Monthly Archives: November 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 1, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for December 1, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Sabbath 38

Devarim 20:10 – 21:9 – Yehoshua 24:1 – Tehellim 135 – Yochanan 10:1-31

Links: 

www.livejournal.com/users/avrom/116574.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minor_biblical_tribes 

Devarim 20:10 – 21:9 – Last week, we saw how Y’hovah whittled down the troop strength to make it apparent to the Israelite hosts that it wasn’t their righteousness and strength of arms, but the strength of Y’hovah’s right arm and his righteousness that would win the victory for them. This week we see that he wants them to proclaim an opportunity to live peaceably with the people they would come up against, but who lived outside their inheritances. Then he gave the parameters of that peace. If they agreed, then well. If not, “Oh, well!” – they’d made their choice. I don’t think a LOT of negative choices would be made after the initial 2 or 3. News would travel rather quickly of the stark choice AND the stark difference between the independent, self-serving government BEFORE (as seen in the US and the rest of the world today) and the very equitable government AFTER the affirmative choice was made.

Y’hovah always offers Shalom, peace; before he makes milchamah, war. Cf. Is.27.1-5, which I believe will have its greatest fulfillment at Mashiyach’s physical appearance at the end of the time of Yacov’s trouble (I don’t think there will be an offer of Shalom at the end of the Millennium – they’ll have been living in Shalom for 1000 years, which is why Rev.20.7-10 is so cut and dried, their choice will already have been made)

1 In that day Y’hovah, with his sore and great and strong sword, shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that in the sea. (HaSatan’s final defeat – Rev.20) 2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.  3 I Y’hovah do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers thorns against me in battle? I would go through them; I would burn them together (lake of fire after Gog uMagog?). 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, he may make peace with me; he shall make peace with me (Kingdom). (YeshaYahu 27.1-5)

“In that day” in this case indicates the Day of Y’hovah’s wrath, when he brings the fury of his righteous indignation to bear on HaSatan and his followers. After his fury is spent during the “Days of Awe” (vv.1-3), he will coolly execute his judgment against those who will not accept (v.4) his offer of his Shalom to the armies of the earth (v.5). Those who reject Mashiyach’s offer of Shalom will be wiped out, very likely by the weapons they attempt to use against Mashiyach; while those who accept his offer of Shalom will go on to populate the Millennial Kingdom of Mashiyach Yeshua. This deals with people who do NOT live within Israel’s inheritance. Israel’s inheritance is clearly defined in Devarim, but it is loosely defined in Gen.15. Israel has never held all of either. Though it got close in David’s day to CONTROLLING all of the Devarim grant. If the Gen.15 grant is correct to its fullest extent, the land of promise runs from the headwaters of the Euphrates in Armenia to the headwaters of the Nile at Lake Victoria and all land in between, those rivers being the eastern and western boundaries. That would be Messiah’s Kingdom proper, with the rest of the world as tributary. See www.livejournal.com/users/avrom/116574.html for what I consider the minimum expanse of Gen.15’s Eretz Yisrael.

The pagan people who DO live within Israel’s inheritance were to be (but weren’t), and SHALL be either driven out of it or wiped out; including the livestock. Nothing that draws breath of the nations to be dispossessed is to live within Israel’s inheritance (vv.16-18). The Girgashites are conspicuous by their absence from this list. In ch.7 they were listed as one of the 7 nations to be dispossessed.

1 When Y’hovah Elohecha shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2 And when Y’hovah Elohecha shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of Y’hovah be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. (Deut.7.1-4)

Whahoppen the Girgashites? They were first named in Gen.10 (Girgasite KJV) in the genealogy of Ham and Canaan, as well as in 1Chron1.14. In both of those genealogies, they are sons of Canaan, who was cursed by Noach after Ham’s sin against him in Gen.9. According to Wikipedia (it’s gotta be true!) Rashi seems to think that the Girgashites aren’t listed here because they had left eretz Yisrael before this time. That’s plausible, but how he came to this knowledge is not given. If Rashi is correct, I assume that in 7.1, Moshe had listed all the people as they were listed in Gen.15.21, but here he listed the people they would actually have to face in battle. 

The reason given for driving all the Canaanites out of the land is that they not teach Israel any of the ways of the people in worshipping their false gods, which would have been abomination to Y’hovah. I think it could also be that the Canaanites were the carriers of the leftover DNA of the genetically modified Nephillim (giants in Num13.33 is Nephillim) via Ham’s wife or the offspring of Ham’s sin against his father, going in unto Noach’s wife [who was NOT the mother of Noach’s sons]. When the spies went into the land in Num.13, they said this about the inhabitants’ of Hevron (though I seriously doubt any of the 10 ‘tourists’ actually went into Hevron; I think they really were thinking with their eyes and not their experience with Y’hovah):

27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities walled, very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan … 31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (B’midbar 13.27-29, 31-33)

“In our own sight … and so we were in theirs.” In v. 30, Kalev said (effectively), “Y’hovah has our backs: let’s GO!” Kalev had gone into Hevron, I think, and he knew what he was up against; but he also knew who had his back. I think Kalev would have gone in physically alone; with Y’hovah on his side. Any one of us + Y’hovah = victory over the most atrocious odds. It’s Y’hovah that beats the odds, every time. 

Israel is commanded to not destroy every tree, only those that were used as material for making idols. They were specifically commanded to NOT destroy fruit trees or any that could provide food for them. But those that would provide material to build siege works or weapons they were COMMANDED to cut down and use to defeat their enemies. But I think that last sentence says that they should not cut down more trees than they would need for the siege works. I don’t think Y’hovah wants any trees cut down needlessly.

Ch.21.1-9 – What happened if a person was found killed outside a city’s gates; the person obviously killed by another man. First thing to do was to determine whose jurisdiction he was found in. This was done by determining which town the victim was closest to. That would be the one that would do the inquiry and make the sin offering of a heifer. This heifer was to be one that had never been yoked (a picture of marriage?) either for planting or reaping, so it was probably not just a young cow but a yearling. I infer this to picture innocence. And that is what this ceremony is about; to proclaim that city’s innocence in the slaying of this man. The elders would behead the innocent cow in a place not sown with crops, probably where the local trash heap/furnace was, and wash their hands over it while proclaiming that city innocent of the blood split, both in the deed of killing the person and in witnessing the crime. V.2 intimates that there was a diligent inquiry to determine if anyone knew anything about the person’s death, and that the elders were satisfied that their city was innocent. If a person lied to cover the murder, I assume that he would now bear his iniquity and that Y’hovah would hold the city innocent. Q&C

Yehoshua 24:1 – Yehoshua had just gotten finished telling Israel that all the blessings that Y’hovah had promised for belief/obedience in Lev.26 and Dt.28 had come to pass, so they should also rest assured (or not so assured) that when they would transgress and go after other elohim that he would just as surely bring the curses that he’d promised them for unbelief/disobedience in those same passages. So here, he is gathering all the elders of Israel together to get their promise that they would not go after other elohim, nor practice the deeds of the pagans they’d displaced as if it were viable in worship to Y’hovah. The Mishkan is pitched at Shechem, in the valley of decision between Ebal and Gerazim, and he is going to demand a decision from them; serve Y’hovah or serve your belly, for you cannot serve 2 masters. They must take a choice; serve Y’hovah or serve other elohim. He will not force you to serve him, but he shall bring the curses if you have taken his Name on you and then choose to serve idols. 

Tehellim 135 – HalleluYah!

The last 15 weeks we have seen the Psalms of Ascent (120-134), the psalms that the pilgrims would sing as they brought their tithes into the 2nd Temple and climbed the steps toward the Huldah Gate. These steps were of 2 different tread lengths; 1 short (about 9-12 inches) like a normal step and 1 long (about 3-4 feet) enough that it stood out and a group could stand on it while singing the appropriate psalm. There were the lower platform, then 13 long steps and then the platform at the top of the stair, making 15 places to stop and praise Y’hovah. Imagine the cacophony of praise rising up to Y’hovah as pilgrims on each step sang their psalms together. 

EDIT In Psalm 135 we see a psalm that repeatedly sings Y’hovah’s praises, extolling him for all that he did for Israel in her national history. This psalm is sung IN the Temple proper (v.2), as the previous 15 had been sung on the ascent to the Temple. The word ‘HalleluYah!’ frames this psalm in v.1 and v.21, and the specifics about how and why we are to praise him are spelled out in between. In this psalm there also just happen to be 15 occurrences of the full covenant Name, Y’hovah, and 4 more of the shortened form, Yah. Do those 15 uses of Y’hovah’s full name coincide with the 15 steps and 15 psalms of ascent? I don’t know; just putting it out there. It sure seems coincidental, though.  

There are 2 uses of Elohenu (our God) referring to Y’hovah and 1 of elohim, referring to the gods of the nations, as well as one use of Adonenu (our Master) in reference to Y’hovah. The reference to ‘deep places’ (v.6) may have to do with places of which we have no knowledge in the physical, the ‘deep things of Y’hovah’ that can only be revealed to our spirits by his Ruach haKodesh

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Ruach: for Ruach searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (I Corinthians 2:10) 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

The 9th use of Y’hovah’s covenant Name in v.6 is the antecedent to all the 3rd person pronouns, particularly ‘he’ (4x), ‘who’ (2x) and ‘his’ (1x), referring to Y’hovah in the next 6 verses. Then David uses Y’hovah’s Name 3x in vv.13-14 so that his next uses of pronouns in vv.14-15 won’t be misconstrued, because he moves on in v.16 to a brief interlude in which David contrasts the elohim of the nations with Y’hovah, expressing the reality of Y’hovah and the worthlessness of the nations’ elohim; talking about the atzav (idols) of the goyim (nations), made of keseph (silver) and zahav (gold) by the workings of men’s hands. How can something that I have made be greater in any way than I am? Idolatry is so stupid. These idols have no sense; no touch, no taste, no hearing, no breath of life; and, spiritually, neither do those who make and worship them. 

Baruch Y’hovah! 5 times we are commanded to bless Y’hovah as this psalm closes; Israel, Yacov, Aharon, Levi and we who fear Y’hovah are commanded to bless him. ALL of these commands apply to each of us, as we are Israelites, sons of Yacov, priests and firstborn servants of Y’hovah who fear him in Mashiyach. 

HalleluYah! Q&C

Yochanan 10.1-16 – 153-155). Parable of the Good Shepherd – The monologue continues, as Yeshua teaches about whom his true followers are. In fact, he hardly takes a breath between Jn.9.41 and Jn.10.1. He was talking to the Pharisees who were with him, who he said were still in their sins. It looks like the beginning of this part of the narrative was at Jn.8.12 – the light of life reference. These events all seem to have happened over the course of a few hours, or days at most. He started in 8.12 with the light of life, which I think refers to the ‘shamash’, or servant, candle on the Chanukkiah, and in 10.22 we see that it is still the Feast of Dedication, or Chanukah, which is also called the Feast of Lights. 

He started with ‘they who do not enter at the door into the sheepfold’ being robbers and thieves. These can be likened to the tares among the wheat in Mat.13.24-30, 36-43, or the wolves in sheep’s clothing in Mat.7.15 and Acts 20.29. They don’t enter by the strait gate and walk the narrow way, striving for the mastery (2Tim.2.5). We are told in Jn.14.6 that there is only one way to the Father, and Yeshua is that way. He is the strait gate. That gate meets each of us on our own life’s roads at different places and is wide enough for one person to enter at a time; the entry thereto is personal, not corporate. We are not saved in droves, but by little and little. And each of us has his own personal road to walk, as personal as the gate that allowed entry. We are all different and we all are on a different road when we receive our gift of life by entering that strait gate, which is Mashiyach, the Torah in the flesh. For any to insist that each of us walk the exact same road after we are saved would be silly. We walk by the same rules to be sure, but my way may lead me by a different route and through different trials than yours leads you. It is our goal that is the same.

