Category: Bible STudy

Are You Peculiar?

Abraham, and his nephew, Lot, had huge herds. Water & grazing were limited and it became impossible to stay together. Their herdsmen constantly quarreled. Abraham was Lot’s senior – clearly in a position of authority over Lot. He could have sent him back to Haran, or assigned him to any scrap of ground he chose. Instead, Abraham elected to give Lot the first choice of territory and to be content with whatever remained. What kind of a person would do that? Would you? Here’s what Rav Shaul said: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Phil 2:3–4) By giving Lot the first choice of the land, Abraham showed the spirit of humility that Yeshua described. To Abraham, preserving peace between family was more important than success or prestige. Predictably, Lot chose the best land for himself. Lot was not wicked. He was a normal sort of person, self-serving and looking out for his own interests. Abraham was not normal. Are you normal – or are you peculiar? Which one SHOULD we be?

Inspired by FFOZ – Lech Lecha Torah Parasha

Shalom, Sharaka

Red Heifer

B’Midbar/Numbers 19:1- 4:

A red heifer was to be slaughtered and burned outside the camp and the ashes, mixed with water, were to be used for purification. The Red Heifer was burnt on a pyre, together with crimson dyed wool, hyssop, and cedar wood. (In recent years, the site of the burning of the Red Heifer on the Mount of Olives has been tentatively located by archaeologist Yonatan Adler.) It is now believed by many scholars that it was the site of the crucifixion. From there one could see through the Eastern Gate into the Temple.

A heifer is a female, showing, I believe, that G-d has both male and female characteristics. It’s not always a male that is to be chosen. I believe when G-d made Adam, he held ALL of G-d’s likeness and when He made Chavah from Adam, He put his female characteristics into Chavah (Eve). Neither is better – they are just different – each complimenting the other. Together, they make a ‘whole’. This is not to say a single person cannot be whole by him/herself. Having G-d – a person needs nothing else.

This heifer, a female under the age of three, never having been bred, never having worked or having any more than three white hairs and no blemishes of any kind, was to purify various things. It is said there have been only nine recorded and Y’shua was to be the 10th. She was to be red – the color of blood.

“The sacrifice of a flawless Red heifer is necessary to ensure
appropriate construction of the Temple.

From Dr. Gary Collett, Apocalyptic Biblical Scholar
( http://www.haydid.org/redcow.htm ):

“The significance for us is in regard to the rebuilding of the Temple.
The Temple Mount has been trodden down by Gentiles for nearly 2000
years. The Temple was destroyed after it was defiled by Titus and has
laid waste until covered over by Islam. Before a Temple can be
rebuilt, the site must be cleansed. Before animal sacrifice can be
reinstated, the site and stone altar (of course an altar must be
constructed first) must be cleansed.”

The Red Heifer is to be sacrificed (Numbers 19:1-22 gives very
detailed instructions as to how) and burned. The ashes will be used
to purify the temple site to ensure that it will be worthy of the
Messiah.”

March 7, 2010 = “Rabbi Chaim Richman has announced on a radio show that there is at least one kosher red heifer alive and well in Israel. This is a very momentous announcement.

This is very significant from a prophetic and Jewish perspective as the ashes from a red heifer are required for purification and a requirement for the future Temple. Here is a quote from the website, “The Temple Institute”, (you can find it here.. http://www.templeinstitute.org/red_heifer/introduction.htm ) “For G-d has ordained that its ashes alone are the single missing ingredient for the reinstatement of Biblical purity – and thereafter, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. ”

With the recent completion of the sacrificial altar, and with the announcement from the Sanhedrin inviting the world to participate in the Korban Pesach sacrifice this Passover season, and now with the arrival of the red heifer you have to wonder if the time of our Savior’s return is near.”

Vs. 5:
Every part of the whole heifer was to be burned (used). G-d needs everything – every one of us – “the good, the bad and the ugly.” He uses it ALL!

Vs. 6:
The priest was also to use “cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet (wool).
Cedar, from Lebanon was very highly prized in ancient times. It grows in Lebanon to be 130’ tall and over 8’ around. It grows best at an altitude of between 3300 and 6500 feet. Up high where it is away from the dust and the quagmires. (Where did that come from? lol) I guess I am thinking “look to the mountains from whence cometh thy help.” Up above the common, up where refreshing breezes blow, where you can see with a clear eye, miles and miles of G-d’s precious land. (I was born in the Rockies and I love the mountains).
Anyway, cedar is a special wood. Egyptians used its resin in the making of a mummy.
Hebrews used it during circumcision and for leprosy. It is mentioned 75 times in the Bible. However, Isaiah used the cedar as a metaphor for pride. Few of the old cedars are left in Lebanon, but efforts are underway to replant and conserve them today. The cedar is the national symbol of Lebanon and is in the center of its flag.

Cedar oil is used as an insect repellant – did your mother have a cedar chest? It is said to be a soothing, comforting oil often used in aromatherapy. It calms nervous tension, relaxes muscles and just makes you feel good. G-d knew what He was doing when He chose the cedar to burn with the red heifer. He also used hyssop. This ancient/modern day herb grows about 2’ tall and spreads about a foot around. It has purple/blue flowers, smells like mint, looks like catnip and is used as a cleaning agent because of its anti-fungal and detergent qualities. I can see why G-d chose it, too!

The last thing mentioned is scarlet (wool). The dye was extracted from the dried body of of the insect coccus ilicis; qirmiz (or kermes). It was very, very expensive. It is said scarlet is the color of arterial blood – that which is fresh from the heart. Wool comes from the sheep and who is the Lamb of G-d? If we just ask the Lord, He will show us so many, many things from His Word, from His creation and from His heart.

We were told to use a perfect red heifer, cedar, hyssop and scarlet wool in the purification
process. Now, what else can we learn?

