Monthly Archives: December 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for January 6, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for January 6, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Leviticus 22:1-23:44 – (No Prophet) – Psalm 86 – Colossians 2:1-3:6


Vayikra 22.1-16 ­– This is a very long and involved Torah portion today, so keep a pen and paper handy to write down questions that arise while reading the passages and listening to my notes so that you get them addressed at Q&C time. 

There is a triple redundancy in this verse: 1) “And he, Y’hovah, said” – vayomer; “to Moshe, “Say” – emor; “to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and tell them” – v’amartha. Y’hovah tells Moshe to speak and tell – When he repeats himself, Y’hovah is letting us all know how important what he is about to say is. The root, amar literally means “to organize speech to be heard and understood.”

The Kohen Gadol is to sanctify Y’hovah, and to do so by staying aloof from what only Israel calls holy, because the Kohanim sanctify Y’hovah’s Name, and if they sanctify what he has not, they are profaning his Name. An example of this would be to not set apart, as unto Y’hovah, traditions of men that Y’hovah did not set apart. Yeshua came against this throughout his ministry with stuff like 

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto Y’hovah thine oaths: (Matthew 5:33)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: (Matthew 5:38)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. (Matthew 5:43)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Matthew 23:25)

That’ll do for now. The Kohen Gadol sanctified Y’hovah’s Name and to exalt anything other than what Y’hovah exalted was forbidden.

He gives some specifics in vv.3-6. If a Kohen ate of the food set apart unto the Kohanim while in a tamei/defiled condition, he would be exiled from his position of service until he became tamim/cleansed or complete. The tamei Kohen MUST perform a mikvah and remain tamei until sundown, when he became tamim, whole or holy. Then he may eat of the sanctified food of the Kohanim. This was ultimately a self-policing thing, as he may have been made defiled by something only he and Y’hovah knew – w/o human witnesses.  V.7 revisits ch.19, where the Kohen is to marry only a Levite woman “in her virginity”, or the widow of a Kohen (presumably as a kinsman-redeemer). He is set-apart to Y’hovah and must adhere to the strictest holiness. An average, run-of-the-mill Yisraelite was allowed to marry a divorcee, but not a Kohen. He represents Y’hovah to Yisrael and must show Yisrael Y’hovah’s sanctity in his life and practice.

V.8-9 is in effect, because there is a GOOD chance that an animal that died of itself or was killed by other animals was not properly bled, and the Kohen would become abominable. He must not allow any but the Kohanim to eat of the food that is sanctified to them in v.10. Even fellow-Israelites were strangers in this case. It looks like, in v.11, that a purchased slave came under the Kohen’s family covering, because he got to eat the food sanctified to the Kohanim. When the Kohen’s daughter marries any man other than another Kohen in v.12, she can no longer eat of the sanctified food, because she is no longer under the Kohen’s authority/covering. But if she is widowed or divorced without children (a widow indeed in 1Tim.5.5), or otherwise comes back under the Kohen’s covering in v.13, she may again eat of the Kohen’s sanctified food. Vv.14-16 address a non-Kohen eating the food sanctified to them and a Kohen eating what is sanctified to the man offering it. The one who inadvertently eats part of the Kohen’s portion must make restitution as if he had stolen it, repaying what he took and adding 20%. By the same token, the Kohen is not to partake of that portion of a man’s offering that is sanctified to the man. The Kohanim were sanctified by Y’hovah, and must guard against all this stuff. 

Vv.17-25 – Anyone who lived in Israel, even a stranger, could offer a freewill offering at any time and MUST offer an unblemished male sheep, goat or bull/bullock (steer) to complete a vow. If there is any evidence of physical imperfection, it is to be rejected by the Kohen. The bullock, sheep or goat of the freewill offering is kinda like the Kohen with a club-foot, flat nose or other physical imperfection – not allowed to be offered for service. The Kohen still got to partake of the hallowed food, since this was a matter of inheritance. But he had to represent Y’hovah and his MelchiTzadik High Priest. 

A new calf, lamb or kid must be allowed to feed on his mother’s milk for at least the 1st 7 days of its life. From the 8th day it could be offered on the altar. But it could not be offered on the same day as its mother. I think this has to do with the prohibition against seething a kid in its mother’s milk, which was a practice of the Canaanites and the Egyptians. 

In 1195 CE, Maimonides suggested:

“As for the prohibition against eating meat [boiled] in milk, it is in my opinion not improbable that – in addition to this being undoubtedly very gross food and very filling – idolatry had something to do with it. Perhaps such food was eaten at one of the ceremonies of their cult or one of their festivals” (The Guide to the Perplexed 111:48).

Maimonides offers no proof, only the enlightened speculation. However, I found this, also:

Apparently it was a common pagan sacrificial practice to offer a foetal or newborn goat boiled in the milk of its mother, and this was considered an abomination for the Israelites.

While this sacrificial practice may have ceased, the item is still on the menu today. On a Mediterranean cooking web site, I came across a recipe from Syria/Lebanon called “Lamb Cooked In Its Mother’s Milk.” Oy. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Obviously the practice existed, or the Torah would have no reason to prohibit it.

Other reasons were also suggested for this prohibition. Ibn Ezra connects the law against boiling a kid in its mother’s milk with the Torah’s injunction against slaughtering a cow and her offspring on the same day (Leviticus 22:28) and the edict not to take a mother bird from the nest along with her eggs (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). For Ibn Ezra, it was clear that all three of these mitzvot draw their inspiration from a single idea: to kill a mother and its offspring at the same time reflects a lack of sensitivity to life that is inexcusable. Ibn Ezra supports this idea with a passage from the Prophet Hosea that describes an extreme act of destruction:

…Therefore shall a tumult arise among your people, and all of your fortresses shall be plundered, just as Shalmon conquered Bet Arbel on the day of battle, when the mothers were dashed to pieces with their young (Hosea 10:4).

So, if you must seek a rationale for the Torah’s disdain for Lamb and Milk stew, then either of these reasons is as good as the other: the Torah seeks to distance Israel from a practice that was common among the idolatrous peoples, and/or, the Torah was emphasizing the sanctity of life and denigrating those who devalue life by destroying mothers along with their children.

So, Ibn Ezra does me one better. I’ll accept that. By the way, ‘destroying mothers along with their children’ sounds a lot like abortion to me. I’m just saying.

Vv.29-30 – A thanksgiving offering was to be eaten on the same day it was offered. I assume that one would celebrate the thing for which he was thankful and ‘par-TAY’ with his buds. He would invite at LEAST enough folks to eat all that flesh. 

In vv.31-33 Y’hovah gives yet another commandment to guard and do all that he commands and to hallow his Name thereby, as Y’hovah has hallowed Yisrael. 4 times in the last 3 verses, Y’hovah uses that enabling clause, “I am Y’hovah” which brought you out of Egypt’s bondage. The meaning is clear – “Don’t go back to what I have delivered you from.” 

We are not to return to our own vomit, as dogs are wont to do. Q&C

23.1-3 – I am not going to go into great detail on the Moedim in my study today, but will leave it to the Q&C time, as I think we are familiar with the Feasts of Y’hovah. I will attempt a brief overview of each Moad as we go through the chapter.

The first of Y’hovah’s Feasts, both in inception and in importance, is the Shabbat. It has become a real controversy among Messianics over the last few years, because people just can’t comprehend how, with all the calendar changes over the millennia, Y’hovah kept it straight. I know this: in the year 325 CE, at the Nicene Council of what became the Roman Catholic Church, all Xians who were under the authority of Rome were told that anyone who kept the 7th day Shabbat was anathema – accursed by the hierarchy.

“He [Constantine] also enjoined the observance of the day termed the Lord’s day, which the Jews call the first day of the week, and which the pagans dedicate to the sun, as likewise the day before the seventh, and commanded that no judicial or other business should be transacted on those days, but that God should be served with prayers and supplications. He honored the Lord’s day, because on it Christ arose from the dead, and the day above mentioned, because on it he was crucified.” Sozomon, Ecclesiastical History, 1:8 (A.D. 443).

“Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible” (Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society, 1975).

And now, within the Sabbath-keeping community there are various and sundry ‘shabbats’ that people are keeping. As to the 7th day being Shabbat is not so much in question as when the first day of the Shevua is. As far as I can tell, in scripture there is no question but that the 1st day of next week follows the 7th day of this week, but now there are some who do not see a never-ending cycle of 7s. I say that we ought to look at Exodus 16 to see what Y’hovah wanted us to know. Israel had been in Egyptian bondage until only a month or so ago, working 7 days a week and 365 a year for only Y’hovah really knows how long. They hadn’t kept a Shabbat in decades, at least; perhaps as much as 100 years. So he had to retrain them in Sabbath-keeping. Let me quote from our study on Ex.16 from May 10, 2014:

Now, let me venture an educated guess here, the 15th day of the 2nd month was a weekly sabbath day. I derive this from the passage in Shemoth 16. Y’hovah told Moshe that beginning tomorrow, they were going to get a bunch of quail dropping out of the sky in the evening and bread from Y’hovah in the morning with the dew. Y’hovah gave the plan to Moshe who then told Aharon to call the congregation to attention, because Y’hovah was about to speak. The Shekinah appeared in the cloud for everyone to see and Y’hovah spoke to Moshe in everyone’s hearing. He was going to send quail this evening and bread in the morning with the dew. And it happened just as Y’hovah said it would. 

Notice evening and morning – the evening and the quail came first, setting the pattern for the day of the week. Then he sent the bread the next morning. On the 1st day, when the dew burned off, the bread was lying there. It was something they had never seen before, so they said ‘mahn’ – “What?!” (This was said in their best ‘Tim Allen’ quizzical manner.) Then when they tasted it, they grunted like Tim Allen, “ugh! ugh! ugh!” (My wife makes great manna, by the way. Quite often even SHE doesn’t know what it is, but it always tastes great – woman cooked food is always great). 

They were told to go out and pick up the bread every day, an omer (about 2 liters) per person per day. They were not to keep any overnight, but were not told why (a chukkim). Y’hovah was using the manna to teach them to obey him. Some kept some overnight and it bred worms and stank to high heaven. I don’t think it took more than one of two times and they were broken of that. They were also told to go out everyday to gather their manna, one omer per person per day – except on the 6th day, when they were to gather a double portion two omer per person – and hold one portion overnight so they would not have to go out on the 7th day, for it was Y’hovah’s shabbat, a day given to them by Y’hovah so they could rest from their labors. When they went out on the 6th day and gathered two omers per person, keeping one until Shabbat, the manna did not breed worms nor did it stink.

So, Y’hovah gave them the pattern for reckoning the day – quail in the evening, manna in the morning so that evening and morning comprise a biblical calendar day. He also gave them the pattern to reckon the Sabbath – 6 days you gather manna, the 7th day you rest from your gathering. He set apart the Sabbath in at least 4 ways: 

1) The manna was given in a certain quantity for 5 days, and double on the 6th day;

2) The manna bred worms and stank if kept over the first 5 nights, but didn’t ‘go bad’ when the double portion was gathered on the 6th day and kept over for the shabbat;

3) The manna did not arrive with the dew on the 7th day;

4) The manna reappeared on the next 1st day to start the pattern over again.

The 2 greatest controversies among Messies today are 1) When does the day begin? and 2) When is the 7th day? Y’hovah answered and gave an object lesson for both in Ex.16. Then from the study on the May 17, 2014:

So now Moshe said (in a Mark paraphrase of) vv.25-26, “Eat what didn’t spoil overnight today, because there won’t be any out there today. Y’hovah is setting us a pattern for the Shevua/week in that 6 days you will go out and gather manna, but the 7th day Shabbat is your rest day. Don’t go out looking for manna. It will be a manna-less effort.” But, of course, in v.27 we just HAD to be Missourians and say ‘Show me! I won’t believe Y’hovah until I see it with my eyes.’ We see this same attitude in Num.15 when the guy went out to gather sticks for a fire on Shabbat. In vv.28-29 (in another Mark paraphrase), Y’hovah addresses the nation through Moshe, “How long will you continue to despise what I say? I’ve given you the Shabbat for a day of rest. Did you like being slaves so much that you can’t take off the day I set aside for you? I gave you a double portion on the 6th day so you could rest on the Shabbat. WORK WITH me here!” So, in v.30, they did, finally.

So, he showed by his object lessons of the quail and the manna that the calendar day begins at evening and that the Shevua begins at sundown that ends the 7th day/begins the 1st day. The 7-day cycle is the basic time period in determining the Feasts of Y’hovah. And there is NOTHING anywhere in scripture that changes those patterns. Q&C

Vv.4-14– I’ll include everything that occurs during Pesach week here. There is a 7-day convocation. The first and seventh days of ULB are mikra kodesh – holy convocations. Please notice that Y’hovah is careful to NOT call the 1st day of ULB or the 7th day of ULB Shabbats. The convocations are to be held in their seasons and the people are to do no laborious work. The Shabbat is the Shabbat. The Mikroth (?) are days of rest from everyday labors LIKE the Shabbat, but are not the Shabbat (unless they actually fall out on the Shabbat). This will be an important distinction beginning in v.9. I am emphasizing this because it is so important. Genesis 1.14 is a key verse,

And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: (Genesis 1:14)

‘Seasons’ in Gen.1.14 is the same root word, moed, as Feasts in Lev.23. Nothing there about weeks because weeks are determined by the 7 day cycle, while the seasons, months and years are not determined by when the weeks begin or end. They are, all but 1, determined by the day of the month they fall within, regardless the day of the week. Pesach/Passover is the 14th day of the 1st month and is a preparation day, when everything is made ready for the day of no laborious work. ULB1 is on the 15th day of the first month and is a mikra, like a national holiday. ULB 2-6 are regular days of the week, including the Shabbat, if it falls on one of these 5 days. ULB7 is also a mikra in which there is no laborious work done. There are special offerings made everyday of the Pesach week of ULB, which are enumerated elsewhere.

Vv.15-21 – Another special day happens during the week of ULB, which is NOT a mikra. That day is Chag haBikkurim, the Festival of Firstfruits, when the people would bring the firstfruits of their barley harvest to wave before Y’hovah. It is the first day following the weekly Shabbat during chag haMatzoth. On Firstfruits there is a special service with a male lamb of the first year with the attendant meal and drink offerings. 

It is also the first day of the 50-day ‘counting of the omer’, which ends with the Feast of Shavuoth/Pentecost. The 50 days begins on the 1st day, from which you count 7 Shevua – weeks. After 7 weeks, the 1st day following is Chag haShavuoth – the Feast of Weeks. This time is similar in its count to the Yovel, or Jubilee years. The Jubilee cycle is just like the Bikkurim/Shavuoth count. The 1st day of the week following the 7th (sheviyith) weekly shabbat (shabbat) is Shavuoth as well as the 1st day of the next Shevua, just like the 1st year following the 7th ‘week of years’ is Yovel or Jubilee as well as the first year in the next cycle of Shavuot haShanah, weeks of years. There are also some special offerings for Shavuoth (and Yovels, too) – 7 lambs, a bull, 2 rams, + 1 he-goat and 2 additional lambs for peace offerings along with their meal and drink offerings. This is a mikra, as well, the 3rd of the year and the last of the spring feasts. 

Vv.22 – In conjunction with the Feast of Shavuoth is another Firstfruits offering, this time of the wheat crop. Remember that during the Egyptian plagues when the hail fell, it destroyed the barley crop because it was ‘in the ear’ nearly ready for harvest, but the hail didn’t destroy the wheat because it was less mature, it was just grass with no grain stalks yet. So the wheat waited for the NEXT plague to destroy it – the locusts that ate the leftover greenery to the ground. It would have taken about another month and ½ to be in the same stage of development as the barley – right about Shavuoth time. Now, in conjunction with this firstfruit wheat offering comes the instruction to not harvest the corners of the fields or to glean what the harvesters dropped, so that the poor would have some provision (and, I think, so that there would be a way for Ruth to meet and impress Boaz with her virtue). Again, Y’hovah uses the enabling clause. He wants them to know how serious he is about this command. Remember ch.19’s general command;

9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I Y’hovah Elohechem. 11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. 12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of Elohecha: I Y’hovah.

Those commands are in close proximity because they are closely related. To reap the corners or glean the leftovers after harvest is to steal from the poor, to deal falsely and to lie to them about Y’hovah’s provision through you. That’s never a good idea. Q&C

Vv.23-25 – There is about a 3½ month parenthesis as we jump to the 7th month. The only New Moon that is specifically set apart as a Feast of Y’hovah is the 7th month’s. It is called Yom Teruah, and it is a Shabbat on steroids. Gesenius’ Lexicon says on shabbaton;

“A great sabbath, a solemn sabbath; Ex.16.23, Lev.23.24; especially in this connection, shabbat shabbaton, in Ex.31.15, 35.2, Lev.16.31.”

All the weekly shabbats are shabbatons, according to Ex.16.23, 31.15 and 35.2. Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and both the 1st and 8th days of Sukkoth are Shabbat Shabbaton. Yom Teruah, what is erroneously called Rosh Hashanah, is also a Shabbaton Zikron Teruah, a great Shabbat of Remembrance with shofars. We are to remember to blow the shofar on this Rosh Chodesh if not every other one. There is a good comment on this in Schottenstein’s Chumash on pg.164, left column. The shofar not only represents the ram caught by its horns in the thicket of thorns on Mount Moriah as Yitzhak submitted to his father Avraham, but also Moshiach Yeshua who, submitted to Avinu as the substitute for me and you, had his own head pierced by the same kind of thorns and in the same geographical area (I think in exactly the same place). It isn’t a shabbat of ‘no work’, but one of no occupational work. 

The next miqra is the only Shabbat of absolutely NO WORK – Yom haKippurim vv.26-32. Traditionally, there is no work at all – not even eating, as that is considered a delight, and we are to afflict our souls on this day. It IS a kadosh miqra – an holy convocation; a large formal gathering of people. Only the High Priest worked at his regular job on Yom haKippurim. But even this was not his regular job, for it was the most set-apart – ‘Kadoshiest’, if you will – day of the year. There were very special offerings to be made on this day, made in the Most Set-Apart place and in the most set-apart manner. For example, the Kippurim itself is the only offering in which a goat is specified. The Pesach offering can be either a sheep or a goat, which qualifies Yeshua’s once for all offering as BOTH Pesach and Kippurim, and tells us that the ‘lamb of Elohim’ is a kid of the goats. In Ex.12 we see this:

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (Exodus 12:5)

Why is the Lamb of Elohim always portrayed as a sheep? Perhaps it’s because of the traditional misapplication of the parable in Mat.25?

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25.31-33)

The sheep are not intrinsically good and the goats intrinsically evil. It is the nations that are good or evil. He is differentiating the nations “as a shepherd divideth sheep from the goats”. Moshiach will remove the good nations from among the evil nations AS the shepherd removes the sheep from among the goats. The word ‘as’ denotes a simile – a similarity between the one and the other, in this case the separation of the nations and of the different flocks. The differentiation is what is juxtaposed, not the ‘sheep’ nations and the ‘goat’ nations. ‘Context is king’ in biblical interpretation.

The priest had to enter into the Throneroom, ‘Spiritual Space’ in which time does not exist. He had to offer special offerings for his own sins before he could enter into Y’hovah’s presence within the veil, and if he entered in any way unprepared for his transportation into that presence he would die from the intense sublimity. The bull of his personal sin offering was done immediately before he offered the goat for the nation’s sins. He would have no way to actually commit a personal sin in that time, unless it was in thought. If he kept his focus on what he was doing, which had to be done in precisely correct fashion, that could not happen either. And in the 1500 years between the Exodus and Titus’ destruction of the 2nd Temple, no priest died in the Yom Kippur service, so they must have all done OK, even the Edomites appointed by Rome as Kohen Gadol. 

Vv.33-36 gives the general information about Sukkoth. It begins on the 15th day of the 7th month and is 7 days long, just like Matzoth. The 1st day is a kadosh miqra and the 8th day is a kadosh miqra. But I thought it was a 7-day Festival? Whence comes the 8th day? I would suggest that perhaps the 8th day is added to balance Sukkoth with the Spring Feasts of Matzoth and Shavuoth, 7+1 = 8. This is just a thought, not a doctrine. If you include Chag haBikkurim on the weekly shabbat of Pesach and Rosh Chodesh Sheviyi (Yom Teruah) there are 9 Festival days in the Spring and 9 in the Fall plus Yom Kippur, which is NOT a Feast, but a fast. 

Vv.37-38 summarize the moedai Y’hovah which are miqrai kodesh. All are days to gather together either for celebration of the Feasts or support in our affliction of soul. Each festival has its own special offerings in addition to the regular daily offerings and the freewill offerings of the people. 