But thieves and robbers try to get us to look away from the goal, to rob us of the joy that is set before us. They bring in doubtful disputations, even doctrines of devils to steal away our peace. For this cause we are to study to show ourselves, not others, approved, workmen that need not be ashamed and rightly dividing the word of Truth, which these robbers profane with their vain babblings. Others are on a different road to the same goal. They are to show themselves approved by rightly dividing the Word of Truth. That word is the same, the goal is the same, the rules are the same, the route is different for each of us because we all enter at a different point along the way. Our way is the shortest distance from the point of entry to the goal. My way may seem strange to you, or yours strange to me, but if we are both striving toward the same goal by the same rules using the same word of Truth, we will never be at cross-purposes, and we will have great fellowship in the Spirit of Avinu, our Father. And therein lies the rub of heresy and denominationalism. A man is not a heretic because he sees scripture from a different perspective than I do. Indeed, that is a given. He is a heretic because he doesn’t believe what he reads and adds or diminishes from the word as it pleases him. He has attempted entry without the gate. And so we study to protect ourselves from robbers and thieves. Therefore, do not follow me because I’m ‘holy’ in your eyes, or ‘smarter than the average bear’. If anyone is to follow anyone else, it must be only as he is following Yeshua. It is much better to follow after Yeshua and not any man 

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also of Mashiyach. (1Cor.11.1)

17 For the kingdom of Elohim is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Mashiyach is acceptable to Elohim, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Rom.14.17-19) 

8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Mashiyach Yeshua my Master: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung, that I may win Mashiyach, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of Torah, but that which is through the faith of Mashiyach, the righteousness which is of Elohim by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Mashiyach Yeshua. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended but one thing; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Elohim in Mashiyach Yeshua. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, Elohim shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk; of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping; the enemies of the cross of Mashiyach: 19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose Elohim belly, and glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Master Yeshua Mashiyach: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil.3.8-21 added words deleted, 1 [added back for flow]) 

24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid. (1Tim.5.24-25) 

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of Elohim, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1Tim.6.9-12).

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also of Mashiyach. (1Cor.11.1)

After all, it is Yeshua who gave his life for you, not me or any other mere man. You can never implicitly trust any mere man with your soul and your spiritual health. Only Yeshua has your best interests at heart all the time. When you start trusting someone else to lead you safely through the pits and speed bumps of life, and don’t keep your relationship to Yeshua through the Ruach haKodesh, that’s the set-apart Spirit of Elohim, you let yourself in for a big disappointment and fall. We all need to keep our eyes on the goal. Remember what happened when Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, and others of their ilk fell. Many fell away from the faith; others went on like there was nothing wrong, forgetting about discernment; all because their eyes were on men and not the goal of the high calling of Y’hovah in Mashiyach. I think, those men were and are hirelings, not shepherds, who cared more for the riches derived from the sheep than for the sheep themselves (2Pe.2). That is, of course, my opinion and it could be wrong, but I also think that I have the mind of Mashiyach on this. 

If the above is true, those who follow after these hirelings are not wise, to say the least, and may not even be saved, according to Yeshua’s words in v.5, ‘a stranger they will not follow.’ If they were truly following after their shepherd, they would not be following some hireling. They would know his voice and follow him. One who is led by Ruach haKodesh will discern very easily between those who are after their ‘geld’ and Avinu’s heart. Q&C

Yochanan 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. [15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

True followers of Yeshua know the truth and follow after it, for Yeshua is the Truth, even as he follows after Avinu in all things. Yeshua was and is truly a man after Elohim’s own heart, as we ought to be. And so we should follow after him with others who are following after him, thereby drawing both physical and spiritual strength and encouragement along the narrow way toward the prize. We need each other to help keep the truth and the goal in our sights. 

“Other sheep I have”, says Yeshua in v.16, “not of this fold.” The children of Yehudah, the Jews, were the ‘this fold’ he spoke of. A little history lesson follows. After the death of Solomon (Shlomo), the people of the 10 northern tribes of Israel asked Rehoboam, the new king of Yisrael, to give them a little tax relief. The Temple was built and paid for, as was the fleet in Aqaba and the Med, so there wasn’t any need for the high taxes they were paying to maintain services. The high taxes were just there to feed the greed of the king and his young cronies. These cronies advised that he lay heavier taxes on the whiners (so they could party all the harder), while Shlomo’s counselors advised a tax cut. Being a young man, full of P&V (‘pride’ and vinegar), he took the advise of the young men, and told the people he was going to make it even worse for them. They of course, did the Boston Tea Party thing and left him holding the bag, which became decidedly less full than it would have been had he relented. 

I think all of the people would have left him, except that the portion of Benjamin was where the meeting took place and was under Yehudah’s military occupation. At any rate, Jeroboam became king of the rebels, and he immediately instituted a false worship system to keep the people from going up to Jerusalem for the feasts and thereby reunite with Yehudah. In other words, he did it for political gain. He had two golden calves made, called them Y’hovah, and placed them in Dan and Bethel. Then he instituted a false Feast system, having the 10 tribes come to Dan in the 8th month instead of Jerusalem in the 7th for the feast of tabernacles, as prescribed by Y’hovah. These feasts and elohims had been called by the name of Y’hovah, but the system was not Y’hovah worship. It looked like the pagan religions, which in fact it was. They had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof, like the present celebrations of Xmas and Easter, which were foisted on us by our friends in the RC denomination. Just putting the name of Y’hovah on something does not sanctify it. Just saying, ‘in Yeshua’s name’ doesn’t make it holy. Taking the name of Y’hovah or Yeshua is not just invoking the name as a type of mantra, but is accepting the character and authority of that name for its sake. This pagan worship in the name of Y’hovah was and is a perfect example of what was meant by, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of Y’hovah Elohecha in vain.’ 

This denial of the power of the worship of Y’hovah led to their utter defeat in battle, and their being carried away into Assyria to be almost totally assimilated and integrated into the pagan culture. Y’hovah said, in effect, “You want to worship idols? Well, here you go!” The 10 tribes were absorbed into the heathen nations of the whole earth. Will he do any less, now?

Of course, as is usually the case with Abba, this was a curse to Ephraim, but a blessing to the world. In Gen.12, Avram was promised that in his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed. This was part of the reason Y’hovah allowed Yisrael to go into idolatry, so he could scatter the children of Yisrael to the 4 winds and be able to call them out from among the nations in the last days. The 10 tribes are integrated into the nations of the earth and their vast majority have no idea they are descendants of Avraham. Only Yehudah, Benjamin and Levi, the Jews, can properly trace their heritage to Avraham. But Abba knows who are his, even those of us who are gentiles, the sheep of the other fold. He is calling all of us; Jew and gentile; back to himself and will form of the two folds one flock with one shepherd, as he prophesied in Ezekiel 37 and here in Yochanan 10.16. Q&C 

Vv.17-18 [This is the portion we’re SUPPOSED to be looking at today] tell us a lot in light of the previous verses. It is by his laying down his life that it is possible to reunite the two folds into one. Before the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the gentiles had to become Jews to be saved. Now, in Mashiyach, all have ready access to the throne of grace through the blood of the New, or rather Re-newed, Covenant. I say renewed because the greek word for new in Hebrews 8 is kainos, which speaks of freshness, not something neos, or brand new with respect to age. It is the same covenant made fresh by the blood of the Lamb. 

What was the covenant? We spoke briefly of it in the last section. The covenant is not the Torah. Torah is the conditions of life in the covenant, not the covenant itself. The covenant is based in the belief (Avram believed Y’hovah and it was counted to him for righteousness) that in Avraham’s seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen.12). This was reiterated and expanded in Gen.15, where it was solemnized in the blood of animals. The covenant has both physical and spiritual implication. It deals with all of Avraham’s physical descendants whereby, probably, all the nations are literally descendants of Abe and thereby blessed. And it deals with the one true spiritual seed, Yeshua haMoshiach, by whom all have access to the throne through his blood, if they so choose to approach. Remember that any approaching by any other avenue are thieves and robbers, even ‘Jews’ or ‘Xians’. The new (also can be translated freshened or renewed) covenant in Jer.31.31-34 is to the house of Yisrael (that’s us gentiles) and the house of Yehudah (that’s the Jews) – two folds, two houses, made one in the blood of the new covenant – and it will go into physical effect in the millennium (v.33, ‘after those days’ prophetically means after ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’) into which all who enter will be keepers of the Torah written on their hearts. This does not apply to their offspring unless they also accept the conditions of the new covenant – to have the Torah written on their hearts, which implies that they want it written there. Abba is no bully who will force his will on anyone. They must choose to be bound by the covenant even as we must to be saved. 

You see in verses 17-18 that Yeshua was also given a choice. He could lay down his life if he chose, or he could keep it. No one could force him to give it, not even Abba – especially not Abba, but he had the power to give it, and thereby had the power to take it up again. There was a condition placed on Yeshua’s power by Abba. He had to lay down his life before he could have the power to take it again. This was his exercise of faith by which we were saved. This was a part of the faith of Yeshua. Our Father promised him he had power to do it, and he believed it. It hadn’t ever been done before, that a man could lay down his own life and take it back up by his own power. That took faith. And it is that faith that is referred to in Rom.3.2, Gal.2.16, 3.22, Phil.3.9, Rev.14.12. The faith of Yeshua haMoshiach is the promise of his resurrection power. He took his life up again and has power to raise me up also. I was, am and will be saved by the faith of Yeshua.

These sayings caused dissension, in vv.19-21, among the Pharisees that were following him. I think he was weeding out the sign-seekers from among them [remember last week’s Torah parsha, where the priests, Levites and captains of the hosts of Israel asked qualifying questions of the tribes to ensure that there would be no divided attention on the battlefield?]. Notice I said the sign-seekers, not the sign-readers. Those who were reading the signs he showed were convinced that he was no madman or devil worshipper. The healing of the FBM (ch.9) proved that to them. Those who followed him simply to see wonders performed were offended by his saying, “I have power, given by my Father to give up my life and to take it up again.” They were driven by their own curiosity or lust to seek signs. They were not driven by the Ruach ha Kodesh, the Spirit of Elohim, to seek the truth of Abba. Those who were reading signs knew Tanakh and were after the truth. They, driven by the Spirit of Truth, saw the scriptures fulfilled and believed.

The same cannot be said for the sign seekers and the rest of the Jewish leadership. Q&C

In vv.22-31 we see their reaction to his teaching. Remember that the events of Jn.8.58-59 were only a few hours, at most a day, ago. The same feast of Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication or of lights, was going on as in 8.12. 

They said, “If thou be the Mashiyach, tell us plainly.” He said, in a Mark paraphrase, “Why should I waste my breath? Look at the wonders I’ve performed in the name of Y’hovah. If you don’t believe me, believe the works that you’ve seen with your own eyes. The very wonders you’ve seen should tell you who I am without me saying so.” Others had come in the past, some quite recently, claiming to be Mashiyach, who had, in their pride, brought reproach on the Word of Truth, not being able to deliver on the promise of deliverance from the pagans. Their very claims had been arrogant, and I think, the Pharisees were probably waiting for his claim so they could denounce him as just another false Mashiyach. He was offering the kingdom, but he must first die for the sin, and sins, of the world before he could be their King. They wanted a political savior, not a spiritual Saviour; a savior from slavery to Rome, not a Saviour from slavery to sin. He knew that and would not put himself in that political position by claiming to be Mashiyach in so many words, for he knew they would be misconstrued. 

He makes the point with a return to the sheep/shepherd metaphor. He says, ‘You don’t believe me because you aren’t my sheep.’ He’d told them that the father had given him sheep to bring into the fold, but that they weren’t among them. Did he deny them the ability to believe? No, repentance was still open to them, but he did know they wouldn’t because of the hardness of their hearts, their arrogance and pride at being the ‘Chosen People of Gaw-awd’. He’d told them earlier that his sheep followed him because they knew his voice. They didn’t recognize the voice of the Father speaking to them, and so they would not believe. 

