Shabbat Bible Study for January 19, 2019
©2019 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 3 Sabbath 45
Deuteronomy 28:1-29:9 – Isaiah 55:2 – Psalm 142 – John 14:1-31
Devarim 28:1-14 – To ‘hearken diligently’ is to pay attention, to not only hear the words, but to actively listen. The Hebrew says, if you sh’moa tish’ma; a double use of the same root verb, shema, which indicates an intensive application of the root verb; to internalize the action so that it causes a lasting effect on your way of living. I think you can say the same thing for the double use of the phrase, “if you hearken … to the Voice of Y’hovah Elohecha.” Not just to hear it, but to make his Word an integral part of your life. “IF” you’ll do that, the blessings will follow, like spring follows winter. They won’t follow for long, because before very long they will overtake you and actually lead you for as long as you shema hakol Y’hovah, listen to Y’hovah’s voice.
V.3 begins the list of blessings, as they follow to v.14. These blessings don’t spring up fully developed as soon as we start obeying, but they build up until we can actually recognize the blessings as Y’hovah enumerates them. We will be blessed where we are. We will be blessed in our persons, in our produce, in our livestock and, if we live within the walls of a city, in our businesses. That which we use to carry or to store our produce will be blessed. I think this has to do with not seeing any disease or plague in our stuff, like mold (leprosy of the house) or pests (like mice in the storehouse). We will be blessed in all we do, whether at home or on the road. Our enemies will be united as they attack us, but will be in total disarray as they run from us, like the British troops from Old Hickory’s at New Orleans in 1814. Y’hovah brings all these blessings because we are careful to do as he has commanded us and not to slip to one side or the other. The whole earth will see that we are blessed and will be afraid to go against us in anything, knowing that Y’hovah will protect us and curse them. They knew what had happened to Paroh and Og of Bashan. And as long as we do not decline to the right or to the left, Y’hovah will continue to bless us.
Until the 15 years between 1947 and 1962, this blessing was the story of the united States of America. When the British marched on Lexington and Concord, the British Empire was the world’s SuperPower. Noone in his right mind would pick a fight with England.
James Warren first proposed the ‘Committees of Correspondence’ to Samuel Adams, which was a letter writing campaign between patriots in all the colonies, documenting the usurpations of King George III. On June 16, 1775, he was the President of the Massachusetts Provincial Council that wrote this;
Resolved in Provincial Council, Watertown, Massachusetts, June 16, 1775:
“As it has pleased Almighty Elohim in his providence to suffer the calamities of an unnatural war to take place among us in consequence of our sinful declensions from him and our great abuse of those inestimable blessings bestowed upon us, and as we have reason to fear that unless we become a penitent and reformed people we shall feel still sorer tokens of his displeasure, and as the most effectual way to escape those dissilating (breaking open) judgments which so evidently hang over us, and if it may be obtained, the restoration of our former tranquility will be that we repent and return everyone from his iniquities unto him that correcteth us, which if we do in sincerity and truth, we have no reason to doubt but he will remove his judgments, cause our enemies to be at peace with us, and prosper the work of our hands.”
At the time he wrote that, America was a 3rd world country. By the 1860’s Britain was still powerful, but in decline and America was growing by leaps and bounds because the people walked in Y’hovah’s commandments. By 1920, America had eclipsed Britain in power; both economic, military and political. This was all because America was a Elohim-fearing nation until the 1920s. The government had already begun the gradual declension to its present pitiful state of Godlessness and the church leadership was slipping into and teaching lawlessness, but the people were still by and large Elohim-fearing. Even when the Supreme Court threw Elohim out of the public schools in the 1960s, the people were still, by and large, God-fearing. But when official America turned its back on Y’hovah, he allowed them to start to really feel his curses. The blessings that were the rule, began to slip away and the curses started to creep up behind. By the late 1970s, less than 10 years after the Supremes made Molech worship a government sanctioned religion, the balance had occurred and by the late 1980s the balance had obviously changed to more curse than blessing. Because the changes were gradual, we didn’t notice so much as it was happening, but now, those of us who are old enough to remember what America was like before the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s are beginning to die off. And those of us who are still alive in another 5 years will know that we allowed it to happen because we liked our sin more than we loved our Mashiyach.
