faith and yet identify with this are perplexed, because they have been told they will go to hell. And this is where this issue gets so difficult. Many have believed the contrived doctrine that all homosexuals go to hell, so when they have children who evince a ‘tendency’ toward behaving like the other gender, they threaten their child with hell, hoping to ward off the behavior, and instead drive the child into the arms of the seemingly more merciful and accepting homosexual community. Many times, this gives the child the idea that the god of their parents is hateful, so they reject G-d altogether, or embrace a man-made version of one, and accept the twisted interpretations of scripture. In many cases, the parents end up also doing the same, out of love for their child and a desire to make amends and have a relationship with their child.

Some parents today who believe in Messiah go ahead and embrace the deceit, and accept their child’s ‘behavior,’ thinking that it is how they were ‘created.’ No. Elohim does not create sin. Society fails these individuals, and it is idolatry that has given them the ‘green light’ to go into the behavior, because SOCIETY has rejected Elohim and His Word! “And as they did not consent in themselves to know Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a vain mind, to do the things which should not be done; being filled with all manner of iniquity…” This is just ONE result of most of society turning away from HIS WORD.

Yes, some homosexuals will ‘go to Sheol,’ or be cast out of His Presence for eternity. But, some will not, because they are victims of bad and false teachers in the religious community. They may never hear the truth about their plight. They are trapped in this sin, because people are telling them they can be. “The law has been fulfilled, so we don’t have to worry about doing all those Jewish laws….” LIE. Since they do not seek Elohim diligently, they will barely escape the flames, but SO WILL MANY OTHER BELIEVERS who reject HIS definition of sin and do all those other behaviors, because of bad and false teachers. “Sin IS breaking the Torah.” 1 John 3:4 The reason they barely escape the flames is because they should ALL have sought Him in His Word more diligently, instead of allowing society, and bad and false teachers, to define their lives and tell them how to behave.

Are we giving all homosexuals a ‘ticket to ride’ if we take this position? No. They should stop behaving that way. It is very distasteful behavior to
יהוה . But, so are MANY other behaviors. Those who call themselves ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ and also call themselves believers or Christians, they should stop the behavior. Not because anyone tells them to, but because the Creator made them for better things, and because they should love HIM enough to do what He says. And, if they want to be a prince in His Kingdom, they MUST stop that behavior. But also, if they learn that it IS a thing that יהוה abhors but then INSIST on doing it, then their ‘belief’ and professed love for G-d is a false confession:

“For if any man sins [breaks Torah, 1 John 3:4] willfully after he has received the knowledge of the truth, [“Your Torah is Truth, Ps 119:142] then there is no more sacrifice to be offered for sins, but only impending fearful judgment, and the fiery indignation which shall consume the adversaries. He who transgressed the Torah of Moshe, on the word of two or three witnesses died without mercy: how much more punishment do you think he will receive who has trodden underfoot HaBen HaElohim, and has considered the blood of His covenant, through which he had been sanctified, as ordinary blood, and has blasphemed HaRuakh of Grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says יהוה.”
And again, ” יהוה shall judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim.” [Hebrews 10:26-31]

Only those who REJECT correction will actually be rejected by Elohim. And this applies to ALL those who break Torah commands, once they have heard them and understood them plainly. This is a GREAT LOT of people, even in the Christian community. If we are going to apply this principle to the homosexual community, we need to apply it to the wider berth of ALL of society. Those homosexuals who have heard the B’sorah [Good News of Messiah] and received it need gentle correction; they need to be shown the validity of the Torah, versus the hypocrisy of religion. Those who have not heard the B’sorah of Messiah need to hear it. But, the fact that so many are now ‘coming out’ is SOCIETY’s fault, because we have TURNED TO IDOLATRY of every variety. If religious people are looking for someone to blame, they should blame themselves. They created this mess, by rejecting the PLAIN MEANING OF HIS WORD:

“Consider that the longsuffering of יהוה is salvation; even as our beloved brother Sha’ul also, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his letters, he speaks concerning these matters, in which there are certain things so hard to be understood that those who are ignorant [of Torah] and unstable twist their meaning, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of the Torah-less, and fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of Adoneinu and Savior, Yeshua HaMashiakh, and of Elohim.” [2 Peter 3:15-18]

May our hearts be turned to do His Truth.