Then he told them that he would give his sheep eternal life. Noone but Y’hovah could give life. He was saying he would give eternal life; the same kind of life Y’hovah had given Adam and Eve in the garden. He also said that no man would take them from him by force or subterfuge, and that no man could take them from the Father by force or subterfuge. The word pluck would seem to indicate something done quickly, like a surgical strike by commandos. The greek word is harpazo and means to seize. It is the same word used in 1Thes.4.17 and translated ‘caught up’. It has to do with taking something from someone who has been watching for an attack (cf.Rev.12.1-5). In other words, he’s expecting an attack from Satan and his minions, and that attack has come over the last 2000 years in the form of temptation – to wander to the left or right of the way, to espouse false doctrines, to submit to others than Abba, to compromise with the world for the sake of comfort and approbation, among others. We need to be constantly on the alert to these things in our own lives that get our eyes off the prize.

Then he said the thing that eventually got him killed, “I and my Father are one.” He said, in Hebrew or Aramaic (which is the dialect of Hebrew used by the people at that time – Yeshua did not speak greek as a general rule), ‘aniy v’avi echad.’ This is very similar, when you think about it, to “Y’hovah Elohenu Y’hovah echad”, and their reaction is understandable, indeed required from their perspective. By saying this he unequivocally placed himself in a direct relationship to the Father in heaven. He was claiming deity. And so, out come the stones again. I’ve probably said it before, but it makes me crazy when people say that Yeshua never claimed deity. They make themselves dolts, who’ve read the surface words, but never thought about what he said and what the people to whom he spoke understood. Had he been a mere man, this had been blasphemy. But because he was and is who he claimed to be, there was no sin done here, and no reason for a stoning. 

He then used the scripture to make his point all the more clear. (Mark paraphrase), “If he called the men to whom the scriptures were given elohim, why do you say I blaspheme when I say I am the Son of Y’hovah? Have the wonders I’ve performed before your very eyes not shown that I am who I claim to be? Hey, If you don’t want to believe me, that’s fine. But you ought to believe what I’ve done to be from Abba. If you’ll do that, you’ll eventually believe that I am.” OOOO! Were they ever ticked?! They tried to get their hands on him, but he once again blinded their eyes, or disappeared, or whatever he’d done just a couple of hours before, and he escaped to the other side of Yarden and had more multitudes follow him. I think that those many who resorted to him in TransJordan were of the Pharisees, only by the way the narrative flows, perhaps some of those he’d rebuked in chapter 9. Whoever they were they had been familiar with Yochanan the Immerser’s teaching and had been there when Andrew and Yochanan had talked to him about Yeshua in Jn.1.30ff. Q&C

End of Bible study.

Shabbat Bible Study for 27 November 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for 27 November 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3 – Shabbat 37

(Devarim 18.14 – 20.9; Yirmeyahu 29.8; Tehellim 134; Galutya 5.1 – 6.10)

Devarim.18.14 – Y’hovah tells us before he prophesies about ‘that Prophet’ what kind of prophet NOT to listen to – observers of times and diviners. These are those who seek to tell the future by supernatural, pagan means. Other passages call them soothsayers, witches. Israel was not to go after them.

Devarim 18.15–19 speaks about ‘that Prophet.’ That Prophet is Mashiyach ben Yoseph. We see this in v.19, where ‘that Prophet’ is made responsible for those who will not hearken unto Y’hovah’s words through that Prophet. Grammar is important in exegesis – reading OUT of the words what is written. A pronoun, like ‘him’ at the end of v.19, refers to the last word of the same number and gender. In this case, ‘him’ refers to ‘he’, which is ‘that prophet’ who speaks  the words that Y’hovah has placed in his mouth. Y’hovah requires that Prophet to answer for the sins of the faithless, that Prophet takes the punishment for the disobedience of the children of Yisrael. 

We see this in John’s gospel concerning that Prophet: 

Yochanan1:19-27 (KJV)  

    And this is the record of Yochanan [the Immerser], when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? [20] And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not Mashiyach. [21] And they asked him, What then? Art thou EliYahu? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. [22] Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? [23] He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of Y’hovah, as said the prophet YeshaYahu. [24] And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. [25] And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Mashiyach, nor EliYahu neither that prophet? [26] Yochanan answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; [27] He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 

The Jews sent priests and Levites (v.19), who were Pharisees (v.24), to enquire of Yochanan. This is an interesting turn of phrase, don’t you think. These priests, Levites and Pharisees were NOT the Jews, though they may have been ‘Jew wannabes’. ‘The Jews’ [Greek Iuaidoi] controlled them. They demanded an answer, as if they who sent them had power over both themselves and Yochanan. The Iuaidoi, Jews, then must be the political leaders of the Hebrew religion in Jerusalem; not your average, everyday Israelite–in–the–street, but the ones with the real power – the Illuminati of 1st c. CE Jerusalem, as it were. 

By the time of Yeshua and Sha’ul, the land of Israel (Judea and Samaria) had been part of the Roman Empire for several decades. The first emperor, Julius Caesar, granted rights to Jewish communities because their ancestral laws predated Rome. Jews had legal privileges as a collegia (defined by Roman law as religious & legal entities), giving them the right to assemble, have common meals and property, govern and tax themselves, and enforce their own discipline.  All of this authority was placed under the auspices of the Synagogue and its legal body, the Sanhedrin.

The Jewish religion was the ONLY religion afforded these rights, as well as the right to have a presence in Rome itself. This caused GREAT animosity among the Roman citizenry and the other cultures Rome ruled with an iron fist [and is the probable historical political source, through the RCC, of the last 1800 year’s anti-semitism]. The Jewish religion was on equal legal footing, therefore, with the religion of Rome. Did you notice in vv.26-27, that Yochanan says ‘there stands one among you’, in reference to Yeshua? Was he of the Pharisee party, or was he educated among them? It could be deduced that way, though not ascertained. I think he was.

Back to Devarim 18.20–22. If a false prophet arises, he is to be stoned. Now any time there was a matter that would be adjudicated by capital punishment, there had to be a thorough investigation and at least 2 corroborating witnesses to the same act that had received a death penalty. If the accused says, “Thus saith Y’hovah” and his word doesn’t come to pass, or if he proclaims something in another eloha’s name, whether or not it comes to pass, he is a false prophet. 

Deut. 13:1-4 (KJV)  

    If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, [2] And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; [3] Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for Y’hovah Elohechem proveth you, to know whether ye love Y’hovah Elohechem with all your heart and with all your soul. [4] Ye shall walk after Y’hovah Elohechem, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Q&C

Dev.19.1–13 deal with cities of refuge. These were cities to which a man who has committed an accidental manslaughter could flee to safety until the death of the high priest, when he was free to return home. Please notice that this chesed and rachamim is for both the one who accidentally killed and the one who would avenge the dead man’s blood. It was a safe haven for the killer, so he would not die. But it was also a mercy on the avenger, so that he would not make the matter worse and shed innocent blood. The killing of the man who killed accidentally would be murder in Y’hovah’s eyes, and the whole nation would suffer the consequences until society removed the murderer’s genes from the human pool. However, if a murderer resorts to a city of refuge and he is found out, he was to be sent packing so the innocent blood could be avenged. Please note that the genes of the one who sheds innocent blood are removed from society as a whole. This is yet another reason that America is doomed to Y’hovah’s wrath, since it routinely disallows the execution of unrepentant murderers of all types.

V.14 tells us not to remove landmarks. The reason is that Y’hovah had set those landmarks, as surely as he set the boundaries of the seas and the heavens.

Deut. 32:7-9 (KJV)  

    Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. [8] When El Shaddai divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. [9] For Y’hovah’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 

Vv.15-21 show how to deal with a false witness and the rules of verbal evidence. Noone was to answer for any capital offense on the word of just one man. There must be 2 or more eyewitnesses WHOSE ACCOUNTS MUST BE REASONABLY IDENTICAL for the matter to be decided for a death sentence. If the witnesses accounts did not match, the accused MUST be found innocent of the charges. Also, a man was not to be tried again for the same crime; no ‘double-jeopardy’, except in the TV game show.

If there was only one witness, whose account is believable enough to warrant a trial, the Shoftim were to inquire diligently, examining anything with close scrutiny that doesn’t exactly fit the other evidence, before an execution order could be passed. If the witness is proven to be false, he is to receive the sentence that the accused would have received. This is the context of the ‘eye for eye, hand for hand, tooth for tooth, life for life’ quote that unbelievers just LOVE to grab hold of to show how draconian Torah justice was. It was nothing of the sort. It was gracious and merciful, for it was a deterrent to false accusation and perjury, and that was indeed its purpose (v.20).  Q&C

Dev.20.1-9 – When it was time for battle, the whole boatload of leaders would stand before the people who were about to go into the fight. First the priests would assure them that Y’hovah would fight for them, and they would see great victory and wonders that day, as Y’hovah went to battle. Y’hovah used the leadership to whittle the numbers down to ensure that noone got the impression that Yisrael was responsible for the victory He was about to achieve. Next the officers, I think we’re talking about the war chiefs, or generals of each tribe, would pose a few questions to ensure that noone would lose everything he had. Did you just finish a house and not dedicate it? Are you betrothed? Is your crop just planted? Are you afraid? No recriminations. If any of this is true of you, your heart and mind won’t be in the battle. We want only men who are committed to victory above all else. If there is ANYTHING that will divide your attention, go home. After all that, the generals would pick the best men that were left to lead the brigades, companies and platoons. 

A man whose mind is on his wife who is in the throes of childbirth is worse than useless on the field of battle. Indeed, he may get his whole company killed. Better to be shy a few bodies than to take the chance that the unfocused mind will be the guy next to you. Now, get ready to send in the PC police, because I am going to give my anything but humble opinion. This is one reason why it used to be illegal to carry women on combat ships, or to have women in combat battalions. Intimate relationships of any kind are a distraction from the job at hand, at best. At worst, the relationships that will develop, even if they are only in the minds of the males, are detrimental to unit cohesion and may be the wrench in the works that causes the loss of a battle, a ship or a war. 

Women are more than capable of doing the combat job. Indeed, they may even be better than men at it. But to put men and women in the same foxhole or shipboard fire-fighting party is inviting disaster. The brass says, “These are professionals. They can discipline themselves and not be rutting animals.” The brass has been proven wrong. More than 50% of the women, on average, that deploy on Navy ships for a long deployment are sent home during the cruise due to pregnancy. It’s not in the water. It’s in the hormones and instincts. Again, ANYTHING that detracts from focusing on the job at hand may cause the battle to be lost, or make the victory more costly than it need be. It is the wisdom of Y’hovah to weed out what may be trouble before it can rear its ugly head. Q&C

Yirmeyahu 29.8 – The context of this verse is a prophecy from Y’hovah by Jerry that after they are carried off to Babylon, they are NOT to listen to the prophets and diviners in Babylon.

 DIVINER, n.

  1. One who professes divination; one who pretends to predict events, or to reveal occult things, by the aid of superior beings, or of supernatural means.

Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society, the various OTHER Eastern pagan religions, and even some of those who name the Name of Y’hovah, use divination. These are NOT after Y’hovah’s heart, but their own wallet, or power over you – or both.

They were neither to pay attention to the dreams that they caused themselves to dream. Have you ever been so immersed in things you were doing that you ended up dreaming about them at night. I have. Well, if you were a Jew in exile in Babylon, and were always thinking about going back to haAretz, you might work yourself into dreaming that you actually were back. Then you might think the dream to be prophetic of what was definitely going to happen, regardless the fact that Jerry had already told you that you were going into captivity for 70 years. I think we see a lot of this today. Lots of folks who claim to be prophets and to have prophetic dreams are just so desirous of it to be true that they convince themselves their dreams are truly prophetic – “I dreamed it! It’s going to happen ‘cause Y’hovah told me in a dream.” The only way to know if it’s truly prophetic is when it comes to pass exactly as you dreamed it. 