Let’s see what the curses look like and ask ourselves if they are not happening to one degree or another as we speak. Q&C
Vv.15-68 – BUT, if you DON’T obey my commands; if you breach our contract, all these curses will come to you. Notice that the general tenor is that the curse is the opposite of the blessing, very much like what was to be pronounced from Mounts Gerezim and Ebal after they crossed Yarden to receive the land of promise. Again, the curses will eventually overtake us, pass us by and be waiting for us in our future – if we let it get that far. Remember that these curses are meant to encourage our repentance, not to physically destroy us. But that will be the ultimate result if we do not repent and start going his way.
The list of curses begins with the thesis statement; curses in the cities and in the fields; in the petty supplies in your house and in the grand supplies in your storehouses. You will start seeing diseases in the produce of your fields and businesses and birth defects among your children and your livestock. The basket and store (v.17-18) I see as metaphors for women’s wombs and by extension of the curse of abortion in our own day. Most, if not all, you do will come to naught. Chumash has an interesting comment based on Ramban on pg.174. I see from applying Ramban that government sanction of abortion brings the curse on the wombs of America, which we have seen in her declining birth rates, followed by a curse on her wealth. Did you know that in 1960, 90% of Americans (180M) were native born, but today fully 1/3 (90M) are foreign born? Our population has grown by almost 150 million in that time, but almost all of the growth is from “immigration”, whether legal or illegal. From v.21 on, Y’hovah gets extremely specific about what will befall us, and there are 48 verses of curses to come.
Here are some of the curses Y’hovah promises us if we refuse to obey him. V.20, the thesis statement of the rest of the chapter, says ‘cursing, vexation and rebuke’. ‘Cursing’ is from H3994, merah מרה, ‘to oppose’, an execration, meaning a great loathing or contempt. ‘Vexation’ is from H4103, m’humah, with a root H1949, huwm הום, meaning uproar, agitation. And ‘rebuke is from H4045, migereth, root H1605, ga’ar גער, to rebuke, inhibit or chide. The mem prefix usually means ‘from’. So, when we contemptuously disregard his commands and forsake our covenant with him, Y’hovah is going to send contempt from agitated scolding. He’ll be ticked and we’ll get back everything we gave him. He is going to
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. (Proverbs 26:5)
A part of that is that he will ‘make the pestilence cleave’ to us in v.21. America’s farmers are not going to like the next sentences. No matter how hard we try, v.22 says we will not be able to escape the (meanings of the root words follow the KJV word in parentheses) consumption (emaciation), fever (burn), inflammation (flame), burning (glow – dry up), sword (drought with a cutting effect), blasting (scorch) or mildew (pallor – yellowish green of young, unhealthy vegetation) (7 types of curses which seem to mostly talk about the effects of a drought) until we either die or repent and start going his way. All of those Hebrew words are plural, which means whatever the root is, we’ll be getting it in spades.
Vv.23-24 speak about what the drought will seem like to the not-so-casual observer. Stone’s Chumash has a VERY interesting comment by Rashi on v.24, pg.176. What rain may fall will make the effects of the drought even worse. Can you say “dust bowl”? I saw some of that in 2015 year on my trip home from Colorado; clouds of dust rising as much as 100 feet with each passing car on the dirt roads of Nebraska – Indiana. If there had been severe winds, they might have caught the dust and carried it to the clouds, where it might have fallen as dirty rain. Add the dust kicked up by normal activity to the mud falling and you can see some major damage to any crops that may break through the surface.
Vv.25-26 has the blessing of the enemy’s fear of us turned to a curse against us. As a result of our military rout, armies fleeing in abject terror from their adversaries, we will either be carried away to other nations as slave labor or be left, dead and dying to the scavenging carrion eaters. The animals that are feeding on the carcasses will be so hungry that they will not be frightened away, but guard and fight for their source of meat.