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

The Seventh Day:

All Scriptures are from KJV or NKJV

Please read and consider – which day does G-d call “the Sabbath”? Which day should we honor as He asked us to?
selah

B’reshit 2:2&3
G-d stopped His work of creation and rested. He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it
sanctify = (v.) To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.
(v.) To make holy; purify.
(v.) To give religious sanction to, as with an oath or vow: sanctify …set it apart from all other days.

Exodus 16:30
So the people rested on the seventh day. The people rested on the seventh day…
(they had been given the Sabbath since Creation)
Exodus 20:10
But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:11
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the
seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Exodus 23:12
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
Exodus 31:17
It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Exodus 34:21
Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in plowing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
Exodus 35:2
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

Leviticus 23:3
Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
convocation = con`vo`ca´tion 1. The act of calling or assembling by summons.
2. An assembly or meeting.
Leviticus 23:8
But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (After the cross – the sacrificial laws are no longer valid)

More on the Sabbath

Numbers 28:9
[ Sabbath Offerings ] ‘And on the Sabbath day two lambs in their first year, without blemish, and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour as a grain offering, mixed with oil, with its drink offering—
Numbers 28:10
this is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, besides the regular burnt offering with its drink offering.

Deuteronomy 5:12
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
Deuteronomy 5:15
And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

2 Kings 4:23
So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.”
2 Kings 11:5
Then he commanded them, saying, “This is what you shall do: One-third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath shall be keeping watch over the king’s house,
2 Kings 11:7
The two contingents of you who go off duty on the Sabbath shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD for the king.
2 Kings 11:9
So the captains of the hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each of them took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.

1 Chronicles 9:32
And some of their brethren of the sons of the Kohathites were in charge of preparing the showbread for every Sabbath.

2 Chronicles 23:4
This is what you shall do: One-third of you entering on the Sabbath, of the priests and the Levites, shall be keeping watch over the doors;
2 Chronicles 23:8
So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. And each man took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed the divisions.
2 Chronicles 36:21
to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

Nehemiah 9:14
You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant.
Nehemiah 10:31
if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt.
Nehemiah 13:15
In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.
Nehemiah 13:16
Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the
Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 13:17
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?
Nehemiah 13:18
Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
Nehemiah 13:19
So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.
Nehemiah 13:21
Then I warned them, and said to them, “Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!” From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.
Nehemiah 13:22
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!

Psalm 92:1
[ A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day. ] It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

Isaiah 56:2
Blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Isaiah 56:6
“ Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants— Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant—
Isaiah 58:13
“ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
Isaiah 66:23
And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

Jeremiah 17:19
[ Hallow the Sabbath Day ] Thus the LORD said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
Jeremiah 17:21
Thus says the LORD: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
Jeremiah 17:22
nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
Jeremiah 17:24
“And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the LORD, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it,
Jeremiah 17:27
“But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.”

Lamentations 2:6
He has done violence to His tabernacle, As if it were a garden; He has destroyed His place of assembly; The LORD has caused The appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion. In His burning indignation He has spurned the king and the priest.

Ezekiel 20:12
Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
Ezekiel 20:13
Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.
Ezekiel 20:16
because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.
Ezekiel 20:20
hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’
Ezekiel 20:21
“Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; but they profaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:24
because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, profaned My
Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.
Ezekiel 22:8
You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 22:26
Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them
Ezekiel 23:38
Moreover they have done this to Me: They have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and profaned My Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 44:24
In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 45:17
Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.”
Ezekiel 46:1
[ The Manner of Worship ] ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.
Ezekiel 46:3
Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the LORD on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.
Ezekiel 46:4
The burnt offering that the prince offers to the LORD on the Sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish;
Ezekiel 46:12
“Now when the prince makes a voluntary burnt offering or voluntary peace offering to the LORD, the gate that faces toward the east shall then be opened for him; and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.

Hosea 2:11
I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths— All her appointed feasts.

Amos 8:5
Saying: “ When will the New Moon be past, That we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, That we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, falsifying the scales by deceit,

Matthew 12:1
[ Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath ] At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
Matthew 12:2
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”
Matthew 12:5
Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
Matthew 12:10
And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.
Matthew 12:11
Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?
Matthew 12:12
Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Matthew 24:20
And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
Matthew 28:1
[ He Is Risen ] Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

Mark 1:21
Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
Mark 1:32
[ Many Healed After Sabbath Sunset ] At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
Mark 2:23
Now it happened that He went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.
Mark 2:24
And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
Mark 2:27
And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Mark 2:28
Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Mark 3:2
So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
Mark 3:4
Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
Mark 6:2
And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!
Mark 15:42
Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
Mark 16:1
[ He Is Risen ] Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

Luke 4:16
[ Jesus Rejected at Nazareth ] So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luke 4:31
[ Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit ] Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.
Luke 4:40
[Many Healed After Sabbath Sunset ] When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. (This was a home Havdalah service)
Luke 6:1
Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands.
Luke 6:2
And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the
Sabbath?”
Luke 6:5
And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Luke 6:6
Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered.
Luke 6:7
So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.
Luke 6:9
Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?”
Luke 13:10
Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Luke 13:14
But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the
Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”
Luke 13:15
The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?
Luke 13:16
So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”
Luke 14:1
Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.
Luke 14:3
And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the
Sabbath?”
Luke 14:5
Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”
Luke 23:54
That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. (We must prepare on Friday)
Luke 23:56
Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

John 5:9
And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the
Sabbath.

John 5:10
The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
John 5:16
[ Honor the Father and the Son ] For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
John 5:18
Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
John 7:22
Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
John 7:23
If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
John 9:14
Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
John 9:16
Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
John 19:31
Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Acts 1:12
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called
Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.
Acts 13:14
But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.
Acts 13:27
For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.
Acts 13:42
So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
Acts 13:44
On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
Acts 15:21
For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
Acts 16:13
And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
Acts 17:2
Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 18:4
And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Colossians 2:16
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths,
(If a pagan comes up to you and laughs because you keep these days, don’t let it get to you.)

