Do you have faith or fear?

"Promised Land" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Numbers 13:2, Send forth men, if you please (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash). The implication here is that Elohim gave Moses permission to send out the spies, but left the final decision up to him. This idea is confirmed in Deuteronomy 1:22 where Moses states that the idea to spy out the land came from the Israelites, not from YHVH. By allowing them to do this, it appears that YHVH was deliberately putting them to the test to see if they would trust him when he had already told them that Canaan was a good land and theirs for the taking with his help. Would they walk by faith in his word and promises or would they have to see the actual land before believing YHVH’s word?

When YHVH gives you a promise, do you have to see it come to pass before believing it, or are you able to simply begin taking steps of faith toward the fulfillment of the promises without actually seeing any tangible evidence of the end goal? What has YHVH promised you and what steps of faith have you taken toward possessing your spiritual “promised inheritance?” (Read the scriptural definition of faith in Heb 11:1.)

YHVH did not choose the twelve spies, the people did; hence, the name of this parashah, “Send for Yourselves.” When people choose their own leaders the failure rate is high­—in this case ten of twelve leaders were faithless duds. Man-inspired and initiated efforts seldom produce lasting spiritual benefits. This effort ended in the Continue reading

 

Some Thoughts on Moses’ Divorce and Remarriage

Numbers 12:1, Whom he had married. Some Jewish sages (e.g. Rashi, Baal HaTurim) teach that Moses divorced Zipporah and remarried an Ethiopian or Cushite woman. Was Moses’ marriage to the Ethiopian woman legal in YHVH’s eyes? If not, perhaps this is what the siblings’ complaint was about. Consider this. When Moses married Ziporah, he was not “saved.” His first encounter with YHVH occurred at the burning bush after he had already married Zipporah. This is when Moses received his spiritual calling. He received salvation on Passover night in his house with the lamb’s blood painted on the door. He was baptized in the Red Sea and received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

There is no indication that Zipporah accepted Moses’ heavenly calling to follow YHVH. Even though her father, Yitro, as a descendant of Abraham, knew and seemed to have followed YHVH, this may not have been the case with his daughter. To the contrary, she seems to have resisted YHVH and obedience to him (Exod 4:24–26). In fact, it appears that she returned to Yitro, her father, in Midian and did not accompany Moses in the exodus (see Exod 18:2).

The point is that sometimes YHVH will call, commission and grant salvation to a married person, but the person’s spouse is not open to receiving that calling and salvation. In such instances if the unsaved spouse remains hard hearted toward YHVH and after a period of time has passed, the saved spouse is released from their marriage and is free to remarry a believer.  Paul discusses this in 1 Corinithians 7:10–16.

Though the Torah doesn’t tell us, it is entirely possible that Zipporah was dead by the time Moses married the Cushite woman, since he was an elderly man (somewhere between the age of 80 and 120). Yeshua accepts the fact that because of the hardness of hearts, the Torah permits divorce (Matt 19:8) and presumably remarriage, as seems to have been the case with Moses.

Presumably, the Cushite woman was part of the mixed multitude that accompanied the Israelites in their exodus out of Egypt.

 

Abiding Under the Shadow of His Wings

Ark of the Covenant

Numbers 7:89, When Moses. Moses going into the inner most sanctuary of the tabernacle is a lesson for us in experiencing intimacy with YHVH Elohim. The holy of holies in the tabernacle from which the voice of YHVH emanated pictured what? (See Rev 7:15.) The Tabernacle of Moses is a spiritual picture of what? (Read Eph 3:21–22; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Pet 2:5.) If the saints are the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit, can they, like Moses, hear the voice of Elohim? (See what Yeshua said in answer to this question in John 10:3–5, 27 cp. Acts 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 29:4.) How does YHVH now speak to his people? (Note John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:12.) How does the Spirit interact with man to speak the mind, heart and will of Elohim to humans? (See John 14:17; Job 32:8; Prov 20:27; Rom 8:16; Eph 3:16; 1 John 2:20, 27; 4:2–3; 1 Cor 2:10–14.)