V.27 – Survivors of the hasty retreat will find themselves with ulcerous growths on their skin like those of the 6th plague of Egypt,
8 And Y’hovah said unto Moshe and unto Aharon, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moshe sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Paroh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Paroh; and Moshe sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth blains upon man, and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moshe because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. (Ex.9.8-11)
But, as if the ulcerous boil weren’t enough, they will get to deal with hemorrhoids, scabs (kinda like psoriasis), and an itch that will not abate, as well. All of this will result in the conditions in vv.28-29.
Oh, JOY! I truly can’t imagine NOT going mad after living this far into a drought, being defeated in a military rout and watching thousands of my countrymen die before my eyes, the resultant sickness and disease, and with no end in sight, ESPECIALLY knowing the cause. The blindness of heart that he speaks of in v.28 is illustrated in v.29, where one can’t see any way out and there is noone to help. A sightless man could expect that someone will help him find his way during the day, but the sighted might not recognize his blindness at night. And during a time of not just physical, but also spiritual darkness, the natural man will likely be thinking of only himself and not even consider a fellow in need. Q&C
Vv.30-35 speak of what will happen to the blessing of multiplicity in all they do when Y’hovah removes his mercy because they have forsaken his covenant. Their wives will be taken by other men; children taken from before their eyes and delivered into slavery in a distant place, perhaps never to be seen again; fruits of their labors stolen and not returned; property destroyed with no recourse or any benefit derived; all in addition to the plagues of Egypt being visited on them.
Vv.36 says that Y’hovah shall deliver them and their king into exile to serve other, lesser Elohims. This exile will make the one in Egypt look like a midway ride; harrowing but fun.
Vv.37-42 speak of the wasted effort in all they do. Their enemies will see them and actually understand that this calamity has fallen on them because they forsook a covenant made with Y’hovah, and perhaps even recognize that it is Y’hovah who is using Israel’s enemies to bring the chastisement and cursing upon his people who are too spiritually dense to understand.
I think I see the 2012 growing season in vv.38-40. There was so much loss of feed crops in America’s plains that the cattlemen are selling portions of their herds for slaughter rather than pay the higher cost for feed. This may have kept the price of meat more affordable in the groceries for awhile (if you consider the meat prices affordable), but what will happen if there is ANOTHER bad growing season due to the continuing drought and the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest source of fresh water in the WORLD, greater even than the Great Lakes? Higher feed costs, a smaller supply of meat and a greater demand for produce to feed people will drive all those prices through the roof.
Vv.43-44 have the strangers within our gates being set above us, lending to us and not borrowing from us, leading us about like beasts of burden by the rings in our noses.
Bottom line is that America and the rest of the formerly Xian/Yisraelite world is in breach of contract with Y’hovah, and he is merely fulfilling his promise to us.
Vv.45-57 speak of absolutely horrendous conditions in which Israelites are reduced to the most abominable practices just to stay alive. It reminds me of some of Yeshua’s prophetic words
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (MathitYahu 24.5-13)
AENT has in v.13, “But whoever has patience until the end, he will have life.”
Yeshua was very general in that speech, but he was a LOT more specific in our Torah parsha for today, where he says very plainly that the further into debauchery and iniquity they go, the more horrendous will be his chastisement until they either repent or perish. Because they would not serve Y’hovah, but their own bellies, he will send these curses to them, with the purpose of getting them to see how they have forsaken him and lost his blessings because of it; those blessings being given to their enemies until they are completely used up with no chance of them ever being restored – UNTIL Y’hovah’s people repent and cry out for his deliverance.