Vv.39-44 command some special features of celebrating Sukkoth. The ‘4 species’ are given, for which the rabbis have made some suggestions of meaning. Nothing is commanded in scripture without a purpose, so I have to agree that there is some spiritual meaning to each of the 4 species. What the rabbis have seen is valid, and I will hold to them until a better explanation comes to light. Note from Schottenstein’s Chumash, pg.167, left column. Vv.42-43 specify WHY chol Yisrael is to dwell in Sukkoth for 7 days – to remember that Y’hovah protected them in their Wilderness Adventure. And IF he did it then, he will do it again when he calls us out from the 4 winds and corners of the earth.

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moshe in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Moshiach. 5 But with many of them Elohim was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Moshiach, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Elohim is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear. (1Cor.10.1-13)

An example is something used to illustrate a general rule. An ensample is a SAMPLE of what’s to come, like the pink spoon at Baskin Robbins Ice Cream – just a taste. The real thing comes afterwards. Paul says it comes at ‘the ends of the world’ so we’ll have a clue about the proper response to the things that are coming. Y’hovah ends his instructions to Moshe with the enabling clause – “I am Y’hovah Elohecha.” Q&C 

Tehellim 86V. 1 uses 2 metaphors for exile, poor and needy. Vv.2-4 uses parallelisms to show how the poor and needy of v.1 are in exile, but are keeping themselves set-apart unto him. The supplications are all parallels – “Preserve my soul = save thy servant = Be merciful = Rejoice the soul of thy servant.”  The reasons that the supplications should be granted are also parallelisms – “I am holy = I trust in thee = I cry unto thee = I lift my soul unto thee.” In v.5, he exalts Y’hovah for all his goodness to him. He has been forgiven, he has experienced Y’hovah’s mercy, so he exalts his Adon. Then in vv.6-7 he opens his heart to make specific supplications, knowing that his Elohim, Y’hovah, will hear and respond in his righteous power. 

Vv.8-10 – We have gone to other Elohims and have found that they are vanity and the product of our own minds. They do not really exist as Elohims and cannot deliver us from trouble. In fact, they will deliver us inTO trouble. We have come to know by experience that there is but one Elohim and that he is Y’hovah. So in vv.11-13 we call directly upon Y’hovah to unite our hearts in his way so that we can walk in his truth and be delivered from hell and death unto life eternal.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto Avinu but by me. (John 14.6)

In vv.14-17 David laments that wicked men have turned against him, but contrasts them to the gracious and merciful way that Y’hovah has and will deliver him from them. Remember 85.10 from last week, where mercy and truth met together and righteousness and peace kissed each other in Moshiach Yeshua? Here is the same mercy and truth being poured out upon David in his need. He calls upon Y’hovah who responds with Yeshua. This same thing will happen in the time of Yacov’s trouble, when Y’hovah’s people will cry out for Y’hovah’s salvation – “Hosheanu! Save us, NOW, Y’hovah!” and he will respond by sending his Yeshua. Then those who persecuted Y’hovah’s people will be confounded, dismayed and ashamed when Y’hovah shows himself as his people’s deliverer – One Elohim against the combined forces of the world’s system. He will rout them with a Word from his mouth. Q&C

Colossians 2.1-3 – Already in ch.1, Rav Sha’ul has revealed one mystery, 

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of Elohim which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of Elohim; 26 the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom Elohim would make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Moshiach in you, the hope of glory: (Col.1.25-27)

Moshiach in you = Ruach haKodesh in you, as the Spirit of Moshiach = Ruach haKodesh 

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave me, is greater than all; and noone is able to pluck out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him… 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself Elohim. (John 10.27-31a, 33)

The Jews understood exactly what he was saying. Even I could have made that connexion – He was claiming to be Y’hovah Elohenu in human flesh. Rav Sha’ul revealed these things to his mostly gentile audience in Colosse (and Ephesus and Corinth and Rome, as well as to his talmid, Timothy, whom I suspect already knew it).

14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of Elohim, which is the kahal of the living Elohim, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: Elohim was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (I Timothy 3:14-16)

Wherever 2 or more believers meet, that is the kahal, the assembly or house, of the living Elohim. 

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)

Yeshua was speaking to his talmidim when he said this, and he was standing in his flesh and blood body. How could he be in the midst of two or three people in Corinth while he stood in Capernaum? He MUST be making a spiritual point that his Spirit was there. He could NOT be speaking of a human spirit, for only the Spirit of Y’hovah can be in more than one physical place at a time, namely everywhere. Omnipresence is solely an attribute of the Creator who spoke the universe into existence. And that Ruach indwells you and me, each individually, as well as corporately; both us and our fellowship. 

That is the mystery Paul revealed in Col.1 and 2 – Elohim the Father and Moshiach are one and the same Spirit in whom ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge can be found. One mystery of Elohim AND of Abba AND of Moshiach – all are One and the same Ruach manifesting different divine attributes to our finite minds and hearts. The mystery of Col.2.2 is that Elohim, Abba and Moshiach are all hid in Master Yeshua in Col.2.3. Q&C

Vv.4-23 – If all the treasures of chochmah and da’ath are found in Moshiach Yeshua, it would be stupid to believe anything contrary to what he reveals to us, wouldn’t it? So, no matter how enticing the words that would lead you away from Moshiach may sound, do not entertain them. If one would lead you away from the Moshiach, as he is revealed in the scriptures, ignore the guy, regardless how good his words sound. You received Moshiach by grace through faith. Live in Moshiach by grace through faith of and in the ‘Root’ and Foundation that he provides. A tree needs a deep and wide root system to stand through winds that buffet and try to uproot it. So we need to stay attached to the Root, who is Moshiach. Only by doing so will you be established in the faith of Moshiach and abound in the thanksgiving that comes through it. 

Be careful to not fall into the trap of men’s traditions, or philosophies, which are deceitful and useless. A ‘rudiment’ is something that is rough, crude or unsophisticated. It is usually true, but only ELEMENTAL truth. Moshiach is the WHOLE truth, which includes the fact that all the attributes of Elohim abide in Moshiach – ‘the fullness of the Godhead, bodily.’ They were there in his earthly life, but he’d divested himself of his independent use of those attributes (made himself of no reputation: basically, contracted or tzimtzum’d himself so that we could begin to grasp his fulness in our minds) while in the flesh;

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let <this< mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation (emptied or contracted), and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore Elohim also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah Master Y’hovah, to the glory of Elohim the Father. (Philippians 2.4-11)

He who, in Col.2, was the vessel of the ‘fullness of the Godhead’, ‘emptied himself’ in Phil.2. And we are ‘complete’ in him. The Greek word is pleroo, which is how the Hebrew word tamiym is often translated into Greek in the LXX. It means full, perfect, whole. So he emptied himself of independent use of his attributes so that we could be full of his Spirit. 

Not only are we complete in him, we also have our hearts CCd in Moshiach and are able to put off the sins of the flesh, as he put off the use of his attributes for us while he was in his flesh: buried with him in Mikvah and raised in him to eternal life. On that CC, look at excerpts from the AENT’s appendix on CC, pp 751-753. 

When he CCd our hearts making us able to obey his commandments he also took our death warrant and nailed it to his tree. When he was on the tree, Pilate put the indictment on the tree above his head – the accusation for which he was being punished. He wrote, Yeshua Hanotzrim V’melech Hayehudim, which has the acronym, YHVH. The Iuaidoi, the leaders of the Israelite religion, told Pilate to make it say that he SAID he was Y’HOVAH – for THAT was what he’d been indicted for – blasphemy. As he had the accusation nailed to his tree by his executioner, so he personally nailed our accusations, “the handwriting of ordinances against us”, to his stake and paid the price for us. 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of Elohim is eternal life through Yeshua haMoshiach, our Master. (Romans 6:23)

The Colossians were mostly gentiles who had come directly to Moshiach from the pagan religions of Asia Minor. In those pagan religions were many holidays and practices that were forbidden in the synagogues to which the new believers came for Torah instruction. They also started keeping biblical Feasts, like we read about in our Torah portion today, and were catching some flak from their buddies who were still steeped in their paganism. Some of the flak was about clean food, some the Shabbat, some Yom Teruah. Paul is telling them not to listen to the pagans about their new lifestyles, but to observe the commandments of Torah and let the assembly judge their walk. As we are not to judge the pagan for his paganism, we are not to listen when the pagans judge our new lifestyles. Don’t let a pagan trick you out of your inheritance with false humility or worship of ministering spirits – which is your basic demonism and idolatry. See excerpt from AENT, pg.904 on ‘Messengers’, or angels. Paul goes on to say that the great heresy of the day, Gnosis or Gnosticism, is among the rudiments of the world. There is no reason the Colossians should subject themselves to Gnostic ordinances. It is much simpler to shema the mitzvoth of Elohim. Those ordinances LOOK good, but they leave too much to be desired.

Tanakh speaks of the law, testimonies, ordinances and precepts. While all are a part of the revealed Word of Y’hovah, all are different in application. Ordinances are those things that we have been ordained to do. Torah  = instructions. Testimonies are recounts of things Y’hovah has done. Precepts are things he taught that are not doctrinal, like dietary laws. The ordinances Paul speaks of in Colossians are those pagan practices that we ought to leave to the pagans, while advocating for obedience to Y’hovah’s Word.

Ch.3.1-6 – Our citizenship is in the heavenlies, not on earth. We are ambassadors to the earth’s system from Y’hovah’s throne. That is where our minds ought to be focused, not on things of earth. We are risen IN Moshiach and will be raised from the dead, so we ought to mortify, or make as dead, the deeds of the flesh, oughtn’t we? This is NOT to say that we ought to kill our bodies, but to take metaphorical charge of our bodies. The deeds of the flesh in v.5 are ALL sexual in nature, so it must be a fertility cult that the Colossian believers had come out of, and Y’hovah is going to judge it and condemn those who are partaking in its rituals. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 30, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 30, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Vayikra 21.1-24; Yechezkel 44.15-31; Tehillim 85; Timotheus Bet (2 Tim) 3.1–17


Vayikra (Leviticus) 21.1-4 – The priests, the sons of Aharon – the kohen Gadol, were not to defile themselves with dead bodies, unless it was an immediate family member. This is a little different from Lev.10, when Aharon and his remaining sons were told NOT to mourn for Nadav and Avihu. 

“Aharon, El’azar and Ithamar were told NOT to mourn. Y’hovah’s judgment was just, though a shock to all the people. Aharon and the boys were Y’hovah’s representatives to the people, as well as the people’s representatives to Y’hovah. They needed to reflect Y’hovah’s justice and righteousness. As we’ll see later, this was difficult to do, and affected them physically and emotionally, but they needed to stay fixed on Yah before the nation, not their personal circumstances.” 

It is for this reason that the priests were only allowed to defile themselves with a dead body in the case of an immediate family member; wife, child, brother, mother, father or  virgin sister.

5-6 – The priests are not allowed to mark their bodies in any way that would cause someone to mistake him for a pagan priest of Molech/Asherah. This is profanity to Y’hovah. To do any of these things is to profane the Name Y’hovah. Natural baldness in itself is not defiling, but to shave ones head or a part thereof was, as this was a practice of the pagan Molech/sun-worshippers, who would shave the crowns of their heads to approximate the ‘nimbus’ or ‘halo’ seen depicted in Medieval and Renaissance art. This was also the practice of certain orders of RC priests and monks, and ALL high-ranking RC prelates. I think the kippa/Yamulke and the skullcaps of high-ranking Catholic prelates have their origins in this same pagan custom. With these kippot/skullcaps, I think the wearer is either knowingly or unknowingly syncretizing with Molech worship. Syncretism is NOT good. I think I may have just stepped on some toes (perhaps in this room), and I am ready for the hate mail. You can contact me at to make your objections known.

The reason they were not to mark themselves was because they were already marked as Y’hovah’s by their 1) keeping Shabbat and the Commandments of Torah and 2) offering the burnt offerings. Offering the burnt offering and eating the showbread in his presence in this defiled condition could risk their lives. They were to set themselves apart from the people of the land and unto Y’hovah, their mark being spiritual and evidenced in their obedient lifestyle.

But sanctify Y’hovah Eloha in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: [16] Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Messiah. (1Pe. 3:15-16) 

Syncretism is Double-plus un-good. 

7-8 – The priest was also to take only a virgin to wife. He could not take a divorcee, for he is a representative of Y’hovah, who could not take a divorcee as his bride (one reason Yeshua had to die to redeem his bride, Yisrael) nor a widow. They were not to take a ‘profane’ or common wife – that is, a common, garden variety, non-Levite Yisraelite wife. A heathen/pagan wife was not even a question, much less out of it. One who is set apart to Y’hovah must take a wife who is also set apart unto Y’hovah. There is not to be any unequal yoke. For a Kohen to take a common wife would look spiritually like a Belgian horse yoked to a Shetland pony. This is not due to the Levites/Kohanim being intrinsically of a higher spiritual order than any other Yisraelite, but because the Leviim came en masse to Y’hovah’s side at the foot of Sinai. And WE are to sanctify, consider the High Priest set apart unto Y’hovah FOR us. He is the one who appears in Y’hovah’s presence to represent us to him, as he also appears in our presence to represent Y’hovah to us. Y’hovah, who sets US apart, is set apart. Therefore, we are to set the High Priest apart.  Q&C

Vv.9-15 – As I went about my normal scripture reading/study on 3rd day this week, I came across an interesting passage that I think correlates to v.9.

When Judah saw her (Tamar), he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. [16] And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? [17] And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? [18] And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. [24] And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. (Genesis 38:15-18, 24)

Judah knew that he was a priest of Y’hovah as an heir of Ya’acov, the Melech-Zadik, so this was a good application of this Torah requirement.

Now, as an aside, I don’t know about you, but I have become acutely aware recently that the Patriarchs knew Torah long before it was codified by Moshe. The church never taught me that, even at Cedarville or Xian Heritage Colleges (perhaps especially not there) – it doesn’t fit their anti-nomian tradition or replacement theology to acknowledge that Torah commandments were known and applied before they were given from Sinai. The first time we see Torah being kept is in Gen.6, where Noach was told to bring 2 pairs of unclean animals and 7 pairs of clean animals aboard the ark (Lev.11). Another instance is in Gen.32.2, where Ya’acov has his entire entourage get rid of their idols in compliance with Ex.20.3-6. Interestingly, this was shortly after the incident of Lavan’s household elohims, stolen by Rachel, and her subterfuge in hiding it. When I read that passage, I can’t help but think that both Lavan and Ya’acov KNEW who had the idol, but for love of Rachel they BOTH kept their opinions to themselves. It isn’t more than a few days/weeks later when Ya’acov gives the order to bury the idols under a tree in a grove, presumably including Lavan’s. They weren’t destroyed, just buried. Yisrael has ALWAYS had a problem with idolatry, and still does. We go after false elohims, and try to excuse ourselves about what they are. We all know what our favorite false elohims are. We need to be rid of them before we take up residence in the land.

V.10 – The high priest is not to uncover his head. Remember what I said a few minutes ago? Still goes. The kippah/skullcap is a compromise with paganism, in my not so humble opinion. I think the high priest did not wear this type of headwear. The word uncover = H6544, para, a primitive root that literally means ‘to loosen’. The same Hebrew Word is used in Le.10.6. If Aharon had uncovered his head in 10.6, he would have been shirking his duty as high priest. I think the head covering the high priests wore had to be loosened from the head like a turban, not just picked off the top. When he was officiating he was not to remove the turban from his head. Please notice that this is a command to the Kohen haGadol, not the Levites. Our Kohen haGadol probably is wearing a head covering as we speak. I don’t see where this is a command to us as lesser priests of Y’hovah. In the Restoration Scriptures on pg. 108, note 1, Moshe Koniuchowski says:

Yisraelite men are eternally called to wear head coverings, if they claim to be a royal priesthood of the chosen nation of Renewed Covenant Yisrael.

I respectfully disagree for the above stated reasons. High Priests, Yes. Rank and file, No.

This whole chapter deals only with the Kohen haGadol during his service in the Kodesh place and Kodesh Kadashim, not the common Yisraelite or the lesser Levitical priests, and that is proven in vv.10 and 12. Only the priest on whom the anointing oil had been poured is addressed. While they were anointed upon assuming the office in their 30th year, they were anointed again each time they went into their weeks of service, especially for Yom Kippur.  

Vv.16-24 – The Kohen HaGadol must be as without blemish as the sacrifices he offered. The inspection process was every bit as intensive as the inspection process for the Pesach or Kippurim. He must be physically perfect. To have a ‘flat nose’ means to have any disfigurement. ‘Superfluous’ here means to have any deformities – 6 fingers or toes, for example. If a Kohen ever broke a bone (or anything else), had a disfiguring disease or scars, or anything else that would mark him as physically blemished, he could not perform the duties as Kohen, though he still could serve as a Levite and partake of the benefits of being a Kohen. The priests were set apart by reason of their faithfulness at Sinai, no matter the physical blemish. That is mercy and gracious provision from Y’hovah. This is how we get to partake of the benefits of a believer. If we are in Messiah, we are therefore set apart unto his service, even if we are physically unable to perform the service. Y’hovah looks upon a man’s heart to set him apart for service, not his physical pulchritude. (And that’s a GOOD thing, in my case).    Q&C

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 44.15-31 – It is important to set context here. No stranger, or uncircumcised may enter Y’hovah’s sanctuary. The priest who officiates over the Millennial Temple must be a son of Zadok, and be circumcised in heart and flesh – no excuses or substitutes. No Levite, no matter the branch of the tribe (even sons of Aharon), who did not stay faithful to Y’hovah’s Word during Yacov’s Trouble, even if he repents upon seeing Yeshua, saying Baruch haba b’Shem Y’hovah, is allowed to officiate in the sanctuary, but he IS allowed to do his service in the outer court. This is absolutely the rachamim v’chesed of Y’hovah, since he has divorced Yisrael for less egregious idolatry. There is no divorce for unfaithful Levites. Y’hovah Yeshua has already died to renew his bride, Yisrael, to himself. He cannot die again to renew a Yehudi or Levite to himself, as it is appointed to man but once to die. They will either repent, or die in their sin.

This is the Kingdom Temple, not just any Temple. When the people went after strange elohim in the time of the trouble, the sons of Zadok stayed faithful to their charge. In other words, as the whole tribe of Levi at Sinai, so will be the sons of Zadok when Chol Yisrael goes after another elohim in anti-Mashiach. The reward for this is the family’s continued service in the table of the Presence. Keep my charge – charge = mishmerath, a watch, sentry post. It looks like the sons of Zadok will be keeping watch over the table of the bread of the presence, exactly what the priests had stopped doing toward the end of Judah’s kingdom according to

Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of Y’hovah is contemptible… 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of Y’hovah is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat (food), is contemptible. (Malachi 1:7, 12)  

They had no regard for the table of Y’hovah because they had profaned Y’hovah in their hearts. No such thing will occur in the Kingdom, as there will be ever-present proof that Y’hovah lives – the Melech haOlam will be sitting on David’s throne. From my midrash from Oct. 8, 2005:

Was there a different standard for the priests than for the people? Or was their lifestyle as kohanim that different from the people’s? I think there WAS a different standard because they were always in close proximity to the Mishkan with its continuous reminders of the set-apartness of Y’hovah. Also, the kohen that is anointed is כהן םשיך, kohen Mashiach. So there is most definitely a different standard for this priest.

I think there will be a different standard for the sons of Zadok in the Millennial Beit haMikdash, too. He won’t just have reminders of the set-apartness of Y’hovah, but our Saviour and MelchiTzadik, Y’hovah Yeshua, a few yards away sitting on the throne. 

They are set apart, as were the Kohanim in the wilderness, etc. They had different standards for clothes (linen) for service, grooming, their food, and whom they could marry. The reason was so that they could BE an object lesson in their primary purpose as concerned the people – they were to teach the people the difference between holy and profane (common), clean and unclean by their lifestyle – as are we.