These verses come, some from the KJV, but mostly from the New King James Version (NKJV)
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

See you next time!                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shalom – Sharaka

Breshit 1 – Genesis 1

Starting ‘the New Year” (on the Jewish calendar) with the first book of the Torah (Bible). Here are a few thoughts from the first chapter of Breshit (say Bray-sheet):  (from the NKJV)

1. “In the beginning God created…”
It is G-d, always G-d. He is the beginning, the center, and the ending of everything.

2. “The earth was without form and void…”   (void =  not occupied, vacant, not inhabited, deserted) The earth was a big ball of mud. G-d doesn’t create ‘junk’, leading me to believe the condition of the earth at that time was the result of a disaster – perhaps a destroyed earlier creation? G-d was doing a ‘make-over’.  Many scholars subscribe to the “gap theory” – an extended period of time between the first and second verses, therefore giving credibility to the ‘millions of years’ talk.

Day One:
3. “…God said, “Let there be ‘light’, and there was light.”   What was that light? Did you ever wonder about that?  God hadn’t yet created the sun or the moon – so what light? G-d IS light, so His light was already present. What light appeared when He spoke it into existence? “The evening and the morning were the first day.”  Notice the first day started in the evening or at sundown. Man later changed the new day to begin at midnight!  We always know so much better than G-d, right?   Not!

Day Two:
6. “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (firmament =  the expanse of space that seems to be over the earth like a dome – or the heavens) I understand there are three ‘heavens’. The first ‘heaven’ – expanse above the earth filled with air. The second heaven, which is where the sun, moon, stars and planets are and the third heaven which is
G-d’s home. I believe we are talking about the first heaven here. G-d says He divided the firmament (first heaven) with a water barrier. At that time there was a band of waters above the earth. I also believe that the water acted as a ‘greenhouse’ effect upon the earth. There were no seasons, no polar ice, and we had protection from the sun’s harmful rays. At the time of the flood, that overhead band of water was released onto the earth, which tipped slightly, and everything changed into how we know the earth to be today.

Day Three:

9. “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place, and let dry land appear… let the earth bring forth grass, the herb…….. and the fruit tree……..”  This is the day G-d caused the land to produce vegetation. But remember – there was no sun to make things grow. Makes me realize G-d really did His creative works in six real 24 hour days.

Day Four:
14.  “Let there be lights in the …… heavens ……. and let them be for signs and seasons…….. and to give light on the earth. …….He made the stars also.”  The heavenly bodies are for light and we understand that.  But for “signs and for seasons”?  What signs? What seasons? We need to search this out and try to understand what He meant. The Book of Revelation speaks of “the moon turning into blood” Some have said that means the moon will be inhabited and there will be bloody wars up there, some say horrific modern pollution will cause the atmospheric conditions to show the moon to look red. We have seen red moons and they usually seem to be ’a bad sign’.  Requires more study, Huh?

Day Five:
20. “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth …….”  So G-d created all the fish and sea creatures and all the birds that fly. Think ahead to the Flood in the time of Noah. Who died? All humans but eight, all animals and birds save two of the unclean ones and seven of the clean ones. Evidently this destruction did not apply to anything that lived in the sea. Noah took no sea creatures into the ark. There are so many myriads of sea creatures and more are being discovered every year.  Nothing was lost of them in the flood while only a few animals and birds escaped. Take dogs for instance. How many breeds of dogs are there in existence today? From Chihuahuas to Saint Bernards. They weren’t all on the ark! No, there was only one pair and from these two all other breeds “evolved”. This is the only kind of evolution I believe in. A dog is a dog – great or small, snub nose or long nose, short hair or long, 3 pounds or 200 pounds. They are all dogs and they all came from just the first two after the Flood. All animals are identifiable in their species, dogs, cats or whatever.  There has never been a fossil found that is half dog and half cat, etc. Each is fully preserved in it’s own species.

Day Six:
24. “Let the earth bring forth …… cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to it’s kind.”
26. Then God said, ‘Let Us make Man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over ……. all the earth……..’
27. “………male and female He created them.”
28. “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”   G-d called upon all creation to reproduce itself. He gave mankind the job of caring for His creation. ‘Having dominion over’ does not mean rule with an iron hand or be tyrannical in our actions. G-d is love and He deals with His creation in a tender, loving way. He expects us to do what is necessary to keep the earth and it’s creatures in good form. Yes, we are superior to all other creatures but that does not give us the right to be unfair or unkind. We are to be careful with our environment and use it in the best way possible but it does not mean we are to ‘worship’ it. I believe the environmentalists have gone too far. Moderation and common sense go a long ways! Let’s pattern ourselves after the Ruler of the universe and treat our world and what’s in it the way He would.

29. And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
30. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”;  In the beginning, all creatures were vegetarians. There was no death – nothing was killed for food – either by man or animal. Man was not given permission to eat flesh until after the flood. Man was told in the New Testament to not abstain from the eating of meat as some taught. I believe one day we will all be vegetarians again!

31. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  There you have the six days of creation. Have you ever memorized them?
It’s time to do that now.

1. LIGHT
2. FIRST HEAVEN
3. LAND, VEGETATION
4. SECOND HEAVEN WITH SUN, MOON AND STARS
5. SEA CREATURES, BIRDS
6. BEASTS, BUGS AND HUMANS

See you next time,

Shalom,  Sharaka

Happy New Year!

Today is the 4th of Nissan on G-d’s calendar. The calendar we all use is called the Gregorian calendar and was put together under Pope Gregory XIII. The Wikipedia Encyclopedia on Google says, “The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today………. decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it was named, on 24 February 1582. So it can be properly called a Catholic calendar. They say the new year begins in January. G-d says it begins in the spring on the 1st of Nissan. (Sometimes March – sometimes April)
Kevin Geoffrey, a Messianic Believer, says below “we lonely few” … Isn’t that so true? The Jews on one hand don’t accept Y’shua as the Messiah, the Christians, who do accept Him, totally reject Torah (the so called “Old Testament”) as relevant in our day. We Messianics, who believe both, are not accepted by either! That surely does make us “the lonely few”.
According to the Bible, the new month started last Sunday. Each month on G-d’s calendar begins on the new moon. I am including Kevin’s short e-mail message to me. Hope you enjoy it. FYI = Adonai means Lord and is used for God’s name.
Shalom and Blessings!