Once again, we see in vv.45-47 that the curses will not just pursue them and catch them, but overtake them so there will be absolutely no way to escape in their own strength. They thought that all Y’hovah’s blessings were theirs by RIGHT! They are NOT; they are theirs by covenant, which they broke! When Israel is in bondage to their enemies in v.48, they will be given bare subsistence, like the poor of the third world today, or worse, and will serve the needs and wants of their masters. Basically, Uncle Esav will hold all the cards for a while. Q&C
Vv.49-51 sure look to me like what’s about to befall America, perhaps before the next Presidential election (if there is one). America is so deep in debt that she is all but owned by China, the last 4 administrations have pretty much given every natural resource to them as payment for all the debt they have purchased, and they will demand payment soon to keep the cash flowing and the illusion alive. After all, China will need to keep our market alive to sell the crapola they produce. This is all a re-enactment of the Assyrian coming against Israel and Yehudah, placing J’lem under siege in ChizkiYahu’s days (Is.36-37), except that I don’t see a king of ChizkiYahu’s stature or humility in D.C. and haven’t in at least 35 years, maybe 60. Hell, maybe 100! V.52’s walls can be seen as America’s economic power, which has become mainly agricultural since we’ve shipped most of our manufacturing OUTCONUS, and perhaps even its military power being brought to nothing. As a result, vv.53-57 will follow close after the power vacuum is felt; the nation that so recently led the world in all important areas will be reduced to not just cannibalism, but to cannibalizing each person his own children. Again, this very thing was seen in the Assyrian siege of J’lem and will be seen again in America. But America will go down to ruin because there is no king like ChizkiYahu here. The one we have now is marginally better than the last 4, but he really ain’t no prize. Though he COULD be, if he were to truly repent and shuv to Y’hovah.
Vv.58-62 – Because they have broken Y’hovah’s covenant by refusing to obey his Statutes and Commandments, Y’hovah will send all the loathsome diseases that he had sent on Egypt to get Israel to see what her obstinacy has wrought for them. But v.61 goes even further, saying that not just the plagues of Egypt, but NEW plagues that never had been up to that point, would be visited upon them. Let’s see, AIDS, Ebola, MRSA, the flesh eating virus, and more were all unheard of 40 years ago; and only Y’hovah knows what else he’ll allow our germ warfare guys to invent between now and ‘Stuff Hits The Fan’ day.
Vv.63-68 – Y’hovah was delighted to bless us when we obeyed, and he will rejoice to remove those blessings and send the curses, knowing that they will cause his own to repent and call out to him for deliverance. He knows that the majority will just despair and not repent; they will curse him to his face for the calamity that he TOLD them would come if they forsook their covenant with him, but they forsook it anyway. They will actually blame him for faithfully keeping his Word to them when they became unfaithful and went to serving other Elohims of their own making.
May this NOT be anyone reading or hearing this Bible Study today. May we all humble ourselves; seek HIS face and trust to HIS protection and not our own devices. If we are sensitive to the Spirit of Y’hovah and ask his counsel in all that we do, we will more likely keep from getting into the curses and stay under his blessings. As was the case with the blessings, the curses will build up ahead of us and take a while to get completely passed, even when we repent and start going his way again; we STILL have to bear the iniquity of our sins, which means suffer the physical consequences of our actions. But the blessings will begin to mix in with the residual curses and we SHOULD be able to see the tide turning before very long. Stick with it! Y’hovah has made the promise that IF you turn to him he will bless you. Every action that we take is followed by reward or punishment. The result follows the cause like spring follows winter and when we keep our eyes on the high calling of Mashiyach Yeshua and Y’hovah on his throne, we will head inexorably in the direction of his blessings.
There is a major difference between Dev.28 and Vay. 26. Vayikra 26 is addressed to the nation as a whole, in the plural by Y’hovah Elohechem; but Devarim 28 is all in the singular, as if each individual was being addressed personally by Y’hovah Elohecha.
