Friday, February 1, 2019

Portion Mishpatim, Judgments

Justice from Judgment

If men strive and strike a pregnant woman, so that her child comes out, and there is no injury, he shall surely be punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him. And he shall pay as the judges say And if any injury occurs, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exo 21:22-25)

What about the eye for and eye thing in this week's portion ?

Equality under the Torah


Take two people. Bob is an employee, Jack is a billionaire.

Bob has a good steady job, works forty hours a week plus some overtime, and is able to pay bills on time and provide food for the family. He has two strong hands, a strong back, and two good eyes. All helpful in his work.

Jack owns an investment company and works eighty hours a week, his health is good because he works out at his gym regularly. He too has two strong hands, a strong back, and two good eyes.

The Torah says Bob's eye and Jack's eye have the same value. They are of equal worth.

Traditional Rabbinic understanding


An eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth, etc was never meant to be understood literally, but rather that a monetary value should be placed on say, an eye. If someone lost an eye, they could essentially sue for the value placed on an eye, but no more. If Jack lost his eye due to Bob's assault, he could sue Bob for the value of an eye, say one million dollars. Vice versa, if Bob lost an eye due to Jack's assault, Bob could sue Jack for the million.

This Torah judgment set a value on loss. It also limited the value of loss. So, Jack couldn't say that because he makes substantially more money than Bob, he should be entitled to substantially more of a settlement for the loss of his eye than Bob would be. An eye is worth a million, regardless of whose eye.

On the other hand, Bob could not claim that because Jack has substantially more money than he does, Jack should be required to pay substantially more should Bob lose his eye.

Considering the argument


On one side of the equation, the payment of an equal monetary equivalent is sound. Any injured party can expect to receive just compensation for the loss of an eye, and the injured party is not allowed to seek exorbitant compensation above the set value of loss. That makes the wealthy and the worker equal.

But, let's look at the other side of the equation.

If Jack loses an eye at Bob's hand, in order for Bob to pay out the million dollars to Jack, he has to sell his house, borrow all the money he can, go into debt for the next thirty years, and eat beans and rice for every meal. He will be ruined financially and left homeless. He would be extremely careful never to cause another person to lose an eye. (I know, that's why we have insurance, but insurance wasn't around when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt)

On the other hand, if Bob loses an eye at Jack's hand, Jack pays out the million from his checking account, chalks it up to the cost of doing business, and goes merrily about his lifestyle with nothing but a slight tic on his balance sheet. When the next Bob comes along, Jack has no more concern over whether he puts the new Bob in the same situation that caused our Bob to lose his eye. Why should Jack care? He could pay out a million per eye for years before he felt any real impact or had cause for changing his eye damaging practices. 

Real equality


Now imagine if the Torah judgment was literal.

Knowing that should he cause an employees to lose an eye, Jack, regardless of his wealth, would face the penalty of losing one of his own eyes, he would be extremely careful about working conditions that might cause the loss of eyes.

On the other hand, Bob would not be ruined financially, but would lose an eye.

Punishment works, if we work it


In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye says, "very good, that way the whole world would be blind and toothless." I disagree. If each person knew that if they caused the loss of and eye, they would actually lose one of their own eyes, I think we would all be more careful about how we treated each other. Punishment is a deterrent, but only if it is meted out quickly and consistently.

The reason "punishment" is not a very good deterrent today is that we don't apply it consistently or quickly, and what we sentence criminals to isn't really any kind of punishment. Our society has learned that crime does pay, and criminals don't have to pay for committing it.

We need to return to a system where any person who commits a crime, whether causing the loss of an eye as in this judgment, or any of the other Torah instructions, will face quick, balanced, and consistent punishment.

Friday, January 25, 2019

What's up with portion Yitro

Shouldn't this portion be called Esharot ha'devarim?

Going through the portion it's obvious that the highlight is Elohim descending on Mount Sinai and delivering the Ten Words known as the Ten Commandments.

So, what's up with naming the portion after Moses' father-in-law Yitro, Jethro?

Portion naming convention

The standard convention for naming the Torah portion is that the name is found in the first few lines of the portion.

But if the Torah is Elohim's word, why wouldn't He name it something better? The words are from Elohim, the chapters, verses, name of the portion are all done by people. The hope is that those people were inspired who made these insertions into the Scripture, but they are still insertions.