And Happy New Year, too!

Yes, the new year of Israel’s calendar has begun, and as usual, our people have no idea. Sadly, as far as the Jewish people are concerned, the new year doesn’t begin for another six months, on the first day of the seventh month, known as “Rosh HaShanah.” And so, in the quiet company of the Scriptures, we lonely few celebrate the new year Adonai actually instructed Israel to observe.

In Exodus 12:1-2 and 23:15b, the Torah teaches us, “Now Adonai said to Moshe… ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you…. the month of Aviv, for in it you came out of Egypt.’” So where did Israel get the idea to celebrate the new year at some other time? By whose authority was Israel’s calendar “changed”?

As we prepare our hearts to begin again the calendar Adonai gave to Israel, my thoughts turn to my people, and I ask, “How can they ever be reached?” If their eyes are blind to the simple teachings of Scripture, how can they ever be opened to the truth of Messiah?

In this new year season and the forthcoming season of Passover, let us renew our dedication to Adonai—to live completely and utterly “sold-out” to Him. Only when we sell ourselves out to God and follow wholeheartedly in the ways of the Master will we be able to reach our Jewish people… indeed, the ends of the earth! As long as we are wishy-washy on the Scriptures and convictionless with how we mix ourselves up with the world, we fail in our calling as disciples of Messiah. Now is the time to stand in the authority given to us by the Master, and fully embrace our identity in Messiah every moment of our lives.

Let us begin by forsaking our own lives, dying to self and giving ourselves to Him, then making this resolution new once again: “With Messiah I have been crucified, and no more do I live, but Messiah lives in me…” (Gal.2:20)

In the Master’s service,

Kevin Geoffrey
President and Founder
Perfect Word Ministries

See you next time,

Shalom, Sharaka

Do the Math!

The Bible says, “Come let us reason together.”  So let’s do that.

We know Y’shua (Jesus) wasn’t in the tomb on Sunday morning. But when did He die?

The church believes Y’shua (Jesus) was crucified on a Friday. They get this from John 19:31 where it is mentioned they wanted to remove Y’shua’s body before the Sabbath. The church assumes the Bible means the weekly Sabbath (Shabbat/Saturday).  The Bible states:  “31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day),……….”   I believe what the Bible says, not what somebody made up.

Y’shua was crucified on Passover, which had to have been on a Wednesday that year. The Roman Church under Constantine, degreed the first Sunday after the first full moon after the 21st of March, which is the Spring equinox is “Easter”.  This is the English name of “Ishtar”, the Babylonian goddess of fertility. That’s why there are eggs and bunnies – symbols of fertility. The Roman holiday of Ishtar has what to do with Y’shua’s death and resurrection?  The Bible plainly tells us exactly when Passover is and three days later came the Resurrection?  Mark 14:16-17 tells us: “16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 In the evening He came with the twelve.”   After the Seder (the Passover meal) was eaten, Y’shua went to the Garden with His disciples and there was betrayed by Judas. He was taken, beaten, sent to a mock trial, condemned to die, put on the cross, died, was buried – all in the same 24 hours.

He had to be taken down from the cross before sunset that night because the day after Passover is a high Sabbath. It is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Every holy day, each day that G-d calls a Sabbath, is a high Sabbath – and not the weekly or seventh day Sabbath. See Leviticus 23 for all the Holy Days. G-d’s days – Biblical days – begin, not at midnight, but at sunset. Genesis 1:5 says: “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

Y’shua was hurriedly placed in the tomb just minutes before sunset. If He died at 3 PM, and they had to go “beg the body” from Pilot, get it to the tomb, wrap it in strips of linen with 75-100 pounds of myrrh and aloes first (see John 19:39-40) it would have been a race with the sun to get Him into the tomb by sunset. Mark 15:33-37 states: “33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. …… 37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.”  The ninth hour is 3 PM. Wednesday ended at sunset. Thursday began at sunset. Y’shua said He would be in the grave three nights and three days. Thursday would be the first night and day that He spent in the tomb. Friday would be the second night and day. Saturday would be the third night and day. Just minutes before sunset on Saturday (Shabbat) would be the full three nights and three days!  That’s when He said He would rise from the grave. And he did!   Do the math…     If He didn’t do what He said – He would be a liar. I don’t think so. Do the math…

How can you get three nights and three days from Friday to Sunday?  It ain’t ever gonna happen!
Just do the math.

See you next time,                                                                                                                                                                             Shalom, Sharaka

Bible Translations

from my Yeshiva Class – November 22, 1997

“For the past several centuries English-speaking peoples have cherished the King James Version of the Bible. This love does not come from a desire to preserve a tradition for tradition’s sake. Rather, the opposite is true: the King James Version, hereafter called “the KJV” has become a tradition because it is loved for its scholarship, literacy and devotional quality.” This paragraph was taken from the forward of my Bible and I believe it is true. I would like to present a short history of the KJV and you will learn why it is so loved.

In the summer of 1603, when King James was on his way to London to receive the English crown, he was presented with a petition of grievances by clergy holding Puritan convictions. A conference was called for and held for three days, January 14 – 16, 1604. It was held to determine “things pretended to be amiss in the church” and was known as the Hampton Court Conference. It was decided there that a new translation of the Bible be undertaken. Fifty-four of the best biblical scholars in Great Britain were brought together for this great task, divided into six groups. It took seven years to complete.