Devarim 29.1-9 – these last few verses of the 2nd iteration of Torah in Moshe’s own words are a kind of brief summary. In a mark paraphrase, Moshe said, “You saw what Y’hovah allowed Egypt to do to you, and how, when you called on him, he delivered you; and you saw how he sustained you for 40 years in the Wilderness by providing your every need of food and drink and miraculously preserving everything you own, not even allowing your clothes or shoes to wear out; and you saw how, when Og, the giant king of Bashan, and Sihon, the giant king of Ammon, came out against you that Y’hovah delivered them into your hands without you even suffering a hangnail. As Y’hovah was for you in Egypt and in the Wilderness, so will he be when you cross Yarden to take the land that he promised our fathers, Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov. Keep on trusting him, being faithful to his covenant and he will keep on protecting, preserving and polishing you to be all he intends you to be. Q&C
Isaiah 55:2 – This verse just points up the idea that all that effort you expend avoiding obedience only goes for nothing. All you get from dismissing your covenant with Y’hovah is wasting and frustration. It would be so much better and truly easier if we would just hearken diligently and obey his commands, for the blessings will just flow as if without any effort at all. Remember the first words of this Study? Moshe says that if we ‘hearken diligently’ to his commandments he will bless us out of our socks. YeshaYahu repeats it here. In both cases it is a restatement of the root word sh’ma שמע, to hear and do. This time it reads shim’u shamoa, rather than sh’moa tish’ma. The “double use of the same root verb, shema, indicates an intensive application of the root verb; to internalize the action so that it causes a lasting effect on your way of living.” When we do this with the Word, it feeds our spirit the stuff it needs to grow closer to what Y’hovah’s ultimate purpose is for our lives, to have our minds transformed into the image of Yeshua haMashiyach’s (Rom.12.2).
Tehellim 142 – This psalm has a pretty cool chiastic structure. Let me print it for you.
1 I cried unto Y’hovah with my voice; with my voice unto Y’hovah did I make my supplication.
2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
5 I cried unto thee, O Y’hovah: I said, Thou my refuge my portion in the land of the living.
6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
It’s a kind of descent into despair until the answer comes to David and then he ascends out of the ‘slough of despond’ (Pilgrim’s Progress) and into his full blessing.
David must have been reading Devarim 28 just before he wrote this Psalm, because it is such a great answer to the despair that must have come over Israel as they heard Moshe’s prophecy of what would befall them in future, as it nearly did to me as I worked my way through it this week. I am less worried for me than I am for the average human in the next few months or years. The trials will come and they will be hard to endure, and the average human has neither refuge nor hope in Y’hovah. The average human lives, or will live, in the despond of v.4,
4 I looked on right hand, and beheld, but no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
But, unlike the average human, David knows what needs to be done in that situation – turn to Y’hovah in repentance and contrition and he will turn the cursing into blessing, even as he turned blessing into cursing when we despised his covenant. Quicker, I would think, because he wants nothing so much as to bless his children. We will still have to contend with, bear, the physical consequences of our iniquities, but the blessings will begin to make them bearable, then make up for them and eventually, as we remain faithful to our covenant, the blessings will overtake the consequences and make them as a minor annoyance, as he promised, until the day we see him as he is and live in 100% blessing and shalom with him in Yeshua’s Kingdom and olam haba. Q&C
Yochanan 14:1-31– Immediate background – In ch.13, Yeshua had told his talmidim that he was going for a while to a place they could not follow him, referring to his death
33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
and Kefa asked why he couldn’t follow, not understanding the sod nature of Yeshua’s words. Yeshua answered him with a prophecy of what would transpire that very night while he was being ‘tried’ by the Jews (which word, I believe, refers to the Iuaidoi political leadership of the religion in Yerushalayim, not the ‘man in the street’).
38 Yeshua answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
And that is what set the stage for 14.1.
Remember that there were no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts; chapters and verses are a relatively modern convention. Yeshua was still addressing Kefa about the thrice denial he’d just prophesied. I think that the exchange between Kefa and Yeshua in 13.36-38 was in confidence, and then in ch.14, he changed to addressing the whole group of talmidim to quell their similar apprehension at his last words to the group in 13.33-35.