A corollary passages to this verse is found in Psalms 61:4 where David speaks of abiding in YHVH’s tabernacle forever, and putting his trust in the shelter of YHVH’s wings. Consider this. Over the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant are the over-shadowing wings of the two cherubim, which is representative of Elohim’s throne and glorious Presence on earth (see Isa 37:16; Ezek 10:1–22; 11:22–23). It was in this place of intimate worship before the “Rock that his higher than me” (verse 2) that David sought shelter or refuge and deliverance from his enemies (verse 3). Phrases like, “under the shadow of your wings” is a Hebraism meaning “before YHVH in the place and state of worship” (see also Pss 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 63:7; 91:1, 4). It was also in this place—between the cherubim—that Moses heard the voice of Elohim (Num 7:89), and that David would see the power or might, strength and glory or manifest Presence of Elohim in a prophetic, ecstatic or spiritual vision (Ps 63:2). The saints now have access to the throne of Elohim through prayer (Rev 5:8; 8:3).

Occasionally, YHVH will still communicate with his servants through an audible voice, dreams, visions, or an angelic visitation. But this is rare even as it was in biblical times. This is because YHVH is testing his people to see if they will walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), and will remain faithful to his written word. Currently, YHVH is refining, testing and preparing his bride for her marriage to him. Will she be faithful to him having never seen him? The time is coming, however, when she will be in YHVH’s blessed Presence forever, which is the object or end goal of her faith.

Voice of One…above the mercy seat. Think about this for a moment. The ark of the covenant upon which the mercy seat rested contained and was surrounded by several items, which give us an understanding as to what basis we are to come into YHVH’s Presence to hear his voice. The ark contained Aaron’s rod that budded, the golden pot of manna and the two tablets containing the ten words written by YHVH’s finger. Leaning up against the ark was the scroll containing the entire Torah that was given to the Israelites through Moses.

Together these items teach us that man can only come into YHVH Presence on the basis the Torah-word of Elohim of which Yeshua was the Living Manna from heaven, and upon which man must feed for his spiritual sustenance. Even as the manna was in a golden pot, so YHVH’s words should be within the heart of man. The ten words or commandments which were written by YHVH’s finger form the foundation of the Torah and need to be written on the heart of man. The heart of man contains two parts, like the two stone tablets, and man’s heart, until spiritually regenerated, is hard and stoney like the rock upon which the ten words were written.

YHVH is calling his servants to be a kingdom of priests of which Yeshua the Messiah is our Chief High Priest of which the rod, a symbol of the tree of life, is a prophetic picture. Under Yeshua’s rulership, his priests will exercise the authority in leading this world into obedience to and the worship of YHVH.

The Torah scroll leaning up against the ark shows us that obedience to YHVH’s instructions is dependent on our relationship with Yeshua through which his words must be written on our hearts by the indwelling presence of the Spirit of Elohim.

Moreover, when the high priest came into the holy of holies, he carried a censor filled with incense and sprinkled lamb’s blood on the ark of the covenant. This is pictures the saints coming into YHVH’s Presence only through the blood of Yeshua the Messiah who atoned for man’s sins, and through humble prayer like a contrite petitioner before a mighty king.

 

The Words of Yeshua and Moses Go Hand-In-Hand

John 5:46–47, Believed Moses. These two verses at the end of chapter five can easily be overlooked, but their implications are huge. Quite simply, Yeshua is saying that those who don’t believe the writings of Moses (i.e., the Torah) won’t believe the words of Yeshua who himself upheld the Torah and taught its validity in the lives of his disciples.

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This then begs the following question: Where does this leave all those who claim to be followers of Yeshua, but who believe that the law of Moses was abrogated? It’s hard to be absolutely black and white on this matter, since only YHVH can judge the heart condition of each individual, for undoubtedly many who claim the law was “done away with” still adhere to many of the law’s tenets (e.g., you shall not steal, murder, lie, commit adultery, worship idols and you shall honor your parents, etc.) and are thus obedient to the law to one degree or another.

However, we can safely say that it’s a matter of degrees. To the degree that we don’t believe the words of Moses, we don’t believe the words of Yeshua who was a proponent (and, in reality, as the Word of Elohim, the Originator) of the Torah-law of Moses. John makes a similar statement in his first epistle from which we can deduce the following: To the degree we don’t keep the (Torah) commandments of Elohim, we won’t know him; that is to say, conversely, if we keep his commandments which are a reflection of his character, will and heart, we will be able to know what pleases him, which in turn will determine the depth of our spiritual relationship with him (1 John 2:4).