When they stand in judgment, they are to use the Torah as their standard, not their feelings or opinions. Wouldn’t it be great to have judges who would judge righteously instead of the manner of judges today? During the Alito confirmation hearings, the senators kept asking him about previous decisions and how he’d view matters that come before him in their light, and he kept saying that he’d use the standard of ‘stare decisis’, or legal precedent. It doesn’t matter if the legal precedent is wicked or just plain wrong, all that matters is that the precedent stands at the time he is deliberating. We need justices on the Supreme Court that will decide according to Y’hovah’s law and the Constitution that is based in it, not the political, stick-your-finger-in-the-wind, view du jour

Notice that there is no sin offering for the sons of Zadok, except when he has to defile himself due to the death of a close relation. Then he is to bring his sin offering and offer it so that he can once again keep Y’hovah’s charge. Y’hovah and the sanctuary is their inheritance, and all the things that pertain to it, like the sin, trespass and grain offerings. Where it says the ‘first of your dough’, the word dough is H6182, ariycah, literally to comminute. Yeah, I had to look it up, too. W1828 says

COMMINUTE, v.t.  To make small or fine; to reduce to minute particles, or to a fine powder, by breaking, pounding, rasping, or grinding; to pulverize; to triturate; to levigate (to make like dust).  It is chiefly or wholly applied to substances, not liquid.

I ‘comminute’ my coffee beans to either espresso or Turkish powder. So ‘dough’ should actually read ‘fine flour’ today. The first of the flour that the regular guys grind is to be offered at the Mishkan, and is for the use of the sons of Zadok. When we bring the offering, Zadok is to give us Y’hovah’s blessing, the Aharonic blessing.

I find it interesting that the Kohen is not allowed to eat anything that dies of itself or by injury, but that restriction does not apply to just a guy. It applied to chol Yisrael BEFORE the transgression at Sinai 

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat flesh torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. (Ex.22.31),

but Y’HOVAH only specifies it for the Kohen haGadol and his family afterwards. Just more proof that the transgression of the golden calf caused additional laws to be applied to Yisrael, namely the laws of sacrifice for trespasses and the Levitical priesthood that administers them.  Q&C

Tehillim (Ps.) 85 – A Psalm of Restoration. The sons of Korah had firsthand knowledge of Restoration, since their chief father, Korah, was a part of the rebellion with Dathan and Aviram. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary has this, in part: 

The descendants of the sons of Korah who did not participate in the rebellion afterwards rose to eminence in the Levitical service.

The Korahites that stayed loyal were used in the tabernacle service as singers (2Chron.20.19), porters in the Temple at the king’s door (1Chr.9.17-19), and one, Mattithiyahu, was a baker (of showbread) in the service of Y’hovah (1Chr.9.31). It is to these sons of Korah that the Psalm is dedicated. I am assuming it was meant for ‘The Singing Korahites’, the hottest group on the Temple tour. 

The psalm opens with praise to Y’hovah for turning the captivity of Yisrael, and returning us to the land. Y’hovah was favorable to the land by bringing back the captivity of Ya’akov. He forgave our iniquity and covered our sins. Is there a difference between iniquity and sin, between forgiveness and covering? Iniquity = H5771, avon (not the cosmetics company) = perversity; sin = H2403, chattahah, = offence, habitual sin. Perversity, as far as I can tell, speaks of what goes on in our minds, twisting and rending scripture from its intended meaning and context. Offence indicates active works against Torah. I think iniquity begets sin. Y’hovah forgives our iniquitous thinking, but has to cover our overt actions. Forgive = H5375, nasa = lift, carry off; cover = H3680, kacah, = cover with clothing or secrecy. He lifts and carries our perversity from us and hides our offences from his view. Consider that for a few seconds.

He turns away his wrath and repents of the anger he purposed for us. Our response is to ask him to turn us to his way. There is no way we could turn ourselves to His way, we need him to perform it for us and we gratefully acknowledge his willingness to do so. Elohim our Saviour = elohai yeesh’enu. That is none other than Yeshua. Restoration Scripture says “elohim of our Yahshua” without a ‘lamed’ prefix to yeesh’enu, or any support for the preposition ‘of’. 

Vv.5-6 ask rhetorical questions, presuming the answers to be, “Of course, not!” Y’hovah will absolutely cause his anger to cease, He will not hold a grudge forever, He WILL revive us that we may rejoice in him. He will do so because of the supplication of v.4 to ‘turn us.’ He longs for us to ask him to bring us back into his fellowship. He’s made the way of escape from our natural end by the blood of his own Son, Yeshua. He WANTS us to turn to him and he’ll do everything he can to help us, if we’ll only understand our lot and ask him to grant us ‘yesh’acha’, ‘thy salvation’. 

When he grants us his salvation, he speaks peace with us. What has the gospel been ever since there’s been a gospel? It’s always been the same, and will never change until there won’t be a need for it anymore. What?!? Not need a gospel?! Correct! After the GWT and the dissolution and re-creation of all things, we will always have peace with Y’hovah. There will never be enmity between us again. THAT is and always has been the gospel. Y’hovah wants us to have peace with him and with each other – especially (in this day) between the brethren Yehuda and Yoseph/Ephraim. All the stuff about Yeshua on the tree and rising from the grave is merely the vehicle by which Y’hovah delivered/granted his peace to us. 

8-9 – He’ll speak peace to his people and his saints – another parallelism, for his people = his saints. And we are his people if we don’t turn back to our folly. What was our folly? What is it that got us exiled from Y’hovah’s presence in the first place? V.9 tells us that his salvation is near to them that fear him. What does it mean to ‘fear’ Y’hovah? Do you suppose that fear, as in abject terror, has anything to do with it. H3373, from H3372, both pronounced yare and each deals with both reverence and terror. Morally, it means to revere, but that reverence should CAUSE us to fear what he can do to us, namely exile us from his presence forever. Why is his salvation so near those who fear him? So that his glory can dwell in our land. So HE can dwell on Earth! Among us! 

10-13 – The rest of the Psalm is a parallelism. Look at how the psalmist built this in vv.10-11; look at the parallel words and how they fit. See the illustration at Mercy and truth are different, as they meet; righteousness and peace are different, as they kiss in Mashiach. Truth and Righteousness are synonymous, as are Mercy and Peace. Elohim is the Almighty’s Truth and Righteousness, Y’hovah is the Almighty’s Mercy and Peace. Y’hovah is going to give us all the good stuff, and Elohim is going to settle us in the way of his righteousness, so we can handle it. Now let’s discuss this psalm in that light. Q&C

Timotheous Bet (2Tim.) 3.1-9 – Know this also? What had he just told them that they needed to know? I think it may be 2.4, “No man that warreth entangleth himself in the affairs of this life.” That is the main emphasis of ch.2 and the entire epistle, stay separated unto Y’hovah because there comes a day, which is described in ch.3. Sha’ul has already told Tim how to stay ready for the coming days of trouble of which he is about to warn him. The litany of wickedness he describes in vv.2-5 are of the same type as they were in Sha’ul’s day except on a grander scale. The thing that was different was that Sha’ul was talking about men in the assemblies of Y’hovah, not just in the world. Is this not exactly what we see today in the worldly ‘church’? This phenomenon existed in Timothy’s day, but not on the scale it does today, when we have super-rich churches with 10-20-25,000 members, of whom a very small remnant MAY be born-again. There may not be an overcomer in the lot. 

The need for revival is blatantly obvious to everyone outside these churches, but not within them. The pastors have taken to tickling ears, rather than equipping the saints for the ministry of service to Y’hovah in the highways and byways of life. One of the listed sins that has always caught my attention is “disobedient to parents’. Disobedient = G545, apeitho = contumacious. Yeah, I had to look it up, too. W1828 says:

CONTUMACIOUS, a. [L., to swell.]

  1. Literally, swelling against; haughty.  Hence, obstinate; perverse; stubborn; inflexible; unyielding; disobedient; as a contumacious child. 

This disobedience has the flavor of refusal to recognize the authority of the parents, and is a direct violation of the 5th Commandment to honor our parents. It says that these have a form of godliness, but deny the power of it, and that we should stay away from such men. Godliness = G2150, eusebeia = piety. W1828 says this for 

PI’ETY, n. [L. pietas, from pius, or its root, probably a contracted word.]

1.  Piety in principle, is a compound of veneration or reverence of the Supreme Being and love of his character, or veneration accompanied with love; and piety in practice, is the exercise of these affections in obedience to his will and devotion to his service.

Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man.

  1. Reverence of parents or friends, accompanied with affection and devotion to their honor and happiness.

So, these look to be pious externally (keeping Torah in public, for example), but refuse to really live in obedience to Y’hovah’s will. They creep into houses – these houses are assemblies of Y’hovah’s own. Creep = G1746, enduo – to sneak. The reason they put on the form of piety is to sneak in among real believers to draw out those who are not well grounded in the faith, or who are just spectators after a thrill. Silly women = G1133 gunaikarion, which sounds like what they are soon to be – a dead female that this vulture can devour. 

Notice the description of these silly women in vv.6-7; laden with sins, led by lust, ever learning, but never learning the truth. This describes so many in churches and synagogues today that it is frightening. When scripture says ‘keep’, it means guard. We need to keep our hearts and minds pure in Torah – GUARD them, as Yeshua is the living Torah and is our defense. 

Jannes and Jambres are the priests of On who counterfeited Y’hovah’s miracles a couple of times, but finally had to acknowledge that Moshe was wielding the power of Y’hovah, not of some lesser elohim. As those guys withstood Moshe, so do these men that Paul is referring to withstand the truth of Torah. Reprobate = G96 adokimos – unapproved, rejected. They are rejected concerning the faith. This does not say that they have rejected the faith, but that the faith has rejected them. Saving faith has never been ours. Saving faith has always been Yeshua’s, gifted to us by the unmerited favor of Y’hovah Elohenu. 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of Elohim: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph.2.8-9) 

22 Even the righteousness of Elohim by faith of Yeshua haMashiach unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Rom.3.22) 

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yeshua haMashiach, even we have believed in Yeshua haMashiach, that we might be justified by the faith of Mashiach, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Gal.2.16)

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Yeshua haMashiach might be given to them that believe. (Gal.3.22) 

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: (Rev.14.12). 

What is the faith of Yeshua?

Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, [8] I delight to do thy will, O my Elohim: yea, thy Torah is within my heart. (Psalm 40:7-8)  


The faith of Yeshua, the faith with which he’s gifted us, is to do the will of Y’hovah Avinu. His will is written within Yeshua’s heart and ours, if we are in Him. 

But these reprobates will not be able to get any further than the silly women, drawn by lusts, because the well grounded in the faith of Yeshua will not follow after them, as we’ll see after the    Q&C

Vv.10-17 – Sha’ul contrasts the Laodicean he described in the first 9 verses with his own life. He goes through another litany, this time of things he got to suffer for Yeshua’s sake. Since he got to suffer, we can assume the Laodicean was living the life of Riley. The guy may have started out well, but at the first sign of persecution took to playing close to the world system, and eventually just went all the way over. If any of you in the audience in the wide world have any illusions about the easy believism of the ‘Once-Saved-Always-Saved’ heresy, you may put them to rest. The overcoming saints will persevere unto the end, but in their free will they can most definitely turn away from Y’hovah, as did Israel. I think this describes our Laodicean friend in vv.1-9

By contrast, Paul was persecuted for his testimony to Y’hovah’s unmerited favor, by which he was able to persevere through the trials. 

6 But without faith impossible to please, for he that cometh to Elohim must believe that he is, and he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb.11.6)

5 Who are kept by the power of Elohim through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yeshua haMoshiach: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of souls. (1Pe.1.5-9)

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Mashiach’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1Pe.4.12-13) 

He makes it a point to tell the audience to count the cost, for if you will live piously in Mashiach Yeshua – combining reverence for Abba and love for him, you may COUNT on being persecuted. 

Men like the ones in vv.1-9 will get worse towards the end, deceiving and being deceived, but if we continue in Torah observance by the power of Y’hovah in us, we will overcome the world. It is our love of scripture and our knowledge of it that assures our salvation, for it is the very Word of Yeshua, who is Yeshuenu – our salvation.

All scripture – remember that Sha’ul was speaking of Tanakh here. There was no Brit HaDashah at the time. So he’s telling us that the Tanakh/OLD TESTAMENT “is profitable (that is SO hard to get across to most in the ‘church’ today) for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Most in the ‘church’ only go to the Tanakh as support for something they believe from the Brit. However, their understanding of the Brit is more colored by their traditions than the scriptures upon which the Brit is founded. They fail to see that they cannot properly comprehend the New without a thorough understanding of the Old. It’s like building a house on sand, instead of rock. Tanakh is the foundation upon which the Brit HaDashah is built. If the foundation isn’t secure, the house MUST fall in time of trouble and storm. When tribulation comes, they will be totally unprepared for it. We who know we must endure it will not be prepared for it, but think of those poor souls who believe that they will be ‘taken out’ before the storm. They’ll be even more like deer in the headlights than we will. And right now, they won’t hear any of it. They are like that guy in vv.1-9, contumacious – inflexible, unyielding. 

Profitable for – here comes a progression. You MUST have the 1st before you can grasp the 2nd. Sound doctrine is needed to be able to receive reproof. What do you suppose Bill Clinton’s major obstacle to understanding his sin was? He had no basis of belief in sound doctrine. Therefore, he could not receive reproof. And since he couldn’t receive reproof, he could not be corrected, for he had no doctrine on which to build a pious life. And since he could not be corrected, not knowing he’d done something wrong, all the instruction in the world would have been wasted – pearls before swine. 

In v.17 we see a curious thing in the KJV. In some editions it says ‘thoroughly furnished’ and in others it says, ‘throughly’. Even my spell checker points out a problem with throughly. But is there a problem with that word? The way I see it, the difference in these words is that when I am thoroughly furnished, my outward needs are met, but when I am throughly furnished I have all I need both within and without. What I am throughly furnished for is tov mitzvoth, which is observing to do Torah.   Q&C 

End of Shabbat Bible Study.

Shabbat Bible Study for December 23, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 23, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Sabbath 40 – 7 Jan 2012

Lev. 19:1-20:27; Amos 9:7-15, Eze. 20:1-49, Is. 4:2-6; Ps. 84; Mat. 18:1-35


Vayikra 19.1-4 – Ch. 19 is a continuation of 18. In v.2, Y’hovah instructs Yisrael to be kadosh, or holy, because he is kadosh. Just like in ch.18, we are to separate ourselves from the pagan religions of Egypt and Canaan. He then gives another example of exactly HOW we are to be kadosh. We are to honour our parents and observe his Shabbats. Most people see the 5th mitzvah as pertaining to our person-to-person responsibility, but I do not. I see it as a person to Y’hovah responsibility. I see it this way because our relationship to our parents reflects our attitude towards the Almighty. If we fail to honor our parents, who are right here in our physical presence and perception, how will we ever be able to properly honor Avinu b’shamayim, our father in heaven, who is not? According to our passage, Y’hovah seems to see it this way, so I try to, also. And he seems to tie the ‘honor parents’ and ‘keeping his sabbath’ together. Therefore, no matter how hard one protests, keeping the Shabbat and honoring parents reflect what we truly think about Avinu. Not only that, but he invokes the ‘enabling clause’ in the same breath. HE is Y’hovah Elohechem – YOUR Elohim (or, speaking to us, Elohenu – OUR Elohim). I think he’s serious.

In v.4 he commands that we not go after other gods (as if they really exist), again because HE is Y’hovah Elohenu. He will brook no quarter on these things, as he once again invokes the enabling clause – Ani Y’hovah Elohechem. 

Vv.5-8 – A peace offering is a freewill offering, and may be offered any time you wish. But it must be eaten that day and the next, and any leftover to the third day must be burnt, or the offering will not be accepted. It is abominable (cf.7.18) pigguhl, which is NOT the same as the abomination (towevah) of sodomy or beastiality. Those are utterly abhorrent. This is a bad smell, and may refer to the smell of rotting flesh, which is quite unpleasant. In the peace offering a portion of the flesh was burnt on the altar as ‘a sweet savour’ unto Y’hovah . It seems like that sweet savour would turn sour if you didn’t eat or burn the flesh in the prescribed time. It has always been obedience to the Word more so than the physical sacrifice that Y’hovah wanted;

18 And Y’hovah sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of Y’hovah , but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of Y’hovah? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of Y’hovah, and have gone the way which Y’hovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto Y’hovah thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath Y’hovah delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Y’hovah ? Behold, to obey better than sacrifice, to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of Y’hovah, he hath also rejected thee from king. (2Sam.15.18-23)

If one ate of the sacrifice on the 3rd or subsequent day, he bore his iniquity. His iniquity, I think, includes his slaughter of the animal for the purpose of rebelling against Y’hovah. To kill the animal ostensibly as a peace offering and then to despise the commandment of Y’hovah proves the lie of the sacrifice’s purpose, and Y’hovah acknowledges that by cutting off the man’s soul from the congregation. If you want shalom with Y’hovah, obey him. We can cut off a man from fellowship. Only Y’hovah can cut off a soul. Now, let’s see why Y’hovah would cut off a soul:

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. (Genesis 17:14)

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15)

Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Exodus 31:14)

But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto Y’hovah, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. (Leviticus 7:20)

And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 17:10)

Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of Y’hovah: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (Leviticus 19:8)[to profane = make the holy, common]

And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)

These are ALL of the instances where a soul will be cut off by Y’hovah up to today’s parsha – lack of CC, eating leavened during ULB, working on Shabbat, eating the shalom after the 2nd day (the reason given in our passage today = profaning or treating as common that which is holy), eating blood and going after familiar spirits (shadim) or wizards. ALL of these have to do with taking that which is made special to Y’hovah and profaning it or making it common.

Vv.9-12 – In light of setting something aside as special, Y’hovah talks about setting aside the corners of the field and not gleaning the vines. He thereby makes the corners and the gleanings special as an offering unto Y’hovah via the widows, fatherless and Levites. And, once again, the enabling clause – just to make sure they get it. Do NOT harvest the corners of your field and do NOT go back to pick the grapes that weren’t ready for harvest when you went through the vines the first time. That is set apart unto Y’hovah so the poor will have something to eat and possibly to sell or barter. In vv.11-12, Y’hovah likens the gleaning and harvesting the corners of the fields to stealing from the poor and swearing falsely in Y’hovah ’s Name.

Vv.13-14 – To define defrauding one’s neighbor, Y’hovah says don’t hold a man’s wage even overnight – pay your debts daily. In Matt.20.1-16, Yeshua told a parable about a vineyard owner who hires workers at various times during the day. Noone was defrauded (even the guys who worked all day for the same as the guys who worked 1 hour received what they’d contracted for) and all received their hire before the sun set like our Torah passage commands. Not cursing the deaf or putting a stumblingblock before the blind is just doing what you would have others do for you. But in a sod understanding, blind and deaf represent Israel in exile, so this is about not placing impediments that make it harder for the exiles to be delivered. Q&C

Vv.15-16 – Righteous judgment is imperative if there is going to be good government, and righteous judgment begins at the personal level. We are not to judge based on a person’s position or lack thereof, but by the revelation of Y’hovah. We are not to listen to gossip nor pass it on or make up some of our own. 

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six doth Y’hovah hate: yea, seven an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Prov.6.12-19)

We are also not to stand idly by while anyone is beaten or killed. If it is in our power to stop it, we should try to stop it, even at risk of personal injury or death. Please notice the enabling clause immediately after that last statute.

Vv.17-18V.17 forbids us hating another and then defines what it means; rebuke your neighbor when you see him in sin, especially if it’s one of those that could result in their souls being cut off. Don’t allow him to sin with impunity. Confront him with what you perceive as sin and find out if he is actually in sin. He may not be. That’s why this follows so closely after the admonition against slander/gossip and to righteous judgment. V.18 is speaking to true forgiveness. We are not to withhold something our brother needs because he has harmed us in the past (avenge), nor are we to provide it while raising the past issue we had with them to kind of ‘lord it over’ them (grudge). We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, which is the 2nd greatest commandment. 

36 Master, which the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love Y’hovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt.22.36-40)

The 2 tables of mitzvoth that Yisrael heard with their ears in Ex.20 are summarized in this passage of Matthew, where Yeshua quotes Dt.6.5 and Lev.19.18. Again, the enabling clause makes that last, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, an imperative. 

Vv.19 deals with almost any kind of mixing. Mixing is the hallmark of Babylonian worship. We saw last week that Y’hovah HATES when his people mix Y’hovah worship with the worship of Egyptian or Canaanite gods.

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am Y’hovah Elohechem. 3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. 4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I Y’hovah Elohechem. 5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I Y’hovah. (Lev.18.2-5)

No mixed seed (corn, peas, carrots and green beans in the same mound) in the garden, no mixing of different kinds of cattle (sheep and goat, etc.), no weaving linen with wool in a single garment (except in the Mishkan [Ex.27] and the High Priest’s tunic and ephod [Ex.28]). Q&C

Vv.20-22 are about a man ‘uncovering the nakedness’ of a betrothed bondwoman who has not yet been redeemed by her husband. I infer that she was a bondwoman for whom the husband to whom she was betrothed had bargained and arrived at a ‘bride-price’, but had yet to pay. The fact that she was scourged leads me to infer further that she agreed to the sexual relations and that the man was her owner. That would explain his only needing to offer a trespass offering to atone for his sin, while the betrothed bondwoman got scourged – she was his property, but she was technically married. 