All 4 gospel writers recounted this event, but this time Yochanan agrees with 2 of the synoptics (Matt and Luke), but the 2 synoptics are slightly different than Kefa’s own account of the story in the book of Mark, which I think has an additional detail the other writers left out; that the cock would crow twice. Kefa knew ‘the REST of the story’, having known the whole thing first hand. Now, as you read ch.14, think ‘sod’ level, not just pashat. If you just think in the concrete, word on the page, sense and disregard the metaphorical sense, you will never understand Yeshua’s words. All through ch.14 (in fact, almost every word of Yeshua in Yochanan’s besorah is sod), Yeshua is speaking with at least a dual meaning.
He told the group (Mark paraphrase) “Don’t be concerned! y’all believe Elohim, believe me, too.” He says that he is Y’hovah in human flesh right there. Remember what ‘in my name’ means; ‘in my authority’ or ‘in the same Ruach as mine’. Same thing here; ‘in me’ and ‘in Elohim’ are synonymous terms and he equates his Ruach with the Ruach of Y’hovah, which are echad and the same on ALL levels of PaRDeS.
He goes on to say that there are many mansions, or dwelling places, in Abba’s house. Again, this has at least 2 levels of understanding; in this life (Temple and kahalim) and in the one to come (New Creation). He then makes reference to two things that he will do in the future, in the time his flesh is in the grave and also after his bodily ascension 40 days after his resurrection. He is preparing a place for each of us and for all of us in both spheres, temporal and eternal. And since he is preparing for us, he will return to receive us unto himself. This is Hebraic wedding-speak. Once the Ketubah (betrothal and legal marriage, but not co-habitation) was entered into, the husband would go back to his father’s house and prepare for his bride; he would build a home for them to live in and a business to support her. Only when his abba said the husband was ready to receive his bride to their new life would the Nesu-in, the marriage celebration and consummation, take place. This is the allusion Yeshua is making to his ‘macho-man’ talmidim, and they understood it full well. Then he said in a remez, or hint, that they knew where he was going and the Way to get there, but Thomas asks for clarification, being somewhat denser to the metaphor than even Kefa was. Yeshua answers with an even deeper reference in v.6. He said
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to haAbba, but by (or through) me.
Each of those direct objects is a reference to the Word of Y’hovah. The Hebrew word for “Way” is Derech, as in Ramchal’s book Derech Hashem, “The Way of Y’hovah”. The Hebrew word for “Truth” is emeth, as in Yochanan 17.17, “Thy word is truth”, and Ps.119.160, “Thy Word is True”. The Hebrew word for “Life” is chai, as in Prov.3.1-2
1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Yeshua is affirming the truth that Yochanan spoke in ch.1.1-4, 14,
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
In v.7 Yeshua uses another remez to tell them that he and Avinu are echad and the same. He says that because they know him they know Avinu. Now, I think Philip is asking Yeshua to reveal the glory of Y’hovah to them right there on the spot in v.8. Perhaps Kefa, Yacov and Yochanan had told them about Y’hovah speaking to them on the Mount of Transfiguration
1 And after six days Yeshua taketh Kefa, Yacov, and Yochanan his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moshe and EliYahu talking with him. 4 Then answered Kefa, and said unto Yeshua, Adoni it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Yeshua came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Yeshua only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Yeshua charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man … (Matt.17.1-9a)
If it were I, I’d have a REALLY hard time not telling the other 9 about it. And I think it was the same for the ‘inner circle’. Do you think that, if YOU were up on the Mount and saw the glory of Y’hovah, YOU’d be able to contain YOURself? If so, get over yourself and think again. Anyway, Yeshua says to Philip in vv.9-11 (Mark paraphrase), “Are you dense? I have been revealing his glory to you since the day I called you. I and Avi are ECHAD! (Jn.10.30)”
He speaks in the remez again in vv.10-11 when he tells them that he is in Avi and Avi is in him. Y’hovah is the Ruach of Yeshua. Yeshua says he will cause the resurrection of the dead (Jn.6.39, 40, 44, 54). I don’t think that the flesh of Yeshua does any resurrecting or any other miraculous work by its own power, but by the power of Ruach of Y’hovah that indwelt him from the moment of his conception. In the literal sense, then, Y’hovah is IN Yeshua, and in the metaphorical sense, Yeshua is IN Y’hovah. He then makes the same statement as he did to the Pharisees, “Believe me or believe my works, it’s all the same.”