Yirmeyahu’s warning is in perfect alignment with Torah, isn’t it? It’s almost a quote of our Torah portion today. That was how they could tell that what Jerry said was truly prophetic. It lined up with Torah. Q&C

Tehellim 134 – 5 mentions of Y’hovah’s covenant Name in 3 verses. All refer to Yeshua, of course, since they all tie to the last mention in v.3. After the servants of Yah bless him in his house while watching by night, and bless him with hands held high, he returns the blessing out of Zion. This is a clear reference to Yeshua in his Kingdom reign. This passage deals with redemption only. But why would we bless him for his redemption if we hadn’t been in an exile from which to be redeemed? Who are the servants who are blessing Y’hovah in the night watches in his sanctuary? The priests and Levites. Q&C

Galutyah 5.1-6.10 – Let’s contextualize this a little, shall we? This letter is written to the brethren in the congregations of Galutyah, which was a region of north central Turkey. Where do you suppose the believers met in Galutyah to hear this letter read? They were going to the synagogues on Shabbats to hear Torah and the prophets read, so there’s a likely place. And when do you suppose Sha’ul first went to Galutyah? He went shortly after the Jerusalem council of Acts 15, 1st mention of Galatia is in 16.6. Do you suppose he went exactly against the decision of the council so soon after they had found for his side of the dispute? I kind of doubt it. In Acts 16, Sha’ul is traveling with Titus, who was his test case in the Jerusalem council, the guy he said shouldn’t have to be fully converted to Judaism first and who the council said didn’t have to be fully converted to be accepted as a believer. But when he comes upon Timothy in Lystra, he has him circumcised “because of the Jews,” [the Iuaidoi] who knew Tim’s papa was a greek. What is that about? Titus, who is a full greek need not be circumcised, but Tim, who was ½ Jewish – kinda; biblically, Jewish-ness passed from father to child, not mother to child – had to go under the knife (v.3). Kind of bizarre. Especially when in the VERY NEXT VERSE Luke says they were carrying the decrees of the council to all the cities and their congregations. Gentiles need not be full proselytes to be saved, just follow the 4 decrees and attend synagogue. A heart truly after Y’hovah’s would take care of the rest. Do you think maybe his tirade v. Peter in Galutyah 2 may have had something to do with his own reaction to the Jews and Tim’s circumcision in Acts 16? It doesn’t say that he petitioned Y’hovah for direction in the Timothy case, just that he went ahead and did it “because of the Jews”. Let’s remember that even the Sholiach Sha’ul was human (like Kepha, Bar-Navi and Yochanan Moshe), and could be mistaken when he failed to consult Ruach before he did something.

Chapter 5 says to ‘stand fast therefore.’ When you see a ‘therefore’, look to see what it’s there for. We stand fast in the knowledge that we are sons of the free woman, which we are told in 4.26 is the Jerusalem which is above; the New Yerushalayim wherein is our citizenship. Notice also, that Hagar is likened to Sinai AND the Jerusalem that now is, and she is in bondage with her children. I think the Sinai being spoken of here is the Oral Torah that the Jews, the leaders of the religion in Jerusalem, said was received by Moshe on Sinai at the same time the written Torah was received. This is a tradition, which may or may not be right. (Not all tradition is bad. What makes it evil is when WE make it equal to or superior to the KNOWN will of Y’hovah, which is the written Torah.) If I am correct (which I doubt not), the Oral Torah is likened here to the pagan religions of the gentiles. This is scriptural in that ANYTHING that draws glory from Y’hovah is pagan and abomination. Yeshua castigated the Jews for their adherence to traditions of men. 

So, we are to stand fast in the liberty we have in Mashiyach and against the yoke of bondage to 1) pagan traditions, if we are gentile or 2) Jewish traditions, if we are Jews.  One of the big deals in Judaism is that a man is not considered a Jew until he has been circumcised; either on the 8th day, as one born into the family, or upon a ger’s completion of the rigors of becoming a proselyte. That is the basis of vv.2-4. We are made one in Mashiyach due to the Covenant being written on our hearts [vv.5-6]. If a man puts his trust in either Jewish tradition or self-justification in the written Torah, Mashiyach is ineffectual to him because he has not availed himself of Y’hovah’s grace. He has chosen the yoke of bondage rather than the yoke of Mashiyach, which is his grace.

Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV)  

    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It is very important to notice the use of pronouns in this book. 1st person plural, ‘We’ = ‘free’ Jewish believers, 2nd person plural Ye’ = gentile believers and 3rd person plural ‘They’ = Jewish believers who think that gentiles need to be full proselytes to Judaism before their admission to the ‘Way’ of Mashiyach [which was the issue of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15]. Now, ‘they’ were trying to influence ‘ye’ to submit to Jewish traditions to which the Jerusalem council had decreed ‘ye’ did not have to submit. So the ones who were trying to influence the Galutyot were Iuaidoi Jews who were either NOT believers or who had not shema’d [heard and obeyed] the decree of the council. Rav Sha’ul was confident that the Galutyot to whom he was writing would see ‘their’ error and come back to the faith once delivered to the saints. 

In v.11, Sha’ul says that his persecution would end if he’d only submit to the traditions of the Iuaidoi Jews. He uses circumcision as a generalization to mean the traditions of the Oral Law and the Gentile’s full proselytization. He says that he wished ‘them’ cut off – excommunicated, blotted out of the Book of Life – who would have their brethren placed under the yoke of slavery to the traditions of men. We have been called to liberty, not bondage; to the New Yerushalayim, not the old one.

Look at vv.13-14 – We are called to liberty, we are to use our liberty in service to others, and this Fulfills Torah in that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Oh, yeah! Torah is bondage all right. Our liberty is in Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug] by loving our neighbors. If you aren’t loving your neighbor, you are probably destroying him. Be careful not to be destroyed along with him.  Q&C

v.16ff is about Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug #2] by walking after Ruach haKodesh. Look quickly at Rom.8.1. Read the WHOLE verse, not just part a. 

Romans 8:1-4 (KJV)  

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiyach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. [2] For the law of Ruach of life in Mashiyach Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Eloha sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after Ruach. 

No condemnation for those in Mashiyach who walk after Ruach, and the righteousness of Torah fulfilled in us who walk after Ruach because of the work of ‘that Prophet’ [page 1 of this study]. 

Before we can walk after Ruach, we need to mortify our flesh. By mortify I mean to reckon the flesh dead, not to actually kill it. He mentions the works of the flesh, most of which we are ALL familiar with. When we reckon our flesh dead, we will not practice these 17 works of the flesh. Notice that those who DO those things will not inherit the Kingdom. This points to the Hebraic meaning of doctrine and faith, which are complementary. In Hebraic thought, doctrine is what we DO about that in which we place our faith. James tells us about faith without works being dead. Sha’ul is speaking here about considering our flesh dead. Dead faith produces dead works. Living faith produces works that give life to those around us. This ties us back to vv.13-14, service in Mashiyach and Fulfilling Torah [shameless plug #3] thereby.

The fruit of Ruach is manifested in our service to others. Each of those works that are the fruit of Ruach are service gifts. If we have received life from Y’hovah Yeshua’s Ruach, we ought to be manifesting the fruit of the Ruach of Emet (truth). 

Galutyah 6.1-10 – Still giving practical application to the works of Elohim’s Ruach. We are to reconcile Y’hovah’s own to him. Meek does not mean weak. W1828 says this:

2.  Appropriately humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations.  Mashiyach says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” Matt.11.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matt.5.

The reason for our meekness is to guard ourselves against the sin for which we are reconciling the one taken in a fault, for we are of the same failings as he. It is really interesting that Webster used Mat.11.29 as an example of meekness, since it is EXACTLY what Sha’ul refers to in v.2 – bear the other’s burden, as Mashiyach bears ours when we yoke ourselves to him [THAT Prophet, page 1 of Study].

Vv.3-5 need to be read together, for in themselves they are nearly unintelligible. They speak of the man who thinks he is ‘all that and a bag of chips’. If you think you are something special, you are exhibiting pride, not meekness. You will bear your own burden and be the only one who rejoices in your success. You won’t rejoice with others in another’s victory over the flesh and sin, and you will be the only one rejoicing in what you consider personal victory. Can you imagine reading the Word and getting a really cool insight, but having noone with whom to share it? That’s what will happen if you live in your pride, thinking yourself better than your brethren. 

It is important that we teach others as we are taught. We are not entities unto ourselves, but a part of the Body of Mashiyach. What Y’hovah Yeshua teaches us we need to teach others because they may NEVER have that truth revealed to them otherwise. When we teach others what Y’hovah has taught us, we are sowing good things in them and will reap the rewards that are commensurate to them. For these reasons, the reward and the edification of others, we are encouraged to do good and to teach our brethren what Y’hovah has revealed to us in his Torah. Q&C

End of Bible Study

Shabbat Bible Study for November 17, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for November 17, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Sabbath 36

Devarim 17:14-18:13 – 1 Sh’muel 10:17-25 – Tehellim 133 – Acts 13:13-44

Links: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urim_and_Thummim 

Devarim 17:14 –Y’hovah makes a provision for when the people decide that they want a king, ‘like as all the nations’. The ideal would be that Yisrael recognize that Y’hovah was the King of kings and Master of masters and obey the priests and judges as they brought righteous, Torah-informed judgments and rulings as the people’s questions arose. It would be really quite a long time before they would ask for a king – almost 400 years from crossing Yarden. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was seen in last week’s Haftarah, 1Sam.8.1-7, when the righteous judge’s sons, the sons of Sh’muel, began to pervert justice so that the people would recognize their unjust, Torah-less decisions and surmise, at least, that they were accepting bribes and considering persons unjustly. I would venture a guess that what really frosted their cookies was made evident when Yoel and AviYah brought a prejudiced judgment in favor of an Israelite against a stranger in their midst – in the teeth of both law and justice. Is that not what frosts our cookies with politicians in our day; thinking about their corporate benefactors’ rather than their constituents’ interests and maintaining their power thereby? It does mine! So, the people asked Sh’muel for a king. It is obvious that the people trusted Sh’muel, but not his sons, for they came to him with the request, knowing that HE would enquire of Y’hovah, not some moneyed interest. I am pretty certain that Y’hovah would have removed Yoel and AviYah before the death of Sh’muel or shortly after had the people not asked for a king, because I am ABSOLUTELY certain that he had already chosen to raise David up as king in Yerushalayim. Whether David would have been Melech Mashiyach and his progeny absolutely righteous we won’t know, maybe ever. But I think it is a possibility. Whenever we get ahead of Y’hovah’s timing and plan, we throughly mess it up for ourselves. 

V.15 – Y’hovah requires that any king they set over themselves MUST be an Israelite; no ger or goy, no matter how impressive looking or how valiant in battle, was to be made king in Yisrael. Think about the 1st 2 kings of Yisrael. 

Sha’ul was a HUGE man, perhaps he had some Nephilim DNA in him. He was ‘head and shoulders’ taller than anyone else in Yisrael. The people, acting in the flesh and on the evidence of their eyes, liked this choice. Y’hovah gave them exactly what they desired, a man who would impress his enemies with his countenance, if not his skill and leadership. Sha’ul was impressive to see, but when you looked more closely, his character was less than exemplary. He was neither trained nor cut out for command. He was vindictive and often petty, not good traits for a king – it could cause needless wars.

David, on the other hand, was kinda puny; the runt of the litter, as it were. But his character was to his physique as Sha’ul’s physique was to his character. They were as opposite as 2 men could be. David had been trained to lead men by watching over sheep, even as Moshe had been. He had had to protect those sheep from wolves, lions and bears. At least 1 bear and 1 lion had found out what would become of them if they threatened David’s flocks. BTW, since David was from BethLechem, do you suppose that he was the shepherd of the Tabernacle’s flock, and watched over the Pesach lambs? Do you suppose that the shepherds who watched their flocks by night on the night that Yeshua was born were positionally direct descendants from David, perhaps even blood descendants? If such is the case, and Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek in Avraham, did David do obeisance to King Yeshua through those shepherds? Could be!

V.16a – Y’hovah commanded Yisrael that her king should not multiply horses and chariots to himself, and David did not. There is one instance that MIGHT be seen as David disobeying this command, but I think he did not. 