Vv.23-25 are about the use of fruit trees when they would enter the land. They had to leave all fruit trees to grow the first 3 years then the 4th they could use the fruit at the Feasts. Then beginning the 5th they could begin to use the fruit as they saw fit. I assume that they weren’t to harvest the fruit in the Shemitah and Yovel years. I also assume that they didn’t harvest the fruit on the tree’s 7th year and then began to follow the sabbatical years in the next cycle – or WOULD have, had they ever kept a Shemitah year. The sages say that Shemitah and Yovel are only to be practiced in the land. Personally, I think that is very convenient, especially over the last 2000 years while the vast majority of chol Israel has been in exile, dispersed throughout the world. How many Sh’mitah years has the whole nation of Israel kept since it was founded in 1948? I think you can count them without saying a word. I’m sure there are individuals that observe the Sh’mitah … well, I HOPE there are, anyway.

V.26 seems to link eating blood with witchcraft or sorcery. And I have no doubt that they are linked. My friend Bill Schnoebelen was a high priest of Satanism and practiced vampirism before he was delivered by Yeshua 30+ years ago. He has written about it in some detail. His ministry website is and his books are available there. He is a valuable resource on the subject of spiritual warfare.

Vv.27-28 forbid trimming beards and hair like the pagan priests of Egypt and Canaan did, or in cutting the body or printing on it, like the priests of Baal did (1Ki.18). The sages say that removing the sideburns, i.e.; shaving a straight line from the top of the ear to the temple area of the hairline, is what ‘rounding’ means. That explains this popular, stupid-looking modern practice. The priests of Ba’al worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy and while in that state would cut themselves to allow their blood to sprinkle the altar as an offering to him, to gain his favor on their crops and help in battle. Didn’t work for the 450 prophets of Ba’al in 1Ki.18. 

V.29 speaks about selling or giving your daughter as a temple prostitute to Molech, Asherah or Ba’al or any of their cognates. Temple prostitution was a source of offerings for blood sacrifice to Molech at the winter solstice festival and to Asherah at the spring equinox festival. The whoredom spoken of is both physical and spiritual and is extremely wicked in both its initiating practice on the Tophet cave’s altar to Asherah and its outcome of abortion/infanticide, passing human seed through the fire to Molech. I can’t think of any more wicked evil than prostitution with the intent of breeding human blood offerings to these false pagan gods. 

V.30 is given here to contrast what we are NOT to do (v.29&31) with what we ARE to do – observe Y’hovah ’s Shabbat and hold his Mishkan/Beit haMikdash in awe as special and set apart and adds “I am Y’hovah ” to make sure they get it. V.31 reiterates vv.26-29 and adds, “I am Y’hovah Elohechem” to drive the holiness requirement home; DON’T DO WHAT THE HEATHEN DO! DO AS I COMMAND! There WILL be a test! V.32 is an example of the test – how do you treat the aged. This is ancillary to the 5th commandment. Do you rely on your own wits to meet your needs, or do you ask counsel from those who are 1) wiser and 2) have greater experience than you and 3) can look at your situation objectively (which you often cannot do)? How you regard older people and whether you rely on their wisdom will reflect how you regard and rely on Y’hovah.

Vv.33-36 are all closely related. Part of what some Canaanites did was to have different weights for different people. If someone NOT of their people, say an Hebrew, came to purchase something they would use heavier weights on their scales, so they would actually sell less product to the stranger for the same money. Yisrael was to ALWAYS use the same weights and measures for everyone. If this statute were followed, the word would get out pretty quickly about the honest businessman with the just scales, and it may provide an opportunity to tell the customer about the Elohim who REQUIRES this of his people. This would have a related benefit of making the other area businessmen more honest, as well. If they didn’t use just weights, they would lose a LOT of business. I assume the Egyptians treated Yisrael like red-haired stepchildren in business, since Y’hovah reminded them of their sojourn there. He didn’t want Yisrael to treat gerim as they had been treated in Egypt. He said, “I am Y’hovah ” 15 times in this chapter – 3 (divine completion) x 5 (grace). Since we can’t perform all his statutes in our own power, he has provided all the grace we need to obey them. Q&C

Ch.20.1-7 – In ch.18-19 we saw the statutes of Y’hovah regarding wicked pagan religious practices. In ch.20 we see the judgments that Y’hovah prescribed for Yisrael and those who sojourn among Yisrael who transgress the statutes he’d just set in place. I am going to list the penalties and then the offences that they are awarded for.

Capital punishment, the death penalty, is awarded for anything related to Molech worship (Stoning v.2), cursing one’s parents (Unspecified 9), both parties committing adultery (U 10), a man and his father’s wife (U 11), a man and his son’s wife (U 12), both parties to sodomy (U 13), all parties involved in perverse sex, the man, his wife and wife’s mother (Burnt 14), the persons and animals involved in beastiality (U 15&16), and any Yisraelite or sojourner in Yisrael who willingly opens him or herself to a spirit of divination (U 27). It could be that those judgments that are unspecified revert back to the last method of execution mentioned; stoning in vv. 2-5 & 9-13, and burning in vv.14-16 & 27. 

Excommunication is awarded for Molech worship when the people fail to execute Y’hovah’s judgment on him/them (E vv.3-5), consulting witches (E 6), lying with a ½ sibling – I infer without the father’s permission and a subsequent marriage based on Avram/Sarai and Amnon/Tamar (E 17), lying with a woman in her flower (E 18),

Bear their iniquity gives me the impression that they were not cut off from Yisrael, but that their sin is known, perhaps by their subsequent circumstances. A man who suddenly is living with his aunt whose husband divorced her would be a pretty good clue about what went on to cause the living arrangement. Perhaps if there are children born of their union, they are all given to the original husband and the sinners are, therefore, Childless. Everyone would know, they would bear their iniquity in public. These offenses are lying with the father’s/mother’s sister (C 19), lying with one’s aunt, his uncle’s wife (C 20), lying with a sister-in-law (C 21).

If these statutes and judgments were followed, I seriously doubt there would be more than 1 or 2 Childless or Excommunicated couples in any one community, as their circumstance would remind everyone of the social ostracism that accompanies such perversion. And there wouldn’t be a lot of executions by Stoning or Burning, either – perhaps 1 or 2 per tribe per generation. I think this is what we will see in the Millennial Kingdom. Sin of this sort will be virtually non-existent because of fear of ostracism or execution. It won’t do ANYTHING about the DESIRE to sin, but it will do a lot to deter the actual commission of sin. And that repression of sinful acts will build up animosity and rebellion against the King of kings who imposes his will on potential sinners. Hello, ultimate fulfillment of Gog uMagog per Ezek.38-39 and Rev.20.7-9.

This is the iniquity of the Amorites that Avram was told wasn’t yet full [Gen.15]. Now, in Lev.18-20, it IS full and Y’hovah’s perfect plan is to take Yisrael into Canaan within a few weeks and either destroy or drive out the Canaanites. 20.22-26 summarizes 11.1-20.21. And just to be sure there is NO question in their minds, Y’hovah reiterates that the Israelite who is a diviner or sorcerer is to be stoned until he is dead. Q&C

Amos 9.7-15 – To whom is Y’hovah speaking in v.7? I think he is speaking to ‘them’ and ‘they’ from vv.1-6. But, to quote Julia Roberts’ character to Mel Gibson’s in the movie Conspiracy Theory, “Who is ‘they’, Jerry?” We need to look at 8.14 for the answer. 

11 Behold, the days come, saith Adonai Y’hovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Y’hovah: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Y’hovah, and shall not find. 13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy elohim, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. (Amos 8.11-14)

Dan to BeerSheva = the whole land of Israel, not just the northern kingdom. That quote speaks of the entire land going after the god of Samaria, Yerovoam’s y’hovah. This was the mixt worship of Y’hovah with the gods of the Canaanites; Molech, Asherah and Ba’al. Y’hovah ’s judgment is already given in our Torah portion for today. He is about to execute it. But he issues a final warning before he does so. 

V.8 says the eyes of Y’hovah are on the sinful kingdom. Elsewhere his eyes are upon the righteous. Where else are his eyes? I only quote, “The eyes of Y’hovah.”

The eyes of Y’hovah are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (Psalms 34:15) 

A land which Y’hovah Elohechem careth for: the eyes of Y’hovah Elohechem are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:12)

And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of Y’hovah, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. (I Samuel 26:24)

Because David did that which was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. (I Kings 15:5) [Interesting: not Bathsheva. Uriah. FT]

And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of Y’hovah, as did David his father. (I Kings 15:11)

But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of Y’hovah, and did worse than all that were before him. (I Kings 16:25) [Suffice to say, Y’hovah ’s eyes were on all the kings in his land. FT]

For the eyes of Y’hovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. (II Chronicles 16:9)

5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of Y’hovah Elohim of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done evil in the eyes of Y’hovah Elohenu, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Y’hovah, and turned their backs. (2 Chron.29.5-6)

For the ways of man are before the eyes of Y’hovah, and he pondereth all his goings.(Proverbs 5:21)

The eyes of Y’hovah are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

And now, saith Y’hovah that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of Y’hovah, and Elohai shall be my strength. (Isaiah 49:5) [That refers to Ruach in Mashiach. FT]

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven [lamps of the Menorrah FT]; they are the eyes of Y’hovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:10)

Y’hovah’s eyes are everywhere, watching everything, and will recompense everyone and everything in objective righteousness, using his Torah as the standard. As he is judging Israel, whom he brought out of Egypt, so he will judge Philistia, whom he brought out of Crete or Cyprus, and Syria, whom he brought out of Kir, a fortress/prison city to which the Assyrian, Tiglath-Pileser carried Syria after conquering Damascus for what they do to Israel. The difference in the judgment of Israel over those of Philistia and Syria is that he will not wipe out Israel – he’ll leave a remnant of Yisrael. 

We can look at this as an end-time prophecy and apply it to modern nations, as well. The sinful kingdom could very easily be equated with modern Israel, America, the UK, UN and/or NATO. Some believers will be preserved from among the ‘sinful nation’, but most will be wiped out. That portion of Yisrael that is not wiped out will be ‘sifted’ out of all the nations of the earth without dropping ONE grain upon the earth that is being judged. Sinners, who believe they are safe from Y’hovah’s wrath because of who they are, will die by the sword. They think that because they are of Israel, or because they ‘believe’ in their minds, but don’t walk in that ‘belief’, die by the sword (Moslemism?). They think, “Evil won’t catch ME! OR slow ME down!” 

In that day, the ‘day of Y’hovah’s judgment’, is obviously [to me] Ya’acov’s trouble. I think the ‘tabernacle of David’ refers to the unity of national purpose that he brought – Yisrael was one nation with one heart, the ONLY time between the division of the Melech from the Tzadik (Gen.49) and the Messianic Kingdom to come that the nation was, or will be, ONE. 

Vv.12-15 describe conditions in the Kingdom Age. Not only will the harvest last to the planting, but Y’hovah ’s people will never again be uprooted from their land, because they will live and be ruled in righteousness. Q&C

Yechezkel 20 – Ch.20-23 are all given to Zeke in 1 day. The elders who came to Zeke to enquire of Y’hovah, but they never got a chance to ask. Y’hovah just opened Zeke’s mouth. He basically said, “Don’t even open your mouths. Your hearts are evil and I won’t hear you. You hear ME!” Zeke wasn’t punishing these men for their fathers’ sins so much as warning them WHY the judgment had come and to avoid even worse by turning to Y’hovah. Y’hovah rehearsed Israel’s history for the elders who presented themselves before Zeke. In v.9, Y’hovah says that he wrought deliverance for Yisrael in the sight of the heathen Mitzraimites [Egyptians; the world system] among whom Yisrael dwelt, for his own Name’s sake, that it would be hallowed and not polluted in Mitzraim. This was done in Ex.32;

11 And Moshe besought Y’hovah Elohaiv, and said, Y’hovah, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, “For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?” Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit for ever. 14 And Y’hovah repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

The phrase “I lifted up my hand unto them” [vv.5a&b, 6 & 15] means he promised them by his own power. He gave them his statutes and judgments (as in Lev.19-20) that they might live in them, but they rebelled and he then ‘lifted up his hand’ to sware that they would NOT enter his land, because they despised his judgments, statutes and Shabbats. But for his Name’s sake he did NOT destroy them in the wilderness, he just allowed those whom he’d brought out of Egypt to die off before crossing Yarden and carried their children into the land. Vv.18-20 refer to his “2nd law” or deutronomy, as he gave it in Dt.30-34, just before the Yarden crossing. He told them then, as he had their fathers in our Torah portion, that he was Y’hovah Elohecha, who brought them out of Mitzraim. But even those whom he carried across Yarden into the land polluted his Shabbats and despised his statutes and judgments. 4 times now (vv.5a&b, 6 and 15), Y’hovah had lifted his hand to vow his protection over them, if they would walk in his Word, and 4 times they rebelled. If you remember, in Ex.19, 20 & 24, Israel had ‘lifted up the hand’ to promise that they would obey Y’hovah in all he told them through Moshe. So in v.22, he withdrew his hand, and again wrought for his Name’s sake, that it not be polluted in Israel. In v.23 he lifted up his hand to promise that if they would NOT walk in his statutes and judgments he would scatter them to the goyim. Six times, to v.24, that they polluted his sabbaths; 6 being the number of man, falling short of Y’hovah ’s perfection or adding to Y’hovah ’s grace. The children of Israel that came into haAretz gave their children to Molech, Asherah and Ba’al. So, Y’hovah gave them over to their own judgments and statues and then brought their own judgment on them to urge them to repent and know that only Y’hovah is Elohim. And they did not repent.

So, after rehearsing the Exodus to the elders of Israel in Zeke’s day, Y’hovah is going to get to why he won’t hear them beginning in v.27. After telling Israel that they were NOT to offer their offerings except at the tabernacle or Temple, they offered in the high places and groves, like their fathers had in Egypt. Y’hovah called it “Bamah” (v.29), which means “What house is this?” It was certainly NOT the one he commanded them – and it was like that right up until then. These elders who came up to ‘enquire of Y’hovah ’ were offering in the same groves and high places as those who were judged in the land during the time of the Judges. The judgment of Y’hovah is in vv.30-32, and if only we HRs, the church and Jews of today would take heed of it, their (and our) troubles would be over;

30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith Adonai Y’hovah; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? 31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith Adonai Y’hovah, I will not be enquired of by you. 32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

So, what will follow is the Messianic Kingdom that should be full of rejoicing, but will not be because the hearts of men will still be idolatrous and self-serving. Praise Y’hovah, if our understanding is correct, that we will be resurrected by that time and not subject to his decree in vv.33 – he will rule over those Yisraelites he draws out of the nations ‘with a mighty hand, a stretched out arm and fury poured out.’ The millennium will not be fun for those who are ruled in this way – the rod of iron will hurt when it comes down swiftly on the sinner. He will make them ‘pass under the rod’ – go under judgment of their sin and find acceptance in Yeshua’s finished work, IF they will repent and confess that sin. He will then purge out the idolaters who will NOT enter haAretz, which I think in this instance means the New Creation. HaAretz is the land of promise, of which the New Creation in which righteousness dwells and death is non-existent is the ultimate fulfillment.

V.40 makes it clear that in the millennium offerings will be according to the judgments and statutes of Y’hovah and in HIS set-apart Mount Zion, NOT in the high places and groves. He is bringing Yisrael into the land for the land’s sake, not for theirs. He brings them in because he promised Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov that he would. When we come there we will understand how lothesome we truly were and how only Y’hovah ’s grace could make us worthy of his promises, which he gives us ‘for his Name’s sake” (44). 

When Y’hovah speaks of the judgment that is coming in Zeke’s day on these elders in vv.45-48, the reply from the elders is, “Why does he speak to us in parables?” 

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Matthew 13:13)

Everything he said to them fell on deaf ears. 

YeshaYahu 4.2-6 – Those who were escaped from ‘Babylon’ and ‘Egypt’, will reap the millennial benefits, while those who have not ‘escaped’, but live on will also be blessed, though to a lesser degree, by just living in that time. They will reap great benefit from the general conditions and that they are not overtly sinning. Them who escaped, ultimately, will be those who come up to J’lem for the last Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium. V.3 specifies who this will be and what rewards they will accrue. These will go through to the Olam haba, and have their inclination to evil, the OSN if you will, purged by the Spirit of judgment and burning (v.4). Y’hovah will overshadow every personal dwelling (sukkah) in the olam haba, guarding it and protecting it with his own kavod – glory. And his own sukkah will be among us in the land and the city of Yerushalayim. He’ll provide a shadowing cloud to cool us by day and a pillar of fire to illuminate our camps by night. His kavod will be a place in which we will have refuge. Q&C

Tehellim 84.1-12 – 3 weeks ago we discussed Gittith briefly. Here’s what we said then:

A Gittith can be either a specific type of harp OR a female resident of Gath, the city of Goliath and to which David fled during Sha’ul’s pursuit. I lean toward the harp.

In vv.1&2 we can surmise that Y’hovah Tzavaoth is the living Elohim. In vv.1-4 there are at least 4 (maybe 5) descriptions of our own dwelling in Y’hovah’s tabernacle, courts, altars and house (where the sparrows and swallows also find a house or nest). In v. 3 we see that the Y’hovah Tzavaoth who is the living Elohim is also our King (Mal’chi) and our Elohim (Elohai). In v.4, the Hebrew has ohd  y’halellucha ‘still (or yet) you they will praise’. The way the KJV words this I thought that perhaps they would be still, or quiescent, while praising him, as in 

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalms 46:10)

But ‘still’ in v.4 is from the word ohd, which means a continuance, ‘yet’ might be a better translation. Had it meant quiet it probably would have used raphah, which means to cease. English translations; none are perfect. 

Vv.5-7 speaks of the trust the birds place in Y’hovah to make their nests in and around his altars where sacrifices are made. The birds show their hearts’ absolute trust in Y’hovah. The man whose heart’s trust is absolutely on Y’hovah can walk through the valley of lamentation (Baca) even while the tears are streaming down his face in quantities that would make pools in a desert and still go from strength to strength, relying on his trust in Y’hovah to get him through. ‘Strength to strength’ refers, I think, to his travel from the tabernacle to the court to the altar to the House of Y’hovah, to appear before him in Zion. 

Y’hovah, Elohim Tzavaoth is the Elohim of Ya’acov. The Elohim who met Ya’acov at Bethel on his way to Charan was the same Elohim who met him at the brook Yabok and wrestled all night with him until he bestowed his blessing. Elohenu is also maginenu and is also Elohenu’s moshiach (mashiychekha). To restate the translation, “Behold our shield, Elohim, and upon your Messiah’s face.” It sure looks like our Shield is Y’hovah ’s Mashiach. 

One day in your courts, O Yah, 

Is to me far better

Than every treasure this world can afford

In a thousand days of this life.

It truly would be better to spend a day in the shadow Y’hovah ’s presence than a lifetime of celebrity in the tents of wickedness, because Y’hovah is both our energy and our protection. He blesses with ALL good things those who walk in his righteousness and who trust in him and not the good things he gives us. Q&C

MattitYahu 18.1-6 – What follows is from my study in the Life of Yeshua haMoshiach, which was presented as a weekly bible study many moons ago. Here are some salient excerpts.

140). Lessons in humility, stumbling blocks and forgiveness (Mat.18:1-22, Mk.9:33-50, Lk.9:46-50) – Vv.1-6 – What do you suppose brought about the reasoning? Do you think the disciples were deciding among themselves who should lead them after Yeshua was killed? Yeshua had just days or even hours before told them of his upcoming death and resurrection. It seems they fully understood that he was going to be killed by the religious politicians, but couldn’t grasp Yeshua’s saying of being ‘raised again.’ They probably figured that if Yeshua didn’t appoint a leader, they’d best do it themselves. They seem to be trying to decide who would be the ruling elder, il Papa, as the Romans would say it. Perhaps the dispute had become heated, like it would in my family. There would have been different camps. Peter was the natural leader, and the proudest of the group. Andrew would probably have taken his side. Yochanan was the closest to Yeshua, and James would have backed him, quite probably without Yochanan even knowing it. Judas was probably the most ambitious, both personally and politically. Simon Zealot would have been on his side, I think.