Yitro's Clues

We learn three important aspects about Yitro from the text.
  1. And Yitro the priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moshe, heard all that which Elohim had done for Moshe and for His people Israel, that Yehovah had caused Israel to go out from Egypt. (Exo 18:1)
  2. And Jethro rejoiced regarding all the good which Yehovah had done to Israel whom He had delivered from the hand of Egypt. And Yitro said, Blessed be Yehovah who has delivered you from the hand of Egypt, and from the hand of Pharaoh; He who delivered the people from under the hand of Egypt. (Exo 18:9-10)
  3. Now I know that Yehovah is greater than all the gods; truly, in the way in which He acted proudly against them. (Exo 18:11)
 1) Yitro was a priest of and in Midian and we know that when El first appeared to Moshe He said,
"When you bring out the people from Egypt: You shall serve God on this mountain." (Exo 3:12)
That mountain was in Midian where Yitro's sheep were kept. Israel was camping in Yitro's backyard. Unlike many other tribal leaders, Yitro allowed them to do so. He showed hospitality to the millions of Israelites.

2) In contrast to other leaders, "Yitro rejoiced regarding all the good Yehovah had done..." Other leaders saw the hordes of Israelites as a threat, and were afraid they would eat up all the food and drink all the water.

Yitro heard what happened, and rejoiced. He greeted his son-in-law, the leader of the Israelites and brought Moshe's wife and children to the camp. Yitro even offers sage advice to Moshe on how to deal with the massive numbers of people seeking rulings to help out.

3) Yitro acknowledges, "Now I know that Yehovah is greater than all the gods." This statement reveals that Yitro knew enough about other gods that recognizing what Yehovah had performed in Egypt and beyond Yitro was convinced Yehovah was greater.

Who is greater?

There has been an ongoing contest for millenia over who is greater. We see it in the plagues in Egypt. Yehovah showed that He was mightier than all of the gods of Egypt one by one. That contest continues today.

There is no question in the minds of followers of Messiah that Yehovah who created all things, and by whom all things continue to exist is Supreme. (see Col 1:16) Not everyone believes that though.

The Creator can make the Rules

If Elohim created all things, and all things are His, then He has every right and the responsibility to set down rules. Just as an earthly father sets house rules, so does our Heavenly Father.

Did you ever hear your father or mother say something like, "As long as you live in my house, you will obey my rules!"? I heard it. A parent has the authority to set rules and expect them to be obeyed.  Our Father sets rules and says the same thing. As long as we are in His household, we need to obey His rules.

What's the alternative?

"If you are unwilling to obey my rules, you need to get out of my house." That's not a bad thing when you turn eighteen or twenty, and it's time to leave the nest, but when it is Father Elohim, and He tells you to get out, you're in trouble.

Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness! (Mat 7:21-23)
When Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Php 4:13) those all things includes keeping the commandments, instructions, and feast days of Elohim.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Portion Beshalach (sent away) January 19, 2019


Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, bondage, and servitude. They leave rejoicing. They are escaping from under the lash of their Egyptian taskmasters.

Let My People Go

Sometimes we forget there was more to God's instructions to Pharaoh. It wasn't just "Let my people go," but "Let my people go that they may serve me."

In the Apostolic Writings Paul tells the Corinthians,
"You are bought with a price; don't be the servants of men." (1Co 7:23)
Israel was not freed from slavery, they were bought with a price, and that price was the death of all the firstborn of Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his army and chariots. It was a high price.

The price paid by Egypt had to be high, because it foreshadowed the price that would be paid by Yeshua, a price nobody else could pay.

Sweetened Water

The bitter waters of Marah. It's a redundancy. Marah is Hebrew for bitter. The waters were bitter. What made the waters bitter? It could have been a high salt content, a high mineral content, or the water could have contained a concentration of poison such as the metalloid arsenic.
"And he cried to Yehovah, and Yehovah showed him a tree. And he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. He made a statute and an ordinance for them there, and He tested them there. And He said, 'If you carefully listen to the voice of Yehovah your God, and do what is right in His eyes, and you give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not put on you all the diseases which I have put on Egypt; for I am Yehovah your Healer.'" (Exo 15:25-26)
Drinking bitter water leads to death. That's why sailors can't drink salt water, the salt accumulates in the body and without fresh water to flush it, it becomes toxic. The tree Moses is shown is symbolic of the tree Yeshua was crucified on. That tree took the bitterness of death away from us.
"But now having been set free from sin, and having been enslaved to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord." (Rom 6:22-23)

Hear and Do

Did you notice what Moses told the people?
"If you carefully listen to the voice of Yehovah your God, and do what is right in His eyes, and you give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes..."
They weren't told, "Hey Pharaoh's dead, now you can do whatever you want and live however you want." But that is the message that I hear a lot today. "I don't have to keep those commandments, I'm under grace, not under the law."