1 And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah [H4965 – mathag ‘to control’ + H520 amah ‘to serve’, which was the center of Gath’s government as D.C. is ours, city hall, as it were] out of the hand of the Philistines. 2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became David’s servants, brought gifts. 3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. 4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariots, but reserved of them an hundred chariots. 5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. 6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, brought gifts. And Y’hovah preserved David whithersoever he went. (2Sam.8.1-6 all but 1 added word removed)

The way I read that, David destroyed 1000 chariots of Hadadezer’s 1100 and made him give up 700 horsemen and 20K footmen, leaving him enough to defend his land, but not enough to go on the offensive. In effect (a Mark paraphrase), he told Hadadezer, “I’m going to leave you enough of an army to protect your nation. If you need help with an invader, you call me for help and I will be here. But if you try to rebuild an offensive army, I will return and wipe you out.” And, like Butch of the Little Rascals, he was “just the guy that can do it, too!” 

V.16b – David would never have thought to take his people back to Egypt for anything. The only mention of Egypt during David’s reign is in 2Sam.7 and it is Y’hovah who refers to it. David never considered an alliance. Shlomo was different, but he’s not our subject here. I don’t think Sha’ul gathered chariots or horses to himself, either; he had at least THAT much good sense.

V.17a – David did blow the next command off; multiplying wives to himself. He had 1 wife who was the daughter of a foreign king – Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, the mother of Avshalom. This explains why Avshalom fled to Talmai of Geshur when he fled Yerushalayim; it was his maternal grandfather. This also explains why David didn’t go after Avshalom there; he wanted to keep peace in his house. This is what happens when we despise a command of Y’hovah. 

V.17b – It LOOKED like David was multiplying silver and gold to himself, but he was not; he was gathering the materials Shlomo would need to build the Temple in Zion. This is NOT to say that he lived like a pauper; he didn’t. But the silver and gold was a resource more than a possession that he coveted. 

Vv.18-20 – I think also, that David may have been the ONLY King in Yisrael to actually sit down and write his own copy of Torah; maybe Shlomo did, but he surely didn’t follow THESE commands very well. Q&C

18.1-8 – Because the Levites are to have no land inheritance baAretz Yisrael, in the land, they were to have their needs covered by Y’hovah, for HE is their inheritance. When an Israelite came to offer anything to Y’hovah, the priests and all Levi were to get a portion of the flesh, grain and liquid oblations, as Y’hovah had promised them. The foreleg, zroah, the jaw, l’chiy’, and the maw, kebah, of all the animals offered were for the priests and Levites. The sages say that they received the right foreleg because they used the right arm to perform the offering, the Jaw, including the tongue, because they taught Torah, and the maw, or first stomach, because they inspected the innards of the animal for any disqualifying imperfections. I think that the priest who offered the animal had to roast a small portion on the altar and consume it as he offered the animal as a symbol of Y’hovah’s acceptance of the offering, though I could be way off base here. Also, the Levites were to receive the 1st-fruits of the offering as well, from the grain, the wine and the oil that was to accompany the flesh offering. These last were not very large portions singly, but over the course time it would provide well for the Levites. They were also to get a small portion of the first shearing of the sheep. All these offerings were provided during the priest’s course of service, or any time Y’hovah led him to come up to Yerushalayim for service. The Levites that lived in the cities and towns of Yisrael could go up for service whenever Y’hovah moved them to. I think that if he was coming up very frequently, some one might get suspicious of his true motives or his fitness for service at all. The 2 ulterior motives for which a priest might come up that come to mind would be desire for more stuff; covetousness, or a desire to slaughter more animals; blood thirst. I think if either of these were found out it would disqualify the priest. 

Vv.9-13 – These commands seem to be general, but its context is with the Levites, so it may be addressing them specifically. Vv.10-12 deal with false prophets, sorcerers, and etc., so the juxtaposition with the Levites is interesting, at least. I think that this time it is referring primarily to the Levites, but also to Yisrael, generally. We had a very similar admonition just a month or so ago in ch.13

1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for Y’hovah Elohechem proveth you, to know whether ye love Y’hovah Elohechem with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after Y’hovah Elohechem, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn away from Y’hovah Elohechem, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which Y’hovah Elohecha commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee … And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from Y’hovah Elohecha, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (Deut.13.1-5, 10)

Y’hovah has already adjudicated this; after a thorough investigation to establish guilt, stone the false prophet to put this evil out of your midst, as he is tempting you to go after other gods and to abandon Y’hovah. We are to follow after the Torah of Y’hovah and the Levites are to guide us in our walks with him. If a Levite begins to tell people to walk in a way that Y’hovah has forbidden them to walk, that Levite has become something other than he is supposed to be. The litany of offences that bring the death penalty is pretty short, but is very specific. All have to do with Canaanite religious practices, which can be traced back to Nimrod and Paleo-Babylon. Q&C

1Sh’muel 10.17-25 – Remember that in last week’s haftarah, Sh’muel’s sons Yoel and AviYah were appointed judges and that they were wicked judges, taking bribes and perverting justice. The people saw that they were not like their father and told Sh’muel to find them a king, like the other nations. Sh’muel seemed to take their rejection of his sons personally, as if they were rejecting him. I think that Y’hovah’s handling of Sh’muel reflected Sh’muel’s attitude. He had been, quite probably, the most righteous judge in the history of the Israelite nation, for until now there had been nothing that might have even been remotely misconstrued into believing anything otherwise. But his reaction leads me to think that he might have begun to think he was worthy of being the progenitor of a judicial dynasty, like Denethor, the steward of Gondor, in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, began to believe that there was really no need for a king and that he should be the progenitor of a new line of kings in Gondor. I think that this is a human failing, for what else could be the spirit behind the eventual fall of men like Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, etc.; men who started as servants of Elohim; who became, in at least SOME instances, GREAT servants of Elohim, and who just got too big for their britches, perhaps caught up in the hoopla and the grand lifestyle their positions afforded them. And so, Y’hovah told Sh’muel, who had been a righteous judge and ‘steward’ of his nation, that Yisrael was not rejecting him as ‘steward’, but Y’hovah as King. 

SPECULATION WARNING! Watch for Lightning! I think that, had Sh’muel gone to Y’hovah for counsel on his plan to appoint his sons judges, Y’hovah might have straightened the whole thing out and pointed out a good judge to replace him after his death – perhaps even David himself, or Yehonathan, son of Sha’ul. Can you imagine David as king and Yehonathan as head of the Sanhedrin, Chief Justice of Yisrael’s supreme Court? The point is that if Sh’muel had not appointed his non-tzadik sons as judges in his stead, everything might have been different. Y’hovah might have had his 1st choice as king to be Yisrael’s 1st king. A government lead by king David, judged by Jonathan, the worship led by Zadok and Aviathar, Avner and Yehoav as chief military counsel, David’s mighty men as generals/local political leadership, and righteous priests and Levites as spiritual counselors in their respective cities would have been an easy one to submit to. Imagine the prosperity as Y’hovah’s blessings flowed on Yisrael. Of course, over time it would have degenerated into a feudal system run by less righteous men than David had surrounding him.  End of Speculation

It’s great to speculate of what might have been, but that’s not what happened. Sh’muel DID appoint his less than tzadik sons, and they DID drive the people to ask for a king. And Y’hovah responded with a man who would LOOK impressive; he was nearly a giant himself, after all; but be thoroughly inadequate to lead the nation in a godly manner. Sh’muel conducted a lottery of sorts at Y’hovah’s instruction. He called all the people to Mizpeh and proceeded to harangue them over their rejection of Y’hovah as King over them, but to no avail. They still wanted their king to lead them in battle. So he had them present their tribal elders before Y’hovah and BenYamin was chosen. THIS should have been a clue that this was not Y’hovah’s first choice, since Ya’acov had conferred the sceptre to Yehudah in Gen.49.10

The sceptre shall not depart from Yehudah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (Genesis 49:10)

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Yisrael, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. (Numbers 24:17)

That Numbers passage is, to me at least, a clear prophetic reference to Melech Mashiyach, which was partially fulfilled, or typified, in David. I wonder why Sh’muel missed this, as I presume he had a thorough knowledge of Torah. Perhaps he knew that this was Y’hovah’s way of teaching Yisrael to wait on him. 

Once the tribe of BenYamin was chosen, the tribe was passed before Y’hovah by families and Matri’s family was chosen. How Sha’ul ben Kish was specifically chosen is not told, but that he was not really the man for the job should have been obvious in his hiding amidst the ‘stuff’. It says that they enquired of Y’hovah, so I infer this to mean that the Kohen Gadol was there, dressed in his garments, including the ephod and breastplate with the Urim and Thummim. Here’s an interesting quote from Wiki (it’s GOTTA be TRUE!)

Where the Scripture elsewhere describes an Ephod being used for divination, scholars presume that it is referring to use of the Urim and Thummim in conjunction with the Ephod, as this seems to be intimately connected with it: similarly where non-prophets are portrayed as asking HaShem for guidance, and the advice isn’t described as given by visions, scholars think that Urim and Thummim were the medium implied. In all but two cases (1 Samuel 10:22 and 2 Samuel 5:23), the question is one which is effectively answered by a simple yes or no; a number of scholars believe that the two exceptions to this pattern, which give more complex answers, were originally also just sequences of yes/no questions, but became corrupted by later editing.

So, Wiki’s author agrees with my inference, which proves that they CAN be trusted sometimes (I’m kidding – take everything on Wiki with a grain of salt, and check everything I say against Tanakh and Apostolic texts). 

So, Y’hovah having told them they could find him hidden amidst the ‘stuff’ they ran to get him and dragged him (screaming and kicking?) to the middle of the meeting. When the people SAW him, they thought, “Now, THAT’S a KING!” Here was a guy who was head and shoulders taller than the next tallest man in Yisrael; he was probably 7 feet or more tall – kinda like Yao among his Chinese countrymen. Going strictly by their sight, Yisrael determined that THIS was the perfect choice for their king. Y’hovah knew that this was what Yisrael wanted, a man to rival the giants among the Philistines and other Canaanites; the genetically thinned seed of the Nephillim. Perhaps there was some Canaanite DNA in Matri’s/Kish’s family line to account for Sha’ul’s stature? 

As was the case in all the nations round about Yisrael, the city where the king lived became the capital. Yisrael may have been the first nation to designate a ‘capital city’, Yerushalayim, after David took Zion from the Yevusi as his 1st act as king over the United Kingdom of Yisrael

1 Then came all the tribes of Yisrael to David unto Hevron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2 Also in time past, when Sha’ul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Yisrael: and Y’hovah said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Yisrael, and thou shalt be a captain over Yisrael. 3 So all the elders of Yisrael came to the king to Hevron; and king David made a league with them in Hevron before Y’hovah: and they anointed David king over Yisrael. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hevron he reigned over Yehudah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Yisrael and Yehudah. 6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Yevusi, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. 7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. (2Sam.5.1-7)

David’s purpose may originally have been political; Yerushalayim being split by the border of Yehudah’s and BenYamin’s inheritances; but I think he already knew Y’hovah’s plan for Yerushalayim. Q&C

Tehellim 133Hinei matov umanayim, shevet achim gam yachad! 

I swear to you right now that I had not even looked at the Psalm until I finished writing my notes on 1Sh’muel. The psalm just fits so well with David having become king of the United Kingdom of Yisrael and moving their capitol to a place straddling the border between Sha’ul’s tribe and his own, signifying the unity spoken of in the psalm. I love how Yah does that. I do not deny that the idea MAY have been in my subconscious, but I had given absolutely no conscious thought to it and was amazed to see how Yah used v.1 of this psalm to illustrate the last point I made in the Haftarah notes. 