Then, in vv.12-14, he drops a bomb on them (Mark paraphrase), “You think I’VE done some wonderful works? YOU will do GREATER works than these! If you ask anything in MY NAME, I will do it.” There is no doubt in my mind that Yeshua is telling his talmidim that he is Y’hovah in human flesh. Moshe never told Israel to ask Y’hovah for anything in Moshe’s name, but Yeshua is telling his talmidim to ask in Yeshua’s Name, and that HE, Yeshua, will do it! To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, either he is as crazy as a man who claims that he is a poached egg, or he is a liar, or he is who he claims to be. There isn’t any other valid option. ALL of the men present with him in that room believe he is who he claims to be – and so do I.
In vv.15-18 Yeshua drops another bomb. He again equates himself to Y’hovah by saying that the commandments are HIS and he expects us to obey them. Only AFTER that does he say that he will pray, or ask, Abba to give you another Comforter, as if the one follows the other. I infer that to mean, ‘show me your active, volitional choice to obey and I will give you the Spirit of Y’hovah to empower your obedience’. That’s the grace by which we are ‘saved’ (Eph.2.8). As to the Ruach who comforts us, Yeshua also equates himself to that Spirit of Y’hovah,
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14.18)
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, Ruach haEmeth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)
Y’hovah is echad (Dev.6.4) and the Spirit of Y’hovah is the Spirit of Yeshua, there is no differentiation between them. Only the flesh of Mashiyach Yeshua is different in any way; Y’hovah, Elohim, and Mashiyach are all one Spirit of the Almighty, echad.
Vv.19-20 are another bomb, I think. He says that the world, by that I infer the world’s system, can’t see the spiritual truth that he is presenting, but they can because they understand, at least ‘in utero’, what he is saying to them and that they shall truly ‘get it’ when Y’hovah’s Ruach comes on them at the upcoming Feast of Shavuoth, Pentecost. Then they will know experientially that as Y’hovah is in Yeshua and Yeshua in Y’hovah, Ruach of Yeshua and Avinu will reside in them. And, in v.21, when Ruach haKodesh takes up residence in the spirits of men, he will empower them to shema, hear, know and do, Y’hovah Yeshua’s commandments, and thereby prove our love for him. Q&C
Vv.22-31 – Yehudah asked him how it will be that the talmidim will see him, but the world will not. So Yeshua goes into an explanation of how Ruach will illuminate our minds to his truth. If one loves Yeshua and his Word, Y’hovah will love him and Ruach of Y’hovah Yeshua will live in him, and that Spirit of Truth will reveal the truth to us,
But Elohim hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Elohim. (I Corinthians 2:10)
Yeshua says that we can know those who love him by how they walk. Are they walking in his commandments? If yes, you are looking at a brother or a potential brother, because these are not the words of the man Yeshua, but the very Words of Y’hovah Elohenu. He tells them that Ruach will bring all things that he has taught them to their remembrance when they need it. I pray Y’hovah that he will do that with us when we need it in the not too distant future.
Yeshua knows that the talmidim are feeling some apprehension because of his words about leaving and sending his Ruach to guide them, so he tells them that the Shalom he has with Y’hovah is the same Shalom he will leave with them. When Yeshua said that he followed up by telling them to not be troubled or afraid, because it is by his going to Avinu that he will be able to come to them by the instrumentality of Ruach haKodesh dwelling in them. Then he said (Mark paraphrase), ‘I tell you this now, so that when it comes to pass you will believe and KNOW without any doubt that I am who I claim to be and will do what I promise to do. I won’t say a lot more in this world, because the enemy is about to be given some more rope with which to hang himself. But, so the world will know that I love Abba, and as Abba has told me, I now tell you – keep my commandments. I have another appointment tonight, so let’s make like a tree.’ Q&C
End of Shabbat Bible Study