Yeshua, to illustrate what he’s about to tell them, grabs up a little child and plops him down in the middle of the group. Now picture this happening in your mind. Imagine how the child would probably react to being placed, without any warning, in the middle of the group of adults, one of which is possibly his father. He would wonder what he did wrong, or why he’d been singled out. He’d probably fidget about, looking at the ground around his feet, worried about what was coming – especially if he were the mischievous type. Maybe the kid had been doing something he knew was wrong when Yeshua grabbed him. He would be projecting humility, as a wise man does before a judge when he’s been caught and found to be truly guilty.

Then Yeshua said, in a Mark paraphrase, “Unless you change your attitudes to be like this child’s, you can forget about leadership. In fact, you can forget about even being part of the Kingdom.” It’s when you truly realize your powerlessness that you’ll humbly depend upon the power that only Elohim, in his mercy, can give. It is then that Elohim can put you into a leadership position. 

He then shifts gears a bit. Referring now to the leader who has been transformed by the renewing of his mind, Yeshua said that anyone who receives someone like this in Yeshua’ name was in fact receiving Yeshua. But if he offends the believer [the greek word means to trip up or to entice to sin] it would be better for that person if he’d never been born. This may possibly refer to the anti-Messiah, who will cause many to stumble with deceitful wonders (2 Thes.2.1-12, Mat.24.4-31). Q&C

Vv.7-14 -Yeshua then pronounces woe upon the world because as long as the assembly, the little child, is in the world and in flesh and blood bodies the world will be a stumbling block and must be judged and punishment executed [as we saw in our Ezek.20 passage ^up there^]. This will happen at the end of the millennium, when the GWT judgment is happening, as the elements melt away under the fervent heat of Elohim’s wrath, to be recreated pure and new to be our abode for eternity. 

But that is not all that has woe pronounced against it. Yeshua says, “…Woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” There is a particular man who brings a particular offense. We can surmise that that man is ‘that man of sin’ (2Thes.2.3), but what might that offense be? If that man is anti-Messiah, then the offense must be ‘the lie’ that Elohim will allow to deceive those who will not believe the truth (2The.2.11-12).

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (II Thessalonians 2:11)

What might that lie be? I can think of 3 possibilities. In Matt.24.4 Yeshua tells his disciples to be careful that no man deceive them. Many shall claim to be Yeshua, and we find this happening almost everywhere today. The prevailing wisdom of the world is that there is a ‘Christ-consciousness’ to which all may attain, and that some have, and eventually all will, become ‘avatars’, or ‘enlightened ones’, by finally realizing their ‘Christ-Consciousness’.  In this mode of thinking, Yeshua attained his ‘Christ- Consciousness’ just at the time of his baptism by his ‘guru’, Yochanan the Immerser. Very appealing to the ‘I can do it myself’ crowd. And all you have to do is follow the ‘avatar’ or ‘guru’ and do everything he tells you, no matter how wicked it may be, and you to can work through your ‘karma’ and in just a few more lifetimes achieve the state of bliss that your ‘guru’ has attained. This ‘Christ-Consciousness’ is attained by finally realizing, like Shirley McLaine, that you are Elohim. It’s utter blasphemy, but that’s the world’s teaching. And people flock to such men, hoping to receive the ‘wisdom of the ages’. Yeshua has warned us against it. Elohim created the physical world ex nihilo; out of nothing. He did not break off a portion of himself to create what we can see. He fully transcends this creation while remaining immanent to it, We are not any re-formation of a part of him, but absolutely separate from him, EVEN THOUGH he remains immanent to us so that he can immediately accept us to himself upon the slightest whisper that we have acknowledged his existence and desire to know him. 

In v.11 Yeshua reveals the 2nd possibility when he says false prophets will arise to deceive many. We see this in our day with many ‘thus saith the Lord’ pronouncements. When someone says thus saith Y’hovah, watch out for what’s coming. If it doesn’t come to pass or is contrary to revealed truth in the scripture, that’s a false prophet. 

The 3rd possibility is centered around the prophecy of 2Thes.2:3-4, 

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim.

Where does this man sit in the temple? The fact that he is showing himself that he is Elohim tells me that he is not absolutely sure at the time he walks in. How would he prove to himself that he IS Elohim? Remember when David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and he put it on the ox cart to transport? They hit a bump in the road and the Ark began to topple off the cart. So Uzzah just reached out to keep the Ark from falling and when he touched it he died. On the spot. Do not pass go. Keep that in mind when looking at the anti-Messiah in the temple. Now how many seats are there in the temple? That’s right, give that man a cookie. There is but one. Now, if the anti-Messiah is a ‘christian’ and knows his scripture, he knows that no man may touch the Ark and live. He’s the next thing to certain that he IS Elohim when he walks into the temple, and to prove that he IS Elohim, he takes the only seat in the place – the mercy seat! And he does not die! There is your strong delusion that will deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. Here is his claim to deity and the basis for the demand that he be worshipped.

We’ve seen humility and others-generated stumbling blocks, now for some us-generated stumbling blocks. “If thine eye offend you, cast it from you.” Do you suppose he means to take a part of your body and surgically remove it? I don’t think so. We are to mortify the deeds of the flesh 

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Rom.8.13)

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col.3.5). 

That Romans passage is in context with the death of our enmity with Elohim (v.6-16). The Colossians passage is in context of the contrast between our lives as slaves to the flesh and our liberty to follow after Elohim (vv.5-17). When we sin as believers it is because we choose to, not because we have to. Elohim has given us the Ruach ha Kodesh in our lives to empower us to live a godly life, to consider ourselves dead to sin and the flesh, and to live to Elohim and his righteousness. The Ruach ha Kodesh is Elohim’s gracious supply to us. Q&C

In vv15-18 we find the passage on ‘church’ discipline. The context is interpersonal relations, not corporate, but the principle applies. The greek word for trespass is hamartano which is to miss the mark (same word in Rom.3.23, ‘for all have hamartano’d). This is the way we are to reconcile ourselves to each other as well as to Elohim. When you sin, does the Ruach ha Kodesh let you know? If you agree with him that that was a sin, turn away from it and confess it, he will forgive you and cleanse you of all your unrighteousness. To use an apocalyptic reference, you’ll have washed your robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev.7.13-14). If you do NOT agree with him, WAKE UP!

Elohim wants us to do the same thing with our brethren. In the Avinu prayer he says, “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” If we refuse to forgive someone who has wronged us when he asks for forgiveness, Elohim will not forgive us when we ask his forgiveness. That is clear biblical teaching. So I’m telling you now, if there is someone you’ve wronged or someone who has wronged you, get it right between you so you can both get it right between yourselves and Elohim. For everything Elohim does between himself and us he’s given us a picture in our lives and relationships on earth. This is one of them. We are to model Elohim in our lives so men can see and marvel and want what we’ve got. 

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: [9] Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. [10] For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: [11] Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. [12] For the eyes of Y’hovah are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of Y’hovah is against them that do evil. [13] And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? [14] But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; [15] But sanctify Y’hovah Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  [16] Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Mashiach. [17] For it is better, if the will of Elohim be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” (1Pe.3:8-17)

People will never be saved by watching your life, but in the watching they’ll desire your peace in adversity, your obvious love for the person who has wronged you. You will have provoked them to a godly jealousy. Then it will be up to you to answer when they ask the reason for your hope. Make it good. 

Still on vv.15-18 – This passage has been the backing for ‘church’ discipline, and rightly so, but in most assemblies it is not rightly done, decently and in order. In today’s assembly the offended party usually goes first to the leadership with a report of the supposed wrong. In the Navy we called that ‘jumping the chain.’ I call it just plain gutless. The first thing you are to do is go directly to your brother and make known your concern. Most people today expect the pastor to do all the dirty work. It isn’t his job. It’s yours. You are to keep your hurt totally secret until you’ve had a chance to reconcile with your brother. You should not even tell your spouse. If you don’t want to reconcile, check out your own heart. If he will not hear you or if he blows you off, then it is time to get 1 or 2 others involved as objective witnesses, and I don’t mean by gossiping about him. You go and get 1 or 2 that will go without knowing the offense or even who the offending party is up front (that is being objective – he’ll hear both sides without having been able to prejudge either side), AND who agree to keep the matter in strict confidence. Anyone who violates that promise of confidence is sinning and the offender has been offended by slander. It should come as news to the witnesses when you confront the offender the 2nd time. If he blows you off in front of them AND they agree that it was a sin committed against you, THEN it is time to go to the assembly leadership. Then it is up to the pastor and the body at large to intercede with you and the offender. Always keep in mind that the object is not to put someone out of the assembly, but to reconcile brothers, as we would be reconciled to Elohim. All of this assumes a true wrong done. I am afraid that most people don’t get it right because they haven’t really been wronged, they’ve only had their feelings hurt. Usually hurt feelings are a result of pride in the heart of the offended. 

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165)

That’s because it takes humility to truly love the Law of Elohim and be at peace with him. Not that I would know much about humility, personally.

The binding and loosing part always makes me a little crazy. Am I able to condemn a man? Not all by myself. If the offender will not hear the assembly, his pride has taken over. This is a sign of his spiritual condition. I think that, if he will not be reconciled with a brother, there should be a serious question about that man even being saved. If a man refuses reconciliation with a brother whom he can see, how can he be reconciled to Elohim whom he has never seen? If a man won’t love his brother whom he can see, how can he love Elohim whom he has never seen? For this reason the body gives him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his soul can be saved. Paul addresses this issue in 1Cor.5. The reason the body is to put the man out of the fellowship is to remove the sin from its midst with the object of reconciling that man to Elohim and his assembly. It worked in Corinth, for Paul writes again about the obvious change of heart in the man about whom he wrote in 1Cor.5 and 2Cor.2.5-11. Reconciliation is always the end (purpose) of discipline. Q&C

19-22 – Wherever two or more are gathered in Yeshua’s name, there is he in the midst of them. Most folks look at scriptures about the indwelling Ruach ha Kodesh and assume it means he lives within each believer, and I believe he does (Jn.14.23, Rom.8.9, 1Cor.12.17, Gal.4.6), but most of these passages are written to more than one person, ‘two or more’ (Jn.14.17, Rom.5.5, 1Cor.3.16, 6.19, 2Cor.6.16, Eph.2.2, 2Tim.1.14, 1Jn.2.27, 4.12). This is one of the reasons we are not to forsake the assembly of the brethren. We get a fresh infusion of the Spirit when we get together to sharpen iron. 

The filling of the Ruach ha Kodesh is somewhat different than the indwelling of the Ruach ha Kodesh. The Ruach ha Kodesh will not fill whom he does not own. He is no squatter. Many were filled with the Spirit, David, Mary, Elisabeth, Yochanan the Immerser, Cornelius, Peter, etc. All were His dwelling place. The filling of the Spirit was not the usual experience, or it would not be so prominently mentioned at various times in the lives of the saints. The indwelling takes place at salvation. The filling comes as we need it, if we’ll allow it and if we ask for it in the circumstance. If we are allowed to be put to the test of our lives before the world, Y’hovah will fill us to bring glory to his name in the trial. That is what Yeshua meant when he said to take no thought of what you’ll say, Ruach will take care of that. I don’t think I, in and of myself, could die for the testimony of Yeshua haMoshiach, for I am a weak man. But I think Elohim will give me the filling of the Ruach ha Kodesh should the occasion arise. I can’t. But I pray that he will.

23-35 – Parable of the unmerciful slave (Mat.18:21-35) – Do you have any idea how much 10,000 talents is? A talent is between 75 and 100 pounds, depending on who the measure is for. A royal talent is closer to 100 pounds, and, since we’re talking about a king here, that is probably the one we’re concerned with. This guy owed 1 million pounds to the king. Was it in silver or gold? Does it make a difference? An ounce of silver today [10/4/17, Kitco spot price] costs about $16, and an ounce of gold about $1200. So this guy owes the present equivalent of $12M [16x75x10,000] – $120B  [1200x100x10,000] to the king. It’s no wonder he was a slave, having gotten that deeply in debt. There was no way the servant was going to be able to pay that debt on a servant’s wages, so the king figured he’d get what he could out of the guy by selling him and all he had into chattel slavery. But the guy protests and asks mercy, promising to pay him every penny. The king mercifully forgave his debt and the man walks away freed from his load. But as soon as he’s out of the kings sight he jumps his fellowservant who owes him 100 pence. A penny is 100th part of a unit of exchange. So the 2nd servant owes the 1st about one day’s wage, a denarius. The fellowservant uses the identical words to ask patience, but the 1st will not show the same mercy that the king had shown him.

Remember v.20, ‘Wherever 2 or more are gathered’? That is still Yeshua’s context in answering Peter’s question (vv.21-22) about how many times he was to forgive an offending brother. The two slaves are brethren in the same way as Peter and James are, not sons of the same parents, but brethren in both Israel and their circumstances. Each is owned by another, and each owes another more than he can immediately repay. We are also in the same circumstance. We, like the 1st servant, have been bought with a price and we owe infinitely more than we can ever hope to repay. In our dealings with fellowservants of the King of kings we ought to keep this in mind, to forgive the minor trespass of our brother in light of the overwhelming forgiveness of Avinu b’Shamayim. We may be out a few bucks, or have had our little feelings hurt, but my Father gave his only begotten Son as a ransom for my soul. That is a debt which is impossible to repay. And just for good measure, after I’ve appropriated that ransom for my soul he doesn’t treat me like the slave I am, but adopts me as his own legal heir with the same rights and privileges as his freely given only begotten son!

Will my Father continue to treat me in this manner if I refuse to forgive some trifling wrong? Yeshua says no. He calls the unforgiving servant ‘wicked’, which word comes from the greek poneros, which is characteristic wickedness. This servant, I think, is in a lost condition. He will not forgive, so the king rescinds his forgiveness, which had not truly been appropriated through repentance and confession, and demands payment in full. Yeshua’ sacrifice paid the debt of every soul on earth, but that ransom is only applied when we repent and confess our need. This servant did not repent, though he confessed his need and asked for mercy. Do you have something against a brother? Have you gone to him and attempted to get your relationship right? Elohim’s gracious response to your request for mercy is influenced by your gracious response to others’ request[s] for mercy (Mat.6.12). It is no accident that the definitive passage on ‘church’ discipline is given in this chapter. The point of this entire chapter is love of the brethren shown in our attitude of forgiveness and mercy to those who offend us. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study 

Shabbat Bible Study for December 16, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 16, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 39 

Leviticus 18:1-30 – Jeremiah 10:2-21 – Psalm 83 – 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:10


Vayikra 18.1-10 – Y’hovah opens with the enabling clause, anochi Y’hovah Elohechem, giving them the reason that they are bound to obedience. Right from the get go, Yah tells Yisrael to stay aloof from the practices of the pagan cultures around them, both those from which they had just come out, and those into which they would eventually go. There was to be no mixing, or syncretism, of what the non-Hebrew nations did and what Y’hovah commanded Yisrael to do. They were to separate themselves from the practices of their neighbors in v.3 and separate themselves unto the practices that Y’hovah Elohechem commanded them in vv.4&5. By Y’hovah telling Israel that they would live in the judgments, statutes and ordinances he commanded, I infer that doing anything else AS unto him would bring about their death. I think we therefore need to see Rav Sha’ul’s instruction in 2Cor.13 in this light

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Yeshua haMoshiach is in you, except ye be reprobates? (II Corinthians 13:5)

To be ‘in the faith’ meant to be living according to the precepts of the faith, and one of the chief precepts of the faith is seen in Lev.18.3-5 – Set apart from the world and unto Y’hovah. Y’hovah then spells out some of the practices of the pagan cultures that will ALWAYS surround Yisrael that we MUST separate ourselves from.

V.6 is the thesis statement for the rest of ch.18, which spells out forbidden interpersonal sexual relationships, usually familial (‘to uncover nakedness’ was an Elisabethan circumlocution to that end), which until v.14 are all very close genetic, bloodline relationships. They are ALL things done as a part of the worship of false gods. Offspring of these relationships may be less than ‘perfect’, genetically. I am going out on a limb in this 21st c. CE ‘faith’ culture by saying that if a person who claims to be Y’hovah’s and after his heart practices any of these sexual relationships; he or she is NOTin the faith’. These relationships are becoming rampant in American and western culture today, and they have spilled into ‘the church’, but they are still forbidden for us to engage in. Having said that, we must EXPECT that the hedonism we see in the world system just IS, but if it is seen in the household of faith, it MUST be confronted and either repented of or removed in order that Y’hovah can ‘walk among us in the camp’. WE are supposed to so live OUR lives that the heathen around us see the difference between them and us and DESIRE to have what we have. We are to be CONSPICUOUS in our lifestyles among them, without browbeating them with Torah. That ‘browbeating’ seldom does anything but build animosity anyway. A humble little man named Frank once said, 

“Always preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.” (Frank; #3 Elm St.; Assisi, Italy) 😉 

In v.6, Y’hovah also invokes the ‘enabling clause’, “I am Y’hovah”, FOUR TIMES in reference to these commands. ALL lawful ‘laws’ will tell you what gives the lawgiver the right to require obedience. There have been so many instances of Y’hovah using the enabling clause by this time that he really doesn’t have to say the implied words, “Who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” He is basically saying [Mp], “If you want to live among MY people, you will do as I command. If not, you are free to go back TO the land of Egypt. Don’t let the screen door smack you on your backside on your way out.” 

Vv.7-8 begin the specifics. No parent/child sexual relations are allowed in Yisrael. No sexual relations are allowed between a son and his father’s wife, which wording implies no blood relationship between them. Not just a blood relation sexual relationship is forbidden. The father’s wife’s nakedness is ALSO the father’s nakedness, even if there is no blood tie between the son and his father’s wife. While it wasn’t specifically stated as a sin, this is what caused Reuven to lose his birthright. He was of the chosen people of Y’hovah and should have walked in the same manner as Avraham had. Don’t let anyone tell you that Avraham didn’t know Torah. He was the friend of Elohim, and spoke with him face to face. He KNEW Torah and obeyed it, and passed it on to his sons and their sons.

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws (Toroth). (Genesis 26:5)

4 Shema Yisrael, Y’hovah Elohenu, Y’hovah echad: 5 And thou shalt love Y’hovah Elohecha with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6.4-7)

Absalom did the same thing with David’s concubines as Reuven had with Bilhah;

21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’ concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. 22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’ concubines in the sight of all Israel. (II Samuel 16:21-22)

In Gen.9, Ham ‘uncovered his father’s nakedness’, which means he had sexual relations with Noach’s wife, who was NOT necessarily Ham’s mother. The offspring of that union, Canaan, was cursed. I think that the Nephilim DNA came through the flood through Noach’s wife with whom Ham fornicated. Noach’s own DNA and his sons’ mother’s were human only, with no admixture of Nephilim DNA. The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons and daughters to the 3rd and 4thgeneration of them that hate Y’hovah. Therefore, I think the sin of incest came down through Ham’s offspring to this very day. This was a BIG reason that Israel was NOT to do as the Canaanites did. This is why anyone who did these things in Israel HAD to reap the consequences of their willful disobedience to Y’hovah’s Toroth. 

V.9 forbids sibling/sibling sexual relations. In those days, when multiple spice (mouse/mice, spouse/spice) were common, it might happen that a ½ brother and ½ sister would marry, as had Avram and Sarai before their call to leave Ur of the Chaldees and, I presume, before Avram learned Y’hovah’s Torah. I am sure Amnon, David’s son, knew the Torah, but despised it in the case of Absalom’s sister, Tamar (2Sam.13). Amnon lusted for her and had her, whether by rape or by Tamar’s consent, and it was David’s weak, or, rather, LACK of, response to Tamar’s defiling that caused the trouble with Absalom that followed. In light of Tamar’s entreaty with Amnon, there is light shed on the ½ sibling marriage, as in Avram/Sarai;

12 And she answered him, ‘Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. 13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.’ [that may have been Tamar consenting to the act of marriage, but only AFTER he got David’s permission to marry her] 14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. (2Sam.13.12-14)

She would have happily been married to Amnon, and as much as told him that. It seems that, if the ½ brother asked his father to marry his ½ sister, his approval given and they were then married, the ½ brother/½ sister relationship was superceded by the marriage relationship and, as Paul says,

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4a)

Seems that perhaps Avram may have been within Torah’s parameters in his marriage to Sarai, after all. This whole chapter of David’s life shows the absolute folly of having multiple spice. It may not be forbidden in Torah, but it is NOT wise. Multiple spice always comes to trouble, especially if a person marries siblings (like Leah/Rachel, who were maternal twins, IM[not so]HO). Q&C

V.11-14 – As the command to NOT lie with your father’s wife, so you are not to lie with her daughter begotten of your father, as she is your sister. As I said earlier, this may have been superceded if you received your father’s permission and married your ½ sister, for the marriage bed is undefiled. There doesn’t seem to be a prohibition against marrying your grandfather’s wife who was not your father’s mother. All of these relationships seem to be about close genetic similarities. Vv.12-13 deal with uncovering either of your parent’s sister’s nakedness, which is forbidden, as well. The genetic similarity between the 2 is too close, I think. But the relationship in v.14, while similar, is not the same. The genetic match may be quite slim or non-existent, but the sexual relationship is forbidden here as well because it is adultery – she is your aunt, married to your uncle. 