Shalom!

Tallit :: מַעֲטֵה תְהִלָּה

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א  רוּחַ אֲדֹנָי יהוה, עָלָי–יַעַן מָשַׁח יְהוָה אֹתִי לְבַשֵּׂר עֲנָוִים, שְׁלָחַנִי לַחֲבֹשׁ לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי-לֵב, לִקְרֹא לִשְׁבוּיִם דְּרוֹר, וְלַאֲסוּרִים פְּקַח-קוֹחַ. 1 Ruakh of Adonai יהוה is upon me; because יהוה has anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes to them that are bound;
ב  לִקְרֹא שְׁנַת-רָצוֹן לַיהוה, וְיוֹם נָקָם לֵאלֹהֵינוּ, לְנַחֵם, כָּל-אֲבֵלִים. 2 To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of יהוה, and the day of the vengeance of Eloheinu; to comfort all that mourn;
ג  לָשׂוּם לַאֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן, לָתֵת לָהֶם פְּאֵר תַּחַת אֵפֶר שֶׁמֶן שָׂשׂוֹן תַּחַת אֵבֶל–מַעֲטֵה תְהִלָּה, תַּחַת רוּחַ כֵּהָה; וְקֹרָא לָהֶם אֵילֵי הַצֶּדֶק, מַטַּע יהוה לְהִתְפָּאֵר 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Tzion, to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the MANTLE OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called terebinths of HaTzedek, the planting of יהוה, wherein He might glory.

This passage in Yesha-Yahu [Isaiah] has become one of my favorite scriptures, and the photo above one of my new favorites.  The first time I saw it, I thought, ‘how much like ‘wings’ does that tallit look as it is ‘decending’ on me.’  It’s a special picture, because it comes from the day my wife and I renewed our vows under the Khuppah three years ago, after twenty years of marriage.  I was preparing for that ceremony.  I have often ‘praised’ Elohim for giving me my “Eshet Khayil,” and that day I was happy to commit our marriage to Him again, and to affirm our continued trust in the Jewish Savior.

This scripture is one of my favorites, because this is what Messiah Yeshua read when he returned to His home town synagogue to read at the Bimah when it was HIS TURN to be the Oleh [the one who ascends to the Bimah, to read Torah.]  He was handed the Yesha-Yahu scroll, meaning it was ‘time’ to read that scroll, and that passage.  It was His turn, because it was the anniversary of His birth, and this portion was read every year at that time.  [Later Rabbis removed it from the ‘orthodox’ Jewish reading cycle, because it is so pivotal a scripture about Messiah Yeshua.]

This passage is “Messianic,” meaning it gives us information about The Coming One.  The sixth word in the first verse in Hebrew is MASHAKH, which is the verb ‘anointed,’ whose ‘noun’ is Mashiakh: Messiah.  So, the Messiah was anointed to declare the B’sorah [Good News, the ninth word in Hebrew in verse 1], to bind up broken hearts, proclaim freedom to captives, open bound eyes [take blinders off sighted people], to declare the year of the good pleasure of יהוה.  This is where Yeshua stops reading; but the verse goes on to say that this Messiah would ‘appoint unto them that mourn in Tzion to give them a garland for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, and the MANTLE of PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness….’

The “Mantle of Praise’ has been on my mind, as I sing a melody frequently to these verses, and over the past few weeks, the ‘Ma’ateh Tehillah’ just seems to ‘glow’ in my mind as I contemplate these words while singing; I can’t explain it.

The Jewish “Tallit,” what many call a ‘prayer shawl,’ is the modern [dating from the Middle Ages] garment worn at the Beit K’nesset [Synagogue] of Jews on Shabbat.  But, the custom of having an outer garment that is used for prayer goes back to the very beginning of real Judaism.  While it is not ‘on the surface’ of the text until much later, it is nonetheless a well-known, historically prevalent feature of Jewish dress and custom, and is heavily alluded to even in the beginning of the Torah.