That's a deception!

I find it fascinating that the same people who tell me "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," turn around and say "Nobody can keep the law." So, you can do all things, except do what Father tells you to do, through Christ who strengthens you? That doesn't seem right, does it?

It seems to me that if Christ was going to strengthen you to do anything, it would be to do what God our Father tells us to do. After all it was Yeshua who said, "If you love me, keep my commandments," and John,
"By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not heavy." (1Jn 5:2-3)
I encourage you to learn what Father's house rules are as found in the Torah, and keep them. They are not difficult to keep, and He promises blessings for obedience. Just like our earthly dad's often say, "If you live in my house, you obey my rules."

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Torah portion Shemini and Renewing the Fear of God

Torah Portion Shemini; Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47, its accompanying Haftarah 2 Samuel 6:1 - 7:17 and New Testament reading Mark 9:2 - 9:13. As I pondered the connection between the three readings, one feature stood out.

At first I saw that all three contained reference to Yehovah's dwelling among men. With Moses, he dwelt in the tabernacle, although from the text, it is clear that though he dwelt in the temporary structure of the tabernacle His desire is to dwell inside of us.

"These words shall be in your heart." Devarim 6:6.

If the words of Torah are in your heart, and Yeshua is the living Torah, by extension, once the words in your heart take on life by your obedience, Yeshua is in your heart.

The tabernacle was a temporary dwelling. The permanent dwelling is in our hearts.

David's experience in the 2 Samuel Haftarah reveals a problem that we still find. David was troubled that he lived in a house of cedar while Elohim lived in a tent. First problem. Elohim lived in a tent because that is where He told Moses and the Children of Israel the ark was supposed to be housed. Elohim never said He wanted a more permanent structure.

I think David missed the point that the permanent dwelling was to be in the heart.

David looked at the housing situation and came up with a logical, but worldly solution. Build a house as good or better than his own. I think David knew where Elohim wanted to dwell. The Psalms are replete with references to the indwelling of the Word, and the Spirit.

The second message of Shemini, and perhaps even more important is installing the fear of God.

Many modern believers have replaced the fear of God with the love of God. God is love, but He is also a Judge, a Man of War, and a jealous God. All three readings emphasize that the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a fearful God. Nadab and Abihu were consumed for not following Yehovah's instructions. Uzzah was killed because he touched the ark. While Nadab and Abihu's motives are unclear, Uzzah's intent was to keep the ark from falling. Intent didn't matter. Action did. And Uzzah died.

Pater was afraid when he saw Yeshua, Moses and Elijah together.

Fear of God keeps us on the straight path when other motivations fail us. In times of trial and temptation, a healthy fear of what God will do to us for disobedience can keep up from giving in even more than our love for Him.

It is the same type of fear we have for a good earthly father.

It is not that we are constantly fearful of abuse, but that we understand there are rules, and if we break the rules, we will suffer punishment. I think the idea that Christ took our punishment so we are now free to sin as much as we want without any consequences is misplaced. "Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? God forbid."

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:13-23)

The word translated as iniquity is anomia, without law. Yeshua is addressing people who prophesied in his name, cast out devils, and did wonderful works, but they were without law, the Torah. Sounds like a lot of our brothers and sisters who come into covenant with Elohim, and then turn their backs on His instructions in the Torah.

It is time to renew the fear of God among those who have made a covenant with Him. It is for their own good. Fear is a motivator to obedience. Eternal life is a gift, obedience is a way of life, and it takes work. That is why we are cautioned to "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Let’s End the Word of God Famine

I was talking with some fellow searchers after the way of God the other day. We discussed the prophecy that Amos shared that there will come a time when there will be a famine of the word of God. Let’s end it.

“’Behold, the days come,’ says Adonai Yehovah, ‘that I will send a famine in the land. Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yehovah. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east. They shall run to and fro to seek the word of Yehovah, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, ‘your god, O Dan, lives;’ and, ‘the manner of Beersheba lives;’ even they shall fall, and never rise up again.’” (Amos 8:11-14)

(I’m going to discuss the sin of Samaria and the manner of Beersheba next week. For now, let’s talk about the famine of hearing the words of Yehovah.)

The searchers I talked with visited a number of churches all across the nation. (They were following God’s leading, not searching for the word of God) What they saw and heard was that Christian churches from the east coast to the west all have one thing in common; they don’t teach the word of God.

Church pastors teach psychology, motivation, pop culture, and encouragement; but they aren’t teaching the word of God. They sometimes refer to a verse or two from the Tanakh (Hebrew name for the Torah, Prophets and Writings – the Old Testament – what New Testament writers refer to as Scripture) with an isolated quote, but they don’t teach the word. When they do use Scripture, they take it out of context, turn it on its head, and often say it means the opposite of what it originally meant.