This is yet another obvious (to me) reference to a prophecy typical of the unity of the 2 houses of Yisrael coming together under Melech Mashiyach; being called from the 4 corners of the earth to inhabit and possibly vice-regent localities of his Kingdom (Yeshua’s kingdom parables). This unity is like the ointment poured over the High Priest at his inauguration, another type of Melech Mashiyach also being the Tzemach Tzadik, the Righteous Branch

Behold, the days come, saith Y’hovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Yehudah shall be saved, and Yisrael shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, Y’hovah Tzidkenu. 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Y’hovah, that they shall no more say, Y’hovah liveth, which brought up the children of Yisrael out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, Y’hovah liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Yisrael out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

That anointing oil is likened to the dew settling on Hermon and descending on the mountains of Zion. Now Hermon is called mount Sion once in Torah proper

From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which is Hermon, (Deuteronomy 4:48)

Zion, the city of David, is about 90 miles south and a bit west, as the crow flies, from Mount Hermon, which is the northeast corner of the land as it is defined in Devarim 4. Every drop of water that settles on Hermon/Sion in the north flows southward down Yarden and does water the mountains feet to the south, including those around Yerushalayim/Zion. So, as the oil flows down from the MelchiZedek’s head to his feet, so does the dew that settles on Hermon flow down the Yarden to the feet of Yehudah. The whole psalm is about the redemption of Yisrael from the sides of the north and the 4 corners of haAretz (the land/earth) to the feet of Mashiyach. And, though we in this room want nothing more than the unity of Yisrael, we do not see much interest from most of Yehudah or Ephraim, the vast majority being caught up in the past history and not desiring to accomplish the FUTURE history we all know is prophesied. This short Psalm is a part of the prophecy of the future restoration of the Tabernacle of David and his Kingdom into the hands of MelchiZedek Mashiyach Yeshua. Would that Y’hovah would work his will through us. Q&C

Acts.13.13-44 – AENT’s Note 119 on v.13 [pg.342] is interesting & I’d like to share with you. Yochanan Moshe, BarNaba and Sha’ul traveled from Antioch of Syria to Perga, where Yochanan Moshe left them for Yerushalayim. No reason is given for his departure, but we know that he became a bone of contention some months later between BarNaba and Sha’ul. Sha’ul didn’t trust him, but BarNaba did (I think they were related/family). 

36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of Y’hovah, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. (Acts 15.36-40)

So they came to Antioch of Pisidia and after the reading of Torah and Haftarah the elders asked if the visitors had any exhortation for the congregation. So Sha’ul raised his hand to get the elder’s attention and possibly to salute the leadership and membership and got up to teach, I assume from the portions read. Please notice that they are in the synagogue on the Shabbat and they address both brethren (Yehudah) and ‘Yireh-Y’hovah’, fearers of Y’hovah (gentiles in the process of conversion, both from Ephraim and from the nations). There was already a 2-house presence and quite probably some whosoevers, as well. Sha’ul is practicing the lesson of Kefa’s dream in Acts 10. He is preaching the besorah (gospel) of Shalom (Peace) with Y’hovah through Yeshua haMashiyach; they can have shalom with the Creator of the Universe through the finished work of Yeshua on the tree. 

Now notice that there are 2 periods of probation spoken of; 40 years in the Wilderness Adventure and 40 years of the Kingship of Sha’ul, son of Kish. In between those probationary times were the 450 years of the judges, up to Sh’muel and Sha’ul’s public anointing; and then 450 years of kings in Yehudah/Yisrael, from about 1036-586 BCE±. There was also about a 450-year period from the Avrahamic Covenant to the Yarden crossing. Those numbers just interest me and they are not hard and fast; they are approximations. Why 450? I could not tell you. But I have a feeling someone can enlighten me. Perhaps 10 generations of Yisrael?

We saw earlier how they desired a king ‘like the other nations round about’ and eschewed that holiness that they’d enjoyed since the Exodus by NOT having a human king. We also saw how Y’hovah gave them the king that they wanted rather than the one HE wanted for 40 years. Probation is always with the intent of teaching the probie that he ought to wait on Y’hovah’s timing and not be anxious to be like everyone else – a lesson we seldom really learn. The probation was actually a part of the 450 years of the kingdom of Yisrael, as the probation of the Wilderness Adventure was part of the 450 years of the wait for the promise to Avraham that his seed would inherit the land. 

V.22 is the only clear biblical text that David was a man after Y’hovah’s heart. The nearest things I can find are

11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and thou camest not within the days appointed, and the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; 12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto Y’hovah: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of Y’hovah Elohecha, which he commanded thee: for now would Y’hovah have established thy kingdom upon Yisrael for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: Y’hovah hath sought him a man after his own heart, and Y’hovah hath commanded him captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which Y’hovah commanded thee. [1Sam.13.11-14]

8 And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; (I Kings 14:8)

Close, but not quite. I suppose Sha’ul could have been utilizing a ‘d’rash’, juxtaposing/conflating the one passage with the other or referencing a well-known Talmudic teaching based in 1Ki.14.8. Not being a Talmudic scholar, I cannot say. Maybe someone out there can enlighten us?

In v.24, Sha’ul shared with his diaspora audience the FACT that Yeshua was born of the seed of David, at the time that Yochanan the Immerser (haMatbeel) was preaching teshuvah for sins and that the Kingdom was at hand. 

When Yochanan’s ministry was complete (v.25) he said [Mp], “You think I may be Mashiyach. I am not. There comes one after me whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to loosen.”  This gives me the idea that the Pharisee, Sha’ul may have been there when Yochanan said that. 

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. (Yochanan 1.26-27)

Sha’ul was the star talmid of Gamaliel and I would think that he was sent on LOTS of missions for the Sanhedrin to check out the prophets of his day. I think he had at least 2 meetings with Yeshua during his ministry, and possibly KNEW him, since Yochanan said there was one AMONG his QUESTIONERS, the S&P Iuaidoi, of whom Sha’ul was a part. This is merely dot-connecting on my part and I would not make a dogmatic statement to this effect, but the possibility DOES exist. 

V.26 is another that I infer as a 2-house referral; stock of Avraham and Yireh-Y’hovah – ‘God-fearers’. Both houses and howsoever will now have deliverance presented to them. AENT has a good comment on Yireh-Yhwh [note 128] pg. 344. V.27 says outright that the leaders of the religion in Yerushalayim failed to recognize Mashiyach when he presented himself to them by fulfilling so many of the prophecies that they read every Shabbat in shul. Many of the people of Yisrael accepted him gladly. The Iuaidoi killed him and some took him down from the tree and buried him, but he rose from death before corruption could set in on his body. He then points out 3 witnesses from the Psalms that should prove Yeshua as Mashiyach. All the prophecies that refer to David were never fulfilled in him, but would be in his Seed, Mashiyach.

I will declare the decree: Y’hovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (Psalms 2:7)

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (Isaiah 55:3)

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16:10)

The YeshaYahu prophecy could NOT be fulfilled in David, unless it was in his Seed, Mashiyach. Sha’ul hit them with the fulfillment of prophecy in one man – Yeshua, and that left them with a clear choice; repent and obey Torah, or go on as they had been. Their choice was between blessing and cursing

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:(Deuteronomy 30:19)

That Y’hovah would not let his holy one see corruption is telling. Corruption set in on the 4th day of the corpse’s death.

Yeshua said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Master, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. (John 11:39)

Yeshua said that the only sign he would show that generation of religious leaders was

39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt.12.39-40)

Had he stayed in the grave one second longer than that, he would have entered the 4th day and seen corruption. That’s 3 days and 3 nights; not 3 days and 3 nights + a second. He was out of that grave exactly 72 hours after his death – around evening offering time on the weekly shabbat of the Feast of ULB, IM[not so]HO. David was still in the grave, they knew EXACTLY where his bones were and they had seen corruption, so the prophecy did NOT apply to David, but his Seed, Mashiyach. 

Through Mashiyach comes forgiveness of sins in v.38 – justification through faith in Mashiyach. The Torah of Moshe is not that which justifies us. Even if we could fully observe it in our own power, we could not be made righteous by it. Only the supreme judge of the Universe, Y’hovah Yeshua haMashiyach can declare us, not just ‘not guilty’ but, INNOCENT! Only in Mashiyach are we justified (v.39; see note 129 on pg.344 of AENT). Then Sha’ul gives a warning to the synagogue’s leadership to not despise his word;

4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. 5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, ye will not believe, though it be told. (Habbakuk 1.4-5)

That work, I think, is the gathering of the whole house of Yisrael from the 4 corners of the earth.

When Sha’ul finished his midrash and the Jews departed, the Ephraimites and mixed multitude ; the sojourners; asked him to return next week so that they could hear more of this kind of preaching. And the next Shabbat, nearly every synagogue in the area met at the one where BarNaba and Sha’ul were in attendance. Word of mouth really IS the best type of advertising. Of course, the ones who received Sha’ul’s word gladly told everyone they could about his preaching, and those who did not receive his message turned out everyone who would object. Blessing and Cursing is the 2-fold purpose of Torah. Q&C

Shabbat Bible Study for November 10, 2018

Shabbat Bible Study for November 10, 2018

©2018 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 3, Shabbat 35

Devarim 16:18 – 17:13 -1 Sh’muel 8:1-7 – Tehellim 132 – Yochanan 5:1-47

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Devarim 16:18 – 17:13 – This parsha is about the court system in Israel, and also the united States Constitution. There are to be a system of courts; both national, state and local. There was to be a court in each city, not just the cities of refuge. There were to be higher courts, Sanhedrin, in each tribal inheritance for appeals and more important questions. And there was to be a supreme Sanhedrin in the city where Y’hovah would choose to place his Name to be the court of final appeal and to hear the most important cases. There should be judges at each level who were righteous and knew Torah and who would not pervert justice by taking bribes or ‘respecting persons’. In v.20, where KJV says ‘altogether just’, the Hebrew is ‘tzedek tzedek’. When Y’hovah repeats himself, he is saying that these judges must be everything that the word defines. This was very similar to the system Moshe set up at the counsel of Yithro and approved by Y’hovah (Ex.18) and reiterated by Moshe in 

12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good to do. 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear between your brethren, and judge righteously between man and his brother, and the stranger with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is Eloha’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring unto me, and I will hear it. (Deut.1.12-17)

Do you see that the instruction on ‘respecting persons’ came right after Moshe included the ‘stranger’ in Torah’s justice system? After he says you shall not respect persons, he defines the term; you judge righteously on the facts, not on the wealth or power of the person standing before you. THEN Moshe said if you can’t bring a righteous judgment for whatever cause, you bring it to me. Everyone in Israel was to be judged by the same standard – Torah. Moshe would see to it. Moshe says HE, Yhwh’s agent, will be the standard of the righteous judge. 

There are numerous references to courts in the Brit Chadashah. Here are a few;

1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that brethren. (1Cor.6.1-8)

In v.1, we should go to law before the tzadikim, not before the unjust. This is a direct application of our Torah portion to a local kahal/synagogue. The local assembly should have had at least a tribunal of saints, tzadikim, who know and live Torah and are (therefore) scrupulously honest. Then each district should have an appeals court; then each region should have a lower Sanhedrin, possibly made up of judges who did not sit on the original case, and finally a Sanhedrin in Yerushalayim as a Supreme Court. These courts should hear both Torah and civil cases between believers. This was actually the way the Hebrew courts worked in the Roman empire. The Hebrew religion had special rights and privileges within the Roman court system because the Torah predated the Roman empire and its laws and religion. Yeshua went on trial before the Sanhedrin before being taken to Procurator Pilate for final adjudication. The Sanhedrin pronounced sentence on Yeshua and Pilate allowed the Sanhedrin to carry out its judgment and execution. I think Pilate was thoroughly disgusted by the political leaders of the religion, the Iuaidoi;

When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them [that is, the chief priests and officers], Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. (John 19:6) 

Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. (Matthew 27:65)

There are numerous instances of the local assembly being in charge of their own justice, whether in the Word of Y’hovah or in lifestyle and practice;

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (I Corinthians 14:29)

I think that had to do with judging the prophecy given in the kahal according to Torah’s clear intent in Deut.13.

And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil Torah, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress Torah? (Romans 2:27)

That has to do with either a wise proselyte, learned in Torah, being a righteous judge of sin in a native born Israelite, or that the righteous lifestyle of a proselyte ought to shame a sinning Israelite to repentance.

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Shabbat: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Mashiyach. (Colossians 2:16-17) 

If these are a shadow of things to come, they must not have been fulfilled, as the mainstream church claims. I purposely removed the words that were added by the translators to show that it is the body of Mashiyach who is to judge our walk, and not just any man – we are NOT to go before the civil magistrates in our personal disputes, but the kahal’s [chuerch’s] tribunal and the Torah-instituted appellate system for judgment. I believe that this included divorce, since Israelite marriages were not state-licensed and controlled in the Roman empire any more than they were here in America until about 130 years ago. The passage from 1Cor.6 immediately follows Rav Sha’ul’s adjudication of the matter in 1Cor.5: the man who was lying with his father’s wife. 