The result of this action was an English translation which bore the title, “ The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New, Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former translations diligently compared and revised: by his Majesties speciall Comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches. Imprinted in London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most excellent Majestie. Anno Dom. 1611”

The KJV Bible we now read is the fifth major revision of this work. Others being prepared in 1629, 1638, 1762 and 1769. There have since been many translations from many different doctrinal groups – each biased in their own way. Rev. D.A. Waite, B.A., M.A., Th.D, Ph.D and Director of “The Bible for Today” since 1971, has written over 700 other studies, booklets, cassettes and videos on this and other topics. He feels so strongly about this that he has made the defense of the KJV his life’s work. One of his books, a 306 page work called, “Defending the King James Bible” is quoted often in this page. It is his hope that we will examine what we find here, keep an open mind and encourage others to do the same. This is also my hope – with the addition of letting the Holy Spirit lead us into the truth of this matter. If we are not to “omit, add or change” God’s word how do we deal with the subject of all these different translations? We can only believe, God in His infinite wisdom, has allowed the core of truth to be preserved and handed down to us in our day.

To keep what could be a long boring discourse on this subject, I have tried to pare it down to these two pages with the hope that you (and I) will gain a little knowledge and a desire to find out more. Some will – some won’t. But that’s just the way it is! Now, to the meat of the matter:

The Old Testament -

The Hebrew Bible has come down to us through the scrupulous care of the scribes, (soferim) who copied the original text. We learned about how they entered the mikveh before each day’s work, used a special pen for writing only the name of God, etc. etc. Each line was counted, each letter was counted. The utmost care was taken to preserve the EXACT word of God. By the sixth century AD the scribes were succeeded by a group called the Masoretes, (coming from the Hebrew word masor, meaning traditional in Hebrew) who continued to preserve the sacred scriptures for another 500 years in a form known as the Masoretic Text.

Another group of some 70 scholars translated the Scriptures into Greek as the common language of the day was Greek and all the Jews spoke it fluently. This became known as the Septuagint (meaning 70). Now we have our precious Hebrew put into Greek – the bad guys who tried to turn Israel into a Greek colony and forbade the use of the Hebrew tongue as in Antiachus Epiphanes! How will this help us understand God’s word better? It would seem the Masoretic Text would be the best. Another translation is the Biblia Hebraica, 1937 edition. There are over 20,000 changes from the Masoretic Text in this translation. How can this be? What happened to “count the words and the letters” etc? What happened to “not one jot or tittle” shall be changed? Which translations of the Bible can we believe?

Let the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) be your guide!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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The Apocrypha

Most people have heard of the Apocrypha, but few understand what it really is. Webster says, “A group of 14 books, …… included in the Septuagint (Jewish) and Vulgate (Catholic) in the Old Testament, but not by most Protestants.” Apocrypha literally means of doubtful authorship and/or authenticity.

These are small books and well worth reading but not to be equated with Scripture.

They are:

I Esdras = corresponding to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah

II Esdras = see above

Tobit = the story of a devout Jew (Tobias)

Judith = A pious Jewess who cut off the head of the enemy army as he slept, to save her town.

The rest of Esther = More about the story of Esther

The Wisdom of Solomon = more from Solomon

Ecclesiasticus = Also called Wisdom of Jesus

Baruch, with the Epistle of Jeremiah = written by a friend of Jeremiah

The Song of the Three Holy Children = included as part of Daniel 3 in the Catholic Bible

The History of Susanna = During the time of Daniel

Bel and the Dragon – included as chapter 14 of Daniel in the Catholic Bible

The Prayer of Manasses = when King Manasses (of Judah) while being held captive in Babylon

I Maccabees = history of Chanukah
II Maccabees = see above

The two books of Maccabees are the most well read and contain the history of Chanukah during the 400 year period between the Old and New Testaments.

So now you know the rest of the story!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua con’t…. Part XIII

To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st and then every highlighted day on the March calendar. Today marks the final chapter!

Chapter 24

The History of the Children of Israel
Y’hoshua recalled the history of his people. Abraham – Abram at the time – was the first one to “cross over” the river “Eber”, on their way to the Promised Land. Therefore, Abraham became the first Hebrew.
Ya’acov (Jacob) became the first Israelite and Yhudah (Judah, son of Jacob) was the first Jew. I know this is technical information – but it is true! The Brit Chadasha (New Testament) speaks of “the Jews” because they were mainly the only ones left in the land. Today, all Hebrews/Israelites are all lumped together as “Jews”. Every Jew is a Hebrew – but not every Hebrew is a Jew.

Y’hoshua had an excellent memory. Truth was passed from father to son and great care was taken to keep it all accurate. G-d was always there for His people – and He will always be there for YOU. He gives us choices and when we make the right ones – we thrive and survive. When we rebel and act up against Him – we pay! It’s not worth it. One generation tries to tell their children how to live and do they listen and obey? No! They have to make all the same mistakes and receive all their bumps. All we can do is pray for our children, live a good example before them and trust G-d to pull them through. We wish we could spare them the pain that we went through but it is not possible. Each generation must face the battle and win or lose according to their faith and obedience to G-d.

Here is a great “speech” from the Lord that Y’hoshua passed on at Shechem:
“I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil for you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…… But as for me and my house – we will serve the Lord.”

G-d created Adam and Chavah (Eve) with a free will. He wanted them to have the choice of obeying Him or listening to hasatan (the devil). He could have created puppets or robots to do His will and love only Him, but that isn’t love! You can’t force that. It is freely given or withheld. It’s a choice. He wanted humans to have a choice and He wanted them to choose Him. We have always had choices —– and usually we have chosen wrong! He created us to be His friends – His children. He wants all of us – freely given. After all He has done for us, is that too much to ask?

The children of Israel that day at Shechem promised faithfully to serve the Lord and Him only. Y’hoshua warned them they would be severely punished if they broke their word – which, of course they did. How like them we all are! Y’hoshua made a covenant with the people and erected a huge stone as a witness and a memorial to that fact. The people then returned to their homes all over the land.

The bones of Yosef (Joseph) that were carried out of Egypt were buried in Shechem. Eleazar, the son of Aaron died and was also buried in the lands of Ephraim.