It is not a new problem, but it has gained strength and popularity

If the word is light, and the lack of it is darkness, perhaps we are experiencing what Yeshua was talking about when he said,

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5)

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” What about when He isn’t in the world? Like now? David said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105) The word of God – the actual Scriptures – the Torah – is the light we have today. Yeshua is no longer here to instruct us personally, but the Torah is. Since churches no longer teach the Torah, where will you receive the light? Personal study. If you rely on a church, you will have no light and will sit for years, your whole life, in a pew in darkness.

That’s why I write this blog

So you, who are searching can find at least one place to hear the word of God and receive some light. Please don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think I am the only one teaching the word, there just aren’t many of us.

Christian churches recognize something is wrong

Pastors wonder what is wrong. Some say it is because we don’t have the anointing, others that we don’t have the love, others say we are under attack from the enemy.

The real answer is; we can’t see. “Where there is no vision (sight, revelation, oracle, Torah) the people perish: but he that keeps (guards protects, lives) the Torah, happy (blessed) is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)

Churches have abandoned the word, and the people are perishing

Our nation is filled with churches.

If pastors start teaching the Torah, the word of God, we would see a turn around. Instead of just using a verse from Scripture here and there to support what they’re teaching, they need to start teaching the whole word of God from the Torah, in context.

Pastors need to start instructing people to live God’s Torah. Governments or church programs will not solve the problems we face today. We need to teach the Torah, and allow the Holy Spirit through the washing of the water of the word of God forgive our sins and heal our land.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways (repent of sins – sin is transgression of the Torah (1 John 3:4), how can we know what sins we are committing unless we know what the Torah calls sin?); then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

“And (Moses) said to them, ‘Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this Torah. For it (the Torah) is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing (teaching and obeying the Torah) you shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.’” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47)

 Pastors, priests and preachers need to recognize that their childish church doctrines are a manmade gospel. They need to leave them behind and return to God’s instructions, the Torah.


Here you will find meat, not milk. The meat of God’s word, not the milk of manmade philosophies, motivational talk and psychology. Please come back and visit again soon.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Torah Portion Pekudei (Exodus 38:41-40:38)


For all my friends who say that God really doesn’t care what we do once we are saved, I refer you to this portion Pekudei (Exodus 38:51-40:38).

Throughout the portion, the instructions on building and assembling the tabernacle, the mishkan, are intricate and explicit. It is only after all of the instructions are followed, and the mishkan is erected exactly as Yehovah described to Moses that the Spirit of the Holy One descends upon it.

Mishkan come from the Hebrew word shakan, to dwell, or dwelling place. It is related to shekinah, the dwelling of Yah, or Yehovah. When the Holy One descended to dwell in the mishkan, it began to fulfill its purpose. But only after Moses and the workers completed the meticulous instructions for its structure and assembly.

Read the portion. See how many times the portion repeats, “As Yehovah commanded Moses.”

God oversees each point and each process. Moses and the workers faithfully follow every instruction. Details. Details.

The end result?


“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of Yehovah filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of Yehovah filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34-35)

What an awesome blessing for following God’s instructions to the letter.

When I hear people say that they don’t have to do anything except say the sinner’s prayer, and then go live their life however they choose, I think of how specific these instructions are. The New Testament compares the church to the temple. The mishkan is the precursor of the temple, and the intricate building instructions are reflected in the Torah instructions for each person.

God cares how you live, especially if you claim to be in covenant with Him. And He laid out His instructions for living in the Torah.


Your part of the covenant is to keep the Torah. Keep the appointed times that Leviticus chapter 23 says, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of Yehovah, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” (Leviticus 23:2)

Too many good people have been deceived into thinking the Passover, Sabbath, Day of Atonement and God’s other feasts are Jewish. They aren’t. They are “the feasts of Yehovah.” Anyone who chooses to be in covenant with God should be keeping them, honoring them, and observing them.

Details.


Some I have spoken with tell me all the ‘Old Testament’ laws were done away with. Others say all of them except the Ten Commandments are done away with. Jesus, Yeshua, would disagree.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (even all those prophecies concerning His second coming) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19)

When asked what the greatest commandment was, Yeshua said, “You shall love Yehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Both of these two commandments are from the Old Testament, neither of them are from the Ten Commandments. Most people I speak with say these commandments are still in effect. That’s a problem if the laws in the Old Testament were done away with. All of what Yeshua taught came from the Old Testament.