When Y’hudah gave pledge to Tamar, she asked for his signet ring, his staff, and his ‘cord,’ which does not mean much to the modern reader.  There, the words are : וּפְתִילֶךָ, וּמַטְּךָ .  This is your ‘petil’ and your ‘staff.’  But, look very carefully at the second word [right to left], because it ‘sounds’ just like the word Ma’ateh in our subject: mantle. That is likely a hint.  The petil is ‘thread,’ but notice how she asked for HIS thread.  This is not just any ‘string’ hanging off his clothes.  These are the ‘tassles’ that Jewish men wore on their four-cornered outer garment!  When יהוה instructs them to make tassels in BaMidbar 15 [Numbers], He is telling them to make a PETIL of TEKHELET.  A thread of BLUE [light blue].  They already wore tzit-tziyot!  There are ancient pictures of Ivrim [Hebrews] in Egyptian hyroglyphs that show them wearing tassels!  Abba was just modifying their own custom!  The blue thread is made with the same color, ‘Tekhelet,’ that was used to make the whole robe of the High Priest, to remind them to keep the commandments of יהוה.

This ‘Ma’ateh’ is also called an ‘ADERET,’ אַדֶּרֶת,  which is just another word for ‘mantle,’ the outer cloak of ancient Jewish men.  It was distinct from the clothing of other nations.  This is seen in the book of Yehoshua, where Akhan takes a ‘Babylonian Aderet’ because he coveted it.  Taking the garment of Babylon [and other treasures] got some men of Yisra’el killed!  That’s because in all ancient near-east cultures, the outer garment was more than a ‘shirt;’  It was one’s own personal ‘tent,’ used in worship.  The problem with a Babylonian garment is that their deities were all sexual deities, and their garments used in those rites!

But a Jewish ‘Aderet,’ or ‘Ma’ateh’, is much more.  It is a ‘picture’ of the Ruakh HaKodesh  [Holy Wind/Breath/Spirit] of Elohim!  We see a powerful picture of this in the “Aderet” of Eli-Yahu:

“And it was so, when Eli-Yahu heard it, that he wrapped his face in his אַדֶּרֶת mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said: ‘What are you doing here, Eli-Yahu?”

Since Eli-Yahu is a good Jew, we know his ‘outer garment’ of ‘four corners’ would have had the Tzit-Tziyot on it, with a Petil Tekhelet [thread of blue.] “You shall make for yourself twisted cords on the four corners [literally ‘wings’] of the garment in which you wrap yourself.” גְּדִלִים, תַּעֲשֶׂה-לָּךְ, עַל-אַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת כְּסוּתְךָ, אֲשֶׁר תְּכַסֶּה-בָּהּ  [D’varim 22:12, the affirmation of the command in BaMidbar 15:38-41]  Eli-Yahu wrapped his face in his four-cornered garment, for prayer, and heard the ‘still, small voice’ of  יהוה.  This, too, was a long-standing custom in Yisra’el, as David had wrapped himself up for prayer in his at one point, as well.

Eli-Yahu’s ‘aderet’ was always on him, and so the ‘ruakh,’ or spirit, that was on him, the ‘anointing’ that was on him, affected that very garment!

“And Eli-Yahu took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two went over on dry ground.” [Melakhim Bet (2nd Kings) 2:8

“And he [Eli-Sha] took the mantle of Eli-Yahu that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, ‘Where is יהוה Elohei Eli-Yahu?’ And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted here and there: and Eli-Sha went over.” ibid 2:14

Eli-Yahu’s mantle is clearly the symbol and in some means the ‘bearer’ of his ‘anointing,’ since Eli-Sha had just asked for a ‘double portion’ of his anointing, and received it via the ‘aderet’ falling out of heaven!