Y’hoshua died at 110 and was buried on his land, on the north side of Mt. Gaash. The people served G-d all the days of Y’hoshua’s life. This goes to show the people follow their pastors, their leaders. A Congregation is only as good as it’s pastor. A country is only as good as it’s leaders. And so ends the history of Y’hoshua, the namesake of the Son of G-d.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua con’t…. Part XII

To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st and then every highlighted day on the March calendar.

Chapter 21 b

When these two and a half tribes reached the Jordan River, they erected a great impressive altar on the west side. When the rest of Israel heard this, they were shocked and appalled…. And prepared to go to war against them. They sent The priest’s son and ten rulers from the tribes to find out what was going on. It’s still good to “count to ten” and get to the bottom of a problem before you start getting radical about it! Many of us “shoot and ask questions later..”

The “Western group” accused them of treachery and rebellion against G-d. They felt G-d would be angry with the whole Congregation for them doing such a thing. They offered them other lands if their first choice was “unclean” and reminded them of Achan’s sin and how they had all suffered because of it.

The “Eastern group” accepted them and gently provided an answer. They said because of the River, the main Congregation might feel, in years to come, that the “eastern’ group were so detached from them that they would no longer recognize them as brethren. They built the altar, not for sacrifice or burnt offerings but as a memorial and a witness to their relationship. They promised they meant no harm or disrespect to G-d or to the rest of Israel.

What a relief! Everybody went home happy and they called the altar “Witness” “for it is a witness between us that the Lord is G-d!”

Chapter 22

Many years later, after there had been peace in the land, Y’hoshua called for all Israel to come and gave them this message. He said he was “old, and advanced in age.” He reminded them of all that had happened and admonished them to be ’very courageous’ and to keep doing all of the Lord’s commandments. He warned them not to mingle with the nations around them, intermarry with them or even speak the name of their gods. He told them how G-d was with them and fought for them and how one man could chase a thousand – with G-d at his side.

He wanted them to be a living “Shema”, loving G-d with all their hearts and souls and strength. He continued reminding them that their future was with the Lord and only sorrow and everlasting shame would be theirs should they turn away from the Lord G-d of Israel. How sad that in these last days maybe 80% of Israel is secular and not following the Lord. We see the words of Y’hoshua are coming to pass. There may soon be a Palestinian State and that will surely signal the beginning of the end…. We must pray for the peace of Israel and do all we can to convince our leaders that our survival depends on our treatment of Israel. Will we be cursed or blessed? It all depends on how we treat His land and His people. Scripture tells us that one day Israel will stand alone against the world. That saddens me. Would that America stand with Israel and continue to be a great and strong Nation. G-d help us!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua con’t…. Part XI

Y’hoshua con’t…. Part XI
To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st and then every highlighted day on the March calendar.

Chapter 20

Cities of Refuge
The Lord spoke to Y’hoshua and told him to appoint “six cities of refuge” for the children of Israel and for the gerim among them. A ger (say gare) is one who lives among the Israelis and stands with them. One might say they are adopted in. I am a ger, and proud to be one! The people leaving Egypt during the time of the exodus were called a “mixed multitude”. There were many, many non-Jews among them who were accepted and adopted into the various tribes. They received land right along with the Israelis. Same rules applied for all.

There were three cities on the west side of the Jordan River and three on the east side. They were pretty well spaced to allow access to all the people. The purpose for these cities was this: If an Israeli accidentally killed another Israeli without meaning to they could flee to the nearest city of refuge and be safe from the family of the victim. In those days, if someone was murdered, the family had the right to go after them and kill them. There was no long court battle, no endless amount of attorney’s fees and no super long delays for those on “death row”. Plain and simple – if you murdered someone, your life was taken immediately. When you arrived in one of these cities, you went to the gate and declared your innocence to the elders of the city. There was, of course, no radio, no TV, and no newspapers. The city gate was the place where people went to “catch the news”. Important men of the city gathered there to decide matters, hear the latest, and be seen by the inhabitants and travelers coming and going. The refugee was given a place to live and I would suppose, employment of some kind. Then he went before the Congregation to be examined. If you were found innocent, you had to stay inside that city until the death of the Cohen HaGadol (high priest). After that he could safely return to his own city and take up his life without fear of retaliation.

Chapter 21

The Levites were given 48 cities and their common lands. Many of them were also cities of refuge. The land was thus divided and Israel was able to rest. None of their enemies stood against them and everything happened just as G-d said it would. It was a good time for the Israelites.

Chapter 22

The two tribes and the half tribe which were granted land on the east of the Jordan had been requested to leave their families on their new lands and the warriors were to do battle along side the rest of the nation until all had received their portion. This was now accomplished. Y’hoshua commended them for their good work and sent them home to their families. He sent them with his blessing as these words – which are apropos for us today. I think this verse would be a good one to memorize and live by!

Joshua 22:5: But take diligent heed to do the commandment which Moses, the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your G-d, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and soul.

If we do this, we will be doing well!

See you next time …
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua con’t…. Part X

To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st and then every highlighted day on the March calendar.

Chapter 17

This chapter tells about the land given to the half tribe of Manassah. The rest of their tribe already had a spot east of the Jordan. These people wanted a great area for their own but they were hesitant to go in and claim it, saying that the people were too much for them. They did not succeed in driving out the Canaanites but put them to forced labor.

When we have things in our lives that are not pleasing to G-d, we simply need to get rid of them. However, this is not always so simple! Instead, we often make a place for our pet sins in our lives and try to live with them. Everyone else’s sin is always so much worse than our own! Let’s ask G-d to check our hearts today and see if there be any sins left lying around. Sin must be recognized and gotten rid of or we can never live up to the full potential G-d has given us.

Chapter 18

“The Congregation of the Children of Israel”……..assembled together at Shiloh.