Who is telling you what?


Consider for a moment; between God, and the adversary, which one do you think will tell you to keep God’s instructions? Which one will tell you that you don’t have to? Reminds me of the Garden of Eden.

“And Yehovah Elohim commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shalt not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16-17)

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Yehovah Elohim had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘You shall not surely die: For God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:1-5)


The adversary lies 


The serpent lied, and he mixed the lie with some truth. The end result, Adam and Chava sinned, and brought death into the world.

“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) What is sin?

“Whosoever committs sin transgresses also the law (Torah): for sin is the transgression of the law (Torah).” (1 John 3:4)

So, someone who tells you it is okay to transgress the Torah is convincing you to commit sin, and the wages of sin is death. It’s clear who is going to tell you it’s okay to sin, the adversary, even if he comes disguised as an angel of light.

Know the Truth


It is vital to know what the Scriptures teach, and not trust someone else to tell you what they mean. Read the Scriptures in context, and you will not be deceived easily.




Saturday, March 18, 2017

Torah Portion Ki Tisa Does God Care?


Torah portion Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) is so rich with information, I am going to examine only a few of the insights it provides.

The first is the question, “Does God care what we do?”


When I talk with Christians, they seem to generally believe, no, God does not care what we do. As long as someone says the salvation prayer, they are good to go. After all, didn’t Paul say, “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Peter warned us about Paul’s epistles. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to understand, which they that are unlearned and unstable [in the Torah] wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)

Portion Ki Tissa has a different lesson.


The children of Israel were definitely in a covenant relationship with Elohim (God): They had a promise Elohim gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that their descendants would inherit the land of Judea. Elohim promised them, “I will rescue you, I will take you out… and I will take you to myself…. I will be to you Elohim, and you will be my people.”

And then Moses tarried on Mount Sinai. He was gone for over a month. The people confronted Aaron and told him to make them a golden calf. While Moses was up on the mountain, Elohim said, “The people have corrupted themselves, I will destroy them.” Moses pleaded with Elohim not to destroy them, and gave logical arguments why He should spare them. Elohim agreed not to destroy the people.

Of course, at the time Moses was making his pleas, he had no idea what the people were up to.

When Moses came down the mountain and saw the calf and the people worshiping it, I think he changed his mind. He broke the tablets with the commandments on them, destroyed the calf, sprinkled the gold onto the water and made the people drink it.

Moses showed the people he was really mad. Calf destroyed. The people punished. Good enough?

Not quite.

He called the faithful, “‘Who is on Yehovah’s side? Let him come to me.’ And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, “Thus says the Yehovah Elohim of Israel; ‘Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” (Exo 32:25-28)

It wasn’t just a tongue lashing from Moses the people received. About three thousand died.

Why?

The people who were in covenant with Elohim disobeyed Him and worshipped a calf. It seems to me Elohim takes things like that very seriously.


Yet today, people who have made a covenant with God turn their backs on His commandments and instructions. “All we have to do is love our neighbors,” I hear them say. Not quite, I think. Love your neighbor is the second commandment.

The first, and greatest, is “Love Yehovah your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

What did Elohim say in the Torah? “Those who love me and keep my commandments.” How do we know if we love Him? If we keep his commandments.

Yeshua said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” He also said, “Who are my mother and my brothers and sisters? Those who hear the word of God and do it.”

“Yeah, but all those Old Testament commandments were for the Jews,” I hear too many say. I think they have never actually listened to the words of the Torah.


“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: [whose Sabbaths? Israel’s? No, Yehovah’s] for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yehovah that sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to Yehovah: [holy to whom? Israel? The people? No. To Yehovah] whoever does work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Yehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.’” Exo 31:14-17

“Why are we supposed to keep it today? We are not the children of Israel,” I can hear my Christian friends say.

Because those in covenant with Elohim are called the children of Israel.


“And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, [the children of Israel] and with them partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, you bear not the root, but the root you… if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not you. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if [big if] you continue in his goodness: [obedience to His commandments] otherwise you also shall be cut off…” (see Romans 11:17-28)

When anyone comes into covenant with Elohim, such as saying, ‘the sinner’s prayer,’ they are grafted in to the house of Israel.

What then?

If they continue in sin, they will be cut off. What is sin?


“And every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the Torah: for sin is the transgression of the Torah.” (1 John 3:3-4)

Note: John advises every person to purify himself. How? By obedience to the Torah. God still cares what we do, and how we do it. He loves those who are obedient to His instructions.

I’ve talked too long. May your week be filled with the presence of the Spirit of the Holy One.