Vv.15-20 – You want to really sour your son against you, transgress v.15. You want to make an enemy of your brother, transgress v.16. These should be no-brainers, but it must have been done in the religious practices of Egypt and/or Canaan, or it probably wouldn’t be listed here. 

Now, v.17 is one that should also be a no-brainer, but once again, it must have been common enough in Canaan and/or Egypt for Y’hovah to mention it here. Sexual relations with a woman and her daughter or her granddaughter is just crazy, if you ask me. I assume that the correllary is true, as well – don’t uncover the nakedness of a woman and her mother. OOO – THAT would be bad. 3 guys in a bar: #1 has his head cradled in both hands and his elbows leaning on the bar. #2 says to #3, “You think YOU have mother-in-law troubles? He got his PREGNANT!” THAT is bad in every sense of the word. As Y’hovah says, a man having sexual relations with multiple women of several generations of the same bloodline is WICKEDNESS (Heb.2154 zimah), and it will haunt you for the rest of your days. Schottenstein’s Chumash translates the word zimah as “a depraved plot”. And if you want nothing but vexation, have sexual relations with your wife’s sister while your wife is alive. Again, these all must have been practiced in the religions of Egypt and/or Canaan, or verses 3&4 are just space-wasters. V.19 forbids sexual relations during menses, which was dealt with in detail in Lev.15. V.20 forbids sexual relations with any married woman (other than your own wife). 

Vv.21- – Here begins commandments against other than ‘normal’ hetero-sexual practices. V.21forbids Molech worship, which partially consists of placing your child into the arms of a red-hot brass representation of the owl-god, Molech. We 9 days from the pagan celebration of Molech [Xmas], that continues on in western culture through medical abortions. They don’t necessarily make the aborted child go through the fire, but they murder it just the same. One of the initiations all who aspire to the Presidency must go through to get the Party’s backing is a trip to Bohemian Grove. I must assume Donald Trump has not made that trip, because he has little or no backing from his Party, and they are, in fact, doing all they can to demonize and marginalize him. I think that Rand Paul must also have refused to spend time in northern California’s political aspirant’s campground. The only President in the last 40-50 years that I know of who DIDN’T go to Bohemian Grove, where a part of the festivities include bowing to a large brass owl-god, is Uncle Ronnie. That’s right. All the Party Presidential nominees of the past 50 years have been Molech worshippers; regardless their public stand against abortion – except Reagan. That’s one reason I don’t give RP much chance to win the nomination. Bohemian Grove is as important as Skull & Bones. This verse could be speaking of your child, or your actual seed, sperm or egg. See pg.126-7 of the Chumash for extensive comments on Molech worship and sodomy/beastiality.

V.22 forbids sodomy as an abomination. I seriously can’t think of any description of any sin that is WORSE than ‘abomination’. There are 117 uses of the word (H8441 – תועבה towevah), all of which are translated abomination, abominable or abominable thing. It is a predicate nominative as used here and 112 other times. My online dictionary traces the etymology to the Old French word, abominari, which is thought to be a compound of ab – not + homine – human. An abominable thing or person is INHUMAN, or in Y’hovah’s eyes, acting in an inhumane manner. The root word, (H8581 – תעב  ta’av), means detest. Both very strong negative words about a person or thing. Sodomy is as bad a thing as exists in the eyes of Y’hovah. Wickedness is a mild term by comparison. V.23 addresses another abomination, bestiality, which KJV calls ‘confusion’ and Schottenstein’s Tanakh calls ‘perversion’. The Hebrew word (H8397) is tevel – תבל and literally means pollution or profanation. This sin makes one willingly on a par with the animals, and they are all regular practices of the heathen Yisrael was going into the land to rout out and either destroy or drive out of Eretz Yisrael – Y’hovah’s land. The union of human/beast is on a par with human/shad (devil), which produced the worst enemies of Elohim and his people – the Anakim/Amalekites, whether it was done by actual human/shadim fornication [unlikely IMO] or demonically revealed [shad spirit to human spirit] scientific manipulation of the genetic structure of humans [more likely IMO]. I think GMOs are our latest attempt to create a new ‘Nephilim’. They will destroy us, if Y’hovah doesn’t intervene. 

22 And except those days are shortened, there should no flesh survive: but for the elect and for the sake of those chosen,7 those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man says to you, See, here is the Mashiach, or There He is; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Moshiachs, and false neviim, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it became possible, they shall deceive the very elect and chosen.8 [Matt.24.22-24 Restoration]

V.25 shows us why Y’hovah was bringing Yisrael into his land – the bowl of the Amorite’s iniquity was finally full.

But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. (Genesis 15:16)

The land was defiled and the land was about to vomit the Amorites out, with the help of Yisrael. If Yisrael also defiled the land, they would also be vomited out. It only took about 850 years for Israel to make Y’hovah sick enough that he hurled the northern nation, and about 130 more years before Yehudah’s iniquity was full and she was puked out. Y’hovah is not mocked. We will reap what we sow. Israel’s and America’s time is short. America is committing all the abominations spoken of in vv.21-24, as is Israel today. There was a story in a major Israeli newspaper last week [Dec.7-13, 2014] extolling Israel’s pride over her ‘tolerance’ of the LGBT lifestyle. Israel has failed to learn the lessons of history and has turned its back to its Redeemer. And so has America. Without a real vival in each nation, Y’hovah will be regurgitating us out of these lands. Notice that the SOULS of the abominable and perverted are cut off. No man does this, as he has no power over the life or death of the soul. Therefore, it is Y’hovah who destroys the practitioners of Molech (abortion) or Asherah worship, sodomy and bestiality.  Q&C

YirmeYahu 10.2-21 – YirmeYahu’s ministry was from the 13th year of YoshiYahu, the last good king of Yehudah, until sometime after the final exile of Yehudah in 587/586 BCE. I think the reason Y’hovah had him bring this prophecy is that the Priests of Israel had apostatized to the point that Israel had few, if any, that would teach Torah and expect them to apply it to their lives. 

3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king JoshiYahu, … 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Y’hovah. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, … 10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’, saying, 13 Go ye, enquire of Y’hovah for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great the wrath of Y’hovah that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. [2Ki.22.3a, 8-9a, 10-13]

YirmeYahu’s ministry of calling Yehudah to repentance was already 5 years old, but he was largely dismissed as too young to be listened to by the priests, much less the king. The priests didn’t like him from the get-go. He was in training for the High Priesthood when Y’hovah called him to prophesy of Yehudah’s destruction if they would not repent. 

10.2 is an important verse for US today. Remember early in 2011, the hype about the ‘dark star’ Nibiru and how our doom was coming? (Sounded a lot like Harold Camping) And how about the prophecies of our impending doom this passed 23Sep? Apply v.2.

Thus saith Y’hovah, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)

Our focus should be on US, on OUR hearts and how we are following our Saviour and walking in HIS ways, not on the judgment that is coming on the world system as a result of its refusal to consider him – especially such things as a close approach of some heavenly body to the earth, because even if it is true we can do exactly NOTHING to change the circumstance. I realize that all the information was being disseminated as warning to the world by Messies and Xians on such forums as Facebook and Twitter, but most of what went out got to the choir, not the world. How many worldlings are our Facebook ‘friends’ or follow us on Twitter? And of those, how many bother to read our stuff, anyway. We would be better to target people who actually KNOW us via e-mail of the Word of Y’hovah. We are to warn people of HIS wrath that they are drawing, not any method by which he may deliver it. If they won’t hear the Word of Y’hovah from us, what makes us think they’ll hear our warnings about stuff no human can control? The priests in YirmeYahu’s days were astrologizing to try to determine the future, not astronomizing to locate their place in Y’hovah’s timing and plan. 

In YiremYahu’s day, the priests were not preaching the Word of Y’hovah, which is why Y’hovah called YirmeYahu in the first place. 

10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of Y’hovah is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of Y’hovah; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith Y’hovah. 13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? [Remember the Torah portion?]  nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: [remember the news article in the Israeli source about Israel’s PRIDE in tolerating LGBT?] therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time I visit them they shall be cast down, saith Y’hovah. 16 Thus saith Y’hovah, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith Y’hovah, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. (Jer.6.10-21)

Sounds a lot like so-called believers of today, doesn’t it? And the so-called churches that not only accept those abominations into their midst, but appoint them to positions of authority within their ranks? Be sure you are not among this group. Make t’shuvah and walk in the Way of Y’hovah. He will carry you through any trouble that comes your way, if you stay faithful to him and live according to his Word. If not, he will give you over to your OWN ways, and you will trip over the stumbling block, which IS his Word. Q&C

Vv.3-6 should have been our Haftarah for last week, shouldn’t it? Talk about timely! The verses don’t specifically deal with the Xmas tree, but it sure sounds that way, doesn’t it? I have not had a Xmas tree in my own home for over 20 years, mainly because this verse sounds so much like it and I knew instinctively, long before I was consciously Torah observant, that the thing is an abomination. I didn’t truly understand why, but I knew it. What YirmeYahu is describing is actually an Asherah pole, a tree carved into a phallic symbol and worshipped through the Canaanite religious practices outlined in Vayikra 18.22-23 today. There’s been enough said over the last month or so about the Xmas tree, we don’t even need to go there.

V.7 says that these abominations are not to be feared, for fear pertains only to Y’hovah, the only true Elohim. But the nations, in v.8 are brutish – animals, not human in their drive to fulfill their lusts. ‘The stock’ is an Asherah pole, as well. It is Old English/Germanic in etymology, and literally means ‘trunk, block of wood or post’. This stock is then silver or gold plated (v.9) and then covered with blue and purple (colors of royalty), ‘the work of cunning’. The KJV uses the word ‘cunning’ to give the idea of evil use of wisdom. The word translated here is chakhamiym [is this the root of the slang word ‘cockamamie’ – a false wisdom], which has the same root as chokhmah, which is usually translated wisdom. The metalwork and weaving was of the same craftsmanship as all similar work on the Mishkan. What b’nei Israel doesn’t understand is that their devotion to the gods of the land is going to bring destruction TO their land. Where KJV has ‘earth’, the Hebrew word is haAretz – the land, and could specifically mean the land of Israel. To be fair, Stone’s Tanakh ALSO says earthquake. That the goyim will not be able to stand his indignation shows me that this is awaiting an end of days fulfillment, perhaps in Eretz Israel, but also possibly world-wide. 

V.11 turns the wrath also upon the ‘gods’ of these men, they shall perish from the earth and from under heaven. This must be speaking of during the Millennial reign of Mashiach or the New heavens and earth, for these ‘gods’ will be with us until then. Y’hovah has made the heavens and the earth and the heavens are literally still stretching out by his discretion. In v.13 he describes the water cycle for us. Even the physical laws are by his hand. The gods of man-made origin have nothing to do with them. After all, they can’t go anywhere, see, say or influence anything except in the evil imaginations of wicked men. 

V.14 shows not only that they are the carved and plated gods of man’s imagination powerless, so are those that are cast of molten metals in the foundry. They are equally vain images (v.15). V.16 says that it is not so with the portion of Yacov, Y’hovah Tzavaoth Sh’mo

V.17– tells us how sudden the exile in the end of days will be – he will put Israel in a sling and send it like a projectile out of the land in v.18 – a sudden projectile-vomiting out, a la Rev.3.16 

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation of John 3:16)

In v.19, Y’hovah expresses the hurt it will cause him to spue Yehudah out of the land, but also the necessity of bearing it, so they will repent and start going his way. He gives the root cause of the problem – the shepherds, the pastors, priests or national political leaders of Israel, have become as brutes. If the pastors have become as animals, spiritually dull or stupid, they are not teaching truth, they are not righteous, but are trying to look like they ARE. As this becomes apparent, their flocks will be scattered by and to the winds. They’ll have no anchor to truth. 

My online dictionary defines bruit (v.22) as an unusual noise or a rumor. The noise coming out of the north refers, I think, to the nations of the earth coming against Israel in the not too distant future; Gog uMagog. I also think that, the way things are moving at this time, this force from the north could very well include armies from the USofA. Watch carefully as Syria is attacked by the UN, NATO or some Arab force with possible help from the 6th Fleet. This is what is happening right now, with ISIS, which is being armed by the USofA under the guise of arming the Syrian rebels. It is beginning to look like that’s where events are headed. And that may trigger an intermediate fulfillment of Gog u’Magog, as outlined in Yechezkel 38 and 39. It looks as if this partial fulfillment will be successful in routing out Israel from J’lem, as the cities of Yehudah will become the dens of dragons. Perhaps this passage ties our Torah and Psalm together? The ultimate Gog u’Magog invasion will occur at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. Q&C

Tehellim 83.1-18 V.1 seems to address Y’hovah in all of his main 3 aspects/manifestations, Father, Spirit and Son. He calls the chochmah (wisdom), binah (understanding) and da’ath (knowledge), which is the combination of wisdom and understanding, of the Almighty to hear his supplication, because all his enemies are lining up against his people in his land (vv.2-3). The ‘tumult’ in v.2 may be (and I think IS) the ‘bruit’ of YirmeYahu 10.22. His ‘hidden ones’ in v.3 may be (and I think IS) Ephraim – US. “They” are Edom in all of its manifestations. The controversy of Zion definitely includes the conflict between the brothers, Yacov and Esav – Yisrael and Edom. All the nations that are named in this psalm are Edomite nations and they have and are ALWAYS trying to destroy Yisrael. Even after Messiah sets up his physical reign on earth, Edom will be trying to destroy Yisrael – he’ll just be less conspicuous about it, subjugating his desire to annihilate Yisrael for a more opportune time – like the release of haSatan from his long bondage in the Abyss [Rev.20].  In vv.2-8 we see that conspiracy is NOT a theory, but a FACT, as the spirit of Edom has been conspiring against Y’hovah and his anointed since Adam and Eve’s sons’ time, at least. 

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Y’hovah, and against his anointed, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (Ps.2.1-3)

The list of enemies of Y’hovah in vv.6-8 is like a who’s who of Gog u’Magog, the erev rav (great darkness) of the world. The tabernacles of Edom I see as the overarching conspiracy against Y’hovah and his spiritual children, and all the nations listed are seen as ‘one tent’. I think the ‘Hagarenes’ are descendants of Hagar by someone other than Avraham, as they are separate from the Ismaelites – ½ nephews to Ishmael. Gebal is a tract of land south of the Dead Sea in Edom. Ammon is present day Jordan with its capital in ‘Amman’. Asshur is Syria and Kurdistan, and the people there are allied with Moav and Ammon, sons of Lot by his daughters (remember the forbidden marriages in today’s Torah). The Philistines are what we call Palestinians today, and they were allied with Lebanon then as they are today. 

Asaph tells Y’hovah to make them like Midian, Sisera and Jabin. Sisera was the king who was killed by Jael with a tent peg driven through the temple and into the earth as he ran for his worthless hide from Devorah and Barak. Jabin was the king defeated in battle by Devorah and Barak. After that battle with Jabin’s Canaanites, Israel never had to fight the Canaanites again.  Oreb and Zeeb were the princes of Midian that Gideon went after in Judges 7 and 8;

And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan. (Judges 7:25)

Zebah and Zalmunah were Midianite princes who had escaped across Yarden, but were caught and brought back to Gideon, who put them to death for having killed his brothers. All of these were decisive victories for Israel against all odds. Asaph is prophetically seeing the final Gog uMagog battle, I think, and interceding for US against Y’hovah’s enemies. But in v.16, he implores Y’hovah to put his fear in the enemy so that they will repent and turn to him. I think this corresponds to Isaiah 27.4&5, where Y’hovah Tzavaoth comes to earth to set up his physical Kingdom AFTER his wrath has been poured out on the earth (Rev.16);

4 Fury not in me: who would set the briers thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me. (YeshaYahu 27.4-5)

Asaph is not only interceding for US, but also for those among the Edomites who Y’hovah would turn to himself before he wipes out their entire army. Once his wrath is poured out, his judgment is carried out in righteousness and mercy, not fury. Y’hovah is merciful to the end. Q&C

1Cor.5.1-13 – Rav Sha’ul dealt with a sin issue in Corinth. This was a Torah mandate, as we saw today in our Torah portion;

The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’ nakedness. (Leviticus 18:8)

The synagogue in Corinth was as proud of itself, that it was so ‘compassionate’ toward the sinner, as Israel is over its tolerance of LGBT.  Look at the progression from wickedness to abomination that Sha’ul outlines for us in Romans 1;

18 For the wrath of Elohim is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [P1] hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of Elohim is manifest in them; for Elohim hath shewed unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, his eternal power and Godhead [this refers to the unfathomable Creator, Eyn Sof]; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, [P2] when they knew Elohim, they glorified not as Elohim, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And [P3] changed the glory of the uncorruptible Elohim into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who [P4] changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

26 For this cause Elohim gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 

28 And even as they did not like to retain Elohim in knowledge, Elohim gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of Elohim, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of Elohim, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Rav Sha’ul lambasted the Corinthians for thinking they were all that and a bag of chips, as he will Israel and America, if they do not repent. He gave explicit instructions in the Name of Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiach regarding this fornication in the camp – excommunicate him to the end that he repents and gets his life in line with Y’hovah’s commandments. Y’hovah could not walk in their camp as long as that sin was extant in it. The Feast of Passover must have been fast approaching, because Sha’ul wanted the leaven removed from their house before it came and he expected them to keep it. He highlights a big difference between fornicators who call themselves brothers in Mashiach and those who do not. We are to absolutely separate ourselves from egregious sinners who name the name of Yeshua, but NOT those who do not name his Name. Do you see that? The pagan who acts like a pagan is at least intellectually and spiritually honest. To not have anything to do with them would require being a recluse. But we are to cut off from ALL fellowship those who say they are brethren but who live in a sinful manner. They are hypocrites who are expected to know better. We are not to socialize or even do business with them so that they turn away from their sin and towards Y’hovah’s Torah. 

6.1-10 – It’s interesting that Paul jumps right to a discussion of how believers deal with each other when they have a dispute. He decries their quick move to the world’s legal system when they have a competent group of believers who can form a Beit Din. When we have a dispute within our body, we ought to take care of it ourselves. I mean, seriously! If we’re going to judge the WORLD, why can’t we judge among ourselves? Who will bring a more righteous judgment between believers than other believers who are personally disinterested in the outcome. Think of the Torah of Matt.18.

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mat.18.15-20)

This is a personal dispute between individuals, but it is serious enough that if there is no resolution it can end in excommunication. We are to try to handle disputes at the lowest level, so if there can be an amicable agreement between just the 2 individuals, all is well. Noone else ever need know about the dispute. If the brother disses us, we are to get someone or two who have no personal stake in the issue and ask him to come and be a witness. I think it would be best if we not discuss the issue before confronting the one we have the issue with, so that our witness[es] has no preconceived notion going in – the better to make a righteous judgment. If he STILL won’t reconcile, it is time to go to the Beit Din. If he STILL won’t reconcile, the Beit Din will pronounce their judgment. Meanwhile, we are NOT to go before the civil courts over a personal dispute. The binding and loosing has to do with the agreement or disagreement. A father or husband can either bind or loose an agreement that his wife or daughter enters into without his knowledge. He can loose his wife or daughter from an agreement he believes is not in her best interests. 