“Congregation” is the English translation of the phrase “called out ones”. Those that G-d, Himself, has called out and they that have answered the call. The Greek word for this is erroneously translated as “church”. Christian Biblical scholars have taught that the “church” was born at Pentecost (Acts 2:1) another Greek word meaning “50 weeks” or as the Hebrews say “Shavuot”. The “called out” ones were, in fact, called out at Mt Sinai hundreds of years before. The word “church” comes from the pagan word “kirke”. The Old English word KIRKE was the word referring to their pagan places of worship. When they became Christianized, the Anglo-Saxons continued to call their places of worship KIRKES and as the language evolved “churches”. It is still a pagan word and I prefer to say Congregation because G-d did.

The tent of meeting, or tabernacle, was set up at Shiloh. In Samuel, it is erroneously translated as Temple. Remember the Temple was not built until the day of Solomon.

Seven tribes did not yet have their land and Y’hoshua was a little disgusted with that. He told them to pick out three men from each of the seven tribes and to go survey the land and divide it into seven sections. They were then to bring the information to Y’hoshua, who would cast lots before the Lord in Shiloh — there we go with the lots again — to see who got what. Yhudah (Judah) was already situated in the South and Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) in the North.

It turned out that Benyamin received land near Judah and included the city of Jabus (later changed to Yerushalayim or Jerusalem) This was the birthplace of their father, Benyamin, so it rightly belonged to his descendents. He was the only son of Ya’acov (Jacob) born in the Land.

Chapter 19

Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan received their portions. When they finished the task, a special city was given to Y’hoshua. It was the one he asked for – Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim. He was an Ephraimite. This was the end of dividing up the Land.

You might say the Land of Israel was somewhat like the United States of America. Each tribe was responsible for their own portion but they were united under the leadership of Y’hoshua, and ultimately – G-d. Would that that would be true of America!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua con’t…. Part IX

To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st and then every highlighted day on the March calendar.

Chapter 14

The land was divided by lot. Remember Jonah was chosen by ‘lot’ to see who was to blame for the storm when the ship sailed from Yaffa? The replacement disciple for Judas was chosen by ‘lot’ and by ‘lot’ the day chosen to kill all the Jews in the Book of Esther was decided. Many decisions of that day were made by ‘lot’ or a throw of the dice. It was thought that YHVH would speak through this method.

Concerning Calev/Caleb: Caleb, which means ‘dog’, and was a slang term for Gentile, was one of the two men out of the twelve who gave a good report concerning the Land when they were sent in to spy it out. He was the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, but adopted into the tribe of Judah. He was chosen to go into the land as the one representing the tribe of Judah. There is much in the Bible concerning adoption. The expression, “to bear a child upon the knees” refers to adoption. (See Genesis 30:3) As Believers, we are adopted into the Commonwealth of Israel. That makes us former Gentiles just as loved and able to inherit the same as the Israelites! We can now be rightly called Israelites and therefore Children of G-d, too!

Caleb came to Y’hoshua at Gilgal, where they still had their original camp, and asked for certain land that he had wanted. Moshe promised him the land where “your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance.” It was time to collect! He was 85 years old and as strong as he ever had been. Y’hoshua blessed him and gave him Hebron, the mountain he wanted. This word is pronounced “heh-BRON”, sounding the “O”, not “HEB-rahn”. This is where King David ruled his first seven and a half years before he reigned in Yerushalayim. It is where Abram lived with his family for so many years. The current administration in Israel today wants the PA to rule over Hebron. How ironic and sad! The original name of this city was called Kirjath Arba, and it is also still there today. Caleb took his land and Israel rested from war.

Chapter 15

This chapter deals with the borders of the land given to Judah. An interesting side note tells us about how Caleb offered his daughter, Achsah, to who ever conquered the city called Debir (Kirjath Sephir) in his portion of land. His nephew wanted her so he went up and conquered the city.

The Jebusites were living in Yerushalayim at that time. The children of Judah were never successful in driving them out so they lived together in harmony. Remember that Ornan, the Jubusite, sold King David the threshing floor where the Temple was built?

Chapter 16

The lands given to the sons of Joseph are revealed here.

G-d has a specific place for you. A spot perhaps no one else can fill. It is so important to be obedient to what the Lord has for you to do so that your job will get done. If you have no idea what your ministry is, ask Him. He will show you what His plan is for your life. You just need to surrender to Him and determine in your heart to follow His will for you.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua con’t…. Part VIII

To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st.

Chapter 12

This chapter names all 31 kings and their cities that were defeated by Moshe and Y’hoshua in the Land.

It is true that G-d GAVE the Land to his people – but they had to go in and take it! It is true that G-d has provided healing for us – by His stripes we were healed – notice the past tense. Yes, we ARE healed, but we have to claim our healing and possibly do something toward it. We need to eat the right foods, drink enough pure water, get enough sleep and enough exercise, think pure thoughts, stay away from evil, etc. etc. We must do our part to be well and healthy. You’ve heard the old saying: “G-d helps those who help themselves.” Well, I can also say G-d helps those who cannot help themselves! If we do our part to keep our bodies – our temples – in the right condition, then G-d is able to do what we cannot and bring healing. He is ALWAYS able to heal us, but sometimes for whatever reason He does not. He is a sovereign G-d who has His reasons. He never makes mistakes, never comes too soon or too late. He ALWAYS answers prayer – Yes! Every one! The answer is “Yes, No or not now!”

Chapter 13

By this time Y’hoshua was old. He had lead the people many years. The Lord told him he was old and yet there was still much land to be possessed. It was time to stop fighting and divide up the land to the nine and a half tribes that had none as yet. Remember that Moshe had given some land to the north east of the Jordan River to Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh because they asked him for it? The Levites were the only tribe who were not given land. That still made 12 tribes to inherit the land…. Joseph’s two children, Ephraim and Manasseh, were each made a separate tribe, leaving Levi landless. Their job was to serve in the Temple (which hadn’t been built yet). The Levites were later divided up into 24 courses and each course served at the Temple for two weeks twice a year as well as during the three pilgrimage feasts when all the males were to come up to Jerusalem. They were given some of the offerings that came from the people’s sacrifices. The Levites lived in certain cities and had a certain amount of land that they could raise their gardens and a few animals to sustain their households. Every Israeli was a farmer!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua – Part VII

To begin this study at the beginning – click on March 1st.