So Eli-Yahu’s aderet/mantle, his outer garment, which bore the petil tekhelet, was used for prayer, and was a symbol of his anointing.

So, why is it called a “Tallit” today?

The word Tallit comes from the Aramaic word טלל, ‘Tallel,’ which means ‘wrap.’  It is rooted in the same Hebrew word seen in 1 Kings 19 where Eli-Yahu ‘wrapped’ himself in his ‘aderet.’

לוּט

“Lut.”  These two words even have the same letters in them.  Aramaic is a ‘sister’ language of Hebrew, and is the original language of the Brit Khadashah [renewed covenant] scriptures.  This word, Tallel, is also loosely related to the Hebrew words for both prayer and praise:  תְּפִלָּה and תְהִלָּה .  ‘Tefilah’ and ‘Tehillah.’  Other scholars posit that the Hebrew word ‘tal,’ an unused word that means ‘tent,’ possibly from ‘talal,’

טָלַל

which means ‘roof,’ and adding a suffix ‘it’ meaning ‘little,’ i.e., ‘little roof’ or ‘little tent.’  This has long been the understanding of what the Tallit is, a personal ‘tent’ for prayer.  This is why men in our Jewish Synagogues ‘wrap’ their family in their tallit during prayer.

So, Yesha-Yahu tells us that Mashiakh will give those who mourn in Tzion a ‘Ma’ateh Tehillah,’ a ‘garment of PRAISE’ instead of the spirit of heaviness.  Tzion is Yisra’el.  The Jewish People.  The ‘Tallit’ as we know it did not come about until after Yisra’el was ‘scattered’ when the House of Praise/Prayer was torn down by Rome.  Today, there are prayers that specifically mourn the loss of the House.  So, the ‘garment’ of Praise is an obvious picture of the Ruakh HaKodesh, which descended on Yeshua like a dove when He immersed, much like Eli-Yahu’s aderet fell to Eli-Sha.  Yeshua came to rebuild the House of Elohim, to restore the foundations, to make it a House of Prayer for ALL PEOPLE.  It is a spiritual house first, and was always spiritual, long before Shlomo laid the foundation stone in Yirushalayim.  Ya’akov met  יהוה after he prayed, and called the place of that meeting, Beit El, the House of G-d.  Yeshua gives us an outer ‘garment,’ ‘mantle,’ a mantle of PRAISE, and the whole book of Hebrews was written to keep the Messianic Jews from mourning the coming loss of the stone House of Elohim, because we already have in place THE House of Elohim, being built by Yeshua.  “Do you not know that you yourselves ARE the House of Elohim?”

So, a Tallit is a VERY biblical thing, and is a daily reminder of the PRAISE Messiah has given to Yisra’el, those who have been healed of their broken hearts, and had the blinders lifted off their spiritual eyes.  There is so much more to the Tallit than I can even cover in this short span of time.  But it is a custom that is deeply rooted in Yisra’el, in Torah, and in Messiah Yeshua Himself.  He wore one, and the woman who touched the ‘kanaf’ where his Petil Tekhelet hanged was instantly healed.

I suppose one thing that compelled me to write this was that this past Shabbat, an elderly Jewish man came up for prayer, and as we were praying for him, my eyes came open, and I saw him grasping my ‘kanaf.’  The scripture came to mind of the woman who grasped Yeshua’s and was healed, as did the following two scriptures, and I very nearly was overwhelmed with JOY and PRAISE:

“But unto you that fear MY NAME shall the Sun of Tzedaka arise with healing in his Kanafim [wings].”  Mal 3:20/4:2

“Thus says יהוה Tzeva’ot; In those days it shall come to passthat ten men shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the KANAF of him that is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you: for we have heard that Elohim is with you.'” Zekhar-Yah 8:23

Mission Improbable!

Did you hear the theme song just then?

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I love Yehoshua chapter 2. The two men who went in as ‘spies’ fascinate me. I used to wonder who they might have been, and then years ago I read that Jews have thought for thousands of years that these two men are Kalev and Pinkhas, and this makes a lot of sense. Yehoshua had to TRUST them, since forty years before, 12 men were sent in, including himself, and only he and Kalev came back with a TRUE report! The other ten men lied.