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto Y’hovah, and bind herself by a bond, in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and Y’hovah shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and Y’hovah shall forgive her. (Numbers 30.3-8)

All this to point out that these judgments are done IN HOUSE! NOT in the world’s civil courts. Notice the similarity between 5.11 and 6.9-10. If our ‘brother’ is any of those things, it is evidence that he is NOT our brother, for he will NOT inherit the kingdom of Elohim. The chapter division is unfortunate, because chapters 5&6 are closely related and I think meant to be taken together. The second rehearsal of the sins brings us back around to the need for a trustworthy Beit Din. A lot of in-house controversies could be handled quietly and not aired in the civil court system, where only haSatan profits. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for December 9, 2017

Shabbat Bible Study for December 9, 2017

©2017 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 2 Shabbat 38 

Leviticus 17:1-16 – [No Prophet] – Psalm 82 – John 5:1-21


Vayikra 17.1-9 – The prohibition against offerings anywhere except in the Tabernacle or in the Place in the Land where Yehovah shall put his Name, i.e.; the Temple in Jerusalem, is absolute. This is NOT a prohibition against slaughtering an animal for an honored guest or a celebration. The prefatory remarks on this passage in the Schottenstein’s Interlinear Chumash are salient (pg.118). As usual, I lean towards a “Yes” to the two interpretations – Ba’al haTurim’s interpretation, that the quick addition of this passage after the Yom Kippur service is to disabuse people of the notion that, in light of the killing outside the camp of Azazel’s goat, they can offer anywhere or to any Elohim they so chose, and Rashi’s interpretation that it refers specifically to animals that are consecrated as offerings. If there were a command to NOT eat animal flesh at all, except that which was offered in a peace offering, I would not go with Rashi at all, but there is no prohibition from eating clean flesh. So, it must be permitted to slaughter an animal away from the Tabernacle or Temple. I would guess that an animal that has a blemished appearance would be acceptable for food, but could not be consecrated as an offering to Yehovah. 

If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before Yehovah. (Leviticus 1:3)

To kill an animal that is suitable for offering without bringing it to the Tabernacle or Temple was like [but not identical to] spilling innocent blood – it was like murder. If an Israelite did such a thing (i.e.; kill an innocent animal without offering it properly. To murder a man was not an excommunicable offense – murder carried a death sentence), they were to be excommunicated and put OUT of the camp so that Yehovah would walk with Israel. If there is any uncleanness in the camp (like a man guilty of innocent blood), Yehovah will not walk among us; 

12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: 13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: 14 For Yehovah Elohenu walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee. (Devarim 23.12-14)

If you remember the debacle at Ai [Josh.7], Achan had hidden an idol from Yericho in his tent and Yhwh did not go out to battle with Israel. There was uncleanness in the camp and he would not walk with them, much less fight for them. All peace offerings were to be brought to the priests so the blood could be sprinkled and the fat offered in the proper manner. 

No offerings were to be made to any other elohim – only to Yehovah. Remember when this Torah is being given – some time between the 40th-50th day after the transgression of the golden calf and the first Passover in the Wilderness (Moshe was in the mount during those 40-50 days and I think he was getting the Toroth of Leviticus at that time). V.7 seems clear that any offering made anywhere other than at the Tabernacle was an offering to devils. This was the practice from the days of Noach, for the firstborn to offer unto Yehovah in their neighborhood, back yard or wherever it was convenient. They were to stop that practice forever. If any man, Israelite or mixed multitude, offered anywhere other than at the door of the Tabernacle, he was to be removed from the camp. He was tamei – defiled. His only way back into the camp, I think, was on Yom Kippur. He could not just mikvah and await the sunset to return to his place in the camp. I don’t think the unclean were sent completely away in the middle of the wilderness, but had to dwell outside the camp of the saints – like the lepers in 2Ki.7.3&4

3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate (outside the camp): and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

The man being cut off speaks to the physical being of the man. Excommunication’s purpose is always repentance and reconciliation. Ramban thinks that this cutting off means that the man will die an early death, not that he is eternally cut off from Yisrael. Yochanan tells us about a ‘sin unto death’ (there are probably more then one). This may be an instance of what he was talking about. The passage specifies that the MAN is cut off, not his soul. I infer that to mean his physical body, not his spirit, as well. Q&C

Vv.10-14 is the Torah of NOT eating blood. This is a codification of the prohibition against eating blood that was given to Noach in Gen.9. The life is in the blood and it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul of the transgressor. (Take that PETA!) This does not mean that blood of an animal NOT for atonement is OK to eat. It isn’t. The use of the term כל־דמ – chal-dam, ALL or ANY blood, in v.10 makes this plain. We are to ensure that ALL the blood is removed from the animal. If we kill our own animals, they are to be bled completely and their blood poured on the ground and COVERED – same as excrement – or Yehovah will not walk among us. Yehovah says that he will put everything else aside to deal with the man who eats blood. This is why I think the people in Num.11 sinned by eating quail without bleeding, cleaning and cooking it first;

31 And there went forth a wind from Yehovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Yehovah was kindled against the people, and Yehovah smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. (Num.11.31-34)

Looks to me like Yehovah set everything else aside to bring condemnation against those who ate in their lust for flesh. Num.11.4 says that the ones who lusted were the mixt multitude. And in the instance of eating blood, Yehovah is the one who cuts off the soul of that man from the people of Israel. Eating blood is SERIOUS business. It looks like there is no atonement for the sin of eating blood. 

Vv.15-16 deal with a man who eats that which just dies or is torn by animals, which has already been forbidden in the Sinai covenant.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat flesh torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. (Ex.22.31)

Yehovah forbad them to eat flesh that had been torn because he desired them to be set-apart unto him and to show it by being different from the surrounding people. But provision is made for the one who DOES eat this kind of flesh. He can do a mikvah, wash his clothes and then at evening offering time, he can return to the camp. Therefore, I don’t think clean animals killed by predators are made unclean thereby; this was something Yehovah wanted them to do to be set-apart, not because there was anything actually wrong with eating that flesh. Of course, the flesh would still have to be bled. Do you suppose this is what we do when we buy already slaughtered meat at a market? I think it COULD BE. Be safe with store-bought flesh – kosher it. Here is a link to a kosher koshering process;  Q&C 

Psalm 82.1- – This is a psalm of Asaph. Remember that Asaph wrote in the time just after the return of Yehudah from Persia. V.1 speaks, I think, about rulers among men rather than gods, quite probably the priests of Yehovah and possibly the rulers of the Land as Yehudah returned. We know there is really only one Elohim and that is Yehovah, so the literal translation of elohim to gods may not be, probably isn’t, correct. If I am correct, and v.6 seems to show that Yehovah agrees with me, he could actually be talking about all of us, for 2Pe.2.9 says that we are a royal Priesthood in Mashiach Yeshua. I will proceed with the understanding that the word ‘gods’ means the political and religious leaders of the people – ‘lords’, as it were. And I will relate it to our present situation in HISstory. 

Vv.2-5 – Have you ever wondered why there is no true justice in the world system? Asaph seems to be lamenting the lack of consideration for the poor and needy on the part of the people of Yehovah (and the ‘lords’ or ‘gods’ in particular). The leaders of the people are described in v.2 as ‘respecters of persons’, rather than keepers of Yehovah’s Torah. That is because they think of themselves, of holding and guarding their power by doing what is best for their political ‘benefactors’ (in today’s world, that means the ‘military-industrial complex’ and its lobbyists who provide the politicians with the millions of dollars it takes to run a political election campaign) rather than doing what is ultimately right for their people. It is not human government’s place to provide for the needy in society. That responsibility falls, rather, to the family of the needy first, and to the church/synagogue second. Only after those two resources prove to be inadequate to the task, does it fall to any other source (but it should never have to). 

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them [Mark edit – that is; children and nephews] learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before Elohim. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in Elohim, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. 8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1Tim.5.3-8)

Strong words from Rav Sha’ul, and absolutely in context, as he is addressing exactly what Asaph is in Ps.82, i.e.; justice for the poor and needy – widows indeed. A ‘widow indeed’ is one who has no children or other family members in the faith, and also who is trusting Elohim for her (or his) sustenance. The ‘widows indeed’ and orphans are our first order of business in the faith community. A believing widow or orphaned child of a believer should never have to depend on anyone outside the local congregation for his/her sustenance. When a believing widow or orphan is unable to care for him or herself, the local congregation should make provision. If the local congregation is unable to provide for them, the larger body of believers should have an agency of some sort to which the needy can resort. The LAST place the needy should have to go for sustenance is the government. And, if worldly government is the FIRST place a ‘believer’ goes, they show that they do not truly believe that Elohim can sustain them. Elohim will sustain you in your exigent circumstances, if you trust him to do so. I’ve ‘selah’d that enough, now.

We are to sustain the truly needy among us; THAT is HOW we deliver them from the wicked. ‘The wicked’ in our day means the government, for it is wicked in the extreme. It has no knowledge (da’ath) in the biblical sense of the word. It has neither a wish to understand, nor does it have the wisdom (chochma) to apply to understanding (binah) that would constitute biblical knowledge. Human government in today’s world is anti-Yehovah, anti-Torah, and anti-Mashiach; a perfect description of wickedness. In Asaph’s day, it was applied, as well, to the religious leadership who should have known Torah. 

In v.6, Elohim says, “I have said, ye gods” referring to the religious leadership in the land in Asaph’s day. It is not said in a flattering sense. Yeshua used this scriptural quote in context in Jn.10

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 29 Avi, which gave me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck out of my Avi’s hand. 30 I and Avinu are one. 31 Then the Iouaidoi took up stones again to stone him. 32 Yeshua answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from Avi; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Iouaidoi answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself Elohim. 34 Yeshua answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Elohims? 35 If he called them Elohims, unto whom the word of Elohim came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom Avinu hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of Elohim? 37 If I do not the works of Avi, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that Avinu is in me, and I in him. 39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand (Jn.10.27-39)

Even though they are children of the Almighty, they will die like men because they have no knowledge of truth. Because they are ‘lords’, and covet that position more than right standing with Yehovah Elohenu, they are willing to ‘kill the messenger’ to protect their positions. The ‘lords’ of Yeshua’s day knew exactly what he meant by, “I and Avi are one.” He was the tzadik rebbe like Moshe that Yehovah had promised to send, the perfect melding of the Almighty’s aspects of Elohim’s understanding (binah) and Yehovah’s wisdom (chochma), and that meant their positions of power were in jeopardy. Their visceral response belied their spoken intent. Unless they would repent of that attitude, they would ‘die like men, and fall like one of the princes. [v.7]’

Whenever you see government or its media lackeys attempting to demonize or marginalize a political person, keep your eyes on that person to see if he truly believes what he says. He will show if he is honest in his positions by how he deals with the personal attacks. If he changes his position, he is just another wicked man. If he maintains his position as right, he is quite likely your best friend and their worst nightmare because he will NOT be controlled by them. By the same token, watch the government’s media lackeys for whom they least dislike and treat him/her like you would a ‘karet’, or ‘leper’.

Asaph ends by calling on Elohim’s judgment on the earth. Achim, we are on the verge of exactly that in America, and indeed in the world. WE need to apply 2Chron.7.14, for WE are to blame for the state of the world. We got too much like the world, too comfortable with the things OF the world. WE need to repent of our own callousness toward our achim, our own friendship with the world system. Remember the description of ‘wicked’ above; anti-Yehovah, anti-Torah and anti-Mashiach.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7:14)

That’s you and me, folks. And it’s NOT a one-time deal. It’s an attitude we need to adopt daily, hourly, even minutely in our personal lives. If we, the people who are called by Yehovah’s Name will turn from our own wickedness, Yehovah will THEN listen to us and fix what ails us, both personally and nationally. It is up to US, not the politicians in Washington, London, Moscow, Peking, Jerusalem or Tehran. It is up to us. It is up to YOU! Q&C

Yochanan 5.1-21 – What Feast of the Iouaidoi was this that Yeshua went up for? I don’t think this was a Feast of Yehovah. It could have been Purim or Hanukkah. Yeshua was in the habit of going up to J’lem for all the Feasts, so that he could ‘fulfill all righteousness’ (Mat.3.15). Because he went up to Beth-Khisda (or Beth Chesed – house of kindness), I infer that the Feast is Purim (I COULD be wrong … really!) for Yehovah was very kind to Israel in that day, because they turned to him en masse, as one body. Beth Khisda has 5 pools, showing its reflexion of Yehovah’s chesed; his grace, or loving-kindness. 

Yeshua comes upon a man who’s been at the pool for it’s miraculous healing for 38 years. He’s in bad enough shape after all this time that he needs someone to help him into the pool when the angel stirs up its healing properties. Yeshua can see the man is in earnest about being healed and his knowledge that he can do nothing to heal himself – he literally needs a miracle, and he goes to put himself in the way of the recurring miracle, if he can. He is already exercising all the faith he knows to exercise. But he needs help, which is not readily forthcoming. So Yeshua asks him if he would be made whole, and he says “YES!” (I think he implies, “if I could get the help I need to get to the pool when the angel stirs the water, I would already BE whole! Are you going to help me? Let’s get over there now, so we can be ready!”) But Yeshua did him one better. He said, “Stand up! Take your bed and walk!” and he did so immediately. He didn’t think about it being Shabbat. He just followed orders from the man who made him every whit whole by a Word from his mouth. I’d call that a rational response to being made whole of a 38-year infirmity. 

But the ‘Iouaidoi’ were not always rational. As I always do, I want to qualify Yochanan’s use of the term Jew. It doesn’t mean the average, rank-and-file member of the Temple/Synagogue, but ALWAYS refers to the political leadership of the religion. They obviously had not been to the Beth-Khisda pool any time in the last 38 years, or they’d have recognized him. They accosted him for breaking a man-made rule dealing with stuff folks are forbidden to do on Shabbat, like carry any burden whatever. I can only imagine them seeing me carry a Bible that would choke a horse into the fellowship. I’d smack them upside the head with it, except that it’s heavy enough to break a neck. He answered them in as respectful a manner as he could, “The guy who made me whole from my 38-year infirmity with a Word from his mouth also told me to take up my bed and walk. I figured it was the least I could do to obey him.” (OK, I embellished that just a tad.) When the Iouaidoi asked him who had dared to heal him on the Shabbat (Oh! FORFEND!), he didn’t know, and there was such a crowd at this Feast time, that he couldn’t see Yeshua. Later, when Yeshua found him to warn him against sinning unless something worse come upon him, the guy went to the Iouaidoi and told them it was Yeshua. 

THAT really ticked them off, and they started trying figure out how to kill him within the legal parameters of the day. So, they confronted him about healing on Shabbat, saying that he’d broken it. Look at AENT, note 53 on pg.246. 

When Yeshua refers to his Abba, I think he refers to the Almighty Ain Sof, he who is unknowable. He said, “Avi has never ceased working from the day of creation to now, and I work in the same way.” Yehovah has never ceased his creative work, even when it says he rested. If he were NOT creating constantly, everything would cease to exist. The same Word that created ‘ex nihilo’ in Gen.1, sustains the creation until the day of dissolution 1000 years + from now. The day Yehovah ceases to speak is the day everything dissolves into absolute nothingness, from which he can recreate brand new and perfect – a tamim or perfect world in which tzedakah, or righteousness dwells. Perhaps these Iouaidoi had never heard of ‘sod’. 

When Yeshua said that both he and Abba work to now, he was making claim to equality with Ain Sof, and they knew it. This made them all the crazier, since what he said was blasphemy for any other than Yehovah Elohim, and they were ready to kill him on the spot. When he asked what good work they were killing him for, they said, “because you make yourself equal to Elohim.”  He does not deny their accusation. He even did them one better by saying that, as Avinu will raise the dead in the resurrection (some of these Iouaidoi were no doubt Sadducees), so Yeshua, the Son, will quicken whom he wills, and it makes no difference the day of the week or the traditional fences the Iouaidoi had constructed around Torah. The healing of the man at Beth-Khisda was just one instance of how he would present his bona fides and prove whom he is. Q&C

Follows my study of John 5 from various portions of my study in The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective, as I shared on TTRT.

Yochanan 5:1-47 – 72). Second Passover – 

1 After this there was a feast of the Iouaidoi; and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.

Yochanan tells of a feast of the Iouaidoi, but doesn’t name it. I don’t know where the chronology comes from here. The Thompson Reference System says [erroneously] that this is Yehovah’s second passover in Jerusalem after his ministry began. This will mark the end of his year of popularity, I think.  I also think it more likely Purim or Hanukkah. Thompson’s seems to follow Mark’s gospel for chronology.

73). Man at the pool healed –

Yochanan 5.2-9

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Yeshua saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Yeshua saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath.

The pool of Bethesda had 5 porches, speaking to the grace of Elohim healing the sick. Thompson’s Archeological Supplement has: 

“The only record indicating its location places it near the Sheep Gate, in the northeast part of the city. The Medeba map (fifth century) located the pool in this section, which is known as Bezetha. In 1888 repairs were being made on St. Ann’s Church in this northeast section of Jerusalem when what seemed to be a large reservoir was located. Conrad Schick organized an expedition and uncovered the entire area down to the Roman level, revealing two large pools with five porches and numerous fragments of columns and capitals, all in Roman style, but evidently somewhat later than the time of Mashiach. There were steep, winding steps leading down to the pools and, on a prominent wall of one of the porches, a faded fresco showed an angel in the act of troubling the waters. So according to the tradition of the early assembly, this was Bethesda.” 

Mat. Henry’s commentary says, 

“Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain of one wearisome night, when many others, better than we, have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well?” 

Good question. 

Put yourself in this guy’s shoes for a minute. You’ve been infirm for 38 years. And you spend most of your days at this miraculous spa hoping to get in the water when it is troubled. Do you think this happened every few minutes? Once a day? Or just once in a while? There is no indication that the troubling of the water was a regular occurrence. So you have to be ready to jump in, but you can’t jump. You have a hard enough time dragging yourself toward the pool, much less lowering yourself down the steps, which were steep and winding, to get in the pool. And no one will help you because they are all there for the same purpose, to get a healing. If someone helps you into the water, how will he get healed? Only one healing per troubling, and if he can get there first you are going to have to wait ‘til next time. Sorry, luck of the draw, bud. 

That’s what this guy dealt with for 38 years. When Yeshua asks if he’d like to be made well, he says in effect, ‘If you’ll hang around and help me into the water next time it’s troubled, I’d be much obliged.’ Yeshua does him one better. He says the same thing he said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” And the guy obeys immediately, not caring what day it is. 

Here is a major no-no as far as the Iouaidoi, the political leaders of the Hebrew religion, are concerned. Yeshua has just healed on the Sabbath and told the healed man to carry away his bed. You could get in a lot of trouble with the religious authorities if you broke the Sabbath traditions. Remember that the Sabbath was set aside to rest from our professional labors and acknowledge Y’hovah’s gift and authority one day a week. Do you suppose the man who’d been healed was worshipping Y’hovah as he walked home? Shake your heads in the vertical. Do you think the Pharisees cared? Shake your heads in the horizontal. Q&C

75). Discourse on the Sabbath – Mat.12.1-8, Mk.2.23-28, Lk.6.1-5, Yochanan5.10-16

10 The Iouaidoi therefore said unto him that was cured, it is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Yeshua had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Yeshua findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Iouaidoi that it was Yeshua, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Iouaidoi persecute Yeshua, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day.

Do you remember the flock of swine that rushed headlong into the sea? Same problem comes up here, but for a different reason. The swineherds were losing money, the Pharisees were jealous for the common folk to keep the law according to the scribes and Pharisees. They accused Yeshua of breaking Sabbath. But in this case, who was really breaking Sabbath? Yeshua is about to tell them. 

74). Discourse on Yeshua’s divinity – 


17 But Yeshua answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Iouaidoi sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that Elohim was his Father, making himself equal with Elohim. 19 Then answered Yeshua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth Avinu do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For Avinu loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as Avinu raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For Avinu judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all should honour the Son, even as they honour Avinu. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not Avinu which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Elohim: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as Avinu hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Avinu which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 But I have greater witness than of John: for the works which Avinu hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that Avinu hath sent me. 37 And Avinu himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of Elohim in you. 43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that from Elohim only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to Avinu: there is that accuseth you, Moshe [Torah], in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

In vv.17-18 we see the Iouaidoi really getting worked up over Yeshua’s claim to be Elohim. They knew what he was saying, and they would have been righteously angry if they were dealing with MY claim to be Elohim. But this was Yeshua and he was performing miracles that should have told them exactly who he was, if only they knew the scriptures like they said, or thought, they did. Messianic passages abound in the OT (Is.61.1-2a.) Even Yochanan the Immerser needed some proof as to Yeshua true identity (Lk.7.19-20), but he knew the scriptures and was comforted in them (Lk.7.21-23). Yeshua knew that Yochanan would understand that every miracle he performed was not to cause an end of suffering or hardship or infirmity, but for the purpose of confirming to the Iouaidoi, the political leadership of the religion, that he was who he claimed to be; Yeshua haMoshiach, the Son of Elohim. The very miracles he was doing, causing the paralytic to walk in this case, all taken together (i.e., comparing scripture with scripture and verifying experience with objective truth) should have caused them no end of rejoicing that their Mashiach had come and that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand. Instead they wanted strict adherence to the oral law that gave no life, but only knowledge of sin and death. 