Chapter 10

Even as far back as this, there was a Jerusalem! And the king (named the Lord is righteous) of it heard about the Israelites. At that time, every big city had its king. These were all Amorites. King Adoni-tzedek called on the kings of four other cities to join with him and attack Gibeon to pay them back for making a treaty with Israel. All their armies camped before Gibeon and prepared to war against them. Naturally, Gibeon called upon their new “brethren” to come to their aid and the Israelites felt duty-bound to go to war. G-d Himself, told Y’hoshua not to fear, that they would win this battle. The Israelites soldiers marched all night to reach Gibeon and a great battle was fought. The Israelis quickly won. After they had battled a long while, – the Lord sent great hailstones down upon the Amorites and more were killed from the hailstones than from the sword!

Y’hoshua was so elated at this victory, that he called upon the sun to stand still so he could continue the battle. And it did! For about the space of a whole day, the sun did not move from its place. This had never happened before nor did it happen again! Y’hoshua must have been a very righteous man, zealous for G-d in all his ways. Daylight lasted until all the enemies were slaughtered. The five kings ran from the battle and hid themselves in a cave. They were discovered and brought to Y’hoshua who killed them and hung them from five trees until sunset. Does this sound somehow familiar? What other king do you know that was hung from a tree and released before sunset? This record was found in the Book of Jasher. I haven’t ever read that book —– it has been lost to us. Just as well, I don’t really like war stories anyway!

Y’hoshua and his men were now on a roll!! They marched against and took seven cities and then won cities with their kings from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza clear up to Gibeon. They “destroyed all that breathed”. The Lord G-d fought for Israel and no one could stand against them. After this, the men returned to their camp at Gilgal.

Chapter 11

The great Israeli warriors, with G-d as their General, took most all of the land. They took the spoil (valuables and goods of the conquered cities) and the livestock but killed every human. They even destroyed the Anakim – the giants of the land. They remained only in Gath, in Gaza and in Ashdod. Remember Goliath from Gath? When all these battles were fought and won, the men returned to their families and rested from war.

We as Believers today are in a battle. Everybody you know almost is in the middle of some kind of a battle – physically, financially, or spiritually. We can win! We are winners! All we have to do is stay close to the Lord and listen to His plan for us. If we obey – we can conquer! If we refuse to listen to Him and obey His voice, we will be lost. Looks like we have two choices: Listen and live or refuse and lose.
What’s your choice today?

….to be continued
Shalom, Sharaka
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Y’hoshua – Part VI

Chapter 8

The Lord told Y’hoshua NOT to be afraid – now that the sin in the camp had been taken care of. We sin. We ALL sin – and when we do, bad things happen. But when we repent and ask forgiveness, things can go back to ‘normal’. Except – there is always a price to pay, forgiven or not. One family of Judah was gone forever. Completely wiped out. That was a tremendous loss. A murderer can be caught, placed in jail and sentenced to death. What if they repent, ask forgiveness of G-d and the victim’s family? Yes, G-d will forgive them and they will spend eternity with Him – BUT most likely, they will still have to pay the penalty here for what they did. They can witness to others on Death Row and lead them to teshuvah (repent with the intention of never doing it again) But they will still die!

Thirty thousand warriors went up to Ai and this time won the battle and 12,000 people were slaughtered! G-d allowed them to take the spoil and the cattle for themselves. (Reward for obedience?) These are hard things to understand. Maybe we never will. All I can say is, if they left anyone alive, even the youngest ones, one day down the road they most likely would have rebelled and turned against the Israelites and would be a ‘thorn in their sides’ forever! G-d doesn’t make mistakes and whatever He says is right, no matter how hard it seems to us.

Y’hoshua built an altar to the Lord and sacrifices were made. I’m sure they worshipped the Lord at that time, even though Scripture does not record it. Y’hoshua read every word of Torah to the people. It specifically mentions the foreigners among them., proving once again there is no separation between races when you give your life to the Lord. All are treated the same – receiving good and bad at the Lord’s hand.

Chapter 9

The entire countryside, from the all the coasts along the Mediterranean Sea clear up to Lebanon, heard what had happened at these cities and the people were terrified but they decided to come as one against the Bnei Yisrael – the Children of Israel. One group of peoples – the Gibeonites, from three days away, came up with a clever plan. They dressed in raggy clothes and worn out shoes. They made themselves look as if they had traveled a very long way and approached Y’hoshua, pretending to have come from a far off country and had heard about G-d’s people. They said they had come to make a covenant with them. Y’hoshua did not consult with G-d about this and was tricked into making peace with them. They left happy! Soon their secret was found out, as all secrets are sooner or later and they got caught. However, since the covenant was made in good faith – even with such a lie involved, Y’hoshua would not break his word. The Gibeonites were allowed to live and be slaves to the Israelites. They worked as woodcutters and water drawers for generations. This was the curse they received. When we lie and deceive, there is always a terrible price to pay and it lasts on and on! Best thing to do is repent and ask the Lord to forgive you and then make Him Lord of your life! Many people believe in G-d! But that’s not enough! Even the devil himself believes in G-d. Won’t do HIM any good! If we love Him, we are to keep His commandments – Torah – all that applies to us today.

The ABCs of salvation are:
Admit that you are a sinner. All have sinned and come short of the glory of G-d. Ask G-d’s forgiveness. Romans 10:13
Believe on the Lord Y’shua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) and thou shalt be saved. John 3:16 Become a child of G-d by receiving Y’shua. John1:12
Confess that Y’shua is the Lord of your life (Romans 10:9) and that you will obey Him. He said, “If you love me – keep My commandments.

…..to be continued.

See you next time!
Shalom Sharaka
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