It never ceases to amaze me how what are called LIES in the scriptures are STILL believed today as truth!

10 men came back from spying out the land of Kena’an, and they told Yisra’el that it was full of NEFILIM. And people TODAY still believe that there were Nefilim in Kena’an! And this is in spite of the fact that the report of the ten WAS A LIE! People would rather believe what ‘sounds cool’ than what Elohim actually SAID.

Similarly, FALSE accusers accused Tzefan-Yah [Stephen], and said that his ‘Yeshua’ would DO AWAY with the Torah. Tzefan-Yah WENT TO HIS DEATH denying it, dying because of their LIE, yet people today STILL think Yeshua came to rid the Jews of the Torah. This is also in spite of the fact that Tzefan-Yah kept it, as did THOUSANDS of Jews who TRUSTED IN MESSIAH. Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 21:20

Again, LIARS accused Sha’ul [Paul] of telling everyone that they did not have to keep the Torah, and accused Sha’ul himself of not keeping it, and yet people today believe THAT report, rather than what scriptures actually say: “Then everyone will know that what has been said against you is a LIE, and that you [Sha’ul/Paul] YOURSELF ALSO walk out the Torah, and OBEY IT.” Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 21:24.

These two men, then, were likely older men, especially if they were indeed Kalev and Pinkhas; they were foreboding Jews, dressed differently than everyone in Yirikho. They had four tassels hanging off their cloaks. They had full beards, and a covered head. They did not have ‘goatees’ or bald faces like the men of that city. They had no tattoos, as most of Yirikho did. They were very different. And they just walk into this bar/Inn and plan to spend the night there. Clearly they stood out, because they were reported to the king posthaste!

Rakhav is the ‘impossible’ element to this story. She could have easily sold the men out. She could have ‘sold’ the information about them. Instead, she strikes a deal with Kalev and Pinkhas to save herself and her family’s lives. She specifically asked, ‘snatch our souls from death.’

She is a harlot, and her “Inn” may have also been a house of ill-repute. Yet, she has heard of the G-d of Yisra’el, and of the mighty deliverance He performed in destroying Mitzrayim [Egypt] and bringing out Yisra’el. She believed that יהוה is Elohim [G-d], and she saw a chance to join Yisra’el, in the two men who had come into her place of business. Her confession was, “For יהוה  your Elohim, He is Elohim in heaven above, and on earth beneath!”

She asks them, “Give me a SIGN OF TRUTH.”

אוֹת אֱמֶת

The first word [on the right] is ‘sign.’ But the ‘picture’ is the Alef and the Tav with a ‘nail’ in the middle, or a ‘pierced’ Alef and Tav. The second word is ‘truth,’ and is the same, only instead in the middle is ‘mayim,’ or ‘water.’ That ‘true sign’ was the hope of a scarlet thread, which I posted about earlier this week. When Yeshua was pierced, ‘blood and water flowed.’ [Yeshua said “I am the Alef and the Tav”]

And the two spies promised that they would do to her, “Khesed V’Emet;” Compassion and Truth! These are the words that describe Yeshua in Yokhanan [John] 1!

Rakhav’s belief, however, in  יהוה  Elohim, caused her to act, and to trust, and to recognize the G-d of the two Jews who were there to see if the land could be taken. She understood that a G-d who could do what He did to Mitzrayim for Yisra’el was to be feared! She knew that these people were His!

These two men accomplish what the ten men failed to do 40 years before. They report the TRUTH about the people of the land:  ” יהוה  has given us the land, and the people who live there melt away [in fear] before us.”  There was no mention of “Nefilim.’

In fact, in the whole book of Yehoshua, there is no mention of Nefilim! And Yehoshua conquers all the land, including that of Anak, where the Nefilim were supposed to be. Not one giant found. Yet people today still teach that they were there. People, the Nefilim were destroyed at the flood! That was part of the purpose of the flood.