Vv.20-21 deal with idolatry – AGAIN! Do you suppose that this is important to Y’hovah? Do you think he takes idolatry seriously? Remember that EVERY commandment can be traced to the injunctions to not have other gods and to not covet, the ‘brackets’ of the 10 commandments. By these verses’ juxtaposition with the rest of our parsha, I take it to liken transgression of these instructions as being forms of idolatry. Chumash has a good comment on v.20 on pg.111. Q&C

17.1-7 – I think 17.1 goes with 16.21-22 and that it was the practice of the Canaanites to sacrifice the WORST of their flocks, herds and whatever, to their gods. I think this because we are looking at idolatrous practices before and after v.1, and I don’t think Y’hovah just dropped this into the middle of a discourse on idolatry. Again, Chumash has a good comment on v.1 on pg.112.

A blemish is something that can be readily seen, while evil-favoredness would speak of a bad disposition, like a bull that just has to gore something or someone, easily maddened. A sheep is not generally high-strung and itching for a fight, and neither is your average bovine. It was for this reason that we are to take the Pesach lamb into our house on the 10th of the month. It was expected that we would choose the most perfect in appearance as our Pesach lamb, but we were also to watch it closely to ensure that it was not mean, given to bullying or whatnot (that’s a technical term). This went for any offering, not just the Pesach – not that we bring it into the house, but that we not offer an animal given to a bad disposition. No animal with a flaw of either appearance or character should be offered to Y’hovah. The animals we offered were to display the same character WE were to exhibit. They were substitutionary offerings and should have reflected our character. 

If there was a man or woman accused of idolatry, there was to be a diligent inquiry to determine if the accusation was true. If the accusation brought before the court was found to be true, the adjudication was set by Y’hovah – take the idolater outside the gates of the city and stone him to death. The parameters of ascertaining the truth of the accusation is set in v.6

At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. (Deuteronomy 17:6)

Here is the Torah behind the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution’s ‘right to remain silent’:

[Amendment V]

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

If a man witnesses against himself and his witness agrees with the accusation, he has provided the 2nd witness and is guilty, even to his own death. When you, as a citizen of the State in which you reside and of the united States of America, are accused, therefore, keep your mouth shut. Y’hovah has given you the right to silence in criminal matters. Exercise it! Especially in the wicked perversion that calls itself justice anymore, where they will use ‘sound-bytes’, twisted out of their context, against you in court to lead the jury to convict you, even when you are innocent; just as false prophets use scriptural sound-bytes twisted out of their context to lead astray the unstable and unlearned. Sounds like the same satanic system to me. 

Once a man is found guilty and taken without the gates to be stoned, the accusers are to be the first to cast the stones. This, I think, had at least 2 purposes: 1) a normally honest man who had brought false accusation might faint at actually carrying out the execution of one he knows to be innocent, and 2) that the execution of judgment be carried out as quickly and mercifully as possible. The ultimate purpose of capital punishment for idolatry was to deter further idolatry (v.7). 

Vv.8-13 – In the case that something be brought to the inferior court system that for whatever reason is too great a matter for them, it could be taken directly to the Supreme Court. This provision also is enumerated in Art.3 §2 of the US Constitution:

Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; — to Controversies between two or more States; — between a State and Citizens of another State [Modified by Amendment XI]; — between Citizens of different States; — between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

Let me digress for a few minutes. I once had a traffic case in our county court, in which a State Trooper brought an (true) accusation (driving on a suspended license w/the adjudicating judge’s permission under prescribed conditions) against me. Since I was recently unemployed (on my way home from being laid-off on the DAY I was cited) and had nothing on my hands but time, when I went to court for arraignment I asked if the State was ‘party to this action’. The magistrate said it was, and I challenged the court’s jurisdiction in the matter and ‘stood mute’ instead of entering a plea. The magistrate ‘assumed jurisdiction’, entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ FOR ME, and bound me over for trial – all within his rights and fully expected. I presented the court with 110 interrogatories and awaited a date for trial. I received a summons to the court for a ‘pre-trial hearing’ before the actual judge. 

He said, “I see that you pled ‘not guilty’.” 

I said, “No sir, your honor. I challenged this court’s jurisdiction in this matter and stood mute. The magistrate ‘assumed jurisdiction’ and entered that plea in my silence.” 

He said, “You challenged my jurisdiction?”

I said, “Yessir. I asked the magistrate if the State of Ohio was a party to this matter and he said it is. So I invoked the U.S. Constitution, Art.3 §2 and paragraph 2, which states that in any action in which a State is party, the court of ORIGINAL jurisdiction is the supreme Court. I am not challenging your honor’s COMPETENCE to hear this case, only your jurisdiction.”

He asked, “Do you mean the State supreme court?”, to which I replied, “No sir. The US Constitution does not create state courts, only federal. The supreme Court it regulates and empowers is in Washington, D.C. If the state wants to try this case there, I will be happy to argue there.”

I had him and he knew it. He asked me to leave his chambers so he could confer with his prosecuting attorney. After a few minutes, the prosecutor came out to talk to me. He actually accused me of militia ties, which I firmly denied and he dismissed as irrelevant. 

We went back into chambers and the judge told me that all he wanted was such and so. If I would change my plea to ‘no contest’, he would find me ‘guilty’, sentence me to a suspended $10 fine, apply no points to my driving record and await my compliance with the law I was accused of breaking (suspended driver’s license), which I was in process of doing anyway. So I agreed and we went happily on our ways. I kind of regret NOT going through with it, but what the hay?! I got pretty much what I wanted; no fine, no points. 

And it was fun. After we arrived at an agreement, I asked the judge to please instruct the prosecuting attorney to apologize for making the accusation that I was a member of the militia, because the U S Navy Reserve would frown on any association I had with them – then I showed him my Reserve ID card. He said he’d retired from the reserve as a JAG corps jurist and we had a nice conversation about that after the prosecutor apologized for jumping to conclusions. THAT was what was so much fun. He was haughty and needed a come-uppance. 

The lesson (and end of digression) to take from this?: learn the Constitution. It can be a great tool in your battle with judicial tyranny for as long as the USA survives. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, regardless any legislation passed or presidential order to the contrary;

Art.4. para.2

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

This is very much like Torah baAretz Yisrael (in the land of Yisrael). There is no higher law in their respective lands, except that Torah is the basis for almost every provision in the Constitution. That makes Torah superior to it, in my contemplation and opinion.

When the supreme Sanhedrin brings judgment, it is to be carried out swiftly. If anyone presumes to go against the just (Torah-based) commands and judgments of the supreme Sanhedrin, capital punishment applies. It must be carried out swiftly and fully to keep the sin of presumption from spreading baAretz. Q&C

1 Sh’muel 8:1-7 – According to the last verses of ch.7, Sh’muel operated a ‘circuit court’ in Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah and Ramah, where he lived and held court on a more regular basis. I assume that the ‘supreme court’ was at Ramah, in BenYamin’s inheritance. His sons set up court in Beer Sheva, in the Negev, and did not go on the circuit, like their father did. The ‘sages’ say that it was not so much that THEY took bribes, but that having the court set in one place in the far south of Israel made it easy for men to set up businesses that served the needs of those coming for court and that the prices there could be inflated by unscrupulous businessmen. The ‘sages’ say that having done that was ‘tantamount to bribery’. Maybe, but scripture clearly says they perverted justice and took bribes, not that anything they did was tantamount to it. I think the people were righteously peeved at Sh’muel’s sons and wanted nothing more to do with them. As v.1 says, Sh’muel was getting old and it was nearly time for his death, so the people came to him and rejected his sons as judges and requested that he anoint a king over them, like the other nations had.  Now this was getting ahead of Y’hovah, as I think he had already chosen David for this job. But David needed time to mature and develop some before he would be ready to assume the throne of Yisrael. As we’ll see in next week’s parsha, Y’hovah said that he WOULD allow Yisrael to choose a king 

14 When thou art come unto the land which Y’hovah Elohecha giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom Y’hovah Elohecha shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. (Dt.17.14-15)

What Israel did here was to come to their Yehoshaphat (Y’hovah’s judge – Sh’muel) and asked for a king. Sh’muel seems to have taken this personally. He was thinking that the people were rejecting him by rejecting his sons. Y’hovah told him in v.7 that they were not rejecting Sh’muel, but Himself. Israel was tired of being ruled by Y’hovah through judges, especially if they were going to pervert justice like Yoel and AviYah were doing. They wanted to look like the nations around them – a kind of idolatry, like calling the golden calf of Egypt Y’hovah. As long as they had no king, they were holy; different, set apart from the nations. Now they wanted to lose one of the outward signs of their holiness. They were truly rejecting Y’hovah’s kingship. 

Once again, getting ahead of Y’hovah’s master plan bites them on the rump. As my mother-in-law used to tell her teenaged daughters, “The best ‘birth control pill’ is a Children’s Aspirin [the tiny 83 mg. one]. You place it between your knees and hold it there after having removed your hand from between your knee. And if you burn your *** (backside), you have to sit on the blister.” So true! When will we learn to shema? Q&C

Tehellim 132 – This is a song of ascent. It was recited/sung as the worshipper approached the Temple, as he climbed the steps. There were steps of two different widths, two short and then one long. On the longer steps the worshipper would sing the corresponding song of ascent. There were 42 risers and a platform or court at the bottom and the top. 

This is also a Messianic psalm, as we will see shortly.

When Y’hovah remembers someone or something, he does not recall that person or thing to mind. If he actually forgot him or it, it would have simply ceased to be – like the sins he chooses to forget in YirmeYahu 31.34. When Y’hovah ‘remembers’, he acts on the object’s behalf. He can remember for the object’s self-perceived good or ill. But we know that all things work toward the good of his plan and his people, who love him – even when it isn’t pleasant for the object of Y’hovah’s remembrance. Here’s an example of how Y’hovah’s remembrance can SEEM ill to the objects

20 Then YirmeYahu said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him answer, saying, 21 The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not Y’hovah remember them, and came it into his mind? 22 So that Y’hovah could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. 23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against Y’hovah, and have not obeyed the voice of Y’hovah, nor walked in his Torah, nor in his chukim [statutes], nor in his eduth [testimonies]; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day. (Jer.44.20-23)

But even in this remembrance his grace is seen. His purpose in bringing this judgment is to get them to remember what was different when they were receiving Y’hovah’s blessings, recognize their sin and bring them to repentance. 

In v.1, the author is asking Y’hovah to ‘remember’, to act on behalf of, David his anointed and all the afflictions he endured in Y’hovah’s service. These afflictions, enumerated in vv.3-4, are tied to David finding the proper resting place for Y’hovah’s Name, which ended up being Aravnah’s (a Yevusite – a former Canaanite proselyte?) threshing floor on Mt. Moriah (to get the import of this you really need to read the whole of chapter 24 in 2Sh’muel). His afflictions are sandwiched between references to the ‘mighty [one] of Ya’acov’, referring to chol Yisrael, all 12 tribes. 

David vowed to not rest in his own house until he had found the resting-place for Y’hovah’s Name, and he would have done exactly that if Y’hovah had not told David he would not let him build it, as he was a man of war (1Chron.28.3, & 17.4ff); that his son, who would not need to make war, would build it. But David gathered all the material necessary to build it, and drew the plans for it. The Temple is, of course, a physical type of the spiritual reality that the Temple of Y’hovah is actually the body of his saints, both individually and corporately. 

Know ye not that ye are the temple of Eloha, and that the Ruach of Eloha dwelleth in you?(I Corinthians 3:16)

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Ruach haKodesh which is in you, which ye have of Eloha, and ye are not your own? (I Corinthians 6:19)

Notice the ‘ye’s’ there? That is 2nd person plural in KJV language. We are the Temple of Eloha, especially when we gather for worship or service (Matt.18.20). He inhabits our corporate worship and fellowship. But the Spirit of Mashiyach also dwells in you and me as it did in Sha’ul

I am crucified with Mashiyach: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Mashiyach liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Eloha, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

David says as much in v.6, where he says he found the place of Y’hovah in the fields and heard of it in Ephratah. Y’hovah’s place had to be the hearts of his saints, like David and Yoseph, the son of Ya’acov. Shlomo was yet to build the Temple. 