In reality, these should be simple concepts to grasp and put into practice in one’s spiritual walk, yet, sadly, most religious leaders have misled Christians to believe anything and everything but the simple truth through their convoluted doctrines and traditions of men by which they have made the word of Elohim of no effect (Mark 7:13). It’s time for Elohim’s people to come out of the Babylonian church system with its webbed mixture of truth along with half-truths and outright lies (Rev 18:4).

Moreover, Yeshua is saying here that Moses’ prophecies about the coming Messiah formed the foundation for all the subsequent biblical messianic prophecies and the eventual coming of Yeshua the Messiah. If one couldn’t believe these prophecies of Moses, how would they recognize, much less believe in, Yeshua when he did come?

 

New Video: From Egypt to the Mountain of YHVH — The Gospel Message

In this video, we will learn how the children of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and trek to Mount Sinai where YHVH gave them his instructions in righteousness in preparation for entering the Promised Land contains the full gospel message. It is the story of our spiritual journey, and gives us inisghts into what lies ahead for us en route to the Promised Land of our spiritual and eternal inheritance through Yeshua the Messiah.

 

The Ten Commandments—The Torah’s Great Cornerstone

Exodus 20:1–17, An Overview of the Ten Words (Commandments)

The Ten Words or Ten Commandments by which they are more commonly known are but the mighty cornerstone of the 613 commandments of the Torah.

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The Jewish sages teach that all 613 are implied in the Ten; or that the Ten can be expanded into 613. The Tanakh (Old Testament) and Jewish writings contain a number of phrases that express the quintessential essence of the Torah. One of these best-known passages naming several of these phrases is in the Jewish Talmud: “[R.] Simlai said, ‘613 commandments were given to Moses—365 negative mitzvot (commandments), the same as the number of days in the year, and 248 positive mitzvot, the same as the number of parts in a man’s body. David came and reduced them to eleven (Ps 15), Isaiah to six (Isa 33:15), Micah to three (Mic 6:8), Isaiah again to two—“Observe and do righteousness” (Isa 56:1). Then Amos came and reduced them to one, “Seek me and you shall live” (Amos 5:4)—as did Habakkuk, “The righteous one will attain life by his trusting [or by faith] faithfulness (Hab 2:4)”’ (Makkot 23b–24a, abridged, from the Jewish New Testament Commentary, by David Stern, p. 565).

We see some of these same Torah summation-type statements in the Testimony of Yeshua. For example, the phrase, “the just shall live by faith” is found in three passages of the Testimony of Yeshua (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38); In Leviticus 19:18, we find the phrase, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” which is the summation of the last five of the famous Ten Commandments. This in itself is a summation of all of the 613 Torah commandments that relate to human relationships, which we see in Yeshua’s Continue reading

 

What’s involved in coming into YHVH’s Presence? Much food for thought!

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Exodus 19:10, Consecrate them today. How did Israel, as a bride-to-be, prepare herself to meet with YHVH? How are YHVH’s people now to be preparing themselves for their spiritual marriage with Yeshua? (Compare Exodus 19:10 with Revelation 19:7–9.) What is the righteousness of the saints (mentioned in Rev 19:8)? Righteousness is defined in Psalms 119:172 as, “… all thy [Torah] commandments are righteousness.” If what the Scriptures define as righteousness (i.e., the Torah) was “nailed to the cross,” as is popularly taught, then who is in error? The Scriptures or those who teach against YHVH’s Torah laws?

Discussion A. Why is it essential to study the example of the children of Israel preparing themselves to come into the presence of YHVH in Exodus 19? After all, if Yeshua did it all for us, we can just come boldly before the Father’s throne anytime, anyway we want, right (Heb 4:16)?

Let’s explore this concept a little to see what the Bible has to say about it.

Paul says in I Corinthians 10:11,

Now all these things happened to them [i.e., the children of Israel] as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (See also Rom 15:4.)

The writer of Hebrews has something similar to say in his prefatory remarks to his statement in Hebrews 4:16 about coming boldly before the throne of YHVH through the merits of the sinless righteousness of Yeshua our High Priest. In the preceding several verses, the author draws upon the example of the children of Israel (Heb 4:1–10) as an example for us not to follow. They were a faithless and disobedient lot in that they rebelled against the Torah-word of Elohim.

Then in Hebrew 4:11, the author starts with the connecting word “therefore,” indicating Continue reading