But, again, LIES are hard to be overturned. But these two men, and Yehoshua, were finally able to enact TRUTH: it is  יהוה  that shoud be feared.

To what lies do you cling?

Ascending to the Menorah to meet Messiah!

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Messianic nut-job strikes again! If you don’t like Hebrew, don’t read this!

I LOVE the symbol of the Menorah, and what it represents.  The meme above does not show that before he said, ‘in your ascending,’ He said “Say to Aharon,” This is the High Priest of Yisra’el.

I read this while working on my own copy of Torah [we are commanded to write it!, it is a VERY spiritual process, I highly recommend it.] But I ‘saw’ something in it this time that blew my mind.

It starts out in the second person, talking to Aharon, and it switches to the third person… ‘he shall light the seven lamps.’  Hmmmmm

First, I notice this is an ASCENT. The Menorah sits just before the veil, on the north side of it, where one can see all seven lamps horizontally before him. The ‘Ner Tamid,’ or ‘eternal lamp,’ the one in the middle on the ‘tree’ of the Menorah, is always lit, but the other six have to be lit at dusk. But, in this chapter, this is the FIRST TIME the Menorah has ever been lit, so ‘someone’ had to light all seven lamps…

We know from Hitgalut [Revelation] that the Menorah of the Temple was a picture of the Ruakh HaKodesh that burns in front of the throne of Elohim.  We also know from that book that each Congregation, if it is founded on Torah, has a Menorah in its midst. But, that Yeshua Himself will take it away, if we do not remain faithful to His Word. This has happened in most settings, though most people are oblivious to it, because they have such a distorted view of ‘church.’ They ‘think’ the Ruakh is ’emotion,’ or ‘chill bumps,’ or ‘agape’ fake love, or crying, or running, screaming, or falling down, or spewing incoherently, or ‘dancing in the spirit’; all of these can be foisted on any unwary people group, through music, lighting, and hypnotic techniques that many have used in certain religious settings in America since the 1840s.

The Ruakh is TRUTH! The TORAH IS TRUTH.

But, I digress.

So, ‘someone’ lights the lamp here, after Aharon ASCENDS up before the ‘face’ of it. The word that leaped out at me was MUL. It is actually the word for CIRCUMCISION!

The Menorah is in the ‘heart’ of the Temple! Right in front of the veil. ‘Circumcise your HEART!’ This is a TORAH command, Shaul [Paul] did NOT invent it in Romans!

 D’varim 10:12-16 —

“What does יהוה , your Elohim, require of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul; to keep FOR YOUR OWN GOOD the commandments of יהוה , and His statutes, which I command you this day? ………….. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”

What makes one certain he has a Menorah in his heart, in the congregation?  Circumcision of the heart?  

In ancient Judaism [Messianic Judaism!] circumcision of the heart is called ‘Teshuvah!”  Turning from sin back to the Torah of Elohim, to HIM.  And a lack of this is what Yeshua said would cause HIM to remove the Menorah from the congregation in Ephesus! They were believers! And HE was going to TAKE their Menorah from them. 

Hitgalut 2:5

“Remember, therefore, from whence you have fallen, and SHUVU! [ REPENT! ] And DO the first WORKS! [The Torah was FIRST]. Or ELSE, I will come to you very soon, and I will REMOVE your Menorah from its place, unless you REPENT.”  

If we read Acts, we see that Ephesus studied the TORAH daily for two years under Shaul’s tutelage. At this point they had TURNED from it, and Yeshua told them TURN BACK TO IT, and DO it!

This is circumcision of the heart. Shaul says it applies to JEWS and GENTILES.  

Rom 2:29
“But a real Y’hudi [Jew] is one who is inwardly so, and circumcision is of the heart, spiritually, and not literally; whose praise is not of men, but from Elohim.”

The Menorah is the Ruakh, with seven ‘breaths’ that light a flame upon Messiah.   Read Isaiah 11:1-2 and ‘see’ those seven breaths/flames.