The clearly Messianic aspect of this psalm becomes very evident from here on. In v.7 David says that we enter his tabernacles and worship at his footstool – the earth is his footstool

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (Psalms 8:6)

Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith Y’hovah: or what is the place of my rest? (Acts 7:49)

And hath put all things under his [Yeshua’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the kahal, (Ephesians 1:22)

Then in v.8, he tells Y’hovah to arise and enter into his resting place that is yet to be built, if it refers to the Temple. It CANNOT, in time! Therefore, I infer that he is calling the hearts of the saints of Y’hovah who are after his heart his tabernacle – as it is today. 

In v.9, the priests, who are to manifest the mercy of Y’hovah as they offer the sacrifices at his altar, are clothed with the righteousness of Eloha. This is clearly a Kingdom prophecy. In vv.10-11, he connects David with Y’hovah’s Mashiyach – the Hebrew word is m’shichecha, which KJV translates ‘thine anointed’. Y’hovah’s Mashiyach is prophetically called David and Son or seed of David many times in Tanakh and Brit Chadasha – here are a few (not even close to exhaustive)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty Eloha, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Y’hovah Tzavaoth will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

1 Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. (Isaiah 16:1, 5)

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Y’hovah Elohechem, and David their king; and shall fear Y’hovah and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:5)

After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (Acts 15:16)

Concerning his Son Yeshua haMoshiach our Master, which was made of the seed of David [the heir to the throne] according to the flesh; (Romans 1:3)

In vv.12-13, Y’hovah promises that David’s seed will sit the throne forever; and in Mashiyach that will come to pass on this earth and the new one Y’hovah has planned for us – as long as we and our children will obey Y’hovah with a pure heart. We and our children will sit with him in his throne – rule and reign with him forever. That concept is not just seen in the book of Revelation, but in Tanakh. Yochanan wrote NOTHING NEW in that book. It was, in part, like a compilation of every Tanakh concept of the events leading up to and including the Millennial Kingdom and the eternal ages of the New Creation. Just as Shlomo said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Vv.14-18 tell us the purpose of Y’hovah creating in the first place; a place for him to rest with his creatures whom he has loved since before he spoke the first creative word – before time itself. It is on the EARTH that HE shall dwell, for HE has desired it. Will we spend any great time in ‘heaven’? If Y’hovah is living on earth, earth becomes ‘heaven’, does it not? We were created for life on earth, and earth was created for Y’hovah to dwell in with his creatures. We will have access to heaven, for we will be in Y’hovah’s presence for all of eternity. Zion’s priests will not only be clothed in righteousness, as in v.6, but with Yesha – salvation – in v.16. Yesha (yud, shin, ayin) is, of course, the root word for Yeshua (yud, shin, vav, ayin). The horn of David is an idiom alluding to Mashiyach as the power of David, like the horns of a bull. I think the choice of the English word ‘bud’ is not readily understood today, as a bud is very delicate and can be harmed by so many environmental factors and that it is a vernacular term for a friend. It is wonderful in Middle English where it means to spring forth and grow to strength. In this passage the idea is that Mashiyach’s influence will take root and fill the earth quickly. A lamp shines light on everything, brings secrets to light, as it were. That is the idea here, I think; the beginning of his power (the bud) is his ability to see all things, even the secret things, as clearly as he sees the day dawn. This is how he will clothe his enemies with shame and cause his crown to flourish. He will look right through any subterfuge and read every man’s character like an open book. Q&C 

Yochanan 5:1-47 – This is taken from my work, The Life of Yeshua haMoshiach – an Hebraic Perspective.

72). Second Passover – 

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

Yochanan tells of a feast of the Jews, but doesn’t name it. I don’t know where the chronology comes from here. The Thompson Reference System says that this is Y’hovah’s second passover in Jerusalem after his ministry began. This will mark the end of his year of popularity, I think. 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 market 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 Shabbat.

The pool of Bethesda had 5 porches, speaking to the grace of Eloha 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 [Constantine’s mommy’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 Mashiyach. 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. 

In Eli Lizorkin Eyzenberg’s book, “The Jewish Gospel of John”, Eli writes’

It is possible, though unlikely, that the pool of Bethesda was a ceremonial water cleansing facility, a mikvah, associated with the Jerusalem Temple. But today’s archeological discovery shows, if indeed it was separate at all, it was adjacent to the Jerusalem Asclepion. Archeologists date the recently discovered Asclepion to several centuries after Jesus, but it is built upon the foundation of an earlier Asclepion. There are many good reasons to believe that this structure was situated within walking distance of the walls of the city of Jerusalem and that it was part of a healing center dedicated to the Greco-Roman god of well-being and health – Asclepius. Devotion to Asclepius was widespread throughout the lands dominated by the Roman Empire. There were more than 400 Asclepions (Asclepius-related facilities) throughout empire, functioning as healing centers and dispensers of the god’s grace and mercy towards those in need. The god’s mythical daughters, for example, included the goddesses Hygeia and Panacea. We can hear in their Greek names our modern words for “hygiene” and “panacea” – key concepts associated today with medicine and health. Snakes were a key characteristic of Asclepius’ cult of health and healing. Even today, one of the key symbols of modern medicine is a pole with a snake around it.

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 Pharisees are concerned. Yeshua has just healed on the Shabbat 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 Shabbat traditions. Remember that the Shabbat was set aside [made holy] to rest from our professional labors and worship Y’hovah 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 PhariseeIuaidoi cared? Shake your heads in the horizontal. 

75). Discourse on the Shabbat – Mat.12.1-8, Mk.2.23-28, Lk.6.1-5, Yochanan 5.10-16

10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, it is the Shabbat 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 Jews that it was Yeshua, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Yeshua, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Shabbat 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 Shabbat. But in this case, who was really breaking Shabbat? Yeshua is about to tell them. Q&C

74). Discourse on Yeshua’s divinity – Jn.5.17-47 In vv.17-18 we see the Jews really getting worked up over Yeshua’s claim to be Eloha. They knew what he was saying, and they would have been righteously angry if they were dealing with MY claim to be Eloha. 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 Jews, the political leadership of the religion, that he was who he claimed to be; Yeshua haMoshiach, the Son of Eloha. 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 Mashiyach 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. Q&C

“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Avinu rested from his creative work on the 7th day, not all his work. After all, Eloha still had to maintain the creation. The strict adherence to the letter of the law that the Pharisees wanted would have made them Eloha’s judges. By that I mean, if Eloha were being judged by their standard, absolutely no work on the Shabbat, 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 Shabbat-breaking (Ex.31.14ff).

V.19 ‘What the Son sees Avinu doing the Son does also (Mark paraphrase).’ The whole universe was all Y’hovah 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 Mashiyach is supposed to work, each helping the other to bring glory to Eloha.

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 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 Mashiyach. All that and much more can be seen with just a cursory glance at 1Cor.12. The body of Mashiyach is designed to work as a unit to fulfill its purpose in doing the will of Avinu. 

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, hence the subject/object relationship of Yeshua’s flesh and the Almighty.

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 Eloha 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. Q&C

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 Eloha], 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. [below]

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 Eloha 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, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; 11 And every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiyach is Y’hovah, to the glory of Eloha Avinu. (Phil.2.9-11)

20 Which he wrought in Mashiyach, 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 as 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 Eloha 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 Y’hovah 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 Eloha that is left out in that verse? Even the one that no man can know but he himself? Eloha 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 Eloha, 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 Eloha’s Word what they did to Eloha’s Word, you would ‘fix’ that verse as well. To translate it literally would be to condemn yourself. NIV-ers have placed Eloha’s Word on a par with his name, but not above it, as Eloha has. They have exalted themselves above Eloha, 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 Mashiyach. Isn’t it amazing that Eloha holds the book you hold in your hand in greater esteem than his very name? It is too wonderful for me.

Vv.24, 25 show another reason that Eloha exalts his word above his name. It is by his word that we are saved. We obtain everlasting life by hearing the Word of Eloha and believing that Eloha Avinu’s Ruach haKodesh indwelt Yeshua’s human flesh. This can only be revealed today by the Word of Eloha, 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). Eloha 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. Q&C

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. All those who heard him for the first time were spiritually dead. When they believed that Eloha had sent him, that he was very Eloha, 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 Eloha (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 Elohecha is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Remember that this all began with Yeshua healing on the Shabbat and then calling Eloha his Father [vv.17-18], making himself equal to Eloha. 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 True Identity, Y’hovah in human flesh. To have life in yourself is something none of us has ever experienced, nor will we. Y’hovah 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. Y’hovah Yeshua is. 

And Eloha 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 Eloha. 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 Eloha and man. I wonder how many understood that. And, did it separate their heads from their shoulders? The thought of an Eloha/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 Eloha could not become flesh and remain Eloha, for the flesh is sinful. Eloha would not sanctify the flesh, the flesh would corrupt Eloha. Therefore Yeshua was human and the Mashiyach was divine, and Yeshua haMoshiach could not be both. But that is exactly what Yeshua taught in this passage, his Spirit is 100% Eloha 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 main problem with gnosticism is a faulty concept of Eloha and matter. To the Gnostic the flesh was mightier than the Eloha 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 Eloha. 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 Eloha, therefore man is Eloha. Eminently reasonable if you leave out the scripture or have a low view of it. Eloha 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 Eloha 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 (Gen.6.2?) 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 his tree. 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.  To me, it is engaging in confusion. Q&C

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 Prushim and scribes that he is Eloha, and also telling the Sadducees that their doctrine is wrong. He was really making points with the Iuaidoi 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 11.43, 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.

When Yeshua says in v.30, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” what do you think he means? This is not a rhetorical question. I would like a short answer from the audience, if I can get one.

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’s Ruach is Eloha from eternity past, not having a beginning. But he voluntarily gave up Yeshua’s independent use of Eloha’s power so that he could become one of us and fulfill Torah in the flesh 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 Eloha. 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 Eloha’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 the Lake of Fire, because I don’t want to go there myself. If I did condemn someone, then when using the same criterion, I would be condemned, too (Mat.7.2). But Y’hovah Yeshua haMoshiach, Eloha 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 Eloha 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 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 – today’s Torah parsha, 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 them and us these things that they/we 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 Iuaidoi, the political leaders of the religion in Jerusalem. 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 Eloha’s word does not live in you. If it did, if you really loved the truth, you would believe his report (v37). But you refuse his witness of me, because you’ve never seen or heard from him in the scriptures you claim to love. (end of Mark’s paraphrase)’ What about you? Have you seen Eloha 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? Eloha 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 Eloha (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 [Mat.23.3-4]. 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, Barack and  Donald 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 Eloha? That is our ministry here (2Cor.5.18-21), is it not? Q&C

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 Eloha. He’s not looking to please men, but his Father in heaven.

Vv.42-43 need to be seen together. If they had Eloha’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 (anti-Mashiyach) 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 anti-Mashiyach comes and accepts their honours, they’ll accept him as their Mashiyach. Since they are self-seeking and totally (self) righteous, and he will be exactly the same, he’s what they expect Mashiyach to be. So he’s whom they’ll accept. All because they have no love for the truth of Eloha’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 down 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 — Mashiyach, the son of Yosef/David, the Son of Eloha.  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 Jews 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 Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to [Judaize – ioudaidzein] live as do the Jews?” 15 We Jews 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 haMoshiach, even we have believed in Yeshua haMoshiach, that we might be justified by the faith of Mashiyach, 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 Mashiyach, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Mashiyach the minister of sin? Eloha 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 Eloha. 20 I am crucified with Mashiyach: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Mashiyach liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Eloha, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of Eloha: for if righteousness by the law, then Mashiyach is dead in vain… 3.1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yeshua Mashiyach 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, is it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed Eloha, 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 Eloha 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. Q&C

End of Shabbat Bible Study

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