“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Avinu rested from his creative work on the 7th day, not all his work. After all, Elohim still had to maintain the creation. The strict adherence to the letter of the law that the Pharisees wanted would have made them Elohim’s judges. By that I mean, if Elohim were being judged by their standard, absolutely no work on the Sabbath, they would have stoned him, as well. In fact, that is what they were attempting to do right then, for the whole creation was physically manufactured by the word of the person they wanted to stone for blasphemy and Sabbath-breaking (Ex.31.14ff).

V.19 ‘What the Son sees Avinu doing the Son does also (Mark paraphrase).’ The whole universe was all Yehovah Yeshua’s effort. Without him was not anything made that was made. How should we do things? Should we do everything on our own; cowboy our way through as lone wolves, or should we get help or counsel as we can. That is how the Body of Mashiach is supposed to work, each helping the other to bring glory to Elohim.

1Cor.12 says that each part of the body is as important as every other part of the body. If the ear gets jealous because it’s not the eye, the body will not work as it’s designed to. If the foot gets offended because the hand is getting all the good stuff to do and goes on strike, how will the hand get to the appointed place to do its good stuff? It’s the same thing with each of us. If I get jealous of Doc [a dentist friend] because he can make teeth and I can’t, and I therefore leave the fellowship of us saints, the whole body will suffer because it is left without my gifts and abilities. Our gifts were not given to us for our personal enjoyment, but for the common good of the Body of Mashiach. All that and much more can be seen with just a cursory glance at 1Cor.12. The body of Mashiach is designed to work as a unit to fulfill its purpose in doing the will of Avinu. Q&C

Avinu shows the Son all that he (Avinu) plans to do and the Son executes that plan (v.20). ‘Himself’ speaks of Avinu in this case. Had Yeshua meant the Son here he’d have used the word ‘he’ not ‘himself’ in this construction. You may remember the use of this ‘himself’ in the movie, “The Quiet Man” (a great movie, by the way). As late as 1950 this was still an accepted usage when referring to a third person in your speech. Webster’s has 

HIMSELF’, pron. In the nominative or objective case. [him and self.] 1.  He; but himself is more emphatical, or more expressive of distinct personality than he. With shame remembers, while himself was one. Of the same herd, himself the same had done. 

The NIV has ‘he’ here. If ‘he’ is substituted for ‘himself’ it refers back to the last word that is male third person singular, or Son. That could be confusing, so the AV translators who understood English usage decided to use ‘himself’, to specify that the speaker meant a third person other than his own self and the hearer. This is just another proof that Yeshua and Avinu are one Spirit, but different, as relating to Yeshua’s human flesh.

The Abba of our Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach had shown his Son all that himself had wanted him to reveal to this point and Yeshua had done so. It seems by this passage that Elohim was authorizing the steps to be taken by Yeshua as the time became right, that Yeshua knew the plan, but was awaiting his Father’s OK to implement it. 

Yeshua had yet to raise the dead, but that would come shortly. Avinu had yet to authorize that part of the plan. When he did Yeshua would raise a few from the dead to illustrate his ministry of making us who trust him spiritually alive. He would give the breath of life back to some who had died to show how he would quicken the spirits of men and empower them by the breath of his Ruach haKodesh (Acts 2.2), and will quicken the bodies of those same men in the life to come. 

All judgment is committed to the Son for the purpose of giving honor to the Son (Gen.32.29, Ex.6.3, 9.16, 20.7, 23.20-23, Lev.19.12, 22.32, De.28.58, 2Sam.7.26, 1Ki.8.18-19, 29, 9.3, 7, 11.36, 2Ki.23.21-27, Ps.8.1, 89.24, Is.42.8, 48.11, 52.5-6, 57.15, 65.1, Jer.7.10-14, 30, 14.14-15, 23.25-27, Ez.20.9, 36.23, 39.7, Dan.2.20, Mat.24.5, Mal.1.11, 4.2, Mat.18.5, 20, Mk.9.39-41, Jn.16.23-27, Rom.9.17, Is.9.6, Mat.12.16-21, [Mat.1.21, 25, Lk.1.31, 2.21; Yeshua’s name all in caps, denotes the covenant name of Elohim], Acts.3.16, 4.12, Heb.1.4, Phil.2.9-11, Eph.1.21, Rev.19.16, 12, Neh.9.5). Reread the verses in bold type.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4.12)

3 Who being the brightness of glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Heb.1.3-4)

9 Wherefore Elohim also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMoshiach is Yehovah, to the glory of Elohim Avinu. (Phil.2.9-11)

20 Which he wrought in Mashiach, when he raised him from the dead, and set at his own right hand in the heavenlies, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all under his feet, and gave him the head over all to the assembly, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph.1.20-23)

But the Son is also called the Word of Elohim in Yochanan 1.1-14, that Word whose name is exalted above every name. When he says above ‘every name’, he means it. In Rev.19.12 his name is so wonderful that it can’t be known by any but he himself. Is there anything that can be greater or more holy than the name of Yehovah Yeshua? In Ps.138.2 David says, 

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” 

Is there any name of Elohim that is left out in that verse? Even the one that no man can know but he himself? Elohim exalts his Word above his very own name because without his Word we would have nothing by which to know his name. Just to give you an idea of what man does to the Word of Elohim, here’s that same verse in the NIV: 

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward your holy temple

          and will praise your name  

          for your love and your faithfulness,

                        for you have exalted above all things

          your name and your word. 

If you did to Elohim’s Word what they did to Elohim’s Word, you would ‘fix’ that verse as well. To translate it literally would be to condemn yourself. NIV-ers have placed Elohim’s Word on a par with his name, but not above it, as Elohim has. They have exalted themselves above Elohim, thereby, knowing better than he exactly what he meant. They have an extremely low view of scripture, or they would not correct it so often. Cf. Ps.19, esp.v.7-11. Without his Word we would have no barometer for our conduct or yardstick to measure our growth into the image of Mashiach. Isn’t it amazing that Elohim holds the book you hold in your hand in greater esteem than his very name? It is too wonderful for me. Q&C

Vv.24, 25 show another reason that Elohim exalts his word above his name. It is by his word that we are saved. We obtain everlasting life by hearing the Word of Elohim and believing that Elohim Avinu has sent Elohim haBen in human flesh. This can only be revealed today by the Word of Elohim, as illuminated by his Ruach ha Kodesh. There are no eyewitnesses alive on earth to talk to as in Paul’s day (1Cor.15.5-8). Elohim wants to fellowship with us, to spend eternity with us as his children. We could never know this without his Word. We could know of him, desire to know him personally, fear him, but we could never know him and love him without his Word. 

When he says ‘the dead shall hear’ he refers not just to the physically dead, as when Yeshua went into the grave to take captivity captive, but the spiritually dead as well. Many who heard him for the first time were spiritually dead. When they believed that Elohim had sent him, that he was very Elohim, they obtained eternal life. We who have believed on Avinu who sent the Son in the power of his Ruach ha Kodesh have obtained eternal life and will never be condemned. Yeshua has finished the work Avinu sent him to do. No one can undo what he has done. We have been justified by the faith of the Son of Elohim (Gal.2.16), not by our own faith, and have passed from death unto life. Now it’s time we acted like it, as if we actually believed it to be true. Joshua 1:9 

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for Y’hovah thy Elohim is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Remember that this all began with Yeshua healing on the Sabbath and then calling Elohim his Father, making himself equal to Elohim. He has been making that point throughout this discourse. In vv.26-27 he must have really frosted their cookies. He tells them that Avinu has given him authority over judgment and also to have life in himself. These are strong statements of his deity. To have life in yourself is something none of us has ever experienced, nor will we. Yehovah IS life. His Word is life. It actually means that HE IS life (Jn.14.6), not just that he has life. We all have life in us, but it does not proceed from us – we are not the originators of life. Yehovah Yeshua is. 

And Elohim has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. If he were not human, he could not feel our infirmity and sympathize with our weakness and inability to live after Elohim. He is the righteous judge because he is righteousness and knows what we feel, has endured the same trials and temptations that we all have, yet without sin (Heb.4.15).

 So Yeshua in this sentence tells them that he is both Elohim and man. I wonder how many understood that. And, did it separate their heads from their shoulders? The thought of an Elohim/man would have been totally foreign to them. It was generally thought then, and still is today among most of the lost, that all of the physical or material creation was evil and all that was spiritual was good. For the two to be blended into one was and is inconceivable to most people. This was the root of gnosticism, which is making a strong resurgence today and teaches that Elohim could not become flesh and remain Elohim, for the flesh is sinful. Elohim would not sanctify the flesh, the flesh would corrupt Elohim. Therefore Yeshua was human and the Mashiach was divine, and Yeshua haMoshiach could not be both. But that is exactly what Yeshua taught in this passage, his Spirit is 100% Elohim and his flesh is 100% man, what has been termed the hypostatic union. The hypostatic union is sort of like binary addition of 1+1, which equals 0, carry the 1. It is totally understandable if you slip outside the decimal box that’s been constructed around your mind. So would the concept of 100%+100% = 100% be if we could slip out of the box of time/space/matter. Unfortunately, we can’t without really slipping outside of this body and returning to it, as Paul did in vision or in spirit (2Cor.12.1-4), and which Peter and Yochanan also experienced (Acts 10, Rev.1). 

The problem with gnosticism is a faulty concept of Elohim and matter. To the Gnostic the flesh was mightier than the Elohim who created it for it could corrupt him. Therefore the Gnostic elohim was subject to the material world, thus making the material the one, true Elohim. This is the ultimate origin of evolution in the human mind, matter is eternal, and man is the culmination of the material evolution. As such, man created Elohim, therefore man is Elohim. Eminently reasonable if you leave out the scripture or have a low view of it (cf. paragraph at bottom of p.77 and top of p.78 for an explanation of the resurgence of gnosticism in the assembly). Elohim gives us the faith to trust him or not when we believe (Rom 10.14-17).

The gnostics would not believe that anything spiritual was evil, hence the belief today, even among Xians, that anything that is spiritual is divine. These Xians are obviously not exercising the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits (1Cor.12.10, 1Jn.4.1). To them, any angel would be a divine being, even Lucifer (2Cor.11.14) or Michael or Moroni (the LDS revelatory angel – my spell checker gave ‘Moronic’ as the first ‘change’ suggestion). In fact, the spiritual part of man would be divine as well, and therefore all men are Elohims, a la Shirley McLaine and other equally deceived and ridiculous persons. Now, you may ask, ‘How can man have both a spiritual and a material aspect, but Elohim can not take on a physical body?’ You got me there, because I don’t know. There is something to be said for consistency, but the gnostics of our day sure miss it! I think that their thought is that our spirits, which predated the creation of the physical universe (more inconsistency, if matter is eternal), were defiled by contact with the flesh (Gen6.2?) and now by reincarnation and the ‘circle of life’ it needs to purge itself of its sin and once again ‘become one with the divine all.’ They term this at-one-ment, which is why I hate to hear that term used by Xians as an alternative pronunciation of atonement. Yeshua atoned for my sins for me, he substituted for me on the cross. For me to achieve at-one-ment, I have to achieve it. What a waste of time and the life-blood of Yeshua. So, if you don’t want to incur my wrath, and I believe it would be righteous anger, NEVER use the term at-one-ment in place of atonement. I’ll unapologetically snap your head off.

In vv.28-29 Yeshua tells of the resurrection and that he’ll be the one calling the dead from their graves. Once more he is telling the Pharisees and scribes that he is Elohim, and also telling the Sadducees that their doctrine is wrong. He was really making points with the Iouaidoi that day, wasn’t he? He speaks of the resurrection without distinguishing between the first and second resurrections. Those who believed in it knew that the righteous would be resurrected first and the wicked at another time (Dan.12.2), but they did not know that there would be a separation of 1000 years. The specific length of time between the two was not revealed until the Revelation of Yeshua haMoshiach to Yochanan on the isle of Patmos (Rev.20.4-6, 11-15). Yeshua brilliantly illustrated v.28 when he raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn.11). If he hadn’t spoken specifically to Lazarus in v. 43, it is quite possible that a general resurrection would have happened on the spot. That is why the distinction. Prophecy said there would be two separate resurrections for the righteous and for the wicked, so Yeshua could not simply say, ‘Come forth!” To do so would nullify partially revealed truth and the plan of Avinu. One day soon he will say, “Ye righteous of my Father, come forth!”, and the resurrection of the righteous dead and the translation of all living believers will instantly occur to the great consternation of the wicked. They will have been ‘left behind’. Don’t you be.

When Yeshua says in v.29, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” what do you think he means? This is not a rhetorical question.

I think he meant that he’d emptied himself of his independent exercise of his divine attributes, authority and power (Phil.2.5-7). Yeshua was Elohim the Son from eternity past, not having a beginning, of One Spirit with Yehovah Avinu and Elohim Ruach haKodesh. But he voluntarily gave that up so that he could become one of us and fulfill the law so that he could be our propitiator. He, who should have been waited upon hand and foot as the King of kings, came as a servant, in part to show us how to live a victorious life. He submitted himself to the will of Avinu, surrendered his own will and life to Avinu. That was the source of his power on earth, he exercised no authority of his own, only that of his Father through his Ruach. And that same surrender is to be the source of our power and authority. If we were to submit to his will, we too could exercise his authority. What kind of power is displayed in your life? What does that say of your surrender?

As a result of Yeshua’s total surrender to the will of Avinu, not seeking his own, he was and is able to judge justly and righteously. He is able to sympathize with us because he is one of us, and he is able to pass righteous judgment because he is Elohim. I would not want anyone else to judge me. Avinu’s judgment is righteous and just in its severity, because his holiness is the standard with which he must judge. By the standard of Elohim’s holiness, I am forever lost, too vile and unholy to even stand in his presence.  Man’s standard is very different, based in what he thinks is just at the moment. By that standard, I would get a free pass because I would not send anyone to hell, because I don’t want to go there myself. If I did condemn someone to hell, then when using the same criterion, I would have to go there too (Mat.7.2). But Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach, Elohim in human flesh, felt all the same temptations and weaknesses that we do (Heb.4.15), and therefore can temper his severe righteousness with mercy in those of us who have believed and trusted him for salvation. This is not to say that Avinu has no mercy, for if that were true he would not have sent Y’hovah Yeshua to propitiate for us. This all just helps me to understand how a holy Elohim can have mercy on a wretch like Mark Pitrone, to graciously give him the faith to believe on Y’hovah. If this is incorrect, please correct me.Q&C

In v.31-32, Yeshua tells of his own witness of himself and the witness of another, who for now remains nameless – we’ll see who he is shortly. I find it interesting that even Yeshua’s own witness of himself would not be true without corroboration. I don’t think he meant that his word is untrustworthy (Jn.8.14), but that it would not be sufficient to prove the truth of his assertion, for in the mouths of 2 or 3 witness shall a thing be established (Deut.17.6, 19.15, Mat.18:16, 2Cor.13:1, 1Tim.5:19, Heb.10:28). 

Yeshua goes on to say in vv.33-35 that there is another who bears witness of him, whose witness he knows is true. He elaborates in vv.36ff that the other is Avinu in heaven. But before he says that, he refers to Yochanan the Immerser, whose followers must have been in the crowd, perhaps even among the Pharisees and scribes. But Yeshua rejects Yochanan’s witness to himself, because Yochanan is just a guy. His witness may be false, but Avinu’s can never be (Rom.3.4a, Tit.1.2, Heb.6.18). Yeshua tells these things that they might believe his Father’s witness and be saved. Yochanan’s words cannot save them, being the words of man, but Yeshua’s Word can. They had gone to Yochanan for his witness to the truth, and that was good as far as it went, but Yeshua had a greater witness to the truth, his very works (v.36) that had lately gotten him into so much trouble with the Iouaidoi. He was saying, in effect, (Mark paraphrase) ‘You went out to hear Yochanan because he spoke of the truth and that’s good, but I show you the truth by the very works I do. These works are my Father’s witness of me; that I am from him. You loved to bask in the witness of Yochanan because he told you of the truth (v.35), but when you are confronted with the truth itself you will not believe it (v.38), for Elohim’s word does not live in you. If it did, if you really loved the truth, you would believe his report (v.37). But you refuse his witness of me, because you’ve never seen or heard from him in the scriptures you claim to love. (Mark paraphrase)’ What about you? Have you seen Elohim Avinu in the scriptures? Have you heard his voice? Have you surrendered to him? Have you trusted Yeshua to reconcile you to our Father in heaven? Does his Word abide in you? Elohim wants nothing more than your friendship and fellowship. If you haven’t come to him before, stop the study and do it now. He gave everything to have you. You are all he wants. Something alive cannot long be sustained in a rotting, putrefying corpse, it needs to be nourished with living material. Spiritual life cannot be maintained with physical food. It needs spiritual food; I.e., the Word of Elohim (Job 23.12, Ps.19.7-11, Jer.15.16, Ez.2.8-3.3, 1Tim.4.6, De.8.3).

He goes on in vv.39-40 about the scripture’s witness to him. The scriptures were in their brains, they had memorized large chunks of it, but the words did not live in them, didn’t change them in any appreciable manner unless it was to make them more prideful, more hateful. The fact is that the scribes and Pharisees were more worried about compliance with the letter of the ‘oral law’ than with the spirit of Torah, and then only in other people, not so much themselves. Are we not guilty of the same thing, demanding compliance with a law that does not abide in the hearts of men? How can we demand compliance to the truth from Bill, George, and Barack when the truth is not in them? Do we not see our own sins in the people we condemn? They have an excuse, since they are not born from above, but do we? We have been tempted to and done all the same sins that our pet perpetrators have; if not in fact, then in spirit. Should we not, then, attempt to be like our high priest, sympathizing with the infirmities of our fellows and coming alongside them to try to reconcile them to Elohim? That is our ministry here (2Cor.5.18-21), is it not?

In v.41 he says that he doesn’t receive honour from men. The word receive is from the grk. word lambano which means literally to take. He’s not saying that men are not offering him honour, but that he doesn’t want men’s honour and won’t accept it. He wants honour from Elohim. He’s not looking to please men, but his Father in heaven.

Vv.42-43 need to be seen together. If they had Elohim’s love in them they would receive his testimony as the truth it is. This is more proof that they did not love the Law and the Prophets, but used it as a wedge to uphold their power. Yeshua is in process of kicking the wedge free, and, I think, the religious leaders are scared that their positions of honour before the people are about to be lost. For that reason they will not receive what they know in their hearts is the truth, Yeshua is not after their praise or the honour from men. He tells them that one will come (antiMoshiach) who will, speaking in his own name, accept their honour and praise. 

He says in v.44 that the reason they won’t believe him is that he is not after their praise, which thing they want above all else. They want the praises of men like themselves, and when antiMoshiach comes and accepts their honours, they’ll accept him as their Mashiach. Since they are self-seeking and totally (self) righteous, and he will be exactly the same, he’s what they expect Mashiach to be. So he’s whom they’ll accept. All because they have no love for the truth of Elohim’s word. Before we get too critical, let’s examine ourselves. Are we guilty of the same stuff? Do we need to repent?

In v.45 he informs them that he will not accuse them before his Father, that Moses will be their accuser. Not that Moses himself will accuse them, but Torah that Moses wrote will. He says that the Torah in which they put all their trust (Jn.9.28, Rom.2.17-25) will be used as the witness against them. They were trusting the works of the law to qualify them for eternal life (Gal.2.11-3.10). Yeshua was telling them they were trusting in a thing that they did not believe. How stupid is that? Had they truly known and believed the scriptures they would have recognized Yeshua for who he is — Mashiach, the son of Yosef/David, the Son of Elohim.  Why would they believe the author of the Word if they didn’t believe the Word they claimed to trust? How else do you know an author but by his writing? Had they known it they would have known him and believed. (If you haven’t yet, read Gal.2.11-3.10 now )

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Iouaidoi dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Iouaidoi, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Iouaidoi? 15 We Iouaidoi by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yeshua Mashiach, even we have believed in Yeshua Mashiach, that we might be justified by the faith of Mashiach, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Mashiach, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Mashiach the minister of sin? Elohim forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto Elohim. 20 I am crucified with Mashiach: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Mashiach liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Elohim, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of Elohim: for if righteousness by the law, then Mashiach is dead in vain… 1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yeshua Mashiach hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed Elohim, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that Elohim would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [Gal.2.11-3.10]

End Jn.5               End of Shabbat Bible Study